Arizona’s government has had a contrarian relationship with the federal establishment since before statehood. The state’s entrance into the union was delayed for some time because the legislature, backed by a majority of the public, refused to give up a section of its constitution that allowed for the popular recall of judges. Today the bickering between the two continues over public-land issues and border control.
The truth is that the federal government made Arizona, and it controls a good portion of the land in the state still. With history as an example, it’s easy to see that had the federal government not protected huge portions of the state as national forests, monuments, parks, and wilderness areas, outside economic interests, mostly from the East, would have used them for their own profit, as they have the lion’s share of Arizona’s natural resources since long before statehood.
Like nearly everybody else, the state’s government has, for most of its history, been interested in developing and taking from the land, and the various land-hungry interests who at one time or another were in favor—be they mining, agricultural, ranching, or military—have dictated policy. This is not true as much today as it has been in the past, however.
While Arizona is known today as a staunchly red (Republican) state, there are a few blue (Democrat) enclaves, notably Tucson and the Navajo Nation.
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition