Horse News

V. Eckhoff: Former Forbes Reporter + S. Forbes: Cow Farmer = FIRED?

Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“They dumped her because of WHAT?”

Vickery EckhoffThe word is out across the Blogosphere; Forbes’ equine “in your face” reporter Vickery Eckhoff was canned just 10 hours after writing an insightful article critical of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and their good ole boy “ Welfare Ranchers “and only hours before speaking to international equine professionals at this year’s Equine Advocates Annual Summit. What the heck gives?

First thought that crossed my mind was that her article was so in-depth and accurate on the undoing and destruction of our wild horses and burros at the hands of the BLM that Big Brother truly did have a far reaching hand that could, and would, strangle mainstream, honest media. I was salivating at the opportunity to prove that this was the case as the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program has been guilty of so many infractions of law that this would surely be the frosting on the cake for the American public to sink their teeth into.

But as the cyber-dust has begun to settle, over the past several days, another cog in this wheel of corruption has risen to the surface, see article below. It appears that Mr. Steven Forbes, the owner of ‘duuhhh’ Forbes, is a cattle baron in his own right. Now that opens up some additional interesting and potentially frightening possibilities, doesn’t it?

For today we will let you struggle with this one for yourself but in the meantime be sure to read Vickery’s article in Flubes otherwise known as Forbes:

Her Blog post on being dumped:

STAY TUNED as over the next several days we will be published an in-depth interview with the correspondent who is the middle of this cow crap storm. Vickery has agreed to speak with SFTHH and we intend to let her speak her mind, all unbridled of course.

More to come.


Steve Forbes, cattle farmer

as published in the Center for Public Integrity

Steve Forbes’ signature line in his 2000 campaign is, “Steve Forbes: He wants you to win.” But who’s the “you” in his slogan?

Of Forbes’ top ten career patrons, six are Wall Street investment bankers, who earn the lion’s share of their income speculating in the stock market. All that income would be tax-free under Forbes’ flat-tax proposal.

Heirs to large fortunes, on the other hand, would see the estate tax eliminated. That would be particularly beneficial to millionaires like Forbes: Since his father died in 1990, the family has been paying off the estate-tax bill in installments, according to an August 1999 article in The Washington Post. Perhaps that’s why Forbes is so adamant about eliminating the estate tax. His campaign’s Web site says that estate taxes are “regressive taxes that hurt working families, small-business owners, and especially farmers who want to pass their farms on to their children.”

Middle class deductions disappear

As for corporations, Forbes would slash their income tax rate from 35 to 17 percent. As with the flat tax for individuals, many deductions that are important to the middle class would disappear. For example, the write-offs that corporations can take for offering fringe benefits such as health insurance would disappear, which might tempt employers to stop offering medical coverage for their employees. Similarly, the share of Social Security and Medicare taxes that employers pay could no longer be written off.

Forbes’ flat tax would also eliminate the unlimited write-off for interest; while the deduction helped fuel the leveraged-buyout craze of the 1980s, eliminating it wholesale would hammer companies that are carrying a lot of debt. Similarly, it would abolish tax breaks for research-and-development costs, which would hurt high-technology companies.

While those deductions would disappear, others would be added to the code. Depreciation would disappear, allowing corporations to immediately write off the entire cost of capital investments in land, construction and machinery. Business expenses, including travel and entertainment costs (even three-martini lunches), would be fully deductible.

Forbes, Inc. would benefit

As Fortune magazine pointed out in a 1996 article, one of the companies that would benefit most from rewriting the corporate tax rules would be none other than Forbes, Inc. The closely held firm carries little debt, has relatively few employees and has research-and-development expenses. What’s more, Forbes could write off the entire cost of entertaining wealthy advertisers on board his yacht. As advantageous as the tax would be to Forbes, he nonetheless has to live under the rules of the current system. He’s proved to be quite adept at that as well.

Forbes attacks the current tax code on the grounds that it allows the rich and powerful to carve out loopholes for themselves while average Americans bear the brunt of the tax burden. He speaks from personal experience.

