RIDICULOUS FINES CHARGED AGAINST 2 CANDIDATES
Sam Dehne, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
To: Nevada Secretary of State
Subject: Request for Waiver of $1,875 (later increased to $2,500) Penalty
13 December, 2002
Dear Nevada Secretary of State,
As per your letter of 26 Nov, 2002, I hereby request a waiver of the penalty that was imposed on me.
The attached Memo provides more than enough evidence and justification for a waiving of the penalty that was charged for forgetting to file the 29 Oct, 2002 Campaign Expense Report on time.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Campaign Report contained only zeros, there are numerous reasons to justify the waiving of this penalty.
And notwithstanding the fact that the Secretary of State "sat on" an official document for almost a month... allowing the penalty to grow from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Suppression of Public Documents is a crime in Nevada.
In addition to the reasons pointed out in my attached letter of 2 Dec, 2002, here is more justification (in no order of importance) for you to waive the penalty:
1. The reminder card that you allege to have sent on 15 Oct, was never received. Neither was the reminder card of 14 August ever received. I also did not receive a reminder card from the Reno city attorney which historically had been one of their functions. If either had ever been received, I would have filed then.
2. The size of the fine far outstrips any sense of fairness or logic. The penalty does not fit the offense.
3. This is far too much money for this low-budget Grassroots candidate to be able to afford.
4. There was no intent to hide or avoid anything. I simply forgot to file this report.
5. The failure to file the report was not Willful. As just one example of waiver of this type of fine is former Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Miller who had a similar thing happen to him in the past and who said;
"The matter (of a late Expense Report filing) was brought before the Sec. of State for punishment, and she determined that my omission was not 'Willful', and took no action."
5a. This is a precedent by Law. To treat me differently than Mr. Miller is discriminatory and in violation of the 14th Amendment.
6. It has been reported that in Las Vegas 19 candidates recently had their (similar) penalties waived.
7. I immediately filed the Report as soon as I was made aware of the oversight.
8. I signed a document that said a monetary civil penalty may be assessed. But never in any wildest imagination was it dreamed that it could possibly be of this magnitude. Furthermore, there is a specific critical Legal differentiation between the words "may" and "will". Black's Law dictionary says: "Will" is an auxiliary verb commonly having the mandatory sense of "shall" or "must". It is a word of certainty, while the word "may" is one of speculation and uncertainty. (highlights added)There is a wide avenue of logic to permit (and demand) that the Secretary of State "speculate" that this penalty is out of order and that there is "just cause" to waive it.
There are other issues that I have not addressed to justify waiver of the fine. However, these reasons, and those espoused in the attached letter, should be sufficient to establish "good cause" in the brain of any fair-minded and honorable Secretary of State.It is anticipated that this will close this case ASAP.Signed,Sam Dehne
Reno, Nevada 89502
OH THE IRONY.. AND STUPIDITY!!!!
State Audit Cites Lax Supervision of New Nevada Computer
System by Secretary of State Heller (click)
(lax: careless, derelict, forgetful, negligent, remiss)
Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller and his staff were lax in supervising development of a $2.3 million computer system, a legislative audit says.The job's completion was late by nearly one year and some of it still isn't finished, according to the audit released Wednesday.But the auditors said Heller's office has "recognized its initial weaknesses" and instituted more consistent oversight of the project."Weaknesses in planning and controls over security and disaster recovery place at risk the systems and information maintained by the Office of Secretary of State," said the examination, which was conducted from November 2001 to October 2002.Heller, in his reply to the report, said he generally agrees with the findings of the audit, which centered on the computer system for the Uniform Commercial Code and accounting systems.When completed this project will" allow citizens and businesses to take advantage of our high volume services, via a self-service online system," Heller said.
(Note: And this is the guy who counts the votes?!? BURP!)
Nevada Secretary of State "Sits On"
Official Documents for Weeks.
This is Against the Law
David (Dehne) versus Goliath (Heller)
Extort: To wrest from an unwilling person by physical force, menace, duress, torture, or any undue or illegal exercise of power
or ingenuity; to wrench away (from); to tear away; to wring (from); to exact; as, to extort contributions from the vanquished;
to extort confessions of guilt; to extort a promise; to extort payment of a debt.
This is either vendetta, slander, defamation, intimidation, extortion... or stupidity... or all of the above.
