Search Results for: tina peters

Why Keep Tina Peters? Big Pillow Cash Money, That’s Why

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

The pivotal moment in last weekend’s election of far-right Rep. Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams to be the next chairman of the Colorado Republican Party came when one of Williams’ rivals for the job, indicted former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, spoke out of order following the second round of balloting to announce her supporters would switch to Williams. Peters may be facing trial on felony charges related to the theft of election system data in her failed quest to prove Donald Trump should still be President, but she has enough support from the substantial percentage of Colorado Republicans who believe without factual basis that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump to have played this key role in putting Williams over the top.

The smart thing for Dave Williams to have done at that point would have been to thank Peters for her help getting him elected, and then quietly excommunicate Peters and her election conspiracy theorist cabal of crazies before her criminal trial does even more collateral damage to the party. But as readers already know, that didn’t happen–in fact, Williams has reportedly offered Peters a job of some as-yet-undetermined title and responsibilities. Being a fervent election denier himself, Williams is actively opposed to recognizing the liability Peters represents. What’s the end game here from Williams’ point of view? What’s going to happen in the likely event Peters is sent to prison for her crimes while employed by the Colorado Republican Party?

Williams either doesn’t know or doesn’t care.

Rep. Lauren Boebert with reality-based friends MyPillow Guy, Rudy Giuliani, and censured couptastic attorney Jenna Ellis (right).

On Monday in a friendly interview with failed candidate turned talk-radio host George Brauchler, Williams made crystal-clear the reason why he’s elevating Peters instead of running away from her baggage:

GEORGE BRAUCHLER: Let me ask this, too. Is there a formal role for Tina Peters in the party under your leadership, or is she just going to work from the outside?

DAVE WILLIAMS: I’ve extended a formal role for everyone to include Tina. So that’s Erik. That’s Aaron. That’s Casper. Forgive me.

BRAUCHLER: Lundberg? Kevin Lundberg?

WILLIAMS: Yep. And to Tina. I mean, this is something that we all promised on the campaign trail and, um, you know, especially for, for anyone that wants to help me succeed, I’m going to certainly do it. With respect to Tina, you know, she’s she has a network of nationally, uh, well-funded friends that can bring money in for a party. I’m not going to turn that away. [Pols emphasis]

Williams isn’t completely wrong about this. Since becoming a minor celebrity in the MAGA election conspiracy theory world, Peters has proven capable of raising enormous amounts of money to pay for her legal defense, as well as frivolous expenses like a recount of the Republican Secretary of State primary Peters lost by a wide margin. One of Peters’ most faithful financial supporters is the thoroughly discredited but equally unrestainable crackpot Mike “MyPillow Guy” Lindell, who helped hide Peters out of state for weeks during the early period of the investigation into her alleged theft of election data.

And that’s when it all clicks: the Colorado GOP is about to become a MyPillow subsidiary! Perhaps they’ll get their own discount code. It’s possible that Lindell and the Steve Bannon netherworld funding sources that have kept Tina Peters afloat through her long legal odyssey will be able to partly offset the financial support widely assumed to be fleeing the state party as local conservative luminaries announce they don’t want to be Republicans anymore. And of course, they’ll save a little on air travel.

It comes the price of the party’s soul, and the prospect of never winning an election in Colorado again.

Tina Peters Confirms New CO GOP Chair Offered Her a Party Leadership Role

(Welcome to the previously unthinkable — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams prior to his win, posing with opponents Kevin Lundberg & Tina Peters after they endorsed him

Despite losing the election to lead the Colorado Republican Party last weekend, former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters may yet have a role in leading the state GOP. Peters says she’s considering a party leadership position offered to her by newly elected Chair Dave Williams, who won his election with Peters’ help.

Peters first teased her possibly joining Williams in a March 12 tweet, in which she taunted Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold for noting that by electing Williams, the state GOP had just endorsed election denialism.

Peters replied, “This is great. … Wait until she sees who’s Executive Director. That’s REALLY going to blow her mind… wait for it! Taking back Colorado.”

Via text, Peters confirmed that she is thinking about Williams’ offer.

“I’m considering it,” said Peters. “Will evaluate if it’s the right step for me, the state and the people that I love and serve.”

Williams himself publicly addressed Peters’ potential hiring earlier this week during an interview with KNUS radio host Dan Caplis.

CAPLIS: But there’s there’s a lot of chatter on social media that you may be considering appointing Tina Peters as executive director of the GOP. Is there any truth to that?

WILLIAMS: So all the candidates that ran, I’ve already given them the invitation to have some sort of formal role. As it relates to executive director, we’re not even going to have that title anymore. For Tina, she is welcome to join us should she want to and we’ve engaged on what that looks like. But that’s true for Aaron Wood. That’s true for Erik Aadland, that’s true for Casper [Stockham]. And you know, to both Kevins [Lundberg and McCarney] in the race. It’s a matter of trying to get everyone squared away so that we have a good team of rivals, so to speak, where we can be firing on all cylinders and win for the party again.” Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams on the Dan Caplis Show, March 13, 2023

Peters wasn’t the only opponent to throw her support to Williams. Former state Sen. Kevin Lundberg did the same. Via email, he told the Colorado Times Recorder that his decision to support Williams happened quickly and wasn’t predicated on any sort of quid pro quo.

“My agreeing to support David with Tina happened about 30 seconds before she announced it,” said Lundberg. “I have offered to help David in any way I can, but not in any professional way, just as a volunteer for the party. Erik [Aadland] is a good man, but very little experience and history in working with the GOP. David’s work in the legislature and with the party gives him a big advantage in hitting the ground running.”

Aadland, who was by far Williams’ closest opponent in the race for chair, did not respond to a voicemail requesting comment as to whether he and Williams have discussed his having a leadership role in the party and whether such a position even interests him. This article will be updated with any response received.


Move Over, Tina Peters! Or Just Maybe…

“Tiger King” Joe Exotic, ex-Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R).

As Oklahoma News4 reports, one of the Sooner State’s more infamous native sons isn’t letting their legal trouble get in the way of upward political mobility. Sound like someone Colorado knows?

A well-known Oklahoman says he plans to be on the ballot for the 2024 presidential election.

The ‘Tiger King’ is throwing his hat in the ring for president…

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who is also known as Joe Exotic, says he is not ashamed of anything he has done, and says he believes he can represent all people.

“So put aside that I am gay, that I am in prison for now, that I used drugs in the past, that I had more then one boyfriend at once and that Carole hates my guts. This all has not a thing to do with me being able to be your voice. The best thing you have going for supporting me is that I am used to fighting my whole life just to get by. I am broke, they have taken everything I ever worked for away, and it’s time we take this country back,” he wrote on his campaign page.

He is currently serving a 21-year federal sentence after being convicted on multiple charges.

Whether or not you agree that Carole Baskin killed her husband and fed him to the tigers, you’ve got to admit that “Tiger King” Joe Exotic has more name identification than most American politicians. If you were to do random man-on-the-street interviews just about anywhere in America, more people would name “Tiger King” correctly than Ron DeSantis. We’re not sure about Donald Trump himself, just because Trump’s mug has been so indelibly burned into the minds of the entire globe–but DeSantis, definitely.

Colorado’s own celebrity accused criminal and former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, as readers will recall, ran for Secretary of State while a grand jury prepared her indictment on multiple felony charges, and stayed in the race to be the next chairperson of the Colorado Republican Party after her conviction in an obstruction case–considered just the first of many stemming from her half-baked quest to prove Donald Trump should still be President by stealing election data in her care. If Peters follows the trend, as her trial on the principal charges nears, she’ll find an even higher office to run for! After all, indicted candidates for office get perks ordinary accused criminals do not.

You can see where we’re going with this, right? It’s absolutely perfect.

If Exotic/Peters 2024 becomes the plot of the next “Tiger King” installment, we expect a story credit.

Mike Lindell Endorses Tina Peters for Colorado GOP Chair

(Because of course — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Nationally-known endorsements are a key factor in any political race, and in these final days of the race for Colorado GOP Chair, former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has landed a big one: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

Lindell’s support isn’t surprising- he’s been an ally and benefactor of Peters since before she was charged with the seven felonies she currently faces for her alleged involvement in the copying of her own county’s election data. 

