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Shasta County Threat Assessment: Code Red as Publisher Threatened, Trans Students Endangered and Gateway Board Prepares to Hire Sketchy Superintendent

Cartoon by Phil Fountain.

A local far-right radio host has called for the “public execution” of A News Café publisher Doni Chamberlain, who he claims “deserves” to be “hooked up to a car and dragged down the road” for being both a “communist” and a “Nazi.”

The death threat was made by Matt Nimmo, who hosts “Liberty Abashed,” an hour-long program that airs every other Sunday at 8 a.m. on KCNR 1460AM/96.5FM, the conservative talk radio station owned by Carl and Linda Bott located in downtown Redding.

Nimmo, who is so rightwing he calls ultraconservative Rep. Doug LaMalfa a “beta cuck” (a derogatory phrase for “moderate Republican”), claims our country was “founded basically on people willing to shoot people.”

Nimmo said Chamberlain should “fear for her life” because there are “300 million armed Americans.”

Exactly what Nimmo’s beef is with Chamberlain is unclear. At one point he appears to be holding her accountable for federal and state COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates that are no longer in effect. In his view public health measures taken for the “greater good” during the pandemic were communistic totalitarian acts.

He can be heard kicking a nearby garbage can or something in the studio every time he says, “greater good.”

“These people scream about ‘I’m afraid for my life,’” Nimmo said. “Well, communists only recognize the limits of their power when their necks are stretched.”

“People like Doni Chamberlain should be tried under the Nuremberg [codes] then publicly executed because of what they’re doing. You don’t want to face that consequence people? Stop trying to shove this communist totalitarian state down our throats. Oh that’s right it’s for the greater good [kicks can again] and anybody that resists is a bigoted racist fascist because after all you’re going to lick that boot!”

For some reason Matt Nimmo is permitted to broadcast his profane show anonymously.

“No I’m not!” Nimmo continued, referring to the boot-licking. “When our country collapses and you force armed conflict you get absolutely what you deserve. If that’s hooked up to a car and dragged down the road because you’d rather have that than leave your neighbor alone, stop trying to tell them how they should live and whatnot because it’s for the greater good [kicks can again] well then you get what you deserve.”

Nimmo, who may have seen The Joker one too many times, appears to believe A News Café is in on the “population reduction” conspiracy theory that falsely claims COVID-19 vaccines are causing millions of people to suddenly drop dead.

“They think you’re just too dumb to recognize it,” Nimmo said. “Make no mistake these little Nazis within our government and communist trash like Diana Chambers [Nimmo clearly meant Chamberlain, not the character on the “Cheers” TV show played by Shelley Long] they’re going to continue to shove that mask and vaccine down your throat. That’s why I think she should be tried under the Nuremberg Code and hung in the end.”

Nimmo is obviously obsessed with the QAnon conspiracy theory which falsely posits that a secret Democratic cabal of bloodthirsty cannibalistic pedophiles controls the United States and the New World Order.

On a one-hour program featuring mainstream advertisers including a local satellite TV provider, a powder coating paint shop, a tobacco store and Shasta Regional Medical Center, Nimmo claimed several times that unnamed teachers are instructing students from kindergarten to fifth grade on how to perform “blowjobs.”

“They don’t care that your child is so dumbed down,” Nimmo said. “At this point, they can’t do basic math, as long as they can perform that blowjob for that pedophile.”

Carl Bott did not return an email asking if Nimmo will be punished and perhaps taken off the air for making the death threat against Chamberlain. Last Sunday’s episode of “Liberty Unabashed” has been removed from the station’s website.

Unfortunately, A News Café’s publisher, writers and even readers have become accustomed to threats from local members of what can loosely be called the MAGA cult begotten by former President Donald Trump and the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, in this story about Shasta County District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones breaking into the board chambers during the pandemic in Aug. 2021, you can view and perhaps even wince at Red, White and Blueprint co-founder Carlos Zapata’s furious verbal assault on Chamberlain.

More recently, Zapata threatened A News Café writer and Chico State University professor Shawn Schwaller for Schwaller’s ongoing series on Zapata’s friend and business partner Nathan Mendes, a law enforcement officer who’s being sued for his alleged role in a dog mauling incident in which local teenager Ryder Klenk was nearly killed.

Schwaller was also threatened by former Shasta County Sheriff’s deputy Greg Walker in July 2021 after Schwaller contacted the sheriff’s office about racist and homophobic posts on Walker’s Facebook page. Walker no longer works for the department.

In another frightening case involving Zapata in October, the mercurial alt-right provocateur telephoned a reader who had commented about Zapata on Facebook and left a message telling him he was on the way over “and not a cop in the world’s gonna stop me from what I’m gonna do to  you, fuckin’ bitch.”

Here’s Zapata’s phone message:

It’s wise to take Zapata’s threats seriously, since he was convicted of misdemeanor disturbing the peace for his role in the assault on local online satirist Nathan Blaze in May 2021.

Terry Rapoza waxing religious at Shasta County Board of Education meeting.

