As Recall Election and FPPC Investigation Loom, Shasta County District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye Distances Himself From MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell

Dist. 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye

Shasta County District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye sometimes has trouble acknowledging his benefactors. He was the first local candidate to kiss Reverge Anselmo’s ring during the 2022 election season, allegedly traveling to Phoenix to meet the right-wing Connecticut multimillionaire and accepting a maximum personal donation of $4900, according to campaign finance records. Crye then proceeded to distance himself from Anselmo, even as he continued to receive support from Anselmo-backed political action committees during the primary and general elections.

Crye didn’t want the electorate to think he was one of those crazy, inexperienced Anselmo candidates, even though that’s exactly what he’s turned out to be.

Now Crye, who is facing a serious recall attempt by concerned District 1 citizens, is distancing himself from another ultraconservative multimillionaire, MyPillow CEO and rigged election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

After Crye, District 4 supervisor Patrick Jones and District 5 supervisor Chris Kelstrom voted 3-2 to terminate Shasta County’s contract with Dominion Voting Systems in January, Crye infamously traveled to Minnesota seeking Lindell’s nonexistent wisdom on hand-counting elections. The trip cost taxpayers $1400 and when Crye returned, he claimed Lindell had offered to pay any expenses the county incurred transitioning from voting machines to hand-counted paper ballots, including the costs of legal challenges. Based on Lindell’s pledge, Crye refused to change his ill-advised vote.


The money never materialized and Crye has never publicly revealed what he and Lindell actually discussed. Crye has appeared at least twice on Frank Speech TV, Lindell’s streaming network, telling his story and begging for donations.

According to a poster for Lindell’s Election Crime Bureau summit, held last week in Springfield, Missouri, Crye was scheduled to speak along with a gaggle of Lindell’s election denying gadflies and grifters including Lou Dobbs, Bannon, Dr. Doug Frank, Jeff “The Lone Racoon” O’Donnell and disgraced Army general and Christian nationalist crackpot Michael Flynn.

After news of Crye’s pending appearance broke locally, Crye abruptly announced he wasn’t going to the event. In a recorded blurb left on his campaign’s Facebook page, Crye explained he’d never committed to attending in the first place, even though his image is on the poster.

“I’m asked to speak all the time but I never confirmed that I was going [to Lindell’s event] and it just wasn’t going to work,” Crye said. “Because honestly, my kids start school this week, my wife’s a teacher, she starts school this week.”

That’s his story now. But at a board meeting earlier this month, Crye requested a future meeting date be changed so he could attend an event for firefighters in Kansas City, Missouri, during the August 16-17 timeframe. Crye said he had to appear at the event as CEO of exercise equipment company Endless Rope, one of several companies Crye is involved in as a manager, talent agent and events promoter. Kansas City is a three-hour drive from Springfield, where Lindell’s event was held on the same dates.

Crye claimed that only one journalist has contacted him about his appearance on the poster. A News Café contacted Crye multiple times for this story via his county email address. He has not responded and has blocked this reporter from his campaign’s Facebook page.

On his Facebook page, Crye complained that media have blown his consultation with Lindell out of proportion. Perhaps that’s what he meant when he told A News Cafe the visit was “a big nothing burger” in May.

Despite his many attempts to politically capitalize on phony election fraud hysteria, Crye claims that removing voting machines is not a part of his platform, even when he’s attending events like the Freedom Fest in Lodi earlier this month, where the topic de jour was election integrity and the main attraction was failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who continues to falsely claim she was cheated in last year’s election.

During his short speech, Crye admitted that he’s being recalled in part because he voted to terminate the Dominion contract, not because he’s been targeted by liberals, as he usually maintains. He explained to the audience how he came to make the controversial decision on voting machines last January.

“You get information, you talk to different sources,” said Crye, who has never offered any legitimate justification for his vote to cancel Dominion’s contract. “For me, part of my process is I pray about it. Then I make a decision and move on. My yes is yes, my no is no.”

Crye referred to his opponents several times as “they,” claiming “they have bribed, threatened and extorted” him. When that didn’t work “they recalled” him. Then he explained who “they” were.

“When I say ‘they,’ I’m talking about people who don’t like things having to do with faith, family, God, country, etc.,” he said. “The one thing I’ve learned is there’s one true constant and that is Jesus died for my sins.”

That’s the jargon of Christian nationalism, straight-up. Crye is generally more cautious when he speaks at home. Asked multiple times by A News Cafe if he considers himself a Christian nationalist, Crye has never responded.


