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Columnist: No comparison between Cliven Bundy and Warren Jeffs

Published April 24, 2014 10:52 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I've kind of wondered how the residents of Eldorado, Texas, feel now that the state has seized the YFZ Ranch, presumably evicting the last members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from the town.

I may have found my answer in The Eldorado Success. For a decade, the newspaper has provided informative week-in-week out coverage (that's how often it publishes) of the YFZ Ranch and its polygamous residents.

The state of Texas seized the ranch for good last week. Judging from the column by Success publisher Randy Mankin, his sentiment can be described as: good riddance.

The Success news story of the ranch seizure plays it straight, but Mankin's column on the opinion page starts by saying people should stop comparing government efforts to take Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle with Texas seizing the YFZ Ranch.

Mankin doesn't specify who made such a comparison.

Mankin goes on to point out that while the Bundy dispute is over grazing fees, FLDS leader Warren Jeffs was accused of sex crimes against girls, and there was evidence showing he bought what stood for the "Yearning For Zion" ranch to commit those crimes. That formed the basis of Texas' case for taking the ranch. Other men were convicted of crimes on the ranch, too.

"I find it interesting," Mankin writes near the end of the column, "that those who know so little about the facts involved in this case are so eager to make frivolous arguments about it, even comparing it to the BLM's actions against Cliven Bundy."

Mankin omits how the 2008 raid on the ranch that lead to all those criminal convictions began with a bogus tip to law enforcement. In fairness to Mankin, even a mention of that would still put a world of distance between Eldorado and the dispute in southern Nevada.

You can read some of the Eldorado Success news stories on its website, but the column and most content requires a subscription. We have one here at The Tribune — we've needed one to track what's happening in Eldorado all these years.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @tribunepolygamy