[Writer’s disclaimer: Wendy Rogers blocked me on Twitter]
The Arizona State Senate opened an ethics investigation into a pro-Trump Republican member who tweeted inflammatory comments about last weekend’s racist attack at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that left 10 people dead.
The referral of Sen. Wendy Rogers of Flagstaff to the Ethics Committee took place instead of the immediate expulsion that Democratic lawmakers were planning, GOP Majority Leader Rick Gray said. Due process considerations require no less than an ethics investigation, he said.
Despite a bipartisan 24-3 vote on the Republican plan to open an ethics committee review that could lead to expulsion, censure, or reprimand, Democrats failed to get any Republicans to back their motion to expel Rogers. The state Democrats furiously noted that Rogers was just censured in March for a repeated series of tweets and statements that embraced white nationalism and called for violence.
I dare you to say that to Dear Leader, Qrazy pic.twitter.com/ognbWQoprj
— Tara Dublin 🇺🇦🌻 (@taradublinrocks) July 26, 2021
The hours-long debate in the Senate, which grew increasingly heated over what to do about Rogers, went off the rails, with Republicans accusing Democrats of manufacturing a political opportunity and Democrats accusing GOP members of a pattern of dodging uncomfortable discussions about race relations by shutting down any debate on the issue.
AZ State Senator Wendy Rogers is saying that the Buffalo mass murder was a false flag operation by the FBI. She must be removed from office immediately. The AZ GOP is a damn disgrace. pic.twitter.com/X0pYKLELLu
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 15, 2022
The State Democrats pointed to Rogers’ previous problems, which started the month she was sworn into office in 2021 when a staffer accused her of bullying and other unprofessional conduct, and the March 2022 censure, which also was approved by a 24-3 vote with three members not present.
NOW Republican-controlled Arizona Senate voting on whether to start ethics investigation of Sen. Wendy Rogers' inflammatory comments on Buffalo massacre. With 16 'aye' votes in hand, it will pass. pic.twitter.com/owyllnE8RP
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) May 16, 2022
Rogers made no comment on the floor of the Senate where the other members spent hours discussing her.