Throwback Thursday into the depths of Nevada’s Wild Politics

Skinny cows being run on public land where there are no wild horses (copyright Laura Leigh)

Skinny cows being run on public land where there are no wild horses

The Depths of Nevada Politics and disposable truth, honor and the wild horse (part 1)

Throwback Thursday is a tag that is used to “remember” things that have happened around the same time in year prior. However we usually simply use it as a facebook tag and send you to an older post or video. The “Throwback” we are going to reference today leads you through a number of actions that have now culminated in the lawsuit filed by the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) and the Nevada Farm Bureau. The “NACO” suit wants to remove wild horses throughout the state of Nevada to dangerously low levels and destroy horses in over crowded government holding.

“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”~ Thomas Jefferson

One of our goals at Wild Horse Education (WHE) is to advocate wherever necessary for our wild horses (as well as document our wild herds in the wild, at roundups and in holding, work with media, work when we can with government entities and of course we litigate when all else fails). However we have always tried to educate the public toward empowering YOU with information toward creating an ability for YOU as an American to formulate your own opinion and effectively express YOUR desires to your legislators, YOUR opinions and if you agree with us… to stand with us.

On January 27, 2014 WHE filed in Reno Federal Court to intervene in the legal action that “NACO” has brought against the Bureau of Land Management, BLM. We presented that interests such as “journalistic, educational, aesthetic, environmental and procedural (our active lawsuits would be effected), etc, etc” for our wild horses and burros would not be adequately presented by either NACO or BLM.

For the last few years WHE have been “battling” with those “involved” with NACO here in Nevada as they have tried several tactics to achieve their “anti-horse” goals.

Instead of “throwing” it all at you at once we will present the information over a series of installments. This will save me from literally writing a novel this morning and perhaps assist you in following this “wild west” tale in a series of “chapters.” Each Chapter will be added to our website in a “drop down menu” as available reference under “Nevada’s Wild Politics.”

This is gonna be good... listen up

This is gonna be good… listen up

Throwback Thursday or “I do solemnly swear.”

Members of the Nevada Legislature, and all officers, executive, judicial and ministerial, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe to the following oath:

I, ……………., do solemly [solemnly] swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and government of the United States, and the Constitution and government of the State of Nevada, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any state notwithstanding, and that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office of ……………., on which I am about to enter; (if an oath) so help me God; (if an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury.  [Amended in 1914:  proposed and passed by the 1911 Legislature, agreed to and passed by the 1913 Legislature, and approved and ratified by the people at the 1914 General Election. See: Statutes of Nevada 1911, p. 458; Journal of the Assembly, 26th Session, p. 20 and Journal of the Senate, 26th Session, p. 37

In March of 2011 a vote occurred in the Nevada Legislature on two bills, SJR5 and AB329. Both of the efforts were aimed at removing wild horses from the state off federal land and allowing the expansion of private interests on federal land. Both of these efforts had these bills introduced by a member of the Legislature, a member that had taken the very oath above.

The State Constitution of Nevada recognizes Federal Authority of policy of management on public land and the State gives over that authority to the federal government in the state Constitution.

SJR5 was a “resolution” that would have the state make claim that  “Law” disallows the Secretary of the Interior the right to determine where wild horses exist on public land (owned by all Americans) and right to determine what a thriving ecological balance is to enrich the American public under multiple use (in direct conflict with the state Constitution). SJR5 insisted that the greater use of public land for the American people is to continue to expand mining and livestock.

Enjoying the snow in Nevada (at least old Pete G can't try to make it illegal for me to eat snow! Or can they?

Enjoying the snow in Nevada (at least old Pete G can’t try to make it illegal for me to eat snow! Or can they?)

AB239 was a bill that would essentially change the designation to all wild horses in the state of Nevada to “feral.” Basically this bill was designed to remove wild horses managed on federal land from the “water permitting” the federal government has that allows wild horses to drink water as “wildlife.” The bill was designed to literally change the right of our National Congress to have passed the “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act,” where it states horses and burros are “wild.”

WHE President Laura Leigh provided information to the Legislation that included reminding them of their oath and the cost of litigation to the state for violating the state Constitution.

This effort to eliminate Nevada’s wild horses failed.

