A host of MAGA maniacs are slated to address next weekend’s gathering in a circus tent turned church just outside Nashville, Tennessee.
As in previous ReAwaken America events in other venues, the lead crazy will be retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who called for our military to mount a coup after the 2020 election.
The speakers list includes Roger Stone, who once said, “Fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence. Shoot to kill.”
Also on the roster is Mike Lindell, the MyPillow guy and unhinged conspiracy theorist, who has said that he possesses enough evidence to lock up 300 million people for life.
But even the lunatic fringe has its limits. And one ReAwaken America regular who has been a big hit at other such events has been nixed from speaking next weekend after she was arrested for harassment and filing false sex abuse claims.
Kimberly Reicks is a 40-year-old mother of seven who teamed up with fellow Ankeny mom Emily Peterson to oppose mask mandates as the two “Iowa Mama Bears.” Reicks now faces charges of targeting the other Mama Bear’s family with the bogus claims.
Back in May 2002, Reicks and Peterson rose to MAGA World prominence, when they were credited with prompting Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to sign a bill prohibiting school mask mandates. The far-right celebrity of the Mama Bears was assured at a ReAwaken America event the following month, when they received what was described as “the first Fearless Fighters for American Values Award.” Flynn’s sister Mary read the citation.
“This award is given to recognize their fearless fighting for the American values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we hold near and dear to our hearts,” she solemnly told the crowd as if it were a military medal for valor. “The Mama Bears work to fight for their children and the children of thousands of other mothers and families across the United States are extraordinary and bring great credit to themselves, their families, their community and state, as well as substantially benefiting the betterment of America. May God bless these great heroes.”
For a time, the two Mama Bears were part of the MAGA firmament. But in April of last this year, there was a falling out. Reicks told The Daily Beast it was about money. Peterson declined to answer a query.
Reicks continued as a lone Mama Bear. She was invited to address several ReAwaken America gatherings and she became one of the more popular speakers as she extended her concerns beyond masks to such hot issues as gender identity. Her celebrity was further boosted in October, when she stood before the Ankeny School Board and registered her objections to an after-classes drag show at the high school. She dramatized her point by suddenly stripping to a one-shoulder black leotard and nude tights, an outfit identical to what one of the performers had worn.
“I want to know, does this outfit make you turn your head?” she asked. “Is this outfit appropriate for anybody here to see?”
The next day, a police officer showed up at her home, but it had nothing to do with her stunt.
The officer told Reicks that her phone and voice have been linked to a number of recorded anonymous calls to the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) making false accusations of child sexual abuse in Peterson’s family.
According to a criminal complaint filed with the court, one call made a bogus claim that Peterson’s husband had watched his daughter undress. The other made an equally bogus allegation that one of Peterson’s sons had sexually abused her daughter.
The complaint says that Reicks initially denied making the calls but then admitted she had, insisting that she had only been conveying what her own daughter had told her.
Several days after visiting Reicks at home, the officer called to give her the option of coming in and surrendering rather than being picked up on charges of harassment and making false statements.
Reicks prepared for her latest closeup.
“I did my hair and makeup, went in at like two o’clock in the morning, smiled for my mugshot,” she told The Daily Beast this week.
“I never saw a mugshot like that.”
She was released pending a preliminary hearing on Jan. 19. A trial is set for Feb. 23.
“I asked for a trial by jury,” she said.
She said she is confident she will be acquitted and will soon be back to addressing ReAwaken America crowds. She may be joined by her husband, Jonathan Reicks, who is a military medic. She says that he was not happy when she came home very late on the night the no-mask-mandate bill was signed.
“He’s like, ‘Where are you at?’” she remembered. “And I’m like, ‘I was just in the governor’s office getting the law passed.’ He’s like, ‘BS what’s the guy’s name?’ And I’m like, ‘No, seriously…’ I show him a picture of me standing next to Governor Reynolds and he just looks at me and he just rolled his eyes and went back to bed. And we’ve been fine ever since.”
Reicks will attend this weekend’s ReAwaken America gathering only as a spectator.
“Normally, I just speak on stage,” she told The Daily Beast. “I can’t speak at this upcoming one because the trial isn’t done and I get it. I understand why and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize anybody or anything.”