Arizona House votes to expel Rep. Don ‘Tequila’ Shooter

I’m glad if I helped to advance this story to its proper conclusion, for what it’s worth. Arizona House expels Rep. Don Shooter, citing ‘dishonorable’ pattern of workplace harassment:

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, said earlier this week that he would hold a vote Thursday to censure Shooter, a reprimand that would be part of the chamber’s historical record.

But moments before the House session Thursday, Mesnard issued a statement saying he would push for Shooter’s expulsion instead. The change was due to a letter sent by Shooter to his House colleagues challenging portions of the investigation.

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The Arizona House of Representatives voted Thursday to expel Rep. Don Shooter from office over complaints that he that he sexually harassed women.

The vote comes after an investigation into sexual-harassment allegations against Shooter found “credible evidence” that he behaved inappropriately toward multiple women.

An explosive report from the investigation graphically details lewd language and actions from Shooter, a powerful Republican lawmaker from Yuma, who has openly behaved in a crass manner, but did so unchecked by his peers for years.

On Wednesday, House Majority Whip Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, said she would move to expel Shooter if he didn’t resign within 24 hours. Townsend is the No. 3 GOP House member.

“Mr. Shooter, please give this House the dignity that it deserves and step down,” she said Wednesday while speaking on the chamber’s floor.

Ousting a member requires a two-thirds vote of the House — 40 of 60 members. Any member of the House can make a motion to expel him, but such a move is incredibly rare.

The Arizona Legislature hadn’t expelled a lawmaker in more than 25 years. In 1991, the Senate expelled then-Marjority Whip Carolyn Walker, amid a vote-selling investigation.

Before that, according to the House GOP spokesman, former lawmakers Sidney Kartus and Frank Robles were expelled in 1948 from the House of Representatives for disorderly behavior.

In recent years, two lawmakers, former Sen. Scott Bundgaard and Rep. Daniel Patterson, resigned amid ethics scandals that could have led to their expulsion.

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Shooter refused to resign.

On Thursday morning, he upped his self-defense by sending the letter to House members that raised questions about the veracity of the sexual-harassment investigation that was led by a private law firm.

Shooter said the investigative report excluded a complaint from a woman who was harassed by another elected official.

He didn’t name the other lawmaker in the alleged incident, but the letter added to the cloud of speculation and disarray in the House as lawmakers weighed whether to vote for his expulsion.

Shooter’s letter also said Mesnard has privately pleaded with him to resign. Shooter didn’t address those pleas, though he struck a somewhat apologetic tone.

“I have thought a lot about my actions and those I have caused to feel that I did not value by my careless, insensitive and offensive attempts at humor,” Shooter wrote.

The groups who had called for his resignation include the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry — one the state’s most influential business organizations — and the Arizona Democratic Party.

Well, good riddance to Don “Tequila” Shooter. He is currently a candidate for state Senate in LD 13. He should withdraw and fade away into the sunset.

4 Responses to Arizona House votes to expel Rep. Don ‘Tequila’ Shooter

  1. Sarka Scarpulla

    Good riddance. Anyone who knows him from Yuma, knew this (and more) about him. Good ole boy personified. The worst part is is, although he held the chair of Appropriations in the House and Senate, he didn’t do jack for Yuma County. They let him hold the gavel, play big boy but he did exactly what they wanted. As long as he could over bill miles to pay for his Mercedes, and look like he was something, he was happy. Just like he was Glen Curtis’ boy in Yuma, he was the Repub’s boy of the House and Senate. Look at his record. He did not pass one bill that favored rural counties, let alone Yuma. Look at the ‘pass the down buck’ budgets that have screwed counties and locals for years.

    Bought for a play act. And he still doesn’t even know it.

  2. Carolyn Classen

    Vote was 56-3, with one member not voting. Pretty clear message to Rep. Don Shooter.

  3. Frances Perkins

    Credit to them for doing the right thing.