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

Nothing burger or not, local furor over Crye’s visit to Lindell sparked the movement to recall Crye, which announced last week that it has collected nearly 5000 signatures from District 1 voters supporting the recall.

“It is gratifying to know that we’ve gathered almost 5,000 signatures so far, just a little over 90 days into our signature-gathering effort,” said Jeff Gorder, the retired defense attorney who serves as the spokesman for the Committee to Recall Kevin Crye.  “We knew going into this that it was going to be a marathon, but it’s only through a lot of hard work that we’ve gotten to the point where we are.”

It takes 4151 signatures (20 percent of District 1’s 20,755 registered voters) to trigger a recall election. The committee has until Sept. 13 to gather enough signatures, which have to be verified by Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen. A cushion of signatures is required because some signatures will be disqualified for various reasons, such as having an address outside of the district or a signature that doesn’t match the existing signature on record. Gorder hopes to gather more than 6000 signatures, the same amount gathered for the successful recall of former District 2 supervisor Leonard Moty last year.

If enough signatures are gathered by Sept. 13, the recall election would be held on March 5, 2024. If Crye is recalled, Gov. Gavin Newsom could select a replacement, but the committee has requested the replacement be chosen by voters in the November 2024 general election. If the latter route is taken, it would reduce the board of supervisors from five members to four members for nine months. Gorder noted that Gov. Newsom has previously chosen not to fill vacancies on the boards in Modoc and Glenn counties and there’s no pressing reason for him to choose differently in Shasta County’s case.

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)

Gorder credits the committee’s success so far to the commitment and diverse skill set of more than 100 volunteers who’ve brought experience in technology, media and ground-game organization to the effort. The signatures were “pouring in buckets” in the beginning as volunteers worked drive-thru signature gathering spots and tables and canvassed neighborhoods. After a midsummer lull, the committee has recently redoubled its efforts, collecting 600 signatures during the past two weeks.

Gorder also credits hundreds of concerned Shasta County citizens who’ve donated to the committee. The committee has raised $113,367 through June 30, according to its most recent filing. So far the committee has spent $63,233. Top donations include $7000 from SEIU Local 2015, the long term healthcare workers union, $4000 from A.A. Emerson, $5000 from Cottonwood personal trainer Susan Leaverton and $11,019 from retiree Eric Silberstein. Other donors include a physician, a school superintendent, several attorneys, a financial administrator, a program manager and an electrician.

“It was a daunting task, especially considering that Mr. Crye has almost unlimited out-of-county funds at his disposal doled out by Reverge Anselmo,” Gorder said. “As you know, he’s also been raising money on Mike Lindell TV and on fund-raising junkets throughout California.  We are truly what you would call a Shasta County-only ‘grass roots organization’ which cannot be said about Mr. Crye’s operation.”

Crye’s campaign, misleadingly named Stop Newsom: No On Crye Recall, has raised $85,214 as of June 30; in typical Crye fashion, the campaign has spent more than it has taken in, $91,736. There are no direct donations from Reverge Anselmo listed. Longtime local right-wing figure Lyndia Kent serves as Crye’s treasurer. Her even more conservative brother Mark Kent is treasurer of Water Users Committee, the latest Anselmo-funded PAC to support Crye with advertising dollars. The Water Users Committee received a $50,000 injection from Anselmo in May. It has raised $53,835 and spent $21,189 as of June 30.

Crye continues to claim the recall is a liberal plot set into motion after his surprise victory over former Redding City Councilwoman Erin Resner, a fairly conservative Republican, last November. In fact, the movement to recall Crye began after he voted with Jones and Kelstrom to terminate the contract with Dominion Voting Systems in January without having a viable replacement, disenfranchising 110,000 registered voters. The recall campaign didn’t really coalesce until March, after Crye sought out election advice from former crack cocaine addict Lindell, who’s being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion for defamation.

MyPillow CEO and Kevin Crye pal Mike Lindell.

The fact that Crye revealed his connection to Lindell in open board chambers indicates he doesn’t consider his visit to Lindell a lapse in judgement. That’s concerning, considering Lindell has become a national laughingstock for continuing to repeat his debunked stolen election claims even as his pillow empire implodes from the bad publicity.

Since Crye’s Minnesota trip, FOX News, which repeated the same 2020 election lies as Lindell ad nauseum, settled a $1.5 billion defamation lawsuit with Dominion for $787 million. The network fired Trump propagandist Tucker Carlson and has ceased claiming that Trump was cheated in the 2020 election.

