Tuesday, it seemed the only things missing from the dramatically damning litany of Supervisor Kevin Crye’s recall-worthy transgressions recited by retired Shasta County Public Defender Jeff Gorder were handcuffs and the words, “You have the right to remain silent”.
A crimson-faced Crye did remain silent as Gorder, spokesman for Shasta County Citizens For Stable Government, methodically explained during the Shasta County Board of Supervisors public comment period why Crye, who’s been a supervisor barely four months, should be recalled.
Shasta Citizens for Stable Government’s recall-reasons were expounded upon in its earlier press release that presented three categories: Crye gambled with the people’s vote. Crye wasted the people’s money. Crye destabilized the people’s home of Shasta County.
As Gorder leveled the charges against Crye, recall supporter Tim Hill deftly dropped the intent-to-recall papers in front of Crye’s seat on the dais, where Crye eyed them as if they were dusted with Anthrax.
Sitting a few feet from District 1 Supervisor Crye on the dais, a somber District 5 Supervisor Chris Kelstrom looked down and away. District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman appeared stunned. District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones, the board’s chair? He grinned.
Look up sociopath in the dictionary and you might see Jones’ photo.
Let us count the ways
Since Crye’s January swearing-in event, Crye has racked up a host of stunningly destructive decisions at breakneck speed. He galivanted off to Minnesota on the county’s tab to visit MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for hand-counted-ballot advice. By the way, although the public paid for his jaunt, Crye has still not disclosed exactly that happened on that trip.
Following his Lindell visit, in short order Crye introduced to Shasta County a number of election-machine-denying Lindell pals, such as Alexander Haberbush and Clint Curtis, each of whom were graciously granted by Chair Jones permission to speak well over the public’s 3-minute allotments.
Shasta County drew accolades and attention from such organizations as New California State that recognized the traditionally conservative North State region as a place ripe for an ultra-right makeover.
Jones’ claim that he knew nothing about Curtis and Haberbush’s Shasta County arrival fell flat after Crye’s assistant Carolyn Gomes rushed to the lectern to announce that Haberbush would stay a little longer outside the chambers for those who wished to speak with him.
When Supervisor Rickert asked Gomes how to spell Alexander’s last name. Jones — never to be mistaken as a spelling bee scholar – spoke up and quickly rattled off “H-A-B-E-R-B-U-S-H. Bush. B-U-S-H.”
Crye was also the self-appointed Shasta County election-denier liaison ambassador between himself and Michigan hand-count devotee Linda Rantz, also a Lindell pal, who wrote a nationally discredited handbook about the subject. Crye stacked the deck with electric-voting-machine deniers who met with Shasta County Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen, which likely was as welcome to Darling Allen as a root canal minus anesthesia.
But Crye didn’t just invite extremist election-denying hand-count fanatics to Shasta County. Text messages secured through A News Cafe’s records requests reveal Crye frequently communicated with some of those people privately, too, even from the dais during board meetings.
“Great meeting you and great work today,” wrote Haberbush to Crye the evening of Tues. March 28, which happened to be the same day as a marathon Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting.
“Let me know if you need anything from me re the Thursday meeting of the BOS,” responded Crye, as if he worked for Lindell, not Shasta County.
Crye, who’s paid to be a supervisor; is also paid to invest his full, undivided attention to board business during board meetings, has also texted with Lindell during meetings, even during pending votes, which seems inappropriate at best and unethical at worst.
But these messages explain a lot about Crye’s behavoir during board meetings, when his head is down and both hands are out of view behind the dais.
At least I thought he was texting.
In one especially cringeworthy text exchange with Lindell that bordered on a courtship move, Crye makes a shameless pitch for Lindell to watch Crye’s shmaltzy self-promotion video.
“I made this little documentary as a thank-you to my election team,” Crye texted his MyPillow friend. “It’s 15 minuets [sic] if you’re ever bored.”
“If you’re ever bored.”
So very sad; pathetic, really.
For one thing, we’ve seen Crye’s cornball video. It’s a case study in self-aggrandizing previsionist documentation, not about giving two squirts about his “election team”. Besides, wouldn’t his election team already know all about Kevin Crye’s Road to Victory?
If that slick, highly produced video were really intended for his election team, it would be more along the lines of:
Thanks, team, for believing in me, even though I lied about my residential status, and even though I have a reputation as a hot-headed bully, with women in particular. And thanks for not calling me out on the fact that I never miss an opportunity to raise myself up by tossing others into the wood chipper, and I sure appreciate that you didn’t openly judge me when I used the solemn presentation of an old combat veteran’s challenge coin as a personal springboard to my favorite topic: Me. Kevin Crye.
