Arizona State Rep. Says He is Willing to Introduce Legislation to Defund PBS Following the Katie Hobbs Interview Controversy

Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh said that he would sponsor legislation that would cut off taxpayer funding from Arizona PBS after Wednesday's blunder that involved an interview for the governor race.

Democrat Katie Hobbs agreed to have a solo interview with the TV station next week without the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission. According to RedState, the CEC was dissuaded by the decision and postponed their meeting with Republican Kari Lake set for Wednesday evening. The CEC announced they would delay Lake's show and instead organize it with a different network.

The primary goal of Wednesday evening's Arizona PBS event was a debate between Hobbs and Lake. However, Hobbs did not want to take part.

“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 an official 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 also said.

This comes after RedState asked Lake during a press conference on Wednesday if she would consider removing taxpayer funding from the station. PBS receives its revenue from various sources, including subscriptions, memberships, and public funds, as well as 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 replied.

“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 continued.

As the announcement of Kavanagh's plan to introduce the bill became known to the public, Lake tweeted: “Can't wait to sign this,” in the event that she is elected governor.

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