By Alexander Lomax
Heavy is the head that wears the crown for Governor Katie Hobbs. After a year of upheaval and obstructionism by Republicans writ large, a year where Jake Hoffman was doing everything in his power to deny her her department heads, she recently took the unprecedented (at least within this millennium) route of dropping all of her director nominees from consideration. Instead, with a clever little end-around move, she gave them new titles which allowed them to take their seats in their respective departments (read the story here).
But Republicans won’t allow her any good things. Along with the typical cries of foul play (even though it was more a matter of clever play), Hobbs now has an entirely new enemy that is refusing her the ability to competently do her job, this time in the form of the state treasurer.
Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee is now refusing to recognize the Directors-turned-Executive Deputy Directors of the two state agencies that would have oversight duties over the Treasurer’s office. Ostensibly, this means that there is precious little oversight over the entity that invests $30 billion in taxpayer’s dollars.
It is worth noting that at least according to the story, Yee had absolutely nothing to say about the experience levels of the nominees, nor their temperament. It was simply the procedural move that is prompting her to reject them. So while she claims that Hobbs broke the rules (or at least the generally accepted procedures), she will of course not say anything about Senator Hoffman refusing to bring these nominees to a vote.
It is also worth noting that Yee was about to vacate her Treasurer’s seat and run for Governor in 2022, only to bow out early when it was clear that her support was in the single digits. Is she doing this out of sour grapes? Perhaps, but considering that Kari Lake is now running for the US Senate, it is much more likely that she is eyeing another run for Governor in the 2026 election cycle. Doing what she can to soften up Hobbs will almost certainly play well with the Republican voting base.
Meanwhile, what the average constituent wants is a competently and reasonably run government, generally devoid of the sort of political games that only help those at the top. In a bit of a twisted version of the concept of “starving the beast” of government, this seems to be a game of choking out the competency of government, and all of us lose as a result…except for perhaps those on the GOP’s political ladder.