Tea Partier charged for threatening lawmaker over Agenda 21

The co-founder of an Oklahoma tea party group was charged with two felonies, including blackmail

Topics: Oklahoma, Agenda 21, Tea Party, Republicans, United Nations,

Tea Partier charged for threatening lawmaker over Agenda 21 State Sen. Cliff Branan, R-Okla. (Credit: Facebook/Cliff-Branan-for-State-Senate)

An Oklahoma Tea Partier was charged with two felony counts for allegedly sending a threatening email to a state lawmaker, pushing him to support legislation that would block Agenda 21 from being implemented in the state.

Al Gerhart, the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party, was on Tuesday charged with blackmail and violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act, both felonies. Gerhart admitted last week to sending the email to state senator Cliff Branan, though he denies he did anything wrong. The charges came after Branan turned the email over to state officials.

From the Oklahoman:

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.”

You Might Also Like

Branan is the Republican Chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, which, at the time the email was sent, was considering legislation that would block Agenda 21, the U.N.’s non-binding agreement to promote sustainable development. The bill is now dead.

Though it sounds harmless enough, Agenda 21 has become the subject of many conspiracy theories on the right – and of legislation introduced by state-level Republicans legislators. Glenn Beck has even described it as “a really nice way of saying ‘centralized control over all of human life on planet Earth.’”

Bail for Gerhart was set at $15,000, on the condition that he stay at least 1,000 feet away from Branan and his family.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>