(CNSNews.com) – At a hearing on “Election Misinformation and Subversion” last week, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, asked an election official to explain the difference between “credible individuals and kooks” she encounters on the job.
Lisa Marra, the Chochise County (Arizona) Director of Elections, told Johnson, “I’m not sure that I distinguish between that. You know, human nature is human nature, people are people. And so, we deal with everyone of all walks. So, I — I can’t really define what a difference would be.”
Johnson told Marra, “I understand that you try to treat credible individuals, along with kooks, with equal humanity and equal compassion and equal service as a public official. I understand that.
“But I guess my question is, you know, the difference between a kook and a credible individual, and when it comes time to spending your time in a meeting, you would choose to spend it with a credible individual, truly credible, than — or as opposed to spending your time entertaining a kook. Isn’t that correct?”
Marra agreed, telling Johnson that “our time is very limited.”
Johnson interrupted: “And — and — and let me ask — and — and let me ask you this, you’ve seen a lot of kooks as a result of the perpetuation of ‘the big lie,’ have you not?”
“We’ve seen a lot of interesting characters, Representative. That’s how I would characterize them.”
“And it’s made it more difficult for you to do your job. Is that true?” Johnson asked.
“It is difficult to do our jobs when we have to spend so much time debunking information and answering routine questions and getting bombarded with phone calls. That is definitely a challenge for us,” Marra said.
“And then, sometimes, kookery can travel into threatening behavior,” Johnson said. “Have you been subjected to threats and intimidation from kooks or credible individuals, for that matter, as you have tried to do your job?”
Marra answered, “Yes, I believe that we’ve had challenges from many different people from all walks of life here, and it is very difficult to continue to do the jobs with the phone calls and then the — the threatening comments, yes.”
Rep. Johnson has delved into kookery himself at times, notably in April 2010, when he asked the head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet about the U.S. territory of Guam.
“My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,” Johnson said. The admiral told Johnson, “We don’t anticipate that.” Johnson later said he was joking.
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