Soros surrogate peddles snake oil about federal lands transfer

May 7, 2016

Snake oil from foes of public lands transfer

as originally published by American Thinker

Groups opposing the Transfer of Public Lands are waging a war against Western Statehood Equality with the equivalent of rhetorical sticks and stones.  Without facts to reinforce their hysterical arguments, they are increasingly reliant upon ad hominem attacks and false narratives.

Like the snake oil salesmen of yore, Utah state [sic] Rep. Ken Ivory has been traveling the country peddling his fraudulent wares, and now he is descending on the unsuspecting people of Washington. This week, Ivory is meeting with local officials across the state to shill for a patently unconstitutional cause: transferring federal lands to state control.

The above is the lead paragraph of an April 24, 2016 op-ed written in theSpokesman-Review, a newspaper out of Spokane, Washington.  In this opinion piece, the author, Ann Weismann, director of the Soros-funded “Campaign for Accountability,” referred to the Transfer of Public Lands as “legally unsupportable”; “unconstitutional”; “fraudulent wares”; and, on more than one occasion, “snake oil.”

Such assertions are not new.  Since 2014, Ken Ivory, spokesman for American Lands Council, the chief advocate for the Transfer of Public Lands, has been a target of the Campaign for Accountability, which has attempted to impede his work on behalf of Public Lands Transfer with accusations of “fraud.”  Yet their efforts have been repeatedly rebuffed by the courts.

The Campaign for Accountability brands itself as an ethics watchdog, but with funding from billionaire George Soros and other left-wing donors, this Washington, D.C.-based organization is hardly objective in which “ethics” cases it pursues.  The potential that their false narratives about the Transfer of Public Lands are based on a longstanding grudge, however, is overshadowed by the fact that Ms. Weisman’s contentions are starving for facts.

What Campaign for Accountability and other opposition groups refer to as “snake oil” is, in fact, a legal case exhaustively researched, vetted, and supported by an elite team of national legal scholars.

The Legal Analysis prepared for the Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands addresses every imaginable aspect of federal-state relationships, the history of public lands, states’ Enabling Acts, existing legislation, and all relevant clauses in the U.S. Constitution.

The only “evidence” supporting the complaints in Weisman’s op-ed is one biased report done by a professor and his assistant at the University of Utah, which completely overlooks the constitutional terms of statehood and other key factsrelated to public lands.

Those hostile to local governance of public lands conveniently fail to mention the scholarly Legal Analysis.  They also fail to mention that Transfer of Public Lands legislation is making its way through several state legislatures, as well as the United States Congress.  Finally, these fear-mongering groups ignore the fact that majorities in states including Utah and Montana now favor transferring control of public lands from Washington, D.C. to local and state governments.  They rely on the omission of facts as well as falsehoods to frighten constituents into taking their side.

Environmentalist front groups, such as Trout Unlimited and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, frighten sportsmen and hunters by spreading the myth that Transfer of Public Lands is a “sell-off” or will result in the privatization of public lands.  The use of terms such as “seizure and selling of public lands” is another scare tactic.  Another false narrative is that the public will lose access to public lands should states and local governments take over management.

One can’t help but wonder why the hysteria from so-called “environmentalist” and “sportsmen” groups, also including the Backcountry Horsemen of Americaand the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is growing to a fever pitch.  The answer is that they fear losing the financial benefits they enjoy from federal grants and big-government liberal donors.

Op-eds disguised as hit pieces, hysteria-based fundraising campaigns, and baseless accusations of “fraud” make it clear that foes of Transfer of Public Lands fear local control.  As Americans learn the truth, these hysterical actors’ power – and bank accounts – will be diminished.

Reposted by  5/7/16

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