Arizona Progressives Seek to Censure Sinema for 'Disappointing' Voting Record

'We want Democrats to vote like Democrats'

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema/ Getty Images
September 17, 2019

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) is facing a censure vote from the Progressive Caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party, due to her support for some of President Donald Trump's nominees.

Sinema, who attempted to position herself as a moderate during her three terms in the House of Representatives, supported Trump's agenda 54 percent of the time while serving in the House. She has opposed him 81 percent of the time since she was sworn into her new position in January, according to the Arizona Republic.

The resolution, which will be considered by the Democratic state committeemen during the Arizona Democratic Party’s quarterly meeting Saturday, cites a pair of Sinema's confirmation votes. They did not support her confirmation votes for William Barr as U.S. attorney general and for David Bernhardt as secretary of the interior. They were also annoyed by her resistance to join Democrats in trying to reinstate "net neutrality" rules.

Dan O'Neal, the state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America, told the Arizona Republic he supports Sinema, but he said he wants her to move back toward the left to "vote like Democrats and not Republicans."

"Here’s the thing: We really support Kyrsten Sinema, we want her to succeed, we want her to be the best senator in the country," O’Neal said. "But the way she is voting is really disappointing. We want Democrats to vote like Democrats and not Republicans. "

While Sinema's spokesman declined to comment, Sinema has been pressed about not being partisan enough in previous interviews and brushed aside those concerns.

"As everyone knows, I am 100 percent focused on the needs of everyday Arizonans, and I refuse to be distracted by the pettiness and the partisanship that has invaded Washington," Sinema said during a July interview. "I promised Arizonans that I would never be a part of that typical Washington chaos and drama, and I'm going to continue to stay focused, just like a laser, on the stuff that actually matters to the people in their everyday lives."

Arizona Democratic Party chairwoman Felecia Rotellini told the Arizona Republic she doesn't believe the censure vote will reflect negatively on the Democratic Party.

"We are a very diverse group and that means diversity of thought, as well," Rotellini said. "I don’t think it reflects poorly on the party at all, I don’t think it’s an indication of a fracture. I think it’s an indication of a group of people who think differently and have a different perspective on the same topic."