A group of Middle Tennessee conservatives is suing a California businessman for $19 million, claiming he tricked them into investing in a sham business idea for a television network devoted to the tea party movement.
Among those suing is Bill Hemrick, the Brentwood millionaire who is the Tennessee financial director for Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Hemrick has been active in tea party circles in Williamson County, helping to organize the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville in 2010 that was headlined by Sarah Palin. He worked briefly raising money for presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Hemrick and the other plaintiffs — Howard Luartes, Reinhold Holtkamp and Melvin W. Martin of Williamson County; James Hearn of Davidson County; and James Huffnagle of Dickson County — ultimately invested $287,500 in the tea party television venture.
Hemrick and Anthony Loiacono founded Tea Party HD in 2010, but Hemrick and the other investors now claim in the lawsuit that Loiacono never kicked in his own promised investment and used the plaintiffs’ money as his own “personal bank account” to pay himself, his family members and his business, Heads & Tails Inc., “exorbitant rates” for the few projects Tea Party HD undertook.
What happened to personal responsibility? They should have done some research before investing in this scheme. And now they want the taxpayers to foot the bill for the lawsuit. Tax dollars pay for the courthouse buildings, roads to get there, government workers to do all the paperwork, the judges salary…