Given Lindell’s connection to Peters, the Colorado Times Recorder last week asked him if he was endorsing Peters.

“Yes, I would endorse Tina Peters in a heartbeat and I do endorse her,” said Lindell. “She fought to get rid of the electronic voting machines and to get our elections fair and she would be a great chairman.”

Asked for comment via text, Peters provided an audio clip of Lindell formally endorsing her for Chair, presumably sent as a robocall to Colorado GOP Central Committee members.

“Hello everyone, Mike Lindell here, You know how much I love this great country. Well right now, Colorado needs a GOP chair that will ensure that true Republicans are not only supported, but given the tools they need to win at the polls. We’ve all had it with weak politicians that promise and do nothing once they’re elected. Tina Peters has stood in the fight for all of Colorado and now you must stand with her. I’m Mike Lindell and I wholeheartedly support Tina Peters for GOP chair.”

In August of 2021 Lindell used his private jet to fly Peters and several other Mesa County election fraud conspiracy theorists to his Cyber Symposium. He subsequently flew her to Texas and provided housing, ostensibly for her safety, for weeks following the event, which failed to produce any evidence of election fraud in Mesa County or anywhere else.

Last April Lindell told reporters he was supporting Peters financially as well, saying he’d paid around $800,000 for her legal defense, though he appears to have walked back that claim in later statements.

When federal agents seized Lindell’s phone last year, the search warrant included all communications with Peters.


Tina Peters Faces First Of Maybe Many Convictions

Tina Peters on the red carpet at Mar-a-Lago last year.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, a jury in Mesa County has returned a guilty verdict against former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in a misdemeanor obstruction of justice case: a case that marks the beginning of what could be a series of convictions ultimately connected to Peters’ admitted scheme to steal proprietary election system data in a failed plot to prove the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump:

Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was found guilty Friday of obstruction of government operations, but acquitted on a charge that she obstructed a peace officer…

Peters’ conviction…means that separate charges of contempt of court can go forward. That’s the underlying case that led to the search warrant and subsequent obstruction charges.

There, Peters is accused of using the iPad to video record a court proceeding for her former deputy, Belinda Knisley, who at the time was facing burglary and cybercrime charges for allegedly entering the clerk’s office after being told to stay away. At that time, Knisley was under investigation by county human resources officials for creating a hostile work environment, allegedly telling clerk staff not to cooperate with state and federal investigations into tampering with election equipment.

The short version is that Peters was convicted of obstructing investigators who sought access to her iPad at a Grand Junction bagel shop in 2022. When police arrived to back up those investigators, Peters picked up a charge of obstructing the police as well–and that’s the charge Peters was acquitted of. Next, Peters will face a charge of contempt of court stemming from the use of that iPad to illegally record court proceedings, all leading up to Peters’ “main event” trial on misconduct and impersonation charges related to the actual theft of Dominion Voting Systems data.

Although not the final stop on Peters’ journey through the criminal justice system, this does mark the first conviction related in any way to her conduct as Mesa County Clerk since the 2020 elections. Sentencing isn’t until next month, which means Peters will now compete in the race to be the next Colorado Republican Party chair as a convicted criminal awaiting up to six months in jail.

But with local Republicans trying to nullify federal laws they don’t like and national Republicans calling to abolish the FBI, that could actually be a bonus.

Tina Peters Gets Months More To Loom Over GOP’s Future

Tina Peters on the red carpet at Mar-a-Lago last year.

As Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland reports, the upcoming trial of former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on felony tampering and misconduct charges, which was provisionally set to begin next month, has been delayed until the summer as both sides process a huge dump of information from the federal side of the investigation:

The defense said it needs more time to examine a trove of new information and data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to the case. Peters faces ten state criminal charges but a federal investigation is ongoing.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin March 6 in Grand Junction, before the judge agreed to the delay. The prosecution and defense are expected to meet Feb. 22 to set a new trial date, likely this summer…

Peters has been charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation and official misconduct, among other things, over allegedly using [another man’s] identity to create an office key card that a different man then used to access secure parts of the Mesa County elections office during a system update of the voting equipment.

Tina Peters, who enjoyed freedom to travel as a candidate for Secretary of State in 2022 that allowed her to be honored at Mar-a-Lago and the star of conferences dedicated to election conspiracy theories across the country, is to our knowledge generally restricted now from leaving the state as a condition of her pre-trial bond. Peters not only asserts her innocence, but claims to be both morally and legally justified in her actions as a “whistleblower” exposing the supposed theft of the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. Peters is of course far from alone in that belief despite none of her actions supplying any such evidence, and in general Peters’ support and opposition break consistently with belief in the larger “Big Lie.”

That means for as long as Peters remains an unconvicted felon, she will retain a base of unshakable support and remain influential in party politics. All three of the major candidates to be the next chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, Erik Aadland, Aaron Wood, and Casper Stockham are on-the-record election deniers–and since Peters no longer has a trial starting up next month, she’ll have time to campaign for one of them. Peters’ criminal trial, in which she is innocent until proven guilty but also does not appear to be a close case with co-conspirators singing like canaries and Peters readily admitting to most of what’s alleged, looks to be the only thing that can put an end to Peters’ pernicious influence on her party.

Which is why, for all of Tina Peters’ complaints, the lack of a speedy trial won’t be one of them.

Another Tina Peters Conspirator Flips

Tina Peters on the red carpet at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, another tough day for indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as a second deputy cops a plea agreement to testify against Peters in exchange for sentencing leniency:

Sandra Brown, who was fired by county officials in December 2021 over her involvement in alleged tampering with election equipment, faced two felony charges of attempting to influence a public servant and conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation…

The plea deal called for reducing the second charge to a misdemeanor count of official misconduct, and asking Mesa County District Judge Matthew Barrett for a minimal sentence, one that still could include jail time.

In her allocution, Brown said she was acting under orders from Peters, knew something was amiss but didn’t speak up.

“My job was to protect the integrity of the elections, and there were steps that I could have taken that would have done that in a better job,” she told Barrett. “There were things going on that I should have questioned and didn’t.”

Along with Peters’ deputy clerk Belinda Knisley, Sandra Brown has in-depth knowledge of what they’re both now laying at Clerk Peters’ feet–a criminal conspiracy to make and distribute unauthorized copies of sensitive election system software, by stealing the identity of a local resident to allow an election conspiracy theorist access to the equipment. These crimes were committed with the goal of uncovering evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump, which of course did not exist.

With Peters’ two top deputies now lining up to testify against her in a case that could sentence Peters to prison for the rest of her natural life, the time has come for Peters to end the charade, cooperate with investigators, and even shed some light on who put her up to this career-ending mistake in the first place. Peters did all of this in the service of Trump, perhaps sincere in the belief that once Trump was “rightfully” restored to the presidency she would be pardoned. The crimes Peters stands accused of are disqualifying from public office, but in the end Peters is also a bit player in a much larger folly.

What Peters needs to do now is follow the example of January 6th insurrectionists who have repudiated Trump and acknowledged they were misled about the 2020 elections. This is not shaping up to be a close case at trial, and the possible 35-year jail sentence the 67-year-old Peters faces should motivate Peters to seek a deal of her own. The seriousness of Peters’ alleged misconduct may indeed warrant that stiff sentence. But we have to believe sparing taxpayers the expense of a trial, not to mention some remorse, would help Peters avoid the worst possible consequences.

If there’s anyone out there that Peters still listens to, the message is simple: Trump isn’t worth this.

Tina Peters Backs Ganahl, Scolds Neuschwanger

Heidi Ganahl and Tina Peters

We haven’t seen or heard much from Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters lately, which is a bit of a surprise given that she has plenty of time on her hands. Peters is not allowed to be anywhere near election equipment on account of breaking into her own election system in 2021, a crime for which she is facing multiple investigations and which may result in Peters spending a significant chunk of time in prison in the very near future.

But today, Peters popped up in an online video that is both entertaining and completely insane but that also provides a look into the finger-pointing taking place among Colorado Republicans ahead of what will likely be a tough night on Tuesday.

Peters says that she has made a decision on which candidate to endorse in the race for Governor in Colorado. Her pick — SURPRISE! — is Republican candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl.

