So just who is Winnie?
“Winnie,” no last name given, is listed as the petitioner trying to recall Grants Pass Mayor Sarah Bristol and Councilors Vanessa Ogier, Rob Pell, Brian DeLaGrange and Curt Collins. Winnie is upset the Councilors, who all ran on addressing the city’s homeless problem, are trying to address the city’s homeless problem. Other than that, the recall appears to be nothing more than a poorly disguised attempt to win an election through stealth. One of the people named in the recall, Brian DeLaGrange, just happens to be running for county commissioner. The recall bunch, who lists their email title as “Voters4ConservativeLeadership” apparently believes no one should be allowed to run for any elected office in Josephine County unless they’re to the right of Tucker Carlson.
This is a dirty tricks operation if there ever was one. Ads have been run warning voters not to vote for DeLaGrange because he’s under recall. Ironically, his opponent, John West, has been saying things in his campaign that could get him recalled for good reason. West says he can make the sheriff’s department solvent again just by shifting money around in the county’s budget. He’d have to do things that are clearly illegal to accomplish that. In addition, Pell and Collins are up for election anyway. Why recall them? Are the characters running against Pell and Collins so unelectable they need a smear campaign to get them in office? People of integrity don’t do this kind of thing.
Recalls are expensive and recalling five officeholders would entail gathering about 10,000 signatures so the effort is clearly a fake. Whoever thought this up as a way to get their candidates elected might be a hero to the Republican Party here, which carries a “Sign the Recall, Remove the Liberal Counselors” sign on their website but this shameless sham is something no one should be proud of in a Democracy. This is called lying to get your guy elected. This should be called out by all elected officials and political party leaders in our county or it will just get worse. What’s next? Criminal accusations? A phony court case?
Interestingly, the only member of the Grants Pass City Council who actually has been accused of criminality, Republican DJ Faszer, isn’t mentioned in the recall. Earlier this fall he was arrested on an assault charge and taken to jail.
The main reason given for recalling each of the councilors and the mayor is they do “not represent the conservative principles of a majority of their constituents.” Apparently they believe the majority of Grants Pass citizens, which voted all these people into office, don’t want them to provide an urban campground so they can finally keep people from sleeping in city parks, don’t want more affordable housing in the city, don’t want their councilors to pass a responsible budget and don’t want people suffering from treatment-resistant PTSD, depression and substance abuse, all contributors to homelessness, to get relief where they can find it.
Good ole’ Winnie also says these councilors defunded the police during the budget passed back in 2021, never mentioning that the city has a levy passed by voters to support public safety in the city. The “defund” allegation on the petition refers to nothing more than “excerpts” from letters to the editor of the Grants Pass Courier for it’s evidence.
The allegations for the recall, posted on their Grants Pass Recall website, are a poor attempt to disguise the fact they have a lousy candidate running for commissioner who can’t compete with DeLaGrange’s record of public service so they have to use smear tactics to get him elected. This recall will most likely evaporate after Nov. 8. Hopefully, voters will see through this and realize if a candidate goes along with this to get elected he isn’t worthy of holding any elected office in Josephine County.