Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Secretly Sought the Censorship of Political Critics

Office of the Governor

Various news sites are now reporting that Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) is the latest politician who has sought blatant censorship of political critics by social media companies. Shortly before the 2020 election (when many of us were writing about the expanding censorship calls by Democratic politicians), Hobbs allegedly sought to silence her critics on Twitter. Many were criticizing 2017 posts in which she claimed former President Donald Trump had a “neo-nazi base.” Hobbs considered such criticism to be intolerable and demanded that these citizens be censored.

A conservative site reported that Hobbs said Trump had a “neo-nazi base” while she was serving as a Democrat state senator in 2017. Hobbs’ tweet echoed criticism that Trump praised Neo-Nazi rioters in Charlottesville. (Trump has denied that allegation and pointed to various times after the riot where he condemned those extremist elements).

“The President is on the side of the freaking Nazis. Don’t just say stuff – DO SOMETHING,” she added.

She added: “It took you a day and a half to figure this out? Also if you’re not condemning @POTUS for not condemning nazis, it’s just words.”


It now turns out that Hobbs was irate at being criticized and reached out to Twitter to censor her critics. Fox News reported: 

On Nov. 13, 2020, Hobbs emailed Twitter — using her official Arizona secretary of state email — asking the support team to take action against her online trolls.

Twitter asked for more information and for Hobbs to provide examples for her request, which Hobbs was unable to provide.

Hobbs responded that she was being harassed and abused by the “alt-right.” She added

“I am not sure I can provide the information you are asking for because I reported and then blocked multiple users at the same time,. The alt-right got a hold of a 3-year-old tweet on my account and have been sending harassing, abusive, and threatening tweets and direct messages for the last 2 days.”

That message is chilling in a number of respects. First, it is clearly an abuse of her office to be used for the purposes of censorship of political critics. Second, she admits that she blocked the critics but still wants the company to prevent others from hearing such views. Third, she does not allege that the story is false and admits that it was her tweet. She simply does not want people talking about it.

It is a raw and unambiguous effort of a high-ranking official to censor political speech. It is also an example of what I have called “censorship by surrogate.” Hobbs secretly sought to deny free speech to citizens through allies in these social media companies. The Arizona legislature should investigate these allegations and hold Hobbs accountable for any attack on political speech.

172 thoughts on “Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Secretly Sought the Censorship of Political Critics”

  1. Jonathan: So what are your sources for your attack on AZ Gov. Katie Hobbs? Your sponsor Fox and Breitbart. Breitbart? Really? Breitbart is the least reliable source for factual information–the far-right website once run by Steve Bannon. Breitbart is at the top of the list of @realDonald Trump retweets. That tells us all we need to know. You now have descended into the closed eco-system of right-wing fantasies and paranoid conspiracy theories.

    And what is your complaint about Hobbs? She complained to Twitter about the neo-Nazi threats she was getting from Trump supporters. Adam Schiff also complained about things he saw on Twitter about him. But Twitter took no action on Schiff’s complaints and I doubt Twitter treated Hobbs’ complaints differently because, unlike Elon Musk, they took “free speech” seriously.

    Apparently, voters in AZ were also concerned about the attacks on Hobbs by Trump and his supporters because they elected her the Dem Governor in 2020 over Kari Lake, the Trump endorsed candidate. Both Trump and Lake claimed she lost only because of massive election “fraud”. Lake lost every attempt to overturn the election results in AZ. But she is still an insane rabid MAGA supporter.

    So now you want the AZ legislature to hold Hobbs “accountable”? For what? For exercising HER 1st Amendment rights? What a strange and bizarre position for a guy who has continued to defend the “free speech” rights of DJT. But then Hobbs is a Democrat. It’s pretty clear. “Free speech” only applies to conservatives and supporters of DJT.

      1. JB: So. You mean the AZ Secy of State lost her 1st Amendment rights when she complained to Twitter? How delusional! DJT didn’t lose his 1st Amendment rights when he was on Twitter during the time he was the President. As Anonymous points out in his post: “Where was Turley’s demand for accountability when Republicans and the White House under Trump were demanding twitter & facebook to remove posts?” Public officials don’t give up their “free speech” rights when they enter office. Federal and state employees still have a protected 1st Amendment right to speak out on important issues. But you and JT think otherwise. Both of you are in loo-loo land!

    1. “For exercising HER 1st Amendment rights?”

      There is no such thing as the “right” to violate another person’s rights.

