Last night the Great Falls Election Deniers hosted a large event with “Dr. Frank.” Frank is a well-known election denier who, along with his bff Mike Lindel (the My Pillow guy) is being sued for fraud. Frank continues to push the conspiracy theory that Trump won the 2020 election, a lie that has been disproven again and again in numerous court cases. Most recently, Rudy Giuliani lost two defamation cases for pushing lies about voter fraud.
Before Frank’s presentation, Sandra Merchant, Julie Bass, Jan WeNaas, Richard Wolke, and Mike Sheer met to discuss their plans for voting in Cascade County. They parroted Dr. Frank’s lies and expressed their intent to move to “Amish voting” which requires all paper ballots, no machinery whatsoever, and hand counting of said ballots within twenty-four hours. The idea that this group of conspiracy theorists could accurately tally tens of thousands of votes in a mere twenty-four hours would be laughable if the intent wasn’t so nefarious.
The event itself featured a “presentation” from Dr. Frank which was not only filled with falsehoods, but also encouraged violence. Throughout the presentation, Frank painted himself and the election deniers as righteous figures, using a “David and Goliath” analogy. Ironically, the Goliath they hope to overthrow is our Democracy. Amid calling for election deniers to “rise up” Frank gave a direct call to violence. One slide read “What to do when antifa comes top your town” and the next slide showed a semi-automatic weapon. Frank went on to urge attendants not to call 911 or the sheriff’s office, but rather to grab their guns when confronted by peaceful protestors.
As an organizer of peaceful demonstrations outside of the elections office, I have serious concerns about the Clerk and Recorder and her staff promoting an extremist who literally suggests that they shoot us. This is overt voter intimidation with a clear intent to infringe upon our First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly. Sandra Merchant, Dev Biddick, and Julie Bass were all in attendance at this meeting, and not a single one spoke against Frank’s call to shoot voters who oppose them.
Sandra Merchant and her followers, many of whom are members of the Republican Pachyderm club, are but one group of extremists that are making Great Falls less safe for all of us. As I wrote about last week, the NeoNazi group White Lives Matter has blanketed our downtown with nazi propaganda. They, too, encourage violence against anyone who opposes them. So, while many of us are locating and removing nazi stickers, our very own Clerk and Recorder is hosting gatherings calling for the murder of political opponents.
In a recent interview, Great Falls Senator Steve Fitzpatrick suggested that Democrats in Great Falls are simply too extreme. And yet it seems our Republican officials are the ones embracing violence.
So, tell me, voters, is this what you were hoping for when you elected Sandra Merchant?
If so, it’s time to update our welcome signs.
Welcome to Great Falls, where the Clerk and Recorder just might shoot you for trying to vote.
Around 100 people gathered to listen to election conspiracy lies.
Read about Giuliani’s recent loss here: https://www.npr.org/2023/08/30/1196875212/judge-finds-rudy-giuliani-liable-for-defamation-of-two-georgia-election-workers
Read a comprehensive overview of Frank’s presentation here: https://dailymontanan.com/2023/08/30/election-denier-douglas-frank-presents-conspiracies-in-great-falls-meets-with-elections-officer/
Read about the nazi vandalism here: https://wtf406.com/2023/08/neonazis-vandalize-downtown-great-falls/
Donald Trump took some time between responding to four indictments containing ninety-one felonies to talk via zoom with State Freedom Caucus members, including some from Montana. Great Falls Republican Representative, Steven Galloway, took the opportunity to ask Trump to endorse Matt Rosendale for the Republican nomination for Jon Tester’s Senate seat. Rosendale has been playing coy boy and has not yet announced his intentions in that race. The lone Republican who has filed is Minnesota billionaire, Tim Sheehy, the handpicked candidate of Montana Senator Steve Daines and “establishment” Republicans (whatever that means these days).
