Nye County Granny Says …

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

I have been a resident of Nye County for close to 30 years. Never have I seen the local economy this disjointed. It doesn’t matter whether I am in Scolaris or Smith’s, everytime I go and buy a bag of groceries it is costing me more and more. For many of my friends and neighbors things are getting financially desperate, and we are all looking for some relief from our county, state and federal government.

I would like to share some information with you.

Did you know that recently our county has been visited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation? Yes, Nye County granny has learned from a few confident sources that federal agents have been visiting our county and collecting information. They have been out asking questions. And why?

On November 19, 2009 The Las Vegas Sun reported that the FBI’s Southern Nevada Mortgage Fraud Task Force had accumulated evidence in 300 cases of real estate and mortgage fraud. On June 17, 2010 newspapers and TV news reported that the FBI arrested 123 people in Southern Nevada. Those people were charged in a loss of over 246 million dollars in fraud. The 123 included 30 loan officers, 24 Real Estate Agents, 6 loan processors, 4 mortgage officers, 2 appraisers, and one builder.

The actual U.S. Dept of Justice FBI press release added 5 settlement agents to the list. Please feel free to read what the press release said at :


The Las Vegas Sun article said that FBI agents told them that real estate related industry personnel, after being arrested, were giving up other names like criminals do during drug related arrests and that cases were “mushrooming fast”. Fellow Nye County Residents, this was just the first planned wave of arrests. That FBI investigation (which now also includes the IRS among other agencies) has now come over the hump to Pahrump, and even north to Tonopah. Granny does not question that there will be another wave of arrests including some prominent names in Nye County, Arizona and Southern California.

So what does the arrest of these people mean to you and me? Why should you care that a bunch of criminal real estate agents, bank and loan crooks, and even a builder got busted?

What if I told you that there was a gang of real estate agents, real estate developers and mortgage industry people trying right now to take over your county government by election? Yes it is true, and it could easily happen.

Nye County granny has been close to the real estate industry all her life. I was raised in Palm Springs and during high school summers and college vacations I worked for my Aunt Sally and Uncle Harry who were both Palm Springs real estate agents. I learned much about the industry, such as how cut-throat competitive it is, and how many real estate agents work around laws and codes, and who you needed to “schmooze”.

Over the years living in various areas of Nye County I have seen the real estate industry swell here, to where now, there are simply too many real estate agents in our county. Most are good apples, in my opinion, but there are a few very rotten apples too.

This year all four of the basic county offices that you or I are likely to use have someone running against the incumbent. Every last one of them running against the current office holder is, or has been recently, a licensed real estate agent. Nye County Assessor Sandra Musselman found herself running against Shirley Matson, a real estate agent. Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino is being challenged by real estate broker Norma Jean Opatik. Nye County Recorder Byron Foster has been challenged by Deborah Beatty who also has a real estate agent license. Nye County Treasurer Gary Budahl has Michael Maher running against him. Mr. Maher was not only a former Nye County Manager but his real estate license expired 8/31/2009.

It wouldn’t be so noteworthy but these are the county offices that you and I are most likely to need services from. We are much less likely to need to address county commissioners, or the D.A. or anyone else. The assessor, clerk, recorder and treasurer are important offices and conduct much of the county business.

Earlier this year a group of people from Pahrump began publishing their own grammatically challenged “newspaper” called “Voice of the people, by the people, for the people, Shining the Light of ‘Truth‘ “. They took some issues of merit, such as how the prison location in Pahrump turned into a fiasco, and some other issues that did have a ring of truth and expanded from there. But really the “newspaper” was a forum where one could buy advertising, and the newspaper felt by it’s June 4, 2010 4th edition issue that it could be distributed to all of us telling “we the people” how to vote in the primary. Not surprising, their newspaper endorsed a large number of real estate agents who happen to be running for office and who advertised heavily in their “newspaper”. (Granny, in all fairness, wants you to know that this endorsement list did not include Michael Maher)

In that same edition, a center page ad of some proportion was paid for by a fellow named Butch Clendenen letting us know who to vote for because they “can’t be bought” and they “have no special interest, connections or associations!”

Nye County granny laughed, because you see, I have looked at the campaign contributions of all four of these challengers running for assessor, clerk, recorder and treasurer. It’s easy to do and a matter of public record. Someone please tell Mr. Clendenen that recorder hopeful Deborah Beatty has taken contributions from Tim Hafen and Nye County Construction, an affiliate company, and a contribution from M Kent Hafen. I can tell you as a long time Nye County resident, Mr. Clendenen, that when Mr. Hafen is funding your campaign and willing to drive you in the Fall Festival Parade that you are a very well “connected” candidate. In fact every real estate agent endorsed by the Voice newspaper, or by Mr. Clendenen are all well connected politically. One is even chairperson of the Nye County Republican Central Committee. Who did the publishers of the Voice think they were fooling?