(The video below contains Crye’s exploitation of the veteran’s challenge coin. Go to the 02:05 mark)
First ditch Dominion, then scrutinize hand-count costs
Undoubtedly, one of Supervisor Crye’s most catastrophic choices came within his first month in office when he voted with the board’s majority to cancel the county’s Dominion Voting Systems.
The reckless trio — Crye, Chris Kelstrom and Patrick Jones — forged ahead with their nonsensical partisan ideological crapshoot, despite the lack of a contingency plan or an election-ensuring safety net once Dominion was banished from Shasta County. They ignored informed advice, complex reports and data-filled analysis that beseeched the supervisors to not ditch the Dominion machines; educated opinions expressed by the county’s registrar of voters, the state’s deputy secretary of state, voting rights advocates, disability rights groups, county counsel, voting machine representatives, and oh yeah, a majority of public speakers at supervisors meetings.
Crye – who blithely demonstrates public disrespect and open disdain for District 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert, a 70-year-old rancher and grandmother – regularly disregards Rickert’s logical confidence in the Dominion voting system; which Rickert based upon decades’ of historical proof that the Dominion voting system had not just served Shasta County well, but it was also the system in place when each of the Dominion-denying supervisors were voted into office.
Crye’s in good company on the dais with master misogynist Patrick Jones, whose specialty is gaslighting, such when Jones ignores Rickert’s call button, or talks over her when when she’s attempting to speak, and then denies that he did any such thing. Classic textbook gaslighting.
Crye’s destruction-derby Dominion decision was only Crye’s foreplay foray to the big bang; when he put the county at risk for being royally screwed and sued six ways from Sunday when he endorsed CEO applicant Chriss Street for the county’s top position.
Luckily for Shasta County, we dodged a major bullet when Street was ultimately rejected in the supervisors’ recent 5-0 vote following background-check results that ended up so sobering they even convinced the deranged board majority that Street was a very bad idea. Another black mark against Crye by association with Street was a Redding Police Department complaint filed against Street by a teenage girl’s parents on her behalf related to an incident at the Shasta Family YMCA.
According RPD Captain Ron Icely, the investigation was closed due to lack of sufficient evidence.
Even so, as much as Crye now feigns total amnesia regarding his former Street infatuation, the damage is done, and the dirty Street genie is out of the lamp. We’re now stuck with a pissed-off scorned Street who shows up at supervisors meetings where he flings more indiscriminate crap than an aged, crazed, flea-bitten orangutan.
Crye’s abysmal judgment about Street set the welcome mat out for a suit-happy jobless joker who’s now infiltrated Shasta County as a self-identified whistle blower who seems hell-bent on ransacking the place in search of pay dirt and myriad ways to sue Shasta County into total bankruptcy.
If this technique rings a bell, it’s because Street’s grudge against Shasta County is reminiscent of Reverge Anselmo’s vendetta against Shasta County after Anselmo’s refusal to comply with basic county building codes resulted in the loss of his exclusive eastern Shasta County vineyard, restaurant and chapel compound. Who knows, maybe Street and Anselmo are already acquaintances and will join forces and resources to take down Shasta County.
God help us if that’s true.
Street’s illogical beef with rancher Rickert
Ever since Street lost his bid as Shasta County’s CEO, he’s demonstrated and verbalized an inexplicable obsession with using Rickert as his verbal punching bag, chockfull of baseless accusations about her. Why is Street so angry with Rickert? That question was addressed recently by a member of the Shasta County Thought you Should Know Facebook page:
“So can someone tell me why this stupid Chriss person has a vendetta against Mary LaSalle Rickert? He tries to slander her … since he did not get the CEO job!”
A number of people offered their best guesses:
She is smarter, better educated, classier, and more successful…and actually a REAL rancher….all cows…no hat.
They all hate Mary Rickert because she has them all out gunned and out classed at every level.
Because she’s a woman, no less…!!!
I’m leaning towards the Reverge technique.
He has a vendetta against Mary because she smelled a rat right from the beginning, obviously. Mary would never support someone who had a fraud conviction against them for 7 million dollars, or any amount, for that matter. Nor would she support anyone who was in support of tearing this state apart. She is the only Supervisor on that Board who has been consistently ethical. He plans to take her down as a result because he thinks she is personally responsible for the Board changing their mind about him. She could never convince the three extremists to change their mind about anything. The real truth about why they changed their mind is a mystery, and it certainly has nothing to do with the YMCA.
