Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah ‘Snake Oil Salesman’ Rep. Ken Ivory Accused of Fraud for Hitting Up Counties in Three States for Public Lands Fight Donations - Updated

Land transfer » Environmentalists claim Ken Ivory is scamming local officials into backing a “snake oil” cause

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there's more bad news for the ethically-challenged Utah House representative Ken Ivory, as the political watchdog group, Campaign for Accountabily, has reportedly filed complaints in three states concerning the activities of his American Land Council (ALC) non-profit "lobbying" entity.

Here's the lede, folks:
This is not the first time Utah Rep. Ken Ivory has been accused of selling "snake oil." But now his critics are calling him a crook.
In formal complaints filed Monday in three states, a watchdog group alleges Ivory, a West Jordan Republican, uses phony facts and arguments to scam local governments into giving taxpayer dollars to American Lands Council (ALC), the nonprofit he started in 2012 to champion the transfer of Western public lands to states.
The complaints focus on Ivory's practice of traveling the West, promoting land transfers to county commissioners and conservative groups and signing them up as dues-paying members of ALC.
"It's not simply a question of Rep. Ivory speaking his mind about what he thinks should happen. He is soliciting on the promise that if you give us money, we can get public land returned to your state," said attorney Anne Weismann, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability. "More than half of the money they raise goes to him and his wife [Becky]."
Weismann submitted similar complaints to Utah, Montana and Arizona, asking their state attorneys general to investigate ALC's fundraising. She contends, as have numerous other critics, that all reliable legal and economic analyses of transferring public land to the states concluded the idea has no legal foundation and could prove costly to the receiving states.
Check out the full story, peeps:
"Ivory dismissed the complaints as 'a shameful and desperate political stunt' orchestrated by groups afraid of the broadening support land transfer is gaining," the Trib's Brian Maffly further reports.

Weber County is among twenty-one Utah counties contributing taxpayer funds to ALC, as regular Weber County Forum readers will recall.

Needless to say we'll be front and center following this interesting story as it develops.

Stay tuned.

Update 6/2/15 9:50 a.m.: After a little googling, we learn that the Northern Utah media are all over this story:
The cat's outta the bag, you might say...

Update 6/2/15 10:30 a.m.: Uh-oh. This story is now drawing the attention of the national media:
Looks like the story's going "viral."

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