Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers Is Hiding Something, Says Senator Martin Quezada

Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers is no stranger to ranting about securing the border, but a recent Phoenix New Times a review of his personal communications revealed that the word “border” has not once appeared in any of his emails, text messages or direct social media messages since taking office.

On her website, she says there is a “major crisis on the border” and her constituents are crying out for change. Senate lawyers revealed that was not the case.

More than 700 miles of towering steel markers delineate part of the US-Mexico border.

A higher percentage of Arizona’s border with Mexico is fenced than any of the other three southwestern border states of California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Republicans have sought to wall off Arizona’s entire 373-mile border with its international neighbor to the south since Pat Buchanan, President Ronald Reagan’s communications chief, launched his first presidential bid in 1992. an invasion of immigrants was at the forefront of his campaign.

Reagan rejected building a fence along the US border with Mexico in 1980.

Although Buchanan did not make it past the primary, he is credited with embracing border security in the modern GOP platform.

That legacy was fostered in large part by former President Donald Trump, who took a particular interest in the Grand Canyon State and rallied Arizonans behind the fear of invasion. The only solution, he said, was a continued barricade from Douglas to San Luis.

In late February, Arizona lawmakers approved legislation that would channel $700 million in state money to complete the job.

The bill was sponsored by Rogers, a Trump darling who represents Coconino, Yavapai, Navajo and Gila counties in District 6.

Trump, who accused Democrats of being “complicit in all killings by illegal immigrants” in a 2018 campaign ad, reiterated his promise to “finish the wall” until the bitter end of his presidency of four years in January 2021.

His attempt ended with just 52 miles of new wall completed along the 2,000-mile border that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

Now Rogers picks up where he left off.

“This really follows the hyper-polarization and additional radical extremism of the Republican Party that has kicked into high gear since Trump was elected,” said his colleague, State Senator Martín Quezada, a Democrat of Maryvale. new times. “They appeal to a self-admitted radical voter base. It became their strategy.

But unlike the spaces between the massive slats of the border wall that offer a glimpse of the sprawling landscape of the Sonoran Desert beyond, Rogers isn’t quite as transparent.

A mystery is brewing in his inbox.

On Twitter, the first-term Flagstaff senator called for U.S. tanks on the border, but on official communications channels she remained mum on the $700 million project.

the new times filed for public registration with Pete Galvan, Arizona Senate Rules Associate Prosecutor, looking for emails, text messages or direct messages on social media containing the word “border” since the start of Rogers’ tenure in January 2021.

“After a careful and extensive search of the records, the Senate has not identified any records in its possession that meet your request,” Galvan said.

Galvan confirmed that no records were excluded or removed from the request.

The Arizona Senate retains those records in perpetuity, he also confirmed.

But Rogers tweeted about the border more than 50 times since she took office. Ten times she used the website to call for a military presence on the border.

“I want to see tanks on our border,” Rogers said in December. “A wall and tanks.”

That the longtime lawmaker has never communicated the word “border” via email, text message or direct message on social media since taking office is beyond belief.

“If there’s nothing there, there’s nothing there,” said Michael Bloom, a Tucson-based public records attorney. “But I don’t know if I would believe him.”

Rogers did not respond directly to questions from new times.

Quezada said he receives 10 to 15 emails a day containing the word ‘border’, whether from mailing lists, voter concerns or discussions with colleagues about legislation in the process. .

“The fact that it hasn’t been there for a while tells me that this isn’t an honest response to that request,” he said.

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State Senator Martín Quezada talks to supporters during a campaign rally with US Senator Bernie Sanders for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Central High School in Phoenix.

Skidmore Gage

Quezada isn’t totally shocked, however.

“There’s a culture there that they don’t believe that any of their work shouldn’t be subject to inspection,” Quezada said. “There’s definitely an attitude that the Open Media Act shouldn’t apply to them. They fend off requests for public records in all sorts of ways.

But Rogers didn’t push back this time.

And it wouldn’t matter if she talked about her plans for a full-scale rampart defended by American tanks on a personal cell phone or with private emails or social media accounts, according to Dan Barr, a Phoenix First Amendment lawyer.

Whether she uses a private or private account, it’s still a public record to the letter of the law.

“The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld this repeatedly,” Barr said. “When you juxtapose the facts with what they claim, it’s impossible to believe that not a single email contains the word ‘border’.”

Rogers has repeatedly asserted that defending the borders is a top concern for his constituents.

But this assertion is belied by the absence of any record of communication communicated to new times. Rogers never received any online or telephone correspondence from constituents regarding the border.

“While it’s true that voters are calling for this, they’re having a hard time telling the truth,” Barr said. “She says she does what her constituents ask, but it’s apparently true that her constituents don’t ask.”

Rogers’ official public accounts may have remained silent, but the online public space tells a different story.

roger begged his constituents to participate in an organized militia patrol on Arizona’s border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California, raising serious legal issues.

Anyone who detains migrants at the border can be charged with assault, forcible confinement, kidnapping, impersonating a law enforcement officer and a host of other crimes if they do not These are not US Customs and Border Protection agents.

US law allows undocumented migrants to enter the country and seek asylum or other forms of humanitarian assistance.

Roger too accused Holocaust survivor George Soros and unnamed Mexican drug cartels for trying to “attack” his recent bill, which is being considered by the Arizona House of Representatives. Another shift to the party line is likely.

The bill will not cross Governor Doug Ducey’s desk. If passed in the House again, it would be part of a larger, more comprehensive budget bill.

Quezada and many of his fellow Democrats in the Arizona Senate never got a push from Rogers over his own sponsored legislation. No conversation, no contribution, no debate outside the Senate floor.

Republican collaboration with opponents across the aisle is at an all-time low, Quezada said.

“They demonized us as human beings and portrayed us as the enemy of the country,” he said. “Wendy Rogers represents the radical of the radical right. I don’t think anyone has deep political conversations because of their radical ideas and personality.