Felica French on the Navajo Reservation

Felicia French

State Senate candidate Wendy Rogers says she’s a victim of left-wing radicals, just like Kyle Rittenhouse, the Trump supporter charged with murder in the death of two Black Lives Matter protesters in Wisconsin.

“I am used to being attacked by the far, far FAR Left. Happens to me a lot,” said Rogers in a fundraising appeal for the District 6 state Senate seat, which includes all of Rim Country, Flagstaff, the Verde Valley and the White Mountains. “That’s what happens when you stand and fight for what’s right, especially this year. It happened to Kyle Rittenhouse, it happened to Senator Rand Paul, and now the extreme Left is doing it to me.”

The appeal comes amid escalating violence at protests. Shortly after Rittenhouse killed the two protesters, a Black Lives Matter supporter shot and killed a counterprotester in Portland. He was subsequently shot and killed by police.

Rogers, a retired pilot and Phoenix businesswoman, defeated longtime Republican state Senator Sylvia Allen in a bitter primary. She’s now facing off against Democrat Felicia French in the swing district. French is a retired Army colonel, nurse and medivac helicopter pilot.

Rogers’ comments about Rittenhouse mirror tweets by Congressman Paul Gosar saying that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he shot and killed two protesters.

Rittenhouse traveled to a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Kenosha, Wis. Those protests took place after police serving a warrant on a black suspect shot him in the back seven times — partially paralyzing him.

Rittenhouse has claimed he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a protester he said tried to grab the barrel of his automatic rifle. Several demonstrators followed Rittenhouse as he retreated. He shot another protester dead and wounded a third protester who was reportedly armed with a handgun. He has been charged with multiple counts of murder. Police initially allowed him to leave the scene, but later arrested him.

Rogers, a retired Air Force colonel, did not return emails seeking elaboration on her fundraising email.

In that email, Rogers said Democratic mega-donor George Soros was targeting her, citing several critical blog postings by Soros supporters. A Jewish Holocaust survivor and billionaire Hungarian-American investor, Soros for decades has been a major Democratic donor and has donated an estimated $11 billion to various philanthropic causes.

One of those blog postings she criticized said Rogers belonged to an “extremist anti-government militia.” Rogers in her fundraising letter said “they mean the Oath Keepers.” In previous social media posts, she has said she’s a member of the group.

The Oath Keepers are described as “an anti-government American far-right organization associated with the militia movement. The group describes itself as a non-partisan association of current and former military, police and first-responders who pledge to fulfill the oath that all military and police take in order to “defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” It encourages members to ignore orders they believe violate the U.S. Constitution.”

The Anti-Defamation League describes the group as “heavily armed extremists with a conspiratorial and anti-government mindset looking for potential showdowns with the government.”

The Oath Keepers first gained national attention in 2014 and 2015 when members armed with semi-automatic rifles patrolled streets and rooftops during the riots and protests that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The Department of Justice ultimately concluded Wilson shot Brown in self-defense.

Self-identified Oath Keepers members have been involved in other demonstrations, including an appeal to create armed citizen militias to protect schools after the Parkland High School shootings. Members of the Oath Keepers also showed up at the standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada after the Bureau of Land Management threatened to seize his cattle after Cliven Bundy refused for years to pay $1 million in federal grazing fees for his use of 145,000 acres of federal land for more than a decade.

Rogers ran a slashing primary campaign against Sylvia Allen, who also supported the Bundys in their armed standoff with the federal government. Rogers accused Allen of failing to sufficiently support the police. Allen’s supporters countered that Rogers didn’t actually live in the district and cited misleading claims of endorsements. However, Rogers spent close to $500,000, mostly from out of the district, and beat Allen by 19 percentage points.

Her fundraising appeals in the general election have continued to cite mostly national issues while attacking the “radical left.”

She said the protesters who have roiled Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, Chicago and other cities “are trying to bring that same course of destruction and murder to Arizona, to Flagstaff. I will be the greatest enemy Soros has in Arizona. I am a pioneer and a loyal patriot — and I will not abide these anti-American savages here in Arizona. There is no turning back. We cannot lose. I must win, and we must help President Trump win in November. Don’t let antifa do to Arizona what they did to Portland. They hate us just like the Socialist rioters do! Let’s defeat them together!”

