District 4 Shasta County Supervisor Patrick Henry Jones is an inveterate liar. As more than one victim of Jones’s prevarications has commented to me, he just makes stuff up.
Case in point: About halfway through Episode 5 of Red, White and Blueprint, Jones casually states that when he was on the Redding City Council in 2007, the council voted 5-0 to fire then-Redding Police Chief Leonard Moty. Then, according to Jones, Moty was mysteriously hired to be assistant city manager, a new job created just for him.
The 5-0 vote never happened, not even behind the scenes, according to people who were there at the time. In 2007, Moty did pull double-duty for a six-month period when he served as both RPD chief and assistant interim Redding city manager, which was a pre-existing position waiting to be filled.
After retiring as police chief, Moty entered politics, and was elected as District 2 Supervisor in 2008, a position he has held for three terms.
There was no 5-0 city council vote to dismiss Chief Moty. His short stint as interim assistant city manager is so secret, it’s listed on his supervisor bio.
Nevertheless, Jones’s lie has been immortalized in RW&B Episode 5, demonstrating once again that the so-called docuseries is less a blueprint for other counties to follow and more a longform political attack ad targeting Shasta County District 1 Supervisor Joe Chimenti, District 2 Supervisor Moty and District 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert for removal from office.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission, which is investigating complaints made by the three targeted supervisors against the Shasta County General Purpose Committee, Recall Shasta and RW&B, will almost certainly require the latter to reveal its political donors in the near future. The film project can’t be separated from the other groups in the recall.
They have many of the same players and the same goal: Recalling Supervisors Chimenti, Moty and Rickert, and remaking Shasta County in their own dystopian image.
Make no mistake, if Jones & Co. succeed, there will be a war on Shasta County’s public institutions the likes of which we’ve never experienced in the north state. Recall proponents have so far advocated the complete elimination of both the departments of Resource Management and Health and Human Services Agency.
As far as eliminating HHSA is concerned, there couldn’t be a more boneheaded move as we enter the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In RW&B Episode 5, the recall movement sets it sights on Shasta County’s largest employer—Shasta County—and individual county employees. And who better to scare the bejesus out of every public worker in Shasta County than Carlos Zapata, the Palo Cedro restaurateur, bull-semen disseminator, once-upon-a-time strip club investor and co-producer of RW&B?
If there’s anyone who deserves to be recalled, it’s Zapata’s history and economics teachers at Simpson University. They’ve clearly failed. In Episode 5, Zapata is deployed to present a civics lesson to counties interested in going down the same rabbit hole. Try not to laugh at the end.
“In law enforcement, there’s a theory called the broken window theory; that if you deal with the small crimes, such as broken windows, that the large crimes are avoided,” says the former Marine who once provided psyops in Iraq. “This is essentially what I would say our approach should be to governance, to politics. Let’s deal with what’s in our backyard.”
“Let’s stop these people from committing crimes at a local level,” he continues. “Let’s stop corruption at a level we can actually touch and control. Corrupt people tend to get away with more as time goes on. If I can get away with this, I can do that, if I can get away with that, I can do this, before you know it, we’re in full blown Third World Communism.”
And if you think he’s crazy, just take a look around you!
What the heck is he talking about? He just called Shasta County a Third World Communist hellhole! What gives?
It can’t be wearing a mask or getting the jab, because Zapata claims he’s already had COVID-19, is now naturally immune and in need of neither mask nor vaccine. BTW, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass if he has spread coronavirus all over the county. The coronavirus public health measures taken by the state that were the supposed impetus for the recall in the first place aren’t even mentioned in Episode 5.
Finally, we get to the rub:
“If I ran my businesses the way that the county runs theirs, I’d be on the street, man,” says the man who has never held elected office or a government job. It’s the old “let’s run this county like a business” routine with guess who as boss?
Zapata says he gets emails from county employees who support him “100 percent.” But they also ask him, “Is what you’re doing going to affect my job?”
“My answer to them is if your job is important and you’re doing a good job, it will not affect your job,” says El jefe magnanimously. “It’s not always an easy answer. Do we want people to get fired? Absolutely not. But government should never be in the business of simply employing people for the sake of creating jobs. That’s the definition of Communism.”
Actually, it’s the cornerstone of Keynesian economics and helped save the United States and capitalism during and after the Great Depression, resulting in such public works as the interstate highway system and Shasta Dam. Perhaps they don’t teach that at Simpson.