Why is Peters making this endorsement NOW? No idea. Why would anyone have been in suspense about which candidate Peters WOULD endorse? Can’t tell you.

Here’s how Peters explains the process she went through for endorsing a candidate for Governor in Colorado:

What brought me to this decision is that [California Governor] Gavin Newsom just passed a law that will kill babies 28 days after they are born.

Say what?

In late September, Newsom did sign 13 bills in California related to preserving a woman’s reproductive rights. As far as we can tell, Newsom did not somehow make it legal to murder a four-week-old baby.

Jay Sekulow says that Colorado is next.

Colorado is going to legalize murder? That seems unlikely. But if hack attorney/podcaster Jay Sekulow Tweets about it, then it must be true!

We must do everything that we can to make sure that Jared Polis is not our next Governor. The only person leading in the polls that can do this is Heidi Ganahl.

So, because California is apparently allowing babies to be aborted after they are born, Peters has decided to endorse Ganahl for Governor…in Colorado. At least her logic is consistently baffling. Also, there is no public poll showing that Ganahl is even CLOSE to Polis, but whatever.

Tina Peters talking on the phone with Danielle Neuschwanger

At about the 1:07 mark in the video above, Peters then says that she is very disturbed by a conversation she had with American Constitution Party (ACP) candidate Danielle Neuschwanger. Since nothing Peters said earlier makes any logical sense, you won’t be surprised to learn that this section is equally confusing.

The video shifts to Peters yelling at Neuschwanger in front of a truck somewhere. Her beef is that Neuschwanger’s presence on the ballot will throw the gubernatorial election to incumbent Democrat Jared Polis. It’s hard to make out all of what Neuschwanger says, but the details aren’t that important; they key thing to know is that this is a preview of one of the idiotic arguments that Republicans will try to make after Ganahl gets pummeled at the polls: It’s all Danielle Neuschwanger’s fault!

It’s also not clear what Peters thinks Neuschwanger could do at this point even if she was in complete agreement about her “campaign” hurting Ganahl. Neuschwanger’s name is on the ballot. That ship sailed a LONG time ago. As a Clerk and Recorder herself, you would think this would be one thing that Peters would understand.

Regardless, there is approximately NO FREAKING CHANCE that Neuschwanger will earn enough votes to make any sort of difference on the outcome of the race for Governor.

In the 2020 Senate election in Colorado, the Libertarian candidate received 1.74% of the total vote. The “Approval Voting” Party candidate earned 0.3% of the vote, while the “Unity Party” candidate finished with 0.28%.

In the 2018 Governor’s race in Colorado, the Libertarian candidate received 2.75% of the vote and the “Unity Party” hopeful finished with 1.02%.

It’s certainly possible that Neuschwanger does better than recent third-party candidates, but it’s not going to make a difference as to who gets elected Governor. Recent polls show Polis leading Ganahl by 15-18 points. If Neuschwanger does better than previous third-party candidates, it could maybe change the Polis win margin from, say, +14 to +15.

As we noted last week, the finger-pointing is already well underway for Republicans. It’s all over but the shouting…and there will be a lot of shouting.

Conservative Nonprofit To Hire Tina Peters To Spread The Big Lie

(MAGA job security — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Clerk Tina Peters pitching her movie screening and Q&A.

Conspiracist clerk Tina Peters, who faces multiple felony charges for election-fraud-related crimes, answered questions at a pair of screenings of the faux-documentary “Selection Code” last week in Pueblo and Colorado Springs. The conspiracy movie, which stars Peters herself, makes debunked claims that not only the 2020 presidential election but also the 2021 Grand Junction municipal election were stolen from the rightful conservative winners.

A far-right nonprofit group led by members of two prominent Colorado conservative organizations, Colorado Christian University and the Independence Institute, sponsored the events. Americans for America (A4A) collected the money for the event series, “Ten For Tina.”

“Ten For Tina” event flyer. QR code links to Americans for America site.

Reached for comment, A4A President Regina Thomson describes the event as a “in effect, a fundraiser for Tina.”

Thomson, a 2016 RNC delegate, says the group is asking for donations for tomorrow’s event in order to fund a contract to pay Peters to “go out and speak and educate on election integrity issues” starting next year. “Right now as an elected official, any money she gets other than her paycheck she has to file a report with the secretary of state and tell them what she got, and she’s under so much scrutiny that we’re not going to put her in that kind of spot at the moment,” says Thomson. “So we’re looking forward to contracting with her right after the first of the year to go out and speak on the same thing she’s speaking about now, when she’s not an elected official any longer.”

“She’s one of our upcoming projects to go out and speak on election integrity,” says Thomson. “It’s all legal and above board, it’s just that we don’t want her to have a target on her back any bigger than she does until she’s out of office.”


Mesa County DA Hits Gas On Tina Peters Prosecution

Tina Peters

As the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:

Prosecutors have concluded their investigation into Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and intend to ask for a trial date at a hearing next Wednesday.

In a press release Tuesday, 21st Judicial District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said his office and “the Colorado Attorney General’s Office have been engaged in parallel investigations with federal authorities related to the events that formed the basis of the Grand Jury indictment.”

While Rubinstein said his office is ready to ask for a trial date, the press release also noted that they have requested the United States Attorney’s Office “to continue its investigation into all potential perpetrators of federal crimes related to the events in Mesa County.”

AP via Denver7:

Rubinstein’s announcement comes less than a week after Mesa County Deputy Clerk and Recorder Belinda Knisley agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against Peters, former election manager Sandra Brown, and any other people who might potentially be charged in connection with the May 2021 Mesa County election system security breach…

Knisley, who was suspended on Aug. 23, 2021, and barred from performing work for Mesa County, had participated in a proffer session in early June in which she spoke with state and federal investigators for seven hours about the scheme, allegedly masterminded by Peters, to copy hard drive images of the county’s election systems and allow an unauthorized man named Conan Hayes into the trusted build of the election machines with the Secretary of State’s Office and Dominion Voting Systems.

It does increasingly appear that Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ deputy Belinda Knisley ‘s decision to cooperate with investigators against her former boss has accelerated the timeline for bringing the case to trial. There’s been no word so far about Peters negotiating a plea deal of her own, and Peters continues to complain loudly about restrictions imposed on her by the court that prevented her from traveling in person to “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s latest election conspiracy theory conference last week in Missouri. At Lindell’s “Moment of Truth” conference, the Lara Logan-directed movie about Peters’ supposed persecution in the service of conspiracy theorizing, Selection Code, debuted without Peters–which has to hurt after receiving the red carpet treatment at Mar-a-Lago, for the premiere of Dinesh D’Souza’s election conspiracy theory movie having nothing to do with Peters’ case.

Now that Peters is–whether she likes it or not–no longer a candidate for office, the double life she’s led for the last year as a celebrity in the election conspiracy theory world traveling the country in luxury while at the same time an accused felon facing a long jail sentence back here in Colorado is quickly coming to an end. The bubble of misinformation that Peters has thrived in since her case became public does not include the courtroom, and at some point soon Peters is going to have to choose between sacrificing her freedom to preserve her status as a political martyr for the Big Lie, or cutting her own deal with prosecutors to minimize her own suffering.

We hope Peters’ lawyers at some point give her something they’re not known for: good advice.

Game Over: Tina Peters’ Deputy Cops Plea, Sings Like Canary

Belinda Knisley, Tina Peters.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, another precipitous development in the felony case against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters today as her indicted Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley cops a plea and an expected light sentence–in exchange for Knisley’s cooperation in the felony prosecution of her erstwhile boss:

Belinda Knisley, the sidelined deputy under Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, is to enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors later today that will keep her out of prison in exchange for testifying against Peters and other co-conspirators in her case, according to documents filed with the court this morning.

Under the deal, which Knisley has signed, the deputy clerk is to fully cooperate with state and federal prosecutors in any pending or future cases against Peters, her now fired elections manager, Sandra Brown and anyone else who may be charged in relation to the case.

“The defendant participated in a formal recorded proffer interview with state and federal prosecutors and law enforcement in these cases on June 8, 2022,” the plea deal reads.