French has largely refrained from criticizing Rogers, instead focusing on a platform that calls for more spending on educational reforms, stronger action to slow the spread of COVID-19 and stronger environmental regulations, especially when it comes to uranium mining on the watershed draining into the Grand Canyon and the release of heat-trapping gases from fracking operations. She suspended her campaign for more than a month to volunteer as a nurse on the Navajo Reservation.

French has also raised eye-popping donations — more than $218,000 prior to the primary election, in which she faced no opposition. Rogers and French plus outside groups mounting dark money independent campaigns are on track to spend more money in their race than all the candidates combined have spent in the district in the past four election cycles.

The district could flip control of the state House from Republicans to Democrats, but Republicans would maintain a comfortable advantage in the Senate even if French won the seat.

Contact the writer at paleshire@payson.com

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(16) comments

KENNETH MURPHY

There is nothing wrong with Oath Keepers. You see them burning cities, shooting cops, looting and acting like the jerks they are trying to protect people from?? NO you don't.

Ted Paulk

Jackson, We ain't playin' tennis dude. You continue to post lies about a person who murdered two UNARMED men and wounded another.

You defend a little creep who disrespected an old Indian.

You talk nonsense and disparage my facts.

YOU are a lot like Donald Trump...I see where you are coming from.

Ted Paulk

Dear Jack, I have no idea where you get your info, Qanon perhaps, or Fox...

Kyle Rittenhouse was ILLEGALLY carrying a firearm and lived in another state.

Rittenhouse murdered an unarmed person and that's why the crowd was chasing his sorry cowardly self. The man he shot and killed ON TV, was armed with a skateboard. The guy Ritty shot did not draw his weapon. If he had been a felon he would have been arrested for carrying a weapon. He is a former Paramedic!

Donald Trump and his sycophants like Gosar, Rogers and Biggs are trying to protect a mass murderer and YOU know it.

Trump's diversion of trying to be the "Law and Order President" is laughable. Trump's broken every law on the books except for murder...and I am pretty sure Putin has murdered some people for Trump.

"Research" will prove that Trump is the biggest liar to ever hold public office...surpassing even Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

I am a Viet Vet, ((and a Former Police Sergeant) known to Trump as a "Loser" and "sucker", so don't expect me to accept these lies from these known liars.

I know BS when I see it...Maybe YOU should do some research from a legitimate source sir.

Jack Handy

Ted,

You don't know where I get my information from? I posted exactly where I got the information posted in regards to the felons Kyle Rittenhouse took out while defending himself. Again, he will have his day in court, and I suspect you won't like the outcome as facts will again come into play and he'll be fully exonerated. It's nice that all the thugs with their camera phones like to post up video that proves what happened. It will certainly help Kyle in his case.

We already discussed the hit piece full of anonymous sources targeting President Trump and his supposed attacks on the troops. It was quickly disproven and has sunk off into the abyss. Bolton came out and defended President Trump.

Are you going to bring up Hunter Biden's glorious military career for the 3rd time? You need some new material man. You've beat this stuff to death.

Oh, and Sandmann did nothing to the old Native American that got into his face while he was standing there. No disrespect at all. CNN and other MSM sources smeared that kid to no end. They've now paid him a few hundred million for their bad behavior. That's why I suggested you might do some research.

I can still support everything I supply with facts. You're bordering on libel with some of the accusations you post. There are ramifications for that. I wouldn't be surprised if some of your targets are considering their options. You can't call people criminals and racists when they've not been convicted of anything. Might want to be careful with that behavior.

Jack

Ted Paulk

Handy man is now threatening me with Libel!

I was right, Handy is a lot like Trump. If YOU did your research, you would know that Sandmann didn't receive "Millions'. The headline said "Million Dollar Lawsuit Settled for Undisclosed Amount"...Sandy may have settled for a lot less...CNN settled because it was cheaper than going to court. Trump's attack on the troops has not been "disproven" just because Trump's cronies said they never heard him say it. Heck, I saw Trump call his generals "Cowards" and "The same thing he paid Stormy for"...And you haven't "Posted exactly where you got your information from..."

I guess, like Trump's crooked AG, you would love to see me charged with Sedition.

Pardner, I know nothing about you except by your own incorrect words...but I'm betting that you are not a Veteran nor are you very well educated...

Sue me!