He does it because we have 3 spineless nuts sitting on our BOS.
All are interesting points. Basically, it’s noteworthy that Rickert, who’s in the cattle business, knows BS when she smells it. She saw through Street’s bull. Therefore, she didn’t choose him as CEO.
You may recall a recent supervisors meeting when a relatively kinder, gentler Street spoke during the public comment period. Then, he was in easy-Street, margarine-wouldn’t-melt-in his-mouth mode. His obsequious words kissed the proverbial keisters of supervisors Crye, Jones, Kelstrom and Garman, followed by a scalding, baseless rebuke of Rickert out of left field.
It was almost as if Street believed the decision to hire him wasn’t final; as if he believed he might have another shot at becoming CEO, despite the rejection he learned of via media.
Either way, Street has no use for Rickert. If he’s learned anything about Rickert, it’s that she’s a person of strength and scruples; someone uninclined to succumb to intimidation tactics. Street knows she won’t change her mind about him. At least he knows that much is true.
Red flag No. 1
Back to Crye.
Finally, although it wasn’t mentioned among the recaller’s copious collection of sound justifications for kicking Crye to the curb, it’s helpful to turn back time to when Crye first announced his intention to run for office.
Like any new relationship, it’s helpful to keep a lookout for red flags, and then proceed accordingly if the coast is clear.
Crye’s Day-1 campaign-declaration began with a flaming red-flag lie. He claimed he lived in District 1 (former Supervisor Joe Chimenti’s district), when in fact at the time he resided in District 4 (current Chair Jones’ district), which he later made right via a contorted residential hokey-pokey game that meant his wife lost their District 4 dream home so Crye could cram his entire family — dog and all — into a District 1 townhouse. By hook or by crook, that’s how much Crye HAD to have that supervisor seat.
Lots of costs; no rewards
What made Tuesday’s meeting the perfect day to serve Crye with intent to recall papers was it was also the day when Erin Bertain, Shasta County’s deputy county executive officer, gave a depressing presentation about the needs and costs for a full hand-tally process for Shasta County elections.
Bertain itemized everything related to any anticipated and expected costs to the county, directly as a result of Crye, Kelstrom and Jones’ willfully ignorant decision to cancel the county’s Dominion contract, even in the face of a mountain of information that guarantees hand-counts take longer, hand-counts cost more and hand-counts are less reliable. Bertain emphasized there were many unknows that could drive the costs even higher.
After watching Bertain’s presentation, Crye flipped to a Jekyll-and-Crye personality change when he launched into a pseudo give-a-damn performance that included amped-up gotcha moves and nickle-and-dime nitpicking about the costs of hand-counters.
How rich is that? He amputates Dominion from Shasta County’s election department – which is like hacking off all its limbs — and then he rakes over the coals the very women charged with trying to stitch together a functioning system, and yet here comes Crye, who interrogates them like hostile witnesses, as if they’re the cause of this problem. They are not the problem. Crye is the problem. Crye caused the disaster. Crye broke the system.
Yet now Crye has the unmitigated gall to criticize the women left to fix messes left behind when Crye hopped into bed with the Pillow Guy and joined forces with Jones and Kelstrom to reject Dominion. Seriously. It’s sheer madness.
So for the second time in a few months, Crye needled Joanna Francescut, the assistant county clerk, during Crye’s sudden interest in how much the county would pay elections helpers.
Crye picked up speed and nailed Francescut with questions and repeated interruptions that prevented Francescut from fully completing her replies.
Crye: So you’re asking me to vote on something and then get the information later, but that’s what this becomes … and then the secretary of state still is working with your office about what these regulations are going to be, right?
Francescut: Yes … corr …
Crye: Do we have any more information on when they’re going to set that moving target?
Francescut: I do not have that moving target set. I had my staff …
Crye: So you agree it’s a moving target.
Francescut: It’s not a target that’s in place yet …
Crye: So it’s moving…
On and on it went as Crye grilled Francescut, an educated, experienced, professional, articulate elections office employee about things he would have known had he just read the materials provided by Cathy Darling Allen.
Oh yeah. I forgot. Crye hates to read.
In a similar fashion, Chair Jones, who recently boasted during a board meeting that he was a computer hacker at age 15, which is why he knows so much about voting machines (yeah, right) cast doubt and aspersions upon Bertain’s cost predictions.
