Editor’s Note:The petition created by a person who used the pseudonym “Len Davies” and “the Hyperationalist” confessed on Wednesday that he lied to The Spokesman-Review about his hometown. The man, whose real name is Jim Ryan, said he feared for his family. Read the updated story here.
Spokane had its Bette. Now it has its Len Davies, aka the Hyperationalist.
An online petition calling for guns to be allowed into the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that, as of Tuesday, had attracted more than 50,000 signers was initially created by a user claiming the moniker “Len Davies of Spokane, Washington,” the Associated Press reported Monday.
The petition’s true creator, a man named Jim, said he selected the Lilac City as home base for his alter ego due to its “everytown U.S.A” quality.
“I hope I haven’t offended any Spokanites,” said Jim, who would not reveal his surname due to concerns about his family’s safety following the media blitz attending the petition. National media began reporting about the petition, hosted on the website change.org, over the weekend. The Secret Service announced this week no guns would be allowed at the convention.
On Tuesday, Jim gave interviews to Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill, and Rolling Stone and Newsweek magazines. In them, he identified as a Democrat and said the petition was meant as satire.
The groundswell of support for the petition, whether ironic or otherwise, did force GOP frontrunner Donald Trump to comment on the possibility of guns being allowed at the Quicken Loans Arena, during a Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”
Trump said he had not seen the petition, but “nobody is stronger on the Second Amendment than me.”
Jim said his visits to Spokane had been relegated to Interstate 90, and mentioned the Broadway play “A Behanding in Spokane,” which earned longtime character actor Christopher Walken a Tony award nomination, as an inspiration. But he said he lives “well south” of the Lilac City.
“Len Davies” is just one pseudonym Jim used in creating the petition. He also goes by the online username “Hyperationalist,” hosting a blog and a Twitter account that has mostly been publishing links to media reports of the petition. The Twitter account uses a picture of Republican president Abraham Lincoln for its profile.
It is the second time an alleged Spokane resident has caused a hiccup in national conservative politics in recent memory.
Following a mention in Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ response to the 2014 State of the Union address, Bette Grenier, of “Bette in Spokane” fame, claimed ownership of the anecdote the GOP congresswoman used in her indictment of President Barack Obama’s health care plan.
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