- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a Nebraska businessman’s lawsuit against state banking regulators, but acknowledged that they may have singled him out because he criticized President Barack Obama.

U.S. District Judge John Gerrard ruled Tuesday that the Nebraska Department of Banking employees acted improperly when they inquired about statements made by Bob Bennie Jr. But Gerrard dismissed the lawsuit, saying their conduct didn’t go far enough to violate his free-speech rights.

Bennie, a Lincoln financial adviser and tea party activist, called Obama a “communist” and an “evil man” in a 2010 interview with the Lincoln Journal Star. He also appeared in television commercials riding a horse and promising new investment customers a $100 payment toward the purchase of a gun.

Bennie says he wants Gov. Dave Heineman to fire the employees.

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