That was our “Throwback Thursday” thought. But as usual one thought leads to another…

So if you are one of those people that say our pieces can be too long STOP HERE.

Slippery first run at second trap as stud skids at Diamond Complex

Slippery first run at second trap as stud skids at Diamond Complex

If you are one of those people that really want to “get an in depth picture” READ ON.

Let us take a look at the “who” for a moment. These ill fated unconstitutional attacks at our federally protected wild horses were introduced AB329 Pete Goicoechea, David Bobzien, Debbie Smith and Tom Grady. SJR5 was introduced by the State Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Have you ever played the game “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon?” Nevada politics could be called “Three degrees of NACO.” Throughout each “chapter” we give you we will reference several of the degrees. If there is a gamer geek out there you might want to track this stuff and make “Wild West” version that can be achieved in three degrees (or someone that likes to track “pedigree” to see just how “inbred” Nevada really is).

Some of the “ground zero” players in the “collective NACO” action are the Goicochea’s. Peter Goicoechea is a Republican representative from Eureka county. Owner of Goicochea Ranches in Eureka. JJ Goicochea is Pete’s son and the Chairman of the Eureka County Board of Commissioners. Please see the link to view some of the grazing allotments, and indications of some grazing restrictions, for Goicochea.  (If you have followed the work of Wild Horse Education (WHE) you will know these areas by the names “Diamond, Battle Mountain, Roberts Mountain, Fish Creek” because we talk in terms of wild horses. The another installment will focus on the horses in these areas). Affiliations listed for this state legislator include: Eureka Volunteer Fire Department; Eureka High School Rodeo Club; Nevada Cattlemen’s Association; Nevada Water Resource Association; E Clampus Vitus, Snowshoe Thompson Chapter, Carson City, Nevada. His achievements on his website are listed as: Sixteen-year Eureka County Commissioner; Humboldt River Basin Authority; Nevada Rural Health Centers; Western States Coalition; Nevada Association of Counties; Land Use Planning Advisory Council; Nevada Grazing Board of District Nos. 4 and 6; Central Committee of Nevada State Grazing Boards. (So in the case of THIS legislator we have ZERO degrees of separation from NACO. He IS essentially NACO).

David Bobzien is a Democrat, and attorney. Check out Ballotpedia for info on Bobzien. Bobzien not only sponsored SB329 but he was on the committee for SJR5. Bobzien is endorsed by the National Rifle Association with an A+ rating. He sits on the Advisory Board for the Nevada Land Trust (NLT) that is very interested in water law and has “supporters representing ranchers and farmers, urban dwellers, hunters, photographers, hikers and birders throughout the state.” The author of Nevada’s wind power incentives a campaign promise for next session,” David will work to remove obstacles to the creation of even more renewable energy jobs for our state.” About the potential of listing the sage grouse as endangered Bobzien said this: “It’s ‘horseshoes and hand grenades’; we either avoid the listing or we don’t.” (This “bedfellow” is only two degrees away out of necessity to protect “sage grouse” for hunting).

Debbie Smith is a Democrat originally from Arizona. She is the President of the NV PTA and Chair of the Association for Education of young children. Last legislative session she was one of two state Senators that voted against SJR1 (that passed in the last legislative session after some revision to take out language that actually crossed lines between state and federal jurisdiction. ALL SJR1 does is recognize wild horses as a tourism resource and the fact that Nevada is that national resource. More than 75% of the Nations wild horses live n Nevada). Smith is a supporter of Senator Harry Reid and supports his efforts to create a plan so that sage grouse are not listed as “endangered,” something no profit making public land interest wants to see happen. (Again a two degree margin)

Tom Grady is a Republican representative in the Nevada Legislature. Now retired, Grady’s professional experience includes serving as vice president and manager of Pioneer Citizens Bank of Nevada and secretary/treasurer for the Truckee Carson Irrigation District. Grady was a driving force behind the bill passed last session to make feeding wild horses illegal and tagged in a provision that allows the Department of Ag to enter into a cooperative agreement to manage horses. That bill was “hailed” as a huge success and an “agreement” by state Legislators that had their pictures taken with a few advocates. (To this day there is NO agreement to manage any horses on state land, it is illegal to feed them and the Dept of Ag keeps removing horses and advocates foot the bill instead of the horses going to the livestock auction. This situation is as unsustainable as the BLM wild horse program). As an interesting note Assemblyman Tom Grady said Senator Harry Reid should mind his own business when Reid said the days of legalized prostitution in Nevada were numbered. Gradys page lists under accomplishments: Nevada League of Cities; National League of Cities Board of Directors; thirty years of agriculture banking in northern Nevada. So here we have one degree of separation.

