April 2, 2023

PARTY DISCIPLINE: GOP Speaker of Arizona House censured for not being Republican enough

PARTY DISCIPLINE: GOP Speaker of Arizona House censured for not being Republican enough

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The Republican Party of Arizona has formally censured GOP Speaker of the House, Rusty Bowers, for his testimony during the televised Select Committee hearings.

Arizona Republican Party chairwoman, Kelli Ward says the lifelong conservative is no longer “a Republican in good standing” and called for Bowers to be replaced.

“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Arizona hereby formally censures Representative Rusty Bowers and shall immediately cease any and all recognition and support of him as a member of the Republican Party for his inaction on election integrity, his specific actions addressed herein including co-sponsoring Democrat-led bills that have opposed core planks and tenets of the Republican Party Platform, and for his general disregard for precinct, legislative, county and state and national Republican Party leadership,” Ward’s resolution read.

But today’s decision by the GOP shows an increasing radicalization of the party. Replacing traditional, and more moderate party members like Bowers, who chose country over party.

Ward has been a deeply loyal Trump ally, helping the ex-President keep his baseless claims the 2020 election was stolen going.

A long-time family physician, Dr. Ward was subpoenaed along with her husband Michael in the federal investigation of the conspiracy to cast fake ballots in battleground states. They are both named alternate electors.

Named in Ward’s statement are several bills that Bowers supported, bills that his detractors say are antithetical to the party’s beliefs. His vote for HB 2802, making gender identity and sexual orientation protected classes and co-sponsoring a bi-partisan $1B education spending bill were specifically named by Ward as un-Republican.

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Here’s a copy of the resolution. The story continues below:

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Rep. Bowers was applauded on both sides of the aisle for his June testimony. In the fourth installment of the House’s January 6th Committee public hearings, he detailed a Trump-led campaign to pressure him to break his oath to the constitution.

“You’re asking me to do something that’s never been done in the history of the United States,” he recounted telling Trump’s lawyer John Eastman.

“That I would put us through that, my state that I swore to uphold, both in Constitution and in law? No, sir,” Bowers testified.

According to the Arizona Mirror, Eastman called Bowers two days before the Capitol riot, asking the Speaker to hold a decertification vote. “And I didn’t want to have that in the House,” Bowers said. “I did not feel that the evidence … merited a hearing, and I didn’t want to be used as a pawn.”

Bowers also testified under oath to receiving calls from then-Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Trump himself.

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Constitutional law expert, and Harvard professor Laurence Tribe, was moved by Bowers’ testimony. Tweeting an excerpt from Bowers’ diary:

As the fringe of the Republican party takes over, few remnants of the old GOP are still in power. Yet despite his coming through for democracy, Bowers has said he would vote for Trump if he were the 2024 Republican nominee.

I guess country over party only goes so far as far as the Arizona GOP goes.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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