Why Forbes raises cattle

To encourage family farms, federal tax law allows cattle farmers to enjoy substantial write-offs on their business expenses. On top of the federal tax break, New Jersey cattle farmers get a property tax break if they own at least five acres of land and generate at least $500 in revenue a year. Which helps explain why Steve Forbes is in the cattle business. His New Jersey farm meets the state’s revenue test, with about $5,500 in yearly income, and he gets the federal write-offs for raising cattle, too.

Forbes raises three different breeds of show cows: Polled Herefords, Galloways and belted Galloways. “You don’t make money selling hamburger meat,” Forbes told Fortune magazine in 1996. “You make money breeding show cows; that’s the name of the game.”

If Forbes did not stock his land with show cows, his property would be valued for tax purposes at $9 million, according to a local land assessor. The assessor estimated that, with the cows, Forbes’s land would be assessed at only $160,531. On the 449 acres of his land with cows grazing, Forbes pays just $2,215. On the smaller 70.5-acre plot without cattle, Forbes pays a hefty $50,000.

Forbes’ bending of the tax code isn’t limited to cattle. Just months after the 1996 election, when he failed in his attempt to “bury the tax code,” he was hiring tax attorneys to work that tax code to advance his candidacy in 2000 and potentially reduce his financial burden. Forbes figured out a way to keep his ad campaign running on a year-round basis.

The resulting nonprofit organization, Americans for Hope, Growth, and Opportunity, was designed to continue broadcasting his message and seek a broader base through television, radio and the Internet. It solicited money, bankrolled ads featuring Forbes, and sent out press releases detailing the candidate’s political views on issues of the day. William Dal Col was the president of Americans for Hope, Growth, and Opportunity; he switched over in 1999 to serve as manager of the 2000 campaign, the same post he held when Forbes ran in 1996.

Shielded from scrutiny

Forbes launched and operated AHGO in near-total secrecy. Because it has not applied for tax-exempt status, AHGO is shielded from the scrutiny that a tax-exempt organization receives. Tax-exempt organizations, for example, must make significant portions of their tax returns public, Forbes’ not-for-profit corporation is under no such legal obligation.

Al Olsen, the accountant who prepared the tax return for AHGO in 1997, said he thought that Forbes’ intent was indeed to avoid disclosing the organization’s finances. “They told me I had to file a Form 1120,” Olsen said in an interview with the Center for Public Integrity. “They used their own lawyer.”

Had AHGO filed Form 990, as required for tax-exempt organizations, he would have been required to include all of its sources of revenue. AHGO listed its donors, but when the Center asked Dal Col to provide the full names and the amounts and dates of their contributions, he refused.

The Forbes campaign was no more eager to release AHGO’s tax returns than it was to disclose Forbes’s own returns. Paul Sullivan, an attorney for Forbes, refused the Center’s request for a copy of the most recent tax forms filed by Americans for Hope, Government, and Opportunity.

Click (HERE) to comment directly at the Center for Public Integrity

Enhanced by Zemanta

25 replies »

  1. This is like something out of a soap opera only it’s for real. What the AO’s won’t do for money and this is what the USA has been ruined by. Free speech and democracy have almost been destroyed by greed.


    • need to look at the bill introduced by heekim jefferies (d-il ) h.r. 3878 they want to do away with freedom of speech , go look and see for your self . on top of very thing else there is a bigger picture here that must be looked at and i have been saying this for the last 2 wk.s


  2. Tax breaks for a handful of Show Cattle? My Dad wants to know wheres the tax breaks for all the show horses we hauled around the US?


    • I, too, support Vickery’s research and writing. We have no evidence that Steve Forbes’ cows have anything to do with this since it is likely he has had these cows or some other similar interest prior to this.

      However, I think many people saw the extent of government over-reach in the Bundy case. It isn’t that Mr. Bundy was in the right. It isn’t that other media understood the story, but finally some news organizations actually got out in the middle of nowhere where we all know the real drama is taking place.

