Al Gerhart heads the Sooner Tea Party.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: June 2, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Several days after discovering the headquarters of the Sooner Tea Party was burglarized over the Memorial Day weekend, organization leader Al Gerhart told Red Dirt Report late Thursday that he suspects it to be politically motivated.
As we noted here in a press release sent to the media late on May 31, Gerhart said the fact that “stacks of records for the Sooner Tea Party and the Oklahoma Tea Party PAC,” along with numerous business card files, a laptop with business records and other items were stolen and not expensive carpentry tools there in his wood shop, it struck him as odd.
“It was just a strange robbery,” Gerhart said, noting that Sooner Tea Party meetings are often held at his Oklahoma City carpentry shop.
He noted that useless computer cables were stolen and the contents of drawers dumped out. He said they are looking at videocamera footage from a nearby business and have since beefed up security at his shop.
Additionally, the Oklahoma City Police Department has been
taking the burglary seriously, as has local media with a story about the
burglary appearing today in The Oklahoman and in other media outlets.
"The police even said that it was an unusual situation, considering the documents that were taken," he said.
Gerhart said that as the organization has grown increasingly more vocal at the Capitol, they are starting to get some pushback from a few legislators, particularly “RINOs,” or “Republicans In Name Only.” They have been using “robocalls” to get out their message about the less-than-conservative votes made by certain legislators.
“There have been rumors of threats made against me and the Sooner Tea Party at the Capitol,” Gerhart said, adding, “But (the robbery) was one of the best things that could have happened to us because it gives us more credibility in regards to what we’re fighting for.”
Among those issues is more “sunshine” and transparency in the political process and to ferret out corrupt politicians who look out more for their own interests over the interests of their constituents.
Red Dirt Report has been looking into the political angle a little more deeply. We spoke with activists, media folks and others and they sense that the STP was hit because they have been effective at getting heard and for not backing down.
Meanwhile, Gerhart is preparing for a visit to Southwest Oklahoma where he and members of the Sooner Tea Party will be putting out informational flyers about legislators who fail to listen to their constituents.
In the meantime, Gerhart is cleaning up and talking to more and more people about the issues that are important to the Sooner Tea Party.
Gerhart said his shop was not insured as wood shops are “hard to insure” because they are known to burn down.
Copyright 2011 West Marie Media