By Corinne Murdock |
The Arizona Senate voted to censure State Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) for her statements concerning political opponents and fellow senators, especially those given most recently. The censure motion said that Rogers engaged in unbecoming conduct as a senator, citing specifically her hopes for “violence against and punishment of American citizens.” The Senate passed the measure 24-3.
The censure was prompted by Rogers’ remarks during and following the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) in Florida last weekend: a controversial gathering organized by some of the most controversial right-wing political figures in America, primarily Nick Fuentes.
During a speech for AFPAC, Rogers asserted that individuals would be right to try and convict their political opponents who worked to take away their rights these last two years.
“Capitulation is why we are being overrun by the LGBTQ movement; it’s why our border’s being overrun by illegals, and it’s why babies are dying in the womb,” said Rogers. “At this historic point it will take all of us to speak out, to defend each other for standing up for what is right. When we do take back our God-given rights, we will bring these criminals to justice. I’ve said we need to build more gallows. If we try some of these high-level criminals, convict them, and use a newly-built set of gallows, it’ll make an example of these traitors who betrayed our country. They have yet to be justly punished for the crimes they committed.”
When talk of censuring Rogers came on Monday from Senate Majority Leader Rick Gray (R-Sun City), Rogers responded that she was being threatened with punishment for being white and pledged to destroy the careers of those Republicans coming after her.
“I will not apologize for being white. Hit me all you want,” wrote Rogers. “I will personally destroy the career of any Republican who partakes in the gaslighting of me simply because of the color of my skin or opinion about a war I don’t want to send our kids to die in.”
Earlier that same day, Rogers called out several Republican senators for their attitudes, calling them “testy.”
During the Senate floor discussion of her censure, Rogers was first to speak. She declared that the senate was a violation of her freedom of speech. Rogers said that her constituents supported her remarks, and that by censuring her the senate was truly censuring her constituents.
“This censure is nothing more than an attempt to limit my speech,” said Rogers. “I do not apologize, I will not back down, and I’m sorely disappointed in the leadership of this body for colluding with the Democrats in an attempt to destroy my reputation. In the end, I rejoice in knowing I do and say what is right. And I speak as a free American regardless of the actions of this corrupted process today.”
Gray emphasized that he opposed Rogers’ rhetoric and insisted that legislators should separate policy from person.
State Senator Rebecca Rios (D-Phoenix) called Rogers’ beliefs “sickening”: that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a puppet for George Soros, and that Fuentes was a patriot. State Senator Lisa Otondo (D-Yuma) said that free speech doesn’t allow for speech that bullies, slanders, or threatens.
Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) said this wasn’t a measure she wanted to have to take, but freedom of speech doesn’t give senators leeway to disrespect one another by saying whatever they’d like.
“We do support the First Amendment, freedom of speech, we absolutely support it, we fight battles over it. But what we do not condone is members threatening each other, to ruin each other, to incite violence, to call us communist, we don’t do that to each other,” said Fann.
Watch the Arizona Senate discuss and vote on its censure of Rogers here: