Prominent Colorado election fraud conspiracist Joe Oltmann promised to endorse state Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Cañon City) for U.S. Senate yesterday during Hanks’ appearance on Oltmann’s podcast, Conservative Daily.
“You’ll get my endorsement, by the way, for Senate,” Oltmann told Hanks. “Just want to let you know that I’ll put it out there and that there are a lot of people out there that are rooting for you. I may even come volunteer for you.”
In December, Hanks’ opponent in the GOP Senate primary, Eli Bremer, denounced Oltmann after the podcast host said he wanted to hang Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) and execute Republicans who didn’t share Oltmann’s belief that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Bremer said he would not attend events sponsored or attended by Oltmann and encouraged the other Colorado Republican Senate candidates to do the same.
“While there may be some policy disagreements between the various candidates, I believe we must all agree as good Republicans and human beings that clear threats of domestic terrorism have no place in the Republican Party,” Bremer said.
Colorado Democratic Party spokesperson Nico Delgado called out the other Republican Senate candidates for their silence on Oltmann.
“Joe Oltmann is an election conspiracy extremist and his endorsement will only encourage Ron Hanks’ campaign that’s rooted in the Big Lie,” Delgado said. “Eli Bremer already called out Oltmann. Will candidates Gino Campana, Joe O’Dea, Deborah Flora, and Peter Yu join Bremer and take a stand against Oltmann, Hanks, and their dangerous election conspiracy theories that are too extreme for Colorado?”
The Colorado Republican Party and its chair Kristi Burton Brown did not respond to a request for comment. This story will be updated if a comment is provided.
However, on Twitter in December Burton Brown did agree with Bremer on denouncing Oltmann but did not explicitly denounce him herself. In 2020, Burton Brown served as president of FEC United, a far-right-wing organization with a militia wing that Oltmann founded.
FEC United regularly pushes election fraud conspiracy theories, organized the fatal ‘Patriot Muster’ rally last year, and is connected to the militia group United American Defense Force (UADF), which is known for inciting violence and packing school board meetings.
During the podcast, Hanks and Oltmann promoted election fraud conspiracy theories relating to Dominion Voting Systems, complimented election fraud bills Hanks is sponsoring in the 2022 Colorado legislative session, and defended former Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters. Oltmann’s baseless claims about Dominion helped fan the flames of the “Big Lie” and landed Oltmann in the middle of a defamation lawsuit.
Oltmann and Hanks also discussed Hanks’ lawsuit against Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, which Hanks recently stepped away from.
“I just want to say thank you for having the courage that you have to stand up and sign on to that lawsuit,” Oltmann said to Hanks. “I know that it makes you a target when you’re on the Hill. I know how hard it is to take shots from pretty much everyone and how they weaponize themselves against you. We’re talking about pure evil. Evil people who stick together and walk around acting like they are good people.”
Hanks — considered a front-runner to nab the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet after winning two straw polls at GOP forums earlier this year — is a QAnon conspiracy supporter, an election fraud conspiracy theorist, and an attendee of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Last year, during a Colorado House of Representatives debate, Hanks made a joke about “lynching” and said that the three-fifths compromise, “was not impugning on anybody’s humanity.”
Hanks appeared to reference the outraged reaction to his comments during his podcast appearance.
“You know, I’ve been called a racist and I’ve been called a seditionist,” Hanks said. “I reject both of those, you know? I think most Americans nowadays are past a stage of being racist.”
In response to a question from Oltmann about Critical Race Theory and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) teaching and hiring practices, Hanks compared diversity efforts in the U.S. to authoritarian China and Nazism.
“It’s a disgrace to be pushing this on kids as though we are a country that isn’t worthy of our own respect,” Hanks said. “And that is one of the underlying efforts in this DEI argument is to build up a hatred of America. And who does that benefit? It benefits a globalist cadre or regime. And frankly, it helps China. … I can tell you the tyranny and the abject poverty and destruction of freedom under China, were America to be in that position, people can’t conceive of it. I mean it. It would go back to Third Reich and beyond, you know, perhaps even worse. And that’s really one of my major concerns is we have got to get kids to fall in love with their country again.”
“Decrepit and Sclerotic Reporters”
Continuing his warning that, in his words, America was turning into a “Marxist country,” Hanks called out right-wing media sources for their lack of help in spreading the word about election fraud. Hanks also criticized the reporters who work at the Colorado Capitol.
“The First Amendment and freedom of the press is a great thing. I don’t think we have it right now,” Hanks told Oltmann. “They have been co-opted and misinformed. And, you know, in this grand reawakening of America, we have to focus on academia and journalism. And Joe, if I might, I’m at the state Capitol right now and we have totally decrepit and sclerotic reporters down here. You know that one or two will report something and then the others will just echo chamber it for weeks. But frankly, part of the problem is I’ve tried to get conservative reporters to come down or somebody I thought was objective. And they’re not too interested. Or their boss tells them they can’t make the trip or soft leadership in the party convinces them not to come in and report on this. We have got to get media that is objective or even right of center looking at this as hard as the Marxist state media does.”
Repeating a statement he made in January, Hanks said he is training Republican poll-watchers to be more aggressive in 2022.
“We need to have canvassing witnesses and judges and poll watchers who are aggressive,” Hanks said. “We need to be a little bit more of a bulldog. You know, conservatives tend to be kind of polite, courteous. And if we’re told, ‘Hey, don’t cross this line,’ we follow the rules.”
Hanks crossed police barriers while attending the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol insurrection.
Oltmann and Hanks criticized Republicans who have admitted the 2020 election was legitimate, explicitly naming former Colorado Secretary of State, Colorado Springs City Council member, and mayoral candidate Wayne Williams as well as Colorado County Clerks Association executive director Matt Crane as examples of Republican “traitors.”
Hanks called for the County Clerks Association, which has lauded Colorado’s election system as one of the most secure in the country, a “propaganda organization.”
“The County Clerks Association, every clerk is a member because the dues are paid by the taxpayers,” Hanks said. “They’ve got a common theme about the free and fair and no fraud and the Big Lie. It is a propaganda organization that probably ought to be dissolved and definitely shouldn’t be paid for with Colorado taxpayer money.”
Colorado Springs reporter Heidi Beedle was the first to break the news on Twitter about Oltmann endorsing Hanks. Beedle also had an informative thread about Hanks’ appearance which can be accessed here.
To listen to the entirety of Hanks’ appearance on Oltmann’s podcast yourself, click here.