Grand Junction GOP Event Featuring Reps Lauren Boebert & Jim Jordan Draws Opposing Groups

(“You better stand back – I’m not vaccinated” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Progressives protest outside Mesa County GOP event headlined by US Reps. Boebert and Jim Jordan

By Sharon Sullivan for the Colorado Times Recorder

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) attended a Mesa County Republicans fundraiser, Saturday, July 24, at the Grand Junction Convention Center, where both were slated to speak at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner that evening. Boebert was also invited to speak at Faith Heights Church the following morning during its Sunday service.

Both Members of Congress voted against certifying the Presidential election results on January 6, the day insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol. Plus, Jordan has been accused of aiding and abetting a cover-up, while he was an Ohio State University assistant wrestling coach, of accusations against a university physician for sexually abusing student wrestlers from 1979 to 1997.

Approximately 50 Mesa County Democrats protested Jordan’s presence, as well as their opposition to Boebert, outside the convention center during the fundraising dinner.

Grand Junction resident Bill Richardson protests outside the Mesa GOP fundraiser, headlined by U.S. Reps Lauren Boebert & Jim Jordan. Photo: Sharon Sullivan

Bill Richardson, a retired Grand Junction criminal defense lawyer, carried a sign saying “Gym Jordan Not Welcome in Mesa County.” He said he was compelled to attend the protest “because (Boebert) is doing absolutely nothing for the 3rd District” – a sentiment echoed by many of those who were present. “She’s into performative tweets, Facebook posts, videos, and stunts,” he said.

In addition to claims Jordan failed to protect student athletes from a sexual predator, Richardson’s sign stated Jordan aided the attempted overthrow of the U.S. government – a claim also voiced by Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney, of Wyoming.

Protesters yelled “shame, shame,” as those attending the event walked past to enter the building.

While most attendees chose not to engage the protesters, some hurled insults, one man made obscene gestures, and a few stopped to photograph the group. One woman wearing a blue dress and cowgirl boots approached the protesters, taunting them with, “You better stand back – I’m not vaccinated.”

Progressive activist Anne Landman protests outside the Mesa GOP fundraiser headlined by Reps. Boebert & Jim Jordan. Photo: Sharon Sullivan

She went on to say, “I’m glad I’m an American; you lot need to go back to where you came from. You are retarded,” before turning to walk up the steps of the convention center.

Mary Cantley, a volunteer vaccinator with Mesa County, said she was at the protest because she’s tired of the obstructionism that Boebert and Jordan represent.

“They keep fomenting the big lie and I’m tired of it,” she said. “I don’t know what she’s done other than fomenting the big lie.”

Approximately 35 Boebert and Jordan supporters arrived a short time after the Dems convened. Grand Junction police officers stood nearby, as a few people in both groups traded insults, at times drawing officers into the plaza to separate individuals.

At one point, Colin Wilhelm, a Glenwood Springs attorney who plans to run against Boebert in the next election, stood between the two opposing groups in an effort to stop the back-and-forth commotion, but he was unsuccessful.

“We’re all Americans,” Wilhelm told the crowd. “Instead of yelling at each other we need to talk to each other to solve problems.”

Supporters of Congresswoman Boebert gathered outside the Mesa GOP fundraiser on July 24. Photo: Sharon Sullivan

Tickets to the “Lincoln Day Dinner” event were $130. For an extra $100 you could attend a VIP reception, said Tom Keenan, an attendee and president of the group Stand For The Constitution. He said the event sold out at 500 tickets, and that there was a waiting list.

Gary Williams stood outside the convention center holding an American flag. He said he was there to support the Republican party, as well as Boebert and Jordan.

“I wish I could afford to attend the festivities but this is the best I can do,” said Williams.

Marty Dana and his wife Julie Benjamin-Dana traveled from Littleton to attend the dinner, and said they like what Boebert and Jordan stand for. When asked what that is, Marty clarified “conservative values is the easiest way to put it.”

An unidentified older woman decked out in red, white, and blue shoes and a white cowboy hat turned around as she approached the steps to say, “They all want to lose their freedom, I guess.”

Lincoln Park event

To publicize the Saturday protest, Mesa County Democrats held a press event Wednesday at the city’s Lincoln Park, where people spoke out against Jordan and Boebert.

“On the Western Slope there are a number of issues like climate change and water rights and she (Boebert) has done nothing,” Grand Junction resident Beverly Hart said. “The bills she has put forth are performative and not relevant to the West Slope.”

Wednesday’s event was cut short due to the disruption by counter-protesters affiliated with Stand For The Constitution, a group that has spent months petitioning county and city officials to declare Mesa County free from having to comply with any state or federal public health mandates. At least one of the counter-protesters wore a gun at the event. Three Grand Junction City Police officers were called to Lincoln Park after an altercation between 73-year-old Ricki Howie and an unknown man whose age was estimated between 30-40.

Counter-protesters Howard Snider (with flag) and Mark Rybeck, with Stand for the Constitution, promote Trump and election fraud conspiracy at Mesa County Democrats’ event in Grand Junction’s Lincoln Park, July 21. Photo: Sharon Su

“He was extremely rude and loud, yelling ‘liar’ (during one of the speeches) and wouldn’t back off,” Howie said. “I was standing next to him and told him he shouldn’t interrupt us. Then he pushed against me,” prompting Howie to push back with her hands.

It was unclear if the man, who ran off when police arrived, was affiliated with any group. Police declined to give the man’s name or say if he was in custody.

Howie said she planned to be at Saturday’s protest representing Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence.

