Tag: Politics

My Pillow Guy appears with Sherronna Bishop at Garfield County School District RE-2 Board Meeting

Mike Lindell appears alongside election conspiracy theorist and anti-masker Sherronna Bishop at a Wednesday, Oct. 13 Garfield County RE-2 School Board meeting held via Zoom

In a bizarre scene, “My Pillow guy” Mike Lindell made a cameo appearance alongside Rifle election conspiracist Sherronna Bishop in a Zoomed Garfield County School District RE-2 Board Meeting on October 13.

Bishop appears about three minutes into the meeting, speaking during the public comment period and accusing School Board members of abusing children by “forcing medical devices on them.” She condemns the Board for how her “kid had to wear a mask to his homecoming dance” and how the students were “interrupted” by an adult at the dance who reminded students how to correctly wear their masks. Bishop accused the school board of “assaulting and abusing” children by having them wear masks amid the pandemic.

After a member of the school board warns Bishop she has 30 seconds left to speak, a man wearing a shirt and tie moves into the frame with Bishop. He then bends down to where viewers  can see his face, and viewers could then see the man is Mike Lindell. One of the school board members can be heard in the background saying “Jesse, turn it off!”

As Bishop’s comment ends, Lindell starts weighing in with the school board, saying “There’s more science than you guys even know of” about masking, and “[inaudible] suicide and addiction…”

The school board then cuts off the couple, and tells a student that it is her turn to speak.
Video of the meeting is below:

Tina Peters supporters yell expletives at people trying to ask questions at an event billed as a “press conference”

An event held by embattled right wing Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at the old county courthouse that was billed as a “press conference” turned out to be more of a rally of her supporters Monday, as the event was poorly attended by local media outlets. Two newspapers were represented, and no television stations were there.

Peters’ talk seemed to focus on impugning the Mesa County Commissioners for entering into another contract with Dominion Voting Systems to provide secure voting equipment to the County and keeping it maintained until 2029. Peters also waved what she said was a stack of emails from the county commissioners that she had obtained that she believes show the commissioners doing something detrimental to county citizens. Peters insisted she had exposed massive voter fraud in Mesa County, but still has not provided conclusive proof.

Far right wing slate of school board candidates gin up anger and spread misunderstanding to raise funds

“Stand for the Constitution” supports Angela Lema, Andrea Haitz and Will Jones for School Board. They are ginning up hatred against the U.S. Department of Justice to try to raise funds for their campaign. The three are running as a far right wing extremist slate.

The three far-right wing candidates for District 51 School Board backed by the extremist group “Stand for the Constitution” — Angela Lema, Willie Jones and Andrea Haitz — together sent out a fundraising email today, titled “It’s Time to Get Politics Out of the Classroom,” aimed at generating anger towards the U.S. Department of Justice to raise money to help get them onto the school board.

The email’s subject line screams:

“The DOJ is coming after parents!”

At a Christian church, Mesa County GOP Chair Kevin McCarney repeatedly calls CO SOS the name of a porn star

Mesa County GOP Chair Kevin McCarney [Photo from video on AmericasMom.net]

In a video of a talk at Appleton Christian Church on September 16, 2021, Mesa County Republican Party Chair Kevin McCarney repeatedly calls Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold “Jenna Jameson,” the name of a famous adult film actress known as the “Queen of Porn.” 

McCarney spoke at Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters‘ first appearance since she returned to Mesa County after fleeing the state August 10 to speak at an election conspiracy conference in South Dakota organized by My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell. After the conference, Peters  went into hiding in unknown locations out of state for about 5 weeks.

Video of the political rally at the church is posted on the website of far right wing activist, conspiracy theorist and “mobile day spa instructor” Sharronna Bishop, who has dubbed herself “America’s Mom.” The rally was organized by the local extremist right wing group “Stand for the Constitution.” That’s the same group that has been pressuring the County Commissioners to declare Mesa County a “Constitutional sanctuary,” where federal and state laws don’t apply.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber’s long track record of harmful candidate endorsements

Longtime Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke

Local candidates usually tout their endorsements by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, but the Chamber’s long track record of endorsing deeply flawed candidates shows that candidates should run from a Chamber endorsement as fast as they can, or at least politely decline it.

