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. The time for "nice" behavior is over with.
Al Gerhart, co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party and the man who wants to be in charge of everything.
Al Gerhart has been accused of many things by his fellow travelers in that netherworld known as conservative politics, but "nice" has never been one of them. Apparently he has been pushing people around like he was Joe by God McCarthy for years now.
A sampling of comments from state wide conservatives found on Mike McCarville's republican newsletter, mccarvillereport.com reveals Brother Gerhart has a long and gruesome history of bellicose bullying and intimidation.
One Steve Dickinson writes, I don't know what his agenda is or what he hopes to accomplish, aside from destruction. Dickinson adds that Gerhart's attacks on him and his wife have led him to seek legal counsel and perhaps civil action against the Moore based carpenter turned political tough guy.
Jillian Harvey writes, He has slandered and libeled many, but narry (sic) gives it a thought. In essence he has no conscience to speak of.
Christ Kurtz claims Gerhart is simply chasing and craving media attention, power, or a title.
An anguished conservative who identified him, or herself only as "Edmond Voter," pleads, For the sake of our state and nation don't let this bad man stop good legislation because of his bad actions.
That good legislation would be House Bill 1412. It is a bill which prohibits any state community from having anything to do with the U.N. Agenda 21 plan, which is about as threatening to U.S. sovereignty as is the nation of Luxembourg. It is, however, a hot button issue to many on the far right, including Gerhart who is demanding its passage in the Senate.
When the bill appeared stalled in a committee chaired by republican, Cliff Branan, Gerhart went on the offensive with a vicious email that threatened to make the law maker a "laughing stock" in the senate. Gerhart promised he would dig into Branan's past, his family's past and the past of any and all of his associates unless he made sure the bill moved to the Senate floor.
In a news conference yesterday, Gerhart continued the attack. Nolan Clay of The Oklahoman quotes him as saying, (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. It's the real reason he's attacking us, according to suttlebut inside the Senate. Why shouldn't I bring it up?
Branan's response was, It just makes me sick. He has no shame. It was a crazy untrue allegation that was just shameful. We've been happily married for 18 years...our marriage is awesome.
The immediate consequence of Gerhart's savage assault was to have the bill's Senate sponsor, Patrick Anderson, a republican from Ardmore, pull it. In a statement he said, I'm appalled at the personal attacks and false accusations that you (Branan) have endured regarding your family in an attempt to influence your decision to hear HB 1412.
At about the same time Anderson was pulling the bill, Branan issued a statement saying his committee wouldn't take it up during its next meeting, meaning it would be rendered dead during this session of the legislature. Among other things, Branan claimed the bill was a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. It's more of a fringe conspiracy issue that is frankly just bad public policy.
So in the end, Gerhart's actions not only helped kill the legislation, but put him in a position where he could possibly be charged with blackmail. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokesperson, Jessica Brown confirmed that the OSBI has begun looking into the affair to see if criminal charges are warranted.
When The Oklahoman's Clay pushed Gerhart for proof of Branan's infidelity, he admitted he had none. Clay then noted that what Gerhart had to say during the news conference could be used as evidence against him if he is formally accused of the crime.
McCarville's site reported that Gerhart is holding another news conference this afternoon at the capitol. The subject will be "when activism is criminalized."
Well, as the song says, when you're hot you're hot and when you're not, you're not.
After googling Mr. Gerhart yesterday and today and reading some of the things his fellow republicans have to say about him one has to be a little suspicious when he uses the words we and us. Indeed, unless he is using them in the imperial sense one could reasonably assume we and us means I to him.
Simply stated this guy, besides being the worst sort of brute thug, is increasingly looking like a publicity hound who won't be satisfied until he is crowned, King Al I, the Great and Powerful, Ruler of the Universe, Protector of the Faith, and God's Own Arbiter.
The GOP controls this state and will for the foreseeable future, however what is happening right now in Oklahoma is a perfect example of why Barak Obama won last fall. It is the reason the very future of the republican party as a national entity is in question. They opened their door to the tea party radicals and now they are stuck with a bunch of nihilistic losers who equate compromise with defeat and reason with weakness.
It isn't the party of Lincoln any more. It isn't even the party of Cliff Branan. It is the party of Al Gerhart.
Think not? All you have to do is ask him. Just don't disagree with him, or you'll end up on his list too.
Infinitus est numerus stultorum