Tag: Extremism

The Mesa County GOP needs to apologize for creating, aiding and abetting the Tina Peters debacle

Mesa County GOP Chair Kevin McCarney defends Tina Peters at a “Stand for the Constitution” meeting at Appleton Christian Church in Grand Junction in September, 2021. Tina Peters’ wild, egregious election-lie fiasco has embarrassed Mesa County on a national scale. 

It was clear back in 2018 when she was elected that Tina Peters was unqualified to be Mesa County Clerk and Recorder. She had had zero experience in government or in the Clerk’s office, had never worked in public administration or worked on an election in any capacity.

At the time, the qualifications between the two candidates for County Clerk couldn’t have been more stark:

Tina was a former flight attendant, had dabbled in real estate, worked for a Hollywood talent agency, had done multi-level marketing for health magnet purveyor Nikken and had a degree from the now-defunct Clayton College of Natural Health, an online school that was shut down in 2010 after its students brought a class action lawsuit against it for breach of fiduciary duty

Republican Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese backed Tina Peters in the 2018 election even though Tina was completely unqualified to be County Clerk

By contrast, her opponent, Bobbie Gross, had already worked in the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s office for over 10 years. Gross was manager of the Motor Vehicle Department, overseeing 19 of 30 Clerk and Recorder employees. She had co-directed the 2016 presidential elections for Mesa County, was already a Certified Elections Official and was about to become a Certified National Elections Administrator. Gross had in-depth familiarity with all of the functions of the office, and with Colorado’s rules and regulations that pertain to County Clerks. She was a long-time, seasoned, experienced employee of the Clerk and Recorder’s office, well-versed in all the functions of the Clerk’s office and ready to move up to the head position.

Yet for some reason, the Mesa County GOP persisted in backing the inexperienced and unqualified Tina all the way.

Close Trump aides and campaign officials all testify Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud are baseless, unfounded

For those in Mesa County who still believe Trump’s big lie that he lost the 2020 election due to widespread election fraud, this 4 minute video presents testimony by close Trump aides, including top Trump campaign lawyer Alexander Cannon, who previously worked as Assistant General Counsel for the Trump Organization; Matt Morgan, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel to the Vice President of the United States, former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, and Trump’s daughter and Senior White House Advisor Ivanka Trump.

Trump’s AG Barr on Trump’s claim the election was “stolen”: “The idea was bullshit” and “I didn’t want to be a part of it.”

In this testimony before the January 6 Committee released on June 14, former U.S. Attorney General under Trump, William Barr, says he disagreed with Trump telling the public the election was stolen and he told the president the idea was “bullshit”:

“I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff which I told the President was bullshit, and you know, I didn’t want to be a part of it. 

And that’s one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave. When I did, I observed, I think it was on December 1st, you know, how can … we can’t live in a world where where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence, that … there was fraud in the election.”

Sherronna Bishop moves to Texas, gets her own show on Lindell TV

Sherronna Bishop in January, 2022

Notorious Garfield County election fraud conspiracist Sherronna Bishop and her husband, Neil, sold their home in Silt in early May and moved to Texas, where Bishop now stars in her own “Americas Mom” video and audio talk shows three times a week on Mike Lindell’s alt-tech streaming platform, FrankSpeech.com.

Political extremists are increasingly turning to small alt-tech platforms like FrankSpeech.com after being banned from broadcast television and major social media services like Facebook and Twitter for continually lying to the public, promoting false information and fringe political views.

Trump & his associates have repeatedly fleeced those who trusted him most. Tina Peters is following his lead.

Tina Peters appears on Steve Bannon’s Internet TV show, “War Room,” Dec. 31, 2021

First, former Trump advisor Steve Bannon raised hundreds of millions of dollars from Trump supporters using his private fundraising campaign, “We Build the Wall,” that promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Bannon promised gullible MAGA-heads that “100% of the funds raised …[would] be used in the execution of our mission and purpose.” But Bannon and his associates diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the campaign to pay their own personal expenses and credit card debt, buy expensive luxury items like jewelry, home renovations, high-end SUVs, plastic surgery and golf carts. Law enforcement agents arrested Bannon in August of 2020 on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud while he was off the coast of Connecticut, lounging on a 150-foot long super-yacht owned by a Chinese billionaire.

Trump pardoned Bannon of these crimes before leaving office in 2021, which is why Bannon was never prosecuted for them.

Tina Peters losing support locally


Support for Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters appears to be waning among her “base” in Mesa County as people discover Peters is willing to lie and sacrifice other people to further her own ends.

The Daily Sentinel reported today that enthusiasm for Peters among members of the far-right group Stand for the Constitution (SFTC) appears to be waning. The group, previously a strong supporter of Peters, invited Peters’ opponent for Secretary of State, Mike O’Donnell, to speak at their most recent meeting. The meeting was sponsored in part by Andrea Barber, the sister-in-law of Gerald Wood, whose identity Tina Peters stole in order to smuggle a third person into the Elections Department to copy voting machine hard drives.

