In a stunning move, reporters were not allowed to be in attendance to cover the inauguration of Katie Hobbs as governor of Arizona on Monday.
According to local reporter Stacey Barchenger, only a single photographer from the Associated Press was allowed into the room at the state Capitol to cover the inauguration of the Democrat governor. Other reporters were directed to watch the event via live stream, and media was present outside the event.
Laurie Roberts, a columnist for The Arizona Republic, tweeted, "In her first official act as Arizona's 24th governor, Katie Hobbs decided to take the public's business private. Not a great 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
As Roberts noted in a column, the restricted access to the inauguration of Katie Hobbs as governor of Arizona, as well as the inaugurations of Democrats Adrian Fontes as secretary of state and Kris Mayes as attorney general, deprived reporters of the opportunity to ask questions of these officials who are now leading the state.
Laurie Roberts also mentioned that Monday was a state holiday and that Hobbs will participate in a ceremonial inauguration on Thursday. However, she 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 secret donors.
A clip that gained widespread attention online showed Hobbs laughing while taking the oath of office, prompting a rebuke from the campaign of Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. Lake, like other GOP candidates running for statewide office in Arizona, has gone to court to challenge her loss in the 2022 election.
“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,” tweeted the Kari Lake War Room.
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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