Friday, February 12, 2016

The Koch-Bundy Club, Dedicated to Taking Yours

(Any underlines are mine.)

Conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch signaled last week that they will be enhancing their financial and organizational support for a vast coalition of right-wing activists and militia groups that are seeking to seize and sell public lands in the West, including national forests and national parks. Among the groups receiving increased backing from the Kochs is the Bundy terrorist network...

...While the Koch's have been using their dark money to provide support to the anti-government land seizure movement for some time, recent changes in the organizational structure of the movement have led the Kochs to play a much more direct role in financing extremists.  The revelations came as Utah Representative Ken Ivory, who has become a ringleader of the land seizure movement, stepped down as president of the American Lands Council (ALC) to join a Koch-created South Carolina group called Federalism in Action (FIA).

According to private emails sent to FIA members, the new group was created largely to increase the Koch's control over the movement, and money is now flowing directly from the Kochs' coffers to Ivory himself...

...Ivory has been at the center of this web of dark money as president of the American Lands Council, where he has amassed a shocking resume of scandal and conflicts of interest, from violating lobbying laws to using taxpayer money to fund the land seizure campaigns...

...For evidence that the cause has gone mainstream, look no further than Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who recently promised to be "vigorously committed to transferring as much federal land as humanly possible back to the states."  

eye'm thynkin':  All this so the Kochs and people like them can make more money off land that belongs to the people.  And once they've ruined our parks and polluted our waterways, what then?  

I live in Ohio, not exactly a wide open ranching state, but Ohio is cursed with Governor John Kasich, now a Republican presidential candidate.  Mr. Kasich loves fracking and he loves the people who pay him to love it.  My husband and I, after much scrimping and saving, own a fixer-upper houseboat that sits on what was a beautiful and peaceful reservoir in Southwestern Ohio.  Two years ago, Governor Kasich and his oil industry besotted legislature issued permits for fracking near the shore of this pristine lake.  What was once a quiet, two-lane, country road to the lake is now clogged with oil trucks and heavy machinery.  Part of the beautiful, inky, star-filled sky is now lit up like a football stadium all night long.  Listen carefully and you won't hear the sounds of water birds or buoys or waves lapping the land, you'll hear the thud of giant machines beating the earth into submission--all for more profit for the big guys.  So far, the reservoir itself has remained clean, but we all wait, knowing that an accidental spill is inevitable.

The rest of the world is moving on to renewable energy sources, and eventually (the time can't come soon enough for me) people like the Koch's are going to find their big holes in the ground are worthless.  What they will leave behind is a diminished America the Beautiful.

Read more at Occupy Democrats

An afterthought:  Cliven Bundy now wants taxpayers to pay for his defense.  Maybe the judge could ask the Kochs to pony up for a lawyer instead.  Whadaya think?

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