Of the three candidates trying for governor in November's election, Ryan
Bundy is the only one who didn't face a primary opponent in June.
Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, who inspired the stand-off with federal officials on his ranch in April 2014, is an independent candidate not associated with a political party.
Bundy is firmly anti-abortion, pro-gun and says that if elected, he will use the power of the governor's office to release many people from prison who he believes were wrongly convicted.
Why do you want to be governor?
“I want to be able to protect the rights of Nevada and of the Nevada people. I want to make sure they are protected in all their inalienable rights and in their property rights”
What are your qualifications?
“I have a lot of experience in first studying and understanding the Constitution the proper form of government. I’ve also had experience through the court system… And as a private property right owner along with my father, I understand and see how rights are being damaged”
Bundy says through those experiences he has gained “wisdom” in those things and can turn that wisdom into the protection of people’s rights.
A policy advocating ‘Eye for an eye’ punishment was once on your website. What was it and why is gone now?
“I have a web designer who is putting together the website and he was not supposed to be putting up any content. He was supposed to be waiting for me to put content up but he wrote that in there and did not consult me on that.”
Bundy said that as soon as he heard about it being published on the website he had it taken down and put up his own content. He said that the person responsible has been reprimanded.
What would you have done about the gun sales background check ballot initiative, which was passed by the voters, but so far, has not been implemented?
“Such a law to enforce a background check for private sales is an infringement upon the rights of individuals. It is unlawful. It is unconstitutional. I would have not allowed that to take place and I will not allow that to take place in the state of Nevada.”
Bundy said the background check is wrong. He said, “we got a problem” if the people vote to “violate the foundation upon which this land was established.”
He says people don’t have the right to change the Second Amendment unless they go through the process of amending the Constitution.
Is there anything you would like to see enacted to prevent another mass shooting like what happened on October 1, 2017?
“I don’t believe that can be done through an act of Congress or an act of the state Legislature. You cannot legislate morality. Morality – the understanding between right and wrong – must be taught in families, in homes and through religious and moral teaching locations.”
Bundy says the mass shooting of October 1 and all other mass shootings are a symbol of a break down in the moral fiber of the society that cannot be fixed with any amount of laws.
Do you think that video games contribute to the mindset of our culture today?
“I absolutely do believe that is the case. And to me, that is an atrocity that’s taking place. But why are parents allowing that in their home? We need to be teaching be good to one another, be kind to one another, live and let live. The golden rule.”
Bundy says movies and video games are “terrible” upon the psyche of children and adults.
Do you support restrictions on abortion?
“Absolutely, I do because the right to life is the most fundamental right we have as human beings. And that life begins inside the womb. There is no question about that.”
Bundy said abortion is murder and he would support all legislation that would protect “the life of the unborn.”
Adam Laxalt voted against pardoning Fred Steese, a man who spent 21 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Would have voted against pardoning Steese?
“I can’t say without looking at his particular case but if he did not kill the particular individual he was accused of killing then absolutely I would have pardoned him. In fact, I intend to use the pardon power very much so because I know that there are many people who are accused of and convicted of crimes that they have not committed.”
He said he knows about that issue because of the experience he gained through the court system. Bundy said prosecutors use “deception” and “manipulation” to obtain convictions.
Furthermore, Bundy said that unless there is a victim, a person that can sit in the courtroom and accuse someone, then there is no crime. He said that included drug convictions because he doesn’t believe the government has the right to outlaw “what a person can take into their body.”
Bundy believes God gave man dominion over everything on the earth; therefore, the government can’t stop a person from using substances from the earth.
He also believes people should be taught that something might be harmful to their bodies but the choice of whether to use it is up to them.
Can you name some of the people you don’t think should be in prison?
“Todd Engel, the man who was accused with us. They were unable to convict us because they got caught in their lies. And yet, in the previous trial, they used the same lies and the same arguments. It was the same case. And they’re still holding Todd Engel and these other men guilty? When they know darn good and well they’re not?”
Bundy said there is no victim in this case and that Engel was only on the Bundy ranch for 90 minutes on April 12, 2014 but he feels they’re trying to place all of the blame on Engel.
Do you think $42,000 a year for a teacher, which is the average salary for teachers in Clark County, is too high?
“What I think the problem is in our education is that – Nevada was recently rated 50 out of 50 and I understand they maybe took one step up or 49 out of 50. If our education in Nevada is that bad amongst the United States there is obviously a problem. I think the problem is largely the Clark County School District.”
Bundy believes the school district needs to be smaller and if the responsibility to educate students was in the hands of the parents that education in the state would be much better.
Bundy says parents should be able to decide which school their child attends and state funding should follow the child. He said with that type of model there would be competition for those dollars and all schools would improve.
While a governor doesn’t make policy regarding immigration, states are impacted by the federal government’s policies. What would you like the federal government to do in connection with immigration?
“America has always been a land of opportunity. America has always been a melting pot, so to speak, of different ethnicities. The American Dream is that a man can come here and prosper because liberty, because of freedom.”
Bundy said that every human has God-given inalienable rights, but property rights are given through beneficial use and prior appropriation.
He said it is the property rights that impact the question of immigration.
“The question needs to be asked, ‘are these immigrants encroaching on and damaging our private rights, our private property rights?’ And if so, then that’s why we have borders.”
Bundy said that some people argue that the sheer number of immigrants coming to the country shows they are encroaching on those rights. But he says that must be balanced with each person’s inalienable rights.
He said there are a lot of questions surrounding immigration for instance, why are people wanting to immigrate here. He said if it is for a government hand out that is not proper and if it’s for more freedom then perhaps we should look at helping that other country improve itself.
Do you have any proposals to ease student loan debt?
“The students should be wiser than to get into debt. I mean anyone who puts themselves in debt should be responsible for that debt. Again, teach correct principals and let people governor themselves and let them deal with the natural consequences of their own choices.”
He said people should get their education without going into debt and use other “means and methods” to get the money needed for a college education.
Is there anything you can do as governor to provide more health insurance for a relatively low cost to more Nevadans?
“That is an issue for the free market to resolve. That is not a governmental function. We have started to create it into a governmental function and believe that is wrong because that is leading into socialism.”
He says taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to fund health insurance programs. He said it is a private industry and individuals should be responsible for his own care.
But don’t taxes go to pay for roads that help businesses?
“The roads help everybody. When we talk about the proper role and function of government is that government is supposed to aid the individual in claiming, using and defending his rights.”
Bundy says one of the ways a government “aids” the individual is by helping them “access his property,” which is where roads come in.
He said he is happy to pay a little extra to pay for well-maintained roads and he considers that a proper function of government.
There is an argument that helping to pay for health care is also a government function because it protects us from the spread of disease?
“You might have some arguments there. Disease prevention on a wide scale would fall within protecting our lives – and of course if our lives are in danger our liberty is in danger.”
He said he might have to “study that a little bit more in his mind.”
But overall, he said the proper function of government is for the “general welfare” not the specific welfare, meaning something that benefits the whole. He said specific needs and cares are the responsibility of the individual.
Ryan Bundy, independent candidate for governor
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