Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods prominently backed Kyrsten Sinema, but he says she now needs to support getting rid of the filibuster. Huffington Post reports, Major Kyrsten Sinema Supporter Says Abolish Filibuster Or Get Out Of The Senate:
Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, who prominently backed Kyrsten Sinema’s election to the Senate, is now saying she doesn’t belong in office anymore unless she helps abolish the filibuster.
Woods, a former Republican, was attorney general from from 1991-1999 and worked for the late Sen. John McCain (R). In 2018, he switched parties and became a Democrat.
That year, he also endorsed Sinema, and the campaign even featured him in one of its ads saying, “We need more people who are not just politicians who will say or do anything to get elected.”
But on Friday, Woods was much less enthusiastic about Sinema in comments to HuffPost. He said he feels very strongly about passage of H.R. 1 ― the For the People Act, a democracy reform and voting rights bill ― and believes the Senate must abolish the filibuster, which is something Sinema has said she is adamantly against. (Sinema is, however, a co-sponsor of the For the People Act.)
“I do think that Sen. Sinema and every senator should support ending the filibuster for the voting rights bill,” he said, adding, “To keep the Jim Crow filibuster while losing some of these basic voting rights that are central to our democracy is preposterous.”
“Sen. Sinema should know that, so should Sen. Manchin,” Woods said, referring to West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, who also opposes removing the filibuster. “At the end of the day, I’m very hopeful that they’ll come around and do the right thing. But if they don’t, then I don’t think they belong in the Senate anymore.”
Woods had also tweeted his thoughts about the filibuster on Thursday, without directly naming Sinema.
At the end of the day, if you don’t vote to protect voting rights and save our democracy by breaking the Jim Crow filibuster, it should be your last vote as a United States Senator. No exceptions. #CountryFirst #FILIBUSTER #EndTheFilibuster
— Grant Woods (@GrantWoods) June 3, 2021
Sinema’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Until now, Woods has been a strong defender of Sinema. In March, when Sinema received widespread Democratic criticism for voting against a $15/hour minimum wage with an exaggerated thumbs down, Woods stood by her.
But this past week, Sinema reiterated her refusal to abolish the filibuster, which remains a major impediment to passing much of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
[B]ut as New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg noted Friday, Sinema’s history is inaccurate.
“The filibuster was created by mistake when the Senate, cleaning up its rule book in 1806, failed to include a provision to cut off debate. (A so-called cloture rule allowing two-thirds of senators to end a filibuster was adopted in 1917; the proportion was reduced to three-fifths in 1975.) The filibuster encouraged extremism, not comity: It was a favorite tool of pro-slavery senators before the Civil War and segregationists after it,” Goldberg wrote.
No more bullshit revisionist history excuses from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Grant Woods is right. She either votes to end the filibuster to pass the voting rights bills she professes to support, or she can start packing her bags.
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) June 7, 2021
UPDATE: Democrats in the Arizona Legislature have a message for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema:
“We are calling upon you with respect and urgency to stand up in this crucial moment for our state and for our country and make the promise of our democracy real for us all.” — House & Senate Dem members urge @SenatorSinema to reform the filibuster & pass the #ForthePeopleAct. pic.twitter.com/QFcat3zM7L
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) June 9, 2021