Former G.J. City Council candidate Mark McAllister speaks in support of Tina Peters at an August, 2021 rally organized by Stand for the Constitution in support of Tina Peters, while a supporter holds a sign that says “I Trust Tina Peters.” (Photo: YouTube)

Peters’ actions swept up Fruita resident Gerald Wood into the criminal investigation of Peters’ election tampering, forcing Wood to have to prove to authorities he was not present at the time Peters had the hard drives copied.

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

In late May 2022, Oklahoma once again passed the nation’s worst abortion ban, making it the first state to effectively end women’s right to have an abortion, and making this article, that I first published on May 20, 2019, even more relevant.

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

When and where to watch the Jan. 6 Select Committee hearings locally — will keep this page updated

Update – Wed., June 22, 2022 –The next January 6 Committee hearing will be Thursday, June 23 at 1:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time). After posting a tipline with its last hearings, the Committee has received additional video footage and is also talking to Ginni Thomas about her cooperation, and because of all the new information, following hearings will be held in July.

Update – Tuesday, Jan. 21- The Jan 6 Select Committee examining the assault on the U.S. Capitol convenes today for its fourth public hearing this month. This session will focus on Trump’s efforts to pressure state officials into falsifying election results to make it appear as though he had won, as part of his broader campaign to cling to office for a second term after he was informed by his White House attorneys, aides and family that he had lost the election. Today’s hearing starts at 11:00 a.m. local time and will be broadcast live on CBS (KREX, Ch. 5) ABC (KJCT Ch. 8) and NBC (KKCO Ch. 11) television stations starting at 11:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight (local) Time, (1:00 p.m. Eastern). You can also watch the hearings live on the website of the PBS News Hour and the Jan. 6 Committee’s YouTube channel.

***WARNING – the hearing may contain video of violence and foul language***

Like Tina, Mesa County Sheriff Candidate Bob Dalley believes The Big Lie

Dalley is overtly politically partisan, and promotes himself repeatedly as a Christian who loves guns. But more than this, he believes in Trump’s Big Lie, just like Tina Peters does.

The front page of this Saturday’s Daily Sentinel featured an article about the debate held recently between the two candidates running for Mesa County Sheriff in the Republican primary election coming up June 28: Bob Dalley and incumbent Sheriff Todd Rowell.

At the debate, Dalley cited statistics about alarming increases in crime within the county, without giving any sources for his statistics, while Sheriff Rowell cited Colorado Bureau of Investigations data that show Mesa County actually has lower crime rates than the rest of the state as a whole.

That Dalley would quote statistics, as he does on his campaign website as well, without citing even a single source for any of the information, is always a red flag, since he could be making up this information, but the biggest bombshell in the Sentinel article was really near the end, and was presented with little fanfare or attention:

It was this:

“Dalley said he doesn’t believe Joe Biden fairly won his election to president of the United States in 2020.”

It’s happening! Tina Peters: The Movie

Screen shot of the 2 minute, 15 second movie trailer for “Selection Code,” made by Lara Logan and financed by My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell

Get out the popcorn, Mesa County.

A new “documentary” movie is coming out July 16 that tells the story of embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ efforts to convince people that massive election fraud occurred in Mesa County’s voting machines.

In reality, a recent months-long, thorough investigation into allegations of voting machine problems by Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and his team, the results of which were presented to the Mesa County Commissioners and the public last week, reveal that was not the case. The evidence revealed beyond a doubt that human action by a member of Peters’ own Elections Department staff, who was trying to remedy a frozen computer screen, was at the heart of Peters’ accusations, and the investigation found the County’s vote tabulating machines worked appropriately and counted ballots accurately.

House Rep. Boebert (R) touts “replacement theory,” the white supremacist conspiracy theory increasingly behind mass shootings

In a video taken last September, House Rep. Lauren Boebert says the U.S. is undergoing “replacement theory,” the white supremacist ideology behind an 18-year old’s gun massacre of ten Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, March 14, 2022.  Payton Gendron, the shooter, left behind a 180-page manifesto that showed he was fixated on the conspiracy theory that White people in the U.S. are being intentionally replaced — the same idea Boebert spouts in this video.

First Congregational Church welcomes trans kids amid furor over School Board President Andrea Haitz’s transphobic memes

The First Congregational Church sign (Photo: Shirley Zimmerman Kodis)

After the uproar over anti-transgender memes District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz posted recently on her personal social media accounts, the First Congregational Church at 5th and Kennedy in Grand Junction took steps to make it clear to the public that their church welcomes transexual kids. The church is directly across the street from Grand Junction High School.

Church Administrator Beth Rakestraw said on her social media account that “Transkids are loved and welcomed at my church!” The church describes itself on its website as a “progressive Christian community” and says “We welcome all people regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender preference, ability, and disability…At our church you don’t have to check your brain at the door. We believe that science and religion are not mutually exclusive. … No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

Haitz tried to walk back her posts by telling the Daily Sentinel that people had “misinterpreted” her memes because they “don’t understand satire,” but that was disproved after Heidi Hess of One Colorado revealed to the Daily Sentinel that Haitz belonged to the Facebook group Reboot 2022, whose mission statement says “Transgender is not an option.”

