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Blackmail vs. political speech: A gray area

BY PHILLIP O’CONNOR Modified: April 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm •  Published: April 12, 2013

When does political speech cross the line into something more sinister?

For Al Gerhart, the Sooner Tea Party co-founder charged Tuesday with blackmailing a state senator via email, the answer may soon rest in the hands of a judge or jury. And the distinction could be razor thin, some legal observers say.

“It’s one of the most...
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