A Few Reasons Why Nevada Secretary of State Has It In For Sam Dehne (click)
Sam Dehne, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
Subject: Official Complaint About Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller's Violations of Nevada Laws, Premeditatedly and Repeatedly
To: Nevada Attorney General Brian Sandoval
Dear Attorney General,
Nevada's Secretary of State, Dean Heller (SoS), is guilty of having violated the Laws of Nevada Government and the Spirit of those Laws repeatedly virtually every week during the last 2 to 3 years. His mendacities are far more egregious and self-serving than anything that the beleaguered Nevada Comptroller, Kathy Augustine, could possibly have done. Among many numerous attacks upon good government, he has violated NRS 281.481 (2) - "A public officer shall not use his position in government to secure... unwarranted privileges, preferences... or advantages to himself... ".
On a weekly basis starting some years ago the SoS went AWOL from his official job in Carson City and drove to Reno on "Company Time" (dozens and dozens of times) to participate in a one hour radio show on "Company Time". The radio show was dedicated to the SoS. And it resulted in unjustifiable personal self-aggrandization of the SoS for "personal gain".
Very briefly put the SoS is guilty of (at least):
1. Misusing government time and government position; at large expense to the Nevada Taxpayer. (We will leave it to the Attorney General to calculate the huge amount of money the SoS has been wrongfully paid... while he has been AWOL from his "real" job.)
2. The SoS has stepped far outside the bounds of his government position and done things that have no logical or legal relevance to the requirements of his job... talking about race car driving, his family, etc, etc.
3. Not only are the wrongful actions of the SoS against the Law, the mere public perception of his gross improprieties demand immediate corrective action... up to and including removal from office... by the Attorney General. This shameless person is in control of those very controversial Nevada voting machines.
4. To add insult to injury; while the SoS was wasting taxpayers' time and money with his self-aggrandizement on the radio, his office has been found horribly derelict and deficient for poor and slow performance. One can only wonder if things would be better... or even worse... if he had stayed at the office in Carson City where his job says he belongs.
Your immediate PUBLIC action to correct this matter... up to and including removing this malingerer from office... is expected.
I adamantly request that you contact me for further discussion of this dire matter. It must be corrected before the elections. This person must be replaced with someone outside the current SoS office so that citizens might be able to feel some confidence in the upcoming elections.
__________________ 14 July, 2004
Reno, Nevada 89502
cc: numerous TV and print media
(Note: This Complaint was ignored by the Nevada Attorney General and never acted upon.)
Sam Dehne, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
To: Nevada Attorney General
Carson City, Nevada
Subject: Concealment of Public Records by Nevada Secretary of State
Dear Attorney General Sandoval,
It is requested that you immediately investigate the following Complaint. If there is conflict of interest, then various dictates of NRS authorize you to assign the case to unbiased council as appropriate.
1. On 29 Oct, 2002, I forgot to file a Campaign Contribution form. I was not hiding anything. I merely forgot to file this form; a ridiculous form (that in my case) was moot, superfluous, and irrelevant since I canceled my candidacy just three days after I filed, and I never asked for nor received any contributions.
2. The Reno city clerk subsequently told me that she notified the Secretary of State the next day. This is per the dictates of the Reno city charter. (It is to be noted that several other innocent citizens generally did a similar thing. They either forgot to file or filed late or filed on time but the Sec-State claimed the documents were not received.)
3. The Secretary of State kept this vital Official Document "concealed" from me and did not notify me until a month later on 26 Nov. It was amazing timing by the Sec-State; as this was before the long Thanksgiving Day weekend. They added $600 more to the penalty even though I could not file the documents because their office was closed. As soon as I was made aware of my tardiness, I immediately filed the documents on 2 Dec.
3a. In other words they concealed critical Public Information from me (either premeditatedly or negligently) for a long period of time. And thus the penalty that they subsequently charged me built up to an extraordinary amount.
4. If the Sec-State had not concealed this Public Record, I would have been able to fill out the reporting documents in a timely manner. The fine would have been of the magnitude of a hundred to two hundred dollars; instead of the repulsive $2,500 they are trying to extort from me.
5. It appears that the Sec-State "sat on" these Public Records in order that my fine would build up. Thus we have the elements of a terrible infraction on their part... premeditation, a victim, and an injury.
6. And even if you want to give the Sec-State the benefit of the doubt they are guilty of gross negligence.
7. And if they further try to alibi that they never received the Public Records until a few days before they notified me of the tardiness, then that means they are saying that Reno city clerk, Lynette Jones is lying.
The Sec-State is guilty of either premeditated or negligent concealment of public documents.
NRS 239.320: Injury to, concealment or falsification of records or papers by public officer. An officer who mutilates, destroys, conceals, erases, obliterates or falsifies any record or paper appertaining to his office, is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130. (emphasis added)
Conceal (American Heritage dict): To keep from being seen, found, observed, or discovered; hide.
It is requested that you investigate this mendacity in a rapid manner; since your office is threatening to take me and other innocent victims of this Sec-State infraction to district court. This should be nipped in the bud. But then it is already too late for that. It is adamantly requested that you contact this victim.
