Get More Smarter on Thursday (Oct. 14)

Happy Belarussian Mother’s Day! 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



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 


Former President Trump on Wednesday made a very strange threat about Republican voters walking away if the 2020 election isn’t overturned:

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has a fascinating column that is worth reading that has some new insight into the Trumpism phenomenon:

Republicans recognize that continuing to pander to those lies may be absolutely essential to keeping Republican voters engaged without Trump on the ballot doing it instead.

Trump’s statement has been analyzed as either the latest projectile vomiting to issue from his disordered mind or as a genuine political problem for Republicans. But few have paused to ask whether it might actually be true that energy among GOP voters turns on keeping alive the idea that the 2020 outcome was dubious or illegitimate, and what that might mean.

Sargent also links to this CNN story about how many House Republicans seem to be openly embracing the possibility of a Trump presidential campaign in 2024.


9News reports on a lawsuit filed by a former Dominion Voting Services employee related to “The Big Lie” that may have originated here in Colorado:

Eric Coomer, a former Dominion Voting Systems employee living in Colorado, has sued 16 people or groups for defamation. Those being sued include Donald J. Trump for President, Joe Oltmann, the leader of local conservative group FEC United, Colorado conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, Newsmax Media and The Gateway Pundit.

Coomer went into hiding after Oltmann claimed, without proof, that he heard a conference call where Dominion was plotting with Antifa to give the election to President Biden.

That call was not recorded and no one besides Oltmann has said they heard the call.


What’s this? Oh, just Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf literally THREATENING the board of directors of the Prowers Medical Center for trying to abide by COVID-19 vaccination requirements.


Grim milestone: COVID-19 deaths in Colorado cross the 8,000 mark as hospitalizations continue to increase.


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Rep. Richard Holtorf Is Not A Nice Man

State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R).

Russ Baldwin of the Prowers Journal out of the southeastern plains town of Lamar reports on a heated meeting of the Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors at the end of September to address the COVID-19 vaccination mandate that took effect on October 1, resulting in a small percentage of health care workers and public employees who refused to comply losing their jobs:

The Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors heard from over 100 callers and in-person attendees during a special meeting September 29th, held to receive comments and questions from the audience regarding vaccine and health guidelines from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado Department of Health.

The majority of residents, crowding the hospital hallway outside the meeting room, were there to voice their opinions on the national mandate requiring hospital employees to be masked as of September 30th or not be allowed to work. Of the 23 PMC employees who requested an exemption from the mandates by way of medical situations or religious beliefs, one received the exemption, requiring the balance to abide by the mandates…

It’s a situation that has played out all over the country countless times in the last 18 months as lower-ranking officials absorb the public’s wrath over measures put in place well above their pay grade. In Mesa County, as readers know, angry mobs threatened the all-GOP Mesa County Board of Commissioners with “civil war” over mask mandates and other measures imposed by the state government. However you feel about public health orders to control the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s simply wrong to take out your frustrations on functionaries who have no ability to affect the policy they’re charged with enforcing.

Apparently, nobody explained this to the area’s representative in the state legislature, Rep. Richard Holtorf:


Thursday Open Thread

“Justice must not only be seen to be done but has to be seen to be believed.”

–J. B. Morton

BREAKING: Mesa County Clerk Barred From Election Duties

Heidi Ganahl and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, the ruling is back in the case seeking to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters from her duties overseeing elections while the criminal investigation into her conduct continues–and Peters is officially relieved:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters will not be allowed to participate in the upcoming November election, a judge ruled Wednesday in the latest admonishment of the Republican who is under investigation in a breach of her county’s election system.

The ruling from Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison comes after Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, sued to block Peters from being involved in the November election amid criminal investigations into Peters’ office.

Robison wrote in her 22-page ruling that that Griswold’s office “met the burden of showing that Peters and (Deputy Clerk Belinda) Knisley have committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts.” As such, the judge wrote, the pair are “unable or unwilling to appropriately perform the duties of Mesa County Designated Election Official.”

It’s just the first in what we’ve been anticipating for months since the story of a serious breach in election system security in Mesa County first surfaced, and then quickly became part of the desperate canon clung to by supporters of Donald Trump in their by-now entirely faith-based conviction that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The nonsensical justifications for allowing this criminal breach of security and leak of proprietary data to the public offered up by Clerk Peters through her attorney Scott Gessler were always destined for a cold dose of reality once they arrived in front of a judge. The legal system appears to be making short of work of Peters’ defense, like dozens of bogus lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results across the country.