Trump responded to Galloway saying that he really hadn’t looked at the Montana race yet but was sure Rosendale was waiting to get his endorsement to make his final decision. No big surprise that the man with the endless ego would put that spin on it. Galloway took the opportunity to take some shots at Tim Sheehy and the “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only) supporting his bid for Senate touting Rosendale’s record as one of the most extreme members of Congress.
It may be an uphill push for Rosendale to get Trump’s endorsement. On the call, Trump questioned why Rosendale lost to Tester in 2018 and asked why this race would be any different. After all, Trump came to Montana numerous times supporting Rosendale to no avail and, in Trump world, if that doesn’t put you over the top, nothing can. It’s also worth noting that Rosendale snubbed Trump during the fight over electing Kevin McCarthy as house speaker, refusing to take Trump’s call (see image below). The final barrier for Rosendale is the rocky relationship between the hard right super PAC “Club for Growth” and Trump. The Club For Growth has been a major supporter of Rosendale in past elections.
Rosendale waves off Marjorie Taylor Green handing him her phone with Donald Trump waiting on the line.
Thank you to the Montana Free Press for reporting on this story.
In case you haven’t noticed, free and fair elections are under attack. Most recently the election denier crowd here in Cascade County is bringing another roadshow charlatan here to Great Falls. This guy’s name is Douglas Frank, a former high school math and science teacher from Ohio. And it appears he is a target of an FBI probe into voter fraud in numerous states.
In April, he appeared in six public meetings in Wyoming and held private meetings with legislators and the Wyoming Secretary of State. His actions prompted the Association of Clerk and Recorders to issue a letter to the Secretary of State, Chuck Gray, which said, “Throughout those meetings, we have concluded that Dr. Frank conveys claims of impropriety but provides no proof to support his allegations.” Malcolm Ervin, Platte County clerk and president of the clerks’ association, also wrote to Gray on March 29. “One would think that Dr. Frank would be eager to prove this capability but rather than proof, Dr. Frank offers an unverifiable story.”
Last spring the election deniers brought other so-called “experts” to town for another public meeting. In addition to Republican State Senator Theresa Manzella, the self appointed Queen of election deniers in Montana, they brought in a shady character named Mark Cook. Among other things, Cook was implicated in litigation and investigations in Colorado over illegal copying of voting records. (WTF406.com has written several articles, some examples here and here, on the election deniers here in Great Falls.)
It turns out that Douglas Frank is also a target in an FBI probe of voting fraud in Colorado arising from some of the same incidents Mark Cook had allegedly been involved in. In September, his cell phone was confiscated by the FBI. Mike Lindell’s (The My Pillow Guy and major supporter of election fraud conspiracy theories) phone was also taken in part of the same investigation. Documents that Lindell showed on his on-line program said investigators were seeking evidence of crimes committed by Lindell and several associates, including Frank. Lindell said that he had hired Frank for several projects but was not aware of all of his activities and denied any involvement in the incidents in Colorado.
As Donald Trump faces state and federal criminal indictment for his efforts to steal the 2020 election, here in Great Falls election conspiracists continue promoting their wacky theories and generally fouling up the Clerk and Recorder’s office. Since taking office in January, our new Clerk and Recorder, Sandra Merchant, has managed to screw up virtually everything she touches. The school election was completely fouled up, a court ordered a special monitor to oversee the library levy election to guarantee it was properly administered, there are currently three lawsuits filed against the county challenging Merchant’s administration of local elections.
Merchant is not just incompetent. She is also corrupt. Most recently Merchant and members of her staff went to a meeting held at the high-end Chico Hot Springs Resort at an estimated cost of more than $3,000 to the taxpayers. Virtually, every new hire in the Clerk and Recorder’s office has been filled by her cronies, including the wife and daughter of far-right Republican Public Service Commissioner, Randy Pinocci. Makes one wonder where the County Attorney and County Human Resources office is since political patronage hiring is clearly illegal under state law.
