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Gov Polis April 27, 2020, Safer-At-Home news conference. Courtesy KRDO News

Colorado made national news again last Thursday, April 23rd when Weld County commissioners issued guidelines to reopen county businesses in direct defiance of the governor’s Stay-at-Home order. The defiant guidelines were passed even while Governor Jared Polis was planning to unveil “Safer-at-Home” guidelines which slowly begins to reopen Colorado businesses.

Weld County’s antithetically named “safer-at-work” resolution allows county businesses to reopen as they see fit while adhering to Weld County Department of Health social distancing guidelines. “Weld County government is not opening any businesses, just as it did not close any businesses,” USA Today  reported from a Weld County commissioners statement on Friday.

The Weld County website was updated on April 26, saying it “recognizes” Governor Polis’ directives in his “Safer-at-Home” executive order and contains the link to the executive order. However, the county’s website maintains its “detailed guidelines for businesses to reopen when they feel the time is right.”

Weld county’s guidelines, opposing the governor’s orders, fell in line with Washington State’s Franklin County. On Tuesday, April 21, Franklin County Commissioners, there appeared to be the first in the nation, to pass a resolution to reopen the county in defiance of Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order. “For about 48 hours, the Washington county was a bastion of resistance, as the commissioners took their cue from the local sheriff.” The Talking Points Memo online news media reported. “Sheriff J.D. Raymond posted a letter on Facebook declaring that he would not enforce Inslee’s order against church gatherings or business operations.” After two days of citizen complaints and a warning from Governor Inslee’s general counsel, one commissioner introduced another resolution to rescind the controversial resolution.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee -Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

While not nearly as rebellious as Sheriff Raymond, Weld County Commission Chairman Mike Freeman was openly critical of his governor in a radio interview after his commission enacted the controversial guidelines.

The Denver Post reported many of Chairman Freeman’s comments on the local northern Colorado talk radio station 1310 KFKA.  “We’ve been picking winners and losers in this state for the last six weeks… the governor made a decision of what is essential business. I have no idea how you determine that pot shops are essential businesses, but those were included in this,” said Chairman Freeman of the “Stay-at-Home” order. “And then he comes out with this new thing [Governor Polis’ “Safer-at-Home” order]. He’s still picking winners and losers of who can open and who can’t, and what we’re saying is, we’re going to treat everybody equally and fairly in Weld County.”

Weld County government officials are no strangers to controversy. Their partisan, hard-line stance in passing the Second Amendment Sanctuary County resolution last March was foremost in the state. While that hard-line stance remains with this act, it is also strangely at odds with the Republican-led federal government and even the numbers themselves. Governor Polis used the White House’s reopening guidelines to the states in adopting his “Safer-at-Home” guidelines. Moreover, Weld County represents the third-largest COVID-19 outbreak in the state; at least 1,544 infections and 79 deaths.

Protesters in Madison, WI, April 26, 2020. Photo: Jim Owczarski

This most recent stance from Weld and other rural county governments of partisan rebellion represents a dramatic escalation of stay-at-home protests and reopen campaigns occurring across the country. In fact, Wisconsin saw some of the largest and most divisive partisan battles over the weekend when local celebrities and Republican leadership fomented the already volatile situation.

One local conservative talk show host, Vicki McKenna, reported the New York Times reported, said she hoped the protests, “inspired county sheriffs and local public health departments to defy the governor’s coronavirus orders.” The Times also quoted a Facebook post by Brian Westrate, Wisconsin’s Republican Party treasurer:

“Ok folks, I implore you, please leave Confederate flags and/or AR15s, AK47s, or any other long guns at home. I well understand that the Confederacy was more about states rights than slavery. But that does not change the truth of how we should try to control the optics during the event.” 

Now that the thinly-veiled stay-at-home order protests have broken into full-on political battles, rural areas are fertile grounds for mainly nefarious agents to do their work both online and in person.

Ark Valley Voice previously reported how the online agents of hate groups are organizing many of the stay-at-home protests throughout the country, and in Colorado. These same agents are now using those movements to help activate militia groups who may be planning violent civil unrest.

This will be explained in-depth in an upcoming article. What’s worse, other nefarious foreign agents are actively engaging with these hate groups and easily manipulating unsuspecting Americans throughout rural areas in the nation.