Friday, April 11, 2014

Republican state assembly candidate steps forward to support Cliven Bundy in NV ranch stand-off

From Eric Dondero: 

There was a meeting of the Moapa Valley Town Advisory Board (MVTAB) Monday night. On the agenda Federal encroachments by the BLM onto rural Nevada lands. Libertarian/Tea Party property rights activist and rancher Cliven Bundy was the main speaker. 

From, "Moapa Valley supports local rancher":
More than 300 Southern Nevadans packed the Moapa Valley Town Advisory Board (MVTAB) meeting Wednesday night to hear Cliven Bundy speak of his ongoing fight with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Bundy was preaching to the choir. 
The standing-room-only crowd, which overflowed the Overton Community Center nearly to the street, broke into cheers and applause several times during Bundy’s nearly 40-minute speech. 
“I love people,” Bundy said. “I love this land. I love the state of Nevada, and no one can tell me the federal government owns this land.”
One local candidate stood in support of Bundy.
Laura Bledsoe, a candidate for Cresent Hardy’s soon-to-be-vacant assembly seat, spoke for many in the crowd when she said an overriding concern for many is the “over abuse of power.” 
“I openly, publically and personally stand with the Bundys,” Bledsoe said.
From her campaign website:
Laura Bledsoe is an Overton farmer and solution oriented community activist. In the 2013 legislative session Laura was able to get the “Farm to Fork” bill passed. Laura, a native Nevadan, attended Valley HS and is a graduate of George Wythe College.  
She has been a highly sought after speaker teaching leadership and education classes throughout the world. Laura has served in her church, with the Boy Scouts of America, on the board of her local PTA. Laura enjoys mentoring aspiring farmers and teaching classes in organic farming and sustainable living.
It is an open seat. She is endorsed by the retiring current Republican rep. and appears to have few obstacles to winning the seat. 

Editor's comment - Hot damn! Sure is one handsome female. She looks like she's straight out of a 1980s  Van Halen "Hot for Teacher" video.


Jerry said...

I hate to hear people say, "over abuse of power". What abuse of power is acceptable?

aldoapp said...

Am I missing something, or is this just about some guy letting his cattle graze on land other than his and refusing to pay for it? Mooching?

Thomas Knapp said...


Interesting question.

This is one of those matters that's a little more complicated than it looks at first sight.

What SHOULD have happened back in the days of settlement in Nevada was:

- Ranchers claim and homestead such land as is required to sustain their operations;

- Government recognizes such homestead claims and the land in question is formally titled to them in recognized ownership.

What happened instead is that the federal government abused its constitutional power to exercise authority over "Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings."

In the case of Nevada, the federal government claimed "ownership" of 85% of Nevada while it was still a territory and then kept it after statehood, using only a tiny fraction of that land for constitutionally approved purposes and "allowing" the some of it to be used for grazing under meddlesome conditions instead of allowing the ranchers to actually claim it and own it.

So yes, Nevada grazing on federal land is a welfare program -- but not because people like Cliven Bundy and his ancestors wanted it to be; rather because instead of Cliven Bundy and his ancestors being left alone to homestead the land and mix their labor with it, the government INSISTED on making them be welfare clients if they wanted to raise cattle.

aldoapp said...

As far as I know, the us government owns lots of land. I'm not sure why this land should be considered any different than Yosemite or Mount Rushmore. Are you claiming that this land should all be given away? 40 acres and a mule? Should grazing rates only apply to privately owned land?

jimmyjones5 said...

This does bring up an interesting question. If this guys land was bordered by other privately owned land, the owners would absolutely have the right to charge him for grazing. But because its owned by the government, they don't? Wouldn't that give an unfair economic advantage to owners whose lands bordered government land?

Eric Dondero said...

Tom, that was fuckin' brilliant. I mean seriously the very best explanation of this event that I've seen anywhere, by anybody.

Only think you left out was the whole tortoise thing. Boy, is that a bunch of hypocrisy. The Feds are actually "euthanizing" the turtles, and simultaneously using the "save the turtles" line as a justification for taking the land from Nevada.

Eric Dondero said...

Tom, consider adding a bit to that comment, and working it up as a full-blown article for Knappster or LR.


Thomas Knapp said...


"As far as I know, the us government owns lots of land."

The US government CLAIMS to own lots of land.

The US government is only allowed by the US Constitution to own land for certain purposes, and under certain conditions. Preemptively claiming "ownership" of 85% of Nevada conforms to neither those purposes nor those conditions.

Thomas Knapp said...


I might do something on it at some point.

I suspect that in the absence of US government claims to "ownership" of 85% of Nevada, ranchers probably would have come up with some kind of "commons" arrangement in any case, either ad hoc or through state government, simply because the huge areas required to sustain beef herds in that climate would make fencing and so forth prohibitively expensive.

But coming to a voluntarily, or locally formulated, "commons" arrangement is inherently a lot different in likely outcome than telling some Washington bureaucrat "hey, we own 85% of Nevada -- feel free to tell everyone what they can and can't do there."

jimmyjones5 said...

So, seeing as there's no time machine to go back to The Grant Administration, or whenever this occurred, what do you suggest be done about this now?

Gary said...

I find it interesting that the GOP Governor of Nevada expresses his "deep concern" from a location far, far away from the ranch events.

No real help was offered. The governor could have sent 20 state troopers to the ranch or showed up himself. But no.

Republicans believe in press release politics. Talk with no action.

Eric Dondero said...

Yeah Gary, Sandoval is being a bit of a disappointment on this. Jury is still out on him. He's got time to correct. But so far, he's been weak.

Eric Dondero said...

Tom, do you think there's a possibility the government is doing this on purpose, trying to spark a revolt?

I've heard some conspiracy theories floating around that this has been entirely deliberate by Harry Reid and the BLM.

aldoapp said...

Are you seriously insane?

Mark McDonald said...

The Cliven Bundy in NV ranch stand-off is linked to Harry Reid and his son plan to build a solar plant for China in this location.

Thomas Knapp said...

"Tom, do you think there's a possibility the government is doing this on purpose, trying to spark a revolt?"

I doubt it. The fight over grazing rights and such on western federal lands has been going on for decades.

This doesn't even look like a particularly big episode, at least compared to some of the stuff in Nye County back in the 1990s.