Winning Nevada's caucuses and electoral votes

To win the Nevada caucuses, a Republican candidate should:

  1. Announce that the United States attorney for Oregon, along with all assistant U.S. attorneys who participated in the prosecution of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond, will be fired on the first day you're in office.
  2. Likewise on the first day, declare that the five-year criminal sentences of the Hammonds will be commuted to time served.
  3. Vow that, if elected, a top legislative priority will be legislation that abolishes the Bureau of Land Management and gives title to the 248 million acres it administers to the states in which the land is located.  The federal government would retain a beneficial interest in 50% of the proceeds that might be derived from the development or sale of this land.

Sixty-seven percent of Nevada is owned and administered by the BLM, and nobody in Nevada is happy about it.  Transferring this land to the state, and abolishing the BLM, will reduce federal spending, increase resource utilization, and offer better protection for the environment.  The federal government in general, and the BLM in particular, are inefficient and wasteful in their land management practices.  "Divided Lands:  State vs. Federal Management in the West," by Holly Fretwell and Shawn Regan of the Property and Environment Research Center, shows conclusively that the states do a far superior job of management, by every measure.

The course of action set forth above wouldn't just win the Nevada caucuses.  It would win Nevada's supposedly purple electoral votes, along with those of New Mexico and Colorado, states also operating, to a greater or lesser extent, under the thumb of the BLM.  The electoral map of the West would be solid red from the coast in, making the road to 270 far easier.

This is the kind of thing Trump would do.  Anybody else up for it?

Fritz Pettyjohn was the chairman of Reagan for President, Alaska, in 1979-1980; is a co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force; and blogs daily at

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