This is the kind of place where candidates love to perch on the back of a pickup truck to address the crowd. Pahrump, 38 000 inhabitants, is planted in the desert, 90 km from Las Vegas. There prevails a frontier atmosphere (the resort has two 19 brothels legally operate in Nevada), revisited by Aging. Retirees are attracted by the sun and the lack of local taxes.
Sunglasses, jeans, boots, Ted Cruz has climbed upon his arrival in Pahrump on the back of the black Ford who was waiting in the parking lot of the Draft Picks Sports Bar. The advantage to hold a rally in a parking lot is that people can follow without getting out of car windows open, engines running. global warming or not, we would not go without air conditioning, even in February.
Two days before the Republican caucus of Tuesday, February 23, this is not the stampede. Three hundred people at most, but arch-motivated, like Wiseman, who made ten hour drive to come to Park City, Utah. Despite the heat, their three children are dressed up as if they came out of the temple, jacket and tie for boys. Jim Wiseman, building engineer, met – and married – Ruth and Peru, he stressed, the young woman “has not crossed the border illegally” as some. What the couple love to Ted Cruz is that “fear God” even if it is not quite the same as theirs. “We, we share the religion of Mitt Romney” (the Republican candidate in 2012), explains Jim. Understand the last day Saints Church. The Mormon vote helped Barack Obama’s former rival to conquer the West. Ted Cruz hopes to take over.
The Tea Party, “we do not hear talk”
Pahrump is a mecca of movement hostile to the federal government. In the crowd, a nostalgic Ron Paul, the libertarian candidate in 2012. At the belt he carries a gun, prominently above the white shirt, and on his face, someone who air does not want to be disturbed. Capital of a county “ranchers” (ranchers), the place was flooded with flags of the Tea Party a few years ago. There, nothing. The Tea Party was dissolved in the conservative maelstrom. “We heard from again, notes Judy Atkinson, 66, a nurse who has worked all his life, ” owes nothing to anyone “ and intends know. “It must be said that those who were elected to Congress have turned their backs on their promises. It’s discouraging. “
Ted Cruz begins with a bit of etymology. “Policy, you know where it comes from? he says. De polite, which means, “ many ” and “ ticks ” like parasites that suck you the blood. “ The crowd laughs as front of mind. After winning the Iowa caucuses and failed during the following primary (New Hampshire and South Carolina), the Texas Senator Marco Rubio fight at the Trump Organization challenger in the race for the Republican nomination. Number two, only. Even in this radical land is billionaire concrete that polls put in the lead by far.
The candidate spares no pains to prove how it is hardcore. Remove the IRS, the very hated serving federal taxes; defense of 1 er amendment against “persecution of religious freedoms” … “Do not turn off your phones, he advises. I want to be on Obama hear everything we say. “
But it is on the issue of ownership of land that touches the heart of” local “. “Eighty-five percent of the land in Nevada belongs to the federal state, he protested. Once elected, I will make the property to their rightful owners: the citizens. “ As in the rest of the Western States, the land issue fueling the anti-government rebellion. Ranchers complain sticks that are put into the legs of their cattle by “federal”. According to them, the grazing fee is too high ($ 2.11 per month per cow), which puts the federal government thank you. The management office of the land (BLM) estimates that the price is fair considering the cost of maintenance and services against fires. And he refuses to sell land in the name of environmental protection.
“The land belongs to the people”
The Nevada holds the record for the proportion of land in the hands of the federal state. In 2014, the neighboring county of Pahrump became the symbol of the militias in rebellion against the federal agents, when the FBI tried to grab 380 head of cattle belonging to rancher Bunkerville Cliven Bundy, who had not paid for grazing rights for over twenty years.
the “rebels” have obtained a respite of two years, but in early February, the FBI was “avenged” he questioned Cliven Bundy in Oregon, where he had gone to defend two of his son, arrested for the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a bird sanctuary . During the procedure, one of the stanchions, Robert LaVoy Finicum, died. Bundy and two other militiamen were indicted Feb. 17 by a grand jury. “The government should seek peaceful solutions instead of putting people in jail, laments Leo Blundo, the Republican head of Nye County, which includes Pahrump. The land belongs to the people. “
Frank Carbone, director of the county, went in 2014 to defend ranchers Bunkerville. “Washington bureaucrats behave as if the earth were to them, he protested. We are negotiating with them since 2009 and we can not even open a new landfill. “ Whenever ranchers, are the real estate developers who want to reclaim the land. “We better than them, adds Richard Proctor, a retired builder and supporter of Ted Cruz. A new hotel, a shopping center. “
Ted Cruz, who had supportive words for Bundy in 2014, Pahrump has avoided mentioning the recent incidents. But he hopes to make an argument that singles. In January, Donald Trump spoke against the transfer of land to the states. “I do not like the idea because we do not know what to do, he told the magazine Field & Stream. Are they going to sell them when they are in trouble? It is not land that should be sold. “
A position that allows his opponents to present it again as a” fake “conservative. In one of his latest ads before Tuesday’s caucus, Ted Cruz shows a taciturn cowboy. “ Ninety-five percent of Nevada is owned and regulated by the federal government, and Donald Trump wants the ” big “ government continues to be responsible he denounces. This is ridiculous. “