Monday, September 25, 2023
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Nonprofit Beer Sale Fight Heads to Court

NELIGH, Neb. (CN) - A Nebraska nonprofit opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline claims beer vendors owe them $25,000 from a benefit concert starring Willie Nelson and Neil Young.

Bold Nebraska sued Coleen and Lloyd Meis, man and wife, on Monday in Antelope County Court.

Bold says it entered an oral contract allowing the Meises to be sole beer vendors at its Harvest the Hope concert in September 2014. The event drew more than 8,000 people to a cornfield near Neligh, to hear Nelson and Young perform together for the first time in the state since Farm Aid came to Lincoln's Memorial Stadium in 1987.

The event raised the profile of the nonprofit, a progressive group in a Republican state, but a dispute over the beer sales started soon after the music stopped.

Bold claims the Meises owe it at least $25,000, though it is willing to settle for $19,000.

It claims, inter alia, that the Meises failed to account for the number of beer tickets sold and deducted expenses without consent.

"The expense report listed expenses defendants unilaterally decided to deduct form Bold's respective share of sales despite not being part of the contract," the complaint states.

The expenses include tickets, labor, T-shirts printed for the Meises' personal use, liquor license fees, fuel expenses and food costs, the complaint states.

Bold is a vocal opponent of hydraulic fracking and the proposed tar sands pipeline. Its director Jane Kleeb is a frequent guest of MSNBC's "The Ed Schultz Show" and led a march on the National Mall in Washington with the Cowboys & Indians Alliance in April 2014.

The group also organized more than 70 landowners in two Nebraska counties to bring suit against TransCanada Keystone Pipeline over the use of eminent domain to acquire real estate in the path of the proposed pipeline.

Proceeds from the Harvest the Hope concert benefited the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, in addition to furthering BOLD Nebraska's mission to encourage clean energy projects in Nebraska.

Bold Nebraska is represented by Christian T. Williams with the Domina Law Group of Omaha.

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