“In that interview, the defendants explained that beginning in April 2021 and into May 2021, she was aware of and participated in a scheme with Tina Peters and other identified people to deceive public servants from both the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and Mesa County,” the plea deal adds. “This scheme, which was significantly directed by Tina Peters, [Pols emphasis] ultimately permitted an unauthorized individual to gain access to secure areas inside the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office so that this person — fraudulently held out to be improperly titled as Gerald Wood, but who was later identified to actually be Conan Hayes — could participate in Mesa County’s trusted build with Tina Peters and Sandra Brown.”

The plea deal keeps Belinda Knisley out of jail, and allows Knisley a resolution with only a misdemeanor conviction instead of the two decades of prison time she originally faced for a range of felony and misdemeanor charges. That’s as long as she continues to faithfully cooperate in the case against Peters, and if Knisley reneges on that agreement the previous charges against her can be reinstated.

Knisley’s cooperation with prosecutors is worst-case scenario news for Clerk Peters, who looks increasingly likely to take a big fall in this case if she doesn’t come to her senses and start negotiating a plea deal of her own. For the last year, Peters has been celebrated by the election denier movement as a “martyr” for the cause of so-called “election integrity,” even though the only actual breach of election security uncovered in Peters’ case is the breach she committed. Flown in private jets around the country and given the red carpet treatment at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for the premiere of a movie about totally unrelated election conspiracy theories, it was easy for Peters to keep distracted from the looming criminal case against her–especially as a candidate for office, which gave her exceptional privileges as a pre-trial accused felon.

That’s all over, folks. Tucker Carlson has moved on. And the walls are closing in fast.

Trump doesn’t care about Clerk Peters. She made a terrible mistake out of misguided loyalty to a man who doesn’t reciprocate loyalty unless it suits him. Tina Peters is a criminal, but she is also a victim of a much greater crime.

The sooner Peters (or her counsel) realize that, the sooner this can all be over.

And perhaps Republicans who are so obsessed with recalls should consider attempting to boot someone who ACTUALLY COMMITTED CRIMES.

Tina Peters is Living in a Much Different World Now

Tina Peters

Five months ago, embattled Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters was approaching what we now know to have been the peak of her status as a right-wing celebrity. In late March, Peters had bonded out of jail and was seemingly everywhere, her name filling the pages of major publications across the country. Six weeks later, Peters was appearing at red carpet-ish events and enjoying the trappings of being the top-line vote getter at the State Republican Party assembly in the race for Secretary of State.

By the time the calendar had turned to July, Peters’s magical carriage had returned to pumpkin form. Peters was back to violating her bond conditions and trying to force local recounts of ballots from a Primary Election in which she was soundly beaten by Republican Pam Anderson. Though Peters was able to raise a sizable amount of money for an official recount, the final results merely confirmed what everyone else already understood: The show was over.

Peters will not be on the ballot in November, and she might not even be a free woman by the time the 2022 election comes to an end.

As Charles Ashby explains for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Republican District Attorney Dan Rubinstein has had more than enough of Peters:

Indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters wants to leave the state to attend an event in Missouri, but District Attorney Dan Rubinstein is asking the court to deny it.

Peters, who faces multiple criminal counts of tampering with election equipment and misconduct in office, is asking District Judge Matthew Barrett for permission to attend an election denier event in Springfield, Missouri, hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell next week.

That event, called the Moment of Truth Summit, is to show a film Lindell had commissioned that featured Peters and her attempts to prove election fraud.

While Peters’ request says she needs to go to the event to further her “business interests,” Rubinstein says it’s all bunk.

“Ms. Peters is seeking permission to leave the state so that she can be celebrated as a hero for conduct that a grand jury has indicted her for, and claims this is necessary to further her business interests, at a time where she continues to draw a substantial salary as the elected clerk and recorder, while doing no work for the county … paying her,” Rubinstein wrote Tuesday in his objection to her request.

“The undersigned, on behalf of the county I represent, object to his request,” he added. “(I) do not believe it is necessary, and represent to the court that this may be the most offensive travel request the undersigned has seen.” [Pols emphasis]

Peters is still receiving a salary as Mesa County Clerk and Recorder — even though she is not allowed to have any contact with the clerk’s office — but no amount of grift is enough for the true con artist. Peters wanted to travel to Missouri, apparently, because she was going to be paid for her attendance at the latest event funded by the “MyPillow Guy.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert with 2020 primary campaign manager Sherronna Bishop.

As if that weren’t enough, last week Ashby reported that Peters’s entire crusade for the office of Secretary of State was a cause she didn’t believe in herself:

Despite her repeated accusations that Democrats and some Republicans are being “selected” for their elected positions, indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters last year asked the local Republican Party chairman to ensure that she be the only GOP candidate running for her seat. [Pols emphasis]

Mesa County GOP Chairman Kevin McCarney said that when Peters approached him months before anyone officially declared their candidacy for county clerk, she asked that he make sure no one else got into that race.“She called me and said, ‘Hey, would you please keep anybody else from running for clerk?’ ” McCarney told The Daily Sentinel. “I’m like, ‘Tina? Really? No. I don’t do that.’ There have been other Republican chairs who have tried to do things like that. I won’t do it.”

All that is somewhat ironic since Peters has made it a centerpiece of her still-unproven claims that the state’s election system is somehow being manipulated to select winners.

Peters, who could not be reached for comment, has repeatedly said that Democratic and RINO candidates (which stands for Republicans in Name Only) select themselves into office, rather than allowing candidates to be elected by the people.

Peters and her Chief of Grift, Sheronna Bishop, are still braying about various no-hope lawsuits that they are pretending will change the results of the Primary Election, but nobody with even a shred of sense would put any hope in these claims.

To quote George Castanza, Peters (and Bishop) flew too close to the sun on wings of pastrami. There’s nowhere to go from here but down.

Tina Peters Recount Goes Just Like You Thought it Would

Former Republican Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters found out the results of her $250,000 recount attempt today. Peters needed about 89,000 votes to change in order for her to be declared the GOP nominee for Secretary of State instead of Pam Anderson.

She gained a total of 13 votes instead. But so did Anderson, so the margin doesn’t change.

Recount report from Colorado Secretary of State’s office

Tina Peters Improves Fundraising Totals AFTER Losing

Defeated GOP Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters

Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reports on a very weird fundraising story involving Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who was soundly defeated on June 28th in her bid to be the Republican nominee for Secretary of State:

Campaign finance reports show embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has raised more than $519,000 since June 23, nearly all of which flooded into her campaign coffers a month after she was defeated in the Republican primary for Colorado Secretary of State. [Pols emphasis]

According to campaign finance reports filed Monday night, nearly $504,000 of the total $519,000 came in during a seven-day period between July 21 and July 27.

Out of 5,612 reported contributions, all but some 200 came in well after the June 28 primary. About 21% of those contributions came from Colorado residents, and more than a dozen appear to conflict with Colorado’s campaign finance rules.

We noted last week that Peters had raised more than $250,000 in order to pay for a doomed recount in the SOS race. That recount is currently underway and expected to be completed on Thursday. Peters has repeatedly asked that any recount be conducted by a hand count, but state law and election rules — implemented under former Republican SOS Scott Gessler — require that recounts can only be done via existing machines.

Historically, recounts only find — at best — that tens of votes were inaccurately counted; Peters needs the recount to change about 89,000 votes from winner Pam Anderson. Needless to say, this ain’t happening.

The more interesting part of this story now is the amount of money that Peters continues to raise for a dead campaign. Peters’ campaign for SOS has now raised a total of $733,135, which means that 70% of all of the money collected this cycle has come AFTER SHE LOST THE PRIMARY ELECTION.

Fundraising numbers for Republican statewide candidates since 6/23/22


We can’t say for sure that something like this has ever happened before in Colorado…but if it has, we don’t recall any of the details. As you can see from the chart above, Peters is crushing the other statewide Republican candidates in fundraising since June 23 even though her name won’t appear on the November ballot.

The major difference here is that Peters is getting fundraising help from acolytes of Steve Bannon, who have been duped into believing that she has a chance to see the Primary Election results overturned after a completed recount. Had Peters been able to tap into this fundraising source ahead of the June 28th Primary, she might have been able to beat Anderson the first time; if nothing else, Peters would have certainly had more than the $230,000 that she managed to raise on her own.