Sam Dehne (6 May, 2003)
Reno, Nevada 89502
cc Ethics Commission, Martin Crowley, esq, Nevada Secretary of State, and The media
Note: This is the same person who runs Nevada's election system. Don't his never-ending mendacities raise the appearance and specter of even more voter fraud?
Sam Dehne, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
To: Secretary of State
State of Nevada
Subject: Huge Penalty Policy Punishes Grassroots Candidates
2 Dec, 2002
Dear Dean Heller,
1. Please find the requested candidacy filing documents.
2. Attached you will also find $20 that any reasonable person would consider to be more than adequate payment for any costs associated with the accidental late filing of campaign documents.
3. Note that NRS 294A.420, 4. provides leeway to justify "waiving" of the exorbitant fee that is alluded to in your letter of 26 November, 2002. In other words "good cause" is being shown by this candidate immediately filing campaign contribution reports and paying for reasonable costs that your office might have incurred in sending (what should be "reminder") letters to late-filers.
3a. Please note that the Reno City Clerk historically has sent out reminder letters to candidates. Such letter was not received this time.
4. The concept of the massive size of the punishment for this type of error is extremely shocking to the system and it is highly recommended that it be re-evaluated and corrected as soon as possible. (For instance, even the extremely dangerous act of running through a red light incorporates a penalty of "only" about $150.)
4a. It is anticipated that the enclosed $20 will close this matter.
5. Please contact this Grassroots candidate at the phone number listed above for any further discussion of this matter.
Sam Dehne, a concerned citizen of Reno Nevada
The punishment of good citizens... who desire to perform their civic duty and run for political office... does not seem to be in the spirit of the "law"... and of good government. A polite advisory letter reminding a citizen that he/she has overlooked the filing date... and to please file his/her documents... would seem to be much more in keeping with the Secretary of State's stated citizen-friendly agenda.
Reno, Nevada 89502
Here's what Washoe County Commissioner Pete Sferrazza has to say about this fiasco.
He is is being about as polite as a politician can be.
May 27, 2003
Mr. Dean Heller
Nevada Secretary of State
101 N. Carson Street
Carson City, Nevada 89701
Dear Mr. Heller:
It has been brought to my attention on numerous occasions at Public Meetings that your office has initiated action that might result in fines against some Washoe County citizens who ran for Public Office but who did not properly filed Campaign Contribution Reports.
In the case of Mr. Sam Dehne it appears that he unintentionally forget to file one of the Reports on time. The record shows that as soon as he was informed of his tardy oversight, he filed the Report and he had only one expenditure for filing for office.
I petition your office to waive Mr. Dehne's fine or reduce it to a nominal amount of $50, which would be more commensurate with his infraction. I would extend the same request for other similarly situated citizens who unintentionally forgot to file Reports, who filed as soon as your office notified them, and who had minimal contributions and expenditures.
You are probably aware that in the past some fines have been waived by your office and the Ethics Commission for failure to file Financial Disclosure Statements. As a matter of fact, the law itself says that a monetary "civil penalty may be assessed". Thus, the term "may" leaves discretion for a person of sound judgment and compassion, such as yourself, to make sure that punishments are not exorbitant and that they match any possible transgression. I feel that in this case there was no willful transgression; in that there was no premeditation, no victim, and certainly no gain for Mr. Dehne by accidentally forgetting to file the Report.
Thank you for your consideration.
Peter J. Sferrazza
Washoe County Commissioner
Letter from Citizen Steve Miller, Las Vegas' Political Watchdog
Also, keep an eye on Secretary of State Dean Heller and Attorney General
Brian Sandoval. They face the tough decision of whether to offend our town's
phantom government by starting a thorough investigation of Councilwoman Janet
Moncrief's gross under reporting of campaign funding, or give her a pass.
At the same time, Mr. Heller and Mr. Sandoval are trying to collect fines
from Reno's Sam Dehne ($2,500), and Vegas' Buffalo Jim Barrier ($1,800) for
(MERELY) forgetting to file their campaign contribution and expenditure reports.
Both Dehne and Barrier accepted no contributions and made zero expenditures in their
respective runs for Reno mayor and state assembly. However Moncrief willingly
failed to report at least $100,000.00 contributed and spent on secret mailers -
one sent in the name of her opponent - that attacked folks she now considers
I know Dean and Brian are busy in Carson City with "THE PEOPLE vs. GAMING,"
but the Moncrief case is precedent setting and should not be overlooked.
Anyway, after suffering the humiliation of unknowingly helping our town's
scoundrels elect a puppet, I need a break.
Steve Miller Back to The Reno Citizen (click)