If you are a Republican in Colorado, the “good news” and the “bad news” are remarkably similar these days. Whatever decisions are ultimately made about the future of the GOP, the individuals who are involved in the party are stuck in a bizarre negative feedback loop that doesn’t appear likely to end anytime soon.
Let’s start with what could once have been objectively determined to be “good news.” On Saturday, Colorado Republicans managed to avoid disenfranchising more than a third of Colorado’s electorate when a majority of Republicans at a meeting of the State GOP central committee decided against opting out of the 2022 Primary election. As Jesse Paul reported for The Colorado Sun:
Colorado Republicans on Saturday rejected a contentious push to opt out of next year’s primaries, which would have blocked the state’s 1.7 million unaffiliated voters from helping to select the GOP’s 2022 general election candidates.
The vote, taken at a meeting in Pueblo of the party’s central committee members, was 241 opposed to opting out and 172 in favor, far less than the 75% support — or 380 votes — needed to pass.
The opt-out question received the support of just 34% of the Colorado GOP central committee. Backers of the initiative knew it was likely they would come up short of the 75% threshold, but were hoping to break 50% and send a clear message and potentially prompt a lawsuit challenging Colorado’s law allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in partisan primaries.
The central committee ultimately did vote to authorize the state party to file a legal challenge to the law, but it’s not clear if the lawsuit could proceed fast enough to affect the 2022 election. [Pols emphasis]
As you can see from that last paragraph, this fight still isn’t really over. By deciding to allow a lawsuit to go forward, Colorado Republicans kept alive a bugaboo that had been dividing the party faithful all summer.
Backers of the primary opt-out included high-ranking members of the Colorado Republican Party, among them State Republican Party Secretary Marilyn Harris; State GOP Vice Chair Priscilla Rahn; and Republican National Committee member Randy Corporon. The State GOP Chair, however, was of the opinion that she should not have an opinion. As The Colorado Sun reported after Saturday’s vote:
“We are focused on 2022 and winning over all voters in Colorado,” Burton Brown said in a written statement after Saturday’s vote. She didn’t take a public position on the opt out question. [Pols emphasis]
That’s some bold leadership, Cotton. On the bright side, at least THIS GOP Chairperson hasn’t yet been accused of stealing money from GOP PACs.
Heidi Ganahl and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.
Republican candidates seeking office in 2022 were equally divided on Saturday’s big issue. Gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, who is a member of the state GOP central committee, ducked questions about the subject for weeks before finally telling Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as The Colorado Statesman that she would oppose opting out of the open primary. Fellow gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez, however, didn’t respond to Luning’s request for comment. Republican Senate candidate Eli Bremer opposed opting out, but fellow Senate candidates Peter Yu and Erik Aadland both punted when asked to give an opinion.
Colorado Republicans have a special talent for pointing fingers at others, and it is this distrust and paranoia that is the real lesson from Saturday’s central committee meeting. To hear Republicans explain things, everybody is out to get everybody else, and there’s no convincing them otherwise.
Rep. Larry Liston (R) on the House floor last year taking COVID super seriously.
Joey Bunch at the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports on the results of a new poll conducted jointly with 9NEWS in Denver on Coloradans’ views of vaccination and mask mandates. The results of this poll are an encouraging sign that even after a year and a half of painful restrictions forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Coloradans still in majority numbers support prevention measures and the science behind them:
Most Coloradans agree with government leaders who are imposing vaccine mandates and mask mandates to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its Delta variant, according to a survey commissioned by Colorado Politics, the Denver Gazette and 9News.
The SurveyUSA assessment indicated 55% support the public health orders such as those imposed by Gov. Jared Polis, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other local governments across the state.
Also consistent with polling in other states is a sharp partisan divide in support for mask mandates:
Those who identified as Democrats overwhelmingly supported mask requirements at 81%, compared to 48% of unaffiliated voters and 26% of Republicans. [Pols emphasis]
9NEWS zeroes in with their coverage on the hot-button question of mask mandates in schools, which recently served as the pretext for the all-GOP Douglas County Board of Commissioners to make good on longstanding threats to withdraw from the Tri-County Health Department:
When it comes to teachers, 57% of respondents said they should be required to wear masks in schools, while 31% said they shouldn’t. Another 11% said they weren’t sure.