Which, as readers recall, also featured Scott Gessler’s “expertise.”

Almost a year later, no credible evidence that the 2020 election was illegitimate has emerged for any source. Nothing Clerk Peters either allegedly stole or allowed to be stolen has provided evidence to support the baseless conspiracy theory that prompted Peters’ actions. If Peters had any reality-based suspicion of a problem with Mesa County’s election systems, there were channels to address that not requiring the commission of a crime.

These basic facts might be unclear to a mob, but a judge’s job by design is to cut through the bullshit.

And the judging’s not over yet. The criminal side of “MesaGate” is just getting started.

Three of Colorado Republicans’ 2021 Awardees Are Election Fraud Conspiracists

(The Big Lie litmus test – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At the annual Colorado GOP Awards Banquet, held last month in Pueblo, the state party gave its top awards to Republicans who have fostered debunked conspiracy theories about how the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.

Ty Winter posing with Heidi Ganahl at the Colorado GOP Awards Banquet.

Also in attendance at the banquet were former U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado GOP Chair Kristi Burton Brown, and current candidate for Governor Heidi Ganahl.

Brown repeatedly questioned the integrity of Colorado’s 2020 election and said that Republicans need to “go on the attack” against Dominion Voting Systems. Ganahl refuses to say whether she believes the 2020 election results are legitimate.

Ty Winter, Republican of the Year

Ty Winter, the chair of the Las Animas County Republicans and chair of House District 64, was named the 2021 Republican of the Year at the banquet.

According to several Facebook posts, Winter believes that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.


Heidi Ganahl Outraised by Erik Aadland

For the love of God, somebody write me a check!

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, a member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, raised more than $135,000 in the roughly three weeks between launching her candidacy and the end of the third fundraising quarter, her campaign said Wednesday.

Ganahl, the founder of a national dog day care provider and the only Republican holding statewide office in Colorado, plans to report raising $137,249 from more than 300 donors, a spokeswoman said, adding that she gave her campaign $50,000 on top of that.

One hundred and thirty seven.



The Republican frontrunner for governor, Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, raised $137,000 in her first fundraising period as a candidate. To put that in contrast, longshot GOP U.S. Senate candidate Erik Aadland raised $150,000 in Q3.

Who is Erik Aadland? Nobody knows. That’s the point.

Ganahl and her supporters will say that her fundraising number only accounts for a few weeks, but so what? If you’re saying this, it means you are explaining to people why your first fundraising quarter as a candidate was quite terrible. 

Consider: The 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee, Walker Stapleton, SPENT more than Ganahl raised in his first fundraising quarter ($140,242 in Q4 2017). Stapleton didn’t formally launch his campaign until October 2017, but he still reported raising more than $1 million for the quarter — and that was during the notoriously slow Holiday period.

Ganahl has been planning a run for Governor for more than a year — plenty of time to build up a deep network of donors ready to write her a check in her first weeks as a candidate. If she and her campaign knew that this was going to be the extent of her fundraising ability as a new candidate, then she should have announced sooner (or later…or never).

Prominent Colorado Republicans have already publicly acknowledged that Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign is, um, not good. This is just further proof.

When The Chart Doesn’t Help, Eli Bremer Edition

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer (weapons depicted are not used to fight crime).

A fundraising email this week from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer raised some eyebrows this week for employing a visual aid that didn’t exactly help convey the intended message:

Violent Crime cases have hit a 25-year high in Colorado – and, quite frankly, who’s surprised?

What else will it take, Colorado? When will we see a one-party rule has failed us?

The radical left proudly boasts plans to defund the police because they see police as the issue. People who were forced to stay home and had their freedoms taken away, like this past year, have become more desperate…

This is another example of the failed Biden Presidency and ineffective leadership in Colorado. Join me if you are ready for change.

To back up Bremer’s contention that a big scary wave of violent crime is just about to crash into your quiet suburban neighborhood, the campaign supplied this graph:

Which does show that the rate of violent crime in Colorado has increased to slightly above the national average in recent years, a fact which no one disputes. But even at today’s elevated levels of crime, we’re well below the historically much higher crime rates that prevailed in the years culminating in Denver’s infamous “summer of violence” in 1993. We have no interest in downplaying the recent uptick in violent crime, which is significant and has complex origins that defy political sloganeering. The problem is that Bremer contradicts his own attempt to hype the problem for personal political advantage by visually reminding his audience that as bad as it is now, it used to be even worse. With that, the utility of this issue as a partisan political weapon breaks down.

