District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye of Redding is one of 18 featured speakers attending Michael Lindell’s “Election Crime Bureau Summit” Aug. 16-17 at University Plaza in Springfield, Missouri.
Apparently, Crye’s self-described “nothing burger” face-to-face meeting in late March with MyPillow mogul Lindell resulted in a personal invite to be Shasta County’s poster boy at Lindell’s third annual election denier symposium.
However, the symposium was never mentioned by “Mr. Transparency” Crye earlier this month when two of five Shasta County Supervisors attempted to postpone Tuesday’s regularly scheduled board meeting because board chair and District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones would be unable to attend the meeting and Crye said he also had personal business elsewhere.
When pressed by vice chair Tim Garman, Supervisor of District 2, and District 4 Supervisor Mary Rickert during the board’s regularly scheduled Aug. 1 meeting, Crye said he planned to attend a Fire-Rescue International trade show in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday and Tuesday because he is the Chief Executive Officer of EndlessRope, a company that sells exercise and core strengthening equipment popular with firefighters and other first responders as well as athletes.
The 150th anniversary of Fire Rescue International’s trade show and symposiums attracts thousands of prominent fire and emergency service leaders from across North America and around the world to learn, network and collaborate on techniques, equipment, apparatus, technology, gear and political action.
“My vice president has a family emergency, and as CEO of EndlessRope, one of my companies, I have to attend that event,” Crye said.
“I need to attend for personal business reasons, so it would be appreciated if you could accommodate my request. With all of the meetings we have as county supervisors, it’s really taking a huge hit on all of my companies,” he continued.
“I did have a secondary purpose, but I won’t go into that here,” Crye said, his voice trailing off.
Now we know why.
Crye’s earlier trip to visit Lindell in Minnesota, paid for by Shasta County taxpayers, drew loads of criticism from citizens who flocked to board meetings to freely share their less than complimentary opinions.
Here’s how A News Cafe journalist R.V. Scheide described it:
“In early March, weeks after Jones, Crye, and District 5 Supervisor Chris Kelstrom voted to terminate the county’s contract with Dominion Voting Systems, potentially disenfranchising 110,000 registered voters, we learned that Crye has been getting election advice straight from Lindell, sometimes during board meetings. Crye infamously flew to Lindell’s home state of Minnesota seeking counsel on hand counting and billed taxpayers for the trip,” Scheide wrote.
A motion on Aug. 1 to reschedule the Aug. 15 meeting failed 2 – 2 since Kelstrom was absent due to a fishing and vacationing trip to Alaska with a son who recently graduated high school, Kelstrom explained at a later meeting.
By Aug. 4, during a special Friday board meeting attended by all five supervisors, Crye said he was able to juggle his travel schedule and find a redeye flight leaving late Tuesday, thus allowing him to attend the 9 a.m. board meeting earlier that same day.
Still not a whisper from Crye, however, on what his secondary purpose might be for traveling halfway across the country.
On Saturday, Lindell released a publicity poster for his upcoming event featuring Crye’s name and photograph along with such other notables as Lou Dobbs, Steve Bannon, Dr. Doug Frank, Jeffrey O’Donnell, former Justice Michael Gableman, Rudy Giuliani, former General Mike Flynn, Ken Paxton, David Clements, Sharronna Bishop and Mike Lindell, among others.
Now, the proverbial cat was out of the bag!
Springfield, Mo., is located 1,968 miles from Redding and Kansas City. Mo., is 1,765 miles distant, according to Google Maps.
Although in the same state, the two cities are 166 miles apart with Springfield south and slightly east of Kansas City, a distance that takes 2 hours and 41 minutes to drive one way or a 3-hour-and-45 minute flight from northern Kansas City to the Springfield-Branson Airport due to a required stopover elsewhere.
Crye will apparently attend Lindell’s third annual election-denier symposium even though news reports of the two previous events each held their share of cringeworthy moments.
Right-wing media figure and a former political strategist in the Donald Trump White House early on, Steve Bannon hammered Lindell’s first Cyber Symposium in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for “failing to prove voter fraud” in the 2020 presidential election, reported Daniel Villarreal in the Aug. 11, 2021, issue of Newsweek magazine.
Prior to the symposium, Lindell claimed his technology experts or “cyber guys” would reveal how “packet captures” of 37 terabytes of computer data sent by China flipped votes from the incumbent Trump to challenger Joe Biden.
Lindell even said he would give $5 million to any cyber expert, reporter or politician who could refute his findings. There was one caveat. That person was required to attend the event in person,
Lindell’s oft-repeated claims that Dominion Voting Systems machines helped rig the election results finally compelled Dominion to file a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Lindell, who countersued Dominion for $1.6 billion on claims the company’s lawsuit was violating his personal Constitutional rights to Freedom of Speech.