When it comes to kids, 55% of respondents said they should be required to wear masks, while 37% said no. The final 8% of respondents weren’t sure.
Again, the sharp partisan divide over what should never have become a partisan issue makes the impact of statewide public opinion uneven based on geography. There’s room in these results for deep-red areas of the state like DougCo to continue to reject the majority’s support for vaccine and mask mandates without officials accountable only to those local electorates paying a political price.
Unfortunately for Republican candidates looking beyond their conservative strongholds, DougCo can’t deliver a statewide election. In Colorado, the choice to appease voters who have been taught to resist COVID prevention measures for political gain comes at the expense of majority support.
As long as that remains the case, Republicans are wilfully undercutting themselves.
► Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Republicans will vote for the United States to default on its debt obligations. As The New York Times reports:
The House is expected on Tuesday to pass legislation that would keep the government funded through early December, lift the limit on federal borrowing through the end of 2022 and provide about $35 billion in emergency money for Afghan refugees and natural disaster recovery, setting up a clash with Republicans who have warned they will oppose the measure.
The bill, which Democrats released on Tuesday just hours before a planned vote, is needed to avert a government shutdown when funding lapses next week and avoid a first-ever debt default when the Treasury Department reaches the limit of its borrowing authority within weeks. But it has become ensnared in partisan politics, with Republicans refusing to allow a debt ceiling increase at a time when Democrats control Congress and the White House.
In pairing the debt limit raise with the spending package, Democrats hoped to pressure Republicans into dropping their opposition. But few, if any, Republicans are expected to support it.
And the prospects for passage in the 50-50 Senate appeared dim amid widespread opposition by Republicans, who have said they will neither vote for the legislation nor allow it to advance in the chamber, where 60 votes are needed to move forward.
This is the part in our story where you might say, But Democrats voted to prevent a government shutdown when Donald Trump was President. If you’re saying that, then we would remind you that Mitch McConnell DGAF.
►President Biden took the stage in front of the U.N. General Assembly today for the first time as President. As NBC News reports:
Biden used his biggest moment so far on the international stage at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to call on global leaders to take stronger action on Covid-19 and climate change, as he sought to re-establish America’s alliances and role in the international community.
Looking to signal a break from his predecessor’s isolationism, “America first” policies, he repeatedly pledged to work with other nations and to establish the United States as a leader in tackling the challenges facing the planet.
“We will lead, we will lead on all the greatest challenges of our time from Covid to climate, peace and security, human dignity and human rights, but we will not go it alone,” Biden said. “We will lead together with our allies and partners and in cooperation with all those who believe, as we do, that it is within our power to meet these challenges, to build a future that lifts all of our people to preserve this planet.”
The speech, his first as president at the meeting, was at a gathering very different than those in the past, with many world leaders opting to deliver their remarks virtually.
► With a deadline to finish drawing new district boundaries just around the corner, The Colorado Sun looks at where things stand with Colorado’s independent redistricting commissions.
► A new book on the end of the Donald Trump administration lays out some damning information about the degree to which former CU visiting professor John Eastman plotted to literally overthrow American democracy in order to keep Trump in the White House. This is likely to become a significant issue for CU Regent Heidi Ganahl as she campaigns for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
► Attorney General? Nope. State Treasurer? Nada. Secretary of State? Crickets.
CNN reported yesterday on revelations in a forthcoming book by veteran Washington Post journos Bob Woodward and Robert Costa titled Peril, detailing the chaotic final days of Donald Trump’s administration as Trump desperately tried to remain in power after being defeated in the 2020 presidential elections.