D-51 School Board President Andrea Haitz belonged to anti-transgender Facebook group

Screenshot of members of the transphobic Facebook group, Reboot 2022, taken on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, after which time her name was removed.

A May 13, 2022 Daily Sentinel article discussed the outrage District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz’s recent anti-transgender social media posts generated among people in the valley. 

In her own defense, Haitz told the Sentinel she didn’t mean the memes to be hurtful, and that she “has gay and lesbian friends.” Haitz said the “memes had been misunderstood” because “people don’t always understand satire,” and said that people “made up what they thought I meant by it.”

But people didn’t make up anything, and they most definitely did not misinterpret the intent of Haitz’s posts.

How do we know?

Court rules Republican County Clerk candidate Julie Fisher is not competent to run elections, either, and was complicit in Peters debacle

Julie Fisher, who is a candidate for Mesa County Clerk and Recorder in the Republican primary June 28th. The judge found she has insufficient experience to run elections and was complicit in the Tina Peters/Belinda Knisley capers.

On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, District Court Judge Valerie Robison granted an injunction that prohibits Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley from running  elections through 2022, making it the second year that the two top officials in the Mesa County Clerk’s Office have been barred from having anything to do with elections.

No less important, though, were Judge Robison’s findings about current employee in the Clerk’s office and Republican candidate for County Clerk Julie Fisher, whom Tina Peters had dubbed her “Second Chief Deputy Clerk.”

Robison found Fisher did not have adequate experience in handling elections, hadn’t taken the election training provided by the Secretary of State and that the position Tina had appointed Fisher to, “Second Chief Deputy Clerk,” was a fake position.

The Court ruled “there is no statutory provision for the position of “Second Chief Deputy Clerk” in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

Essentially, Tina invented the “Second Chief Deputy Clerk” position to do an end run around the County Commissioners and the Court, and appoint her own hand-picked person to perform her job in her and Knisley’s absence.

But Judge Robison wasn’t having any of that.

Indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters attends event in Mar A Lago May 5

Tweet Tina Peters posted on May 5, 2022, about her trip to Mar a Lago, Florida

Indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is out of jail on $25,000 bond, went to an event at Donald Trump’s estate in Florida on May 5.

As a term of her bond, she was ordered not to leave the state, and would have to have obtained approval from the court before making this trip. The only exception the Court granted to this requirement, made at the time Judge Matthew Barrett lowered her bond from $500,000 to $25,000, was for Peters to attend the funeral of her father, who died in North Carolina during the night she spent in the Mesa County Jail, according to Peters’ attorney. It is unclear whether Peters sought or received approval from the Court for this trip. UPDATE: Peters has now been granted permission by the Court to leave the state.

Convicted felon Rod Blagojevich to headline campaign fundraiser for indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

Kyle Clark of 9News in Denver reported yesterday (video) that convicted felon Rod Blagojevich will headline a Saturday, May 14, 2022 fundraiser for indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters‘ campaign for secretary of state. The fundraiser will be held at Dunafon Castle, a wedding venue in Lakewood, Colorado owned by Debbie and Mike Dunafon, who also own Shotgun Willie’s strip club in Glendale, Colorado. The Dunafons are hosting the fundraiser. The cost to rent the venue on a Saturday for a group of up to 150 people is $9,400.00.

Tina Peters hires attorney who defended Bannon’s co-conspirator in “We Build the Wall” fraud

Harvey Steinberg (Photo: BestLawyers.com)

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has hired big-gun Colorado criminal defense attorney Harvey Steinberg of Denver to defend her in her criminal case(s).

Steinberg is the lawyer the Denver Broncos and other high-profile sports figures keep on speed dial for whenever they get busted for rape, road rage, domestic violence, DUIs, driving with a suspended license and such.

Steinberg is also the guy who defended Steve Bannon’s accomplice Brian Kolfage in the “We Build the Wall” fundraising scam.

“We Build The Wall” was a private fundraising campaign in which Bannon and accomplices, including Kolfage, defrauded hundreds of thousands of MAGA-heads out of over $25 million through an online crowdfunding campaign. Bannon and Kolfage pitched the campaign to unsuspecting Trump supporters as a private effort to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Bannon and Kolfage promised Trumpers they would “not take a penny in salary or compensation” for their efforts, and that “100% of the funds raised …[would] be used in the execution of our mission and purpose.”

What happens if Tina Peters gets elected, convicted and sentenced to prison?

Kyle Clark of 9News in Denver answers the question of what happens if Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is currently under indictment for ten felonies related to election tampering, gets elected as Secretary of State AND gets convicted of the crimes she’s been charged with?

State law says a person can run for office while under indictment and can even serve in office after being convicted, but state law also says a person cannot serve from prison.

If Peters is elected Secretary of State in November and is convicted of her alleged crimes and sentenced to prison, the the governor can appoint someone to fill her vacancy.

Governor Polis is up for re-election in November.