Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Email from Ramona Hage Morrison commenting on the Bundy situation - Wayne Hage Jr is at the Bundy Ranch
|Government vehicles and personnel outside of the Bundy ranch / Cliven and Carol Bundy|
My brother Wayne Hage drove to the Bundy Ranch last night with a friend to provide emotional support to Cliven during this federal raid on his ranch and encourage them to keep a cool head. However, I am very concerned about the safety of Wayne and the Bundy family.
Here is the problem. The BLM and BLM attorney out of Sacramento, Nancy Zahedi, are running this entire law enforcement action. The Sheriff has told Mr. Bundy he is staying “neutral”. As you are aware, every land law passed by Congress has reserved civil and criminal jurisdiction to the states unless they have a specific session of exclusive jurisdiction by the State legislature under Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution. The lands at issue here are held in “proprietorial interest only” jurisdiction, wherein the federal government has the same status as “any other land owner.”
I spoke with the Bundy’s and my brother this morning. Here is what is happening on the ground according to them. They said over 40 government vehicles including BLM, Park Service, Homeland Security and FBI passed by their property this morning, not counting rent-a-cowboys, and other bureaucrats that are elsewhere on the ranch. They understand from a Mesquite city police officer and their personal friend (whose department has been ordered by Clark Co. Sheriff Gillespie to stand down) that the Bundy’s should not be deceived; that the BLM has hired special forces wearing BLM gear to run this operation. Also, at a private airport near the Bundy ranch, photos were taken of a military helicopter landing and military men in full military gear disembarking. This possibly invokes the Treaty of Posse Comitatus. The Bundy’s say their ranch is completely surrounded by federal forces on the hills around the ranch.
Clearly the Clark Co. Sheriff has committed malfeasance of office by allowing federal employees impersonating law enforcement officers to breach the peace in his county and not running this impoundment himself under state law. I sit on the Board of Agriculture and we have brand inspectors situated in the middle of this fracas for whom I am concerned. However, as far is Congress is concerned, I believe the time has come to open investigative hearings into these land management agencies and their widespread unlawful law enforcement activities.
My questions are these: Under what authority are these bureaucrats receiving appropriations for law enforcement guns, equipment and manpower? Under what authority are they conducting these activities? These same questions apply to the USFWS raid on Gibson Guitar. As you are well aware, Congress has only granted federal law enforcement authority in very limited instances.
On the local level we obviously need Sheriffs like Sheriff DeMeo in the neighboring county of Nye to stand up to these thugs. But the reality is in the west that the lowest level federal employee can waltz into practically any office from Nevada’s Governor on down and claim they have supremacy under the Supremacy Clause and Territorial Clause and our local officials will most often submit, including the Governor. We for all practical purposes have a territorial governor, a sheriff who instead of serving at the pleasure of the folks who elected him, serves at the orders of the BLM. It goes downhill from there. These federal agencies need to be disarmed. Unless the United States and individual states intend to continue down this slippery slope of acquiescing to an unelected, armed, federal police force operating under an unlawful assertion of power, then I believe we had better get control of this situation soon. We need everyone to follow the law INCLUDING federal employees. These out-of-control federal land management bureaucrats are an obvious place to start.
I have attached several papers addressing the issue of the Supremacy Clause and federal law enforcement authority. I have additional information on this subject which I am happy to provide.
Ramona Hage Morrison