Las Vegas, NV – As racist rancher Cliven Bundy and his militiamen – or as Senator Dean Heller calls them, “patriots” – invade Carson City today, they will be greeted by a whole host of Republican politicians who have praised, and in some cases embraced, Bundy’s movement to not pay taxes. Among the many Republican politicians who have rushed to Bundy’s defense over the last year in Bundy’s standoff with federal law enforcement officers – a list that includes Governor Brian Sandoval, Senator Heller, “Attorney” General Adam Laxalt, accidental Congressman Cresent Hardy, and Assemblywoman Michele Fiore – is Bundy’s former attorney, Nevada Lieutenant Governor and out-of-touch millionaire Mark Hutchison. (Don’t get mad Hutch, it’s not like we called you a “personal injury attorney.”)
Jon Ralston reported last year in Politico that Hutchison had given Bundy legal advice in Bundy’s battle with the federal government to avoid paying grazing fees. Hutchison initially called the Bundy standoff a “call to arms for us,” and defended Bundy by saying “what we saw in Bunkerville is a symptom of the federal government having far too much control of the land in Nevada…” Remember, this is the same Cliven Bundy who said African Americans were better off under slavery. Sure, Hutch – it’s the federal government that’s the problem, and not a racist rancher who refuses to pay his taxes.
We’d say that given all this, we were surprised to learn last week that Dean Heller was parading Hutch and his budding Senate candidacy (sorry, Senator Roberson) around in DC to Karl Rove; but then again, Heller called Bundy and his militia buddies that pointed guns at police officers “patriots.” We guess it depends on what your definition of “patriot” is…
“While Nevada Republicans like Cliven Bundy’s former attorney Mark Hutchison might now want people to forget about their previous support of the infamous racist rancher, the fact is Hutchison and many other Republicans initially supported Bundy in his standoff to avoid paying taxes,” said Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Zach Hudson. “The truth is: Nevada Republicans –including Mark Hutchison, Adam Laxalt, and Cresent Hardy — supported Cliven Bundy until it became politically damaging for them to do so. We assume Hutchison and other Republicans will try to distance themselves now from Bundy, but their record of supporting him and his cause is already clear.”