SANDPOINT — Mayor Shelby Rognstad released a statement Wednesday denouncing a flyer which falsely represents his views immigration and tolerance of those from other cultures.
Rognstad called the one-page flyer illegal and noted it’s the second time in the last two weeks that they have been circulated in the community.
“This community responds to hate and ignorance with the power of truth and justice,” Rognstad said in the two-paragraph statement.
The rest of the statement reads as follows:
“Know that as your mayor, my purpose remains clear. I am here to promote economic prosperity by supporting job growth, innovative industry, local business and enhancing the tremendous quality of life we enjoy here in Sandpoint. At the same time I stand in support of human rights and a fair and equitable society. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place, in such a beautiful community.
“I will continue to work with all of you to retain the best of Sandpoint while positioning our town to be evermore successful in the future. We have the raw ingredients for incredible prosperity and by working together, in alignment, we can all actualize that success together.”
The bogus flyers began turning up in local mailboxes last week. Someone erroneously reported them as being advertising inserts in the Daily Bee.
A quote attributed to Rognstad which city officials said was a fabrication stated that he was the vanguard for multiculturalism in Sandpoint. A block of text below the purported quote stating that immigration from Third World nations will enrich Sandpoint and the rape of women and children by immigrants from war-torn nations such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan was a fact of life that should be tolerated.
City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton said the mailings were being investigated by Sandpoint Police
An Internet link a smartphone bar code at the bottom of the flyer directs web browsers to a YouTube video posted by a white supremacist group that has gained prominence since Donald Trump’s election as president. The same group is accused of distributing racist flyers in Sandpoint last month.
Rognstad was also targeted by an automated phone message during the 2016 contested mayoral election. The so-called “robo-call” branded Rognstad as a feminist intent on purging blue collar Caucasians in Sandpoint in favor of low-income minorities. The tropes evoked in the robo-call are remarkably similar to those found in the flyers.
Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.