While the big news of the week is that a recall petition has been filed against a Harney County official (Commissioner Steve Grasty), the media always continues with “who did not support the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”  Does one really have to do with the other?  Not necessarily.

While I did not sign the petition, I have attended County Court meetings for years and have voiced opposition to County over-reach in land use and other matters.  Giving Bundy credit for our community awakening to long festering internal problems only serves to open fresh wounds and divert attention from the real issues.

A week prior, the liberal media was focused on the number of candidates running for office and again credited the occupation of the Refuge.  As a candidate who was never asked by the reporting media, let me say that a number of candidates are running because they can.

In the past our elections were run by the democrat and republican parties.  It was informally agreed that no local party member would run against an incumbent of their own party.  Consequently, the number of candidates was limited.  Party nominees were determined in the primary.  If your party did not have a candidate, you did not get a vote.  So, we have had years where the incumbent was not challenged and the decision was made at the primary level. 

After the last election, it was decided to make all county positions non-partisan.  Now, all party members get to vote.  And, with the Independent party allowing non-affiliated registered voters to vote on their ballot, every vote is now counted as in a true democratic republic.

The media should take note that this simple step in progress was done before the occupation.  It is a welcome encouragement of new voices and expansion of a previously controlled and stagnated leadership pool.  It is also a reflection of the same restraints on state and national levels.  So obvious and yet ignored until 2016.

And now that the recall petition has been verified, more attacks are flown at the unsuccessful candidates to keep the issue alive.  They assert that all the losing candidates were Bundi supporters and rightly defeated by the righteous electorate.  Whom ever feeds them this dribble should be publicly recognized for their lies and disservice to our community. 

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