Clerk hopeful Norma Jean Opatik has endorsed paper ballots, and is thinking of new voting machines. We’d have to pay for them (NRS 293B.125). The machines we use are used throughout the state and no one from the other counties is complaining about them. And the much touted recount because Sam Merlino runs “crooked elections” just proved she isn’t. Attorney and unsuccessful candidate for D.A. Nancy Lord admitted publicly there were no problems and apologized. Much of what else Opatik promotes is already state law and routinely done by all county clerks. She’s sending up a lot of useless political flak folks.

Mr. Maher is intelligent and always polite. In granny’s opinion he is probably smarter than our current treasurer Mr. Budahl. I have no doubt he could run the office of treasurer. But on a TV program on May 20th, 2010 on Channel 41 called “Court Reporter; Stovall & Associates“, Mr. Maher suggested that both technology and a reduction of departmental deputy staff could help solve financial problems. If The Real Estate Gang Of Four get elected, all of them will be candidates who have no experience. Untried and frankly untrained the departmental deputies left would have to train them. With the reduction of county staff recently with the buy-out, what is left of the deputies would also be needed to cross train other departments if Maher’s plan was adopted. In an article titled “Assessor ‘may lack’ staff to do reappraisals of county property” (PV Times October 6, page A 7) we learned that the loss of employees may require the state to send in appraisers to help. In this period the county does not have the time to be fooling around with training. I do not know why Mr. Maher did not get his contract as county manager extended, but granny heard a rumor of “empire builder“.

Recorder Foster has felt the ire of some, but not of all of the real estate community. He has a letter from the Nye County District Attorney’s office advising him that guidelines sent to him by the Nevada Dept of Taxation are valid and shall be followed by his office. He upholds the law. The technological changes during his time as Nye County Recorder have been remarkable. There is no reason to replace him. He does his job, and well. My late Aunt Sally the career realtor would have held a lot of respect for the man.

Granny is here to tell you that the current clerk, recorder and treasurer are competent, hard working honest people, who are not carrier politicians, but people trying to keep their jobs. You’ll notice that the FBI isn’t investigating them, it’s the real estate and mortgage industry that should be looking over their shoulders! Won’t you please send this email to a friend? God bless you, God bless America and God bless our troops, one of whom is my grandson fighting in Afghanistan.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caregiving
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 07:01:39

    Further, use maps that don’t entirely mesh with each other or the McGreevey plan, county Planning Director John H. Caregiving


  2. TurboKitty
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 20:48:34

    Local Pahrump commented on your link.

    Local wrote:
    “Via Andy Alberti Jr> This is a dear Granny. Not the dear sweet granny I used to know: One of your friends sent me a copy of your mail. I just loved the part about honesty. What lair are you hiding in. I proudly and openly discuss my views as do many others, but you Granny need a bath. Maybe then you can come to the dance.

    Are you saying there was hanky panky with the prison deal? Or the Calvada Eye fiasco that we are now being told is a wonderful new start? Maybe you could give us some more details. You sound more like a county employee than a concerned citizen. Hmmm?

    Now what if I told you there was a gang of neer do wells telling us they are running the county and town efficiently and we should all just shut up. They know what is best for us. What if they do not want you to know they are incompetent when it comes to developing an economic development program that will diversify our job base so we too can keep our homes just like those fat and sassy government employees. EDEN, RNDC, Our Great Poverty program and all the busy work holding meetings that get us nowhere.

    And why is it that the county commissioners can’t act like they are the bosses. Why can’t they fix their development departments. My God, I have heard the same story for four years, “they just might be making some headway in fixing this mess.” Why do they set a timed event for discussion at the commissioner meetings and then delay it because they weren’t ready. Let me ask you something, if you went in to surgery and were all prepped, just going under anesthesia and someone said, “We’re not ready”, would that make you just a little annoyed. Do they mean to tell me they had two weeks to prepare for the meeting and they weren’t ready.

    And why is the town of Pahrump dodging the open and frank discussion with the puvblic at their meetings about what they are doing to bring jobs through economic developement. Obviously they have no plan other than to sit by the phone and wait for someone to call. The have added it to their agenda, the last item and no discussion. They have no plan. There should be salary reductions of $1,000 per week for the managers until a viable plan is in place. Until then the subject will be taboo just like a porn flick of the same name.

    And why are we wasting good hard working taxpayers dollars with a county seat in Tonopah when everyone knows it is expensive to maintain two locations. Believe me, you have no idea of the ramifications.

