Moxee Lawmaker Returns From Nevada Standoff
15th District state Rep. Dave Taylor of Moxee recently returned from Nevada, where he saw firsthand the standoff between the federal government and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy.
Taylor, a Republican, was joined by other lawmakers from other states to show support for Bundy and others fighting for states' rights. Taylor says that as a result of the trip, 20 state representatives, county commissioners and sheriffs from six western states have came together. He says the purpose of the Western States Coalition is to serve as a clearinghouse for information:
"Share information, share strategy on how to move forward, with regard to, not only the Tenth Amendment and states rights but some of the key issues that we see as an opportunities for local jurisdictions to become engaged, because I firmly believe that the best government is the government that's closest to the people. So how can we help that along."
The standoff began two weeks ago after two decades of disputes between Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. The government revoked Bundy’s grazing rights in the early 1990s, but Bundy has continued to graze cattle there and ignored court orders to remove his animals.
After Bundy built up a debt of $1.1 million in unpaid charges, federal officials began attempting to round up his cattle, only to be forced off the property by armed activists. Taylor and other supporters of Bundy say the case is the latest example of the federal government overreaching into the rights of states and individuals.
Among those who traveled to Nevada to support Bundy were Spokane Valley Republican Matt Shea, and Gavin Seim, a Republican from Ephrata and candidate for the Washington's 4th Congressional District.