Surrounding Trump in those final days was a circle of dedicated supporters who were fully devoted like Trump to finding any possible way to overturn the results of the 2020 elections. Trump’s quasi-legal mostly-PR strategy for accomplishing this was assisted by a surprising number of individuals with Colorado ties, from former Secretary of State Scott Gessler to local attorney Jenna Ellis–and also, pertinent to our discussion today, the University of Colorado’s 2020 “Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought and Policy,” John Eastman:
A conservative lawyer working with then-President Donald Trump’s legal team tried to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence that he could overturn the election results on January 6 when Congress counted the Electoral College votes by throwing out electors from seven states, according to the new book “Peril” from Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
The scheme put forward by controversial lawyer John Eastman was outlined in a two-page memo obtained by the authors for “Peril,” and which was subsequently obtained by CNN. The memo, which has not previously been made public, provides new detail showing how Trump and his team tried to persuade Pence to subvert the Constitution and throw out the election results on January 6.
In short, Eastman’s plan was for Pence to assert himself as the “ultimate arbiter” of electoral votes, declare that “alternate slates” of electors (which did not legally exist) effectively nullify the results from swing states, and either declare Trump the winner outright or force the question to the House where each state would have one vote and Republicans could have hypothetically voted to overturn the result. Although Trump and his legal minions including Rudy Giuliani were enthusiastic about the plan, Vice President Mike Pencewas not–and then when Trump began to turn on his own vice president:
The plan was first proposed to Pence when Eastman was with Trump in the Oval Office on January 4, during one of Trump’s attempts to convince Pence that he had the authority to stop the certification of the election.
“You really need to listen to John. He’s a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out,” [Pols emphasis] Trump said to Pence at that meeting, Woodward and Costa write in “Peril.”
Eastman’s attempt to persuade Pence to go along with a plan to overturn the result of the 2020 elections during the certification process was reported in January, but Eastman’s primary authorship of said plan, as well as these details of the process, are new information. Pence’s refusal to go along with this monstrously undemocratic scheme cost Pence his friendship with Trump…and also may have saved the country.
Here in Colorado, as readers know, the question of whether the 2020 elections were legitimate turned into a major stumbling block for Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl in the rollout of her campaign last week. Ganahl repeatedly dodged the question when asked by the Denver Post and the Colorado Sun during her launch tour press event-and by the time a third reporter came calling, 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger, Ganahl testily informed Zelinger that she was not going to answer such “divisive questions.”
Allowing us to explain again why that is an untenable position for CU Regent Ganahl:
The Benson Center, said Ganahl, teaches students about “the beauty of western civilization and the history.”
“We bring a visiting scholar or two to the campus who has a different point of view than most of the faculty at CU,” Ganahl said.
“There are fantastic folks who come in,” said Ganahl. “Right now, it’s Dr. John Eastman, who’s riling some folks up.” [Pols emphasis]
Regent Ganahl is, as much as any individual, the reason John Eastman is Colorado news.
Heidi Ganahl has a lot of “divisive questions” in her future. And she’s going to have to answer them. If Ganahl does not want to answer the most important political question of our times, despite her connection to one of the principal agents in Donald Trump’s attempt to subvert democracy, she simply has no business running for governor of Colorado.
So obviously, keep those “divisive questions” coming.
As Colorado’s new independent redistricting commissions have ground through the work over the summer of drawing new maps for Colorado’s congressional and state legislative districts, Republican operatives working under a “dark money” front group known as the Colorado Neighborhood Coalition got caught red-handed trying to manipulate the process through undisclosed lobbying and pushing a flurry of Republican-favored maps through a variety of “independent” sources like the Colorado Farm Bureau.
Last month, a highly ill-advised recorded presentation from GOP state Rep. Matt Soper of Delta very frankly laid out the Republican redistricting power map, explaining how longtime GOP operatives Alan Philp, Frank McNulty, and Greg Brophy of the Colorado Neighborhood Coalition were actually in the employ of the Colorado Republican Party as well as the state House and Senate Republican caucuses to “represent our interests.” This isn’t new information but it’s useful to recap today:
QUESTION: Have you have you addressed the the matter of the extent to which the uh, this process has been influenced by the state GOP or people engaged by the state GOP?
