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August 04, 2021 11:33 AM UTC

Republican State Reps. Hanks, Williams Off The "Big Lie" Deep End

  • by: Colorado Pols
“Raging” Rep. Ron Hanks (R).

Reporter Heidi Beedle of the Colorado Springs Independent has a feature-length story out today on two Colorado Republican state representatives, Reps. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs and Ron Hanks from an undisclosed location in Fremont County, who have fully embraced the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump despite a lack of any credible evidence this occurred.

As readers know, Rep. Hanks attended the January 6th “Rally To Save America” that degenerated into the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and has now admitted to being inside police lines while somehow still pretending that it was Antifa doing the rioting. A few days before Joe Biden took office, Hanks still held out hope that foreign intelligence services would swoop in with proof the election was stolen. Nonetheless during the legislative session this year, Hanks objected to being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” during debate over DOA Republican bills to suppress and second-guess the vote.

But as Beedle reports for the Indy, on July 17th at a town hall in Colorado Springs hosted by Rep. Williams, Rep. Hanks earned the label with interest:

Hanks MADE claims about election fraud THAT were both grandiose — stating that there were “well over 100,000 incidents of irregularities” in Maricopa County — and vague. He prefaced his claims with words like “hypothetically,” “conceptually” and “theoretically.” He suggested that Runbeck, an Arizona company that prints ballots, could possibly be reusing returned ballots to sway the election. “Here’s a hypothetical for you — and it has been asked — what happens to the ballots that are sent to an address but that person doesn’t live there anymore and the Postal Service, through some grace, returns it?” he asked. “It’s going to go back to the sender, and the sender is Runbeck, and there’s some questions about what they’re doing. What do they do with those ballots? Do they fill them out? Put them in a drop box that makes it rather easy to spread the extra votes? That’s a concern we have. They did 30 million [ballots], and on top of that there’s the 168,000 paper ballots on the wrong kind of paper. You heard Rep. Williams make the point that 5,600 people they found so far in Colorado that were deceased, but on our voting rolls. Arizona came up with the same thing. Thousands.”

Rep. Dave Williams (R).

Although Beedle goes a good job of refuting most of the claims made by Hanks in her story as quickly as they’re transcribed, this business about “168,000 paper ballots on the wrong kind of paper” rang a bell with us–because Politico debunked it last month after Donald Trump first invoked it:

TRUMP: “168,000 fraudulent ballots printed on illegal paper (unofficial ballots)”

THE FACTS: All of that is false. The ballots were not unofficial or printed on illegal paper, and even [Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug] Logan never alleged they were fraudulent.

Logan pointed to ballots with the printing slightly offset between the front and back. He claimed this could cause votes to be counted for the wrong candidate if ink from one side bleeds through to another. He said the alignment issues were mostly from polling-place ballots, which are printed onsite, and said about 168,000 ballots were cast that way. The overwhelming majority of Arizona voters cast ballots by mail.

As for the claim that “dead voters” cast ballots in Colorado, this is a perennially recycled mix of whole-cloth falsehoods and a simple misunderstanding of how mail ballots work: with a window of several weeks between the delivery of ballots and Election Day, some number of voters will statistically return a mail ballot and then, you know, die. That’s unfortunate but one thing it’s not is fraudulent.

Though as Beedle’s story continues, the real mistake we may be making is trying to make sense of anything Rep. Ron Hanks says:

Hanks suggested that, despite the trusted build process and risk-limiting audits, Colorado’s elections are still vulnerable because the voting equipment is manufactured in China. [Pols emphasis] “I wanted to mention the Dell computers, the laptops that are used around the nation, as part of that election system equipment,” he said. “Those are made in China. Those are made in Chengdu, China. They run all kinds of programs that are not necessary for a single-use system like an election computer. When you have software that runs solitaire, and all those games, you end up with millions of lines of code. Nobody knows what’s in all that code.”

We had to ask someone who really understands how computers work to get some perspective on how preposterous this accusation is. Despite Hanks’ brainless assertion, there of course are lots and lots of people know exactly what is in “all that code” loaded onto a Dell laptop. In order for the Chinese government or anyone else to tamper with the software pre-installed on a Windows Dell laptop, Dell, an American corporation founded by leading Republican donor Michael Dell, would have to be involved. And probably Microsoft itself. And they’d have to do this to millions of laptops somehow undetected in the hope that some of them might be used someday in an election.

If what Rep. Hanks alleges is actually happening, everyone should turn off all our electronic devices and go live in a cave. While it’s true that the more grandiose the conspiracy the more difficult it may be to totally disprove, in this case the whole notion gets ridiculous enough that you really don’t have to bother. It’s just, to quote Shakespeare, a tale told by an idiot.

Kudos to the Colorado Springs Independent for exposing this town hall and the craziness vocalized within. One of the defining characteristics of the “Big Lie” is how quickly the narrative falls apart under not even critical but just expository examination–and that’s definitely the case here.


