The following article is in response to a Shelby Rognstad Facebook post, Sandpoint Daily Bee article written by Rognstad, and remarks Rognstad made at a recent Mayoral Round-Table discussion. In classic examples of psychological projection, Rognstad accuses his detractors of the shortcomings and social crimes he is himself regularly committing. With the endorsement of co-signatories, (hence, use of the pronoun, “we”), the article below begins to set the record straight.
We are writing here in response to the article you posted on your Facebook page, writing to point out errors you make in fact and judgment. Added to these are what I can only interpret to be the disrespect you hold for the intelligence of those who support you, and as you make clear, those who do not.
In your post targeting Lt. Gov. McGeachin, you tagged AFPAC as being Anti-Semitic. Having read the back story, I’m left to understand that you believe that a person’s ethnicity shields them from any criticism of words and actions. More specifically, critical remarks about uber-left/globalist operative, and Jewish man, George Soros, brands all AFPAC members Jew haters. If this is true, then please think a moment. A DNA study conducted at Belgium’s, internationally respected KU Leuven University, completed in 2010 supports the long-held belief Adolf Hitlers mother, hence, Adolph himself was likely Jewish. According to your logic, Mayor Rognstad, anyone who criticizes Hitler is an antisemite. Absurd? Yes. Equal in absurdity is this same slander you and others leveled at AFPAC participants.
Next, the “AFPAC as white nationalist” accusation. Looking at AFPAC’s website, on display for all is the 2022 conference speaker list. Along with Lt. Gov. McGeachin were Bryson Gray, Jon Miller, and Jessie Lee Peters; three proud Black men. Not persons one would expect to see on stage at what propagandists characterize as a white nationalist gathering.
Posting to your personal Facebook page was a demonstration of Shelby Rognstad – Citizen, exercising his First Amendment right to speak freely. But in this same “personal” post you speak from the position of elected authority, reminding readers that you are also Shelby Rognstad – Mayor of The City of Sandpoint. You exercised a Constitutional right. A wiser man would have exorcised better judgement. You made it clear that you do not respect, therefore, cannot be trusted to fairly represent all Sandpoint residents. News that it may be to some, confirmation to others – you make your position clear.
Not surprisingly, you used her AFPAC speech as an opportunity to attack your rival, Gubernatorial Candidate McGeachin. But in an odd, call it left-handed way, I wish you had done a better job. Your remarks could have been cut-and pasted from Antifa/BLM/urban-left playbook, revealing an unwillingness to think originally or critically – or to work hard enough to portray yourself in more flattering light. One wonders, if you care so little about your own image, how little do you care about the people of Sandpoint, and God forbid, the greater population of this state?
At last week’s City Council meeting you made a point of asking city finance auditors, Magnuson, McHugh & Co’s representative as to whether their findings show that you and council members at the time, were in compliance with US Treasury guidelines as they were written for recipients of first distribution, ARPA funds.
Two points need to be made here:
1.) Apparently, the auditor’s findings were news to you, as when asked, you admitted to those in attendance at your recent round-table, that you had neither read nor been sufficiently advised by your own staff or other county officials regarding the text and terms, specifically, the obligations incurred by The City of Sandpoint, and by proxy the taxpaying citizens of Sandpoint – federal obligations you assumed on our behalf at the time you spent ARPA funds. Said again, with inexcusable carelessness, you obligated Sandpoint to a binding contract with the federal government, the terms of which you did not know.
2.) The current argument in your defense suggests that only law, regulation, and XO’s in place at the time of your actions are applicable. However, nothing is said about a situation arising, (as it has in Arizona), from contradictions between statutory law, as crafted by Congress, and administrative law, the regulations – administrative rules that flow from enabling statutory laws. Add to this, all who are paying attention see the astounding speed at which the foundation of law and its interpretations are shifting. Mr. Mayor, neither you, or anyone else who has accepted ARPA money can take a moments comfort for having been, “in compliance at the time,” with US Treasury’s administrative rules, as per legal guidance or an auditor’s findings.
Does anyone think that those responsible in Arizona State Government failed to read Treasury’s documents before accepting ARPA funds? And still, they are now subject to a federal challenge, obligated to spend precious time and money answering to and defending against charges. Worse, of course, would be compulsory obedience to a federal government, now openly hostile to an ever-larger percentage of American citizens. In support of my argument, consider section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act – its recently expanded definition of a domestic terrorist.
Mayor Rognstad, you call dissenters extremists, and a plague, in an attempt to discredit those who disagree with you, going so far as to summon the specter of Richard Butler’s, Aryan Nation. In truth, far from Butler’s followers, those you are attacking are that “well-informed electorate,” championed by Thomas Jefferson. People whose efforts Jefferson recognized as indispensable, a prerequisite to democracy.” Jefferson’s heroes are the people you vilify and dismiss as haters.
However irritating disagreement may be, like sand in the flesh of an oyster it gives us pearls in the form of wise governance, from which flows trust in the decisions elected officials must make. Taking a lesson from computer architecture, multiprocessor systems do more work in less time while increasing accuracy and reliability. By approaching problems from multiple angles simultaneously these systems reveal a wider range of solutions. Multiprocessor computing is directly analogous to the wisdom of the many working independently in a society that recognizes the advantages offered to everyone for having protected free speech, respected dissenting opinions, and the people who hold them.
By comparison, totalitarian governments rip open the oyster to remove a grain of sand. Having called for the expulsion of our Lieutenant Governor, and the expulsion from your own political party of any who disagree with you suggests that if allowed, you too, would kill the oyster. We would rather not believe that you are the kind of man who would choose autocracy over government of, by, and for the people. We would rather believe that you simply failed to recognize the dreadful, unconstitutional implications of your words. And having reconsidered, will publicly retract, and apologize for your remarks.
Short of this, just as you stated in your post, “we have a crisis in leadership.”
Having called for the removal of Governor McGeachin and the expulsion from your own party of those who stand in your way, you leave readers to wonder; is it not McGeachin, but you who should be removed from office, and “kicked out” of your party?
Tom Carroll – Sandpoint resident. Karen Hefley – Sandpoint resident Cheri Tilford – Sandpoint Resident