But I digress. Evoking the specter of Communism where it doesn’t exist is the hallmark of the fascist, and Zapata, who has wrapped himself in the flag and called for blood in the streets, fits the bill. It’s been more than a year since the former Marine rose to infamy after threatening to turn his combat skills loose on Shasta County, so shame on RW&B director and Sean Feucht confidant Jeremy Edwardson for claiming the controversy swirling around Zapata began just four months ago with the premier of RW&B Episode 1.
In five episodes, Edwardson has proved to be a filmmaker who shouldn’t be entrusted with something so sacred as the truth. There’s been zero fact-checking as Jones et alia make absurd claims that apparently just popped into their heads. Falsehood, as we shall see, is the foundation supporting the recall movement.
When the political donors behind RW&B are eventually exposed, FPPC investigators will find that virtually no money was spent on writers. Thus, the characters in all RW&B productions are allowed to freely project their most incoherent fantasies at will.
In Episode 5, State of Jefferson swagmeister and official recall walrus Terry Rapoza does just that in an awkward section on money (the episode it titled “The Color of Money”) featuring an incongruent rock guitar soundtrack and Rapoza’s favorite wet dream, cutting public employee wages, benefits and pensions.
“As the bosses of your county, it’s our responsibility to be aware of this problem and elect a board of supervisors who will commit to fixing the issue by agreeing to a forensic audit of every department.”
Did you catch the Freudian slip? “As the bosses of your county, it’s our responsibility to be aware of this problem …”
Rapoza is already rubbing his flippers together with glee. Forget about the fact that the Shasta County budget annually undergoes two audits, one internal and one external by an outside accountant. To recall proponents, it’s all about controlling Shasta County and recreating it in their own dark image.
It’s not a Bethel Seven Mountains operation—yet—but there are scores of Bethel associates and other anti-mask, anti-vax evangelicals involved in the recall movement. For more than two decades they’ve been taught that taking control of local government is the Christian thing to do. One wonders if Bethel “prophets” Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton are cringing at the Frankenstein monster they’ve helped create.
Absent an overt religious element, the recall movement has morphed into a Patrick Jones joint. In a strange sequence filmed for Episode 5 in the family gun store, Jones Fort, Jones holds a memory cube featuring a picture of his younger self sitting atop a dead black bear. He reminisces on the thrill of shooting the bear six times with a .44 caliber handgun then offers his theory for managing county employees:
“A little bear hunting is good if its managed and controlled, and that’s the way all things should be. If you manage and control things correctly, you’ll have a balance. But if you don’t … then you have chaos.”
I suppose we should be grateful he said “chaos” instead of “Communism.”
Like most people involved in the recall movement, Recall Shasta head Elissa McEuen doesn’t understand how county government works. It’s not that McEuen hasn’t tried to learn. Past RW&B episodes have featured her leafing through county records to get to the bottom of it all. As Supervisor Rickert pointed out in a recent radio interview with me, McEuen spent the past year poring over the county’s books and came up dry.
“They have had a CPA come in and meet with the CFO; Elissa has come in and met with the CFO,” Rickert said. “They’ve had the opportunity for one full year to evaluate, analyze and pick through our county budget.” But when the supervisors passed the budget earlier this summer with McEuen in the audience, “There was not one comment. So, I am going to assume that they don’t have a complaint.”
McEuen took great umbrage at Rickert’s remarks and sounded off at the board of supervisors’ meeting the next Tuesday, which was dutifully filmed by the RW&B team then included in Episode 5. Few can match McEuen’s sense of entitlement and victimization. She screeches fake outrage like a train hitting the brakes right before it derails.
“Mary, on the radio this weekend you stated that I did not challenge you on the $600 million budget you passed at the last board meeting,” McEuen scolds, pointing a bony finger at Rickert. “You said on the radio that as I sat here I didn’t make a comment as the budget passed. As if my silence were a seal of approval on that budget. As if, Mary. If you had stopped to think critically for even a moment about the reasons for my silence as the budget passes you might have concluded it’s because my comments, just like all the citizens comments this last year are utterly ignored by you.”
Speaking of critical thinking and other things she’s not good at, McEuen is a lousy listener. Rickert didn’t criticize her just for remaining silent at the board meeting. Rickert slammed her for looking through the budget for an entire year and finding nothing to complain about, even as the recall movement continues to claim that Chimenti, Moty and Rickert have mismanaged the county budget.