Zapata’s not the only local member of the MAGA tribe with anger issues, as was made abundantly clear at last Wednesday’s meeting of the Shasta County Board of Education, which this reporter watched on video. At the meeting, Christian nationalist gadflies Rich Gallardo, Delores Lucero, Terry and Rally Sally Rapoza and various hangers-on ranted and railed for hours at the board for taking away their imaginary right to deadname transgender students and not use their preferred pronouns.

Christian nationalists believe the United States was founded as a Christian nation and there is no separation between church and state—as long as you’re talking about their church, their God. If not, then all bets are off.

Deadnaming refers to the practice of purposely calling a transgender student by the name they were given at birth instead of their new name. Using the student’s new name and preferred pronouns affirms the student’s perceived gender identity and along with hormone therapy, puberty blockers and transition surgery at the appropriate age has been clinically proven to help reduce the high rate of suicide in young people with gender dysphoria.

No matter what you’ve heard in the great transgender debate during the past several years, this remains the recommended treatment protocol by the vast majority of the medical and mental health professionals who treat transgender patients.

Christian nationalists believe they have a 1st Amendment right under the free exercise clause to deadname and not use the preferred pronouns of any transgender student because they have a deeply held religious belief that transgender and gender nonbinary people don’t exist. There are only two sexes they claim, male and female, as written in the Bible.

Shasta County Board of Education member Authur Gorman.

Newly elected county school board member Authur Gorman made transgender students an issue last month, shortly after he was sworn into the board. The self-incriminating Christian nationalist was incensed that the board had voted 6-1 against him to update the Shasta County Office of Education’s policies on transgender students, including the requirement to call transgender students by their chosen name and pronouns.

Such updates are procedural issues, since this has been settled law since 2014, but Gorman went ballistic and has been calling for the recall of his six fellow board members ever since. Gallardo, Lucero and other entitled cisgender public speakers stretched the board meeting to more than six hours whining about the alleged offense to their religious freedom.

Terry Rapoza’s speech was typically threatening, calling for the financial ruin of board members who don’t listen to his God.

“You all voted for something that with the exception of Authur Gorman that I think is appalling,” said Rapoza, who’s a leading figure in the State of Jefferson secessionist movement. “You violated somebody’s 1st Amendment Rights, their 14th Amendment rights and even though you may have a fund if you get sued … you can be gone after individually … on a felony because you obstructed constitutionally protected rights.

“We don’t have constitutional rights we have god given rights, and these god given rights are ailing,” Rapoza wrongly insisted.

He then offered up a Biblical parable that supposedly proved school administrators, teachers and staff can ignore board policy on transgender students with impunity. In essence, Rapoza is saying his God permits the bullying of transgender students, and if you try to stop him, he’ll sue your pants off and throw you in jail.

That’s why I call such people fascist gadflies. They don’t want freedom. They want control over every aspect of our lives. Virtually the first move made by the Nazis was the burning and looting of the pro-LGBTQ Institute of Sexology in 1933.

“As a citizen you can be arrested for a felony so I would suggest your attorney look those [case numbers] up,” Rapoza continued. “We’re not fooling around. We’re done with situations where people are in office saying one thing and doing another. But now you’re going after our kids. You’re allowing people to go after our kids. You’re allowing unlawful things, ungodly things to happen to our children.”

Rapoza presented zero evidence that any such atrocities are actually happening. Under current federal and state law transgender individuals are a protected class and the greater good of protecting transgender students overrides a school employee’s supposed religious right to deadname transgender students and endanger their lives.

But that won’t stop the lawsuits from coming. In Chico last week, a rightwing Christian law firm, the Center for American Liberty, sued the superintendent and the five board members of the Chico Unified School District on behalf of a mother who claims the district allegedly transitioned her 11-year-old daughter without the mother’s knowledge.

According to federal and state policy public schools are advised to respect the transitioning student’s privacy above all else, including notifying the parents. Some parents may not be accepting of their child’s claim and abuse their child as a result. If the child gives consent, then the parents are notified. Despite Rapoza’s claim that the state is somehow harming transgender students, the policy is designed to protect them from harm from Christian bigots such as Terry Rapoza.

That doesn’t mean the Center for American Liberty’s Chico case won’t succeed. Religious freedom cases have become a cottage industry, the latest legal grift, goaded by the hyper conservative 6-3 majority on the Trump-packed U.S. Supreme Court, which has shown a willingness to hear the most absurd religious freedoms cases.

Law firms such as Center for American Liberty can count on support from anti-transgender Christian physician groups such as the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine for expert testimony in court cases. Longtime anti-LGBTQ activist and Bethel Church elder Dr. Andre Van Mol is a frequent contributor to SEGM’s “research.”

“You don’t seem to understand the trouble you will be in individually,” Rapoza warned the board members. Like Zapata’s threats, Rapoza’s should be taken seriously.

“This is not a threat or people being angry,” Rapoza fibbed. “This is people that believed in you to do the right and moral thing and you haven’t done it. And some of you surprised me, shocked me. You shocked me. How do you go back to your churches and even pretend to be … well it’s because we all want to get along.”

Well, not exactly all of us.

Rally Sally and Terry Rapoza.