Observation of the Chamber’s endorsements going back a decade reveals that the Chamber does not evaluate candidates based on criteria like experience, background, education, knowledge or qualifications to hold office. Rather, the Chamber only considers a candidate’s political and religious ideology before endorsing them.

This extraordinarily narrow criteria has resulted in a flawed process that has proven detrimental to our community many, many times over.

D-51 School Board candidate Voter Guide for the 11/2/2021 election

NOTE: This article is longer than usual owing to the number of people running, the amount of information available on them and the need to put the practical meaning of Chamber endorsements in context so people can accurately grasp their significance. One photo in this article may be unsuitable for kids. Below is a brief summary of my vote recommendations for school board, if you don’t have time to read the whole article immediately:

Recommended Votes:

District C – Trish Mahre

District D – Nick Allan

District E – David Combs

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Following are summaries of the candidates running for District 51 School Board in the upcoming November 2 election. Sources of information included the candidates’ publicly available campaign and work websites, their campaign and personal social media, and other primary and authoritative online resources, including minutes of District 51 Board meetings and the website of Mesa County Libraries.

Cindy Ficklin’s application for Paul Pitton’s seat on D-51 School Board raises alarm

Cindy Ficklin, who is seeking a seat on the District 51 School Board, poses with a hand gun.

Cindy Paschal Ficklin, one of Mesa County’s most far right wing extremist political figures, is applying for Paul Pitton’s District B on the District 51 School Board.

Pitton announced he is resigning from the School Board because of the recent politicization of board meetings by extreme right wing activists, particularly members of “Stand for the Constitution,” the group that has been repeatedly pressuring the Mesa County Commissioners to declare the county a “Constitutional sanctuary,” where federal laws don’t apply.

Daily Sentinel & Mesa County Public Health Department appear to take steps to shield CMU from criticism

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Mesa County Public Health Department appear to be shielding Colorado Mesa University from public criticism over its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic by minimizing and obscuring information about Covid outbreaks and how the school is handling cases.

Buried towards the end of an article in today’s Sentinel about Covid cases in area schools was a reference to a situation in which a CMU student who was sick with Covid-19 and quarantined in Piñon Hall failed to get any food delivered for two days. The paper referred to the situation as “one minor communications issue” and made it sound like the student was to blame, along with a single poster in the dorm.

Rep. Lauren Boebert wants government to take orders from the church

U.S. House Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, speaking at a conference held September 13 by the Truth and Liberty Coalition, cast Democrats as the  enemy and called on God to remove ungodly leaders in Washington, D.C. and instead “install righteous men and women of God” who understand that government should be taking orders from the church, and not the other way around. 

“It’s time the church speaks up. The church has relinquished too much authority to government. We should not be taking orders from the government; the government needs to be looking at the church and saying, ‘How do we do this effectively?”

The Agency of the Irresponsible

The following commentary on how Colorado Mesa University (CMU) is handling the coronavirus pandemic was written by CMU History Professor Sarah Swedberg, who is now experiencing CMU’s policies in person. This article was originally published on Nursing Clio, an open-access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog that ties historical scholarship to present-day issues related to gender and medicine. The article is reprinted here with full permission from Dr. Swedberg.

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Like many faculty at state universities, the beginning of this school year brings me more terror than excitement. Colorado Mesa University (CMU), the institution at which I have taught since 1999, will require neither masks nor vaccines for students, and faculty cannot enforce mask mandates in the classrooms. This flies in the face of best practices for public health. When I asked the reason for this policy, I was told that there were strong feelings on both sides.

“Strong feelings” is clearly code for the fact that CMU is in a politically conservative region where there is strong resistance to both vaccination and masks. These words remind us that public health measures have always been politicized. Because I teach about HIV and AIDS and because I was a young adult in the 1980s, it is that pandemic that is foremost in my mind as I try to negotiate my own and my students’ safety.

Secretary of State pursuing ethics complaint against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

Trump supporter, election conspiracy theorist and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is under criminal investigation by three agencies for allegedly compromising voting equipment.