      The issue that people identify with is the loss of their property rights. This may not be happening in Texas, but it is happening all over the country on public and private land. Since Debbie first began writing about the role treaties may be playing in the fates of our wild horses, there has been an explosion in the number of groups and individuals keeping an eye on what is going on. UN CBD Article 8 (h) givens the government the right to seize any animal or plant species that the IUCN decides doesn’t have the right to be there.

      We have been telling the same story for the past five years even though there is plenty of evidence that the story line we are perpetuating which includes villinizing ranchers and farms just trying to survive and hold onto the lives they know. It is hard to hold the ranchers on public lands responsible for the BLM’s intentional non-management as part of a strategy to create conflict between the two groups that have the most in common in terms of land use needs.

      If our horses and domestic animals were not going to suffer due to our unwillingness to change the narrative, I would not have spent the time writing this. We’ve gotten nowhere with this narrative, and as long as we insist that the way we tell it is the only way it could be, we won’t.


  3. Forbes isnt in the Old West so.wheres the backlash forhhim poking his nose in the Ol West arguments? Once again debunking the Old West Cattlemen lies about unwanted people poking their nose in from any state but the state it happens to be in. In fact, Bundy broke the Cardinal butt the F out Rule of the old west himself. He accepted help from people from Outside his State andoutside the Old West. So to be honest Vickery once again even being Fired Exposed the lies and the liars without even trying. They systematically preach Butt Out and then when they know thry are losing they BEG people to.butt in. Double talk, two faced, and ridiculous, you Wont Allow people to speak for the horses from out of your state YET when you want to be racist, not pay your lease, promote removal of taxes, and removal of wild horses that belong anything goes from any othet state who agrees with it. So Thank God for this Hot Mess, sorry Vickery. Its about time these people outed their Own selves, including Forbes. Theres alot of ways to make more money without Avoiding paying your obligations and taxes….thats why this is America. Why people thinkwe dont have the right opinion in the subjects is because we dont share their wrong opinion. Just ask the Clipperz owner, he now knows all about having the wrong opinion….sorry but we have evolved and we do not have to like Bundy or Forbes or the Clippers owner, that isnt America….acceotamce is, thats all yhe horses and burros want and need.


    • In NC if you 10 acres and earn 10,000 with an agricultual product, you are eligible for a tax deduction. Mr. Forbes is paying his taxes and is doing nothing that honey bee farmer Jon Bon Jovi is not also doing.


      • You Misunderstand the non payer is bundy, the ones trying to ban paying taxes is Forbes owner. Separate issues, you just kinda blended them together.


  4. There are no countries only corporations with flags. Freedom of the press only serves them. Freedom and the American living symbol of it is vanishing for the greed of a few.


  5. Someone at Forbes does not like getting their feet stepped on. Why else would you silence a voice that is telling it like it is. Forbes has it’s own agenda & it is not honesty. That virtue is getting as rare as hen’s teeth….rave on Vickery!


    • forbes is just playing ball with the likes of wall street, corp.’s , anyone else conspirin g to take away any freedoms that we know today . i have been very busy trying very hard to let any body know what the gov. is doing to us divide and conquor is the name of the game . and we have been the butt of their jokes for a very long time.. yes , we really need to start cleaning the guns and staking down what is yours and doing it now because all the executive orders that have been sign and did not pass congress are going to be the problem . just like executive order capital currency will be a law on july first . so you need to look in to that and do what you have to do about that . and start gathering food supplies and stocking up because they will use food sorces against us . start looking at some of the stuff you would call radical writings but all is starting to come true. by 2015 we will have no right if they get their way.


  6. Vickery Eckhoff you are a great reporter. You state the truth and the public wants the truth, and not lies and deception. I know you will find a better job as a reporter for a magazine or newspaper. Keep up the good reporting on the horses. We all need you.