      But it is understandable that an Apologist for Leftist fascism would wish for there to be such a “right.”

  2. In some states like AZ, gently decoupling from Trump is necessary. Not doing so was Lake’s downfall. She could have won despite Democrat cheating if she had shown more independence. Independence is not repudiation (unless you’re Mitt Romney), and the Democrats can only cheat so much.

    Along the same lines, the GOP should never let elections become referendums on abortion. If a GOP candidate wants to strictly limit abortion, she should offer the voters a statewide referendum AFTER the election. That decouples abortion from the other issues she needs to get elected.

    It appears the GOP already followed this strategy in OH, MT, and several other red states. Republicans lost badly on abortion referendums, but they still held office. Remember, holding office still provides a brake on abortion. If Democrats win elections, many more babies die.

    On controversial cultural issues, pure democracy is the smarter strategy.

    This is the great weakness of the Democrats. They’ve become totalitarians who are reluctant to decouple their cultural agenda, and this Democrat tendency worries most swing voters. That’s why Democrats want censorship. Their radical base won’t tolerate democracy, and that’s an optics problem for them.

    Something to think about, friends.

  3. neo-nazi: diversity (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry), redistributive change, wicked solution, [ethnic] Springs. Dezis in democratic/dictatorial states, transnazis with global platforms. #HateLovesAbortion

  4. She’s a democrat prog/left soldier, why should anything untowards that she does surprise anyone? It’s how they operate, dishonestly and with a malevolence towards anything in their way in their blatant need for power.

    1. Skyraider, below Bob asks why Katie won. I like your response better than mine.

      “Censor your critics and refuse to debate your opponent. “

  5. Why does your story stop there JT? Did twitter/X cower in fear and delete everything Katie asked for? Did twitter/X go back to their cave and laugh as they drank their beer? Oooooh, Katie was threatened on twitter/X, has anyone been arrested for making threats? Oh yea, you now believe in free speech where there are no limits (except on your blog where you, like Elon, don’t certain things).

    Mr Trump tried to stay in office by spreading lies and getting people to do illegal activity. What illegal thing did Katie do?

    The voters of Arizona spoke, they voted for Katie, not mrs lake. I wonder why?

    1. “The voters of Arizona spoke, they voted for Katie, not mrs lake. I wonder why?”

      Hobbs had control over the voting process and wouldn’t step aside.

  6. The Arizona gubernatorial election was tainted by so many irregularities, it is impossible to have confidence Hobbs is the legitimate governor. She was one of the least likable or competent campaigners in US history. She was given a softball about the Hispanic community and could not formulate a coherent answer, to which the (liberal) interview was shocked and was like “is that really your answer?” I’ve been searching the Internet for the video but it has apparently been scrubbed. Bottom line: she is nothing but a poser.

    1. RE: “She was given a softball about the Hispanic community…” I recall that interview and that I was impressed with how everything verbal and visual about her codified into that of a featherbrained ditz with the creative intellectual capacity of a block of wood. I was looking at an image which screamed ” ’60’s sit-in activist” out of my memories of my college years. Nothing about her to this date has changed my impression of her. She, and others of that ilk, look, act, dress, and assume all mannerisms of individuals frozen in that time, still carrying the torch of progressive socioeconomic and political engineers.

  7. This column would be much more persuasive if someone had actually proofread it. “Various new sites” or “news sites”? “…she does not alleged that the story is false” – allege, not “alleged”. Not up to your usual standards, sir.

    1. That kind of snarky criticism from an anonymous source says more about its author than Professor Turley.

  8. Almost like gravity, the natural tendency of most politicians and most government officials is “Unconstitutional Authoritarianism” – a government officials exceeding the constitutional bounds of their authority.

    Both parties do it, from George W. Bush’s “Preemption Doctrine” that violated the 4th Amendment to Bush’s “Free Speech Zones” on taxpayer owned sidewalks.

    Yes Hobbs is wrong but Republicans do it also.

    1. The point is not to deny that both sides are tempted to censor. Rather, it is to acknowledge the reality that censorship is one of the left’s most widely used and successful tools. When you can’t persuade, make sure yours is the only voice heard.

      Also, the left loves “sustainability”, except when the sustainability of our country’s constitutional freedoms are concerned.

  9. How does a state like Arizona, sued by the Obama administration for its immigration policies, and continuing concerns, go from being a “Jan Brewer” state in 2014, to being a “Katie Hobbs” state in 2022, without so much as a single debate? How is that possible?

