Five members of her veteran advisory committee just quit, calling the Arizona senator a “principal obstacle to progress.”
For the life of me, I could not tell you what first-term Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is doing with her career these days. There are some extremely solid guesses floating out there, but ultimately, no one can really say for sure. Fellow Democratic obstructionist Joe Manchin might be screwing up the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda just as much as she is, but at least he’s able to articulate just why he’s gutting the White House’s signature domestic policy push. Sinema, on the other hand, seems perfectly content to simply toss various grenades into the legislative works, and then jet off to Europe for a fancy-schmancy fundraiser while the rest of the Democrats scratch their heads at what the hell sort of game — if any? — she’s playing at.
That head-scratching may be coming to an end though, as the frustration within Sinema’s own camp has grown to the point where members of her advisory committee feel compelled to burn their bridges with the senator on their way out the door.
“You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people,” a group of five military veterans serving as volunteer advisers to Sinema have stated in a blistering rebuke of their former political patron, first obtained on Thursday by The New York Times, and later debuted in a political ad posted to YouTube.
The statement and accompanying ad comes as part of a public push against Sinema by Common Defense, an advocacy group that bills itself as the “largest grassroots membership organization of progressive veterans.” According to the Times, all five of the signatories to the statement have been with Sinema since 2019, when she added them to her 20-person committee to advise her on working with the military and veteran community in Arizona.
“We feel we are being used as window dressing for your own image,” Air Force veteran Sylvia González Andersh explains in the opening moments of the new ad.
“Nobody knows what she is thinking because she doesn’t tell anybody anything,” Andersh explained to the Times. “It’s very sad to think that someone who you worked for that hard to get elected is not even willing to listen.”
It’s a criticism that echoes what a group of immigration advocates said when they confronted Sinema outside her classroom at Arizona State University earlier this month. Video of that incident quickly went viral among bad faith conservative commentators eager to bolster the senator’s anti-Biden actions. “We need to hold you accountable to what you told us — what you promised us that you were going to pass when we knocked on doors for you,” one activist said at one point during that confrontation.
That palpable sense of frustration seems to animate much of the pushback against Sinema’s obstinate obstructionism and transparent willingness to kowtow to big money special interest groups, despite campaign promises to the contrary.
In a statement to the Times, Simena thanked the five departing members of her advisory committee “for their service” and promised she would “continue working every day to deliver for Arizona’s veterans who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and secure.”
Because if Sinema has proven anything during her short time in office, it’s that Arizonans can trust her when it comes to doing what she says she will, right?