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Crowd Booed Gov. Hobbs at Phoenix Open Golf Tournament

February 12, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

The Phoenix Open crowd reportedly booed Gov. Katie Hobbs after her attendance was announced at the tournament on Wednesday. 

Eyewitness accounts say the incident occurred at the Skybox stadium located on Hole 16 on Wednesday, a day before the opening day of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Hobbs was brought onto the green to greet the crowds in the stadium. A video posted later that day allegedly captured the incident. 

Twitter users who claimed they were at the open claimed that Hobbs looked “dejected” after walking off the course. 

Another user said that Hobbs attempted to wave at the crowd, but received boos instead. 

The campaign team for Hobbs’ GOP opponent, Kari Lake, claimed that Hobbs was also booed at a recent Phoenix Suns game.

Lake asked social media users to send in their videos of the booing, with promises that they would give them credit and “help them go viral.” 

Apparent dissatisfaction with Hobbs’ first days in office may be considered bipartisan. 

The governor stood opposed to the favored pick to take over the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) chairmanship. Hobbs endorsed Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo; he also served on her transition team. However, top Democratic leaders and officials sponsored Yolanda Bejarano, ADP’s former vice chair. Bejarano won the election last month. 

Hobbs didn’t congratulate Bejarano individually following the election; rather, the governor opted to congratulate the entirety of the new ADP board. 

Prior to her swearing in, Hobbs stirred up controversy when she neglected to disclose the cost and funders behind her inauguration ceremony. It wasn’t until several days after her inauguration that the nonprofit accepting donations on her behalf for the event released the names of the donors and their amounts donated. 

According to Hobbs, her “Katie Hobbs Inaugural Fund” accepted $1.9 million from about 235 donors. Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) records disputed Hobbs’ initial claim that she raised about $1.5 million from 120 donors.

The inauguration costed $207,000 — about 11 percent of total donations. This inspired questions of the purpose for the remainder of the funds as government transparency watchdogs called for investigation of whether Hobbs’ inauguration team purposefully accepted more donations than they knew were necessary. 

Attorney Tim La Sota told “The Conservative Circus” that Hobbs’ use of a state website to solicit inaugural funds presented a potential legal issue.

“That’s definitely a no-no,” said La Sota. “That’s no different, hardly, than just putting a link on the governor’s official state website to her campaign account and saying, ‘Hey, you know, do you want to support me politically? Go to my campaign.’”

The inaugural fund was established as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit by Hobbs’ campaign manager, Nicole DeMont. That classification enables the funds to be used for any promotion of “social welfare,” per IRS rules. Under this classification, the remaining $1.7 million could potentially be applied to certain political efforts that advance “social welfare,” like lobbying. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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