Katie Hobbs mocks Republican legislators as “immature”

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs mocked state legislators as “immature” Friday and repeated her threats to veto Republican bills whose sponsors she does not like.

The comments came during a press conference at which the governor announced an indefinite pause on all executions. While she refused to answer some questions from journalists in attendance, such as her personal position on the death penalty, she responded to a question about whether her agency nominees “will be welcomed by the legislature.”

“It’s unfortunate that the legislature has chosen this early on to be as, frankly, immature and unwilling to work with us as they have demonstrated,” Hobbs said. “The legislature so far has not indicated their willingness to do that, at least not publicly, and it’s unfortunate because we have a lot of tough issues to tackle.”

The Democrat was then asked about whether she has “leverage … with the Freedom Caucus.”

“Well, if they want to get any of their bills passed, they’re going to have to work with me,” Hobbs responded. “I have a veto stamp in my office.”

Hobbs repeatedly has threatened to veto Republican-sponsored bills as leverage without success, an antagonistic posture resembling her failed power play against the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry after which the Democrat was mocked by capitol insiders as “incredibly weak.”

“Dead on arrival”: Here’s what Republican legislators are saying about Katie Hobbs’s budget

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs’s budget proposal is receiving a chilly reception from members of the Arizona state legislature, many of whom describe it as “dead on arrival.”

The proposal, which Hobbs released last week, attempts to repeal Arizona’s school choice program and defund the Border Strike Force — and lawmakers are having none of it.

Republicans released their own budget on January 12 promising to “safeguard Arizona’s future,” with a number of members weighing in individually to express their dissatisfaction with Hobbs’s proposal:

Lawmakers recently acknowledged that they may investigate the dark-money apparatus that secretly funded Hobbs’s inaugural events.

The Arizona Freedom Caucus also announced last week that it will be filing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the governor’s use of executive orders after the Democrat admitted in December that she is seeking to implement her policy agenda “without legislative approval.”

Arizona Freedom Caucus sues Katie Hobbs over “woke agenda” executive order

PHOENIX — The Arizona Freedom Caucus announced Monday afternoon the filing of a new lawsuit challenging Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs’s recent executive order.

Hobbs signed Executive Order 2023-01 on January 2. The order attempts to expand so-called ‘LGBT discrimination protections’ for state government employees, but a press release from the Arizona Freedom Caucus calls it an “unconstitutional” attempt to “illegally legislate via executive fiat in order to advance her woke agenda.”

“It’s become a modern phenomenon for executive branches all across the country to try to legislative via executive order,” Senator Jake Hoffman said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit. “We saw it with Barack Obama, we see it now with Joe Biden, and now seemingly Katie Hobbs — she also believes that she has the ability to legislate with the power of the pen, attempting to create law that simply does not exist.”

Hobbs — who admitted in December that she is seeking to implement her policy agenda “without legislative approval” — recently hired a Human Resources manager to promote a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda throughout her administration.

T.J. Shope: Legislature should “look into” Katie Hobbs dark-money inauguration

PHOENIX — A Republican state senator said Friday that Arizona lawmakers should “look into” the dark-money apparatus that secretly funded Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs’s inaugural events.

Hobbs and her campaign were caught “asking donors for as much as $250,000-a-pop” to fund the events surrounding her inauguration, according to 3TV political editor Dennis Welch, which has led to growing calls for an investigation into “how much dark money she raised from special interest groups to pay for her inaugural events.”

The Democrat so far has refused to disclose the donors secretly funding those events.

Senator T.J. Shope, who serves as president pro tempore, explained to Welch that all other elected officials across Arizona, including himself, are required to publicly report political contributions “and that’s the way it should be.”

“I would think that it would be something we might look into,” Shope said of Hobbs’s opaque operation. “We should have the right to know as a citizen what … kind of contributions they’re getting.”

One day earlier, StopKatieHobbs.com exclusively revealed the existence of incorporation filings that might hold the answer, noting that the revelations might “serve as helpful guidance for oversight activities by legislators.”

Hobbs repeatedly threatened to veto Republican bills and implement her agenda “without legislative approval” in recent weeks, increasing tensions with lawmakers and leaving her even further marginalized ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

You can see part of the 3TV segment below:

Laurie Roberts: Katie Hobbs will veto 2,000+ bills next year

PHOENIX — Three local political journalists predicted Friday that Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs might need more than one veto pen during the upcoming legislative session.

Arizona PBS host Ted Simons asked his guests during the most recent taping of “Arizona Horizon” how many vetoes they believe Hobbs will issue in 2023, and the answers suggest a contentious battle brewing between the governor-elect and Republican lawmakers:

  • Laurie Roberts, columnist at the Arizona Republic: “Two-thousand-one-hundred-and-forty-three. The record, I believe, is Janet Napolitano, the Democratic governor who had a Republican legislature, and I think her record was 58, so I’m going to go with 59 just because Hobbs is going to want to do things just a little better.”

  • Jeremy Duda, reporter at Axios Phoenix: “I’m going to say 30, which would be more than any governor except for Napolitano — she had three years, I believe, that exceeded that — but I think because the Republicans’ majorities are so narrow they might have some trouble getting some of these bills to her desk in the first place.”

