Republican State Rep. Threatens to Kill Caucus Leader

GOP Rep. Ron Hanks, House Minority Leader Hugh McKean.

It is not specifically against House rules to threaten to kill a fellow lawmaker.

This is one of the takeaways from an incredible story via Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman. The bigger point: House Minority Leader Hugh McKean might be the most impotent legislative “leader” we’ve seen in decades in Colorado.

As Goodland reports, tempers got heated on Friday evening during a strategy session within the House Republican caucus. The GOP had spent the previous nine hours staging a “filibuster” of sorts against House Bill 1312, which involves raising the exemption for business personal property taxes through an increased tax on insurers, oil and gas companies, and the coal industry.

Ultimately House Republicans agreed to return to the House floor for continued debate, but this decision did not go over well with Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Cañon City), one of the GOP’s most prominent lunatics and someone who was literally right there in Washington D.C. during the January 6 insurrection. As Goodland reports for Colorado Politics:

…when the caucus returned to the House floor, sources said Hanks told McKean he would “break your neck.” As of Monday morning, Hanks had not apologized. [Pols emphasis]

“I have no comment on any conversations I may or may not have had within the Republican Caucus,” Hanks told Colorado Politics on Monday.

At least five other lawmakers in the Republican caucus, in addition to Hanks and McKean, heard the threat. Rep. Terri Carver of Colorado Springs stepped in to referee, said Rep. Matt Soper of Delta, one of the GOP witnesses.

Rep. “Raging” Ron Hanks.

Goodland notes that Hanks’ threat “doesn’t appear to violate any rules of the House,” although lawmakers probably never thought it necessary to explicitly prohibit making death threats against another legislator.

And what did Minority Leader McKean do about this disgusting display from one of his caucus members?

Nothing.

Again, from Goodland:

On Monday morning, McKean told Colorado Politics that “I don’t think the occasional times that tempers get a little frayed on the floor” matters as much as “what we do as a group.”

He declined to comment on Hanks’ exact words or whether Hanks had apologized for his threat.

On one hand, it’s not entirely surprising that McKean would shrivel up in response to Hanks’ threatening behavior; this is the same McKean, after all, who doesn’t even have the courage to speak out against colleagues who insist on regularly making racist comments on the House floor.

McKean has been an absolute disaster as House Minority Leader, a position he earned in November following another tough election full of GOP losses. Earlier in the legislative session, McKean promised that opposing a health care plan seeking to lower premiums for Coloradans by 20% would be “the hill we die on.” This was a weird line to draw in the sand, particularly when you consider that McKean doesn’t have the votes to come anywhere close to making good on such a promise.

McKean’s incompetence as House Minority Leader has been almost amusing if you aren’t interested in Republicans being successful, but this interaction with Hanks is different. It’s sad to watch such an impotent, bungling mess staggering around the State Capitol.

McKean spent much of last week complaining about being denied a “do-over” after he says he mistakenly voted YES on a bill that would make it harder for people convicted of a violent crime to legally purchase a gun in Colorado — an error that earned him the wrath of some Republican colleagues and the firearm enthusiasts at Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. We’ve even heard rumors of an attempt to oust McKean from leadership altogether, though a vote of “no confidence” on McKean’s leadership would be fairly redundant.

As for HB-1312, it passed out of the House on a party-line vote on Saturday and will next be taken up in the State Senate.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    This ain’t no liberal talking.

    As a registered Republican, I’ll say Ron Hanks as a state legislator is about as worthless as Douglas Bruce was as a state legislator. Bruce kicked photographers. Hanks threatens fellow Republicans. 

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Hanks seems like he just might be the love child of Doug Bruce and Ray Scott? . . .

      • The realist says:

        I'm thinkin' we could work Randy Baumgardner in there somewhere . . . 

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Work the "stache" in there, not Scott. I've met Ray Scott in the past and would not consider him a total waste. He has his own business, which is a plus in my book.

          • gertie97 says:

            You're awfully charitable to the horrible human being Ray Scott is, CHB. Yes, he's owned businesses. He's also spent a fortune on lawyers' fees fending off lawsuits. Most are settled out of court with “shut up'' clauses so the outcomes are never known.

            You might recall he ran for the big bucks last year, figuring he'd like to be a county commissioner for the next year. But his trait of pissing people off caught up to him and he lost in the GOP primary to a political newcomer.

  2. Genghis says:

    A GQP state legislator is a sociopathic piece of shit? This is my surprised face.

  3. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    It would be a lie if I said I didn't enjoy the hell out of seeing the frustration bubble up in these inept dunces. Fuck them.

  4. kwtree says:

    Threats from Loren / Ron Hanks should be taken seriously. In my view, he is a dangerous man.

    Evidence: 

    Hanks chose to participate in a violent, armed insurrection to stop the certification of the election on January 6, rather than to perform the lawful duties of an elected public official.

    Hanks has led a double life as a politician- running for Congress in California in 2010 as Loren Lowell Hanks, but purchasing land in Colorado in 2007, and preparing for a 2017 run for Colorado’s District 60 as”Ron” Hanks. His campaign was registered with a Penrose address, but he lives in Canon City. A cursory look at Loren Hanks’ public records  showed three times he appeared in court on  financial matters. Why the secrecy and double identities?

    Hanks’ campaign website issues section is pages of unhinged rants- Joe Biden is “ a puppet of cloaked evil”. He asks, “What will we do if….Biden declares victory.? Do we hand over our country, because we value the peaceful transition of power?”  Clearly, Hanks does not value that. 

    Hanks’ record in the Colorado legislature reveals habits of verbal aggression and racist “jokes”. Today’s incident was just the latest example. 
     

    Hanks claimed to be an expert with military drones; that was his most recent assignment in the Air Force. Drones were used for surveillance; they were also used to kill people, often civilians.

    Hanks should be treated with extreme caution. He is a real threat to democracy, and perhaps to those he sees as his political “enemies”. 

     

    • The realist says:

      I agree, kwtree. And the fact that he's saying and doing these egregious things in full view and earshot of others AND under the Gold Dome suggests to me he will escalate. 

      • Duke Cox says:

        Within the ranks of the Orange mob are leaders and followers. True democracy, of course, doesn't exist. It is top down, as a matter of design.

        It seems to be axiomatic that the knuckleheads, opportunists, and wild-eyed zealots, rise to the top. It appears to require few skills. Keep a calender…fog a mirror…follow orders…be extreme.

        Loren /Hanks sees an opportunity to seize power from inept and ill-prepared people by bullying and threats. He apparently knows what works (and doesn't) in the Trumplican© party.

        It is always a zero-sum game with them.

  5. The realist says:

    Anyone know McKean? Someone needs to have a conversation with him – he needs to control the bullies and threatening people in his caucus or they will be in control and their behavior will only get worse. 

  6. MattC says:

    Maybe he meant that as a term of endearment.

     

  7. Sparky says:

    This is dangerous and horrifying, but pretty par for the course from a guy whose political base/largest county in his district literally voted in favor of slavery. In the year 2018.

    Fremont County results: Constitutional Amendment A, Prohibit Slavery (2018):

    No: 9,907 (52.7%)
    Yes: 8,892 (47.3%)

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