The video of Representative David Stringer’s comments on immigration was posted on Facebook, and since then, the reactions have been strong and impassioned.
The latest comes from the Arizona Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard:
Speaker Mesnard Releases Statement on Comments by Representative David Stringer
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizona Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today released the following statement in response to comments made by Representative David Stringer (R-1):
“I completely disagree that immigration poses a threat to the United States. We are a nation of immigrants – we have been since before our founding and will continue to be as long as our country remains a beacon of freedom and opportunity around the world. While some find challenge in diversity, I believe that any challenge makes us better for it.”
“Ultimately, Representative Stringer’s future in the Legislature will be up to him and the voters of District 1. In the meantime, I am dissolving the Ad Hoc Study Committee on Criminal Justice Reform, which Representative Stringer had been chairing. This does not mean that the discussion about criminal justice reform is over, as I know there is strong bipartisan interest to look at the issue, and I thank the members for being willing to serve on this committee. However, so as to avoid compromising the issue, future work will not take place in the form of this committee.”
Many people, including the Chairman of the Republican Party, Jonathan Lines and Governor Doug Ducey have called for Stringer’s resignation from the House. Locally, Dr. Mark Sensmeier, Chairman of the Yavapai County Republicans responded on Facebook by saying, "Any attempt to categorize ANY immigrant as a 'good immigrant' or 'bad immigrant' on the basis of their race or ethnicity is offensive to me, and should be offensive to ALL Americans. This kind of thinking is antithetical to the very principles on which this nation was founded. It is "liberty and justice for ALL", not "liberty and justice for all white people". There is no room for this attitude in the Republican Party, or any party for that matter."
Note from the Editor:
In full disclosure, Representative Stringer is a partner in Specialized Publishing, the parent company of Prescott eNews. However, he has no input in the editorial content of this publication. Comments he makes on the campaign trail are comments he makes for himself.
We will not try to defend or justify his comments in this forum. We will defend his right to say what he wants - it’s a matter of free speech. He will reap the good and bad consequences of his words on his own.
As for asking for his resignation? That seems premature. There is a primary election in August. After that, there is a general election in November. The voters will decide whether he should continue representing LD1 or not. Taking away their right to vote and weigh in on the entirety of Representative Stringer’s contribution in the legislature, not just a few seconds of a video, is not fair to anyone.
So, let the campaign continue. Have the conversation. And then, let the voters be heard.
In that light, we have found a copy of his entire presentation to the Men’s Republican Forum, which was saved by David Shapira. It is only appropriate that Stringer's comments be heard in full context before being judged.