    • 5-1-2014 Patty you got that right and I ditto it!!! Now we know what the “Forbes Corporation” is all about. I wouldn’t trust them as far as I might try to throw them! Go Vickery! A big thanks from the wild ones. Screw Forbes and their cronies.


  7. While I admire Vickery’s work, you all are missing what she herself said, she was never paid so was NOT fired here… just deprived of her podium for reasons yet to be determined. I for one would like to know just what edits she was asked to make to her piece on Friday, I think it would explain a lot.

    I guess I will have to say this, too. The ag exemptions are used by plenty of horse owners, probably many of you reading this, in just about every state so if Forbes is doing that to save taxes that is not enough to send out the posse, in my opinion, since there won’t be any way to guess who they will go after next. If Forbes has a legitimate cattle business in New Jersey on his own land I think it’s hypocritical to criticize that. If this is a problem we need to change the laws, not witch hunt those following them.

    It’s not helpful on many levels to fan the flames of outrage without substantial cause. I’m hoping Vickery can supply some in her own words.


  8. Forbes could very easily dispel any doubts as to the motivation behind their decision to “fire” Vickery. All they have to do is RECONSIDER a bad decision

    From Vickery’s blog

    “I thank all of you for following me on and ask you to read the article and comment, if you haven’t already done so. FYI, my account there is locked, so I cannot call out any comments as I usually would, or even reply to them as author. Forbes has even removed my ability to comment as a reader to other articles. How’s that for gratitude for the two and a half years of free content I provided them?”


    At The Root (excerpts)

    Whether you’re passion is wild horses and burros, wildlife or just someone who loves to go hiking around in nature, eventually we all run into the same issue; the degradation of public lands by poorly managed livestock grazing and our government authorizing unsustainable numbers for decades.

    The question becomes why…..

    Why does public lands ranching have such a death grip on our natural resources? How is it that after all these years, little has changed despite overwhelming evidence of the damage? Why, despite all the laws and many, many good dedicated people in the government agencies themselves that have tried to effect change, nothing substantial can be done? Why is it that report after report submitted to Congress clearly outlining the mismanagement and malfeasance of livestock grazing to our resources, including wild horses and burros, is met with indifference as they not only continue to support livestock grazing but will viciously fight for the rights of ranchers time and time again? And how is it possible that just a handful of ranchers who produce less than 3% of America’s beef on public lands continue to wield so much power over our Nation?

    Well, the answer is, they don’t. The banks do, just like everything else these days and it’s the banks that continue to dictate American policy and cause Congress to ask “How high?” when they ask them to jump.

    In Mike Hudaks’ Western Turf Wars – The Politics Of Public Lands Ranching, an interview with Mike Sauber sums it up in a nutshell and what he describes should send chills down anyone’s spine who cares for America’s resources, “our” public lands and why the current system has eternally doomed us to failure until there will be nothing left but dust.

    Mr. Sauber so aptly and clearly describes America’s real predicament in this powerful truth so often hidden from public view when he states: “People typically assume that ranchers have a lot of power, but it’s not really true. It’s the banks holding the estimated $2 billion that’s loaned out on grazing permits on western public lands that have the power. Our public lands are being used as collateral for bank loans. Our wilderness areas, archaeological sites, watersheds, wildlife habitat is being mortgaged – used as collateral for bank loans of ranchers that are buying base properties with grazing permits attached to them.”


  10. Vickery, after re-reading your comment about the timing of your separation from Forbes being right before you were to speak at the EA Conference, I think you may be onto something. Your separation from Forbes may not have anything at all to do with with the article you published on on the Bundy’s and the BLM. We’ll just have to let this scenario play out to see if there is anything to it.


    Meanwhile, back at the ranch (or ranches)….

    BLM caves into Iron County commissioners’ demands/threats to round up Federally Protected Wild Horses.
    Iron County Commission Chairman David Miller and Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney say they’ll wait until after the foaling season ends June 30 to decide whether to take matters into their own hands.

