Journalists’ Roundtable: 4-14-23
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for the Journalists’ Roundtable. Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services, Camryn Sanchez of Arizona Capitol Times and Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic and AzCentral.com joined us to discuss the week’s top stories including the expulsion of a state lawmaker, Liz Harris, from the Arizona House.
What happened with the state lawmaker?
“We weren’t even sure that was going to happen, because if you remember it was the Democrats who suggested a censure for Harris. The whole backstory is she had asked for this hearing on Election matters; she had coordinated the hearing, she invited people. One of the people she invited came up with these totally off the wall theories about how everybody including the Speaker of the House, the Governor, judges, other lawmakers and the LDS Church are all involved in some vast conspiracy involving the Sinaloa drug cartel,” explained Fischer.
The individual spoke for roughly 45 minutes with no one, including Harris stopping her. The Democrats then filed an ethics complaint, because she did not inform anyone what was going to be discussed and she essentially asked for this to happen. They confronted her about the situation to which she said she did not know, but text messages soon came out that she did know.
Did Harris try to hide that she knew?
“Based on text messages and conversations that she had, and one of them she said, ‘I didn’t think you were going to get so far. I expected them to cut you off sooner.’ She voted against the expulsion, but the full House actually considered it and up until the vote I wasn’t even sure if that’s how they would handle it because it’s a pretty big deal. The Republicans largely, largely opposed her,” said Sanchez.
What was the claim that sent this over the line?
“I would have to say accusing the House Speaker probably didn’t help a lot. You might note that he was the person who made the motion to give her the boot. I think it’s very interesting to look at how the vote went though. The only people who had her back were largely who were people on the far right, the Arizona Freedom Caucus. I think you’re going to see these same kinds of votes in the future,” said Roberts.