Lindell was also ordered to pay $5 million to a cybersecurity expert who won the “Prove Mike Wrong” contest at the pillow-man’s first Cyber Symposium in 2021. The expert, a Republican who voted for Trump twice, proved the data Lindell claimed was absolute proof the Chinese Communist Party and the Deep State hacked U.S. election systems in 2020 was actually random gibberish that had nothing to do with the 2020 election. Nevertheless, Lindell continues to claim that CCP hackers flipped Trump votes to Biden votes, despite facing a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion.

Self-professed hand-count election expert Linda Rantz, friend of Mike Lindell and Kevin Crye.

Crye has had several chances to reverse his vote terminating the contract with Dominion Voting Systems since these facts have emerged, and has failed to do so. Instead, he escorted Lindell acolyte and fake elections expert Linda Rantz to the Shasta County Elections office in March, where she attempted to inform Darling Allen about hand count voting systems. As A News Café reported, her so-called system was deployed in Osage County, Missouri earlier this year, with predictably disastrous results.

Crye has gone as far to plant a southern California election-denying attorney, Alexander Haberbush, in the audience during a board meeting to pump paranoia into the chamber.

Alexander Haberbush, a Mike-Lindell-connected attorney, invited by Kevin Crye, speaks at the Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting.

He tapped failed county CEO candidate Chriss Street, the vice president of secessionist group New California, as yet another phony elections expert.

Failed CEO candidate Chriss Street, endorsed by Kevin Crye, reads notes before speaking at a Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting. Photo by Doni Chamberlain

In fact thanks to Crye, Jones, Kelstrom and the entire Red, White and Blueprint movement, Shasta County has been flooded with Lindell’s election denying disinformers, from Seth Keshel to Dr. Doug Frank to Linda Rantz to the Lone Racoon of the Apocalypse, for nearly three years.


Many of the right-wing election deniers lurking at the Shasta County Registrar of Voters on election nights were no doubt inspired by Lindell’s movement, which the pillow-man himself equates to a religious revival, a new great awakening.

All this leads to the inevitable conclusion that Crye is a true believer, a Christian nationalist and an election denier of Trumpian magnitude who really never hinted at his extreme beliefs during his campaign for District 1 supervisor. His faulty decision-making based on these beliefs has so far cost the county an estimated $3 million to $4 million for the proposed changes to the election system alone.

Whether that matters to prospective District 1 voters remains to be seen. There are small pockets of liberalism in the district, but the electorate still favored Trump with two-thirds of the vote in 2020, about the same proportion as the county as a whole. It’s going to take Democratic, moderate Republican, No Party Preference, Green Party and other independent voters turning out and working together to make the recall happen.

When he isn’t battling Chair Jones, Nathan Pinkney enjoys gathering signatures for the Kevin Crye recall with his friends.

“Our District 1 electorate is a diverse group, no doubt,” Gorder said.  “I think we’re just a microcosm of what we see around the country as far as polarization is concerned; there are definitely strong feelings on both sides of our recall issue, and we see it and hear it when we go into all the neighborhoods in the district.  However, we are definitely non-partisan in our volunteer base and in our signature-gathering results.  Fifty percent of our signatures (almost 2,500 signatures) are from Republicans, Independents, and other non-Democrats.”

No-Party-Preference voter Richard Christoph is a retiree and longtime District 1 resident who supports recalling Crye. He’s a Vietnam-era veteran who backs the 2nd Amendment and fiscal conservatism. He argues there are plenty of Republican elections experts with more credibility than Lindell that Crye could have consulted.

“He could have contacted staunch Republican election experts Trump-appointee Chris Krebs, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, former Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, City Commissioner of Philadelphia Al Schmidt, Maricopa County Chairman Bill Gates, or others,” Christoph said.

The importance of these Republican state and city officials standing up to Trump’s “stop the steal” juggernaut, an operation in which Lindell’s minions played a vital role at the county level, has become abundantly clear now that Trump has finally been charged with felonies related to the Jan. 6 insurrection and his attempt to alter election results in Georgia.

It gets worse.

Crye once encouraged Christoph, his wife and a neighbor to call him on the phone to discuss local issues. The neighbor told Christoph that when she asked Crye why he had voted to terminate Dominion’s contract, he told her he had consulted the bestselling business self-help book, Burn the Boats: Toss Plan B Overboard and Unleash Your Hidden Potential. The idea is based on Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes’s alleged command to his troops to burn the boats after landing at Veracruz in 1519, cutting off their escape route, leaving no other option but to fight the more numerous Aztecs to the death. Christoph included Burn the Boats in a searing speech delivered to the board earlier this year.