The moral of this story, other than “never give money to Tina Peters for any reason,” is that it is always better for candidates to raise money before Election Day.

How Would You Spend Tina Peters’ Quarter Million?

Defeated GOP Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters (R).

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters paid the $255,912 needed to recount all votes in the June GOP primary for Colorado Secretary of State, a vote that had her coming in second place against the declared winner, Pamela Anderson.

As a result, elections officials in all 64 counties have until Aug. 4 to conduct their recounts, something that is expected to cause them to work the weekend to do so…

We can hardly imagine a more ingratiating burden for embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters to inflict on her fellow county clerks than forcing them to spend this weekend at the office recounting an election that was in no way close instead of home with their families. But the law is the law, and if a candidate ponies up the prohibitively high cost of a recount within the specified period, which Peters did with help from Steve Bannon’s “War Room Posse,” it’s got to happen. Peters’ up-to-now partner in questioning the results of the June 28th primary, state Rep. Ron Hanks, appears to have been left high and dry.

Which doesn’t matter much now, because the recount is being set up to be declared a failure before it even begins. Peters knows (or should know) that she won’t be getting the hand recount she asked for:

The recount will be done with the same equipment used to count the June primary. Peters had asked for a hand count of all ballots, but state law and election rules dictate that existing machines be used in any recount. Those rules were put in place when Scott Gessler, a Republican who now is one of Peters’ attorneys, was secretary of state. [Pols emphasis]

When the results of this recount come back next week re-affirming Peters’ defeat, it is 100% certain that Peters will not accept that result either. If Peters never intends to accept the result of anything besides a hand recount, and knows that’s not the kind of recount she just plopped $250,000 down to have performed, it calls into question at a pretty basic level why she paid all that money, and why Bannon’s donors gave it to her.

And then you realize. There is no why. The whole purpose is to keep the uncertainty alive for just a little bit longer, during which Peters can continue to represent herself as a martyr instead of reckoning with the felony charges waiting for her in court. Which makes this, among other things, one of the most expensive denial parties in Colorado political history. Other than putting that $250,000 in a pile and literally lighting it on fire (above), it’s hard to imagine a more frivolous way to waste so much money.

With that, we’ll turn it over to readers: what would you spend Tina Peters’ $250,000 on? We’ll accept any submissions, better or worse, selfish to altruistic. It’s all the same to us since we, like Peters’ hapless donors wish they had said, don’t have any money to give you.

Never Over: Ron Hanks, Tina Peters Request Recounts

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

A report from Steamboat Radio has the latest in what could be a never-ending saga of denial and bad faith, as the two Colorado Republican candidates most closely identified with the conspiracy theory positing that Donald Trump should still be President of the United States refuse as promised to accept the results of GOP primary elections they lost by decisive margins on June 28th:

A request from Tina Peters in the 2022 Republican Primary Election for Secretary of State was received this morning. Peters had 28.86% of the votes in the Republican Primary, which is 180,036 out of 623,786. She was just ahead of Mike O’Donnell. Pam Anderson won the primary for the Republican Party.

Ron Hanks also requested a recount Wednesday in the 2022 Republican Primary Election Race for U.S. Senate. Hanks had 45.54% of the primary vote with 288,464 votes out of 633,488. Joe O’Dea won the primary for the Republican Party.

In a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office, Ron Hanks wrote, “There are significant indications malfeasance occurred in the June 28, 2022 primary, and the reported outcome of this election does not accurately reflect the will of Colorado voters in the race for US Senate or in other statewide races, as well as district and county races.”

In her letter to Secretary of State Jena Griswold requesting a recount, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters tries and fails rather hilariously to justify her suspicions of enough fraud to overcome her substantial deficit to Pam Anderson:

I have reasons to believe extensive malfeasance occurred in the June 2022 primary, and that the apparent outcome of this election does not reflect the will of Colorado voters not only for myself but also for many other America First statewide and local primary candidates. Not only did I take almost 61% of the delegate vote at the GOP state assembly, I also took the highest position in the GOP poll at 47%, and won every straw poll where I spoke by wide margins… [Pols emphasis]

First of all, we’re sorry to say that the graveyard of Colorado political history is full of candidates who won their state assembly only to get squished in the primary election. It’s a tradition as old as the dirt Greg Lopez thinks should count for people in statewide elections. We wish only Peters had cited our web polls like Hanks once did to prove how silly these unscientific “proof points” Peters cites really are.

Because neither of these races came in anywhere near close enough to oblige the state to cover the cost of a recount, the Secretary of State’s office will now deliver a cost estimate to the requesting parties. The high cost of a vanity recount would ordinarily be enough to deter crackpot requests like these, but at least in Peters’ case we’re not just dealing with any crackpot–but also the seemingly limitless deep pockets of “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell. Lindell has sold enough overpriced pillows to spend the rest of his days bankrolling quixotic quests to undermine confidence in our elections, with a whole generation of loser candidates ready to play the victim just like Trump.

We really hope this isn’t the future of American democracy.

Here’s to a day in the future when Republicans lose gracefully again.

Back To Jail Scrubs For Tina Peters?

UPDATE #2: Denver7’s Blair Miller reports:

On Thursday afternoon just before 1 p.m., Steinberg filed a motion to quash the arrest warrant and a request for a hearing with the court, primarily arguing that he had not seen the judge’s July 11 order by the time she had left and that he did not properly provide the court with notice of her travel to Las Vegas.

In the motion, Steinberg wrote that Peters email him and her other lawyers on July 7 saying she would be going to the conference on July 12, but Steinberg did not notice she had those plans.

Because of that, he argued, his office did not prepare or file a proper notice with the court, which Steinberg said Peters was unaware of.


UPDATE: It looks like Tina Peters’ lawyers are maneuvering to take the rap for her bond violation:

If this ploy does work, it’ll only work once. But it may keep Peters out of the klink for the present news cycle.


Tina Peters on the red carpet at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is facing felony charges over a breach of election system security in her office, enjoyed a measure of freedom despite strict bond conditions to travel around the country as a candidate for Secretary of State–leniency that Peters exploited to the hilt by spending campaign funds on a trip to Palm Beach for the premiere of Dinesh D’Souza’s election conspiracy flick 2,000 Mules.

But now that Peters isn’t a candidate for higher office anymore, the justification for letting her travel the country has evaporated. But that apparently hasn’t stopped Peters from traveling. She just…stopped caring about permission:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was told by a Colorado court she couldn’t leave the state without court approval, but she went anyway.

As a result, Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein filed a motion with District Judge Matthew Barrett’s court late Wednesday asking that she be placed under arrest, a motion that Barrett approved at 8:16 this morning.

The clerk, who faces 10 felony and misdemeanor charges for tampering with election equipment, identity theft and misconduct in office, had traveled to Las Vegas to attend and speak at an event this week hosted by the Constitutional Sheriff & Peace Officers Association.

The arrest warrant for Clerk Peters means she’ll either be picked up in Nevada if she’s still there and extradited to Colorado in custody, or arrested upon her return to Colorado. The extradition process can take a few days or even longer depending, and is unpleasant enough on its own that Peters would probably rather turn herself in to Mesa County authorities. Either way, this could be the last straw for the court with respect to Peters’ endless petty defiance, antics that have already earned Peters a pending contempt citation. Most defendants behaving this way would already have had their bond revoked, and remanded to custody through their trial. That’s what’s supposed to happen when a defendant refuses to abide by the terms of their release on bond.

What will Tucker Carlson report about this latest news? The fictional universe Carlson created for his millions of viewers around Peters’ case is about all she has left.

And it will be cold comfort in Mesa County Jail.

Walls Finally Closing In On Clerk Tina Peters?

Ex-GOP Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters (R).

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, a new arrest followed by felony charges filed against a third Mesa County Clerk’s office employee in the case of Clerk Tina Peters’ alleged breach of election system security, and other assorted felony and misdemeanor misconduct in a misguided attempt to prove the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump:

Former Elections Manager Sandra Brown turned herself in to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office late Monday after an arrest affidavit was issued against her on felony charges of conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation and attempting to influence a public servant.

