How dare a private citizen threaten to make a laughing stock of a politician!


#1

Nothing here that politicians don’t do as SOP!

Oklahoma Tea Party Leader Charged With Blackmailing State Sen. Over Agenda 21 | Video | TheBlaze.com

If you don’t vote against a certain bill I’ll make you a laughingstock is blackmail?


#2

Depends on “making a laughing stock” means. If it includes illegal activities, like defamation or slander, then yeah, it is a threat that can be punished and blackmail.


#3

from the article

Under Oklahoma law, any correspondence “which would in any way subject such person to the ridicule or contempt of society” or would “extort or gain any thing of value” is deemed blackmail.

So I would say yes it could have been considered blackmail


#4

I would make the argument a sizable portion of politicians are already laughing stocks…but I feel like there some element to this story I’m missing.


#5

If “Making a politician a laughingstock” is a crime then what keeps politicians out of jail, laws against self incrimination?

I wonder if this “Law” has ever been challenged on 1st Amendment grounds, I expect it would go down in flames.


#6

Politicians get taught all the time making lies especially at election when they claim they were for or against something. Yet people come election time fall for lies told about the politician and lies the politicians says themselves.


#7

The law, itself, is absurd, and if all Gerhart did was to threaten what a senator did/voted, then he should be applauded, not arrested.

However, here is what is claimed by “A1776Patriot” in the comment section:

Here’s what his letter said…

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.”
Gerhart admitted at a news conference at the Capitol last week that he sent the email.
“Political pain and embarrassment will be necessary if the citizens expect to regain control of this Senate down here from the state chamber of commerce and special interests,” he said. “The time for ‘nice’ behavior is over with.”

I don’t know if Tiffany Gabbay was aware of that little tidbit when she wrote the story, but if a commentor did, it seems to me that a reporter should; especially one at The Blaze.


#8

Seems like this would a 1st amendment violation.


#9

If Gerhart had stopped at threatening/promising to make a laughing stock out of a politician, it would be. But he didn’t stop there. He threatened the man’s family and associates:

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.”

That’s over the line. And I’m not even sure he means to stop at simply making a laughing stock out of them. Even so, atacking the family like that is still over the line.

If you read the comment section following the article, Tea Party Patriots from his area are really wishing Gerhart would go away, as his antics are not how they’d like to portray themselves.