Something in the desert water?
While Arizona's homegrown political traditions tend more toward a conservative Blue Dog Democrat, moderate stance, there has, since Goldwater, arisen in Phoenix and the Valley a somewhat hard-core Republican population of voters (HCN, 4/30/12, "Money talks -- and votes"). For some reason, when voters retire and move to Phoenix or Scottsdale from the East Coast, the Midwest or California, they suddenly become wild-eyed John Birchers. I never understood this.
The most disturbing trend I see in Arizona politics, and nationwide, is the tendency for elected officials to (1) become insanely wealthy while in office (2) become completely oblivious to the wishes of their constituents. Sen. John McCain personifies this trend for me. When he admitted in 2008 that he had lost track of how many homes he owns, it really struck me. He is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and he has never owned a business; all of his loot (outside of his wife Cindy's vast wealth) was made in "public service." The gravitational pull of such wealth, and power, is irresistible. It makes men and women into demons.