Nebraska Tea Party Leader says Harassment & Violation of Constitutional Rights Mirrors IRS Scandal
Business Leader Calls on Governor Heineman to Fire State Banking Officials
PRLog - Jun 06, 2013 - LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska Tea Party leader and longtime Lincoln financial advisor Bob Bennie, today called on Governor Dave Heineman to fire four state employees of the Department of Banking and Finance.
“Americans are disgusted by the actions of the IRS against Tea Party members based on their political beliefs. The very same things were done by State employees right here in Nebraska and it is high time the Governor did something about it,” Bennie said.
“Corruption in State government needs to be dealt with, not swept under the rug. No citizen should be harassed by regulators because of their political beliefs.”
Regarding the potential excuse of a pending civil suit for damages, Bennie said: “The Governor was informed of this harassment long before any lawsuit was filed. The Governor needs to remove these people from the State payroll, and he needs to do it now.”
The state employees include John Munn, Jack Herstein, Rodney Griess and Jackie Walter. E-mails and hand-written notes obtained by Bennie show the four harassed Bennie and his former broker-dealer with a long string of investigations and inquiries, as well as threats of large fines and regulatory punishments, based on Bennie’s television ads promoting gun rights. Department employees also noted Bennie’s public statements as a Tea Party leader criticizing President Obama. None of the investigations turned up any violations on Bennie’s part.
One recently discovered e-mail shows that upon receiving a “side note” communication from a state regulator suggesting numerous punitive measures against Bennie for his criticism of Obama, Bennie’s broker-dealer referred to the action internally as “regulation through harassment.” The state employees then demanded a conference with the broker-dealer during which they demanded to know whether Bennie’s statements about the President had been approved by their company. They also demanded to know whether the company had any “guidelines regarding expression of political views in the press” by their agents. After seeing Bennie’s ad promoting gun rights, the head of the Securities Bureau told another regulator: “I say ‘Hang Him High.’” The regulators also kept newspaper articles detailing Bennie’s Tea Party activities in an official file on Bennie.
Bennie concluded, “I’m just trying to stand up for my rights as an American. We have a Constitution that establishes our government and restricts its powers and protects our rights. We have the right to free speech. People in the IRS and the Nebraska Banking Dept. don’t get to misuse their power to harass citizens because they disagree with a citizen’s political speech. They work for us, not the other way around. I hope Governor Heineman takes action and fires these State employees and doesn’t protect them like President Obama is protecting the criminals at the IRS.”