So, now Frank is bringing his roadshow to Great Falls. He will be appearing on August 29 at MSU College of Technology. It makes one wonder what kinds of shenanigans Sandra Merchant and her cronies are up to now that they control the local Clerk and Recorder’s office.
For more on Frank and the investigation in Colorado, check out these articles:
Photo of Douglas Frank from the Los Angeles Times
Mere days after celebrating beautiful new murals in downtown Great Falls, residents and business owners awoke to find a very different addition to the scenery. Over the weekend, White Lives Matter plastered an estimated 200 stickers throughout town. Stop signs, traffic lights, and even art installments were vandalized with racist propaganda.
What is White Lives Matter?
White Lives Matter (WLM) is a neo-nazi organization of insecure, unsuccessful white men who hate anyone different than them. In typical nazi style, you’ll hear them denying the Holocaust, advocating for the eradication of Jewish and LGBTQ+ people, and claiming their skin color makes them superior to all other races. In reality, you’ll find these are mostly men who have prior domestic violence charges that have never gotten around to accomplishing anything positive in their lives. Instead, they spend their Saturday nights covering their faces and riding around on bicycles, defacing public property in an attempt to recruit other desperate losers.
We at WTF, along with many friends in the community, have spent the week locating and removing these stickers. However, White Lives Matter activity has only increased in the past few years, and it’s very likely that you, dear reader, will come across this sad propaganda as well. So today we bring you:
The WHAT THE FUNK Guide to Removing Nazi Propaganda
Step 1: Gather your supplies.
You’ll need: A Paint Scraper, Gloves, Goof Off Graffiti (available at Aces Hardware), A Step Stool, and a Trash Bag
Step 2: Grab a friend and go for a walk!
Nazis tend to post their stickers on locations like art installments, utility boxes, and the backs of street signs. Take a stroll through the neighborhood. Turn it into a game. Whoever finds the most propaganda gets a prize. Remember, it’s safest to do this during the day, and with a friend if possible. Nazis typically only come out at night- probably because they knew they’ll get their asses kicked otherwise.
Step 3: Document and Remove
When you find a sticker, note the location. Take a picture or throw the cross streets into your notes app. Then, spray that sad bullshit with the Goof Off Graffiti. Wait a few seconds, then presto-chango, you and that scraper just restored a Stop sign to its former non-racist glory. Here’s where your trash bag comes in. After you scrape off the sticker, throw it away. We don’t want to litter while fighting white supremacy. If you choose to post pictures of the stickers, be sure to obscure the QR code and the contact information for their message boards. They use these stickers to recruit new members. We don’t want to give them any more reach by sharing that info.
Step 4: Report that shit
The State of Montana chooses not to track these kinds of incidents. (Crazy, right?) But there is an organization that does! The Montana Human Rights Network has a report form. The link to that form is at the bottom of this article. While you’re there, check out their rapid response guide for great info on how we fight assholes like White Lives Matter.
And that’s it! You’ve cleaned up your neighborhood and you’ve helped stop the spread of nazi ideology. Congratulations- you’re antifa now!
Can’t Make This Stuff Up!
Just when you think it can’t get much more weird, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen, finds yet another bizarre way to enter the Tin-Foil-Hat Hall of Fame. Here’s her recent statement from La La Land.
“It’s imperative that we talk about these challenging issues. Let’s talk about boys in girls bathrooms and that safety issue. Let’s talk about those litter boxes that some schools are putting out for children who want to view themselves as some sort of an animal. Is this where public education should be? I say no.”
—State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen, speaking about culture war issues in public schools during an Aug. 15 interview on Voices of Montana radio.
While we are at it, we would be remiss not to point out recent bizarre and unsubstantiated claims made by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen. The Montana Free Press covered Knudsen’s statements as follows:
“Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has accused one of the state’s most prominent abortion providers of falsifying records and ‘flagrantly’ violating state law by withholding required reports about sexual assault against minors and statutory rape, suggesting that similar alleged inaction by the organization ‘could be happening with human trafficking victims.’”