  10. The National Socialist Democrat WOKE Party aka American NAZIS.

    The 2nd Amendment will be the Remedy for tyranny.

    Martin Armstrong and Colonel Douglas Macgregor doubt we will have an election in 2024. I couldn’t agree more.

    Biden didn’t get 81 million legitimate legal votes.

    ATF recently started 700 million guns in circulation. FEMA has concluded only 3% will resist confiscation by force. Hmm 3% resisted the British and fought the Revolutionary War. Turns out if 3% is correct that’s 3% of 100 million plus gun owners. Out numbered and out gunned.

    Interestingly why would the ATF count and FEMA need to determine how many will resist? I think both of those numbers are higher.

    Say When

  11. Did she notify the FBI, or anybody in state or federal law enforcement, that she’d been threatened? I would think that if she took the “threats” seriously she’d want law enforcement to investigate.

  12. You should write about the progressive clowns that do not try to censor their political opponents.

    Maybe you do.

  13. There should be a criminal statute – maybe “Malfeasance in Office” under which elected officials who misuse their office for improper purposes can be prosecuted. Or how about that Oath of Office that they took – “…to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” – eve the parts that you don’t like! Trying to suppress individual rights is a clear violation of that oath.

    1. “There should be a criminal statute . . .”

      There already is. See Section 242 of Title 18, deprivation of rights under color of law.

  14. Ever wonder about individuals who remain dumbfounded that such evil as Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party were able to secure a mailed fist around the throats of the people of Germany who eventually paid so dearly for their psychofanaticism. Suggest that these clueless lemmings Google the Wannsee Conference and familiarize themselves with who was ‘in charge’. They were not the ‘braindead’ of German citizenry. Of the 15 officials who attended, 8 held academic doctorates. Can it only be those of us who were raised with or knew survivors of the Shoah, and the flag raised by George Santayana. who really understand and appreciate how and why ‘shit’ happens, and vote otherwise.

    1. The National Socialists’ biggest accomplishment in solidifying their power was to silence critics in the media, academics, and their political opposition. The rest was a piece of cake for them to achieve their evil vision.

  15. Professor Turley is one of the few people trying to save the First Amendment, his site is an excellent forum and his writings and appearances are always a favorite of mine…but I have a small nit to pick with him from this column. The good, dare I say great, Professor states that “a conservative site reported…” Professor, please stop with that unnecessary disclaimer regarding who reported A FACT, nobody ever, and I mean ever, calls a site a liberal site. It is language as a cudgel.

    As a side note to the above, please note how whenever a judge rules the way conservatives like they are called a “Trump appointed judge, never, and again I mean ever, do you see an Obama appointed judge or a Biden appointed judge. The current judge in the J6 case against Trump is a harsh, some might say viscous practitioner, of “justice” against people that appear in her court on J6 charges as well as the way she is dealing with Trump and yet I have never once seen her referred to as an Obama appointed judge.

    1. Well-observed — however I think the situation may be even worse than you describe. It seems to me that every time the Professor dares to assert that something Trump has done is not illegal, much less criminal, he always tries to find something WRONG that Trump has said or done — no matter how far off-topic he has to go to mention it — just to show his democrat or RINO friends that he’s not a Trump supporter.

      There may be instances of which I am unaware, but it seems to me that Turley has NEVER defended some position of Trump’s without simultaneously emphasizing some tangential or irrelevant issue where he disagrees with Trump. It’s almost as if whenever Turley finds himself writing something that could be construed as defending Trump or agreeing with Trump, a little bird pops up and whispers in his ear to remind him to mention some other issue about which he condemns Trump.

      If Turley intends to continue with this pattern of behavior (and there’s no indication that he intends to stop), it would save a LOT of time and gratuitous denunciation of Trump if he would just change the name of his website to “I’m not a Trump supporter” or “Trump is a hideous monster, but it’s not a crime to be a hideous monster.”

      Then he could get on with publishing his articles without all the repetitive, off-topic reminders that Trump isn’t a perfect human being.

      1. Perhaps the FBI is the little bird? Im sure they are terribly concerned about Professor Tuley posting Constitutionally literate (if typo-riddled) blog entries.


        1. Liked — LOL — especially the typo. Being the King of Typos, maybe Professor “Tuley” is a more apt name than you’d intended. Or, if intended, it was almost too clever for a sleepy Saturday morning.

            1. “he secretly thinks himself that” ? ? ?

              If it’s a secret, it’s one of the worst-kept secrets since Joetard’s foreign bank accounts.

