Arizona lawmakers voted Thursday to strip power from controversial Secretary of State Katies Hobbs. The measure was inserted into major budget legislation last week.
Yahoo News reported:
The Republican-controlled state Legislature in Arizona voted Thursday to revoke the Democratic secretary of state’s legal authority in election-related lawsuits, handing that power instead to the Republican attorney general…
…The measure was part of a grab bag of proposals inserted into major budget legislation, including several actions that appeared to address conspiracy theories alleging manipulated elections that some Republicans lawmakers have promoted. One of the items allotted $500,000 for a study of whether social media sites tried to interfere in state elections by promoting Democrats or censoring Republicans.
This comes after Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) was “stripped” of her ability to “defend election lawsuits” by the state’s Republican-led House Appropriations Committee back in May.
Arizona’s ABC 15 reported the news at the time.
After publicly expressing “grave concerns” over Arizona’s audit of the 2020 election results, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) was “stripped” of her ability to “defend election lawsuits” by the state’s Republican-led House Appropriations Committee, reported Arizona’s ABC 15 on Tuesday. The duty was transferred “exclusively” to Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) through the end of the 2023 fiscal year.
Democrats say the move is retaliation against Hobbs’ defense of Arizona voters in “lawsuits filed by the State Republican Party and others challenging Arizona’s election results,” per ABC 15. “It can’t be just a coincidence” that Republicans are blocking a “vocal critic of the audit,” writes Elvia Díaz for azcentral.com. Democratic State Rep. Randy Friese reportedly called the move “troubling,” “disturbing,” and “quite nefarious.”
Furthermore, the Appropriations Committee removed Hobb’s “oversight of the Capitol Museum,” ABC 15 reports, after Hobbs angered state lawmakers when she “flew a gay pride flag from the building’s balcony” in 2019.