Kevin Crye Potential-Recall Q&A: ‘Crye Betrayed District 1 Voters’

Jeff Gorder photo by Mike Chapman for A News Cafe.

Please join me in welcoming retired lawyer/public defender Jeff Gorder, one of many community members who’s led the charge to recall District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye.

Jeff Gorder. Photo by Mike Chapman for A News Cafe.

For several months, Gorder has been a  frequent speaker during public comment periods.

Jeff Gorder speaks during a Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting. Photo by Mike Chapman for A News Cafe.

Gorder earned his law degree from Santa Clara University in 1984. He and his wife moved to Redding from the Bay Area in 1990, soon after which Gorder went to work for an attorney who had a contract with the County to provide public defender services. Gorder was in private practice until 2005. He became the department head in 2009 and worked in that capacity until he retired in 2018.

Q: Thanks, Jeff, for taking the time to answer some questions for A News Cafe today. Can you please begin by telling a bit about the Recall Kevin Crye project?

The Recall Kevin Crye project evolved out of a few meetings put together by a group of people who were calling themselves the  “Shasta Citizens for Stable Government.”

These were people who were really concerned about the direction the Board was taking the County, as evidenced by the termination of the Dominion Voting Systems contract and the attempt to pass what we thought was an unconstitutional Second Amendment Resolution.

The idea of a recall really didn’t start in earnest until about mid- to late March when it became clear that Mr. Crye was not who he’d portrayed himself to be, and that he was determined to make reckless and fiscally irresponsible decisions despite his campaign claims to the contrary.

Dist. 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye

Q: Can you list a sample of the reasons you and your fellow Recall Kevin Crye group members justify recalling Crye?

 At the top of the list is the termination of the Dominion Voting Systems contract. To our knowledge, he didn’t even mention that issue during his campaign but he has obviously bought into the misinformation being spread by the election deniers.

Our voting system was reliable, trustworthy and cost-effective and to destroy it like he did without any forethought, planning or consideration of the practical and financial consequences was unbelievable. Nobody with any common sense or reasonable judgment does that. That decision is going to cost the County millions and millions of dollars that could have been spent on other County priorities.

(b). Another reason was the effort to hire Chriss Street as CEO. Mr. Crye campaigned on the idea that the CEO hiring was going to be one of his major decisions and top priorities. The fact that Mr. Crye promoted and initially considered hiring the guy who is second-in-charge of “New California State,” a group that wants to split Shasta County from California and create a 51st state, was mind-boggling.

Chriss Street responds to Mike Mangas of KRCR for an interview. Photo source: KRCR video screengrab.

(c.) Finally, there was his failure to immediately vote “no” on Mr. Jones’ unconstitutional Second Amendment Resolution. Rather than rely on County Counsel’s advice that the Resolution as proposed by Mr. Jones was unlawful, Mr. Crye abstained from voting on the issue because he wanted to consult with his private attorney to see what his personal liability would be if he voted “yes.”

Q: What’s the logic behind recalling just Crye, and not Chris Kelstrom and Patrick Jones, supervisors who’ve also committed voting atrocities?

You’re right. Jones and Kelstrom also voted along with Mr. Crye on the voting system debacle. However, our resources and time are limited and the majority of the support for a recall has come from District 1 residents.

Mr. Crye betrayed District 1 voters by not following through on his campaign promises that he would be a fiscal conservative and a unifier and healer, so we decided to focus the recall effort on him.

Q: What’s the recall process and timeline? If the recall is successful, what’s the earliest he could be removed from office?

Shasta County District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye, left, is served with a notice of intent to recall by Tim Hill, secretary of the recall group, during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. (Photo by Michael Chapman/A News Cafe)

The timeline began when we served Mr. Crye with our Notice of Intent to recall on April 25. It’s a somewhat complicated timeline and difficult to predict what the actual timeline will be because there are a lot of contingencies.

We filed our proposed Petition for Recall, which is the document we would use to gather signatures, on May 3. It will be at least until May 16 that the Petition can be approved and it might take longer than that depending on whether any changes need to be made. Once the Petition is approved we’ll have up to 120 days to gather the 6,000 or so signatures we want to get.

Best case scenario is that we get the recall on the Nov. 7 ballot but that will be a very tight timeline for us to meet. The earliest he could be removed is when the Clerk/Registrar of Voters certifies that the recall has been successful.

Q: Assuming Crye is recalled, who will replace him?

Kevin Crye awaits his town hall meeting’s start as A News Cafe videographer Alan Ernesto Phillips resorts to using a cell phone to take photos after Crye requested ANC not use Ernesto-Phillips’ professional video equipment. Photo by Doni Chamberlain.

That’s a good question. Typically, the Governor would appoint someone to serve in the position until the next general election is held for that seat. However, if we can get Mr. Crye recalled by December, 2023, it appears that we may be able to get the election for the District 1 supervisorial seat on the March 5, 2024 ballot. If that is the case, we would probably recommend that Governor Newsom just leave the seat vacant for 3 months until the election. At the latest, the election for the District 1 seat would occur on November 5, 2024 and the Governor could appoint someone to serve until that time. Interested candidates can apply for the open position and our Committee can make recommendations regarding a replacement if we chose to do so.

Q: That last piece of new information you provided is a game-changer, since Crye is claiming the recall efforts are a liberal ruse for Newsom to replace Crye.

You have probably heard that many people believe you — Jeff Gorder — should throw your hat in the ring to assume Crye’s soon-to-be-vacated supervisor seat. I confess that I’m among those people. You’ve proved yourself unintimidated by the three, and use facts to prove the absurdity of many of the opponents arguments. No pressure, but would you consider filling that District 1 seat?

I wouldn’t say I’ve heard that many people support that idea, but I have seen that a few, including you, have said that. I really don’t have any interest in throwing my hat in the ring. I was enjoying a quiet retirement until late February when I got off the couch and decided to speak out regularly about what the Board and Mr. Crye were doing. My focus is to do what I can to recall Mr. Crye and try and restore a rational, commonsensical, non-ideological decision-making process to the Board.

Q: Former District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty was recalled in a lie-based election. What are the differences between the Leonard Moty recall and Kevin Crye’s?

There are some procedural differences because of the change in law this year, and of course there are significant differences in the reasons put forth for the recall. The major procedural difference is that there is no election for the successor if the recall is successful.

Q: Only District 1 voters can vote in this recall election, but are there other activities voters from other districts can do to help the cause, correct?

Yes. Voters from other districts can help us in a number of ways. Of course, they can donate money to the cause. They can volunteer by helping to staff signature-gathering booths or walking neighborhoods to gather signatures; and they can encourage any friends and family who live in District 1 to support our cause.

They can go to our website recallkevincrye.org to donate, volunteer or subscribe to our newsletter or keep up on planned events. It’s important to remember that Mr. Crye’s reckless actions have affected and will continue to affect all of Shasta County, not just District 1.

 Again, they can go to recallkevincrye.org and they’ll find updates, and upcoming events, and how to donate, volunteer and subscribe to our newsletter and get on our email list to keep in the loop.

Q: What else would you like the public to know?

Supervisor Crye allowed Jeff Gorder, left, to ask a question from Gorder’s list of many questions that remained unanswered at Crye’s town hall event following his public-funded visit with Mike Lindell.

This is a non-partisan effort. The backers of the recall are Democrats, Republicans, No-Party-Preference, and Independents. And while Mr. Crye has only been in office for 4 months, he’s done great damage to the County already and will continue to do so if we don’t act to recall him now.

We can’t sit by and let 3 ½ years pass before we vote him out. This is a County-wide effort and we need everyone’s help to make the recall happen.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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