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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, September 18th, 2017.

Bundy: Idaho’s Raul Labrador Weighs in on Bunkerville Standoff

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, State gov

Redoubt News.com

September 15, 2017

by Shari Dovale

Earlier this month, nearly a third of the current Idaho Legislature had signed on to a letter in support of the Idaho residents currently being persecuted in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Federal government is prosecuting these men for their part in a protest held Bunkerville, NV in 2014.

Spearheaded by Rep. Dorothy Moon, the letter was signed by 33 current state legislators and 5 former legislators. Since then, the number of sponsors to the letter has increased to a reported 53.

The letter was addressed to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with copies going to President Donald Trump, multiple US elected/appointed officials as well as all the principals in the court.

Though the letter reached the Court prior to the pre-trial hearing, it had already been decided to put Eric Parker and Scott Drexler in with the Tier One defendants. That trial is scheduled to begin on October 10th.

Just this week, Congressman Raul Labrador added his sponsorship with an additional letter to AG Sessions. He includes:

The failure to secure guilty verdicts in two different trials with two different juries should serve as evidence of the weakness of the government’s case and should be taken into account as a third trial is contemplated. There is a strong possibility that a miscarriage of justice is being committed.

This is the latest request of the current administration to look into this personal vendetta of the Federal Court system. Multiple online petitions have been signed with the most prominent being from political strategist Roger Stone, who says:

No more well-defined example of the injustices wrought by the hands of an out-of-control Federal Government can be found than the case of the Bundy Family from the State of Nevada, whose multiple family members rot in a Federal Prison on this very day.

Representative Labrador did ask for a timely response from the Attorney General, so we will wait patiently, albeit a bit anxiously.

Raul Labrador Weighs in on Bunkerville Standoff

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Bundy: Are feds lying about Bunkerville LEO’s being ‘outgunned?’

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs

Redoubt News.com

Federal prosecutors are pulling out all stops in order to get the convictions they seek.

…there were no incidents of actual aggression on the parts of any of the protesters. There were over a hundred protesters who went to Bunkerville to defend Bundy’s cattle, but many on the scene were women, children, and curious onlookers. It’s true the feds were ‘outnumbered,’ but the implication that they were met with an armed force of aggressive protesters verges on the absurd.”

by Marjorie Haun

(Free Range Report) – As federal prosecutors gear up to try the ‘tier-1’ defendants in the Bundy Ranch trial, beginning in October, it might be helpful to revisit the points on which the feds, thus far, have failed to convict all but 2 of the defendants. One possible factor is the abundance on the Internet of personal footage, professional news video, and thousands of still photos of federal law enforcement officers (LEOs) from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and FBI, who swarmed Cliven Bundy’s ranch in a military-style raid in April of 2014. The prosecution’s narrative that ‘federal personnel were in fear for their lives’ rings hollow when the visual evidence is presented. But that visual evidence, to a large degree, has not been allowed into Judge Gloria Navarro’s Las Vegas courtroom. Nevertheless, most of it remains in the public domain.

Check out the photos on this link to the article:

Are feds lying about Bunkerville LEO’s being ‘outgunned?’

 

During the first phase of the trial last March, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, testified for the prosecution. The initial trial ended in a mistrial, and the retrial of the same defendants on the same counts, concluded in August of 2017 and ended with a number of acquittals, as well as a deadlocked jury on counts against 2 defendants. On March 9, Las Vegas Now reported about Sheriff Lombardo’s testimony:

The Bureau of Land Management put together a complex operation to round up the cattle, but on April 12th, Bundy supporters showed up and some of them were armed.

BLM agents and local law enforcement were outnumbered. Sheriff Lombardo helped negotiate the release of cattle so that the standoff would end peacefully.

Cameras aren’t allowed inside federal court, but this is what Lombardo told the I-Team in 2014. It was very similar to what he told reporter George Knapp.

“We were outgunned, outmanned, there would not have been a good result from it,” Lombardo said. “The bottom line is, bloodshed over cattle, unacceptable. Nobody wanted to go in that direction.”

Lombardo said, in court, he didn’t know what kind of training the armed protestors may have had. He was concerned there might be an accidental discharge or that someone would fire their gun because emotions were running so high.

There were a number of protesters present who possessed sidearms, and held them in an ‘open-carry’ fashion, which is constitutionally permissible, and, as ranchers, part of their working gear. One protester, Eric Parker, was photographed on an overpass using a rifle to scope law enforcement officers who had guns trained on protesters, onlookers and even members of the media who were watching events unfold from the overpass and nearby embankments.

