Ammon Bundy’s federal loan just might be a turning point of a leader arming himself against the government. Bundy, a leader of the armed protesters who took over a federal building in Oregon, and his family are known for battling the federal government, New York Daily News.
Bundy says he’s not opposed to government and said that taking a six-figure loan from the Small Business Administration doesn’t conflict with his political philosophy. Ammon took out a federal loan of $530,000 in 2010 for his company, Valet Fleet Service LLC, according to public records. Valet Fleet Service is a truck maintenance company in Arizona.
“I am not anti-government,” he said when asked about the loan while standing outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, adding that he thinks “there is a role for government and that the federal government’s role is to protect the states from the outside world.”
Ammon Bundy’s federal loan sounds off coming from the leader of a group who call themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom. The group says they’re not budging anytime soon from the refuge facility near Burns. Law enforcement should just wait the protesters out, experts say.
“There is no real reason, at this point, to go in. And the FBI knows that,” said Steve Moore, a retired supervisory special agent for the FBI. He said federal authorities have learned that lesson the hard way. Take, for example, the deadly confrontation at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993.
Bundy is the son of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who drew national attention in 2014 after staging a standoff with federal authorities. The government said Bundy owed more than $1 million for using federal land for cattle grazing. Hundreds of armed militiamen rallied behind Bundy.
The elder Bundy also made headlines for openly speculating whether African-Americans were better off as slaves. Reitzheimer, another protester, previously drew attention for organizing anti-Islam rallies in Arizona.
Ammon Bundy has refused to say how many armed protesters are inside the refuge, saying that information might jeopardize “operational security.” But he said he doesn’t want the situation to turn violent. And as for that federal loan he took out, he’s got an explanation for that too.
“And the state’s role is to protect the counties from the federal government — and the county’s role is to protect the people from the state so the people can go about freely using their lands and resources and their rights. … So there’s a role, but all government’s role is to serve the people. Whenever those governments step out, then that’s when we step in.”
Ammon Bundy’s federal loan may be hypocritical as he leads a group arming themselves against the government. But he says it “was an effort in assisting the people in using their rights.”