Reporters Ryan Haas and Kim Freda from Oregon Public Broadcasting have been pouring over emails relating to the Bundy family standoffs in Oregon and Nevada. They found a rather interesting email to Utah state senator Ken Ivory from Joel Hansen, Cliven Bundy’s attorney. Until February of this year, Ken Ivory was been the head of the Koch-funded American Lands Council (now led by Bundy family friend, Montana state senator Jennifer Fielder.)
More on the connection between Ken Ivory and the Koch brothers from Think Progress:
Though ClimateProgress has previously uncovered and reported on the dark money that the Kochs have provided for political efforts to seize and sell public lands, recent organizational changes reveal that the Koch network is providing direct support to the ringleader of the land grab movement, Utah state representative Ken Ivory, and has forged an alliance with groups and individuals who have militia ties and share extreme anti-government ideologies.
The expanded window into the Koch network’s support for the land transfer movement opened on February 3, 2016, when the American Lands Council (ALC) (a group whose goal is to pass state-level legislation demanding that the federal government turn over publicly owned national forests and other public lands) announced that Ivory would be stepping down as its president to join a South Carolina-based group called Federalism in Action (FIA).
At ALC, Ivory had risen to be the most prominent and active voice in the land seizure movement, but his tenure as president was plagued by evidence that the group violated state lobbying laws, was tied to the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and used taxpayer money to fund their campaigns to seize public lands.
Once those public lands were “free”, they would be sold for the financial gain of private owners—lumber mills, uranium mining, big agriculture farming and more.
After reading and/or hearing about the billionaire Koch brothers connections to the “free the lands” movement, Bundy’s attorney sent Ken Ivory an email asking for help because those legal fees for the 19 men and women charged with conspiracy against the federal government aren’t going to pay themselves:
Good luck with those legal fees, Y’all Qaeda. Something tells me Ken Ivory and the Koch brothers are going to leave you twisting in the wind on this one.