SOPER: Yes, I’ll talk on that. So, the Colorado Republican Party, the House Republicans in the Hou-uh, Senate Republicans hired Alan Phillips [sic], Greg Brophy, and Frank McNulty to represent our interests. In speaking to all of them and and in listening to their presentations, their only goal is to increase the numbers in the State House and if possible increase numbers in the State Senate. [Pols emphasis]
Rep. Soper, as readers will recall, was bitterly angry at the time of this recording that fellow Republicans had called for Western Slope party faithful to “take one for the team” and allow for Delta County to be divided–presumably in the service of what Soper describes as the “only goal” of these operatives, which is to increase Republican numbers in the Colorado General Assembly:
SOPER: They are not concerned about the Western Slope, and as a matter of fact, anyone who is on the call with the state party who heard I think it was either Frank or Alan say, “Delta County is divided and you need to take one for the team.” They said that to Delta County’s Republican chair, Dave Bradford. I mean, that was just a slap in the face.
But as the Colorado Springs Gazette’sEvan Wyloge reported at the time, Philp objected strongly to Soper’s characterization, and in the end Soper is the one who knuckled under:
Philp told The Gazette Soper is just wrong, and that he’s upset that Soper said Colorado Neighborhood Coalition’s efforts were paid to represent Republican interests in redistricting. McNulty also said Soper was incorrect on the payment arrangement.
“It’s just factually incorrect,” Philp said. “I don’t know Matt Soper and I don’t know where he got that. We don’t work for the Republican Party. We don’t work for the House Republicans. We don’t work for the Senate Republicans. We’ve not received any money from them.”
Soper wrote that he now believes the information he passed along about Colorado Neighborhood Coalition is wrong. Under IRS rules, the organization does not have to specify who is funding it.
Down goes Soper! Unfortunately for him, and for that matter Philp and crew as well as the Colorado Republican Party, everyone knows Soper was right the first time–and the distinction between the “dark money” group organized to push for Republican-friendly maps and the Colorado GOP itself is little more than accounting fiction. It’s for all of these reasons and more that the “Colorado Neighborhood Coalition” is set to be thoroughly investigated by the Secretary of State for its activities.
But that doesn’t appear to be slowing Alan Philp down as the redistricting process heads toward the finish line. In addition to maps tied to Philp submitted by special-interest vassal (think Amendment 74) Colorado Farm Bureau, Philp is connected to several other map proposals recently submitted to the commission from less-obviously Republican names like disaffected ex-Rep. Kathleen Curry of Garfield County. The Colorado Sunreports today that yet another Philp-drawn map was submitted this weekend–which Philp claims to have “consulted” with the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization (CLLARO) on. Philp has said in response to questions about his “ubiquity” that he even helps people draw maps he doesn’t like:
“We train people on map drawing. We help people draw maps,” Philp told the commissioners at a July public input hearing in Lakewood. “I want to make it very clear that when I help people draw maps it’s their map not my map.”
If you believe that, we have a bridge to sell you.
Rep. Soper’s description of Alan Philp’s job, “to increase [GOP] numbers in the State House and if possible increase numbers in the State Senate,” should be taken at Soper’s word despite his subsequent attempts to backpedal. Amendments Y&Z governing this process are explicit that maps drawn to protect incumbents or gerrymander undeserved majorities are illegal.
At this point, every draft map tied to Alan Philp must be considered tainted.
When Heidi Ganahl(badly) announced her 2022 campaign for Governor last week, she became the first significant Republican name to officially launch a candidacy for one of Colorado’s four main statewide offices: Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State (SOS).
Who’s next? We honestly have no idea…and neither do most Republicans.
Former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese was long believed to be a likely candidate for SOS, but she made it clear earlier this month that she was staying out of the ring in 2022. We’ve heard a half-dozen names mentioned for State Treasurer, though none seem particularly serious. The word on a possible GOP candidate for Attorney General? Crickets.
