Arizona legislature strips Trent Franks of political power over ‘dog rape’ video

The Arizona House of Representatives voted along party lines Monday to censure Representative Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and expel him from office for making a YouTube video in which he called for forcible sex with a dog and suggested late-term abortion should be legal.

Franks has denied the misconduct and called on lawmakers to accept an investigation into the accusations against him. He described himself in the video as an ardent supporter of women’s rights.

Democrats had called for Franks to be censured for a lack of “moral decency” and called for his removal from office.

The censure is a form of reprimand, and it requires one-third of the chamber to vote in favor for it to be actioned.

Republicans hold an overwhelming majority in the lower chamber, giving Democrats little hope that Franks would be censured. In the end, 29 Republicans voted to censure him, with just four Democrats in favor.

Democratic leader David Lujan of New Mexico said this was the first time in Arizona House history that such a censure had been adopted.

Franks has acknowledged making the video, and his allies in the House have maintained that the censure was politically motivated and should be rescinded.

In addition to the censure, the House voted 36-6 to expel Franks from office. Two members of Arizona’s congressional delegation, U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, oppose his expulsion, arguing that it is unfair to make Franks leave because of allegations that have not been proven.

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