The Republican Women of Weld thought they had a place secured for the club’s monthly meeting that would explore the topic of oil and gas development. That is, until the Town of Erie told them that their planned meeting was “too politically sensitive” and revoked the space the Republican women intended to use.

According to DeAndrea Arndt, president of the Republican Women of Weld, the group offered to cancel the oil and gas speaker and focus on a different topic (to which, we say, why?), Erie still put the kibosh on the meeting space, with the deputy town administrator, Farrell Buller, claiming that changing the topic was “not acceptable, regardless of the topic of makeup of the meeting.”

To Arndt’s point, Republican women clubs are pretty tame as far as political clubs go. But this isn’t about all political groups according to activists in Weld County and Erie, who say that the town has permitted anti-fracking groups to use the space. In fact, one activist noted that on August 4, 2018, there was an open event to sign a petition in support of what eventually became Proposition 112. The event was hosted by Colorado Rising (the anti-fracking group) at the Erie Community Center.

At the very least, this seems unfair, but maybe even illegal. If anyone from the Erie Board of Trustees would like to explain why fractivists get to hold public meetings, but Republican women don’t, we’re all ears.