    What if the commissioners told you that a general plan and zoning map would bring jobs and businesses and after spending 3 million dollars to outside of Nye county vendors they still don’t have it right, would you be just a bit ticked off? Did business rush to Pahrump due to this marvelous insight?

    And why give employees a buyout. Now they are whining about being short staffed. We would have been better off to reshuffle the employees in to a marketing force to bring jobs here. Ah, but you see it is not their job to bring jobs here, but it is their job to be the friendlies place so jobs will come here. Ask anypne who has attempted to bring their business here. Even the new Carls Junior is for sale already. seems like the owner can’t wait to get out of here.

    Next time union negotiations are in play I would like to make them public from start to finish so the elected Gods quit giving the store away.

    And what if you had a candidate for Nye county Assessor,
    who filed and the deadline had passed before that candidate revealed they have no desire to serve the citizens of Nye County,
    And that “I’m not a candidate”, candidate received a generous buyout although an elected official is not an employee in the official sense, even though the county cuts them a check,
    and whose name is still on the ballot,
    and if elected changes their mid will serve’ and if that not a candidate wins the election it will go to the county commissioners to appoint the successor,
    and it isn’t the person who wants to serve you’
    and what would you do then….Well
    since she is the only true and honest candidate for
    There is no other candidate, She deserted her party for a few dollars and now you are faced with the truth. It was, after all, about the money, but not for Shirley.

    Well Granny, other than these few little issues, oh how I wish it were only these few simple little issues, yours pale in comparison, but you know …EGBOK. Oh I shared your letter with a few of my friends and not so friends because it is an election classic.

    Permission to share and distribute freely is hereby given. If you know someone who would like to be included they can send an Email and say “Please add me” and include a name and Phone number. We do not share these with anyone.
    If you want out just hit reply and type “Please remove me”. You will be missed EGBOK

    Andrew Alberti Jr
    Real Estate Broker licensed and proud of it.”


  3. pahrumpvoter
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 01:14:06

    I think Granny is the current Recorder, or his significant other!
    It’s remarkable that these self proclaimed no it alls, blame the evils of the world on those that are trying to get elected, and want us forget the past of the incumbents. Andy Alberty hit it on the head, the current Assessor took a retirement buyout and the County Clerk leaves her on the ballot so if she wins she gets the buyout money from the county and full wages and if she doesn’t assume the office the Commissioners get to appoint their lacky(win win for the control freaks) This goes all the way back to when Arte Robb (county clerk pre 1999) quit under a cloud of suspicion and appointed Merlino whom was cut from the same cloth, and tutelage. Her first election oversight was in 2000 and was met with challenges of fraud, and we’ve problems with each election since. Seems like the de-throned District Attorney Beckett and his then sidekick Kent was involved with the investigations or lack there of in each of these protests. ( I’m telling you this stuff runs deep) Here we are again wondering if our vote will be placed where it was intended.
    The current Recorder is a claims computer genius ( his opion not mine) and he has been in the Clerks office several times each day since the early voting started, not relative to his job!( I bet he knows already who’s ahead in each election, do you?)
    We have seen that these simple voting computers only know what they are told, and can easily given information from another source. (the clerk was observed plugging in a laptop to one of them during the primaries, said she was checking an error) The current Recorder also attached another website to the county website to allow you to review your deed and other personal information online!!!!!!!!!!! I went there and found no security certificates that would prevent anyone else from doing the same.
    Vote your conscience, BUT VOTE!


  4. Jackie
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 03:19:38

    FBI in town? Asking questions? I am soooooooo pleased.
    I am one of the many that have called them. I have offered information related to the criminals that are “Thriving” in the DA’s office, the Public Defenders Office, and no I did not forget local “Law enforcement” But I did almost forget some of the criminals hiding behind the “assumed” sainthood of the Medical field (F.T). I am not the only person that has knowledge of the illegal activity, and I had no problem naming names. Nope I’m not gonna “Stay out of their way.” Land deals? That aint all. In fact I am not only naming names, but I’m naming the names of people who know what has been going on and have refused to open their mouths. Beware, there are laws that you are breaking if you know there has or is a crime being committed. The nice thing I see is the FBI doesn’t play, they are on a whole nother level, sooo for all you dummies who have info, ya might wanna step up and spill your guts. If not please take the time to take in every bit of fresh air that you can cuz you may find yourself sitting behind bars like manny will.
    Happy to have the FBI in town, to bad they can’t stay permanently.


    • TurboKitty
      Nov 05, 2010 @ 05:13:28

      I am personally inviting you to join Robert and Margery, live on the air at KPAH.com, Grassroots Internet Radio. We will be happy to host anything and everything you have to say.



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