GOP PCs are censuring their lawmakers

Rep. Joe Chaplik, R-Scottsdale, censured despite him voting to not expel Liz Harris.|| YouTube

Jakob Thorington 

Arizona Capitol Times

A recent trend is growing among Arizona Republican precinct committees of censuring their state elected Republicans after the expulsion of a former Republican lawmaker.

Since former Rep. Liz Harris was expelled from the House on April 12, several Republican precinct committees have adopted resolutions that have censured the 18 Republican legislators who voted to expel Harris.

Most recently was Legislative District 3 Republicans in northern Maricopa County, who adopted their resolution on May 24. The committee also censured Rep. Joe Chaplik, R-Scottsdale, despite him voting to not expel Harris.

A news release from the LD3 Republican Committee stated Chaplik was censured because Chaplik found Harris guilty of breaking House rules and he “improperly admitted evidence per his Ethics Committee Report.” Chaplik, the House Ethics Committee chairman who represents LD3, allowed screenshots of a text conversation involving Harris that were anonymously given to the House to be used as evidence.

The House is not a court of law, and rules of what can be used as evidence and what the burden of proof is to find a member violated House rules is up to House members to decide.

LD3 precinct committeemen also censured Chaplik because he has blocked several of his own PCs and constituents on social media. Since Harris’ ethics hearing, Chaplik has engaged with several people on social media defending his role in the ethics process and he said in a statement on April 18 that the decision to expel Harris was demanded by House leadership.

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June 2023