by Mark Schwendau
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (D) stepped down from her office for a day without explanation. This has caused widespread speculation and shenanigans of Internet trolls who feel Kari Lake (R) is the real elected Governor of Arizona.
What was most off about all of this is fourth in line of succession Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee (R) was left in charge of the state after the Democrat governor, secretary of state, and attorney general all went missing in action for a day.
Some used the term they all disappeared or went missing while others said that was not true and offered explanations.
They say Hobbs was in Washington, D.C., Wednesday for a meeting about border security issues with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (D). They claim she flew back to Arizona Thursday to meet with president Joe Biden (D), who arrived Wednesday night for a campaign visit before he left Thursday morning.
They claim Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D), who was to serve as acting governor while Hobbs was missing in action, left the state Wednesday for a pre-planned trip to Washington, D.C., himself a Fontes’ spokesman, Paul Smith-Leonard said.
And State Attorney General Kris Mayes (D), next in the state’s line of succession, well he was also said to be in Washington, D.C., for “meetings” and was to return Friday morning, said her spokesman, Richie Taylor.
That left Republican Arizona Treasurer Yee as acting governor.
As the temporary top state officer, Yee put out a pretty funny press release that referenced an ongoing fight between Hobbs and Republican state Senate leaders over confirmations for state agency directors.
“While I am pleased to step into this role, I will refrain from naming directors to the 13 agencies that currently have vacancies and will not call the Arizona Legislature into session to confirm them,” Yee wrote.
A Hobbs spokesperson later said it was unclear if Yee really had the power to do that as acting governor.
Just days prior, Hobbs made local headlines by retracting all her proposed state agency director nominees awaiting Senate approval. She made the excuse of “partisan obstructionism” as the cause for her action. The tension between Hobbs and the Republican-controlled Senate previously caused several of her nominees to be stonewalled.
Earlier this year, Allie Bones, chief of staff to Katie Hobbs, resigned after less than five months on the job without much of an explanation. Bones was the assistant secretary of state for the four years Hobbs was secretary of state just prior. The two worked together for more than 20 years after meeting in 2001 as they both served as social workers advocating for survivors of domestic abuse. Hobbs said in a statement Bones planned to leave her position to “pursue new opportunities” but did not specify what those were.
Another resignation that came about in Hobbs’ governorship happened in June. The press aide for Hobbs was forced out after a tasteless Twitter post was made hours after the Nashville school shooting.
Press aide Josselyn Berry made a tweet featuring an image from the 1980 movie “Gloria” showing a woman with a handgun in each hand with the comment, “Us when we see transphobes.”
That tweet topped off a previous, more reasonable post, which read, “If you work in the progressive community and are transphobic, you’re not progressive. Period. End of story.”
This required Hobbs’s office to go into damage control mode with a public statement, “The governor does not condone violence in any form.”
Funny enough, this week, Arizona State Republican senators had to come out publically to disavow a widespread internet rumor they were about to indict Hobbs. Monday, they came out with a statement the state Senate does not issue indictments.
The “Why did Katie Hobbs suddenly step down?” mystery is the latest chapter in Arizona’s politically charged drama.
I think the best explanation of what really happened comes from podcaster Benny Johnson, who had an Arizona political insider speculate to him that the real reason the top three Democrats went MIA around the time of Joe Biden’s campaign visit is none of the three want to be associated with him as his house of cards is beginning to fall.