At least one ethics complaint submitted to the State of Colorado about Mesa County’s crazy Clerk Tina Peters is starting to bear fruit.

Luis Lipchak, the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Enforcement Manager, determined that a complaint by Mesa County resident Scott Bielfuss (pdf) alleging that Peters violated campaign finance laws has merit and their office has decided to pursue it.

Bielfuss alleged that Peters “flew up to Mr Pillows cybers-symposium on a private plane provided to her and is staying as a guest of the Pillow foundation in clear violation of accepting gift laws. Complainant [Bielfuss] alleges that by engaging in the aforementioned activities, Respondent [Peters] failed to report contributions or expenditures associated with said activities and accepted gifts over allowed amounts.”

CO SOS files suit to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as Designated Election Official

The Colorado Secretary of State filed a suit asking a judge to legally remove Tina Peters as Mesa County’s Designated Elections Official, saying she is unfit for the position.

Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) Jena Griswold filed a lawsuit today asking a judge to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as Designated Election Official (DEO) for the county. The suit asks for Wayne Williams to be appointed as the DEO and Sheila Reiner be appointed Director of Elections for Mesa County. Sheila will apparently replace Brandi Bantz, who was Director of Elections for Mesa County according to her LinkedIn page. Bantz was the fourth Director of Elections Peters hired during her tenure.

A press release said the SOS was acting quickly because time is short before the November elections. It also said that the  legal action “is necessary because although the Secretary of State’s Office can require supervision of a county clerk’s conduct, it cannot remove a sitting county clerk from acting as the Designated Election Official.” The suit asks a judge to remove Peters.

County Commissioners do about-face on pot with referred ballot measures

Mesa County may finally be recognizing that Colorado’s new cannabis economy has brought big benefits to towns and counties that have embraced it.

Item #8 on the Mesa County Commissioners’ agenda today is a proposal to refer a measure to the countywide ballot a measure that will give voters a choice to “override” a 2013 ordinance (pdf) that prohibited the cultivation, manufacture, testing and retail sales of cannabis in the unincorporated county, and instead ALLOW such activity.

Agenda Item #9 will refer a related measure to the ballot that would let the County charge an excise tax on the sale or transfer of “unprocessed retail marijuana.”

The measures represent a 180 degree turn from where the county was 8 years ago, and appears to be an effort to start grabbing some of the cash the cannabis industry has been generating throughout the state, that Mesa County has lost out on for so long.

SOS to appoint replacement for Peters while Mesa County Commissioners hold a meeting tonight to decide whether to appoint a replacement for Peters

Yes, you read that right.

Denver news is reporting (video) that the Secretary of State will strip Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters of power and “appoint someone other than [Mesa County] Clerk Tina Peters to oversee Mesa County’s elections.”

At the same time, the Mesa County Commissioners are holding a special meeting tonight to consider only one item:  deciding whether to “approve or deny” an apparent replacement for Tina Peters.

Consider and approve or deny the conditional appointment of a designated election official pursuant to C.R.S. 1-1-104(8).  (Todd Starr, County Attorney)

This begs the question: Why are the County Commissioners holding a meeting to decide whether or not to replace Peters when the Secretary of State is already going to replace her? Is it just right wing theater to placate the batsh*t crazy “Stand for the Constitution” crowd? Or what is going on here?

The Commissioners don’t usually hold public meetings about personnel matters. They didn’t do it when Mesa County was dealing with County Administrator Frank Whidden and his multiple age discriminations lawsuits, charges of sexual harassment and other sordid situations.

The Commissioners’ single meeting agenda item has the name of County Attorney Todd Starr beneath it, so I called Starr’s office to ask why this meeting was being held. Someone answered the call who claimed to have absolutely no idea whatsoever about the meeting, who said no one was there who did, and said it was all the County Commissioners’ doing. That person referred me to the County Commissioners’ office. A call to the County Commissioners’ office was answered by someone who said they had no idea why the meeting was being held, and referred me back to the County Attorney’s office.

It was the classic Mesa County runaround.

