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Outraged Supervisor Garman Fires Back at Supervisor Crye: ‘We should be terrified at this point.’

District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman.

There is zero love lost between Shasta County supervisors Tim Garman and Kevin Crye. In the last weeks their simmering dislike for one another has reached a boiling point that has slopped over into supervisors meetings. Their rift has also drifted over to Chair Crye’s Sunday radio talk shows and his Friday Coffee With Kevin sessions, where Crye routinely mocks Garman, and questions his District 2 colleague’s intellect.

Garman isn’t the only one publicly bashed by Crye during Crye’s various public forums as a pontificating supervisor. Crye also makes frequent untrue, disparaging statements about his colleague District 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert, saying such things as she “complains” about having so many board appointments, but yet Crye claims she asked to have all those appointments, something Rickert denies, save one particular requested board position. Another recent example is when Crye recently blasted Rickert during his Coffee With Kevin sessions and on this radio show for being the only supervisor who didn’t bring a question for the ROV interview candidates; another false statement, according to Supervisor Rickert. Others verbally eviscerated by Crye upon his personal soapboxes include former ROV Cathy Darling Allen, and many local media, with the exception of KRCR anchor Mike Mangas.

Part of Crye’s hatred for Garman and the men’s ongoing grudge may have stemmed from the time Garman wore a Recall Kevin Crye T-shirt to a supervisors meeting.

Shasta County District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman takes a noon break from budget hearings on June 7, 2023, while wearing a T-shirt supporting the recall of fellow supervisor Kevin Crye. Garman incited the fury of some fellow county Republicans for wearing the shirt. Copyrighted photo by Mike Chapman for A News Cafe

No wonder Supervisor Garman knew it was a long shot for Crye to approve Garman’s nomination of  Nathan Pinkney, a sometimes-controversial community activist and social media content creator, as a Shasta County Elections Commissioner.

Tuesday was a win-win opportunity for Crye to slay two enemies — Garman and Pinkney — with one vote.

Nobody doubted Crye’s deep disdain for Pinkney, who’s often criticized Crye during board meetings and on social media. Typically, Crye will find some way to punish and keep on punishing those who’ve criticized him. Even so, Tuesday, there seemed no way for Crye to worm out of his previous promise to accept Garman’s nominee, especially since Crye’s assurances were captured on live streaming video.

Would Crye keep his promise to Supervisor Tim Garman? Or would Cyre buckle under the expectations of his vocal base, including alt-right radio hosts, who demanded Crye not approve Pinkney? Add to Crye’s pressure Tuesday, a stream of commenters implored the board to not vote for Nathan Pinkney. Many of the comments cited preposterous slanderous statements, none of which were stopped by Chair Crye.

Pinkney stepped up to speak, too. Here’s an excerpt of his statement:

“I believe that people are afraid of my ability to prove them wrong. I was firmly in the mindset that this commission needed to be disbanded. And that was initially my plan to make a motion to ask the board to disband it.

However, with the appointing of a new and inexperienced ROV, I am beginning to believe that if there was ever a time to have such a committee, it would be right now with me on it and possibly even Jenny. I have proven time and time again that I will not back down to bullies, that I can break down complicated information to my community, and that I can come to the table with facts and receipts.

So I would like to announce that my first act would instead be to suggest a motion to the commission to create a clear and defined mission statement for itself. Something that makes it absolutely clear to the community what this commission is for and its purpose for requiring tax dollars from the citizens. Because currently most people have no real clue what it’s actually for. And I agree with that sentiment.

I’m of the belief that this commission was initially created for the sole purpose of putting even more pressure on our already overworked election staff. I now believe that it can be used to help them as well as the voting public to understand how things run in that office and not simply be seen as a panel of bullies trying desperately to find problems where none exist.

Lastly, Kevin Crye gave his word to Supervisor Garman that he would support Tim’s pick. We can say what we want up here, but that’s truly what it comes down to today. Thank you.”

Rickert recalibrates

District 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert is frequently verbally bullied by District 1 Supervisor Chair Kevin Crye.

From the inception of  Supervisor Patrick Jones’ brainchild — the Shasta County Elections Commission — Supervisor Rickert expressed doubts about the commission’s credibility and efficacy. Even so, for the sake of being a team player, she appointed a commissioner, Susanne Baremore, who later resigned. Since then, Rickert has left Baremore’s vacancy unfilled.

Tuesday, Rickert explained her rationale behind her vote for Nathan. Here’s an excerpt of her statement:

“First of all, you all know that I’m not a strong proponent of this commission. I don’t feel like it’s been productive. I don’t think it’s accomplished much at all in the six months that it’s been in existence. There’s been a lot of rancor; there’s been a lot. There has been discussion about doing things that are contrary to state law. We’ve spent over $70,000 on the commission.

With that being said, I’m also a conservative Christian woman. And I’ve prayed about this issue. Believe it or not, I pray every day. I pray every time I walk in this back door into the board meetings. I truly do. But I also know that this is a bipartisan position, that in Shasta County as an elected official, as a supervisor, as a commissioner on this elections committee, it’s all bipartisan. And I firmly believe that we need to have balance. I think Mr. Gardner used the word balance and that really resonated with me. …

. . . I don’t approve of Nathan’s behavior all the time. We’ve had a long conversation about this. He has promised me and I agree with Tim if there’s any misbehavior, I’ll be the first one to say, you know, I think he should be removed. But I am going to support this. The other main reason, there are two main reasons I’m changing — recalibrating — is that we now have a change in the ROV’s leadership office. And I think it’s really important that we have another set of eyes that has a different perspective. But because again, this is a bipartisan position, we need to be fair and balanced.

And that’s what I am all about. We’ve got to be fair and balanced. I know Nathan has promised me he’s going to be the best, to quote Patty, the best version of himself.”

Crye crafts a loophole

At last, after all the comments, when the moment came for the vote, Crye broke his promise. He voted against Pinkney, as did supervisors Kelstrom and Jones. Crye’s excuses for his decision, piled on by Supervisor Jones, not only denied Pinkney the volunteer election commission post, but they deeply soiled and defamed Pinkney’s character in the process. Crye said commissioners must be of good character, and concluded that Pinkney was not a person of good character.

“Nobody gets to say what I believe good character is,” said an amped-up Crye, who added to his myriad justifications for his anti-Pinkney vote that he’d received multiple text messages and emails with unsavory evidence about the nominee — he didn’t say his name — and had heard many negative stories about him. Plus, Crye said he’d personally received distasteful emails from Pinkney, too.

“There’s nothing about it at all that conveys good character,” proclaimed Crye, who spoke as if he were a good-character expert, something stunningly ironic, since Crye’s words and actions as a supervisor paint him as one of the most morally bankrupt elected leaders in Shasta County history.

With that, the vote was taken. As usual, Jones and Kelstrom’s votes matched Crye’s. Supervisors Rickert and Garman voted for Pinkney. The 3-2 board majority vote rejected Pinkney as an elections commissioner.

Later, Supervisor Garman shared a lengthy statement with A News Cafe about Crye’s failure to keep a promise, among other things.

District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman.

“Tuesday’s board meeting has set a devastating standard for board members’ appointments in the future. Each board member has the right to appoint their representatives to many different county boards and commissions. Tuesday’s vote against Nathan Pinkney took that right away from us as individuals, and turned it into a board decision. That is not in the spirit of how the appointments are supposed to work.

Unfortunately, I was not surprised by the outcome. The board majority was not going to allow someone on the election commission who didn’t agree with their unfounded lies of Shasta County election cheating.

They are the ones we should be afraid of. In fact, we should be terrified at this point.

For once, I just wished Crye could have the guts to tell the truth. Instead, he finds a way out with the “moral character” clause in the rules of who can be a member. What a joke that is coming from Crye. Isn’t Crye the one who put a plant in his own town hall so he could make sure he looked good? Crye is an admitted liar and continues to lie to the public and the board time after time. So much for “moral character,” huh?

Shasta County Counsel did say that “moral character” is subjective to each individual. Crye must have a special kind of ‘moral character’.

Personally, I would take Nathan Pinkney’s moral character any day of the week over Crye’s. Nathan does get out of line at times, and uses the f-word at times. But at least Nathan tells the truth.

To me, truth is the biggest factor in moral character. We all have character flaws, but a reckless liar is no good in my book. I will continue to pray that Crye will seek help for this.”

Missed healing opportunity

Meanwhile, two empty seats remain on the original five-member Shasta County Elections Commission board. It’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll be filled.

For Supervisor Rickert, she said her vote for Pinkney was all about striking a representative balance to serve all Shasta County citizens.

“I want to make sure that every single voter in this county is being represented, not just one faction,” Rickert said when explaining her support of Pinkney on the elections commission.

“We have to do that. If we do not, this county will never unite and heal. And if certain people don’t feel represented and don’t feel that their voice is being heard, then that isn’t going to heal and unite us.

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If you appreciate journalist Doni Chamberlain’s independent reporting on this Independence Day, please consider contributing to A News Cafe. Thank you!

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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