Eric Parker, acquitted in the second trial of most counts, is awaiting a third-trial on charges of assault and threats against Bureau of Land Management agents. Although media have used photos of Parker peering through the scope of his rifle from between cement barriers atop the I-15 overpass, to symbolize the ‘aggression’ of the protesters, one can clearly see that curious tourists, many with cameras, are standing just feet away from Parker, apparently with no fear for their safety.

Leaked footage, apparently taken by an unidentified BLM officer, largely neutralizes the prosecution’s case that government LEO’s were, in the words of Sheriff Lombardo, ‘outgunned and outmanned.’ And although Sheriff Lombardo stated that there was ‘fear’ among the LEOs and ’emotions’ were running high, there were no incidents of actual aggression on the parts of any of the protesters.

There were over a hundred protesters who went to Bunkerville to defend Bundy’s cattle, but many on the scene were women, children, and curious onlookers. It’s true the feds were ‘outnumbered,’ but the implication that they were met with an armed force of aggressive protesters verges on the absurd. All the armed protesters stayed within the boundaries of their rights to ‘keep and bear arms’ under the 2nd Amendment, and exhibited civil behavior. The charge that Eric Parker ever posed an actual threat to federal agents has not yet been proven. In fact, as seen in the video below, it was leaders of the protest who approached the lead LEO of the operation, BLM Special Agent Dan Love, and told him that those under his command who had high power rifles aimed at protesters, were ‘escalating’ the tensions and needed to back off.

The final phase of the Bundy Ranch trial is set to begin next month. This will be the feds’ third attempt at convicting several of the defendants, including Eric Parker and Scott Drexler, both from Idaho. According to newly-released court documents, federal prosecutors are pulling out all stops in order to get the convictions they seek, including using social media posts and interactions to prove ‘conspiracy.’ But if convicted, the elderly Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and other defendants may face decades in federal prison.

It is likely Judge Navarro will continue to put impossible restrictions on the defense, and disallow any evidence casting a bad light on the federal government, but we encourage you to share this article, and help ensure that as many Americans as possible can view the leaked footage above, so they may be able to make a more balanced determination about who were the aggressors in Bunkerville, Nevada in April of 2014.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Bundy: Charges Dismissed Against Refuge Occupier Pete Santilli

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, Liberty

by OPB Staff OPB |

Sept. 6, 2016 4:30 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 14, 2016 10:47 a.m

UPDATE (5:38 p.m.) U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown has approved federal prosecutors’ request to dismiss charges against Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupier Peter Santilli.

Federal prosecutors filed a motion seeking to dismiss the charges against Santilli Tuesday afternoon.

“The government has decided that the interests of justice do not support further pursuit of these charges against Santilli,” prosecutors wrote in the motion.

The trial of Santilli and seven other refuge occupiers was set to begin Wednesday with jury selection in downtown Portland. The case will move forward without Santilli.

Santilli is an internet radio host who broadcast live from the wildlife refuge during the occupation.

Santilli’s attorney, Thomas Coan, argued that his client’s presence as a journalist at the wildlife refuge was protected by the First Amendment. He said he’d been pushing for the government to dismiss the charges against Santilli.

“This is something that we’ve been pushing for, for a long time,” said Tom Coan, Pete Santilli’s defense attorney. “I have always believed that Pete never had any criminal intent in what he did out there … He came out here with the intent to report and to document and to lawfully protest.”

Deb Jordan, Santilli’s partner and fellow journalist, said, “Pete didn’t have to make a deal. He didn’t have to turn against the people he stood for. He didn’t have to do any of those things. He stood on principle. And on the principle of the type of journalism that he does. And he stayed steadfast that he was not guilty.”

Santilli still faces several charges in Nevada for a 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, where he’s accused of conspiring to assault federal officers and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

http://www.opb.org/news/series/burns-oregon-standoff-bundy-militia-news-updates/malheur-pete-santilli-prosecutors-case-dismiss-request/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Newsletter from Federal Forest Resource Coalition — its on our side for prevention of wildfires!

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

PNP comment: Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, Ray Haupt, is a licensed California Forester and retired USFS District Ranger. He works closely with this organization, which fights the Enviros and guv. agencies’ stupid legislative actions that have created this huge thick-trees mess. — Editor Liz Bowen

FFRC Weekly Report for

Friday, September 15, 2017

 

Quote of the Week: “We’re going to do more work, more active forest management work, on the ground, to create healthier and resilient forests.” – Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke, September 13th.

Calls for Action on Fire Funding, Forest Reform:  At a press conference on Wednesday, September 13, several key Western Republicans joined forces to call for action on forest management and fire funding reform, even as Forest Service fire spending crested above $2 Billion this fire season.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and House Energy & Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)  reiterated the magnitude of the current fire season and urged Congressional action to reform forest management and fire funding. They were joined by Chief Tony Tooke, who visited fires in Oregon and Montana this week.