At the same time, reports are that the FBI has now joined in the criminal investigation of Clerk Tina Peters.

So confusion reigns from top to bottom now inside Mesa County government, as Peters’ elected Republican pals struggle to figure out how to deal with what looks more and more like a criminal County Clerk who intentionally facilitated a security breach that compromised Mesa County’s own voting equipment.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in her own words

Instead of being in Grand Junction dealing with the breach of security in the Elections Office that’s going to cost County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to remedy, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters fled the state to appear as a featured speaker at the My Pillow Guy’s “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at which Mike Lindell, CEO of the My Pillow Company, promised to finally reveal long-sought-after proof that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election. By all accounts, Lindell’s symposium imploded spectacularly. Lindell also heard during the conference that a judge allowed a $1 billion defamation lawsuit (pdf) filed against him last February by the Dominion Corporation, which manufactures the voting machines used in Peters’ office, would be allowed to go forward.

Peters was lauded as a hero at the event, and was introduced to the crowd as “an amazing patriot who is doing exactly what she should be doing and protecting and defending the vote.”

CO Secretary of State Griswold: “All evidence shows” Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters assisted in a security breach; S.O.S. decertifies Mesa County’s voting equipment

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (Photo: State of Colorado)

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold gave a press conference today (video) in which she revealed that last May 25th, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters permitted an unauthorized non-employee of the Elections Department to participate in a highly sensitive annual security inspection of Mesa County’s voting equipment called a Trusted Build. The name of the non-employee entered into the log that day was “Gerald Wood,” and Griswold revealed that Woods’ name was entered into the log by the Mesa County Clerk herself. Griswold noted that the non-employee “swiped in, but did not swipe out.”

“This was a breach,” Griswold said. “He was not an employee and he was not background checked. The Clerk misled the Secretary of State’s office about this information.”

Griswold said,

“To be very clear, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder allowed a security breach and by all evidence at this point, assisted it.”

School Board candidate Haitz sends out offensive fundraising email

Fundraising email from Andrea Haitz announcing her campaign for D-51 school board

School District 51 Board Candidate Andrea Haitz sent out a red-meat fundraising email in July that offended teachers, parents and D-51 employees who have been working hard to give kids the best education possible while struggling with all the difficulties imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Haitz said,

“Politics is in the way of our children’s future. Political agendas are being jammed down our kids’ throats. Necessary tools that were once taught, like critical thinking, have now been replaced with divisive ideologies and revisionist history.

I will not watch our kids be brainwashed. I am taking a stand!

Will you join me by making a contribution to my campaign?”

The email was a dog-whistle designed to extract donations from far-right conservatives who fear “Critical Race Theory,” (CRT) a body of legal and academic scholarship that proposes that race is a social and not a biological construct, and that discusses how race and a history of institutionalized racism have created and perpetuate a system that broadly disadvantages people of color in American society.

Officials at Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig say Rep. Boebert is ignorant about health care policy and it’s costing lives

In the wake of House Rep. Lauren Boebert refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, calling Covid-19 vaccine administrators “needle Nazis” and likening public health efforts to control the pandemic to “communism,” Andrew Daniels, Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig, Colorado, told a national news outlet (video) that he is “embarrassed that Lauren Boebert is his House Representative.”

His hospital was recently forced to re-open its Covid ward due to a resurgence in Covid cases in Moffat County, now considered a coronavirus hotspot due to high rate of community transmission and a low vaccination rate, similar to Mesa County.

Covid hotspots are in red. (Source: CDC/CNN)

Daniels, who described himself as a “super conservative,” said of Boebert,

“I’m embarrassed that she’s my representative. I think if you’re going to take a stance on health care policy, you might actually want to learn something about healthcare policy.”

Dr. Matthew Grzegozewski, Memorial Regional Hospital’s Director of Emergency Medicine struck a similar note, about Boebert, saying

“A lot of people are listening [to what Boebert] is saying and a lot of what she’s putting out there is ideology and in fact isn’t medically sound, and it’s putting people in danger and quite honestly costing people their lives, and it’s frustrating to have to fight against that.