Jack Handy

Ted,

I've not threatened you with anything. Dramatic much? I suggested the claims that you continue to make against people in your commentary could be considered to be libelous. Calling people criminals and racists when you can't support either is defamatory, and they could pursue legal recourse against you. I don't care enough about you to bother with it as I do not value your opinion. You amuse me with your selective comprehension and twisting of news stories to fit your agenda. When confronted with actual facts you turn tail and disappear.

Your latest claim that Sandmann didn't get millions? Totally absurd! He sued multiple news outlets for over $250MM each. You think they gave him pennies to go away? He got millions for them slandering him on their TV broadcasts, and libeling them in their papers and magazines. You think that was cheaper than court? He did nothing and the videos proved it. If there was any substance to their claims it would have been an open and shut case with an easy dismissal of his cases. They knew they screwed up and they paid the price for their bad behavior. Fake news at it again.

I do love the personal attacks. Now I'm not educated? Hilarious. I love people who think they're the smartest ones in the room as they rarely ever are. Same thing with people who tell you how smart they are. What a lonely existence at the top of your own hill.

Jack

KENNETH MURPHY

Kyle Rittenhouse is a hero and braver than anybody posting negative comments about him

Mike White

Ted Paulk is quite vitriolic toward Republicans. He must be miserable up here in Payson, hating about 60% of the population.

Jack Handy

Mike,

He's delusional to the point that I almost feel bad for him. Almost.

Jack

Ted Paulk

It's sad that a place as lovely as Payson is overrun with paranoid racists who worship a liar who paid Stormy Daniels $130,000; then lied about it. Sending his lawyer to prison instead. The guy who called my fellow veterans and me "Losers" and "Suckers".

Ted Paulk

Kyle Rittenhouse shot 3 unarmed people; killing two. Rittenhouse has been charged with murder. Gosar and Rogers are supporting a murderer.

Jack Handy

Ted,

The one shot in the arm was shown holding a pistol after being shot. Hardly unarmed. He was a convicted felon and certainly should not have been armed.

As for the other 2, both felons as well, they both attacked Kyle to the point of being in fear for his life presumably. He'll have his day in court if it makes it that far before being dismissed. At this point, the democrat DA is attempting to string this young hero up. It won't work, but makes great headlines. It also gives all the speculators and internet legal scholars something to do with their time. It's amusing.

Jack

Ted Paulk

Not one word in your commentary is true Jack...Like Gosar, Rogers, Trump and the rest of these racist cretins.

Jack Handy

Ted,

The very article you're replying to references reports that the guy shot in the arm had a handgun. Pictures of him holding a pistol are, or at least were, all over the internet. Much of this has been presumably scrubbed by Google.

It's OK, sit back and fester on situations that you are spoon fed lies on, and then don't be disappointed when the truth comes out, as it always does. It worked out well for Nick Sandmann, the now highest paid correspondent at CNN. Find some new sources for your information. Broaden your horizons. Do some research, like "who is Nick Sandmann" for starters.

Jack

Jack Handy

Ted,

Step out of your comfort zone and try some facts. Everything I posted was in fact true. All the scumbags, which you view as victims, were in fact convicted felons. Kyle will get his day in court, or do you not believe in that right? How about innocent until proven guilty? Based on the repeated accusations coming from your keyboard regarding who is criminal, apparently not.

Try a search for Kenosha Reporter. Looks pretty unbiased to me.

The first one shot was Joseph Rosenbaum. A felon convicted of 5 counts of rape and molestation of boys between 9 and 11 years old. He was the one who threw a Molotov cocktail at Kyle Rittenhouse and then assaulted him, ending up with him being shot and killed. Self defense is what the experts are claiming.

The nice gentlemen that chased Kyle and attacked him with a skateboard, include a serious blow to the head, which would make the skateboard a deadly weapon in most peoples' eyes, was a repeat domestic abuser, and a felon.

Gaige Grosskreutz, the surviving "victim" recently gave an interview where he said he regrets "not being able to kill" Kyle Rittenhouse. That's going to be helpful for the defense of young Kyle and his claim of self defense. He's the one shot in the arm and missing a good portion of his bicep. He pulled a pistol, which is illegal as I stated above, as he is a convicted felon. Convictions include felony burglary and criminal trespass.

Once again, I can support all of my claims. Because you disagree doesn't make them false. Game. Set. Match.

Jack

Ted Paulk

Apparently the Payson Republicans are defending the murderer too. Wow!

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