Journalists were not permitted to witness the inauguration of Katie Hobbs as Governor of Arizona on Monday, in a surprising decision.
Stacey Barchenger, a local journalist, reported that only one photographer from the Associated Press was granted access to the inauguration ceremony of Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, at the Arizona state Capitol. Other reporters were required to view the event through a live stream, while media personnel were present outside the event.
Laurie Roberts, a columnist for The Arizona Republic, tweeted that Katie Hobbs, the 24th Governor of Arizona, made the decision to keep the public's business private in her first official act as Governor. Roberts expressed that this was not a good start.
New year, new leadership in Arizona, new stakeouts because reporters aren’t allowed into the 10 a.m. swearing in of incoming Gov. @katiehobbs. Here’s @Adrian_Fontes arriving for the joint swearing in. pic.twitter.com/ArWf8aWWfE
— Stacey Barchenger (@sbarchenger) January 2, 2023
Laurie Roberts, a columnist, pointed out that the restricted access to the inauguration ceremonies of Katie Hobbs as Governor of Arizona, Adrian Fontes as Secretary of State, and Kris Mayes as Attorney General deprived reporters of the chance to ask questions of these officials who are now leading the state.
Roberts also mentioned that Monday was a state holiday, and that Hobbs would participate in a ceremonial inauguration on Thursday. However, Roberts pointed out that Hobbs "decided to take the public's business private" in her first official act, which was part of a celebratory event funded by undisclosed donors.
An online video that garnered significant attention showed Hobbs laughing while taking the oath of office, which prompted criticism from the campaign of Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. Lake, along with other Republican candidates running for statewide office in Arizona, has taken legal action to contest her loss in the 2022 election.
The Kari Lake War Room tweeted, "This is one of the darkest moments in the history of Arizona. An illegitimate 'Governor' laughing in the face of our constitution. But it's always darkest before the dawn. We will expose this fraud for the world to see. Justice is coming. [Hobbs] won't be laughing then."
During her swearing-in ceremony, @katiehobbs laughed and giggled throughout what was supposed to be a dignified process, and refused to say that she would support our constitution.
Everyone enjoy your Banana Republic.
And pray that a brave judge puts an end to this charade. https://t.co/XLoeBSLPSG
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) January 2, 2023
Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Legal Affairs at the Goldwater Institute, defended Hobbs, stating that the full video shows that Hobbs "was feeling emotional & made a little joke to her mother (holding the Bible) about how they were both getting choked up."
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