Friday, August 5, 2016

#1699: Janine & Ira Hansen (et al.)

Janine Hansen
The Independent American Party of Nevada (IAPN) is a totalitarian, theocratic party that seeks to base the laws of the land on Biblical law. IAPN is, in other words, pretty wicked and extreme, and is, in fact, an official affiliate of the overtly theocratic Constitution Party. The IAPN was founded by Daniel Hansen as part of an effort to get Alabama Governor George Wallace on the ballot in Nevada for the 1968 presidential election, and remains (of course) a fringe party; it does, however, have a membership of over 70,000, including celebrities like Cliven Bundy. Sharron Angle used to be a member in the 90s until she realized that she wouldn’t really be going anywhere careerwise by representing the IAPN and switched party affiliations (there is evidence that she didn’t much change opinions on political matters).

The IAPN’s perennial candidates for political office tend to be the family of Daniel Hansen, including his sister Janine “Cliven Bundy is my hero” Hansen, the party’s executive director, and sons Joel and Christopher. Janine Hansen is also the leader of Nevada’s Eagle Forum and the Constitutional Issues Chairman of Phyllis Schlafly’s organization, as well as the founder, publisher, and editor of the Nevada Families Voter Guides (yeah, avoid that one). The Hansens have been staunch opponents of women’s rights and marriage equality, and were behind organizing for instance the STOP ERA [Equal Rights Amendment] movement in the Western states (Daniel Hansen claimed that homosexuals are “termites of civilization [who] have brazenly oozed out of their closet to proclaim that they have a right to maim, molest and embarrass society”).

Ira Hansen
Ira Hansen, however, is, as far as I can tell, Janine Hansen’s son, but a Republicn who ostensibly does not want any part of the IAPN. He still heartily deserves coverage: Ira Hansen used to be speaker-elect of the Nevada Assembly but had to step down in 2014 following national publicity over a report on his racist and misogynistic columns in a local newspaper, which included labeling black people as “simple minded darkies”, using the word “negro” to describe Obama, and lamenting the “lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery,” which Hansen thinks “is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.” He claimed, of course, that the report was an “orchestrated attack” on his character and that the quotes were 20 years old and taken out of context (which is not entirely true). Ira Hansen also wrote a letter in 2013 (on official state letterhead) claiming that homosexuality is a choice of sexual behavior like adultery, pedophilia and bestiality, and that gays “are not a ‘minority’ any more than adulterers are a minority.” Indeed, Hansen insists on claiming that gay people tend to be responsible for child molestations (gays were also somehow to blame for the Catholic priest sexual molestation scandal). Real research suggests the opposite, but Hansen rejects that research because “I’ve been keeping a rough tally on homosexual/heterosexual molesters as reported locally, and roughly half of all molestations involve homosexual men preying on boys.” Needless to say, he did not publish the list or give any details of the methodology used to determine the sexuality of the alleged molesters. He has also suggested that the Oklahoma City bombing was a conspiracy orchestrated by the Clinton administration to gain public sympathy for the government.

Diagnosis: Evil and crazy, of course, but these people have more power and influence than you might expect given the nature of their deranged bigotry. Watch out.

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