Win Carpenter is ramping up his campaign to run for the District 3 Shasta County Supervisor seat. Carpenter will be running against long-time incumbent, Mary Rickert, who recently announced she planned to run for a third term.
The Carpenter and Rickert race for the District 3 Shasta County Supervisor seat is significant for Shasta County. Rickert is a conservative Republican with a long record of service in her community. Carpenter’s biggest claim to fame, on the other hand, is that he is a leader in the State of Jefferson secessionist movement, whose goal is to break rural Northern California away from the rest of the state.
The 61-year-old Carpenter has been involved with State of Jefferson movement for quite a long time, working as second-in-command for the movement behind his friend and Siskiyou County resident Mark Baird.
Carpenter co-hosts a radio show on KCNR 1460 AM and a podcast on Mountaintop Media titled “Jefferson State of Mine” with his friend, fellow State of Jefferson devotee Terry Rapoza.
Conversations on their radio show and podcast delve into the evils of “big government” in Sacramento and the evils of big city culture in general, and the threat posed by an imagined community of liberals and communists gearing to take over society.
Carpenter and Rapoza occasionally dip into anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric with some guests on their show. Both support the open carry of firearms in Shasta County.
Carpenter wants to “help” law enforcement
As reported by Doni Chamberlain of A News Café, Carpenter said at the Nov. 15 debate that featured GOP candidates running for various positions in Shasta County that law enforcement needs more help. His son, Kyle Carpenter, is a police officer employed by the Anderson Police Department.
Kyle Carpenter was hired by the Anderson Police Department in July of 2020 after graduating from the Butte College Law Enforcement Academy.
Despite Carpenter’s expressed desire to help law enforcement, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office issued a public statement in July of 2023 saying it supported current laws regarding Concealed Carry (CCW) permits, but that it did not support open carry in Shasta County.
“It is the opinion of the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, and the courts, that Concealed Carry (CCW) permits authorize persons to bear arms without infringing on those rights. It is our belief that laws are made to govern rights and protect the rights of law-abiding citizens. There are members of our society who, if allowed to bear arms, would pose a danger to the public (violent, dangerous convicted felons, etc.).”
A win for Carpenter would place two State of Jefferson devotees on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors as both he and current District 5 Supervisor Chris Kelstrom have an extensive background of involvement with the secessionist movement.
If Carpenter joins Kelstrom and District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, the current hard-right majority on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors will move even further toward right-wing extremism.
Carpenter’s collecting donations
Carpenter has started to collect donations for his run for the District 3 Supervisor seat. On Dec. 2, Carpenter is holding a fundraising event in Palo Cedro at the Odd Fellows Hall that includes a dinner and live auction. The event is sponsored by Jones’ Fort, a gun shop owned by District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones’ family that employs Jones.
Guns from Jones’ Fort will be auctioned off at Carpenter’s fundraising event. Tables for eight cost $300 and each table gets $200 worth of raffle tickets.
The biggest news, though, regarding campaign donations to Carpenter, is that he recently received three separate payments of $5,500 from the Water Users Committee (more about that group later).
On Nov. 17, the WUC donated $11,000 to Carpenter’s campaign on two separate forms that each donated $5,500. On Nov. 18, the following day, the WUC donated another $5,500 to Carpenter’s campaign.
The donations to Carpenter from the WUC, came just days before disgruntled former Shasta County resident and billionaire Reverge Anselmo opened his pockets yet again to fund far-right politics in Shasta County to the tune of $250,000 on Nov. 20, 2023.
Anselmo’s campaign donations now exceed $1.3 million
Reverge Anselmo has been out for revenge against Shasta County since he ran into trouble with the country more than a decade ago while trying to build a restaurant, ranch, and winery near Shingletown. He’s sought his revenge by donating money to various right-wing politicos and political causes whose goal is to push the already Republican majority county towards far-right extremism.
Anselmo’s donations funded the creation of the current hard-right Shasta County Board of Supervisors majority.
In 2020, Anselmo donated $110,000 to District 4 Shasta County Board of Supervisor Patrick Jones when he ran for office in 2020, at the time, the largest single campaign donation in Shasta County’s election history. The money was used to flood the North State with pro-Jones advertisements. Jones won the seat and is now the chair of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors.
Anselmo donated another $450,000 to the Shasta General Purpose Committee, the political action committee that supported the successful recall of Shasta County District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty in 2022.