This should be a bit of a concern for the GOP considering that we are only 14 months away from the November 2022 election. In years past, we would have already heard credible rumors of potential candidacies by now; in many cases, candidates had officially filed their campaign paperwork months earlier.
By this point in the 2018 election cycle, five known Republicans had filed to run for Governor, including the eventual GOP nominee, Walker Stapleton (whose candidacy had been an open secret for years). This is for good reason: Statewide candidates need to reach a lot of voters and raise a ton of money with relatively-low contribution limits. All of this takes time, which is perhaps the toughest opponent for any campaign.
As you can see from the charts below, most of the better-known Republican candidates had long since filed their official campaign paperwork by this point in a given election cycle (eventual GOP nominees are highlighted in red). George Brauchler’s candidacy for Attorney General came a little later, but Brauchler had already been a declared candidate for Governor earlier in the year and was just switching horses mid-stream.
If we go back to the 2014 election cycle, no Republican candidate waited longer than October 1 to file official campaign paperwork:
In the 2010 election cycle, the only late GOP entry was eventual gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes, who himself was the mother of all outliers:
Colorado Republicans still have time to dig up credible candidates in 2022 for Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State…but the clock is ticking. The GOP will certainly find someone to be on the General Election ballot in all four statewide races in 2022, but the odds of unearthing a winning candidate get worse with every passing week.
Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner arguing for the relocation of BLM HQ to Grand Junction in 2019.
As Denver7’s Blair Millerreported on Friday and we of course must acknowledge in this space, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has made the decision to unwind the controversial and still-unrealized move of the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado:
The headquarters of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will no longer be based in Grand Junction, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said Friday.
The BLM moved the headquarters to Grand Junction in 2019 during the Trump administration. According to a news release from the Interior Department, the main headquarters will move back to Washington, D.C., while Grand Junction will serve as its Western bureau and would be expanded…
Although local Republicans immediately cried betrayal and commenced slamming every local Democrat they could fit into a press release, the hard reality is that the move of the BLM to Grand Junction, two years after it was announced, has basically occurred in name only:
Out of 328 positions that moved out of the D.C. headquarters, only 41 people relocated and just three moved to Grand Junction, the department said. [Pols emphasis]
“This led to a significant loss of institutional memory and talent. The headquarters transition will be conducted with a goal of minimizing further disruption to employees and their families,” the department said in the news release.
Since this move was announced by the Trump administration in 2019, the response from qualified experts on the mission of the BLM as well as the overwhelming opinion of career professionals at the Bureau was negative. Far from an attempt to make the BLM “more responsive” to the needs of Western public lands stakeholders, the move was broadly perceived as a deliberate attempt to weaken the agency in favor of the extractive industries who want to drill and mine on public lands.
During the Trump administration and with Sen. Cory Gardnereagerly promoting the move of the BLM as part of his failed bid for re-election, it was easier to ignore the fact that most local Democrats were in support of the move as well. Although Colorado Democrats were always in the minority of their party on this question, we are naturally more forgiving of local boosterism than others might be. With that said, the same arguments that applied against the wisdom of this move when Cory Gardner was pushing it still must.
In the end, the consolation prize of a “Western headquarters” for the BLM could fulfill and even exceed the promises made to Colorado regarding jobs created for the local economy. That’s why even Rep. Lauren Boebert showed a minimal degree of restraint in her response to the announcement–Boebert’s official response, that is, not her firebreathing Tweets:
“…While I’m disappointed with today’s decision and the details are light, this could ultimately be a win for Grand Junction and the West [Pols emphasis] as a western headquarters will remain in Grand Junction, more jobs will move to Grand Junction, and all the jobs that moved out West won’t be moved back to D.C.”
Take note for the record: Rep. Lauren Boebert said this decision “could ultimately be a win.”
For all of these reasons, we’re not foreseeing long-term political fallout from this decision for local Democrats. Objectively speaking it’s the end of an error, and Colorado was even then left with something tangible to show for our efforts.
