PHOENIX — A prominent national organization that advocates for acceptance and equality singled out Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers for her extremist views.
“We’ve just released an analysis of extremist rhetoric in the elections this year, and Wendy Rogers is at the top of that list,” said Tammy Gillies, Anti-Defamation League Regional Director for San Diego and Phoenix.
The analysis comes after Rogers recently shared a message on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that stated, “Celebrate Lee-Jackson Day.”
The tweet contains photos of confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee who fought against the Union and to preserve slavery.
Rogers represents legislative District 6, which includes parts of four counties in the central and northern portions of Arizona.
She is a Vice-Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chair of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Study Committee.
Rogers did not respond to requests by 12 News for an interview.
The first-time state lawmaker routinely rails on social media against what she calls “cancel culture” with incendiary tweets that appear intended to shock.
“Merry Christmas to Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the Washington Redskins, and the Land O Lakes Indian – all whom the racist communists have cancelled,” Rogers wrote on December 25.
Rogers also appears on internet shows affiliated with alleged White Nationalist and anti-Semitic hosts and has referenced in her tweets being “pure blood.”
On more than one occasion, Rogers described being “replaced and invaded” by illegal immigrants. It is a reference to what hate rhetoric experts call the “Great Replacement Myth.”
“Words matter,” Gillies said. “And words motivate people. Anti-Semitic tropes and hateful language can lead to actual physical violence, and we’ve seen that over and over again.”
Go to the ADL website to read their "Extremism on the Ballot in 2022" article.
The timing of Rogers’ tweets also appears to have meaning.
On December 14th, 2020, just two hours before Arizona’s slate of presidential electors cast their votes for Joe Biden, Rogers tweeted simply, “Buy more ammo.”
Rogers peddled false conspiracy theories about the elections. She falsely blamed Antifa for the insurrection. She blamed Congress for the death of one of the Capitol rioters.
She has publicly stated she’s a proud member of the Oath Keepers militia. Its founder was indicted for sedition against the U.S. for his role in the Capitol riot and 11 other members face related charges.
The progressive policy group Progress Arizona called on Rogers and six other legislators to be banned from the Arizona legislature last year for their support of the Stop the Steal movement.
12 News spoke briefly to Rogers in October. A reporter asked her about comments by former President George W. Bush when he appeared to compare some of the Capitol rioters to terrorists.
“That’s unfortunate wording. I would never call my fellow countrymen that,” Rogers said.
According to the ADL, Rogers represents a growing number of extremist politicians enjoying political success nationwide. She raised nearly $2.5 million last year, far more than any other state lawmaker.
12 News asked Gov. Doug Ducey about Rogers’ MLK Day tweet and her rhetoric overall.
“I’m not going to comment on a Tweet,” Ducey said. “I believe in the First Amendment. And I think the voters hold elected leaders accountable.”
A political action committee connected to Ducey spent a half-million dollars to help get Rogers elected during the last election cycle.
Senate President Karen Fann declined to comment for this story.
RELATED: We asked Arizona lawmakers about who won the 2020 presidential election. Here are their answers.
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