Allegations are flying in Nevada by all political sides leading up to the June 14, election. On May 30, 2016, a blog written by President of Veterans IN Politics, Steve Sanson, released an article titled “Metro Falsifies Search Warrants…Against You!!!”.
Sanson asserts the warrants are against the general public and that there is a double standard, “So if we lie to the government it’s a felony, but if they lie to us it’s politics!”
The primary argument against the government is that the voters were lied to – particularly by the Assembly members of the Nevada State Legislature. The lies that are currently the topic of conversation began in 2014 when those seeking office and the incumbents campaigning for reelection adamantly proclaimed they would not raise taxes. But ultimately they voted for the largest tax hike in the state’s history.
Citizens in Nevada had voted down a tax increase statewide by nearly 80% of the state’s residents. Conservative groups clamored for elected officials to keep their word and reject the Governor’s budget and tax package. The issue created a firestorm of angry voters and groups that began circulating recall efforts against many candidates who were showing signs of breaking their campaign promises.
Leadership positions for the Speaker and Majority leader within the Republican caucus became extremely contentious with a full press court.
Assemblyman Ira Hansen, first elected as Speaker, suddenly resigned the position when media began publishing old statements made by Hansen as a radio host that implied he was racist and a homophobe. Once Hansen resigned, the conservative members, with a one vote majority, installed John Hambrick as Speaker. Hambrick went on to become a disappointment, breaking his promises to keep original Chair appointments and audit the PAC’s operated by the Nevada Assembly. New members wanted answers on thousands of missing dollars and voted for an audit. Hambrick went on to break that promise as well. To date, no audit has been conducted.
Sanson asked who is fighting for Nevadans in Carson City? He wrote that the answer was frightening. He claimed that Nevada’s rulers, merely one percent of the state’s population, were guilty of using intimidation, harassment, extortion, false warrants and illegal wiretaps. These methods of doing business in the political arena were used during the 2015 legislative session. Sanson stated it was not an unforeseeable leap to think this will also become the norm against the citizens.
Sanson provides an affidavit filed by a committee in Nye County that states, Detective William Schoen, misused his authority to execute warrants for wiretaps and searches against those who fought Governor Sandoval’s intimidation and political bullying. The committee has filed with Nye County District Court an 18-page affidavit, complete with 32 exhibits, sighting Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 6.132 their right to convene a Citizen Grand Jury.
Detective Schoen list Ed Klapproth as the star witness and starting point to Edwards allegations of extortion. However, the Nye County Committee has offered a signed, under the penalty of perjury, a statement from Ed Klapproth refuting the detective’s statements. Klapproth asserts he told the detectives they were miss using tax dollars and investigating a simple phone call that was in no way a crime.
Mr. Klapproth has continued to be vocal against the investigation detectives were conducting, insisting that they are on the wrong track. Klapproth statements have fallen on deaf ears, apparently. Under the leadership of Sherriff Joe Lombardo, Metro continues to pursue the matter. Under their investigation, Tony Dane, who runs a Polling and Robo-calling agency, has been indicted on a variety of charges in the case.
Citizens who are close to the situation say the timing is politically motivated with the June primary election. Early Voting has already begun in Nevada.
The two opposing sides in the political saga are both claiming foul. One side was trying to prove extortion and the other side insisting that high-ranking political figures are colluding with law enforcement for a desired political outcome. There may be the truth somewhere in the middle.
There were several wiretaps authorized, Edwards secretly recorded conversations with his caucus members and others in an attempt to gain knowledge from the conservative wing. Most of these conversations took place in January 2015 prior to the official floor votefor Speaker.
In June 2015, “Las Vegas Review-Journal” reported the police did, in fact, conduct “secret court-approved wiretaps” while investigating allegations of an extortion plot against Assemblyman Chris Edwards, who was considered the swing vote to select a new Speaker.
In opposition to Edwards claims, several activists say Edwards was shopping his vote to clean up campaign debt. Chuck Muth, a political writer in Nevada, had begun calling Edwards “Let’s Make a Deal Edwards.”
Edwards, who is sticking to his allegations, seems to be the lone wolf crying. The Affidavit for the Citizen’s Grand Jury contains exhibits from 4 sitting legislators who report Edwards was, in fact, trying to “sell his vote.”
Dates of phone calls submitted by detectives to Judge Togliatti to obtain a search warrant to tap the phones of activist and sitting legislators were fabricated according to phone records submitted by the committee’s affidavit as an exhibit.
Sanson has a reputation in Nevada for weeding out political and police corruption.
Edwards is facing a tough re-election as are those incumbent officials who voted for the Governors Tax package. To say that the story is politically motivated appears to have truth. The simple case is well over a year old, and the timing of Indictment of Dane does appear to be useful in the election cycle. Mailers against conservative candidates who are challenging those who voted for the tax have begun to hit Nevada mailboxes.
Trying to tie conservative candidates to Dane and his services seems a stretch when his company, Dane and Associates, does work all over the country. In Nevada, Dane worked for Senator Michael Roberson in 2010 and even worked for Chris Edwards in 2012 when Edwards had a failed run in Nevada Congressional District 1. The list of Dane’s clients is long because of his reputation for spot-on polling.
Several of the candidates supported by the Governor for backing his tax package are in heated primaries with newcomers having the advantage.
Activist says the Dane story is just an attempt to discredit several candidates and protect the Governors team.
Nevada has a history of political corruption, even earning the reputation as one of the most corrupt states in the nation, possibly, because it is.
Written by DiMarkco Chandler
Contributor Cathy Milne
Nevada Politics Blog: Metro FALSIFIES Search Warrants…AGAINST YOU!!!
Reno Gazette-Journal: Nevada Democrats aim to retake Assembly
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Police conducted wiretaps in Assembly extortion probe
SFGATE: Nevada political consultant accused of extorting lawmaker
Image Courtesy of Jimmy Emerson DVM’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License