McEuen likes to have her cake and eat it, too. She and her cohorts have been savaging the three supervisors in board meeting after board meeting for the past year, resulting at long last in a call to bring decorum back to the chamber. But she’s no instigator. She’s not the head of Recall Shasta. She’s just a humble constituent. How dare Rickert speak that way about her! Listen as her harangue verges into glossolalia (speaking in tongues):
“Petition or plea logic or angry teary-eyed children or quiet kind father passionate or practical Mary Rickert as chair of this board in 2020 sat as deaf and dumb as a statue. Unbelievable. You, a supervisor, calling me a constituent out on the radio for my lack of dissent on an expanded bloated county budget that you passed without a single qualm. Mary, this is the very absence of leadership, the self-righteous attitude, the disrespect for your constituents, and the exact ineptitude of person responsibility for which you are being recalled.”
Pot, meet kettle. The projection is strong with this one.
Red, White and Blueprint smears the truth
Episode 5 revisits the alleged assault on Nathan “Blaze” Pinkney by Carlos Zapata and two acquaintances, Christopher Meagher and his girlfriend Elizabeth Bailey on May 4.
Side note: At the time of the assault, Bailey was employed by Zapata at his Red Bluff Palomino Room bar and restaurant.
The threesome was charged with disturbing the peace and battery, which are criminal misdemeanors; Zapata’s trial is underway as this is being written.
Here’s what we know about the case: Pinkney began posting parody videos of RW&B episodes on social media after Episode 1 dropped; Zapata threatened to come to the downtown Redding restaurant Pinkney worked at if he didn’t stop posting videos.
As seen on videotape, Zapata followed through on the threat and came to the restaurant. A verbal altercation between Zapata and Pinkney occurred off-camera at the bar and resulted in Zapata’s drink being thrown at Pinkney. Zapata was asked to leave, and he and his wife left, and presumably went to their car.
Minutes later, with Zapata leading the way and Meagher and Bailey following, the threesome walked purposely down the alley behind the restaurant where Pinkey and a co-worker were standing by the back door. Pinkney and his co-worker fled inside as the trio followed them.
Bailey grabbed Pinkney’s shirt as he entered the doorway. Then Meagher punched Pinkney in the face. Pinkney’s co-worker punched Meagher, who picked up a CO2 container and threatened the co-worker with it. At one point in the video, Zapata is framed perfectly in the open back doorway.
Off-camera, Pinkney ran to the office and retrieved his legally owned handgun from the restaurant safe. One of the privileges of being a progressive satirist in Shasta County is you get frequent death threats. Pinkney thought the threesome were still on the attack, but his co-worker said they had left.
Another co-worker asked Pinkney to hand over the handgun, which Pinkney did. Later, he retrieved the gun, unloaded it and locked it up in the safe.
The co-worker who temporarily took Pinkney’s gun was apparently Ken Sciallo-Becker. He’s interviewed by Edwardson in Episode 5, between cuts from the security camera footage from May 4, where he can be seen standing at the end of the bar.
Sciallo-Becker’s initial description of what happened gibes with what we know: A verbal altercation between Zapata and Pinkney occurred at the bar; Zapata spilled a drink on Pinkney and was asked to leave the restaurant.
After Zapata left, Sciallo-Becker claims Pinkney said, “I’m going to shoot this mother fucker,” before the alleged assault occurred, and Pinkney had armed himself. Sciallo-Becker claims that if he hadn’t taken the gun from Pinkney, Pinkney would have gone after Zapata, Meagher and Bailey.
We’re presented with Sciallo-Becker’s description of a wild-eyed Pinkney armed with a gun and hell-bent on revenge, as if that was Pinkney’s response to having a drink dumped on him, instead of the genuine act of self-defense it actually was.
Apparently the Second Amendment only applies if you’re on the “right” side of the equation.
Can Sciallo-Becker’s version of events be taken seriously? Other witnesses have countered Sciallo-Becker’s characterization of Pinkney’s behavior that night. Pinkney is African American, and until his Facebook page was recently scrubbed, Sciallo-Becker’s posts attacking Black Lives Matter and Kamala Harris had racist, sexist and bigoted overtones.
One meme featured hometown hero Megan Rapinoe with “loser” scrawled on her forehead. Another meme states, “Here’s my apology for being white!” printed over a middle finger. There are frequent references to fellatio and even bestiality. Hillary Clinton should commit suicide. Closer to home, Supervisor Moty “has been a piece of shit for 7 years.”
Sciallo-Becker is apparently unaware that Moty has served as District 3 supervisor for 13 years. In another errant post, Sciallo-Becker claims that disgraced former RPD investigator Joshua Siipola was “taught by Moty.”
The truth is that Siipola came from the Eureka Police Department years after Moty retired as chief.
As I reported last month, Siipola has been charged with six criminal misdemeanors after he allegedly used the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) to have a male rival’s brand-new Dodge pickup towed and impounded. His trial is scheduled to begin August 20. Meanwhile, according to an anonymous source, as of Thursday, Siipola no longer works for the RPD.
