UPDATE: As usual, our intrepid readers were already on the case. We’ll pay closer attention next time!
One of the wackier new additions to the Colorado Republican House Minority, as our readers have been getting acquainted with for some months now, is Rep. Ron Hanks representing Park, Chaffee, Fremont, and Custer Counties in Colorado House District 60. Hanks earned his nickname “Insurrectionist Man of Mystery” after he appeared at the Colorado Capitol to be sworn in in January, then disappeared complaining of “laryngitis” as the General Assembly adjourned to stay safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hanks had just returned from Washington, D.C., where he had participated in the January 6th protests–though not, he claims, the riot-y bits.
Back in Colorado, Hanks was telling his followers right up until Joe Biden’s inauguration that some kind of zany force majeure might still intervene to expose the horrible truth that would among other things make Donald Trump President again. That of course did not happen, and when the legislature got back to work Hanks complained bitterly about being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” during debate over stillborn GOP vote suppression bills.
And then, of course, Hanks proceeded to whitesplain history from the slave era during a debate over civics education, and a new star was born! Following in the footsteps of illustrious “House Crazy” predecessors like Reps. Lori Saine and Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, he’s just the latest Colorado Republican legislator to make national news for all the wrong reasons.
But as Marianne Goodland at the Colorado Springs Gazette informs us, there is indeed more to the “insurrectionist man of mystery” than meets the eye. Starting with the fact that “Ron” is not Rep. Hanks’ real name:
When Penrose Republican Rep. Ron Hanks ran for Congress in California in 2010, his answers to a survey on abortion, guns, gays and unions might be a surprise to his constituents and maybe even to some of his fellow members in the House caucus…
Hanks (who ran under his birth name, Loren) ran for Congress in District 1, located in Northern California. He lost to a six-term Democratic incumbent, Mike Thompson, in a four-way race, garnering 31% of the vote to Thompson’s 63% of the vote.
That’s right, folks! Ten years ago, a more youthful gentleman (it was ten years ago, after all) named Loren Hanks ran for Congress to represent the northwest corner of California and lost convincingly. What’s more, Loren Hanks, running in a liberal Democratic district, seems to have been a substantially less rock-ribbed conservative–even offering support to marriage equality, gays serving in the military, and allowing non-government workers to organize unions. Sometime between 2010 and 2020, Loren Hanks transplanted himself to Colorado and became Ron Hanks. And due to an apparent lack of homegrown Republicans in Colorado House District 60, where you’d think they would send a “California carpetbagger” packing, Ron Hanks now has the title he tried to win in 2010–just on a smaller scale.
It may seem unusual for a washed-up Republican candidate to surface in Colorado in search of a second start, but there is precedent for it in the form of former GOP Sen. Dave Balmer of Centennial. Balmer had previously run for Congress in North Carolina after serving in that state’s legislature, withdrawing from that race under dubious circumstances before moving to Colorado and winning a seat in our state house. In due course, as longtime readers know, Balmer’s checkered past came back to haunt him.
Well, since nobody in the Colorado Republican Party vets their candidates, it’s time to crowdsource what Ron Loren Hanks has been doing for the past decade! It’s not always the case, but sometimes when people move to another state and go by a different name there’s a fascinating story behind the makeover.
Rep. Hanks is one of those people who just, as the kids say, radiates a creepy vibe. And the more scrutiny he gets, the more that creepy vibe looks justified.
Loren grew up where the good weed is.
I researched and commented on Loren/Ron’s dual identity a week ago, responding to a query by realist. If you’d paid attention, Pols, you could have scooped Awen at the Gazette.
As far as Loren/ Ron’s shady past, there are a number of court dates having to do with financial matters in his record. Someone with paid access to LexisNexus or other legal databases can dig those up.
And if his bio is to be believed, he was a CIA spook with a career in military counterintelligence, a fluent speaker of Arabic , who worked with Russians on nuclear inspection, and was an expert on use of drones in various middle eastern countries. . Perhaps he needed to move and change identities because of the spy history. Someone with access to military records could check up on that.
I see that Hanks’ old campaign websites have been scrubbed as of today. The Library of Congress still has a screen capture.
So does the Wayback machine: https://webarchive.loc.gov/all/20101104195912/http://hanksforcongress.com/
An early version of his campaign website appears to have been written by someone not fluent in English: https://web.archive.org/web/20210115170906/http://www.hanksforcongress.com/importance-of-law/
“Crowdsourcing” requires at least credit or a h/t where due.
I also found quite a bit of this some weeks ago, but I still marvel at the fact that most news media folks haven't even scratched the surface on who Hanks really is. For one thing, they consistently identify him as being from Penrose. As I've pointed out previously, the unincorporated rural "area" that calls itself Penrose has a different rep in the State House – Stephanie Luck. Do any Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette, etc, etc reporters read ColoradoPols? If not, they should. What kwtree has outlined should make a journalist just a bit curious about who Hanks really is (i.e What was he doing at the US Capitol on Jan 6th? Whose directions was he following? Why doesn't he reveal what part of Fremont County he lives in – it's NOT Penrose).
As noted before – this troglodyte lives in caves north of Canyon City.
noun: troglodyte; plural noun: troglodytes
(especially in prehistoric times) a person who lived in a cave.
a person who is regarded as being deliberately ignorant or old-fashioned.
What was Hanks doing at the Capitol on January 6?
His campaign website, archived by the Library of Congress, reveals a man who wanted to be a part of government in order to destroy government.
In 2010, under Obama’s presidency, Hanks wrote:
“The gravest threat to America is irresponsible leadership in Washingon, DC”.
In 2010, Hanks was at least thinking like the terrorists who stormed the Capitol in 2021. It will be interesting to see if he turns up in the Parler chats and FBI video archives. From viewing Hanks’ biography and claimed skill set, he could possibly have aided the insurrectionists with aerial surveillance.
Hanks is a conspiracy theorist and a nutcase. If you doubt this, read the“issues” page on his current campaign website. It’s one long rant demonizing “Marxist” Democrats, predicting election “surprises”, hatred for Bernie Sanders, complaints about the deep state and how they engineered a coup for Biden, whom he calls “a puppet for cloaked evil”. accusations against Jared Polis of fraud and assault, etc. “Unhinged” barely describes it.
Hanks uses a lot of the same language that the Oathkeepers do, about citizen-soldiers, i.e. militia, and loyalty to the Constitution. His issues page details how he marched through Westcliffe with the Custer “Patriots” on July 4. Like his fellow elected RWNJs Boebert and Lamborn, Hanks is sympathetic to and friendly with the militia groups of Custer, Chaffee and Fremont counties.
The public campaign issues page reads like something one would write at 3 am after drinking heavily and listening to Alex Jones and Jeannine Pirro yell all night. It’s difficult to imagine someone who thinks this way interacting collegially with fellow, Democratic legislators. I kept copies, btw.
Then there’s the actual text of what Hanks wrote to his constituents on January 7,2021 from Harper’s Ferry. 9News reported
on the Q theory Hanks promoted: that foreign nationals would drop in with new intelligence and stop the certification of Presidential election results. But there’s a lot more, all of it angry and false, about Antifa, (not Trumpers), attacking the Capitol, and ending “The state of our union is GRAVE”.
In sum, Ron//Loren Hanks is a dangerous conspiracy spreader and terrorist sympathizer, who has no place in the Colordo Legislature.
Ugh! Thought Patrick Neville and Dave Williams, and Lori (In)Saine were the bottom of the barrel and the Repugs couldn't do worse.
Ron/Loren Hanks comes along and says "Hold my Beer".
Updated with due credit. Thank you and we'll do better about scrolling up.