Conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch signaled last week that they would be expanding their financial and organizational support for a coalition of anti-government activists and militants. It’s been been disclosed that they are supporting right wing activists who are working to seize and sell America’s national forests, monuments, and other public lands.
We’ve just been through another Bundy standoff and America is weary of the anti-government movement.
The disclosure was made through emails sent by the American Lands Council and Koch-backed group Federalism in Action to their members.
Think Progress reports:
Though ClimateProgress has previously uncovered and reported on the dark money that the Kochs have provided for political efforts to seize and sell public lands, recent organizational changes reveal that the Koch network is providing direct support to the ringleader of the land grab movement, Utah state representative Ken Ivory, and has forged an alliance with groups and individuals who have militia ties and share extreme anti-government ideologies.
The expanded window into the Koch network’s support for the land transfer movement opened on February 3, 2016, when the American Lands Council (ALC) (a group whose goal is to pass state-level legislation demanding that the federal government turn over publicly owned national forests and other public lands) announced that Ivory would be stepping down as its president to join a South Carolina-based group called Federalism in Action (FIA).
Ken Ivory had risen to become a ringleader in the land seizure movement, but his tenure as president of ALC was plagued after evidence suggested that the group violated state lobbying laws and that was tied to the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). We’re sure you’re all familiar with ALEC. Ivory was using taxpayer money to fund their campaigns to seize public lands.
Ivory is now joined the ranks of the FIA’s “Free the Lands” project, a joint initiative between Federalism in Action and The American Lands Council Foundation, according to Think Progress.
The FIA is of an anti-government ideology, which hosts land seizure activists and militants. The funding his Koch-backed, with most of it dark and hard to trace.
Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder is named as the group’s CEO. She, too, is a leading figure in the land seizure movement.
Fielder’s selection as ALC’s CEO suggests that the group is tightening its ties with the violent anti-government elements of the land seizure movement that is represented by Cliven Bundy and his sons. Fielder’s land seizure efforts and campaign for Montana State Senate, for example, were vocally supported by a Militia of Montana organization that is run by white supremacist John Trochmann. In a recent blog post Fielder also expressed her support for the Bundys and the Oregon militants by referring to them fondly as “cowboys” and “protesters” performing “an act of civil disobedience” and bringing “new light to the widespread problems of a distant federal bureaucracy in control of local land management decisions.”
After the 41-day standoff, where the Bundys sought to seize federal lands, it’s difficult to imagine, even with the Kochs billions of dollars, that they could make Cliven Bundy and his sons out to be credible after their arrests. The feds treated the militants with patience while the militants totally lost their shit inside of the encampment, while refusing to put their weapons down.
The patriot movement tried to join forces with them, but even the Bundy militants were too crazy for them. But not for the Kochs. Think about that for a minute. The billionaire brothers fund it, get some poor teabilly slobs to carry it through and the Kochs profit from it. It’s almost like they’re drug dealers. Or the cartel.
Follow the money.