As noted in yesterday’s piece on the “Tyranny of the Majority at the Arizona House of Representatives,” House Democratic Minority Whip Reginald Bolding made a motion to institute expulsion proceedings against Legislative District One Representative David Stringer after it was revealed that he was the subject of sexual misconduct charges while living in Maryland 35 years ago.
The Speaker of the House, Russell Bowers ruled that Representative Bolding was out of order and Republicans were spared having to vote in support of such a “radioactive” and “repulsive” figure who, like Don Shooter last year, has not seen the need to resign for this revelation and for his racist comments over the last several months.
To their credit, Republican House Member Kelly Townsend finally led the way in referring the Stringer matter through a complaint to the House Ethics Committee. If the complaint against Stringer proceeds without any new revelations or insights, the entire House may then proceed to vote to censure or expel him.
The question for Republicans is what took so long to file the complaint?
Why were Stringer’s racist comments over the last several months not enough to refer him to the House Ethics Committee? While it is constitutionally protected for individuals like him to hold the repulsive views he adheres to, does that mean it is appropriate for a public servant charged with representing all people in his or her district to remain seated in a position of influence.
What would Republicans have done had these horrible events from 35 years ago not been revealed? Would they have continued to issue, like Governor Ducey, “empty” calls for Stringer to resign that he would ignore and nothing else?
Is maintaining a slim majority in the State House more important than allowing a known racist to remain seated in the legislature? It is gratifying that the Republicans have drawn the line at sexual misbehavior. It shows they have some ethical standards but the point is they should not have waited this long for these 35 year revelations to be published to take action when they had all they needed from this person’s racially charged comments over the last year.
Hopefully, the matter will proceed and after due process, if nothing else has changed, Representative Bolding (who filed his own complaint against Springer to the Ethics Committee on Tuesday, January 29) can make his motion again and this time Speaker Bowers will allow it to proceed.