In February of 2022, Anselmo donated $180,000 to the Liberty Committee, the political action committee that supported a slate of right-wing candidates running in the primary election held in June of 2022.
In May of 2022, Anselmo donated another $200,000 to the SGPC. Following this donation, A News Café journalist R.V. Scheide reported that Anselmo had donated nearly $1 million to right-wing politicos in Shasta County, the exact total on record being $940,000.
Anselmo continued to make donations since May of 2022. On Sept. 28, 2022, Anselmo donated $100,000 to the Water Users Committee, a new political action committee supporting right-wing politicos in Shasta County.
The Anselmo family has also made donations in Shasta County in recent months. On May, 25, 2023, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based Northway Management Company run by members of the Anselmo family, donated $50,000 to the WUC.
On Nov. 20, 2023, just a few days after Carpenter received donations from the WUC, Anselmo donated the aforementioned $250,000 to the WUC, placing the grand total of Anselmo and Anselmo family donations on the record in Shasta County from 2020 to the present at $1,340,000.
Who’s running the SGPC and the WUC?
According to online public records, the principal contacts for the SGPC and the WUC is local activist Mark Kent. Kent owns and operates North State Consultants Inc., a tax preparation company in Redding.
“If you need the most aggressive and competent tax preparation and audit litigation specialist in the business, your [sic] at the right web site!” says the North State Consultants website.
“Our experts specialize in IRS/State policies and procedures. We show taxpayers how to reduce unnecessary taxes by using administrative law (THE RULES) to their benefit. You can stop being a “Victim of the System.”
Located on Old Oregon trail in an old retail building that lacks any signage visible from the street, Kents’ business — that has no online reviews — is next door to an animal-grooming company.
If Kent sounds familiar, it is because he’s a prominent right-wing activist. He was involved with the Tea Party movement in the early 2000s, and he serves as the treasurer of the State of Jefferson movement. Kent hosts a radio show on KCNR 1460 AM called “Sovereign Minds” as well as a podcast with the same title on Mountaintop Media with his sister Lyndia Kent.
On July 6, Kent assaulted A News Cafe publisher Doni Chamberlain at the Cottonwood Community Center at a meeting organized by militia leader Jesse Lane. Chamberlain filed a complaint with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, which submitted a report with the Shasta County District Attorney’s office, which is still reviewing the incident.
Founded in 2023, Mountaintop Media hosts a wide range of podcasts with right-wing messaging. Kent is the principle agent for Mountaintop Media and North State Consultant’s address is listed as the Mountaintop Media’s principal address. Many speculate, based on comments made during podcasts, that Mountaintop Media is owned by local activist and Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol-attack attendee Jon Knight.
Kent proposed in June of 2021, during the public comment portion of a Shasta County Board of Supervisor meeting, that the county celebrate one month as “old, white guy, hardworking American, Christian values, honest, self-reliant, conservative month.” Kent said this in response to the discussion supervisors held about naming June 2021 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Is the SGPC and the WUC the same entity?
A search through County of Shasta online records shows a blurry relationship between the SGPC and the WUC. Kent filed two California Form 460 documents with Shasta County reporting Anselmo’s $100,000 donation on Sept. 28, 2022, one for the SGPC and the other for the WUC. California Form 460s report the financial activity of political action committees.
On a Form 460 submitted to Shasta County on Oct. 27, 2022, Kent reported that Anselmo’s Sept. 28, 2022 $100,000 donation went to the SGPC.
Following this, on January 31, 2023, Kent filed a California Form 460 document with Shasta County which reported that Anselmo’s Sept. 28, 2022 donation of $100,000 was given to the WUC.
There are no available public records that show that the SGPC and the WUC are the same entity. There are also no available public records to explain why two different political action committees reported the same donation from the same person at two different dates, and for that matter, in two different years.
While some of the financial activities of the SGPC and WUC lack clarity, two things are clear: One is that Reverge Anselmo is in it to win it when it comes to pushing Shasta County politics toward far-right extremism. The other is that a Win Carpenter victory against incumbent Mary Rickert risks pushing the county further toward the far-right extremism Anselmo has invested more than $1 million to make a reality.
A Win Carpenter victory will take the State of Jefferson movement more into mainstream politics in Shasta County than has ever been witnessed before. The attempt by the far-right to overtake Shasta County — bankrolled by an out-of-town millionaire — continues.