How disingenuous of Jones to fritter away millions of dollars of public money for a recipe for election disaster when our county employees are begging for higher wages and better healthcare; only to give lip service that he cares about the very workers he ignores.
No doubt the reason Crye and Jones pushed back so forcefully against Bertain — the messenger — and her numbers is because the men were embarrassed to hear the bottom line figure of more than $3 million dollars for 2024/2025 elections. That’s money county staff must now miraculously pull from some imaginary magical pot of extra general fund money to compensate for the board majority’s cataclysmic decision to get rid of a perfectly fine voting system.
At the start of the supervisors’ Tuesday lunch break, Gorder and some of his fellow recall proponents gathered outside for a jovial press conference. There, Gorder provided additional details about the proposed recall, its timeline and the ultimate plan: remove Crye from office and replace him with a moderate, rational county representative.
A few things stood out: First, Gorder made a point of describing their group as a cross-section of Shasta County citizens of diverse backgrounds, political affiliations, cultures and ages. When a question arose about who might replace Crye in the event (when) he’s recalled, Gorder said prospective candidates could be Republicans, Democrats, Independents or any other party affiliation.
By the way, Gorder said that the group’s unscientific poll among District 1 voters revealed that about 90 percent of respondents were unhappy with Crye, and approved of his recall.
With that in mind, it appears that Crye, who prides himself on being a winner, is striking out, surrounded by losers.
Loser No. 1 is Crye’s My-Pillow pal, Mike Lindell, who’s in dire financial trouble, and is losing millions of dollars each day.
Loser No. 2 is Chriss Street, Crye’s pick for Shasta County CEO, an endorsement so unthinkable that Crye’s judgment is once again called into question.
Loser No. 3 will be Crye himself. Considering the fact that Crye only won his November election by 90 votes, and given his blatant departure from his false campaign promises during the last few months, it’s likely scores of District 1 citizens who unwittingly fell for Crye’s campaign con job will gladly climb aboard the recall train and drive Crye out of office.
Rickert puts the emotion in final Dominion motion
Armed with the staff’s financial sucker-punch estimate of how much money Shasta County must cough up to fund an irrational majority’s nightmare vote, Supervisor Rickert made yet another motion Tuesday for the board to come to its collective senses, rescind the previous vote to dump the Dominion machines and start all over again.
She expressed anger that the decision to cancel the county’s perfectly functioning Dominion system was based upon some supervisors’ “feelings” of mistrust.
“I have a hard time wrapping my head around that … There were 60 court cases that were thrown out disproving that there was anything wrong with Dominion machines,” Rickert said.
“I also feel the board should have considered all this information before making this decision.”
As most of the audience applauded, Rickert made yet another motion to bring the vote back to the board to rescind the former Dominion voting system.
But, rather than second Rickert’s motion, as Supervisor Garman’s done before, this time Garman chickened out. He claimed he didn’t see the point in seconding Rickert’s motion because board members had all clearly stated their positions on the subject numerous times.
So rather than manning up and standing with Rickert — the board’s moral compass and voice of reason and logic– Garman lectured the three stooges about how awful it was that they removed the Dominion system, without a solid plan in place. Meaningless blah, blah, blah. No action.
I’ll take a mute man who takes action to do the right thing over a spineless bloviator any day.
We could venture a guess for Garman’s backpedaling away from Rickert. He’s being eviscerated on social media by alt-right folks who thought Garman knew that he was a hand puppet bought and paid for with Red, White and Blueprint money. Every time Garman’s vote agrees with Rickert’s, the social media mobsters attack Garman.
And like this …
And this …
For the record, Supervisor Rickert – and former Distrist 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty – endured messages like those, and worse over the last three years. Calls for hanging, threats of “being fucked with a brick” to Rickert’s face, promises of beatings with rebar, “dirt naps”, back-alley meetings, trips to the “train station” and more. Yes, this is their idea of conflict resolution.
So, yes, Rickert knows all about personal attacks, but yet she persists, shows up, stands up and speaks up. Moty did the same, but the mob took him down and destroyed his career.
Those who didn’t believe Moty could be recalled, who said Moty would be fine, who wouldn’t publicly defend him, who couldn’t be bothered to vote; this is on you, too.
Once again, Rickert’s motion to rescind the Dominion cancellation vote died from a lack of a second, but she wasn’t done.
“I just want to say that this is going to be your legacy,” an obviously disgusted Rickert said as she looked to the men on the dais.
