Arizona

The highlight of Saturday’s Federal Assembly meeting was the appearance of Rep. Kelly Townsend of Arizona.  She has taken it upon herself to deal with Senate President Andy Biggs, who has agreed to discuss our Resolution with her.  This is progress.  She also reported that Biggs’ Congressman has decided to run against Sen. McCain, opening up a House seat that Biggs can run for.  Complicating the situation are rumored health issues for Biggs.  There is now hope in Arizona.

The Resolution calling for One State, One Vote, One Amendment was adopted, but the true measure of the meeting’s success will be determined by the video that Jax Stafford, working for David Cuddy, will be putting together.  At Cuddy’s suggestion it will be less than five minutes, and will be in the format of a movie trailer.  Jax was quite pleased with the footage he obtained, and is enthusiastic about the whole project.

The drive for a BBA Convention is certainly a worthy topic for a documentary, and this video is a sampling of what it could look like.  We’ll run it up the flagpole and see what happens.

Alaska Rep. Wes Keller has agreed to work with me on a Resolution calling on the BBA Convention to transfer federal lands to the states, with the feds maintaining a beneficial interest in the proceeds of development.  The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) of Bozeman has issued a report on federal lands, titled “Divided Lands:  State vs. Federal Management in the West.”  It couldn’t be more perfect for our purposes.  For every acre it manages, the federal government manages to lose $4.38.  For every acre the states manage they make a $34.60 profit.   Take half of $34.60   — $17.30 — and add the $4.38 and you get a reduction of the deficit of $21.68 for every acre of land switched from federal to state ownership.  This is a perfectly legitimate way to help balance the budget.  I’ll try to get legislators in all the western states to introduce similar Resolutions.

The Sweet Sixteen Republican field have their eyes on the first four states, especially.  The fourth is Nevada, which holds caucuses on February 23, just three days after the Saturday South Carolina primary.  Whoever wins Nevada gets a ticket to the March madness, where sixteen or more states choose their delegates.  A lot of candidates will have done so poorly in the first three that Nevada is their last chance for the ticket.  I bet one or more of these candidates endorse the idea of a BBA with federal lands transfers.  This would be extraordinarily popular in Nevada which is over 80% federal.  They want their land.  There’s no reason they shouldn’t get it.  One of these campaigns is going to figure it out.

Babbie, my wife of 43 years, drove to San Diego from Montana with me, and got to have a couple dinners with the Task Force members in attendance.  Biddulph picked up the tab, naturally.  For me, personally, this was a highlight of the meeting.

At the close of the Federal Assembly meeting I presented Dave and Susie Biddulph (who could not be present) with the first Lew Uhler Award, for conspicuous service to their country.  It’s a replica of Houdon’s bust of Washington.  The generosity and leadership of this couple deserves recognition.

They’re going to get a lot more.

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