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Aides say Sinema didn’t interact with guests at wedding who wore ‘disrespectful and racist costumes’
Aides for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) say that she did not interact with white guests at a wedding who came dressed in Native American garb.
The moderate senator officiated the wedding for her friends last weekend.
“Senator Sinema officiated a personal friend’s wedding at which a small group of activists protested during the private ceremony,” Sinema spokesperson Hannah Hurley said in an email to Tucson.com. “While the Senator knows the bride and groom, she does not know and did not interact with the wedding guests who wore disrespectful and racist costumes to the ceremony, and she strongly condemns such behavior.”
Protesters demonstrated outside of the wedding venue in Bisbee, Ariz., condemning Sinema for her opposition to certain measures in Democrats’ social spending bill. According to Tucson.com, the protesters quieted down during the actual ceremony after the bride’s mother tearfully pleaded with them to not ruin her daughter’s wedding.
In video taken by protesters, demonstrators carried signs reading “Kyr$ten Sinema is a corporate $chill” and “Sinema Sell-Out.” They also intermittently chanted “Shame!” outside the venue.
In the video, two guests could be seen wearing Native American headdresses, with one protester exclaiming the costumes were “racist as hell.”
One woman who appeared to be the bride, was seen saying, “I really wish I could enjoy my wedding without you ruining it.”
Through an opening in the doors of the venue, Sinema could be seen casually dancing next to an individual dressed as an inflatable unicorn while a protester angrily shouted at her to “stop taking corporate money.” Sinema appeared to give no indication that she could hear the man’s criticism.
“It felt to me like an opportunity to let it be known that we are not happy with how she’s conducting herself,” Bisbee resident and protester Molly Harrico told Tucson.com. “As a representative who works for the people, she certainly is not doing that. It feels to me like she’s just an obstructionist basically.”
Harrico told the outlet that she was “shocked and appalled and disgusted by the white people who walked into the wedding party dressed in full Native American regalia.”
“She’s got the whole country in a stranglehold,” Bisbee resident Gretchen Baer, who was at the protest, was quoted saying. “This is not just some local politician that we don’t like for whatever reasons. This is somebody who on a global level is stopping positive change.”
Baer accused Sinema of having no interest in her community and of never reaching out “in any way, shape or form.”
The Hill has reached out to Sinema’s office for a response to the protests and further comment on the guests dressed in Native American garb.
Sinema, along with fellow centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), has been largely responsible for throwing up significant road blocks to the Democrats’ “human infrastructure” bill that is a key part of President Biden’s domestic agenda.
Frustration with Sinema has grown among fellow Democratic lawmakers as they scramble for a deal on the bill. The Arizona senator has voiced concern in the past about the size of the bill as well as how it will be paid for. Sinema is also against corporate tax increases after she came out against former President Trump’s tax cuts in 2017.
Sinema has remained somewhat tight-lipped on her decisions.
Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) expressed frustration about what he deemed as Sinema’s elusive behavior earlier this week.
“My concern with Sen. Sinema is, why are the rules different for her? Why doesn’t she go on shows like yours? Why doesn’t she explain herself? If she’s shifted her position on the Trump tax cuts, explain it,” Khanna said to “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
“I guess I’ve never seen a politician — including frankly the former president, Trump — who just totally ducks answering questions of the media or constituents and that’s my frustration with her. She’s not clear about what she believes.”
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