“His reason for voting to [cancel the Dominion contract] without first having done due diligence and ensuring that a viable alternative system was in place, was based on the motivational book Burn the Boats which argues that success can be achieved by destroying all opportunities for retreat,” Christoph said. “Supervisor Crye is certainly free to burn his own boats if he wishes but has instead burned our boats and has put Shasta County at risk for litigation and unnecessary costs that this county can ill afford.”

Tim Hill, chairman of the Committee to Recall Kevin Crye, was raised in a Republican family. His father worked for Ronald Reagan when he was governor. Hill registered as a Republican when he turned 18. Like many Republicans fed up with the direction the party has taken since the rise and fall and rise of Trump, Hill is now registered as a No Party Preference voter.

“Perpetuating the Big Lie is stupid,” Hill said. “There are no other words to describe it. The facts are in and there are $787 million reasons why [the amount of FOX’s settlement with Dominion]. I am recently retired and watched gavel-to-gavel coverage of the January 6th Subcommittee hearings. The lasting damage the extreme right has done to the Republican party and our society is on display in Shasta County. We don’t need to be wasting money on a risky vanity project that only benefits Crye, Kelstrom and Jones’s personal interests and their extreme right out-of-town financial supporters.”

For nearly three years, A News Café has attempted to contact local Republicans to gauge their support for Trump’s election fraud claims and received little response. When District 2 supervisor Tim Garman wore a “Recall Crye” T-shirt to a board meeting after Crye and Jones tormented Darling Allen during budget hearings earlier this year, Shasta County Republican Central Committee Chair Dr. Daniel Sloan fired off an angry email to Garman in session.

District 2 supervisor Tim Garman demonstrates how to get the local Republican Party’s attention. Photo by Mike Chapman.

“The entire county, state, nation, and globe are watching our political environment,” Sloan exclaimed. “All five of the Shasta County BOS officials are Republican, which means I have the duty of representing ALL of you. My job becomes extremely challenging when you make the board room a hostile work environment by calling for the removal of a fellow member. ‘Virtue Signalling’ your way into 15 minutes of fame will lose you votes, party-affiliation, and could cause extreme backlash on the part of our community.”

Sloan pointed out that Rep. Doug LaMalfa had recently cited Reagan’s 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Yet Sloan and the local party apparatus were notably silent in 2021 and 2022 when Patrick Jones and a belligerent mob of anti-government militia members and evangelical antivaxxers targeted three Republican supervisors, Joe Chimenti, Mary Rickert and Leonard Moty for recall. Only Moty was successfully recalled.

Now State of Jefferson secessionist Terry Rapoza, a key player in the effort to recall Moty, is advertising himself as a “Shasta County expert” who “broke the back of the Shasta County government and removed the machines.”

Count on Terry Rapoza to say the quiet part out loud.

Never forget. That’s the mission of these radical ultraconservatives, to destroy Shasta County government, as former four-term District 1 Supervisor David Kehoe recently warned in an op-ed supporting Crye’s recall.

Contacted earlier this summer, Moty expressed doubts that the Crye recall could be successful without support from moderate Republicans, presuming such creatures continue to exist.

“To some degree, more and more people are becoming frustrated with what the Republican Party is doing, they don’t want to be associated with it,” Moty said. “People in general are just shaking their heads.”

“I know what the truth is,” Moty said when asked if Biden had won the election. “I don’t know why people continue to believe he didn’t, but they do.”

Dolores Lucero behind the podium at Gateway Unified School District.

Count local conservative activist Dolores Lucero among the former local Republicans who’ve left the party, albeit for her own reasons. She recently registered as No Party Preference. A frequent public speaker at BOS, Redding City Council and various school board meetings, Lucero has zeroed in on potential conflicts of interest involving Crye’s duties as a supervisor and his work with his companies: Ninja Coalition HQ INC, Crye’s gym at the Shasta Mall; Axios LLC, the Alaska-based manufacturer of Endless Rope exercise machines for which Crye serves as CEO; Valor Talent Group, Crye’s stable of American Ninja warriors and other celebrity athletes; and Ninja Coalition INC, Crye’s event-promotion company.

Forget about burning the boats. Crye’s ship finally came in while he was running for supervisor.

As A News Café reported earlier this year, upon assuming office in January, Crye was required by the California Fair Political Practices Commission to file a new statement of economic interests, known as a Form 700. According to the new filing, Crye’s four separate companies, absent on his original Form 700, have a declared market value of $100,000 to $1,000,000 or more each. Crye claims to be grossing more than $100,000 annually from each venture.