    2. “…never, and again I mean ever, do you see an Obama appointed judge”

      I don’t know where you get your news, but I read Obama appointed Judge, Trump appointed judge, bush appointed judge, all the time.

      1. Bob, you are lying, you NEVER see “an Obama appointed judge” when referring to the judge in the J6 case against Trump. I am so sick of liberals telling us that our eyes and ears are wrong.

        Bob is the kind of guy that will say that there is not one ounce of evidence that Joe Biden profited off of his kids acts.

        1. That is because Bob never nows what he is talking about. He serves ignorance because that is all he has.

    3. Reading the good professor’s blogs, opinions, etc. Is one of my morning highlights. One of the other highlights is waking up! I appreciate Professor Turley taking the time to impart his knowledge of the law and sanity in the “day of rage” and the insanity therein. I know he has many jobs and I appreciate being able to read the blogs, typos and all. Strange, because I have OCD. I am conservative but trust what he says. Thank you, Professor for all you do. There may be typos in my comment because I have caught spellcheck changing some of my words.

  16. Hobbs is another “non-debator”, a typical Democrat that shuts down opposing views but can’t defend her own views. How many Democrats avoided, i.e. ducked, debates in the last few years? How can you defend an open border, ending our energy independence, boys can play in girls sports and enter their locker rooms, no-bail, stealing under $900 is ok, riots everywhere except at the Capital, inflation, no gas stoves, no gas cars, no gas water heaters and even no ice cream trucks. How do you defend closed schools? How do you defend banning church services and going to see a sick parent while you cheer on 10,000 people marches for BLM?

    Dems cant debate, they must shut down opposition by any means possible and we are seeing how it is happening. Heck we even almost had Scary Poppins telling us what we could say.

    1. HullBobby,
      Hobbs and her refusal to debate Lake, be in the same room with her is a perfect example.
      The question I have is what shenanigans will the Dems come up with to dodge Biden debating whomever the Republican candidate is?
      Or will they demand to have only one debate, only so many minutes long and all questions have to be vetted prior to the debate?

      1. Upstate, funny you should mention that, I was just thinking the other day that Biden will cop out of debating for two reasons, 1) he can’t think on his feet and 2) he can’t defend his policies.

    2. Hullbobby doesn’t “shut down debate. He may complain (like a lot of us do) about the constant trolling and viewpoints that border on braindead but none of that shuts down debate. I do wish we had a way to individually mute certain board “participants,” but the good professor has chosen to not implement that. So we deal with your kind on a continuing basis WITHOUT “shutting down debate.”

    3. “Anonymous”, how does complaining about you commenting 200 times on every issue shut down debate? It isn’t that I want you banned, I just want you ignored, shunned, embarrassed and mocked.

  17. Hobbs & Whitmer 2 dangerous fascists! Lake is entirely to blame for this moron to be Gov. How anybody in their right mind would consider Lake for Senator or V.P. Are probably being paid bybSoros.

      1. He paid you in bags of cocaine, per your employment contract, which you left behind at the White House.

    1. RE: “‘Lake is entirely to blame for this moron to be Gov.” So was Lake, NOT the Arizona VOTERS who supported her opponent, who was responsible for the election of a fascist to the Governor’s office. Therefore, it is Trump, not 80K braindead, who is entirely to blame for the moron Joe Biden, and HRC who is entirely to blame for the moron Trump, and Romney who is to blame for the moron Obama, and on, and on, and on.

      1. Republican Matt Salmon is responsible for Hobbs being governor. He failed to drop out before the Primary Ballots were printed, and robbed votes from Karrin Taylor Robson, who would have defeated the abrasive nutty Kari Lake in the primary. He dropped out after his campaign debts were paid for him. Lake was a poor caustic candidate and many who would have voted for Robson voted for Hobbs because Lake scared heck out of them. Many voters would like to know who paid Salmon’s campaign debts to drop out.

  18. remember the Nazis gained power by complaining about the power of the Jews. The Democrat Fascists…have the same traits …accuse others of WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

    Fight while you can….the DOJ, IRS, FBI, most of the judiciary, etc are 100% corrupt for Democrats

  19. Hobbs responded that she was being harassed and abused by the “alt-right.”

    Gosh, her statements have all the markings of being a DNC paid troll on Res Ipsa!

    1. Estovir,
      They are all on the same slack channel passing around the same talking points.
      Would anyone be surprised if she sent a email to the good professor, demanding all comments about her be deleted?

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