At any rate, Sciallo-Becker doesn’t seem to be an unbiased witness.
The whitewashing of the alleged assault on Pinkney concludes with Zapata’s capable attorney, Joseph Tully, proclaiming his client’s innocence after his arraignment. Zapata carefully maneuvers the crowd so the ever-present RW&B camera doesn’t catch the handful of Proud Boys who showed up to support him. Later he called them all honorable men.
I’m still fairly new to Shasta County, so when former District 5 Supervisor (1990-2006) Trish Clarke makes her appearance in Episode 5, I thought it was current District 5 Supervisor Les Baugh in a black fright wig at first.
But no, it’s Clarke, who after her time on the board served as an assistant for Connecticut billionaire Reverge Anselmo, who appeared in an earlier RW&B episode calling for the Shasta County Department of Resource Management to be abolished. Anselmo bought himself a supervisor’s seat in 2020 after donating an unheard of $100,000 to candidate Patrick Jones.
Because RW&B pretends not to be a political campaign, we have no idea how much Anselmo has donated to the group. But in 2010, Clarke helped Anselmo pen a 10-point pledge to be signed by politicians seeking donations. Some observers at the time called the pledge tantamount to bribery.
Reverge has long been at odds with Shasta County after his restaurant and winery near Shingletown ran afoul of Resource Management 10 years ago. Ever since, he’s waged a war against county workers, sometimes assisted by Clarke the former county supervisor. Here are a few of the anti-county worker initiatives in their pledge, as reported by former Record Searchlight reporter Ryan Sabalow:
• Making the county’s resource management director report to the county administrator.
• Instituting “a friendly and helpful” county policy to be countersigned by all employees. “Conflict, defiance or variation or from this policy shall be grounds for dismissal.”
• Placing “this call may be recorded for quality assurance” on county phone lines, which would be monitored.
Clarke correctly notes that the recall movement isn’t about what happened between Nathan “Blaze” Pinkney and Carlos Zapata. It’s about a full-frontal assault on conservative Republican supervisors who haven’t succumbed to the Trump virus by a zombie horde of braindead proto-fascists who eats county employees for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For politicians who’ve spent years on the public dole, Clarke and Patrick Jones appear to have very little knowledge about how county government actually works. Clarke talks about wading through the budget for three weeks weeding things out. Jones says he needs at least a whole day to go over the county budget.
But here’s the deal: Each year, hundreds of county employees work thousands of hours for six months on the budget, about the same time Jones has been a supervisor. Yet just like Elissa McEuen, Jones failed to object to any line items in the county budget when he had the chance to do so in public earlier this summer.
“Why didn’t he say something?” Moty asked me rhetorically. “He could have asked questions for three hours and we would have stayed those three hours and answered every question he asked.”
It’s more than a little ironic that Clarke kvetches about the reduced number of supervisor meetings compared to back-in-the-day, considering several inside sources have informed me that Jones can rarely be found in his office.
Rather, he prefers the confines of Jones Fort, where he has worked since he was a teenager.
After a year of bullshitting the public, the Shasta County General Purpose Committee, Recall Shasta and RW&B have come up with exactly no real reason to recall supervisors Chimenti, Moty and Rickert. Nevertheless, the two former groups have raised more than $100,000, according to campaign data released in early August. All three groups have problems telling the truth.
It just goes to show there’s a sucker born every minute.
So far, about $10,000 has been spent on direct mailing petitions to residents of districts 1, 2 and 3. I live in District 3, and Rickert is my supervisor. I received a petition to recall her in the mail two weeks ago along with a double-sided campaign flier which, just like RW&B’s productions, is filled with falsehoods from beginning to end.
Rickert responded on social media to the most egregious lies, including the claim that she doesn’t know what district she’s in. Somewhat hilariously, whoever wrote the flier misunderstood a joke Rickert made in the chamber at District 5 Supervisor Les Baugh’s expense. Rickert has cattle in Baugh’s district, and when Baugh suggested his constituents should report illegal marijuana grows when they smell them, Rickert said she’d oblige because she was “in his district.”
Rickert has been taking the recall movement head-on, and her camp issued an immediate corrective to the fallacious flier:
• For the past 33 years, Mary Rickert has lived and operated her business in the Fall River Mills area and has maintained a home in McArthur, California (District 3). According to the Shasta County Clerk’s office, she is a registered voter in McArthur, California. It is common for ranchers to have multiple properties, and as Mary is a rancher, she has two other properties in Shasta County, one of which is in Supervisor Baugh’s district. Mary considers her main home in McArthur.