Those charges are similar to those included in a 13-count grand jury indictment against Peters and her chief deputy, Belinda Knisley.

In an affidavit in support of Brown’s arrest first obtained by The Daily Sentinel, a longtime investigator with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, James Cannon, wrote that Brown was involved from the beginning in an alleged scheme to make copies of election software during a routine “trusted build” in May 2021, and allegedly using someone else’s identity to do so…

The identity in question is that of a Garfield County resident (“Fruita man!”) named Gerald Wood, whose name wrongly became attached to Peters’ shenanigans (including by us, we regret) after his security credentials which had been returned to Peters after she supposedly decided against hiring Wood were used by an unauthorized individual to access and make copies of election system software. The individual who allegedly used Wood’s identity to access Mesa County’s election systems is a former surfer-turned election conspiracy theorist named Conan Hayes:

Though previous court documents hinted at his identity, the affidavit names that person, California resident Conan James Hayes. So far, no charges have been filed against him or others cited in the affidavit, such as Garfield County resident Sherronna Bishop, but it indicates investigations are ongoing.

“Brown conspired to misrepresent the role and identity of the person — Conan Hayes — who they intended to use, and did use, to copy the hard drive by using the identity of Gerald Wood,” Cannon wrote in the affidavit.

The charges filed against Sandra Brown Monday didn’t come from the Mesa County grand jury convened to investigate Clerk Peters. DA Dan Rubinstein filed the charges directly–and according to this story, had suggested a personal recognizance bond for Brown in recognition of her “cooperation.” That and one other line in this story could prove the most problematic for Clerk Peters in the long run:

The affidavit also indicates that Knisley now is cooperating with investigators, telling them that Peters had instructed her to lie to county human resources officials about Wood. [Pols emphasis]

By now it should be evident to even the most indefatigable of Peters’ supporters that neither revolution nor revelation are coming to vindicate Peters from her criminal charges, that Trump will not be magically restored to office like Mike Lindell promised to pardon Peters, and that what she did was actually really bad no matter how you feel about the 2020 election. The only breach of election system security that occurred here was Peters’ actions, which not only failed to prove any of the baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems but exposed those systems to potential future attacks. And after Colorado GOP primary voters split their MAGA majority and ended Peters’ aspirations to serve as Secretary of State from the jailhouse, there’s no reason left for the rats to stay aboard the proverbial ship.

Until Lara Logan’s movie hits, that is! Peters gets at least one more red carpet tour to remember fondly in the big house.

Big Lie Forever: Tucker Carlson Takes Up Tina Peters’ Cause

Ex-GOP Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters (R).

As could have been predicted by just about anyone, some Republican candidates who lost their primary elections a week ago are refusing in the finest tradition of former President Donald Trump to accept the outcome of those elections. In particular, state Rep. Ron Hanks and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, two of the most ardent “election truthers” on the ballot this year, have rejected the election results and vowed to…well, continue rejecting them, very loudly, while the rest of us move on with our lives.

Except there’s a problem with the “moving on” part. In addition to the large percentage of Republican rank-and-file voters who agree with Hanks and Peters that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and as a result are predisposed to believe them, a whole industry from the Trump family down has no interest in letting this lucrative conspiracy theory just dissipate. Last week, in a mystifying report that we’re still trying to fully digest, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson took up Tina Peters’ cause in prime time before his audience of millions–or at least a person named Tina Peters, possibly in a parallel universe that differs from our own in small but important ways. Seriously, folks, hear Tucker out:

A day after Steve Bannon’s arrest, this would be November 16, 2021, the FBI raided the home of Sherrona Bishop, that’s the former campaign manager for Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado. According to Bishop, here’s what happened: “While homeschooling my youngest children, the FBI decided it was necessary to bust open my front door with a battering ram and put me in handcuffs while they trampled through my home, terrifying my family. My daughter was pulled around by the hoodie, by her hoodie, by one of the agents.” Now, why would you do this to the former chief of staff of a sitting member of Congress? Well, the FBI gave no reason. They took Bishop’s cell phone and they left, never charged with a crime.

Then that same day, and you didn’t read this in The New York Times either, the feds hit the home of Mesa County Republican Clerk Tina Peters. What was the justification for that raid? We’re breaking into a lot of houses all of a sudden of Trump voters. Why? Well, in this case, DOJ said, “Peters raised doubts about the legitimacy of the last election.” That’s not allowed anymore, can’t question the outcome. They didn’t arrest her. [Pols emphasis] They just tore her house apart. Peters called the raid evidence of, “a level of weaponization of the Justice Department we haven’t seen since the McCarthy era.” But of course, even during McCarthy, no one did that. In May, she came on Fox Denver to explain what exactly happened to her, watch.

TINA PETERS: My attorneys, when they read the indictment the other day, they, I mean, Harvey Steinberg, and I’ve got the best attorneys, and they just laughed. They said, ‘are you kidding?’ This is, this is a political maneuver to shine the light on me, to keep me from running against and defeating Jena Griswold.

Oh. So in the name of punishing people for complaining about the last election, they’re subverting elections currently taking place. And last night, the woman you just saw, Tina Peters, lost her bid for secretary of state, which of course, was the whole point of targeting her…

So, there’s a lot to unpack here. Western slope far-right crazypants activist Sherronna Bishop was never the “former chief of staff of a sitting member of Congress.” Bishop was Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign manager during the primary phase of her 2020 campaign, after which their previously close association appears to have become estranged. Sherronna Bishop was also the manager for Tina Peters’ 2022 Secretary of State campaign launched in February of this year, and although Carlson pretends otherwise, Bishop was very well aware of the purpose of FBI’s search warrant–the election security breach for which Peters now stands accused of multiple felonies.

From there, Carlson jaw-droppingly fictionalizes the history of the investigation and eventual indictment of Clerk Peters on multiple felony counts by a Mesa County grand jury. In fact, Carlson never directly told his millions of viewers that Peters was charged with a crime at all, claiming that Peters losing her bid for Secretary of State was the “whole point of targeting her”–when in reality, as all of our readers know, the search warrants were served on Bishop and Peters months before she ever filed to run for Secretary of State. Peters’ indictment by a grand jury came three weeks after Peters’ campaign launched, but the grand jury originally convened in January.

For those of us who know the true story of what happened here, Tucker Carlson’s version of events is so audaciously false that it’s a legitimate shock to read it. There’s no way Carlson omitted so much crucial information about what happened by accident. And to Carlson’s vast audience, this intentionally fictionalized version of events is now canonical.

What can we say to local reporters who have faithfully reported the truth about this long-running investigation, only to have Fox News misinform more Americans in one segment than their reporting will ever reach?

We hope it makes them at least as angry as a few ads paid for by Democrats in a Republican primary.

Tina Peters Pulls Lauren Boebert Under The Bus

Rep. Lauren Boebert with 2020 primary campaign manager Sherronna Bishop.

The New York Times has a feature-length profile up today on Colorado Republican Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters, who is by all metrics the frontrunner in tomorrow’s primary for the GOP nomination despite facing multiple criminal charges related to a breach of election system security on her watch in Mesa County in a failed attempt to supply evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. Peters’ campaign for Secretary of State has been aided significantly by a lackluster challenge from GOP ex-Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, as well as Peters’ status as a national celebrity in the pro-Trump election conspiracy movement.

Discussing her alleged crimes with the Times, Clerk Peters made a newsworthy allegation that could explain a lot about the mysterious rift that has developed between supporters of Peters and freshman GOP far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert:

Ms. Peters did not just stumble into the world of election conspiracy theories. A review of public statements and interviews with people involved in her case showed she was repeatedly assisted by a loose network of election deniers, some of whom worked alongside Donald J. Trump’s legal team to try to subvert the presidential election in 2020. They are still working to undermine confidence in elections today.

That network’s involvement is just one of several bizarre plot points in Ms. Peters’s case. The Mesa County breach involved a former surfer who was dressed as a computer “nerd” and made a FaceTime call during the operation, reporting by The New York Times shows. Afterward, the crew shared their loot — images of voting machine data — at a conference streamed online, advertising the effort to thousands. On Friday, Ms. Peters told The Times that her congresswoman, Representative Lauren Boebert, “encouraged me to go forward with the imaging.”

