A tea party leader in Oklahoma has been charged with a felony because he sent an email to an state senator demanding he do his job or face the political consequences.


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Modern America: A tea party leader in Oklahoma has been charged with a felony because he sent an email to an state senator demanding he do his job or face the political consequences.

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4 comments

  • joe

    Abuse of power and abuse of law.

  • Edward

    Now I am curious what Branan has in his past that makes him so intimidated and frightened.

    I had no idea that doing research was tantamount to blackmail.

    I am now concerned about John Hawkins, who is carrying out the “blackmail.” If Branan gets word, then Hawkins could be sharing a cell with Gerhart.

  • Mr. Gerhart isn’t entirely blameless here. The tone of the email is, to put it charitably, unprofessional. Given the Giffords shooting and the media’s endless hyping of every gun-related incident, I can understand how Cliff Branan might reasonably think he would be in mortal danger.

    On the other hand, my understanding of blackmail is that the perpetrator must reasonably be able to bring the specified harm to the victim if they don’t accede to the blackmailer’s demands. It’s not at all clear Mr. Gerhart could make good on his threats. I wouldn’t be surprised if the case is plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor and never sees a courtroom. A more restrained tone making the same points would have gotten the message across, and saved everyone a lot of trouble.

  • Chris L

    If your boss demands you do your job or be fired, that is not blackmail. The state senator is an employee of the his constituents, not a member of some royal family.

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