Hmmm. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Later at the same 2021 event, Lindell criticized multiple news outlets, including Fox News, for failing to run his advertisements promoting the event.
Dominion also sued Fox News Corporation and its parent company for $1.6 billion, but eventually settled out of court for approximately half that amount.
Lindell even fled the stage midway through the first day of the 2021 event when a news organization reported the Dominion settlement and indicated company would continue forward with its lawsuit against Lindell, reported attendee John Whitehouse, who used the social media name @existential fish.
Turns out, Trump lost the 2020 election by more than 7 million votes and 74 Electoral College votes.
By early Thursday morning, Lindell reported to the Sioux Falls Police Department that someone assaulted him at his hotel near the symposium site at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a police spokesperson told The Associated Press.
Lindell later claimed the event crowd was infiltrated by Antifa thugs who were trying to sabotage the event, according to a notice sent out via email on Lindell’s website Frank with the subject: “Mike Lindell and His Cyber Symposium Attacked — Please Share Everywhere,” according to an online newsletter report filed by Grace Dean and published by Business Insider.
On May 26, 2023, POLITICO magazine published a first-person story written by Bob Zeidman, founder of several Silicon Valley firms, with the headline: “How I Won $5 Million From the MyPillow Guy and Saved Democracy.”
In Zeidman’s story, he relates how he was able to successfully disprove all of Lindell’s claims of voting machine fraud.
“After all, I invented the field of software forensics, the science of analyzing software source code for intellectual property infringement or theft,” Zeidman writes.
“I’m also a tournament poker player. I love a good challenge,” he continued.
Zeidman voted twice for Trump and was interested to see whether Lindell’s data was correct.
“Maybe a presidential election could be overturned,” he contemplated as he purchased his airline ticket to Sioux Falls.
At the symposium, he began to size up the competition.
“There were about 40 or 50 of them. Some were highly qualified hackers and experienced cyber experts like me,” Zeidman recounts.
Divided into two small rooms resembling public school classrooms, the groups quickly introduced themselves and began downloading Lindell’s seven files, each comprising more than 23 gigabytes of data.
One large binary file consisting solely of ones and zeroes — also known as Assembler language or ASCII code — proved intriguing.
“Lindell claimed his data showed packet captures of votes flowing outside the US to China where they were modified to switch votes from Trump to Biden, and then sent back to US voting machines,” Zeidman writes.
“We used a variety of forensic tools to try to gain any information from the file. Nada.” he continued.
Other files studied yielded nothing more than a table containing lists of what looked to be IP addresses — the number associated with devices connected to a network, he stated.
“With no other information, they were about as meaningful as a list of random words. It was obvious that the data in these text files were not anything related to the 2020 election. That’s when I knew I had stumbled onto the key. Not the key to showing election fraud, but the key to showing Lindell’s nonsense,” Zeidman writes.
The author returned to his hotel room to write a report of his findings, then registered a copy of his report with the US Copyright Office as proof it was written by the contest deadline.
“Just in case,” he commented.
When Zeidman returned to the symposium, Lindell released additional files, including a giant batch of 509 files comprising many more gigabytes, he wrote.
“This was how Lindell planned to keep anyone from winning he challenge, I figured. Just inundate us with files and not nearly enough time to analyze them,” he pondered as he imagined the $5 million prize slipping through his fingers.
“I had come too far to give up. On the third and final day of the symposium, an idea hit me. I decided to scan the file modification dates for all of the latest filed we’d been given and, lo and behold, most of the dates were August 2021, just before the symposium,” Zeidman writes.
“The data was obviously modified right before we examined them. They could not possibly accurately represent data from the November 2020 election,” he concluded.
Zeidman submitted his report and findings on a flash drive, as required, then returned home to await the contest results.
After waiting many months with no response from Lindell or his organization, Zeidman hired a legal team to file an arbitration lawsuit against Lindell. The case dragged on for 18 months, during which Lindell’s law firm quit and a new one was hired.
In January, an arbitration hearing was finally held and each side presented its case.
A decision was finally handed down in April 2023 awarding Zeidman the $5 million prize.
One week later, Lindell filed an appeal and claimed Zeidman was “part of a big cover-up to a much bigger picture.”
“If more people sought truth, even when that truth is contrary to their beliefs — such as when a Republican like me destroys a Republican myth — then I think we really can save democracy in America. In fact, I think that’s the only way,” Zeidman concluded his story.
Meanwhile, back to Crye and his intentions to share the spotlight on a national stage and play Shasta County’s poster boy, let’s hope he comes back with some morsels of truth.
If not, borrowing a line that Ricky Ricardo often told his wife Lucille Ball on the I Love Lucy TV show, “Kevin, you have some serious essplaining to do!”