Republicans Have Finally Had Enough of Wendy Rogers

All it took was death threats against her colleagues at a white nationalist event.
wendy-rogers-arizona-censure
Wendy Rogers, candidate for Arizona's 1st congressional district, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call at their D.C. office, Sept. 14, 2018. (PThomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers was overwhelmingly censured by the Arizona Senate Tuesday after she called for her political enemies to be publicly hanged during a white nationalist conference this weekend and threatened to “personally destroy” Republicans who oppose her. 

The vote was a bipartisan 24-3, with three members of the body abstaining. Thirteen Democrats and 11 Republicans, including Senate President and Big Lie booster Karen Fann, voted to censure Rogers. 

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The resolution said Rogers “has damaged the reputation of the Arizona State Senate by her actions,” and referenced Rogers’ comments at the America First Political Action Conference, where Rogers said she wanted to see her political opponents hang on “gallows,” as well as her subsequent tweet threatening to “personally destroy any Republican who partakes in the gaslighting of me.” 

Though the censure has no material impact, Rogers called the resolution “an attempt to limit my speech.” 

“I do not apologize, I will not back down, and I am sorely disappointed in the leadership of this body for colluding with the Democrats to attempt to destroy my reputation,” she said. “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.”

Fann, who contracted the Florida firm Cyber Ninjas to run a sham audit of the 2020 election in Arizona, which later confirmed that former President Donald Trump had lost the election there, said Tuesday that she supports free speech but that “what we do not condone is members threatening each other, to ruin each other, to incite violence, to call us communists.”

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“The thing with racism, with antisemitism, is that they grow like a dark weed in people’s hearts,” Rebecca Rios, the Democratic leader in the state Senate, said in floor remarks. “I think we have hacked away a small part of this weed, and I hope we can remember this moment… as Arizona senators we looked hate in the eye and said, ‘You’re not welcome here.’”

Rogers spoke at AFPAC, a counter-event to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida this weekend. The event was organized by Nicholas Fuentes, a far-right white nationalist, who said during one session Friday night that some are comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, “as if that’s not a good thing.” 

Rogers’ speech at the conference was arguably even more extreme: She falsely called the COVID-19 vaccines a “bioweapon,” and called vaccine mandates and the politicians who’ve implemented them “criminal.” 

“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,” Rogers said in a videotaped statement Feb. 25, to applause from the crowd.

“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 have betrayed our country.”

Rogers has also voiced support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, a “globalist puppet of Soros and the Clintons.” In one Telegram post, she wrote that “Putin’s military gets Ukraine, our military gets trannies and face masks,” using a slur for transgender people.

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In addition to Rogers, two current members of Congress, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, spoke at the conference. Former GOP Rep. Steve King also attended

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, called Greene and Gosar’s attendance at the conference “appalling and wrong” and “unacceptable” Monday and said he planned to speak with the pair, but dodged questions about Greene and Gosar during a Tuesday press conference. 

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