LINCOLN — A conservative university professor has sued a state lawmaker, alleging that a blog post by State Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard defamed him as a “left-wing extremist” and a social media “troll,” and falsely claimed that he’d made a death threat against a student who distributed conservative materials on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.
Gerard Harbison, a UNL chemistry professor who has served as an adviser of conservative campus groups, like the College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom, called the October blog post on the senator’s legislative webpage, “grossly inflammatory” as well as false and defamatory.
Harbison, who was a registered Republican until his registration lapsed in 2015, said that Erdman knows his post was false but has refused to take it down.
“It’s a real question,” the professor said. “Should a state senator be provided with a state-funded website that he uses to defame Nebraska citizens, particularly employees of the state?”