  • Howie Fischer, reporter at Capitol Media Services: “I’m more in line with Jeremy in the sense that I think they’re going to try to figure out: ‘How do we work with her rather than just sending things to her for the sake of her vetoing it?’ Even if there are going to be some election bills, I think it’s going to be more in the neighborhood of two dozen.”

Hobbs appears ready to meet their predictions. The Democrat has threatened on several occasions since the November election to veto Republican bills and impose her policy agenda “without legislative approval,” both of which have contributed to increased tensions with the state legislature.

Christine Jones, the former general counsel and executive vice president at GoDaddy, warned on television earlier this month that Hobbs should avoid gaining a reputation as “the ‘no’ governor,” which is “not helpful” to anyone.

Christine Jones: Being governor “really tricky for somebody” like Katie Hobbs “who’s never been in charge”

PHOENIX — Business executive Christine Jones said Sunday that running state government will be “really tricky for somebody” like Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs who has “never been in charge.”

12 News anchor Brahm Resnik noted on this week’s “Sunday Square Off” that there has been “an open question” floating around the capitol “about Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs’s skills … as the state’s chief executive” and whether she can adequately perform the duties of the job.

Jones, the former general counsel and executive vice president at GoDaddy, said, “It’s really tricky for somebody who’s never been in charge or the CEO of this massive of an organization, so I think she really is going to have to rely on leadership in the house and the senate to come around her and support whatever policy agenda she has.”

Jones warned that “vetoing is not helpful” and that Hobbs should avoid becoming “known as the ‘no’ governor.”

However, the Democrat already has threatened to veto Republican bills and impose her policy agenda “without legislative approval.” One Arizona state senator, J.D. Mesnard, accused Hobbs earlier this month of “punching us in the face” ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

Katie Hobbs looking to implement agenda “without legislative approval”

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs acknowledged Friday that she is seeking to implement her policy agenda “without legislative approval” upon taking office.

Hobbs told Jeremy Duda during an interview with Axios Phoenix that she is “looking at the limits of executive authority and what we can do with executive orders” in order to bypass the Republican-led state legislature, noting that “there’s lines in the sand that we won’t compromise on.”

The Democrat has staked out an antagonistic posture toward Arizona’s elected lawmakers since the November election, with members already accusing her of “punching us in the face” in order to “excite her base.” Hobbs also has threatened that she “won’t hesitate” to veto Republican bills ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

Katie Hobbs complains J.D. Mesnard being “unfair” with “showdown” comment

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs criticized an Arizona state senator last week for being “unfair” to her ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

During a Wednesday interview with Arizona PBS, Hobbs was asked about Republican lawmakers “saying that you’re deliberately setting up showdowns” by setting unrealistic expectations. The Democrat responded, “I think that’s unfair for them to say that before we even start.”

Anchor Ted Simons was referring to a recent comment from J.D. Mesnard, who represents legislative district 17, accusing Hobbs of “punching us in the face” in order to “excite her base.” Mesnard’s remark came amid the governor-elect back-tracking on her campaign pledge about funding for the Border Strike Force.

Hobbs also told Simons that “I absolutely intend to” use the veto pen as leverage against state legislators. She similarly gloated during a series of post-election interviews that “I won’t hesitate” to do so in order to stop Republican bills in their tracks.

Katie Hobbs threatens to veto Republican bills ahead of upcoming legislative session: “I won’t hesitate”

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs gloated during a series of post-election interviews that she plans to use her veto pen to stop Republican bills in their tracks.

During an interview with Fox 10 Phoenix’s Steve Nielsen on November 21, Hobbs said that any legislation she views as “political stunts” will not be tolerated and declared that “the veto pen is a powerful negotiating tool.” She repeated the line almost verbatim during an interview with KTAR’s Barry Markson on November 23, bragging that “the veto pen is a powerful negotiating tool and I won’t hesitate to use it.”

Hobbs initially pledged that she would “work with both Republicans and Democrats,” but her antagonistic posturing toward the state legislature in the following days drew widespread criticism, including from Senator J.D. Mesnard, who warned that “it’s going to be a long four years” for the Democrat if she continues “punching us in the face.”

Hobbs recently named several of her campaign donors to her transition team and as her chief of staff.

J.D. Mesnard: “It’s going to be a long four years” if Katie Hobbs keeps “deliberately” antagonizing legislators

PHOENIX — An Arizona state senator criticized Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs for “deliberately” antagonizing lawmakers ahead of the 2023 legislative session.

J.D. Mesnard, who represents legislative district 17, accused Hobbs of “punching us in the face” in order to “excite her base” by setting up a public “showdown” with Republicans. The senator’s comment came after Hobbs admitted that she is “taking a hard look” at defunding the Border Strike Force despite her campaign pledge to the contrary. “If that’s her opening move, it’s going to be a long four years,” Mesnard told the Arizona Republic on November 21.

Hobbs also announced one week earlier that “I will do everything in my power” to repeal Arizona’s restrictions on abortion by calling a special session of the legislature, even though Republicans maintain majorities in both chambers.