“We’re advocating a ban on ghost guns,” she said. “The kind you can buy in the mail with no ID. You don’t know who’s buying, selling, or making them. They’re very dangerous to the police because they are untraceable.”

When asked what brought her to the Lincoln Park event, counter-protester Tamara Ruckdeschel told a reporter,

“I was alive in the hippie days. I know a lot of original hippies. We’d like nothing more than a utopian earth world where children are safe and we don’t have to bear arms or work 40-60 hours a week and pay taxes. “Being a conservative and an adult and having history as a reliable record we are not afforded the luxury of believing that if we just lay down our guns that evil will do the same,” Ruckdeschel said. “Evil is here and we are drafted to battle evil. If we have to go to war with our country, the government, I would go to war with America. The Dems are misguided; all they want to do is sit on the couch, make out with their girlfriends and get high. Conservatives are about protecting innocence.”

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    Without getting into specifics…I too, was "alive in the hippie days", and I will tell you the above comments by Tamara R. are a hot, steaming, pile of pure bullshit. Beginning to end.

     

    • unnamed says:

      Yup.  Her remarks are a steaming pile of pure bullshit and nothing but.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Hold on there fellas, not so fast . . .

        . . . “sit[ting] on the couch, mak[ing] out with [a] girlfriend, and get[ting] high.”

        . . . sounds to me like a pretty swell evening, actually?

        (Who wouldn’t enjoy a little R&R time off from their draft obligation battling evil?)

    • 2Jung2Die says:

      Just wondering how her statement of "I would go to war with America" jives with the definition of treason in the OC (Original Constitution): "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or…"

       

  2. kwtree says:

    Good reporting.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Sounds to me like Ruckdeschel might just be a battleaxe who likely resents missing out on getting a fair share of couch time during “the hippie days”?

    • MichaelBowman says:

      “Conservatives are about protecting innocence.”

      Does she have amnesia?  So she no longer supports the thrice-married philanderer who’s likely the subject of a certain tape recorded in Moscow? The guy who was dee-diddling the porn star while 3rd baby mama was nursing his fifth child? 

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Or, a bowling alley redneck ‘Murican waving his exposed flagpole at some soon-to-be-high-school-dropout minors . . . (I guess that incident wasn’t on a couch, though)

        But, hey, Ttump’s couch battles have been compared by some to a personal Vietnam — minus those troublesome bone spurs, I suppose.

        • Duke Cox says:

          Since debauchery is the subject, I just want to say a word on behalf of "hands in the pants" Rudy, lest he be forgotten.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            #OnlyTheBestPeople 

            Former GOP Hill aide pleads guilty in child porn case

            A former GOP staffer and Republican National Committee aide pleaded guilty Friday to a child pornography charge and is facing 12 years or more in prison under a plea deal with prosecutors.

            Verastigui worked as digital director for the Joint Economic Committee in 2018 and as digital strategist for the Senate Republican Conference from 2019 to 2020, congressional payroll records show. He was also on the payroll of the RNC from 2017 to 2018, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            This song is made up of three major parts, connected by the theme of a place that's still pure and untainted by the harsh realities of the world (more likely than not, it's less of a real place than a theme used to underline the childlike innocence that disappears as we get older). The narrator can take the person he's singing to there, and they can lie there together in happiness… but it's just an illusion, and no matter what they do, they'll eventually have to accept that they'll have to deal with the real world.

            The first verse symbolizes the happy dream of a family, with a loving childhood and parents who stay together forever — but "happily ever after fails" and the family falls apart, since "daddy had to fly." The narrator reflects that they've been "poisoned by these fairy tales" because it led them to believe that things would always be perfect, and the "lawyers dwell on small details" coldly, without regard for the happiness that should have been.

            In the second verse, the theme of innocence is shifted to the USA — "O Beautiful, for spacious skies" evoking "America the Beautiful" — but in the course of the Reagan Administration ("The tired old man we elected King") that goes wrong, and suddenly there are scandals, and harsh stances against the Soviets that seem to invite conflict. Once again, the illusion of America as the bastion of righteousness evaporates, and the "lawyers clean up all details" in the aftermath of the scandals, since "Daddy" (Reagan again) acted un-Presidential and "had to lie."

            The third and final verse takes the loss of innocence to a more personal level, as the narrator reflects back on his time with the girl he loves. They are both on the cusp of adulthood, having "come so far so fast." Though they share the "same small town in each of us" from their past, he realizes that their lives will take them along separate paths, so he wants to share one last pure, innocent moment with her ("I need to remember this"), "before we say goodbye."

            And so, childhood ideals, sincere patriotism, and pure first love give way to the harsh realities of the adult world.

  4. Golden Girl says:

    I am increasingly proud of the D/U activists in Mesa County.  Forty years ago when I arrived in GJ the D's were small in number and demonstrations/protests nonexistent.  Good for those who protested this past Saturday.  Keep on keeping on!

    • Duke Cox says:

      I recall my astonishment at the first Womens' March in GJ after Fat Donnie from Queens was elected. I was helping with the PA system at Two Rivers for the protest rally after the March. 

      As the marchers began to arrive, everything was going well. But the people just kept coming. We then were scrambling to elevate and add speakers to try to get enough volume to cover what became the largest crowd I have ever seen in town.

      Times are changing, for sure.

    • kwtree says:

      They must have good leadership. I would guess they have someone like Aprril Bowen, our Dem Chair in Morgan County. Someone bold, able to encourage people to take a stand  come out from the shadows, and to not tolerate the intolerable. 
       

      Also, the power of grassroots activists can force leadership to scramble to get out in front. That may be what’s happening here too. At any rate, it’s good to see. Yup

       

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