Shasta County is not for sale. But Reverge Anselmo, whose family wealth he inherited from his billionaire parents’ PanAmSat empire, has been buying Shasta County politicians since 2020.
Who is Reverge Anselmo?
Anselmo grew up in Connecticut and worked for his father’s company until he quit over a dispute with one of his father’s other employees and his father did not take his side.
Anselmo sued his first wife for divorce and child custody orders in both Connecticut and Texas while she was eight months pregnant. He has since been divorced two more times, in 2013 in Shasta County, and in 2020 in Connecticut.
Anselmo also bankrolled an autobiographical self-written, self-directed 2004 film “Stateside.” With a budget of $16 million, the film grossed only $174,318 worldwide.
Anselmo is pictured to the left posing with Katherine Heigl, Val Kilmer, and Rachael Leigh Cook at the premiere of Anselmo’s commercially unsuccessful film, Stateside.
While still in his second marriage, Anselmo moved to Shasta County and opened up Anselmo Vineyards.
Anselmo developed an apparent grudge against the Shasta County Resource Management Department because of permitting issues with a chapel. Referring to the conflict over land use as “Chapelgate,” Anselmo positioned himself as an anti-government crusader defended by the Tea Party and his supporters joked about a county-level insurrection against code enforcement back in 2012.
As a result of Anselmo’s refusal to comply with county requirements, Anselmo became entrenched in three different lawsuits with the county, two of which he lost, and one which he settled. In the third litigation, Anselmo was required to pay out over 1.3 million dollars to the County of Shasta.
In 2020, Anselmo donated $100,000 to Patrick Jones’ campaign for Shasta County Board of Supervisors, thought to be the biggest donation given to a candidate for a county political office–EVER.
Anselmo had already donated thousands to Patrick Jones during a previous campaign in 2012, but he did not comply with Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) rules, earning himself an $800 fine.
Flush with Anselmo’s money, Jones was easily able to out-campaign incumbent Republican Supervisor Steve Morgan.
Jones’ high-gloss ads and hyper-patriotic imagery were a preview for the Red, White, and Blueprint docu-series, which starred Jones, Anselmo, and several other political extremists who supported Recall Shasta, and the Shasta General Purpose Committee.
Getting Jones into office was just a start. As a sitting supervisor, Jones was often out-voted 3-2 by fellow board members on controversial issues, an issue he discussed in the third episode of the Red, White, and Blueprint series “Count to Three.”
As is apparent from Jones’ docu-series appearance, the recall attempts against Leonard Moty, Joe Chimenti, and Mary Rickert were motivated by Jones’ desire to obtain control of the board by replacing them with candidates who would vote consistently in the same direction as Jones who was backed by Anselmo.
After Kevin Crye and Chris Kelstrom took office, Jones’ wish has finally been granted: those two now consistently vote in line with Jones’ and Anselmo’s goals, including terminating the voting contract with Dominion without a replacement voting system in place, a decision that is expected to cost the County of Shasta millions of dollars.
After repeated lawsuits that Anselmo personally cites as the cause of his divorce from his second wife and his decision to move back to Connecticut, it seems Anselmo is finally about to succeed at making Shasta County bleed money in service of his grudge.
Anselmo made two separate donations of $50,000 on August 11, 2021 and $400,000 on November 11, 2021 to the Shasta General Purpose Committee. A few days later, The Committee to Elect Kevin Crye received a donation of $4,900 on November 15, 2021.
The funding sources for the Red, White, and Blueprint docu-series were not publicly disclosed, but given Anselmo’s appearance in one of the first few episodes, shot in his Connecticut home, it is widely believed that he contributed financially and creatively to the project.
The docu-series aired with a companion podcast, originally named the Red, White, and Blueprint podcast, but was later rebranded as “Patriot State of Mind” with the same logo as the docu-series and hosted by several original cast members of the docu-series. Crye appeared on that podcast to discuss his run for County Supervisor on April 4, 2022.
By May of 2022 Anselmo had donated nearly $1 million to political candidates and political action committees but still wasn’t registered as a major donor.
Since the Committee to Recall Kevin Crye was formed, Anselmo has donated $100,000 to help Kevin Crye protect his seat by falsely suggesting that recall proponents want Gov. Gavin Newsom to hand-pick a liberal replacement to appoint if Kevin Crye is recalled.
FACT: Proponents of Crye’s recall want to bring back fiscally responsible governance and rational decision-making, and have vocally supported an election process to replace Crye instead of asking Newsom to appoint a replacement. The Committee to Recall Kevin Crye has written to the Governor strongly requesting a local election and local control.
Past recall targets Leonard Moty, Joe Chimenti, and Mary Rickert are all registered Republicans. When Crye ran for his position in 2022, his opponent was Republican Erin Resner, who he defeated by a mere 90 votes. All five members of the current Board of Supervisors are Republicans, including District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman, who was recently accused by the Shasta County GOP of breaking Reagan’s 11th Commandment: thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. That commandment apparently doesn’t apply to the likes of Anselmo, who has now spent years donating huge sums of money to smear campaigns against several fellow Republicans, fueling a local culture war where everyone loses.
This recent large donation by Anselmo demonstrates that Crye is now part of Anselmo’s agenda to exact revenge on Shasta County. Crye has proven himself to Anselmo by voting against the interests of Shasta County.
Crye is more interested in impressing election deniers like Mike Lindell than making sure Shasta County protects the voting rights of its residents. Crye is willing to let us foot the bill while he networks across the country.
Crye thinks he knows better than experienced county experts, preferring to take advice from conspiracy theorists and opportunists.
Crye has been caught in deceptive behavior including bizarrely pretending not to know a supporter at his town hall, recruiting litigious secessionist Chriss Street to become Chief Executive Officer of Shasta County, and inviting unqualified outsiders to weigh in with support for hand-counted ballots.
Crye has ignored advice and warnings from county personnel and the state. Crye has bullied county staff and the public. County leaders and staff are now quitting left and right, leaving the county short by nearly 230 employees.
Crye is exactly the type of divisive, harmful influence that someone who absolutely hates Shasta County would want in office.
With the financial backing of bitter ex-resident Reverge Anselmo, Crye can now afford mountains of glossy propaganda aimed at protecting himself from a bipartisan, true grassroots recall with no major donors.
But just because he can buy it, doesn’t mean YOU have to.
SHASTA COUNTY IS NOT FOR SALE.
Your vote shouldn’t be either. Sign the petition to recall Kevin Crye and vote him out. Join us in the fight to protect Shasta County from out-of-state money and political influencers with agendas that hurt our community.