Some creepy Tea Party nut is trying to blackmail Oklahoma politicians…
10:30 AM EDT on April 3, 2013
The man pictured above is Al Gerhart. Not only does he look like your grandparent's creepy neighbor who drives the weird black van, but he's also the co-founder and perhaps only member of a group called the Sooner Tea Party. When he's not inadvertently scaring small children and / or fantasizing about having sex with a woman for the first time in 15-years, he spends his time bullying and blackmailing our state's lawmakers.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was asked Monday to investigate an email that warned a state senator he would become “the laughing stock of the Senate” unless legislation passed out of his committee.
The co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party admitted in an interview with The Oklahoman that he sent the email to state Sen. Cliff Branan.
“We will expose that man's dirty laundry. We will show people what he is like,” Al Gerhart said. “It is not a threat. I put down there clearly: This is a promise.”
In the March 26 email, Gerhart wrote about House Bill 1412, which would prohibit Oklahoma communities from having anything to do with the United Nations Agenda 21 plan.
Misspelling one word, Gerhart wrote: “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.”
Wow. Strong words. I wonder how he'll go about ruining Senator Branan's career? It has to be juicy, right?
Gerhart on Tuesday accused Branan of infidelity during a news conference after coming under investigation for an email he sent Branan.
At the news conference at the Capitol, Gerhart, 54, of Oklahoma City, admitted again that he sent the email but said he absolutely did nothing wrong..
“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.”
After reading from prepared remarks, Gerhart told reporters that the scuttlebutt at the Capitol is that Branan “is concerned that we have some information on him on an alleged infidelity.”
“That is why Mr. Branan has reacted the way he does,” he said. “It's the real reason he's attacking us, according to the scuttlebutt inside the Senate. Why shouldn't I bring it up?”
He admitted he has no proof of his accusation.
Yep, he started a nasty rumor that Branan is having an affair. That's pretty bold, because if there's one thing that will ruin a politician's career, it's allegations of infidelity. It's pretty much impossible for a politician to overcome accusations like that.
Of course, Branan denies the rumor:
“It just makes me sick. He has no shame,” Sen. Cliff Branan told The Oklahoman. “It was a crazy, untrue allegation that was just shameful. We've been happily married for nearly 18 years. … Our marriage is awesome.
“Nothing like that has ever happened. And I think, candidly, he got me confused with somebody else. It's just nuts.”
So who are you going to believe? The respected lawmaker or the mean bald bully who wears tinfoil hats and keeps a copy of the Catcher in the Rye with him at all times?
For fun, I'm going to choose Gerhart, but that's only because we like to be different. Plus, he looks like a troll and reads The Lost Ogle (albeit not regularly). We know this thanks to our open records request with the Governor's Office. You know how you'd always looked up your phone number right when you would open a new phonebook? Well, the first thing we did when we got our hands on Mary Fallin's emails was search "The Lost Ogle." The only notable mention we could find was a snippet from one of Al Gerhart's rambling newsletters that he sent to Fallin's policy director Katie Altshuler. Here's a link to the PDF. This is a screen shot of what he wrote:
Here's our hilarious take on Jamison Faught that he referenced:
7. Jamison Faught
Uhm…that sound you just heard was a bully getting in his car so he can drive to Muskogee and steal Jamison’s lunch money. Seriously, where and why did he take that picture? Is he sending it in to the LL Bean for Kids catalog?
Also, it’s hard for me to imagine this kid doing anything controversial, unless that controversy pertains to drawing boobies on notebook paper or stealing wine coolers from the grocery store.
Does anyone else think it's fitting that the tea party bully liked our joke about bullying a wimpy kid? I guess people enjoy the stuff that's relatable and hits close to home.
I'm pointing out Gerhart's email for a couple of reasons.
1. There were a lot of pointless emails like this in Mary's open records release. I'm not complaining. It met the search criteria we asked for so they had to include it in our request, but when Mary's office valiantly claims that they released so many public records, keep in mind that a majority were like this and served little to no purpose. Also, don't forget that some emails were withheld under the guise of "executive privilege."
2. Since Mr Gerhart likes to occasionally "laugh at himself" in order to "keep things in perspective," I thought it would give me a good opportunity to remind him that he looks like an extra from Oz, and tell him that he's creepy as f-ck. Seriously dude, your own Tea Party nuts don't even want to be associated with you. Get a life and stop blackmailing people. You're making what we do look classy and noble. Know how hard that is? We've written and released bunch of shady shit about people over the years, but we've never attempted to blackmail someone or ruin their life based on some goofy rumor. At least I think we haven't. We've been at this for a while.
Anyway, with this episode being out in the public, maybe the media will stop taking Gerhart so seriously and giving him free air time. Who cares what he says? He's nothing but an evil-looking attention whore. Just because he created some fringe group called "Sooner Tea Party" doesn't mean he should be treated as someone important and be given a pulpit to have his voice heard. The only time the media should seek out his opinion is when they run a story about how to make up lame rumors and/or poorly attempt to blackmail local politicians.