On Monday, Republican Representative Ken Ivory (West Jordan) came under fire from the Campaign for Accountability (CFA), which accused Ivory, as the President of the American Lands Council (ALC), of being a “snake oil salesman” who was “engaging in an illegal scheme to defraud local government officials out of taxpayer funds.”
On Wednesday, the ALC’s Board of Directors formally responded.
“This week a slanderous attack was levied against ALC President Ken Ivory by a mysterious new group seeking to derail our mission of transferring federal public lands to willing states,” ALC wrote in a press release, adding that the allegation are “an orchestrated publicity stunt, the group filed consumer complaints alleging that ALC’s efforts to discuss with and educate the public about state control of public land is somehow, ‘fraudulent’.”
In a Salt Lake Tribune mediated Trib Talk Tuesday, Ivory echoed the formal statement:
“It is clearly a political stunt because [the push for a land transfer] is having success throughout the west and throughout the nation,” Ivory stated, adding that “[The CFA] completely ignored the fact that BYU has a full law review article, 85 pages, hundreds of footnotes, that the federal government has a compact based duty to dispose of the land; they completely ignore that the Federalist Society, 40,000 scholars, professors, law students, have a complete legal analysis; they ignore that [eastern states] engaged in the same political debate and compelled Congress to transfer the lands to the states.”
Ivory would go on to state that CFA was simply trying to shut down the political debate and that they were engaging in “bullying tactics,” and that CFA was created by left-leaning operatives who are ideologically opposed to the land transfer. In a prepared response, Ivory elaborated that “They’re so afraid of the success that the transfer of public lands movement is having that they’re stooping to these kinds of bullying tactics because they can’t tolerate basic political debate.”
When asked by Luis Toro, Director of Colorado Ethics Watch (an organization that filed its own ethics complaint against ALC in Colorado) why Ivory and his wife receive more than half of the total revenue from ALC’s largely taxpayer-funded contributions, Ivory responded that “The reason [Ivory receives the bulk of ALC’s funds is] that nearly 50 percent of the revenue in a start-up organization goes toward education… they have hired me as the educator.”
Doug Heaton, founding member of the ALC and Kane County Commissioner accused the CFA of engaging in desperation politics.
“That is the low road the opposition seems to prefer,” Heaton responded, “but it’s nothing more than another deceptive publicity stunt. Ken Ivory is a man of impeccable integrity, an unfailing advocate of liberty, and a brilliant legal mind. We are blessed to have him leading this effort because better management of our public lands truly will benefit our counties, states, and our nation as a whole.”
To view the full Trib Talk, click play below.