13 thoughts on “Republican State Reps. Hanks, Williams Off The “Big Lie” Deep End

  1. I remember a time in my life when the overwhelming majority in GOP actually concerned themselves with things like truth and objective reality, and would not at all tolerate any buffoonery like this . . .

    . . . Nah, just funnin’ with y’all !!!!  devil

  2. Wow.  He suggests that Runbeck has committed massive fraud without any evidence whatsoever.  All those weasel words ("hypothetically") will save him from actually being sued.  But wow!

  3. I admire President Abraham Lincoln.  Exactly Progressive enough and leader enough to save the Union. 

    I love President Eisenhower. Practical, no-nonsense, good for the country and good for the world.

    1964 I could not vote yet, and I would have been hugely conflicted. I learned to lean forward and thus more progressive after 1975 and two tours.  

    I had higher hopes in 1980. But I also had deeper suspicions confirmed by Iran-Contra and COINTELPRO and CIA involvement with drug running into  the USA and a host of other felonies.

    I continued avoiding the Republican party, hoping that one day it would return to something Americans can be proud of. 

    If representative Hanks is so certain, he should  do something. Lame-ass fake campaignery is just… well, lame. 

     And the same for Representative Boebert. If she was scouting the Capitol in December, she should own it. Hell she should run on it. There is going to be a Senate seat up just in time for her to step up.


  4. As a First Amendment enthusiast, I support the right of Reps. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs and Ron Hanks of Penrose to speak out and remove doubts about their mental acuity. 

    I do, however, wish there were some form of professional standards that could hold them to account for varying extraordinarily far from reality.  

    One such professional review happens in the courts, where lawyers are held to account for their claims.  I read that today, a federal magistrate sanctioned two attorneys here in Colorado. 

    In a scathing 68-page opinion, Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter found that the lawyers made little effort to corroborate information they had included in the suit, which argued there had been a vast national conspiracy to steal the election from President Donald Trump….

    … Calling the suit “one enormous conspiracy theory,” Neureiter ordered that the duo [Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker] must pay the legal fees of all the individuals and companies they had sued — 18 separate entities in all — as a way to deter future similar cases.

    I'm thinking the legal fees of 18 entities might sting a bit, even if the suit was dismissed quickly. I'm not certain what an equivalent penalty would be for elected officials polluting common discourse with unproven (and actually DISPROVEN) stories. But there ought to be something more immediate and more certain than "consequences in the next election."

  5. Conscious liars like Rep. Hanks always substitutes arrogance for truth and sacrifices credibility for self-importance. Once they begin to lie they cannot stop. They must always submit a new one to support their original conclusion(s) because to stop would reveal the truth.

    They move from one lie to the next without worrying whether the new one contradicts one of its predecessors like his most recent one about Dell computers. I thought it was Italian satellites used to hack into our election systems or bamboo paper ballots from China.

    I still have a fundamental faith in the American voter and when all is said and done, individuals like Rep. Hanks will be forgotten and their lies will be at the bottom of history's landfill.

    1. I’m with you all they way up to “individuals like Rep. Hanks will be forgotten and their lies will be at the bottom of history’s landfill.” Hanks represents a very Republican district. As far as I know, the majority of voters there think he’s just fine.

      Rep Hanks appeared on an hour-long, GOP-sponsored KRLN radio show two Wednesdays in a row – July 14 and July 21. The Fremont County Republican Party Facebook group posts these Wednesday radio shows as Facebook Live broadcasts. Not long ago I spent (way too much) time looking back at the Facebook Live recordings of those two shows, to get a better sense of Hanks’ broken relationship with the truth. In friendly interviews such as these he reveals a lot about his trip to DC for the Jan 6th rally (and other things such as his trip to AZ to observe the fraudit), and is rarely challenged on anything he says. He’s just never asked the obvious questions such as, whose direction were you following in going to DC, going to the rally, walking from there to the US Capitol, walking from the front to the back of the Capitol, behind police lines, etc, etc.

      And he lies about things that are easily checked – for example, during the July 14 radio show he said he had talked to all the County Clerks in House District 60 about election problems. The Republican County Clerk in Fremont factchecked Hanks in real time through written comments on the Facebook Live broadcast, writing, “You have not had any conversations with me about elections, with the exception of a 5 minute conversation of computer vulnerabilities. Nothing beyond that short conversation.”

      There’s much more in those nearly two hours of recordings. But none of these details seem to matter to the average voter of House District 60. 

      1. Sorry about that. Here is the quote I attempted to post:

        "If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power."

        Dwight D. Eisenhower

        March 6, 1956

  6. Ron Hanks really is the perfect person to represent Fremont County: Just as stark raving insane, just as paranoid and angry, just as vehemently racist and unhinged as the vast majority of people who live there.

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