Full stop! That’s Tina Peters accusing Rep. Boebert of encouraging Peters to commit the acts for which she stands accused of felony and official misconduct charges. If it’s true it’s a huge problem for Boebert, one that could (or for all we know may have already) drag the freshman representative with her own lengthy baggage train back into an investigation she has already once been accused of improperly meddling in.

A press officer for Ms. Boebert, a Republican, called the claim false. [Pols emphasis]

Last November, Boebert arranged for a meeting with fellow Republican Mesa County DA Dan Rubinstein to investigate “concern” expressed by “many” of Boebert’s constituents over the investigation into Peters’ alleged misconduct. But instead of emerging from that meeting critical of the investigation and defending Tina Peters, Boebert praised Rubinstein and expressed her confidence that the case against Peters was being handled fairly.

Rep. Boebert and Clerk Peters have more in common than geographic proximity. Boebert’s original campaign manager, far-right Western Slope activist Sherronna Bishop, has become Peters’ closest friend and confidante since the investigation into the theft of election data from Peters’ office became public. One of Boebert’s prospective Democratic opponents in the CD-3 race has already called for an investigation into the relationship between Peters and Boebert, which Boebert responded to with her now-boilerplate threat to sue.

For whatever reason, which we attribute to having less to lose, Tina Peters is much more willing to talk about all of this than Lauren Boebert! It’s pretty evident at this point that a major falling out occurred between Boebert and Peters–and even though Peters is now a major figure in the election conspiracy theory that Boebert vociferously supported and has never once renounced, Boebert wants nothing to do with Peters.

We want to know why. And we’ve got a suspicion Tina Peters wants to tell us more.

Tina Peters Campaign Paid $50k to Militia-Affiliated Business

(Eep — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In late May, Republican Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters’ campaign made a $50,000 payment to PIN Business Network, a marketing company with ties to election conspiracist and podcast host Joe Oltmann. The payment was marked in the state’s campaign finance database as being for “internet advertising,” and amounts to nearly one-third of Peters’ total campaign expenditures to date. 

The Peters campaign’s $50,000 payment is the latest, and largest, in a string of payments made to the company by far-right political campaigns. While the payments are notable on account of the company being owned by a man with a fixation on the mass murder of elected officials, they are noteworthy for another reason: PIN Business Network does not specialize in political advertising. According to case studies available on the company’s website, the bulk of PIN’s work appears to have been dedicated to improving the sales volume of car dealerships

The seeming mismatch between the company’s profile and the services the Peters campaign is ostensibly paying for raises questions about the underlying purpose of the large payment, and about the connection between PIN, Peters, and Joe Oltmann.

The Peters campaign’s payment to PIN Business Network

Peters, the current Mesa County Clerk & Recorder and frontrunner to be the Republican nominee for Secretary of State, has made headlines over the past year after being found to have allegedly compromised the security of Mesa County’s voting machines while looking for proof of a baseless conspiracy theory alleging that Dominion voting machines stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump. That conspiracy theory was concocted, in part, by Joe Oltmann, former CEO of PIN Business Network.

Oltmann, a far-right influencer based in Douglas County, rose to prominence in the aftermath of the 2020 election when he contributed to the conspiracy theory that machines made by Dominion Voting Systems were responsible for switching votes away from Donald Trump. The claims made him a rising star in the Republican Party, but also earned him a role as a defendant in a multibillion-dollar defamation suit filed by Dominion. Oltmann is also the founder of Colorado-based FEC United, a conservative organization with its own armed militia division, United American Defense Force (UADF), and has made headlines in recent months for repeatedly calling for the mass execution of elected officials. Oltmann has repeatedly contested claims that UADF, which frequently appeared at protests and events in body armor and bear shields, is a militia.


Trump’s “Revenge Night” Looks Awfully Good For Tina Peters

Now ex-Sen. Cory Gardner sucks up to Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs in February of 2020.

As the Washington Post’s Annie Linsky reports, Republican primary elections in several key states yesterday reveal the extent of ex-President Donald Trump’s enduring grip on the Republican Party in 2022. And for Republicans who claim the party is ready to move on from the 2020 elections and chart a future course without Trump, yesterday was an ominous reminder that they’re not actually in charge:

Rep. Tom Rice, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year, lost, while Rep. Nancy Mace, who drew Trump’s ire after voting to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, won her primary against a Trump-backed challenger.

Trump-endorsed candidate Russell Fry defeated Rice, according the Associated Press. Rice doubled down on his impeachment vote and sparred with Trump, calling him “a would-be tyrant” in a recent interview with The Post. Mace, who survived her challenge, attempted to heal the rift with Trump…

Rep. Nancy Mace’s attempt to reconcile with Trump after denouncing him in the wake of the January 6th insurrection wasn’t enough to win Trump’s endorsement, but it certainly reduced the intensity of opposition to Mace compared to the outspoken anti-Trumper Rep. Tom Rice who voted for Trump’s impeachment. The Republican base’s continuing personal loyalty to Trump has made it impossible for Republican candidates running in primaries to put daylight between themselves and the former President–as we’ve seen here in Colorado, where any comment about politics beyond the four corners of our state has to be extracted from leading Republican candidates like a tooth.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, with GOP Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters.

And to our west in the state of Nevada, Republicans have nominated a leading 2020 election conspiracy theorist to run for Secretary of State, another huge win for Trump but ominous for everybody who cares about small-d democracy:

Jim Marchant, who has made false claims the 2020 election was stolen and alleged without evidence Trump won Nevada, was projected to triumph in the GOP primary. Marchant, a former state assemblyman, was part of the alternate slate of electors the Nevada GOP offered in a bid to overturn the 2020 election. He’ll face Democrat Cisco Aguilar, an attorney and founder of a sports technology company, in November. Whoever wins the job will supervise election procedures in Nevada.

Jim Marchant along with several Republican Secretary of State candidates running in key states like Mark Finchem in Arizona and Tina Peters in Colorado are running entirely on an appeal to the majority of Republican voters who believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Marchant’s big win last night is a boost for Peters in her race against underfunded former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson. At the same time, Anderson has been forced to softpedal her opposition to election conspiracy theories and even subsidize them by suggesting that “more can be done” to improve “election integrity.” As a result Anderson has failed to thrive as an alternative to Peters, who has owned the race by every metric.

Trump’s “revenge tour” to punish Republicans who deserted him in 2020 (and January of 2021) has not been completely successful, for example in Georgia where two of Trump’s biggest targets held off his onslaught. But in Colorado’s Secretary of State primary, which is our state’s principal battlefield in this larger struggle for the Republican Party’s identity, the nationally-known pro-Trump “martyr”` has all the momentum.

“Selection Code”–Tina Peters Gets Her Own Flick After All

Last month, Republican Colorado Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters flew to Palm Beach on her campaign’s dime to attend the Mar-a-Lago premiere of crackpot pseudo-journo Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie 2000 Mules, trotting out a new and already discredited conspiracy theory to reinforce the baseless conviction of a majority of Republican voters that Donald Trump should still be President. 2000 Mules’ subject matter has no relationship whatsoever to the conspiracy theory regarding Dominion Voting Systems hardware that Clerk Peters stands accused of felonies for allowing unauthorized access to.

But if you were worried that Clerk Peters was being short-changed as a mere guest at D’Souza’s premiere party instead of the life of her own party, all that’s necessary is a little patience. Because next month, D’Souza’s Mules will be ancient history–and Clerk Peters will be starring in a slickly-edited movie of her own.

Here’s how the producers of Selection Code (we’re not doing the silly brackets) describe their work:

[S]ELECTION CODE follows world renown [sic-Pols] investigative journalist Lara Logan on her most important assignment to date. For over 35 years investigative journalist Lara Logan has been on the front lines of history’s deadliest conflicts. Yet no assignment to date has put her career and life in more danger than this one. [Pols emphasis] Her investigation goes to the heart of the current Information War, revealing yet another facet in the ever-unfolding saga of election fraud, demonstrating the role of the machines in stealing our vote.

The documentary follows the story of Tina Peters the County Clerk in Mesa Colorado, who made a backup of her counties Dominion Voting System server, only to stumble across evidence of manipulation in a recent local city council election…. and also the 2020 general election. Tina’s discovery ignites a chain reaction upending her life. And upending the world.