• CARES [The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act] funding was restricted by Congress on how it could be allocated with a majority of it MANDATED to go to Health and Human Services.
• The reality of the Health and Human Services Department budget is: a very small percentage of funding comes from the general fund in Shasta County. The largest source of funding is the State of California and the Federal Government. If the money the state allocates to this department is NOT used, Shasta County loses it and it is distributed to other counties. In addition, if Health and Human Services was completely defunded, the State would come in and take it over. It would consequently be run by the State and we would lose ALL local control to the State.
• The Board of Supervisors cannot control whether or not schools can remain open or closed during a public health crisis.
Those are the facts, laid out in easy-to-understand order. But whether or not the public has received this corrective and seen through the recall movement’s deception remains in question.
Because the recall movement has failed to come up with any example of local government malfeasance worthy of recalling the three supervisors, it continues to make up lies. In Episode 5, the latest deception is a certified mindblower.
Allegedly, Supervisor Leonard Moty and former sheriff Eric Magrini have cut a deal with the local criminal cartels that control illegal marijuana growing in Shasta County. In exchange for allowing them to operate, Moty and Magrini will charge a tax on illegal grows, which they will use to fatten their salaries and pensions.
Almost needless to say, the allegation is completely untrue.
To present this blatant falsehood as truth to the unsuspecting public, filmmaker Edwardson conjures up three anonymous current and former county workers who’ve given him the information. Their voices will be disguised to protect their identities, he lies. He condenses the information into one distorted voice that speaks in the plural for all three supposed witnesses. It’s as phony as a deathbed conversion.
“All roads lead back to Moty, if you want to fix the county you have to replace Moty,” the disembodied, distorted Deep Throat maintains. “We believe he is unstoppable. Just so you know it was a mistake to include Joe Chimenti on the recall. People love Joe. Mary needs to go, too, but the problem started and will end with Moty. Go back a few years and watch the votes. The majority of the supervisors vote on county decisions with Moty.”
The voice goes on to present the incredulous marijuana scheme, as Edwardson plays the recording and asks Clarke, McEuen and Rapoza for their feedback. To her credit, McEuen backs away from the recording like she’s just been shown a box with a severed head in it. It was left up to Rapoza to hold the line.
“This certainly is a scenario people have to consider very strongly to be the truth,” says Rapoza, who apparently fancies himself as the Mike Lindell of Shasta County.
According to the disembodied voice, Moty’s fingerprints are all over Magrini’s recent transfer from the sheriff position to assistant county manager, and it’s going to get a lot worse:
“His next play is going to bring the county to its knees. He has no intention on cleaning up the illegal grows in Shasta County. He’d rather see this county be the next Humboldt. The CEO Matt Pontes is building an emergency command center. Magrini will run it. They will simply enforce a tax on the growers in order to make a ton of money to increase local government and stack their salaries and pensions.”
Like many deceptions, there is an element of truth in Deep Throat’s claim. The county is building an emergency operations center. It doesn’t have anything to do with illegal marijuana cultivation.
“There’s a reason former Sheriff Magrini hasn’t enforced anything related to illegal grows and this new position isn’t going to be any different except that the payments will be on the table instead of underneath,” Deep Throat concludes. “You watch, this is the plan.”
It’s all hogwash.
“It’s so bizarre,” Moty told me. I could sense him shaking his head in disbelief over the phone. “You make a deal to do nothing so somehow you can come back later and screw them for more.” Moty noted that he was on the board when the county supervisors voted 5-0 to prohibit outdoor grows in 2017.
Moty, Rickert and Chimenti, who’ve formed a campaign committee called Shasta Forward to fight the recall movement, have their work cut out for them. Against the recall movement’s avalanche of lies, they’ve so far raised more than $50,000, according to the latest campaign filing. They’ll need more than that to beat the Shasta County General Purpose Committee/Shasta Recall and RW&B.
How long this cavalcade of dishonesty, deceit and deception can keep rolling remains to be seen. RW&B Episode 5 has more than 6000 views so far, and chances are most of those viewers won’t read this story and therefore won’t realize they’ve been hoodwinked.
Readers wondering if such lying is illegal will be distressed to discover that in politics, anything goes and lies are rarely litigable. No tall tale is too big to tell. It may be a sad commentary on the state of our political system today, but the truth often loses out to lies and money.
The FPPC does not comment on ongoing cases. Its decision on whether RW&B is a political entity can’t come soon enough. It’s time we see who’s behind the curtain.
Monday 8:34 p.m. update: Portions of this story were revised for clarification.