This week on Episode #86 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii marvel at the bizarre pre-announcement announcement for Heidi Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign; Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters gets her own segment jingle; we applaud President Biden’s vaccination requirements; and we discuss the horrible COVID-19 conditions in Idaho that have led to the creation of actual “death panels.”
Looking ahead to the 2022 election, Jason and Ian also explain the three “must answer” questions for any major candidate running for office.
On this day in 1985, hockey player Alexander Ovechkin was born. Please celebrate responsibly. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
► Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters returned from a long self-imposed exile and resurfaced finally in Grand Junction on Thursday. As The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports:
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters appeared at an event in Grand Junction on Thursday night, vowing to fight investigations into her office, chastising the Colorado Secretary of State and asking supporters for donations to fund her legal defense.
“I’m so happy to be home. This is where my heart is and this is where we’re going to take back America,” Peters told a crowd gathered at Appleton Christian Church.
The event, which was livestreamed on the Stand For The Constitution Grand Junction Facebook Page, was billed as a “Stand With Tina” rally and featured a handful of speakers. It was Peters’ first public appearance in Grand Junction after an investigation into her office was announced in August….
…In addition to detailing a website where supporters could contribute to her defense fund, standwithtina.org, Peters also explained some of the events that led the clerk to allegedly tamper with county voting machines, prompting an investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office as well as the District Attorney.
Peters said after the 2020 election, she received calls and emails from hundreds of residents who believed the election was illegitimate, and she began investigating those claims on their behalf.
That’s right. Despite being under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County DA, the Colorado Attorney General, and the FBI, Peters is back in town and soliciting donations to assist her legal defense for a crime she willingly committed.
► Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is facing calls for his resignation following a report from the Colorado Attorney General’s office outlining significant longstanding racial biases and excessive force allegations surrounding the Aurora Police Department.
Fox 31 News has more on the response to the AG’s report from the Aurora police officers’ union. The Aurora Sentinel, meanwhile, details the problematic staffing troubles facing the APD:
A record number of Aurora police officers have left the department so far this year, surpassing the number of departures in all of 2020 and further straining an increasingly lean agency, according to data presented to Aurora city council members this week.
A total of 96 officers have parted ways with the Aurora Police Department so far in 2021, with another two staffers expected to split by week’s end, Deputy Chief Darin Parker told members of the council’s public safety policy committee Sept. 16…
…The number of exits among APD ranks through the middle of September already dwarfs totals from last year, when 87 officials left Aurora police — a 61% increase over 2019.
Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (center), with some well-armed friends.
As readers know, Republican freshman outrage superspreader Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado has been on a speaking tour in recent weeks, making eyebrow-raising stops this month in such far-flung locations as Staten Island, New York–and just yesterday, as the Midland, Texas Reporter-Telegramreports, an appearance to benefit fellow freshman firebreather Rep. August Pfluger:
Pfluger said in an interview that he wanted to host a rally with Boebert because she’s a gun-rights activist and they’ve both signed on to pieces of legislation regarding Second Amendment rights.
“She’s a champion for that issue and I want to make sure that people here in Midland, Texas, and all throughout Texas know there’s many people fighting these battles, that we’re doing it together as a team, and that we’re going to protect that right for all Americans,” he said.
Rep. Pfluger, who we keep wanting to call Rep. Pfizer but we’re sure he would not approve, kept his comments about the importance of the Second Amendment relatively tame. As is her trademark, however, Rep. Boebert was much more direct:
Boebert, who owns a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, called Shooters Grill where staff open carry, touched on several other topics during the rally besides gun rights. She criticized Biden’s “tyrannical authoritarian regime,” his policies on immigration and Afghanistan and his administration’s decision to put fences around the U.S. Capitol building, which Boebert called the “People’s House.”
“There are so many issues that come up even in a Second Amendment rally because that is what the Second Amendment protects,” Boebert said in an interview. “It protects us against all of this tyranny, all of this authoritarianism that we are seeing right now in America.