Now if you look into the funding for the election campaigns of all of the above listed legislators over the years you will see overlapping contributors.

Colt roped in Yerington at the Wassuk roundup... where horses had not been removed in almost 30 years. Before two huge ranches went for sale... with big water rights and a Coper mine moved into town

Colt roped in Yerington at the Wassuk roundup… where horses had not been removed in almost 30 years. The roundup happened as two huge ranches went for sale… with big water rights and a Copper mine moved into town

The comments next to each legislator will be referenced in later posts. This stuff is very, very interesting. When added to the actual TRUTH of the wild horses on public land you will see just how far people will go to make alliances to put cash in their pockets and violate terms like “oath, truth and honor” in a heartbeat.

The entities that have brought the “NACO litigation” are the Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation. For the purpose of the game the two entities will be considered one.

So let’s list the members of “NACO” for reference in future articles:

The Nevada Association of counties obviously has each county in the state as a “member.” Yet there are other categories.  Affiliate members would then include state government associations such as: Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, Nevada Association of County Clerks and County Election Officials and Nevada Judges Association. Then there is the opportunity for private interests to join in. These “Associates” include: Barrick Gold Corporation, NV Energy, Newmont Mining Corporation, ING, Bank of America. So does that mean Bank of America is suing BLM to get remove and kill horses? It’s likely the National Offices of BofA would be shocked and simply scratch their heads wondering why you asked that question. But would a regional office be surprised? I don’t know.

However for reference to future articles the actual board is:

Current President is Nancy Boland, President elect is Pat Erwin. Board of directors listed below.

Jim Shirk Carson City
Pete Olsen Churchill County
Tom Collins Clark County
Doug Johnson Douglas County
Demar Dahl Elko County
Nancy BolandDominic Pappalardo Esmeralda CountyEsmeralda County
Jim Ithurralde Eureka County
Jim French Humboldt County
Patsy A. Waits Lander County
Ed Hibgee Lincoln County
Vida Keller Lyon County
Jerrie Tipton Mineral County
Butch A Borasky Nye County
Lorinda Wichman Nye County
Pat Irwin Pershing County
Bill Sjovangen Storey County
Bonnie WeberDavid Humke Washoe CountyWashoe County
Laurie Carson White Pine County
Mike Rebaleati NACO Fiscal Officer
Offer incentives to Nevada Farm Bureau Members

Offer incentives to Nevada Farm Bureau Members

Now the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation has an interesting “membership has it’s advantages” program including incentives for members from T-Mobile, GM, Office Depot and Enterprise car rentals. I wonder if these companies know they are rewarding those actually suing the federal government to remove and kill wild horses?

Although not listed ANYWHERE on the website for the Farm Bureau, a search reveals Board Members as: James “Hank” Combs as President, Bevan Lister as VP, Jamie Perkins of Panaca was elected to serve as the District 1 Director (Perkins previously was the Chair of Nevada’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee), Craig Shier of Winnemucca, District 2 Director; Carla Pomeroy of Fallon, District 3 Director; and Cindy Hardy of Logandale was re-elected as the Women’s Leadership Chair.

We just feel that if you are going to be a part of something, or encourage it, you need to take responsibility for it. Don’t you agree? 

We can see how these powerful entities have united to get horses off the range while they try to portray advocates as ragtag and “out for the money”or just plain bleeding hearts (see Range Magazine Article on stands NOW or click this text, “A Nation of Horse Hoarders.” Yes… Range Magazine is a member of NACO).

But is this “alliance of power” invincible?

Tomorrow we will take you to “ground zero and back again.”

~~~~~~~ ON January 27, 2014 WHE filed to intervene in federal court. WHE needs your support in this and all of our work. Please read about our work. Others may look like us… but they are not. Please become informed.


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