Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes has deleted his official Facebook page after receiving threats following a post he made about Rep. Lauren Boebert and some of her supporters.
Godes, on Jan. 12, reposted to his official Glenwood Springs Mayor Facebook page the photo of then-candidate Lauren Boebert standing with 13 of her supporters. Four of the individuals standing behind Boebert in the photo appear to be intentionally holding up the three-finger sign in a nod to the Three Percenters, an extremist anti-government militia group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In a statement at the start of Thursday’s Glenwood Springs city council meeting, Godes apologized for the characterizations he made of Boebert and her supporters pictured but defended his initial motivations.
“As an elected official in a community that is represented by the congresswoman, I felt that it was important to make a clear distinction that these people and these hand signs do not represent the citizens of Glenwood Springs,” Godes said during Thursday’s city council meeting ahead of public comment. “These are not my friends and neighbors.”
Godes said he posted the photo while frustrated by some of the national attention Boebert was casting on Colorado’s 3rd Congressional district, which includes Garfield County and the city of Glenwood Springs.
The photo, which circulated on the internet long before Godes reposted it to his own official Facebook page, was previously miscaptioned, falsely claiming the image captured was taken at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, before the violent insurrection that resulted in five casualties. Boebert — who that morning tweeted “Today is 1776” — was then accused of giving tours to insurrectionists and knowing about the violent plans before they transpired.
In fact, the photo of Boebert was taken outside of the Colorado State Capitol in 2019 during an anti-red flag law protest, according to the Colorado Times Recorder. And while Boebert did give a tour of the Capitol, said tour occurred on Jan. 2 — for her family, who were in Washington, D.C. to celebrate her being sworn in to her new role in Congress.
“I have never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group,” Boebert wrote in a Jan. 18 letter to Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat who during a CNN interview echoed such accusations against Boebert. “Again, the only people I have ever had in the Capitol with me during the 117th Congress are my young children, husband, mom, aunt and uncle.”
In his Jan. 12 post, Godes posted the photograph, which depicts Boebert and her supporters at the Colorado State Capitol and stated, “The people in this picture are flashing white power signs. As the insurrectionists were amassing outside the Capitol, the congresswoman referred to them as ‘her constituents’ in her floor speech.”
Later, Godes edited the post to say, “The people in this picture are flashing the ‘Three Percenters” signs. For those that are unfamiliar with this group, this is what the Anti-Defamation League says about them. ‘Three percenters have a track record of criminal activity ranging from weapons violations to terrorist plots and attacks.’”
Godes’ post led to several commenters claiming that the individuals photographed behind Boebert were not white supremacists.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Three Percenter concept, created in 2008, is based on an “inaccurate historical claim that only 3% of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the British.”
Godes has since deleted the post and his entire official Facebook page due to the vulgar comments and threats he received.
“As soon as I saw that my post had generated significant attention, and after seeing additional profane and threatening comments pour in, I deleted my account entirely,” Godes said. “I contacted local police and reported one of the death threats directly for their investigation, as the safety of my family comes before anything else.”
Only one member of the public, Garfield County resident Sheronna Bishop — who runs a Facebook page called “America’s Mom” and is an avid and vocal guns-rights advocate — called in during Thursday’s public comment period of the city council meeting to voice her displeasure with Godes’ use of his official Facebook account.
“The comments you make on your social media about tearing people apart, it just seems to be a pattern of unhinged behavior in my opinion that is not becoming of a mayor of Glenwood Springs or anywhere else,” Bishop, who alongside Boebert protested Aspen city council’s 2019 proposal to ban firearms in city buildings, said. “You believe that Lauren incited insurrection. There is no evidence of that, it’s categorically false, and yet you’re continuing to advocate this narrative.”
According to Visit Glenwood Springs Director of Tourism Promotion Lisa Langer, her office had received five emails from individuals who said they would no longer spend money in Garfield County — or any of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District — due to Lauren Boebert being its representative.
“They were very short,” Langer said of the emails she received. “One of them said, ‘Until [Boebert] is not your representative, I’m not coming back.’”
Langer said prior to Boebert’s election, she had never received emails from individuals saying they would not visit an area because of its elected congressional representative.
“That’s a first,” she said.