Update: Arizona State Rep. Announces He'll Sponsor Legislation to Defund PBS After Katie Hobbs Interview Controversy

Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh said he plans to introduce legislation to cut off Arizona PBS from taxpayer funding, following Wednesday’s debacle involving an interview for the gubernatorial race.


Democrat Katie Hobbs agreed to do a one-on-one interview with the television station next week, separate from the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission. As RedState reported, the CEC was snubbed by the decision and backed out of their town hall with Republican Kari Lake scheduled Wednesday night. The CEC said they would postpone Lake’s event and hold it with another network.

The original intention of Wednesday night’s Arizona PBS event was a debate between Hobbs and Lake, but Hobbs refused to participate.

“It would be inappropriate for the state to continue its relationship with AZPBS, given its sabotaging of the clean election debates that were approved by the voters. The clean election results are clear If a candidate refuses to debate, their opponent (who is willing to debate) is eligible to have a 30-minute question and answer session,” Kavanagh said in a statement.

“The terrible decision by the heads of Arizona PBS, if uncorrected, will encourage future clean elections candidates to avoid engaging in a debate and deprive voters of information they need to make their voting decisions,” he added.


This development comes after RedState asked Lake at a press conference on Wednesday if she would support divesting taxpayer funding from the station, which gets its revenue from a variety of sources such as subscriptions, memberships, and public funding, including from Arizona State University.

“Well, seeing as how they appear to be an arm of the Democrat Party, I think we need to look at it. This is not bipartisan. This is biased. This is absolutely biased,” Lake said.

“Katie Hobbs and her refusal to appear on the debate stage with me pretty much should’ve shut down her ability to even make it on the air at this station. But yet, they are so obviously in the tank for her that they’re giving her an opportunity to appear on this stage. That’s wrong. And we should look at that, we really should,” she added.

When the news of Kavanagh’s plan to introduce the legislation became public, Lake tweeted: “Can’t wait to sign this,” if she’s elected governor. 

Full disclosure: Cameron Arcand is a student at Arizona State University. 


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos