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August 23, 2014

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Politics:

Cliven Bundy’s supporters seek crowdfunding to sustain militia

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STEVE MARCUS

A supporter of rancher Cliven Bundy carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his shirt pocket during a Bundy family “Patriot Party” near Bunkerville on Friday, April 18, 2014. The “Domestic Terrorist” name tag is a reference to comments made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The family organized the party to thank people who supported rancher Cliven Bundy in his dispute with the Bureau of Land Management.

Two supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy launched crowdfunding campaigns to help pay for the militia that’s camping on the family’s ranch about 75 miles outside of Las Vegas.

Blaine Cooper and Christopher E. Ferrell registered campaigns on GoFundMe.com. Both accounts, previously reported by Gawker, have been taken down but the cached versions remain visible.

Carol Bundy, Cliven Bundy’s wife, said Wednesday that it wouldn't surprise her if supporters are turning to the Internet for help. "They leave their families and jobs and come here," Carol Bundy said. "On the other hand, they knew that when they came."

The Bureau of Land Management says the Bunkerville rancher has allowed his cattle to illegally roam public land since 1993 and owes more than $1 million in grazing fees.

In his fundraising effort, Cooper set a goal of $500. He raised $1,453 from 46 contributors. Ferrell sought $100,000 and raised $170.

Cooper wrote in his plea: "Need Money for gas, and expenses to help in our fight with the bundies all money will be used for food and gas."

Ferrell wrote: “I am the Team Leader that took Charlie Delta, the black marine, out to Nevada along with two other volunteers that all did an outstanding job at the Bundy Ranch … I am coming to you tonight humbly asking for your help. We may be the front line soldiers facing down an overbearing govt bureaucracy, but we are first off family men and women that have our own homes and jobs and families left behind to take on this endeavor."

The confrontation between Bundy and the BLM has been quiet since an April 12 standoff that nearly turned bloody. Bundy supporters and militia members are still camping at the ranch. Congressman Steven Horsford has called for an investigation of the militia’s continued presence.

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