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Cliven Bundy: Rand Paul And I See Eye-To-Eye

Rand Paul and Cliven Bundy

Presidential hopeful and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy met this week and in Bundy's opinion "saw eye to eye."

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy says that during the 45-minutes he and his wife spent Tuesday with Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, he and Paul agreed on Nevada's right to sovereignty.

Bundy said Paul told him: "If I was president of the United States, Nevada would have their sovereignty," Bundy told  KNPR's State of Nevada program.

"He said, 'One of your biggest problems is getting Nevada to recognize its sovereignty and to stand up for its sovereignty," Bundy also said. "He said he would turn over the jurisdiction authority and allow the state of Nevada to act like a sovereign state. He said it would be up to we the people to govern ourselves."

KNPR was unable to reach Paul's campaign organizers for comment.

In April 2014, Bundy and dozens of self-ascribed militiamen, armed with AR-15s and other weapons, squared off with agents from the federal Bureau of Land Management. 

The federal agency had converged on Bundy's ranch 76 miles northeast of Las Vegas  hoping to impound the rancher's cattle. The federal government says Bundy owes $1 million to the federal government for grazing his cattle on federal land.

Bundy has said he only recognizes the state of Nevada as having jurisdiction over that land. He would pay Nevada, he has said, but not the federal government. 

To date, no one has been charged or arrested after that standoff. Video and photographs were taken of Bundy supporters pointing their weapons in the direction of federal agents, 

Paul was in Mesquite, about 10 miles from Bundy's ranch, on a campaign stop. Bundy said he wasn't invited but showed up because he wanted to hear Paul's message.

Bundy said Paul's campaign people set up an impromptu meeting in a room at the Eureka Casino. Bundy and his wife, Carol, were with Paul, he said, for about 45 minutes.

For now, Bundy said he isn't committing to any presidential candidate, Republican or Democratic. But he believes his support for a candidate will definitely sway other voters.

"I believe so in the western United States," Bundy said. "If I would endorse a candidate, I think it would mean something to him, yes."



Cliven Bundy, rancher

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.