    United States Department of the Interior

    Color Country District Office
    Cedar City Field Office
    176 East DL Sargent Drive
    Cedar City, UT 84721
    Telephone (435) 865-3000

    In Reply Refer To:
    4720 (UTC010)
    April 30, 2014

    Dear Reader:

    The Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Bible Spring Complex Wild Horse Gather and Removal and Fertility Treatment Plan DOI-BLM-UT-C010-2014-0035-EA is available for review and comment on-line at or at Hard copies are available from the Cedar City Field Office at the above address.

    This document is tiered to the Pinyon Management Framework Plan (1983). If a determination is made that implementation of the Proposed Action would not result in “significant environmental impacts” a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) would be prepared to document that determination and a Decision Record issued providing the rationale for approving the chosen alternative.

    The four Herd Management Areas (HMAs) that make up the Bible Spring Complex are located in western Iron and Beaver counties, approximately 30 miles west of Minersville, Utah in the Wah Wah and Indian Peak mountain ranges. The Bible Spring Complex (Bible Spring, Blawn Wash, Tilly Creek and Four Mile HMAs) is approximately 222,929 public, private and state land acres. The Complex ranges from 5,400 feet in the valleys to 9,100 feet in elevation.

    This EA has been prepared to analyze the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Cedar City Field Office (CCFO) proposal to implement the Bible Springs Complex Gather, Removal and Fertility Treatment Plan. The purpose of the project is to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance, achieve and maintain wild horse Appropriate Management Levels (AML), collect information on herd characteristics, determine herd health, maintain sustainable rangelands, and maintain a healthy wild horse population within the Bible Springs Complex. The proposal includes gathering and removing excess wild horses and the application of fertility control methods over a ten year period.

    The current AML of 80-170 wild horses for the Bible Spring Complex was set in the Bible Springs, Blawn Wash, Four Mile and Tilly Creek Wild Horse Appropriate Management Level Assessment, signed 4/18/2005 (EA# UT-040-04-47), and is in conformance with the land use plan that allocated forage for wild horses, livestock, and wildlife. The CCFO has attempted since the completion of the Pinyon Management Framework Plan in 1983 to maintain the wild horse population on the Complex within the AML.

    Wild horse populations above AML compete for forage, water, and cover allocated to wildlife and livestock. High populations of wild horses impact riparian areas with increased trailing, vegetative use, and trampling. Wild horses will drive away livestock and native ungulates from watering and feeding areas.

    In order to meet local and national wild horse program goals, the objectives of the proposal would be to:
    • maintain wild horse populations within AML;
    • slow population growth to maximize the time between gathers to remove excess horses;
    • reduce the number of wild horses being placed in short-term holding or long-term pastures;
    • remove wild horses that occupy areas outside the Bible Spring Complex boundary; and
    • maintain a thriving, natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on public lands in the Bible Spring Complex.

    Comments on the Environmental Assessment for the Bible Spring Complex Wild Horse Gather and Removal and Fertility Treatment Plan DOI-BLM-UT-C010-2014-0035-EA will be accepted for 30 days until May 30, 2014. Interested individuals should mail written comments to the BLM Cedar City Field Office, 176 E. DL Sargent Drive, Cedar City, Utah 84721 Attn: Cedar City Field Office Manager or send email to: Any other comments will not be accepted. Comments need to be post marked or emailed to no later than May 30, 2014.

    City Field Office, at (435) 865-3000.


    Elizabeth R. Burghard
    Cedar City Field Office Manager


  12. I posted the above, proposed UTAH/BLM round up and removal of Wild Horses from their Legal Herd Management Areas on Forbes.
    I don’t see it published.
    THIS is the crux of the matter…and we need to know WHY.

    BLM roundup of cattle in Nevada….BIG MEDIA COVERAGE

    BLM roundup of FEDERALLY PROTECTED Wild Horses in Utah to appease Iron County Commissioners….NO BIG DEAL, NO SWAT TEAM, NO NEWS COVERAGE.


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.