Many of you have already seen one of the various news stories that came out yesterday along the lines of this report by KOLO TV…
“The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Criminal Intelligence Section executed a search warrant on Saturday, Jan.31, 2015 at 3888 Quadrel Street related to an extortion investigation. The alleged victim is Nevada District 19 Assemblyman Chris Edwards. The investigation was initiated in December 2014 when Assemblyman Edwards was approached about changing his official vote for Assembly Speaker.”
I’m getting ready to drive up to Carson City this morning and need to leave shortly so I get there in time to watch the Not-So-Super Bowl. So just some quick observations…
First, no. Metro detectives didn’t contact me. But I hope they do. I have a few trails that I’m certain Edwards didn’t tell them about for them to follow. Indeed, Edwards has opened a giga-can of worms here.
When you file a criminal complaint, all manner of people can be called to testify, under oath, about what they know or experienced relating to the incident. And folks who heretofore have remained quiet about Mr. Edwards’ shenanigans, including some of his colleagues, will now have to tell what they know about this mess to the authorities.
Much more on that aspect later.
At least two vocal conservative supporters of recalling Edwards were interviewed in person on Saturday morning. They were specifically asked about the Edwards recall. One was specifically asked why he was supporting the Edwards recall despite the fact that Edwards “hasn’t cast a single vote yet.”
Sounds like Jon Ralston, Nevada’s #2 liberal blogger-without-a-TV-show, wrote the questions for the Metro detectives!
And for the record, Ralston’s contention that none of these Assembly critters have cast a vote yet is simply not true. In fact, they’ve cast at least four.
One was the vote to oust Assembly Leader Pat “The Appeaser” Hickey and replace him with Assemblyman Ira Hansen just a couple days after the November election.
A second was to elect Assemblyman Paul Anderson as Majority Leader that same night.
The third was the vote, by proxy, to elect Speaker-of-the-Weak John Hambrick to replace Hansen and conservative Assemblywoman Michele Fiore to replace Anderson.
SIDENOTE: Hambrick is one of Edwards’ colleagues who will now have to answer questions about a private meeting with Edwards and Assemblyman Derek Armstrong at his home just before he removed Fiore as chair of the Taxation Committee and replaced her with Armstrong; which also, coincidentally (yeah, right), occurred just days before Gov. Brian “America’s Worst Governor” Sandoval (R&R Advertising) wrote $5,000 Christmas checks to both Edwards and Armstrong.
I wonder if Edwards taped that meeting?
Oh, and you’re not going to believe the hide-and-seek story of the run-in Edwards had with Fiore just prior to that meeting! Stay tuned, Batfans…
And the fourth was a “whip” vote conducted by Assemblyman Jim Wheeler of members of the Republican Assembly Caucus to call a caucus meeting for January 5th over the objection of Speaker-of-the-Weak Hambrick.
But, of course, Ralston has never let the truth get in the way of a good liberal attack on conservatives, so…whatever.
In any event, it sure sounds like some people are awfully scared, especially Edwards, that the Edwards recall effort is a serious threat to Mr. Edwards’ budding political career. Serious enough that he has apparently resorted to intimidation by filing a criminal complaint.
That said, rumors abound that Edwards wore a wire or had somebody’s telephone tapped and a recorded conversation – which may or may not have been recorded unlawfully – is the basis of the complaint.
And the target of the search warrant who is suspected of being involved in that recorded conversation is a Republican activist name Rob Lauer.
I don’t know if there’s a recording of Lauer purportedly trying to bribe Edwards to change one of his four leadership votes back in December or not. We’ll have to wait and see what the authorities have. That said…
I can tell you that Lauer called me weeks ago, not yesterday, and as I recall told me that he had just had a conversation with Edwards – not sure if it was in person or on the phone – and that Edwards had asked him for $10,000, the legal donation maximum, to help retire his campaign debt and that Lauer was prepared to file an ethics complaint against Edwards over the incident.
That was the only and last time I had a conversation with Lauer about this incident and, for whatever reason, he chose not to file the ethics complaint.
Now, I wasn’t a part of the Edwards/Lauer conversation. I’m only telling you what Lauer told me contemporaneously at the time; that Edwards asked him for money/fundraising help in return for changing his leadership vote, not the other way around.
As such, many of us suspect this criminal complaint was filed by Edwards in the spirit of Hill Street’s Sgt. Stan Jablonski: “Let’s to it to them before they do it to us.” Or to put it another way, the best defense is a good offense.
Regardless, if the conversation was, in fact, recorded, we’ll soon know exactly what was said and by whom and whether or not Edwards really was the victim of an extortion threat.
But no matter how this pans out, can you just imagine how Edwards’ colleagues are gonna feel serving with him during the session, especially in private meetings and caucus meetings, not knowing if he’s “wired” or not?
The sideshow of the Edwards/Lauer recorded/not-recorded conservation really has nothing to do with the Edwards recall effort. That effort has everything to do with Edwards’ suspected support for Gov. Brian “America’s Worst Governor” Sandoval’s (R&R-Advertising) billion dollar tax hike.
And in an Associated Press story about that effort last week, Edwards fulminated and foamed at the mouth, telling the reporter that Chuck Muth was “misleading voters in a very bad way.”
Actually, it’s Edwards who has been misleading voters in a very bad way. That’s, um, why some of his constituents are organizing to recall him. That said…
Indeed, if Mr. Edwards really believes I’ve been misleading folks about him, then I challenge him to join me in a face-to-face public debate in his district, at a time and place of his choosing. Unless I’m already scheduled for a previous engagement, I’ll be there.
And here, let me help with the only two questions that need to be answered by Mr. Edwards in such a public debate…
Do you support the governor’s $640 million tax-hike proposal to make the “sunsets” permanent…yes or no?
Do you support the governor’s $440 million tax-hike proposal to slam Nevada businesses with a new-and-improved version of a gross receipts tax…yes or no?
Simple questions. One word answers. Out of one side of his mouth, not both. The debate should take all of 23 seconds.
Then we’ll all know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who is misleading who.
You in, Chris?