The conservative media entertainment complex-invented wingnut hero of the moment is welfare cowboy Cliven Bundy of Nevada, who does not recognize the U.S. government because he claims “ancestral rights” to the federal land on which this freeloader grazes his cattle without paying any grazing fees. Former Montana Governor and rancher Brian Schweitzer: Cliven Bundy is ‘a grifter’.
Finally, some real reporting from KLAS in Las Vegas that exposes Cliven Bundy for the fraud that he is. I-Team: Bundy’s ‘ancestral rights’ come under scrutiny:
The I-Team dug into century-old records to examine Bundy’s claims.
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His cattle, until recently, roamed freely on land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. Before the roundup that sparked protests, confrontations and [militia] gunmen taking a bridge, Bundy explained his “ancestral rights” to the I-Team.
“I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements,” Bundy said.
Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy’s parents moved from Bundyville, Arizona and bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.
Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn’t start grazing on that land until 1954.
The Bureau of Land Management was created 1946, the same year Cliven was born.
Doh! The right-wing noise machine now is making the obscene claim that what the federal government is doing to Bundy is exactly what they did to native Americans. No, really. Native Americans ought to demand an apology.
“They are literally treating western United States citizens, ranchers, rural folks like this- are the modern day Indians. We’re being driven off of our lands. We’re being forced into reservations known as cities,” Justin Giles, an Oathkeeper from Alaska, said.
The local Paiute Indians were forced into reservations by federal troops in 1875. Two years prior, the tribe was promised the same land Cliven Bundy now grows his melons, and until recently, grazed his cattle.
The I-Team’s research team has come up with an in-depth look at the genealogy and property records that form the basis of Cliven Bundy’s claim of ancestral rights on the ranch land.
In that case, why don’t we give the land back to the Paiute tribe under the treaty they had with the U.S. government, and kick this freeloader’s sorry ass off their land? Problem solved.
UPDATE: I can’t embed some videos in this new blog software, so I will link to Daily Kos for Jon Stewart and The Daily Show’s brilliant take-down of this deadbeat. MUST-SEE: Jon Stewart rips into Cliven Bundy and his demented defenders.