What Bremer might have done, of course, is cut the chart off at the year that best illustrates your point like local conservative group Compass Colorado did some years back regarding Colorado’s unemployment rate! It’s not exactly, you know, honest, but at least you don’t confound your own fundraising pitch.

It’s another reason why experience matters in a U.S. Senate race. Amateur fearmongers need not apply.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 13)

Today is International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, which doesn’t seem like something that should be limited to a once-a-year deal. 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



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 


Colorado’s 2021 redistricting process is complete. Almost.

As Alex Burness of The Denver Post reports:

It was not immediately clear what the projected split would be on the Senate map, approved Tuesday, since the version the commissioned adopted was drawn on the fly during a live Zoom meeting. That version made slight changes to a previous drafted map that projected 22 districts leaning in Democrats’ favor, to 13 for Republicans.

But both the House and Senate maps would have many potentially competitive seats, which was one of the goals of this commission. Recent election results suggest margins of 3.1% or under in nine House districts, and margins of 3.8% or under in seven Senate districts.

The Colorado Supreme Court will now have to approve both maps by November 15. We’ll likely have more analysis later. For additional reporting, check out Colorado Public Radio and The Colorado Sun. In the meantime, be wary of the misleading narrative that these two maps will allow Democrats to remain control of the State Legislature; if Democrats do maintain majorities in both chambers, it won’t be because of these maps.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State Senate.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State House.

Elsewhere, 9News has more on the Supreme Court hearings for the new Congressional redistricting map approved last week.


Colorado Public Radio reports on efforts by Trump-aligned forces to get a favorable court ruling in Colorado. CBS4 Denver has more on a two-day hearing beginning today that may include several notable figures from the “Stop the Steal” crowd. Business Insider also looks at the story from a national perspective, with credit to The Colorado Times Recorder.


Colorado Newsline reports on a big announcement in Colorado:

Colorado has become the first state in the nation to require comprehensive gender-affirming care as part of minimum, or “benchmark,” health care plans sold on the individual and small group markets, which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s health care customers.

The gender-affirming care element was announced during a Tuesday news conference that included speakers Gov. Jared Polis and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Brooks-LaSure, whose agency had to approve additional benchmark items, called the move “momentous” and said “gender-affirming care can be life-saving.”…

…The gender-affirming care will be included in plans sold in Colorado on the individual and small group markets starting in 2023. It does apply to insurance obtained through large employers. New benchmark items also include an expansion of behavioral health care, including an annual mental health exam, and more options for substance abuse treatment, which were required as part of this year’s House Bill 21-1276.

John Frank of Axios Denver includes some important — and largely overlooked — key points about this announcement. This is not something that is solely about transgender care; for example, “gender-affirming care” also includes procedures such as breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.


 As Westword notes, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado are at their worst level since 2020. Please get vaccinated.


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Boebert Blows Columbus Day In Pueblo

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-ifle)

As the Pueblo Chieftain’s newest political reporter Lacey Latch reports, yesterday was another chance for GOP freshman Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert to win hearts and minds in what’s set to remain the foremost Democratic stronghold in the Third Congressional District–in particular Pueblo’s blue-collar working-class flavor of Democratic politics that a few deft Republicans have been able to make some inroads with.

Speaking before what could have been a friendly audience at Pueblo’s defiant Columbus Day celebration–Pueblo’s proud Italian-American community having pointedly not gone along with the rebranding of the holiday by the rest of Colorado as Frances Xavier Cabrini Day–Boebert made it painfully obvious she is not one of those smart Pee-ebla Republicans:

The crowd was unwavering in its support for preserving the legacy of Italian-Americans and almost all of the speakers stuck to that messaging.

It was when Boebert took the stage that the event’s message changed. After a few words about the importance of the federal holiday, the Republican congresswoman reverted to the messaging that she uses on the campaign trail — none of which was about Columbus, Italians or Indigenous Americans.