Chief Tooke said the current fires were having “devastating impacts to people and communities and natural resources, and bring attention to the need for us to get more good, active forest management work done on the ground.” He praised the efforts of fire fighters in the face of fire numbers and burning conditions he called “unprecedented.” He said he appreciated Congressional interest in tools to “help us do more work to maintain healthy and resilient forests.”

“We’re sick and tired of being made sick and tired, from these big fires in the West,” said Greg Walden. He noted that “dangerous air quality” had forced school closures and cancelled numerous community events throughout Oregon this summer and early fall.  “After these fires burn, the Federal management tool is to leave the burned dead timber until it rots and falls over, and then burns again in the next fire, with an intensity that oftentimes sterilizes the ground. That is really rotten management of a precious public resource.”

Daines called the wildfires out west “one of the most underreported stories in the nation,” and said “The radical environmentalists have been blocking projects to removal of even dead trees, we’ve seen these groups blocking common sense projects.”

Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso stressed that the fire problem “isn’t just about funding,” and that Congress needed to act “to cut the unnecessary red tape that prevents needed forest management.” He’s holding a hearing on September 27th on S. 605, Sen. Daines Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects Act, which would reverse the disastrous Cottonwood decision, and S. 1731, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) Forest Management Improvement Act, which expands Categorical Exclusions and provides for pilot arbitration on some forest management projects.

Calls for action spanned Capitol Hill and were bipartisan. “The mismanagement of those forests over the last 30 years have destroyed the health of our beautiful National Forests,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR). “Our land management agencies are paralyzed by litigation.  Radical groups dictate the policy.  As a result our forests have never been in worse condition.”

Forests now are so unhealthy, Schrader said, the “once a fire begins there is little hope of being able to contain them.   With 193 million acres in the National Forest System nearly 40% is vulnerable to wildfire, insects and disease and in need of treatment.  Yet harvest levels on federal lands remain low, with tree growth and mortality rates far exceeding removal.”

“Every year we don’t act the problem gets worse, Schrader concluded. “We need to reform our forest management practices and we need to do it now. Enough is enough.”

“We are working on a reform package that would address the fire borrowing issues, to bring some certainty to the Chief, so that he can better plan,” Daines said. “The funding issues need to change, but the end goal is better management.” Daines said it was his goal to get a reform package on the President’s desk this year.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Thursday informed Congress that fire suppression spending at the Forest Service had exceeded $2 Billion this fire season, which is still going strong in much of the West. He noted unprecedented burning conditions, and the long duration of fires as major drains on the Forest Service and a threat to both his employees and the public. He stressed the need for a fire funding fix in particular.

“I’ve had serious concerns about an issue.  And I want to be very clear about it,” Perdue said last week. “You can have the right leadership.  You can have the right people.  I believe we have the right leadership.  I believe we have the right people.  I believe that we have the right processes and the right procedures of attacking and fighting fires.  But if you don’t have the resources and the means of dependable funding, that’s an issue.”

FFRC PAC Corner: You may have heard: Washington is a tough town. Competing requires financial resources – including funds to support Federal timber champions in Congress. FFRC Political Action Committee (FFRC PAC) is the way we do this. Our 2017 Fundraising Campaign is underway. To learn more about how to support FFRC PAC, contact Bill Imbergamo, FFRC PAC Treasurer, by clicking this link or calling 202-518-6380.

FFRC Calls on USDA to Reform NEPA Approach, Streamline Interagency Coordination: In a letter today, the Federal Forest Resource Coalition asked the Forest Service to take steps to right-size their NEPA approach and streamline their work with other agencies.

The comments were filed in response to July 17th Federal Register Notice from USDA asking for public input on regulations that should be repealed, replaced, or modified. The comment period closes today, but there will be additional comment periods in November of this year, and February and July of 2018.

“Regulations within the Forest Service largely govern the conduct of the agency itself, and do not regulate the conduct of forestry on private lands; the Federal government has limited jurisdiction over the management of non-Federal forests,” the comments noted.  However, “regulatory practices within the Forest Service foster inefficiency, invite litigation, and delay needed management projects.”

The letter noted that NEPA is one of the biggest challenges the Forest Service encounters in developing projects. “We recommend that as part of its overall review of the regulatory agenda, the Trump Administration adopt an internal best management practices for how the Forest Service complies with its overall statutory and regulatory responsibilities, with particular focus on how the agency complies with NEPA.” Among other changes, the letter recommends that the Forest Service adopt a policy of requiring that NEPA analyses on all acres designated as suited for timber production acknowledge that fact in the Purpose and Need statement and in the discussion of the proposed project.

