Ammon Bundy, the face of the Oregon occupiers protesting the federal government’s encroachment on local ranchers’ rights, took out a $530,000 federal loan in 2010.
Ammon, the son of rancher Cliven Bundy (whose refusal to pay grazing fees led to an armed standoff with law enforcement in 2014), borrowed the money for his company Valet Fleet Service, a truck maintenance service in Arizona. When asked about it by reporters, Bundy has said the loan was in line with his political beliefs.
“I am not anti-government,” he said to CNN, speaking at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. He told the Oregonian that he is up-to-date with his payments on the loan, and reminded them it was not a handout or form of welfare.
Bundy has explained his view of the US government: the federal government serves to protect Americans from the outside world; the states to protect from the federal government; and the counties to protect from the states. The people’s job, he says, “is to be free.“