“I’m horrified with what’s happening in Shasta County. We have people that need money. We have employees that would like a raise. We have all kinds of needs … I can’t even think of the words. It’s an irresponsible, reckless decision.”
Jones jumped on the word “legacy”.
“This will be our legacy,” Jones said. “We’re going to have free and fair elections in Shasta County. Apparently money seems to be more important than making sure our elections are fair.”
When some audience members yelled their disagreement with Jones’ statement, a scowling, pursed-lipped Jones fumbled franticly on the dais to reach his gavel, which he slammed down forcefully as he demanded quiet in the chambers, and continued his speech.
“All right,” Jones said. “So this will be our legacy.”
Following Jones’ statement of pride in the board’s legacy, Crye resumed his give-a-damn performance, complete with financial nit-picking regarding whether staff hired by the county to help with the hand-count elections could be volunteers, rather than those paid minimum wage.
When pressed for a vote on staff’s employment recommendations, Crye fell back to a now-common tactic that’s earned him the nickname “kick the can Crye” for his propensity for avoiding uncomfortable topics by requesting it be delayed for a few weeks, ostensibly for his “research”.
Tuesday, Supervisor Kelstrom, who often appears aggravated by Crye’s recurring can-kicking postponements, urged the supervisors to adopt staff recommendations and get an elections system in place ASAP so Darling Allen and her tiny staff could begin the nearly impossible new election process immediately.
However, Jones sided with Crye, and said he didn’t mind a few weeks more before a final acceptance of the staff recommendations.
With that Rickert repeated what she’s said for some months; that the board majority is setting Darling Allen and her elections staff up to fail in an no-win situation.
“I don’t like that,” Rickert said. “She’s already been put in a terrible position. If you’re going to act on this, and put someone in this position, then stand up and follow through and get going. She’s going to be under stress, the staff’s going to be under stress, and I don’t like that.”
Garman agreed with Rickert and directed his comments to Crye.
“You’ve made your bed, and now you have to lie in it,” Garman said. “It’s going to cost us a lot, there’s no way getting around that.”
Acting interim CEO Mary Williams reminded supervisors that they’d previously directed staff to formulate a hand-count election-plan recommendation, which was precisely what staff did. Williams suggested supervisors allow staff to move forward without delay to implement the plan they’d requested in the first place.
“All our staff asks is that you give us the resources necessary to be able to carry it out,” Williams added.
Crye used that moment for a long-delayed respond to Rickert’s earlier use of the word “legacy”.
“I don’t want anyone speaking as to what I think my legacy is,” Crye said.
“My legacy is not going to be in politics. My legacy is going to be how I serve the Lord, how I love my wife, how I took care of my kids, and how I treated others that needed opportunities. That’s my legacy. Politics, none of this stuff, this isn’t my legacy. I don’t stand on this. This is – and I don’t want to disrespect Supervisor Rickert or Supervisor Jones, but anybody who would say their legacy is politics is uh — and I understand Chair Jones, what you’re saying about the political legacy part — but I think we have to start understanding as individuals what our legacies truly are, and where our commitments truly lie. That’s to me my faith first, my family second and definitely children.”
Rickert, with a bemused expression upon her face, told Crye that she was referring to his political legacy.
“I don’t talk about my personal life up here and I don’t plan to,” she said.
Time to recall Crye
The grassroots citizen movement to recall Supervisor Kevin Crye is going full speed ahead. Every time Crye makes another dupid (duped+stupid) move or vote that harms the county and her people, Crye gains a longer list of District 1 constituents who regret ever voting for him.
Of course, Crye is aware of the recall attempts. He was interviewed on KRCR interview yesterday with a double-header offence of denial and victimhood. He’s already spearheaded a fundraiser to battle the recall.
If nothing else, it’ll make for some colorful footage for Part 2, Kevin Crye’s Road to Victory.
However, based upon unscientific District 1 polling, if Cyre rides out the recall process through Election Day’s bitter end – and it will be bitter – Crye will lose miserably. The humiliation to Crye and his family will be profound.
Therefore, the best, most logical thing Crye can do for everyone is to take the high road and resign immediately. He’s made it no secret that he struggles with the volume of reading demands, not to mention that his heavy load of supervisor duties interferes with his family life, especially his young son. Maybe Crye can reclaim his wife’s District 4 dream home.
Or perhaps Crye can move to Minnesota and join the MyPillow guy, where Crye can climb the alt-right, antigovernmental celebrity ladder. One rung at a time. With any luck he’ll take supervisors Jones and Kelstrom with him.
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