When Republicans side with militants, it’s a good idea to make note of it. An Oregon state legislator – from outside Harney County where the armed militants have seized a federal building – arrived on Saturday with out-of-state elected officials to meet with the Bundy militia members.
The Oregonian reports:
Oregon Rep. Cliff Bentz, a Republican from Ontario, and Harney County Judge Steven E. Grasty said that they tried to warn state Rep. Dallas Heard against traveling to Burns. But Heard, a Republican from Roseburg, arrived anyway, they said, and brought officials elected to state office in Washington, Idaho and Nevada with him.
“He had called me and indicated he was heading that direction, and I indicated that was inappropriate,” said Bentz. “I think it’s fair to say I was not enthusiastic about the idea.”
Bentz’s district is in Harney County, but Heard wasn’t listening (Heard didn’t hear him. Oh, forget it).
Northern Arizona rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, one of the leaders of the militant group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said on Sunday morning that the officials met with the protesters Saturday evening.
Finicum, 55, was recently interviewed after he was found sittin’ under a blue tarp with a rifle in his lap. Memes were made and quickly circulated on Twitter because it was such an unusual sight.
Heard confirmed that he he met with the militants, including Ammon Bundy. According to Finicum, Heard and the elected officials were told not to go to meet with the militants.
Watch courtesy of the Oregonian:
Heard claims he was on “a fact-finding mission.”
According to Heard, he was concerned over any potential violence and wanted to prevent another tragedy such as the shooting last year at Umpqua Community College, which is in his district.
“I was concerned that some of my constituents might have been mixed up in this,” Heard said. “A good shepherd’s job is to take care of all his flock.”
Harney County Judge Steven E. Grasty was pissed off.
“I find it really interesting that not only did law enforcement advise him not to go out there, [but] it seems to me that we now have a state representative who will not listen to local input,” Grasty said. “And isn’t that the same thing that our armed visitors are saying about the federal government? It’s the same thing.”
Heard called himself an “elected representative of the people.”
“We represent all of Oregon,” he said.
Heard declined to reveal the names of the out-of-state elected officials who joined him but Grasty said at least one of the elected officials from outside Oregon was “clearly a Bundy supporter.”
“I said, ‘Please, guys, you are no different than any other outside group coming in and trying to fix it,'” Grasty said. “I don’t see that group as any different than the Bundys. I think they placed themselves in danger. … Just their visit would encourage [the Bundys].”
Grasty continued to say that Heard and the other elected officials were concerned about an armed assault on the protesters by law enforcement.
“They were clearly told…there will not be any armed assault from law enforcement on that compound,” Grasty said.
“I don’t want them to be our voice. … Why in the world would an out-of-area legislator think that he can come in here and fix it?” Grasty said. “He’s probably the most inexperienced legislator in the state of Oregon. … It just seems bizarre.”
Representatives from the Sheriff’s office warned Heard not to interfere.
Heard went there to be sure nothing happened to the armed militants who have besieged the area. He’s not concerned over the businesses that have had to close, the schools, the Bureau of Land Management, the townspeople or the authorities who do not want the militia members there.
Well Heard is not alone. We’re sure he has at least one other Republican in his corner. Tennessee Republican Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) publicly offered the armed militants support on Twitter.
Anymore want to step up? We’re going to keep a list.
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H/T: FON’s own @ComgenKDT, with thanks.
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