New Solano group cancels Vacaville event with election denier after inquiry

Solano Sheriff Tom Ferrara and members of his staff met with the Solano Committee of Safety, who posted this photo and proclaimed Ferrara to be a “constitutional sheriff,” which Ferrara disputed. | Uncredited image.

Vallejo Sun, by Scott Morris, July 20, 2023

VACAVILLE – A new group in Solano County that appears to be tied to a national extremist movement canceled an event with Douglas G. Frank, a former math and science teacher who has spread false claims about the 2020 election, a day after receiving questions about the event from the Vallejo Sun.

The “Solano Committee of Safety,” which intended to host Frank for a speaking engagement in Vacaville, also took down its website late Wednesday. It’s unclear who is behind the newly-formed group, which is not a registered organization with the state of California and identified its officers only by their first names. After the Sun inquired about their identities, the leadership’s photos were removed from the website and the group declined to provide their last names before the entire site was taken down. The website domain name was registered anonymously in March.

Frank has spread unsubstantiated, misleading and false theories about the 2020 election in a series of speaking engagements across the country and appears to be under investigation by the FBI after data was illegally taken from a local government office. Frank has worked for MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an ally of former President Donald Trump, who has extensively spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

The Aug. 10 event with Frank at the Vacaville Veterans Hall would have been the group’s second event after an initial outreach event in July. The event was canceled Wednesday without explanation after the Sun asked about whether the group had any concerns that Frank’s rhetoric would inappropriately erode confidence in the county’s voting systems and about a recent incident when Frank appeared to call for violence.

The group also appears to be affiliated with the National Liberty Alliance, a group which encourages people to start local “Committees of Safety,” organize militias and seek commitments from local sheriffs to follow “constitutional sheriff” ideology — a fringe view that asserts that sheriffs have ultimate power in enforcing the U.S. Constitution. The Solano committee claimed on its website that Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara said that he subscribes to these views, which Ferrara has since disputed.

Frank has traveled the country speaking to small audiences and meeting with election officials. The Solano Committee of Safety said that Frank, who was formerly a math and science teacher in Ohio, has appeared at more than 300 speaking engagements over the last year.

His conclusions — including that an algorithm created by unknown conspirators determines the result of U.S. elections using large numbers of phantom voters — have been amplified by Lindell. Frank has also spoken at Trump rallies.

During a recent appearance in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Frank even seemed to incite violence. “If Antifa comes to town, what’s your instinct? Call the sheriff? Wrong,” he said. “If Antifa comes to town, you get your AR and you call your neighbors and you meet them on the street and you take care of business. You call the

He went on, “If you have a problem, you don’t call your legislator, you fix it. Maybe the legislature will fix it three years later. If you’re waiting for legislation you’re going to be waiting… nothing’s going to happen. You’re going to have to fix it.”

During the same talk in Pennsylvania, Frank claimed he was working with sheriffs across California and would soon expose massive voter fraud. He implied that if voter rolls increase faster than population growth, that suggests fraudulent voters have been added, despite that changes in demographics, successful registration drives or a popular election may boost registration. He also repeatedly falsely said that local election officials are not in charge of counting ballots.

Justin Grimmer, a political science professor at Stanford University, has extensively researched Frank’s claims and created a website that refutes Frank’s claims of fraud. Grimmer said that Frank often claims he has volunteers canvassing to find voter fraud, but that they have turned up nothing.

“I have spent a lot of time investigating his claims, and I have not seen a single individual case of voter fraud that he has surfaced,” Grimmer said. “He has claims but at no point has he ever shown that there is voter fraud.”

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