Southeastern Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy has officially left the Republican Party. Along with his wife, Carol, Bundy appeared at an event in Las Vegas on Friday to register with the Independent American Party. Bundy, who was a featured speaker at the said affair, was honored by the Party for his “courage” in defending for the sovereignty of the state.
Bundy is best known for his involvement in a long-standing conflict with the United States Bureau of Land Management over his refusal to renew his cattle grazing permit in Bunkerville, Nevada. The ongoing dispute, which started in 1993, was sparked by Bundy’s protests against modifications in the grazing rules in USBLM-administered lands. In 1998, the Nevada District Court banned Bundy from grazing his cattle on the Bunkerville Allotment.
The peak of the dispute happened in April when hundreds of armed individuals headed over to Bundy’s property to express their support for the cattle rancher. More than 140,000 hectares of public land were previously closed by the federal government in order to “capture, impound, and remove” all trespassing cattle. After negotiations among Bundy, Sheriff Doug Gillespie, and USBLM director Neil Kornze, the situation was managed and the seized cattle were released.
Apart from the grazing dispute, Bundy was also implicated in a racist controversy, in which he suggested that black people “would be better off as slaves” rather than recipients to government subsidies. This remark caused Bundy to be condemned by the media as well as some fellow Republicans, who distanced and disassociated themselves from the rancher.
Cliven Bundy's racist rant
During the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, President Barack Obama condemned Bundy’s racist comments.
The Independent American Party is currently the third-largest political party in the state of Nevada. According to a tally released by the Nevada Secretary of State, the Party has more than 70,000 members, although the number of “non-partisan” voters could be much higher.
Cliven Bundy joins Independent American Party
Image via YouTube