BOISE, Idaho — The founder of a far-right anti-government group says a report estimating the organization’s fast growth over the past year undercounted by half.
Ammon Bundy — a candidate for Idaho governor and the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy — took issue with the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights report, saying the group People’s Rights is actually much larger and more of a network than an organization.
The report, released last week, found that the organization has grown by roughly 53% in the past year to more than 33,000 members, rapidly expanding nationwide and making inroads into Canada.
Ammon Bundy says the report is inaccurate and that People’s Rights now has more than 62,000 members.
The organization has been largely focused on fighting public health restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
The group’s membership has grown during the pandemic, attracting like-minded people who object to government rules on masks and vaccinations.
The Bundy family has been involved in clashes with the government, famously in 2014 over Bureau of Land Management grazing fees that led to an armed standoff northwest of Las Vegas.
Ammon Bundy was at the forefront of a 2016 armed “occupation” of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
He was arrested in March for refusing to wear a face mask in an Idaho courtroom.