Instead, Boebert touched on many conservative talking points throughout her speech including socialism in China, border issues in Texas and masks in public schools…

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this. I come to celebrate my heritage, my culture, being Italian,” said Pattyanne Corsentino. “I don’t come for this s—.” [Pols emphasis]

Colorado Newsline’s Sara Wilson:

Boebert wavered from Columbus within minutes to hit on her usual stump speech talking points: the immigration “crisis” at the border, anti-Biden rhetoric and COVID-19 restrictions. Boebert has not held an in-person town hall in Pueblo since taking office but has appeared at a few private events, such as a fundraising dinner for the local Republican Party…

Patty Corsentino was audibly upset about the congresswoman’s remarks and said the event felt more somber than in past years. Corsentino, whose family helped construct the monument and who wants it to remain in place, said that bringing Boebert in detracts from the reason to remember Columbus.

“I’m disappointed because this shouldn’t be politicized,” she said. “It’s about the culture and the history.” Corsentino said she comes from a family of Democrats and did not vote for Boebert.

If Boebert had been able to show enough restraint to keep to her speech focused on praising the local Italian-American community and the (mostly false) hagiography about Christopher Columbus’ voyage, it might have had a very different effect on the audience. Not every speech given by a member of Congress has to be or should be a political blowtorch. But with Boebert, full partisan bombast is her only gear–to the extent that we’d fully expect the same vitriolic red meat in a speech dedicating a new Post Office.

No swing voters are won this way, folks.

Bennet Raises Another $2 million in Q3

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver)

Full campaign finance numbers for the third quarter of 2021 will be made publicly available on Friday, but some figures are starting to leak out ahead of time.

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet raised more than $2 million in the third quarter of 2021 for his re-election bid, the Colorado Democrat’s campaign said Tuesday.

Bennet, who is seeking a third term in next year’s election, has raked in $6.5 million this cycle and heads into the final quarter of the year with more than $3.5 million in the bank, giving the one-time presidential candidate a significant head start as potential Republican challengers are still getting their campaigns off the ground.

The total set a new personal best for Bennet’s fundraising in an off-year quarter, his campaign said, with the $2.06 million clearing his previous highest quarterly total — set in the first three months of 2015 — by around $3,000.

The Republican field of U.S. Senate candidates is a clusterfuck of weirdos and no-name challengers; meanwhile, incumbent Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet just keeps plugging along raising huge sums of money until the GOP figures out which no-hope candidate to nominate in June 2022.

When Democrat John Hickenlooper demolished Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020 by 9 points, it all but assured that national Republican money would be staying away from Colorado’s Senate race in 2022. Bennet is making sure that Republicans have no reason to change their mind about funding strategies for the next 12 months.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 12)

Able to leap both genders in a single bound! 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



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 


The Colorado Supreme Court will hear arguments today about whether to approve a Congressional redistricting map in Colorado. As Colorado Public Radio reports:

The court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday from the commission and from groups who say the commission failed to meet constitutional requirements. In total, fifteen organizations, local governments and individuals have filed briefs supporting or opposing the final map.

Justices will either approve the map, setting it in stone for the next decade, or they will send it back to the commission with guidelines for revisions. The state must have its final map no later than December 15th, which will give Congressional candidates adequate time to prepare ahead of the November 2022 election.

Elsewhere in redistricting news, The Colorado Sun reports on the latest progress on creating new legislative maps:

Democrats would likely maintain control of the Colorado House under a new map of the chamber’s 65 districts headed to the state Supreme Court for final review.

The Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission voted 11-1 Monday night to approve the map, with Commissioner Gary Horvath, a Democrat from Broomfield, casting the lone “no” vote.

The Colorado Supreme Court now has until Nov. 15 to approve the map or send it back to the commission for revisions. Legal challenges are likely.

Democrats have such a sizable advantage in the State House (41-24) that it would have been all but impossible to draw a map that would change this dynamic.


Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters held a bananas press conference on Monday in which no new information was presented and someone in the crowd was falsely accused of assault. You can watch the entire event or read our diary about the blow-by-blow here.

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on Monday’s lunacy:

What began as a press conference Monday, to which no member of the press was actually invited, turned into a brief melee between supporters of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and those who, well, don’t.

At the morning press conference on the steps of the Old Mesa County Courthouse, Peters and Sherronna Bishop, a Garfield County resident who has been side-by-side with the embattled clerk, supporting her in claiming there was election fraud, again presented nothing new to prove their claims.

