Ever since Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs took office last January, MAGA Republicans in the State Senate, spearheaded by MAGA Posterboard Jake “Troll Farm-Fake Elector” Hoffman have sought to obstruct the State’s Executive Branch by snail-walking her nominees to head state agencies such as the Department of Child Safety, Health Care Cost Containment System, and Environmental Quality.
The MAGA Republicans started this fiasco by creating the first-of-its-kind Committee on Director Nominees, abandoning years of precedent on confirming Gubernatorial selections. This committee has served as a vehicle for MAGA figures like Hoffman to hold the Governor’s nominations hostage while endeavoring to get Hobbs to renege on some of her executive actions (like those on reproductive freedom) and to make examples of nominees who have made past statements (like former State Senator Martin Quezada who was the nominee for Registrar of Contractors) or taken COVID 19 preventive measures (like Department of Health Services Nominee Theresa Cullen) or flimsy accused of plagiarism (like Joan Serviss, the Governors Nominee for the Department of Housing)that the MAGA stalwarts find offensive.
As AZ Central Laurie Roberts pointed out in a recent column over the Serviss nomination, it is really mind-blowing that the man who claimed (perhaps criminally) to be a legitimate elector for the twice-impeached 45th occupant of the Oval Office, had the nerve to accuse a nominee of being a plagiarist.
According to the Governor and her team, if the current pace of confirmations continued, they would not be completed until well into a second Hobbs term.
Earlier this week, the Governor sent a letter to Senate President Warren Petersen, advising him that she was through with the “political circus” and “disrespectful” behavior of MAGA Hoffman by withdrawing her nominees. She also conveyed that she would find an alternative route to placing her choices as leaders of the various state agency departments.
She also posted on social media:
Governor Hobb’s spokesperson, Christian Slater, commented in an office press release:
“Extremist Jake Hoffman is more interested in using his committee to pursue his radical political agenda than give a fair hearing to Governor Hobbs’ cabinet nominees. Time and again Governor Hobbs has worked in good faith with the committee to have nominees fairly reviewed, but Hoffman has refused. It’s time to put an end to the political circus that puts Hoffman’s radical agenda first at the expense of everyday Arizonans.”
For now, the Governor has decided to install her nominees as Executive Deputy Directors rather than Acting Agency heads under the assumption, that under that title, the picks can serve longer than one year.
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has sided with the Governor in this matter, posting on social media:
Of course, the MAGA Republicans and their enablers see things differently.
Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee refused to recognize two Hobb’s officials at a meeting of the State Investment Board.
In response to Yee’s refusal, Ben Henderson, the Governor’s Director of Operations and Interim Director of ADOA, sent a letter to the State Treasurer, calling for her to “stop wasting taxpayer dollars paying political games when we have important work to do.”
In a press release from the Governor’s office, Henderson commented:
“The taxpayers deserve to have their funds invested optimally to maximize ROI, and they have entrusted Treasurer Yee with that responsibility. By shutting out the voices of fellow agencies, you are failing to take into account all of the information that the law requires in order to do right by our taxpayers.”
Senate President Petersen and “Troll Farm-Fake Elector” Hoffman, behaving like the false idol Trump they worship, are crying foul, blaming the Governor for the problem they created.
Legislative Democrats have sided with the Governor.
State Senator Priya Sundareshan posted:
Assistant House Democratic Leader Oscar De Los Santos also voiced his support for the Governor’s position, commenting to the Blog:
“The director nomination confirmation process is designed to ensure thoughtful deliberation on important positions in state government. Unfortunately, Trump wannabe Jake Hoffman and his extreme Republican enablers chose to turn this important constitutional process into a partisan political circus. For months, they operated in bad faith, holding hostage the agencies that serve the people of Arizona.
In one instance, Hoffman—who supports a complete and total ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest—threw a tantrum after the Governor used her power to protect reproductive freedoms, and canceled previously scheduled nomination hearings.
I’m glad to see Governor Hobbs put commonsense governance over Hoffman’s partisan and chaotic clown show.”
Arizona and National MAGA Republicans are only interested in one mission: standing things still so the nonwealthy and the powerless can suffer with no hope of advancement, freedom, or increased prosperity.
Jake “Troll-Farm-Fake Elector” Hoffman’s McCarthyite Committee on Director Nominees is one mechanism for the MAGA fringe to halt progress and make life miserable for the many grounded in reality and decency Arizonans who rely on a sound state government to tend to their needs and concerns.
Voters in November 2024 need to finally recognize the necessity of turning out and voting down ballot so individuals like “Troll Farm-Fake Elector” Hoffman no longer have the power to grind the confirmation to a halt and stifle progress.