To wit, Rapoza’s alleged better half, Sally Rally Rapoza, on Monday sent out a social media call to arms to Shasta County’s MAGA kingdom to attend the Gateway Unified School District’s regular board meeting on Wed. Jan 18 (that’s tonight at 5 p.m.). It is heavily rumored the new MAGA school board majority will hire controversial Christian nationalist Bryan Caples to be the new superintendent.

Caples is controversial in large part because he’s been dismissed from the past three school superintendent positions he’s held during the past decade, often pocketing a six-figure severance settlement from the cash-strapped school happy to be rid of him.

He ran against and was crushed by Shasta County Schools Superintendent Judy Flores in last June’s primary election. Elias Haynes, an appointed member of the Gateway Unified School District board of trustees, supported Caples during the primary campaign.

Haynes’ wife Lindsi and octogenarian homophobe Cherrill Clifford were elected to the Gateway board in November. Their first move was to fire superintendent James Harrell earlier this month.

From the very beginning Gateway insiders were aware Caples was being considered to replace Harrell, but so far no backroom collusion between the new board majority and Caples has been uncovered.

Bryan Caples with newscaster Mike Mangas.

In her call to arms for tonight’s meeting, Rally Sally makes plain who the enemy is: district staff, other board members, and parents. In other words, the very people the Gateway board is supposed to serve.

“The district staff employees, parents, other board members etc. have been the treating the new board majority Lindsi and Elias Haynes and Cherrill Clifford horribly, obstructing, ignoring official duties, delaying, harassing, filing ‘cease and desist’ orders etc. etc,” Rapoza said.

Rapoza failed to mention the public’s disenchantment with the board was due to its numerous violations of the Brown Act in just three meetings.

“This will be the most contentious meeting yet and there have been some bad ones,” Rapoza said. “I need as many citizens as possible to show up EARLY to fill up that board room BEFORE the libtards do and support the new Board members.”

Then Rapoza issued yet another threat to anyone not in her camp planning to attending the meeting.

Keep in mind, at the meeting in early January Rich Gallardo illegally brandished a stun gun. Police were called and he was told to put it in his car. When a district member complained to board members, at least one of the board members forwarded the complaint to Gallardo, who sent the district member a threatening email.

Longtime board members Phil Lewis and Dale Wallace both said they never contacted Gallardo. That leaves the Haynes and Clifford, who didn’t respond to my emails.

Gateway’s MAGA majority: Cherril Clifford, Lindsi Haynes and Elias Haynes.

Rapoza then proceeded to request for what sounds like a makeshift militia to police tonight’s meeting.

“I also need as many citizens as possible to show up to keep the peace (you know what I mean),” she said. “I will have a security briefing at 1630 in the parking lot. I will have extra flashlights, radios, earpieces, etc. Bring your own if you have them.

“Most of you will be there to observe and report however there will be a small number of us ready and willing to go hands on with disrupters (if needed).

“I’d like to get 10-20 folks for this mission, I have about 5 now.

“Show up and support the new Gateway Board who are willing to make the hard choices to transform their educational system away from its current failed state.”

Nobody elected or hired Terry and Rally Sally Rapoza to run security at Gateway Unified School District board meetings. The Rapozas, the Gallardo brothers, Delores Lucero, Lori Bridgeford roam from public meeting to public meeting claiming to speak for all of us when in actuality they only speak for their own extremely narrow points of view. They’ve been cajoling and threatening ordinary citizens for more than three years now.

It’s only a matter of time before their unchecked threats of violence and economic mayhem result in tragedy and financial loss.

“If you want to imagine the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever,” George Orwell said. Matt Nimmo, the hate radio host on Carl Bott’s station, claims he won’t lick that boot, he’ll kill Doni Chamberlain, a journalist, first.

He doesn’t realize he’s the one dressed in jack boots. It’s entirely possible he and his ilk never will.

Which means the rest of us are in big trouble.

See you at the meeting!

###

Phil Fountain

Phil Fountain is a pseudonym for ANC’s prodigal cartoonist, Philbert Phountain, who has recently returned from a working hiatus where he served as the lead fact-checker for George Santos. He lives in Shasta County with his long-suffering wife, Christine, as well as a variety of layabouts and urchins who claim to be his progeny … including three grandchildren. He busies himself with his crayons and obsessing over the fate of his favorite baseball team while a small dog sleeps under his desk. He’s actually not such a bad guy as evidenced by the fact the dog rarely bites him anymore. Look for his crudely rendered drawings in future posts on A News Café.

If you appreciate journalist R.V. Scheide’s reporting and Phil Fountain’s cartoons, please consider a contribution to A News Cafe. Thank you!

R.V. Scheide

R.V. Scheide is an award-winning journalist who has covered news, politics, music, arts and culture in Northern California for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in the Tenderloin Times, Sacramento News & Review, Reno News & Review, Chico News & Review, North Bay Bohemian, San Jose Metro, SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, Alternet, Boston Phoenix, Creative Loafing and Counterpunch, among many other publications. His honors include winning the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Freedom of Information Act and best columnist awards as well as best commentary from the Society of Professional Journalists, California chapter. Mr. Scheide welcomes your comments and story tips. Contact him at RVScheide@anewscafe.com..

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