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Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers censured for comments calling for violence

Posted at 2:26 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 06:51:35-05

PHOENIX — The Arizona Senate has censured Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers, who has embraced white nationalism and called for violence.

On a Tuesday vote of 24-3, with three not voting, the Arizona State Senate has censured Republican Senate Wendy Rogers. Three senators chose not to vote.

Wendy Rogers was censured in response to multiple recent comments made that called for violence on social media and during recent event appearances.

She spoke at the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), which is hosted by known Holocaust denier and white nationalist, Nick Fuentes.

Before attending, she posted a photoshopped picture on her Telegram and Gab channels showing her next to Fuentes, standing over a dead rhino branded with the Star of David.

In her roughly six-minute virtual address to AFPAC, she expressed "true respect" for Fuentes, called the vaccine a 'bio-weapon,' and said "we need to build more gallows...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."

She also tweeted praise about Putin, while calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a "globalist puppet for Soros and the Clintons."

When she was criticized by fellow Senate Republicans, she tweeted that she would "personally destroy the career of any Republican" who is against her and called some of them "Communists."

The censure, read on the floor by Senator Vince Leach (R), said Senator Rogers “engaged in conduct unbecoming of a Senator, including publicly issuing and promoting social media, and video messaging encouraging violence against and punishment of American citizens.”

Rogers, the Senator representing rural Northern Arizona and parts of Flagstaff, defended herself by saying that “freedom of speech is a sacred right.” She further said she would not apologize or back down from her comments.

Only two Republican Senators other than Rogers voted against the resolution, Senators Warren Petersen (Gilbert) and Nancy Barto (North Phoenix).

Senate President Karen Fann, who voted in support of the censure, commented that “Free speech does not give one the right to threaten people.”

One Senator Democrat called for Rogers to be expelled.

The censure though is mostly a symbolic rebuke.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey released the following statement in response to the censure:

"Anti-Semitic and hateful language has no place in Arizona. I have categorically condemned it in the past and condemn it now. I strongly believe our public policy debates should be about creating opportunity for all and making our state a better place, not denigrating and insulting any individual or group. I believe the vote taken today by the Arizona Senate sends a clear message: rhetoric like this is unacceptable. These are incredibly divided times, but picking a side in the fight to protect western democracy is an easy call. It's Putin versus freedom. I will always side with freedom. I believe any statement supporting Russia's actions in Ukraine is not only ill-advised, but wrong and dangerous."