Ira Hansen, who was just reelected to his third term in the Nevada State Assembly, was chosen by his fellow Republicans to become the new Speaker in the next session — but he will not be assuming the post.
In an email to his caucus early Sunday morning, Hansen resigned from the position he had just been elected to after the Reno News and Review exposed his racist and misogynist writings from his tenure as a columnist for the Sparks Tribune during a 16-year period before he was elected to his first term in 2010.
In the email, Hansen told his caucus that he was “not what the media is painting me to be,” but that the “politics of personal destruction win” and he would be stepping down.
“You are a great group that can hopefully do great things and my staying will harm the caucus,” he wrote. “I wish you all the best. Thanks for hanging tough through these difficult past days. If this were just about ‘me’ I would fight this out to the bitter end, but it is going to harm all of you.”
Hansen’s writings are not widely available since the Sparks paper did not go online until recently, but the News and Review checked every column he wrote for the paper for 13 years on microfilm, and there is no question how radical and offensive his views are.
In 2001 he wrote about women:
“Major social changes that negatively affected the family. Childbearing was reduced to an average of two kids. … Divorce rates skyrocketed. ’Child care’ became an industry. Child abuse skyrocketed. Thanks to the ‘sexual revolution’ and the ‘women’s liberation movement,’ women chose to act as foolishly as men, and illegitimacy also went through the roof. … Abortions get about one out of every four children conceived.”
He wrote about his disdain for Martin Luther King Jr., repeating unsubstantiated rumors about his private life as if they were factual and claiming that the African-American community itself had little respect for him, preferring to follow Louis Farrakhan. In one column, he wrote about Nevada state Sen. Maurice Washington (R) who he supported referring to him as “black” but in the same column he referred to President Obama as a “negro.”
Nothing in Hansen’s email or the written statement issued later did he express any regret for the offensive writings. Instead he painted himself as the victim of a vicious politically motivated attack saying that no one cared about what he had written in his columns until he rose to a leadership position.
It is not clear whether he will resign his seat in the Assembly.
Watch a report on his resignation in the video below from Huffington Post.
h/t: Huffington Post