LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Strengthening a call he made more than a week ago, Rep. Steven Horsford has challenged all elected officials in Nevada to rid the Bunkerville area of the "armed separatists" that have rallied around rancher Cliven Bundy in his fight with the Bureau of Land Management.
Speaking Saturday at the Clark County Democratic Convention at the Tropicana, Horsford recounted a conversation he had earlier in the day with a fifth-grader in the Mesquite area.
"She went on to say why does this rancher have a sense of entitlement ... this is a fifth-grader ... and she told me I could say her name. J.T.," Horsford said. "She said why is it that there is this disagreement with the BLM? He should just do what everybody else does and pay his fair share."
Horsford, who attended a breakfast in Mesquite, said he then talked to "another gentleman who said, well he's nothing but a welfare rancher, living off the taxpayer subsidy when he's a millionaire. He's not somebody who is trying to survive to get by."
Horsford then said, "And that is why I am calling on (Gov.) Brian Sandoval, Senator Dean Heller, the sheriff (Doug Gillespie) and any other elected official in Nevada to do their part to get rid of these armed separatists."
Loud cheers from the audience then drowned out his speech.
The BLM started impounding Bundy's cattle in early April for non-payment of grazing fees over the past two decades. Armed militia members and unarmed people who supported Bundy's cause arrived near his Bunkerville ranch from all parts of the United States.
The BLM abandoned the impoundment the morning of April 12. That afternoon, several hundred armed militia members forced an outmanned law enforcement contingent to release more than 300 head of cattle that had been impounded.
Most militia members have left the Bunkerville area, but a number are staying to protect Bundy against the BLM.
The BLM has said it plans to pursue the matter against Bundy both "administratively and judicially."