Phoenix (AP) — Senator Arizona launched an ethical survey on members of Republican firefighters who tweeted inflammatory comments about a racist attack last weekend at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. 10 people died..
The referral of Flagstaff Senator Wendy Rogers to the Institutional Review Board was an alternative to the immediate expulsion planned by Democrats, said Republican majority leader Rick Gray. He said that due process considerations require more than an ethical survey.
But the Democrats were furious and Rogers was accused in March He embraced white supremacism and repeated a series of tweets and statements calling for violence.
Despite a bipartisan 24-3 vote on the Republican Party’s plan to open a review of the Institutional Review Board that could lead to expulsion, blame, or rebuke, Democrats are unable to get Republicans to support the Rogers expulsion move. was.
On Saturday, Rogers tweeted a racist screed posted on the Internet in the news of a shooting by a white suspect who drove about 200 miles (322 km) to Buffalo’s predominantly black neighborhood. “
Many of the parties took the tweet to mean that Rogers was blaming the attack on the federal government, especially in the light of Rogers’ history of accepting conspiracy theories and posting racist metaphors. I did.
Senate Republican leaders tried to get out before the dispute on Monday morningIssued a statement condemning violence, “all hate speeches that inspired this kind of heinous crime.”
Without naming Rogers, the statement said, “Words bring results and believe in the first amendment to freedom of speech, while condemning all the radical rhetoric that fueled these horrific acts.”
Only three members, including Rogers and Republican Senator Warren Petersen, voted not to hold an ethical investigation. Republican Senator Kelly Townsend has challenged Rogers in the GOP primary after re-electioning both in the same district, but also opposed ethical investigations.
Rogers’ comments were shameful to the state and the Republicans, and added to the distress of the families of those killed in Buffalo, Townsend said.
“But she has the right to make them,” Townsend said. “I have to uphold the right of those who say ugly. That’s why the First Amendment exists. It doesn’t exist in gentle words — it does exist in ugly words.”
Rogers issued a statement after voting He said that blaming Democrats for what she said was an effort to divide Republicans, and that her now-deleted tweets were misunderstood.
“Sadly, my comment was completely out of context and turned into a false story. It’s now the focus of a big fire created by members of the media obsessed with a particular race. “Masu,” said Rogers’ statement.
Hours of Senate debate over what to do with Rogers accuses Democrats of trying to make political hay, and Democrats blame GOP members for avoiding unpleasant debates about racial relations. ..
Republican Senator Sonny Borrelli called it an example of the Democratic cancel culture that hates Rogers and her brand politics. Others agreed that Rogers’ words were used for her.
“This is not an exilable crime,” said Republican Senator Michelle Ugenti Rita. “D is politicizing it.”
She said it was a dangerous precedent to consider expelling or blaming members’ tweets and comments.
Republican Senator JD Menard House speaker when members were banished in 2018 After a series of allegations of sexual misconduct, he said the hearing and institutional review process was essential.
“This is a legislative enforcement, so due process and ethical procedures and investigations are very important,” Menard said of a motion to expel Rogers.
Democrats point out Rogers’ previous problems, It started in the month she took office in 2021 When staff accused her of bullying and other non-professional acts, and the March 2022 accusations were approved by 24-3 votes without the attendance of three members. Townsend was absent, but she said she would have voted in favor.
“How many times do you allow your child to get out of hand before offering disciplinary opportunities,” said Democratic Senator Teresa Hatasley. “Discipline is the moment of teaching. It is what we already had.”
Democratic Senator Martin Quezada said much the same thing, accusing Republicans of “kicking the can” because they didn’t take immediate action.
He said Rogers’ tweets didn’t need to be investigated and they were all related to her history.
“Now we have a track record and now we have patterns of behavior,” Kezada said. “I haven’t heard of any efforts to defend these behaviors, and my assumption is that there is no defense against those behaviors.”
Rogers did not comment on the Senate floor, where other members spent hours discussing her.