Democratic leaders liked a tweet describing the assault on a supporter of former President Donald Trump. Specifically, two state legislators, one county election official, two high-level state employees, and three Democratic Party leaders of various levels.
The Democratic legislators supported the violence-glorifying tweet from the same Planned Parenthood leader, Chris Love, who called for people to “break s**t” in response to the Supreme Court’s refusal to stop Texas’ abortion ban. Love tweeted to express her pleasure over her husband assaulting a Trump supporter last weekend during a pro-abortion rally.
“My husband @MiQL got lost in the crowd and I had to send folks to find him. Instead of hanging in the tented area with the cool kids, he was organizing folks,” wrote Love. “He also body checked some dude in a ‘Blacks for Trump’ shirt. Swoon!”
The tweet and Democrats’ support occurred several days before they would demand the censure and expulsion of State Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) for alleging in since-deleted social media posts that federal agents were behind the Buffalo mass shooting.
“Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo,” wrote Rogers.
One of the Democratic legislators that liked Love’s tweet celebrating assault was State Senator Juan Mendez (D-Tempe), who’s been absent for a vast majority of the legislative session on excused absence. As AZ Free News reported earlier this week, State Senator T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge) requested an ethics investigation into Mendez’s absence.
State Representative Mitzi Epstein (D-Chandler) also liked the controversial tweet. Additionally, Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cázares-Kelly showed her support for Love’s celebration of the assault.
The two state employees that liked the tweet were Allie Bones, assistant secretary of state to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and Tyler Kowch, constituent services manager at the Arizona Department of Education.
One of the more prominent Democratic Party leaders that liked Love’s tweet was Priya Sundareshan: state senate candidate for district 18, election integrity staffer with the Arizona Democratic Party, chairwoman of Asian American Pacific Islander Democrats in Arizona, and director of University of Arizona (UArizona) Natural Resource Use and Management Clinic.
The other two Democratic Party leaders to like the tweet were Missa Foy, chairwoman of Navajo County Democrats, and Judy Stahl, former congressional candidate and Democratic Women of the Prescott Area Chair.
Others who liked the tweet were those within academia and activist organizations.
There was Will Knight, former Maricopa County attorney candidate and Arizona State University (ASU) Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law adjunct professor; Rebecca Garelli, Red for Ed organizer with Arizona Educators United; Dr. Dawn Penich-Thacker, co-founder of Save Our Schools Arizona; and Bridget Sharpe, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Arizona State Director.
Republican National Committee (RNC) leader Tyler Bowyer pointed out the Democratic state legislators’ support of social media posts endorsing violence, wondering why mainstream media hadn’t covered it initially.
Bowyer predicted to conservative radio host James T. Harris on the “Conservative Circus” that the mainstream media’s lack of equal treatment when covering Democrats would lead to further divisiveness in the state and country.
“We’re really playing with fire here. We don’t have a community today where we can allow Democrats just to hijack our communities, incite violence, and get away with it,” said Bowers. “This is the reason why nobody trusts the media anymore. People will figure this out, they will talk, there will be an uproar of good, normal people once they find this stuff out, and people will start turning on our local media.”
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:
Both the Arizona House and Senate passed bills this week to supply hundreds of millions for Arizona to finish construction on its portion of the border wall.
On Wednesday, the Arizona House passed along party lines State Senator Wendy Rogers’ (R-Flagstaff) SB1032, appropriating $700 million. Rogers estimated during the Senate Appropriations Committee that the amount would cover the approximately 17 miles of construction that remains.
“This is our chance to continue to protect ourselves because we aren’t having this built by the federal government and since we have purview over approximately 17 miles of the wall, this money would be appropriated to build that,” said Rogers.
Then on Thursday, the Arizona House passed its version, HB2317, along party lines on Thursday. State Representative John Kavanagh’s (R-Fountain Hills) bill appropriates $150 million in 2023 to finish the border wall. Kavanagh relayed during the House Appropriations Committee hearing some data given to him by Border Patrol: the number of crossings reportedly quadrupled over the last year.
“The border is in chaos and it’s out of control. The Border Patrol, besides needing more personnel, would be helped by some physical barriers which do in fact stop crossers, or at least funnel them, making the area that needs to be patrolled smaller,” said Kavanagh. “I think it’s a reasonable investment in Arizona’s security and safety.”
Passage of the bill comes weeks after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) projected that the border crisis would only worsen this year. This prediction concurred with the latest data on border crossings from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
According to a report from AZ Free News this week, border patrol encountered almost 154,000 illegal immigrants crossing the border in January — the highest in over 20 years — with a low estimate of over 504,600 “gotaways” since President Joe Biden took office.
Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation to protect the Second Amendment rights of Arizonans by safeguarding against frivolous lawsuits that have no connection to unlawful use of firearms. The new state law mirrors federal law that was passed on a bipartisan basis.
“With efforts currently underway in Washington to erode Second Amendment rights, Arizona is taking action to protect those rights,” said Governor Ducey. “In Arizona, we’re safeguarding manufacturers, sellers and trade associations. Bad actors need to be held accountable, and we will work to make sure they are. But we’re not going to allow lawsuit after lawsuit to slowly tear down the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in our state. Senate Bill 1382 achieves this goal, and I’m grateful to Representative Quang Nguyen and Senator Wendy Rogers for leading on this important legislation.”
Senate Bill 1382 prohibits the state and all entities of the state from suing a member of the firearms industry for lawful design, marketing, distribution, and sale of firearms and ammunition to the public. The legislation also prohibits a civil action from being brought against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition or related trade association for damages resulting from the criminal misuse of the firearm or ammunition, with exceptions.
Additionally, it protects manufacturers or sellers of firearms and ammunition from civil action for damages resulting from the criminal misuse of the firearm or ammunition, except in specified circumstances.
“Arizona is—and will remain—a strong Second Amendment state,” said Judi White of Tucson, a champion of gun rights who has long been active in the NRA. “We can’t let flippant lawsuits hinder operations of firearm or ammunition manufacturers, sellers and trade associations that are following the law. Senate Bill 1382 makes sure of that. Thank you, Governor Ducey, for signing legislation that protects citizens’ Constitutional rights.”
In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which provides federal protection for law-abiding firearms and ammunition industry members against frivolous lawsuits. PLCAA has been challenged in recent years, including in April 2021 when President Biden stated removing PLCAA as a top priority of his administration. Senate Bill 1382 codifies the federal provisions under state law.