KONOLA: Proud to be part of an ‘uninformed lynch mob’ | PostIndependent.com

KONOLA: Proud to be part of an ‘uninformed lynch mob’

Claudette Konola
VOICE OF A PROGRESSIVE

On Monday, a group of women, plus two men who support them, organized a march from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce to City Hall. This is the third event hosted by women in this community, asking Rick Brainard to step down instead of being sworn in. Brainard categorizes this as an “uninformed lynch mob.”

Full disclosure, I attended two of the three events and will continue protesting until Brainard is no longer a city councilman. It is hard work for an old lady, still weakened from fighting breast cancer, to chant and walk on a hot day. But chant I did, with the rest of the women: “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Rick Brainard has got to go.” “No Brainard, No Brainer.” “Step Down, Don’t Swear In.”

Despite being accused of being “uninformed,” the organizers are already researching the steps they have to take to recall Brainard if he actually takes the oath of office. Because they are “uninformed” they used the Colorado Open Records Act to get a copy of the actual police report, and read it to the crowd and TV cameras at Monday’s event. One feisty young blond woman shouted at the end of the reading, “Love, the Uninformed Lynch Mob.”

I was working in my garden before driving down to the chamber of commerce for the march, and seriously considered taking my pitch fork. If the Mesa County Patriots can sport pistols on their hip all over town, including at BLM information sessions open to the public, why can’t a non-violent woman walk around town with a pitch fork to signify her membership in a lynch mob?

None of the women came to the event with anything more threatening than a few pens and their voices. There was even a baby or two clinging to a mommy. Yet, they were met with security guards hired for the occasion by the chamber of commerce. I personally found it quite amusing to know that the chamber is so afraid of a bunch of moms saying that there is no place in our government for men who abuse women, that they spent the money to hire two guards. It was even more amusing to see that the guards were young women. I’m glad to see they got the work, even if their presence did nothing more than keep people out of the chamber’s parking lot. I suspect they secretly wished they could be chanting with us.

The event at Brainard’s employer, West Star Aviation, had the same show of force. Women were shooed away from the parking lot by security, which probably isn’t there on most days. What is so frightening about a bunch of women (and the men who support them) who advocate against domestic violence. We aren’t violent. We hate violence. Who is uninformed here?

Some of the people supporting Brainard complain that he hasn’t had his day in court yet, so these events designed to ask him to step down are violating his Constitutional rights. He does have a right to a trial. Nobody is trying to deny him that. The punishment for the crime he has been charged with, but not convicted of, includes time in jail. Although he may feel as though he is already in jail, since he can’t go home per a court order, he has no Constitutional right to hold an elected position once the electorate has decided that he does not represent them.

Please remember that this was a very low turnout election. Sure, he got almost 60 percent of the vote, but only about 30 percent of eligible voters actually mailed their ballots. By my count that means that about 20 percent of the electorate actually voted for him. Does he honestly think they will vote to support him a second time?

He resigned from the board of the chamber of commerce “in April.” Do you think that was because he wanted to resign? He resigned from the board of Community Hospital. Do you think that was because he wanted to resign? The court of private opinion has decided that he should not be on these two very public boards. Why not the Grand Junction City Council?

Claudette Konola can be reached at ckonola@optimum.net or through her website at http://www.Konola4Colorado.com.


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