(NN&V Staff) – Independent American state senate candidate Janine Hansen charged today that Republican District 19 opponent Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea has a “startling conflict” in representing rural taxpayers after learning the Eureka rancher has received $674,591 for “Wildhorse/Burro Control Services” from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
“That’s a pretty staggering amount,” Hansen said. “It’s especially unsettling considering the money came from a federal agency whose ridiculous mismanagement of wild horses costs the taxpayers $75.8 million every year. But I guess that’s not so objectionable when you’re getting a piece of the pie.”
Hansen noted the discovered BLM payments to Goicoechea stretched from 2000 to 2003. She says in the interest of full disclosure and transparency Goicoechea should reveal the sources and amounts of any and all additional payments he may have received from the BLM or any other local, state or federal government agency or entity.
Hansen also noted that Goicoechea sponsored a bill in the last legislative session, AB 329, that, according to an Associated Press story, he introduced because he believes the 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act means “the BLM should take care of” wild horses and burros.
“If all this is true,” Hansen said, “it appears Assemblyman Goicoechea introduced a bill that could have forced the BLM to provide care and services for wild horses and burros in Nevada; the kind of care and services he may have been paid almost $700,000 to provide the BLM in the past.
“So that raises a question about exactly what ‘control services’ Mr. Goicoechea provided to the BLM in the past and what benefits he and/or his family and/or his business might have gained had AB 329 passed.”
Hansen said she wonders how Goicoechea can honestly represent the people in rural counties and their concerns over the mismanagement of public lands and wild horses by the BLM when he has been compromised by receiving so much taxpayer money from the BLM.
“I think the voters of Senate District 19 deserve answers and a lot more transparency on what appears to be startling conflicts of interests in these matters,” Hansen concluded.