You will not be able to unsee what you see.

There you have it folks, either Mesa County has become a den of intrigue and danger right out of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, in which case there had better be some cool explosions–or it’s time to put on our hip waders. Considering the sources, we’re proceeding with the latter.

Ad for Lara Logan’s Fox Nation show before it was axed.

Lara Logan is a once-respected reporter who well before the 2020 elections had begun a migration downward from CBS News’ top tier of journalists into the fringe right podcast world, to the point of recently having been dumped by Fox Nation after comparing Dr. Stephen Fauci to Josef Mengele. The projects that Logan takes on today are, and we can now vouch for this with local experience, not credible endeavors. The New York Times profiled Logan late last month with a mention of Selection Code, which we learn is being financed by the most usual of suspects:

[Logan’s] latest project is a forthcoming documentary on voting machines called “Selection Code” that is being financed by Mike Lindell, the chief executive of My Pillow, who has helped spread some of the most outrageous myths about the 2020 presidential election…

“When I think of Lara,” [60 Minutes Producer Ira] Rosen added, “I want to remember the Lara who put her life on the line reporting for CBS News in Afghanistan and Egypt. The one now I almost don’t even want to know about.”

When reached for comment, Ms. Logan said she wouldn’t participate in “a hit piece,” and added, “I’m not interested,” before abruptly hanging up. But today she speaks often to conservative talk show hosts about her days at CBS, describing what she views as a culture of conformity in the mainstream media.

“The moment I wasn’t toeing the line, then I was, ‘Oh, she used to be great, what happened to her?’” Ms. Logan said on a recent episode of Mr. Lindell’s web show, “The Lindell Report.”

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

If you’re appearing on “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s web show to ask why no one takes you seriously anymore, allow us to suggest as gently as we may that you have answered your own question.

Lindell has been in Colorado a great deal since the investigation that led to Peters’ multiple felony indictments by a Mesa County grand jury got going in earnest last August, and it’s been a humiliating experience of being either laughed at by a local school board or served with a lawsuit while insulting the gaggle of reporters following him around at a modestly-attended pro-Peters rally. Lindell’s financial support for Peters while she was hiding out of state for a month last August and September, on the other hand, was anything but modest, and the subject of an ethics complaint against Peters–and that’s before Lindell claimed to have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Peters’ legal defense fund.

We assume producing Tina Peters: The Motion Picture wasn’t cheap either.

The film is not scheduled for release until late July, some weeks after the June 28th GOP primary that Peters is counting on winning in order to keep her pre-incarceration party rolling. Ironically, the delay could actually benefit Peters by generating buzz before the film is debunked by credible news outlets.

No matter how many times it’s disproven, the “Big Lie” will live on. There’s no “moving on” for Republicans when so many in their midst are determined beyond the hope of ever convincing otherwise to undo the last election. If you’ve been following Peters’ case locally, including local Republicans who have urged her to pull out of the race for Secretary of State, you know the claim to have uncovered evidence of election fraud to justify Peters’ alleged crimes has already been disproven. So as we’ve seen countless times in political messaging, it’s a question of spreading the falsehood faster than it can be debunked.

Unfortunately, the lie usually wins.

Tina Peters Living Large On Campaign Cash

Tina Peters at Mar-a-Lago.

As Colorado Newsline’s Sara Wilson reports–remember Republican Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters’ trip to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida earlier this month to watch the premiere of clown-right whacktivist Dinesh D’Souza’s pre-discredited conspiracy theory flick 2000 Mules?

It was a tropical getaway paid for with campaign contributions:

A finance report filed last week indicates Colorado secretary of state candidate Tina Peters used campaign money to fund a trip to Florida to attend a screening of a documentary focused on baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

On May 5, Peters attended a screening of “2000 Mules,” a film by conservative media personality Dinesh D’Souza, at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. The film falsely implies that rampant voter fraud compromised the 2020 presidential election, costing Trump a second term. Peters, the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder, has built her campaign around such claims of election fraud, which have been repeatedly debunked by experts, courts and election officials from both parties…

Colorado’s campaign and political finance manual states that “money spent on anything for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate is considered an expenditure.” Expenditures typically involve advertising costs, data acquisition, consulting costs or expenses for travel to campaign events around the state or district. Peters did not mention her candidacy when sharing photos of herself from the event on social media.

Newsline reports that Peters’ campaign sprang for 40 tickets to the Mar-a-Lago premiere of 2000 Mules in addition to Peters’ own travel costs. There’s are not many if any votes for Tina Peters in the upcoming June 28th Republican primary for Secretary of State in Florida, and we’d be surprised to learn that Peters’ campaign even has 40 staffers in either location, so we’re not completely sure how this all squares with Colorado campaign finance law.

But again, campaign finance violations are pretty far down on the list of Tina Peters’ problems.

With all of this in mind, one straightforward reason to spend campaign funds on a junket to Mar-a-Lago would be in search of Donald Trump’s endorsement in the Secretary of State race–an endorsement that would seem a no-brainer given Peters’ steadfast loyalty to the “Big Lie.” If Trump does endorse in this race it’s a massive boost for Peters in the Republican primary, but her story is well known enough now among MAGA primary voters that Peters might not need an explicit endorsement to win their support. And that’s good for Peters since Trump may well be hesitant to endorse a candidate facing multiple felony indictments, despite the alleged crimes in question having been committed to help Donald Trump.

Loyalty to Trump, as so many Republicans have learned the hard way, is not a two-way street.

Tina Peters: From Jail Scrubs To The Red Carpet

GOP Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters (R), under less glamorous circumstances. (Photo courtesy Mesa County Sheriff)

Whatever you may think of Tina Peters, the frontrunner in the Republican primary for the nomination to challenge incumbent Secretary of State Jena Griswold despite facing multiple felony charges, she is unquestionably enjoying the ride of her life as a nationally-famous figure in the continuing movement to prove despite any evidence that the 2020 presidential election was somehow stolen from Donald Trump.

This week, as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, after obtaining permission from the court, Peters traveled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to preview the new conspiracy theory flick 2000 Mules from long-discredited far-right whacktivist Dinesh D’Souza:

Indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is allowed to travel out of state, but only if she provides specific details about where she is going beforehand and gets court approval, District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said Friday.

Peters drew some attention over that when she tweeted Thursday evening from Mar-a-Lago, a resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where she attended a private viewing of a conspiracy theory movie about election fraud with former President Donald Trump…

“While I have some concerns about Ms. Peters as a potential flight risk, due to her access to private flight travel and history of going into hiding during this investigation, I must balance the importance of assuring her appearance in court against the risk that her bond conditions do not improperly influence the upcoming election,” Rubinstein said. “I struck that balance by asking the court to allow travel provided she gave details about her whereabouts when out of state.”

To be clear, D’Souza’s conspiracy theory doesn’t seem to be related to Tina Peters’ conspiracy theory that Dominion Voting Systems tabulation computers were internally compromised. But since Peters’ theories have already been thoroughly reviewed and laughed off by experts, it was time to move on to something new. Peters has demonstrated the utmost loyalty to the overriding cause of putting Donald Trump back into office by any means necessary, putting her very freedom in jeopardy–so she retains her star status even if her version of supposed events didn’t pan out.

Because none of this is about what’s true. It’s about loyalty to Trump.

A costly trip to Mar-a-Lago where Peters’ deep-pocketed benefactor Mike “MyPillow Guy” Lindell also was in attendance raises the usual questions of who is paying Peters’ expenses, for which Peters is currently the subject of an Ethics Commission complaint–though if she is able to count this trip to kiss Trump’s ring as a campaign expense, Peters has certainly raised enough money to cover it.

The adulation Tina Peters is receiving from the MAGA movement for her alleged misconduct that–again–failed to prove the underlying contentions about Dominion machines’ supposed vulnerabilities or, most importantly, that any of their hypothetical scenarios for fraud had actually occurred, is playing out on a parallel track to her criminal indictment. At some point, these two parallel tracks are going to collide. For Peters’ sake, she hopes not before June 28th–or even better, November 8th.

In the meantime, we suppose, enjoy the ride!

That’s what we would do if we were facing hard time.