July 1, 2016
Harney County residents showed their resilience and even judgment in soundly rejecting a recall attempt aimed at Steve Grasty, the county’s judge since 1999.
Earlier this year, Grasty showed cool-headed behavior and promoted civic restraint during the illegal armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by Ammon Bundy and cronies. Grasty had disallowed the use of a building on the county’s fairgrounds by Bundy for a meeting at which militia would likely be in tow — a rational choice. But the recall petition claimed Grasty had violated citizens’ right to assembly and freedom of speech. Oh. It’s as if Bundy’s rights were abridged when he seized federal property, stealing it from the taxpayers who own it, and piously claimed the government was the bad guy.
Grasty functions more as an elected county commissioner in rural Harney County than courtroom judge. And he characteristically downplayed Bundy’s trouncing by voters.
Oregon will in time lose its Bundy hangover. It takes repudiations such as voters’ rejection of the recall, along with level-headed leaders such as Grasty, to make that happen.
-The Oregonian/OregonLive editorial board