Instead, they repeated the same “evidence” of problems with Dominion Voting System tabulation machines, repeating claims that computer files were erased, but failing to say whether any of the files had anything to do with previous elections.

Ashby also has more details about Roxanne Lewis, the woman who pretended to be assaulted at the event:

Lewis pleaded guilty in 2016 to stealing money over several months from vending machines at the Canyon View car wash at the corner of Broadway and Redlands Parkway, a business she had sold months earlier to John Pugliese, the then-husband of former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

It was reported that Lewis is a member of the local Stand for the Constitution group that has called on local governments to declare the city and county “constitutional sanctuaries.”



The Denver Post has the latest on Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalization rates:

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases and deaths all moved in the wrong direction over the last week, making it appear increasingly unlikely that the worst of the state’s fifth wave is over.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 1,012 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon, up from a recent low of 907 on Oct. 2. On Friday, state health officials raised concerns about the increase in hospitalizations, which had been slowly falling since late September, and urged eligible people who haven’t gotten vaccinated to do so quickly.

New coronavirus infections also were up, with 13,621 cases recorded in the week ending Sunday, though that’s within the range where the numbers have bounced since early September. The percentage of tests coming back positive also rose over the last week, though, raising concerns that the state could be missing infections.

Vax that thang up, people!


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Diary of a Bonkers Press Conference in Mesa County

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and right-wing activist person Sheronna Bishop (who was also Lauren Boebert’s 2020 campaign manager) stood in front of the steps of the Mesa County Courthouse on Monday morning for a “press conference” to explain more about why Peters shouldn’t have to worry about being under investigation by four different agencies, including the FBI.

Someone with the Mesa County Democratic Party was on hand to provide video of this absolutely bonkers event. It was so incredibly strange, in fact, that we felt compelled to memorialize the event in a diary format.

Watch the event yourself, or click below to follow along with our event diary, which includes an allegation of assault (which clearly didn’t happen) and multiple extended rants against Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

[*Note: The original video was converted from a vertical format to a horizontal format for easier viewing. The times listed here are from the video.]



The Crazy Runs Deep in Mesa County

Today Tina Peters held a press conference, which I attended. There were probably 50 people in attendance, of which a few were there to protest.

The presser was scheduled to coincide with the Board of County Commissioner’s regular meeting, on the steps of the building where the commissioners meet. (Odd time and place.) Some of us hoped she would be announcing her retirement, but alas she wanted to try her case in public. For the life of me, I cannot understand why her attorney (Scott Gessler) has not convinced her to just stay quiet.

Meeting organizers were aggressive about keeping people away from Tina. As an example when I started filming, a large man stood in front of me in order to block my view. My companion, Benita Phillips, asked a few questions loudly and a woman tried to silence her. When the woman kept grabbing Benita’s shoulder and telling her (rudely) to shut her mouth, Benita told her to keep her hands off.

The presser started with Sherronna Bishop introducing Tina. A man in the audience questioned why Ms Bishop was sowing division in Mesa County, since she lives in Garfield County. He was tall and had a large anti-Tina sign in his hands. He was immediately surrounded by the “enforcers.” As he tried to go around the men, a woman fell to the ground. She said she was pushed. He said he didn’t push her, but was just trying to get around the people blocking him.

The woman on the ground was the same woman who had been grabbing Benita’s shoulder. Since Benita is an RN, she immediately rushed to help. Her help was declined. It was Benita’s opinion that the woman was not hurt, based on her reaction to falling, things she said and looking at her eyes to see if they were clear. Benita was later interviewed by a police officer who was called to the scene to investigate an assault. Although an ambulance eventually was called, it never left with the woman.

As if all that wasn’t crazy enough, Tina then went on to accuse Charles Ashby, Lynn Bartels, Wayne Williams, and Sheila Reiner of conspiring against Tina, since the four are all “friends.” Sheila heard it all. She was standing right behind me at the event. Kudos to Sheila, she was calm and answered questions from concerned citizens after Ms Bishop identified her to the crowd.

Even better, according to Tina’s supporters, Janet Rowland, Cory Davis, and Scott McInnis are fake Republicans. I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that these same supporters all voted for Rowland, Davis and McInnis.

So what do we have? A woman under investigation who continues to speak in public, making her defense problematic and a bunch of supporters who are willing to believe any conspiracy theory regardless of how nonsensical it sounds. Yep. The crazy runs deep in Mesa County.