In a follow-up story, A News Café reported that Crye’s income has dramatically increased, perhaps by millions of dollars, since he began campaigning for office thanks to the state’s Extended Learning Opportunity Program. The ELOP kicked off in the 2021-22 school year and was designed to address learning loss caused by pandemic mandates—ironically Crye was a fierce opponent of COVID-19 precautions such as masking and remote learning. The ELOP proposes to spend $5 billion through the 2024-25 school year on “learning opportunities that take place outside of normal school hours,” including programs before and after school, during winter and spring breaks and summer school. The program is currently unaudited by the state, making it ripe territory for Crye’s Ninja companies.

Kevin Crye sits inside his Ninja business during an interview with Courtney Kreider. Crye’s Ninja Gym is located in the Shasta Mall. Photo source: Facebook screen grab.

As demonstrated above with his remark about Endless Rope during a board meeting, Crye has no qualms mentioning his private businesses when he’s on the clock as county supervisor. In that case, a meeting with a local fire chief turned into a business opportunity in Kansas City, Missouri, according to Crye. An email A News Café received from a public records request shows one of Crye’s employees interrupting county budget proceedings to have Crye sign paperwork for one of his businesses.

Lucero told A News Café she has catalogued a number of such incidents and fired off conflict of interest complaints to the FBI and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

In July, based on Lucero’s complaints of Cyre’s business dealings while a supervisor, the FPPC opened an investigation. Lucero said the FBI is also actively investigating Crye. A News Café was unable to confirm the FBI investigation.

Mike Lindell and Jeff O’Donnell demonstrate a wireless monitoring device.

Where’s all this election denial heading? Lindell’s Election Crime Bureau summit last week offered some rather bleak clues.

For months Lindell has been promoting a secret divinely inspired plan to finally overthrow the CCP/Uniparty/Deep State, collectively known as The Evil, and restore “paper ballot hand-counted precinct level signature required” voting to America. The plan was revealed at last on the final day of the annual summit. It turned out to be equal parts underwhelming and Orwellian.

Appearing with Jeff  “The Lone Racoon” O’Donnel—the same election denier who appeared via Zoom at Jones’s town hall meeting in July—Lindell introduced the world to a new gadget called the “wireless monitoring device,” a rectangular electronic gizmo about the size of a large sandwich. The WMD (get it?) essentially functions like the Wi-Fi setting on your cellphone, but on an expanded level, showing the user hundreds of internet connections in any given building or residence.

Lindell’s grand plan is to place WMDs in the hands of the 250,000 nationwide members of Cause of America, who will use the devices to further harass local election officials and spy on residents to make sure no one is voting illegally. Lindell isn’t offering the devices for sale at this point, but The Lone Racoon estimated the cost at $500 apiece.

That’s it. That’s the grand plan. To carry it out, Lindell pleaded with viewers to donate to the Lindell Offense Fund. Don’t waste your money on saving the whales or supporting your favorite right-wing politician, Lindell advised. After all, in the latter case the election’s already been rigged! Donate your money to Mike, who borrowed $1 million to stage the summit and is under constant attack from The Evil.

In Lindell’s drug-addled mind, election officials will no longer be able to claim voting machines aren’t connected to the internet once the WMDs are fully deployed. “Ah-ha!” election observers armed with the devices hiding behind curtains will jump out and exclaim. “You’re lying!” Users will share WMD data gleaned from their neighbors with the world on Lindell’s recently launched social networking app, Frank Social.

What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, AB 969, an urgency bill written by Assembly Democrats in direct response to the Shasta County board’s decision to terminate the Dominion Voting Systems contract, awaits passage in the state Senate, where the Democratic Party supermajority is expected to approve it any day now. The bill will, among other things, immediately prohibit Shasta County from conducting hand-counted elections once it’s signed into law by Gov. Newsom.

In his speech at Freedom Fest, Crye correctly noted that AB 969 usurps the very local control he based his campaign platform on, that is, his opposition to COVID mandates. He and his anti-government cohorts call the state’s response corruption. The rest of us call it the adults in the room reassuming control.

Freedom Fest speaker District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye.

It’s likely that AB 969 will pass, just as the Committee to Recall Kevin Crye is gaining momentum on its push to gather 6000 signatures by Sept. 13. What once seemed improbable now seems entirely possible: Crye will almost undoubtedly face a recall election in March 2024.

Considering the present state of Shasta County politics, that seems like an awful long time from now.

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..

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments