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Will Tehama Sheriff Candidates’ Ties to Alt-Right Extremists Alarm Staunchly Republican Voters?

On June 7, Tehama County voters will decide whether Dave Kain or Chad Parker is their next county sheriff.

Kain is currently employed as a Captain by the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. He has won numerous awards. Parker formerly worked for the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, but left his position in 2018 to take up a job as an investigator with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Both men have had long careers as Tehama County law enforcement officials.

On his campaign webpage, Kain proposes to expand the Tehama County Jail, implement new technology to enhance criminal investigations, create alternative custody programs, and designate a special deputy for rural areas. If elected, Parker also plans to combat rural crime with the creation of Rural Crime Deputies.

Dave Kain and Chad Parker.

Parker’s campaign slogan is “Moving Forward With Trusted Local Leadership” and he claims on his campaign webpage to want to restore public trust in the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. However, his close ties to Red Bluff’s alt-right community may alarm Tehama County voters, even in a heavily Republican county where around 65% of the population voted for Donald Trump in the last two presidential elections.

The Christian Peace Officers of Tehama County

If elected, Parker proposes to name Dave Greer, a retired sheriff’s deputy, the leader of his management team. Greer has 35 years’ of experience working in Tehama County law enforcement. He is a founding member of the nonprofit group Christian Peace Officers of Tehama County.

On its Facebook group page, the Christian Peace Officers of Tehama County claims its mission is to recognize Jesus Christ as their leader and that the written guidelines in the Bible shall be subject to and secondary to the laws of California. The mission statement also says it is important for law enforcement officials to seek out people who are lost and help them with the message of Jesus Christ.

The administrator for the Christian Peace Officers of Tehama County page is Rob Brinton. Brinton graduated from West Valley High School in the early 1980s and is an Air Force veteran. He worked for 28 years as a law enforcement official in Tehama County for several agencies before retiring. In 2018, he made an unsuccessful run for Tehama County Sheriff.

Brinton is currently employed as a real estate agent in Cottonwood. He is also the Northern California ambassador for the Code 9 Project, a national organization dedicated to educating, training and advocating for the prevention of PTSD and suicide for all first responders and their families.

Brinton has publicly shared a variety of extremist far-right content on his Facebook page, all of which appeared after he retired from the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. In April of 2021, Briton called U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) a “Fucktard” for supporting the defunding of the police in St. Louis. He subscribes to a selective far-right version of Christianity as a member of the Christian Peace Officers of Tehama County.

“YOU FUCK WITH ONE OF US — YOU FUCK WITH ‘ALL’ OF US”

After Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd in May of 2020, Brinton took to Facebook to share his unhappiness regarding the protests for justice sweeping across the country. He tagged Chad Parker, as well as former Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini, and other North State law enforcement officials in the Facebook post.

I stand behind my brothers and sisters. NO ONE STANDS ALONE. I’m retired but not dead ill bring the fight to you and stand beside you until my last breath or drop of blood you are my family I love you and I WILL STAND BESIDE YOU. LETS BRING THE FIGHT TO THEM … YOU FUCK WITH ONE OF US …. YOU FUCK WITH” ALL” OF US…..”

Rob Brinton Facebook post about Black Lives Matter protests

Parker, and numerous others, liked Brinton’s Facebook post. One individual who commented under the Facebook post said protesters would explode like a tube of toothpaste if they decided to “play frogger” with motorists.

Rob Brinton Facebook post on U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO).

Cottonwood Militia & Tehama County Law Enforcement Connections

Brinton, like Parker, is friends on Facebook with Woody Clendenen. Clendenen lives in Tehama County, is a well-known member of the Cottonwood Militia, and owns a barber shop in Cottonwood which occasionally flies a Confederate flag

Clendenen also participates in Red, White and Blueprint podcasts and docuseries episodes, along with two of the co-owners of the alt-right propaganda media company, Jon Knight and Carlos Zapata.

Top: Recent profile pictures used by Woody Clendenen on Facebook; Bottom: Screenshot from a short documentary about the Cottonwood Militia.

The Confederate flag flying outside of Woody Clendenen’s barbershop in Cottonwood.

Red, White and Blueprint advertisement featuring Jon Knight (black shirt with yellow logo) and Woody Clendenen (gray shirt with red logo.

Screenshots from a Red, White and Blueprint Facebook story which shows the company filming scenes for the next docuseries episode at Clendenen’s property. Carlos Zapata stands in the middle of the group while looking toward the camera in the image on the right side.

Since the Feb. 1 recall of Shasta County District 1 Supervisor Leonard Moty, journalists working for national media outlets have lined up to get a glimpse of Clendenen in his barbershop environment which doubles as an alt-right man cave for him and his clientele.

Chalk the relationship between Clendenen, Parker, and Brinton up as yet another connection between the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office and the North State’s alt-right community. As I reported in an A News Café piece last August, Clendenen is also friends with Bill Derbonne. Derbonne is a former Tehama County Sheriff’s deputy who is working as an investigator for the Tehama County District Attorney.

Derbonne is alleged to have illegally sold guns and gun supplies out of the back of his patrol car and on city property when he was employed as the chief of police in Asotin, Wash., before accepting a position with the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.

Greer calls on Tehama County to elect bold Christians

On May 10, Dave Greer, the retired law enforcement official Parker plans to put in charge of his team if elected as the sheriff of Tehama County, posted a statement on his Facebook page complaining about being told at a local candidate’s event in Red Bluff the he does not act like a Christian. Greer said the attendee told him this because of Greer’s political positions and who he supports.

Our Country, State and local government are in need of one person, Jesus,” wrote Greer. “I have come to a point in my life that I take time to seek His guidance in most big decisions I make in my life.”

I think as Christians, we need to pray before we vote,” continued Greer. “I am in no way telling anyone who to vote for, but I am saying, let’s take time to bend a knee before we select a name on the ballot. Seek His guidance and personally see where the candidates stand with respect to Jesus.”

Dave Greer’s Facebook post regarding the claim that he does not act like a Christian.

Greer ended his Facebook post by writing that county residents should vote for candidates who will be bold in their faith and stand for Christian values. Greg Phelps, the youth pastor at the Cavalry Chapel in Red Bluff, liked Greer’s Facebook post and supports the election of Parker as county sheriff. Content shared on Phelps’ Facebook page shows he is against COVID-19 mandates and the vaccine, and does not believe President Biden won the 2020 election. Phelps has also shared homophobic and anti-transgender content on his Facebook page.

Screenshots from Greg Phelps’ Facebook page, including his profile picture.

Shawn Greer: Chad Parker campaign aid & Alt-Right Activist

Dave Greer’s wife, Shawn Greer, is Parker’s campaign aid. According to Parker, she “is a wealth of knowledge for me.” Shawn Greer is the leader of an alt-right activist group named Tehama County Citizens for Freedom, and she has published an extensive collection of material filled with misinformation and far-right commentary on the group’s webpage. Greer also runs a group known as Tehama County Citizens for Trump, and manages pages for that group, and for Tehama County Citizens for Freedom on Facebook and Telegram. She goes by Shawn Marie on Facebook.

Chad Parker stating on his Telegram page that Shawn Greer is a “wealth of knowledge for me.”

Left: Shawn Greer’s profile picture on Facebook (she’s standing with Dave Greer); Top Right: One of Shawn Greer’s social media profile pages; Bottom Right: Dave Greer’s Facebook profile picture.

When Berrendos Middle School teacher Stacy Pearce went viral for wearing a yellow Star of David to compare COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the Jewish Holocaust in a brazen display of anti-Semitism at a protest in Red Bluff, Dave and Shawn Greer came to her defense. They, along with Parker and Calvary Chapel pastor Greg Phelps, signed the petition supporting Pearce on the Tehama County Citizens for Freedom webpage.

In addition to signing the petition to support Pearce, Shawn Greer also doubled-down in her support for the sentiments displayed by the teacher on the Tehama County Citizens for Freedom webpage by repeating and defending the toxic false equivalence between the Jewish Holocaust and COVID-19 mandates in California’s public schools.

Shawn Greer believes COVID-19 is a hoax and that President Biden’s election in 2020 was not legitimate. Greer and other members of Tehama County Citizens for Freedom have shared several pieces of content on various social media platforms that supports Red, White and Blueprint, and the broader alt-right community in Shasta County.

 

Facebook post on Tehama County Citizens for Freedom Facebook page made by Shawn Greer which celebrated the recall of Shasta County District 1 Supervisor Leonard Moty in February. The post included a picture of Jon Knight, Carlos Zapata, and Lani Bangay of Red, White and Blueprint.

Greer has helped organize several anti-COVID-19 mandate “medical freedom” anti-Covid-19 rallies, including the School Walkout in October and the recent convoy rallies that took place on Red Bluff’s 1-5 Adobe overpass.

At the convoy rallies, Greer and fellow activists wave the Gadsden Flag with the famous saying, “Don’t Tread on Me” and homemade signs that exclaim statements such as “Trump Won.” At the most recent overpass protests, an old Chevy truck pulled up to display several signs. The largest one read “A (Hole) C And the Squad,” followed by “Pathetic” and “God Bless America.” At a convoy rally last summer, one attendee wore a T-shirt with a large “Q” superimposed over the United States flag signifying his support for the QAnon movement.

Photographs of recent far-right protests in Red Bluff shared on the Tehama County Citizens for Freedom webpage.

Photographs of recent far-right protests in Red Bluff shared on the Tehama County Citizens for Freedom webpage.

Elissa McEuen, one of the leaders of the movement to recall Shasta County District 1 Supervisor Leonard Moty, attending a “medical freedom” rally in downtown Red Bluff last summer.

Shawn Greer, the QAnon Believer

In addition to organizing far-right protests in Red Bluff, Shawn Greer is also a QAnon believer. The QAnon movement emerged in far-right circles during the Trump presidency. It pushes a variety of false claims which include the belief that a cabal of cannibalistic sexual abusers of children, who worship Satan and operate a worldwide child sex trafficking ring, are conspiring against Donald Trump.

QAnon beliefs are rooted in anti-Semitism, and followers of the movement, which many call a cult, claim that Democratic politicians, Hollywood actors, and others, are part of the so-called cabal. QAnon followers participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington D.C.

Greer does not openly support QAnon on Facebook, but she has posted a significant amount of pro-QAnon material on the Tehama County Citizens for Trump Telegram page. Perhaps Greer does not want to share her believe in QAnon conspiracy theories on Facebook because it is a more popular platform, unlike Telegram, which is mostly used by people who follow far-right conspiracies and extremist movements.

A considerable amount of debate surrounds the identity of Q, the leader of the QAnon movement. Greer has gone as far as to post on Telegram that President Trump is actually Q. On May 2, Greer published a statement on Telegram claiming President Trump gave an “AirQ” to a live crowd at an event said he makes them during every rally speech.

Content posted by Shawn Greer on Telegram which shows her belief in the QAnon movement.

Greer pushing disinformation about mail-in voting

Over the course of the last few days, Greer has spent her time publishing material on the Tehama County Citizens for Freedom social media pages and webpage that tells voters to not vote early and to take their time and “pray about how God wants you to vote.” Greer has also been actively pushing disinformation about how mail-in voting is not safe, and that in 2020 mail-in ballots in Tehama County were unable to be scanned by the tabulator so the elections office duplicated every single one.

Shawn Greer communicates with self-proclaimed Proud Boy about Carlos Zapata

Carlos Zapata’s comments on Facebook about the Proud Boys who attended his arraignment.

July 2021 Proud Boys photo by Doni Chamberlain.

In addition to the activism in the Red Bluff area, Greer also communicated with a self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys who claimed he attended Carlos Zapata’s July 2021 arraignment at the Shasta County Court House for his role in the May 4 assault of Nathan Pinkney. Zapata shared on Facebook at the time that he supported the Proud Boys. Allan Stellar of the “Daily News” newspaper claimed the members of the Proud Boys allegedly visited his Palomino Room bar and restaurant in the city.In a conversation with someone who identified as “Tristan,” Greer shared the trial court date and said that Zapata needed to be supported because he was becoming quite the political leader in Shasta County. Zapata was later found guilty of disturbing the peace while fighting. Zapata’s two friends who joined him, Christopher Meagher and Elizabeth Bailey faced the same conviction as Zapata in addition to battery.

Unlike the arraignment, members of the Proud Boys did not show up at Zapata, Meagher, and Bailey’s trial.

Shawn Greer’s conversation with a self-proclaimed Proud Boy about Carlos Zapata.

Chad Parker’s ties to the alt-right extremist community should alarm voters in staunchly Republican Tehama County. Parker claims to want to restore public trust in the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, but his campaign aid and the spouse of the man he would like to put in charge of his management team, if elected, is a far-right activist who believes a wide variety of conspiracy theories and supports the Proud Boys. On top of this, Parker is part of a network of Christian nationalists and county sheriff deputies who maintain ties to the Cottonwood Militia.

Tehama County has an important decision to make this summer. Will voters go the way of far-right Christian nationalists, QAnon believers, Carlos Zapata and the Proud Boys, or will they meet in the middle and cast their vote for Kain?

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Shawn Schwaller

Shawn Schwaller grew up in Red Bluff, California. He is an assistant professor in the History Department at California State University, Chico and holds a Ph.D. in history and an M.A. in American studies. Schwaller specializes in North State stories about law-enforcement corruption and far-right politics. He can be reached at sschwaller@csuchico.edu and welcomes your story tips.

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