It also urges the Forest Service to place a firm page limit of 15 pages on EAs for projects on Condition Class 2 or 3 lands in order to expedite action, and calls for better tailoring of NEPA processes to the scale of projects on NFS lands.

Moreover, the Forest Service must remind its entire staff that “CEQ Regulations indicate that the text of a final EIS that addressed the purpose and need, alternatives, affected environment, and environmental consequences should normally be less than 150 pages, and a final EIS for proposals of unusual scope or complexity should normally be less than 300 pages.”

FFRC recommends a careful review of the current and proposed schedule for forest plan revisions, with an eye towards “right sizing” the revision process. “Given the limited amount of funding Congress has made available for plan revisions, we believe that at the moment, too many forests have commenced plan revisions, diverting staff time from higher priority projects.

Massive 2018 Spending Bill Clears House: Fate Uncertain: The surprise deal to enact a 3-month CR, extend the debt limit, and pony up over $17 Billion in emergency spending didn’t stop the House from pressing on to pass a wide-ranging FY 2018 domestic spending bill on Thursday. The House spent two weeks and plowed through more than 300 amendments to reach final passage on a largely party line, 211 to 198 vote.

Amendments passed included a $5 million boost to the timber sale (Forest Products) line item, which would increase to $375 million for the fiscal year which begins in 2 weeks. The base bill reported by the Committee increased the program by $3 million over last year’s level. If enacted, either amount would represent the sixth consecutive year of increased spending for timber sales. Also approved was a $3 million boost to Hazardous Fuels Reduction, bringing that program to over $395 million, a 31 percent boost since the 2013 sequester.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) called the passage of the omnibus a “historic achievement” because the House had now enacted all 13 spending bills before the expiration of the current fiscal year. The Senate has yet to pass any of its spending bills for fiscal 2018, and last week the President signed a 3-month CR to postpone any chance of a government shutdown by 90 days.

Scott Slesinger of the Natural Resources Defense Council said the bill would lead to “polluted air, filthy water, blindness to climate impacts and public lands plundered by oil and gas drilling,” and called on the Senate to “ignore it.”

In Committee: EAJA Reform Catches a Lift With Sportsmen’s Bill: The House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3668 , the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2017” on Wednesday, September 13th. This bill expands opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting; increases safety and hearing protection for sportsmen and women; and protects Second Amendment rights.

It also includes a provision requiring the Federal government to resume tracking payments made under the Equal Access to Justice Act. The Federal government stopped tracking those payments in the early 2000’s, allowing untold millions to be paid out to radical groups, frequently the ones suing to block badly needed forest management projects.

“The SHARE Act removes bureaucratic roadblocks that inhibit Americans’ access to outdoor sporting activities on federal lands and reigns in federal encroachment on Second Amendment rights,” said Chairman Bishop. “I look forward to advancing this package through the House and working with our Senate colleagues on a final bill that can be signed into law.”

The Week Ahead: The Senate Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on Tuesday, September 19th at 9:30 AM on the nominations of Steve Censky to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Ted McKinney to be Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is also holding business meetings on Tuesday at 9:30  AM to consider the nominations of Joseph Balash to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, and Ryan Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of Interior. After the business meeting, the Committee will also hold a hearing examining the impact of vegetation management on federal lands on energy infrastructure, starting at 10am.

Bill Imbergamo

Executive Director

202-518-6380 office

703-629-6877 mobile

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California Legislature abandons middle class

State gov

By Jon Coupal

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

September 18, 2017

Does anyone honestly think that the California Legislature’s complete abandonment of the middle class is unrelated to the state’s highest-in-the-nation poverty rate?

This past week presented a stark contrast in the Golden State. First, the controller reported state tax proceeds from all categories are exceeding budget projections. Specifically, the state brought in almost $9 billion in August, exceeding projections in the state budget by over $340 million. All three of the major sources of state revenue — personal and corporate income tax plus sales tax — were up over last year. While a substantial portion of this uptick in economic activity can be attributed to the Trump recovery, there is no denying that California remains an economic powerhouse in its own right.

However, about the same time as we were getting cheery news about state revenue, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that over 20 percent of Californians live in poverty. The “Supplemental Poverty Measure,” which takes into account California’s absurdly high cost of living, gives us the highest poverty rate in the country while the rest of the nation has shown improvement.

So how is it that the most economically powerful state in the union has a poverty level that would make even Mississippi blush? In large part, the answer lies in California’s toxic mix of crony capitalism with mindless pursuit of progressive policies. And both were on full display in the final week of this year’s legislative session.

To read the entire column, please click here.

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