Al Gerhart was charged Tuesday with two felonies involving an email that threatened a state senator to pass a bill…A co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party was charged Tuesday with blackmail over an email that he admits sending to a state senator.
Both counts are felonies…
Gerhart sent the email March 26 to Sen. Cliff Branan, promising to make the senator a laughing stock unless the Senate Energy and Environment Committee passed a bill dealing with a United Nations plan.
Branan, R-Oklahoma City, is chairman of the committee. The senator turned the email over to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Misspelling one word, Gerhart wrote: “Branan, Get that bill heard or I will make sure you regret not doing it. I will make you the laughing stock of the Senate if I don’t hear that this bill will be heard and passed. We will dig into your past, yoru family, your associates and once we start on you there will be no end to it. This is a promise…”
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater commended Branan for reporting the email.
“I believe he was very courageous in the way he handled this knowing there could be further repercussions to him or to his family,” Prater said Tuesday. “The manner in which Sen. Branan has handled this situation will hopefully prevent this … from happening in the future.”
Branan said Tuesday that once he turned the email over, it was “out of his hands.”
Apparently Tea Party nutballs consider extortion and blackmail protected by constitutional rights – and no longer are crimes.