Saturday, May 23, 2015

High Country News: The Taxpayer Money That Fuels Federal Land Transfer Demands

Something to seriously consider, as Weber County Commissioner Matthew Bell stands for re-election in November 2016, wethink

As a followup to our recent reporting concerning Utah House Rep. Ken Ivory's Utah-based American Land Council (ALC) and its feverish behind the scenes efforts to to seize and sell off America’s national forests and other public lands, we stumbled upon this gem of an artice from High Country News, detailing the manner in which this shadowy group finances its lobbying in various state legislatures

Here's the lede, Peeps:
Since 2012, the American Lands Council has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to advocate and lobby for the transfer of federal lands to states. Such a move could dramatically change how these lands are managed, affecting anybody who makes a living in, lives near, recreates in, or simply loves the notion of public lands in the West. But who finances the demands?
The Utah-based American Lands Council, or ALC, is mostly funded by memberships, the majority of which are county commissions—that is, taxpayer-funded dues. In 2013, the last year for which records are available, the non-profit raised around $200,000 in contributions. About $157,000 of that came from memberships; $134,000 of that came from the coffers of counties. (Much of the rest comes from contributions from individuals and corporations, including Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing think tank supported by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.) Membership ranges from a “bronze” level, which costs $1,000 a year, to “platinum,” which costs $25,000 a year [Emphasis added].
Read the full story, folks:
Here's the kicker, Weber County residents:
Below here is a list of counties where taxpayers have helped support the American Lands Council’s agenda — whether they know it or not:
...Utah: Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Dagget, Duchesne, Garfield, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Piute, Rich, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Washington, and Weber
That's right, folks. Our "generous" Weber County Commission is kicking in $5,000 per year in Weber County taxpayer funds to help finance Representive Ivory's land-grab (whether you knew it or not). Here's the proof, straight from ALC's own website:
Something to seriously consider, as Weber County Commissioner Matt Bell stands for re-election in November 2016, wethink.

And what say you, O Gentle Ones?

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