Harry prefers to make his land deals with the Feds and the Chinese
Many say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could easily arrange for his home state to get back most of the 84 percent of Nevada territory owned and controlled by the federal government. So does the Democrat represent the interests of Nevada, or does he put the interests of the U.S. government and the Democratic Party over his own state’s needs?
Nevada would get what it deserves if Reid drafted a measure to treat Nevada the same way as other states. The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives would eagerly vote to treat Nevada like a grown-up. Instead, Reid runs the U.S. Senate with an iron fist, to the detriment of his own voters.
Renegade rancher Cliven Bundy raised a question during the hair-raising show-down between the Bureau of Land Management and the militia supporting the cattle rancher. Bundy says he was paying grazing fees to Clark County, but that the county stopped accepting his payments. Bundy insists that Nevada, not the U.S. government, owns the land where his cattle graze.
According to the ranchers’ argument, the federal government “owned” or controlled every territory before it became a state, but once statehood was reached, the land became the property of the new state.
So how is it that the U.S. government owns 84 percent of Nevada? It certainly looks like Nevada citizens are being treated unfairly. It is almost as if Washington, D.C., is treating Nevada like a child that can’t manage itself.
Ranchers support Cliven Bundy
Many Western states were treated unequally when they joined the Union. Unlike Eastern states, Congress reserved vast amounts of federally-owned land in the “Enabling Acts” for statehood in the West. Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution requires an act of Congress to create a state. Keeping the majority of land in federal control seems in conflict with the very concept of statehood. The second paragraph of Section 4 appears to authorize this bizarre practice. But on closer inspection, that is far from clear.