“If we want the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, we have to make sure we have a way to secure that,” she said.
Walk through this with us: if Joe Biden presides over a “tyrannical authoritarian regime,” in the present tense, doesn’t that mean the Second Amendment has not in fact protected Americans “against all of this tyranny, all of this authoritarianism that we are seeing right now?” Because it’s either that, or what Rep. Boebert is saying is that the Second Amendment hasn’t protected us…yet.
Which should make anyone who has lived through the last year of American politics uncomfortable.
There was a time, fairly recently in fact, when Republican candidates who made not-so-veiled appeals to violence by invoking the Second Amendment were pilloried for it–think 2010 Nevada failed GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle and her thoughts about “Second Amendment remedies” to problems the ballot box doesn’t resolve to one’s liking.
In 2021, what was once over the line is now increasingly the party line.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.
As the Grand Junction Sentinel’sTom Hessereports–embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who has been in hiding since mid-August as a criminal investigation began into the breach of election system security in her office that resulted in proprietary Dominion Voting Systems data being leaked to far-right conspiracy theorists, made a triumphant (at least for now) return to Grand Junction last night at an event in her honor:
“I’m so happy to be home. This is where my heart is and this is where we’re going to take back America,” Peters told a crowd gathered at Appleton Christian Church.
The event, which was livestreamed on the Stand For The Constitution Grand Junction Facebook Page, was billed as a “Stand With Tina” rally and featured a handful of speakers. It was Peters’ first public appearance in Grand Junction after an investigation into her office was announced in August.
“It’s places like Mesa County that can be the catalyst to take back our country. And we need your help,” Peters told the crowd. “And it starts today.”
That’s pretty close to what Clerk Peters’ benefactor over the last month, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell, said at the beginning of his so-called “Cyber Symposium” last month devoted to exposing once and for all the “absolute proof” that the 2020 elections were stolen from Donald Trump. They’re going to “take back our country” with…revelations of vote fraud…
Here we arrive at the disconnect. Not even Peters’ closest supporters, like Rep. Ron Hanks who was present last night in Grand Junction or Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop, can substantiate any specific allegation of fraud based on the data that was stolen in Mesa County on Clerk Peters’ watch. They tried. And when they couldn’t find any proof, Bishop marched into the all-GOP Mesa County Board of Commissioners to demand they find it.
Heidi Ganahl and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.
Keep this in mind as Clerk Peters publicly confesses to the crime she’s under investigation for:
Peters said after the 2020 election, she received calls and emails from hundreds of residents who believed the election was illegitimate, and she began investigating those claims on their behalf. [Pols emphasis]
Peters and her deputy, Belinda Knisley, are both the subject of local, state and federal investigations into possible criminal violations that involved revealing secure passwords and hard drives to Dominion voting machines with voter fraud conspiracy theorists. As a result, both also have been temporarily prohibited from conducting this fall’s elections and Secretary of State Jena Griswold is taking action to have Peters removed from election duties…
Again, this is Clerk Tina Peters freely admitting at least some involvement in the theft of this data as part of her “investigation” of concerns expressed about the legitimacy of the 2020 elections. The security of the compromised voting machines in question was Peters’ responsibility. The only way this becomes in some way justifiable, and even then not really since there are official channels to investigate non-fantasy problems, would be if there was actually some game-changing proof in the stolen data to substantiate the “Big Lie” as alleged by dead-end supporters of Donald Trump. But as we know now, that doesn’t exist. The only “security risk” that emerged from this breach of security is the one Clerk Peters created.
As surely as the “QAnon Shaman” had to face the music, there’s a day of reckoning coming in Clerk Tina Peters’ case too. All of this nonsense stops cold once this moves to a criminal courtroom. The criminal justice system has a remarkable way of cutting through unfounded bullshit, as hundreds of January 6th insurrectionists are discovering in federal courtrooms as we write this.
Let Clerk Peters explain the plan to “take back America” to a judge.