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Law and government[edit]

Main article: Government of Arizona

 

Capitol complex[edit]

The state capital of Arizona is Phoenix. The original Capitol building, with its distinctive copper dome, was dedicated in 1901 (construction was completed for $136,000 in 1900), when the area was still a territory. Phoenix became the official state capital with Arizona's admission to the union in 1912.

The House of Representatives and Senate buildings were dedicated in 1960, and an Executive Office Building was dedicated in 1974 (the ninth floor of this building is where the Office of the Governor is located). The original Capitol building was converted into a museum.

The Capitol complex is fronted and highlighted by the richly landscaped Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, named after Wesley Bolin, a governor who died in office in the 1970s. Numerous monuments and memorials are on the site, including the anchor and signal mast from the USS Arizona (one of the U.S. Navy ships sunk in Pearl Harbor) and a granite version of the Ten Commandments.

State legislative branch[edit]

The Arizona Legislature is bicameral (like the legislature of every other state except Nebraska) and consists of a thirty-member Senate and a 60-member House of Representatives. Each of the thirty legislative districts has one senator and two representatives. Legislators are elected for two-year terms.

Each Legislature covers a two-year period. The first session following the general election is known as the first regular session, and the session convening in the second year is known as the second regular session. Each regular session begins on the second Monday in January and adjourns sine die (terminates for the year) no later than Saturday of the week in which the 100th day from the beginning of the regular session falls. The President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, by rule, may extend the session up to seven additional days. Thereafter, the session can only be extended by a majority vote of members present of each house.

The current majority party is the Republican Party, which has held power in both houses since 1993.

Arizona state senators and representatives are elected for two-year terms and are limited to four consecutive terms in a chamber, though there is no limit on the total number of terms. When a lawmaker is term-limited from office, it is not uncommon for him or her to run for election in the other chamber.

The fiscal year 2006–07 general fund budget, approved by the Arizona Legislature in June 2006, is slightly less than $10 billion. Besides the money spent on state agencies, it also includes more than $500 million in income- and property tax cuts, pay raises for government employees, and additional funding for the K–12 education system.

State executive branch[edit]

State of Arizona Elected Officials
Governor Jan Brewer (R)
Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R)
Attorney General Tom Horne (R)
State Treasurer Doug Ducey (R)
Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal (R)
State Mine Inspector Joe Hart (R)
Corporation Commissioners

Arizona’s executive branch is headed by a governor, who is elected to a four-year term. The governor may serve any number of terms, though no more than two in a row. Arizona is one of the few states that does not maintain a governor’s mansion. During office the governors reside within their private residence, and all executive offices are housed in the executive tower at the state capitol. The current governor of Arizona is Jan Brewer (R). She assumed office after Janet Napolitano had her nomination by Barack Obama for Secretary of Homeland Security confirmed by the United States Senate.[62] Arizona has had four female governors including the current Governor Jan Brewer, more than any other state.

Other elected executive officials include the Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Mine Inspector and a five-member Corporation Commission. All elected officials hold a term of four years, and are limited to two consecutive terms (except the office of the state mine inspector, which is exempt from term limits).

Arizona is one of seven states that do not have a specified lieutenant governor. The secretary of state is the first in line to succeed the governor in the event of death, disability, resignation, or removal from office. The line of succession also includes the attorney general, state treasurer and superintendent of public instruction. Since 1977, four secretaries of state and one attorney general have risen to Arizona's governorship through these means.

State judicial branch[edit]

The Arizona Supreme Court is the highest court in Arizona. The court currently consists of one chief justice, a vice chief justice, and three associate justices. Justices are appointed by the governor from a list recommended by a bipartisan commission, and are re-elected after the initial two years following their appointment. Subsequent re-elections occur every six years. The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction in death penalty cases, but almost all other appellate cases go through the Arizona Court of Appeals beforehand. The court has original jurisdiction in a few other circumstances, as outlined in the state constitution. The court may also declare laws unconstitutional, but only while seated en banc. The court meets in the Arizona Supreme Court Building at the capitol complex (at the southern end of Wesley Bolin Plaza).

The Arizona Court of Appeals, further divided into two divisions, is the intermediate court in the state. Division One is based in Phoenix, consists of sixteen judges, and has jurisdiction in the Western and Northern regions of the state, along with the greater Phoenix area. Division Two is based in Tucson, consists of six judges, and has jurisdiction over the Southern regions of the state, including the Tucson area. Judges are selected in a method similar to the one used for state supreme court justices.

Each county of Arizona has a superior court, the size and organization of which are varied and generally depend on the size of the particular county.

Counties[edit]

Arizona is divided into political jurisdictions designated as counties. As of 1983 there were 15 counties in the state, ranging in size from 1,238 square miles (3,210 km2) to 18,661 square miles (48,330 km2).

[hide]Arizona Counties
County name County seat Year founded 2010 population[63] Percent of total Area (sq. mi.) Percent of total
Apache St. Johns 1879 71,518 1.12 % 11,218 9.84 %
Cochise Bisbee 1881 131,346 2.05 % 6,219 5.46 %
Coconino Flagstaff 1891 134,421 2.10 % 18,661 16.37 %
Gila Globe 1881 53,597 0.84 % 4,796 4.21 %
Graham Safford 1881 37,220 0.58 % 4,641 4.07 %
Greenlee Clifton 1909 8,437 0.13 % 1,848 1.62 %
La Paz Parker 1983 20,489 0.32 % 4,513 3.96 %
Maricopa Phoenix 1871 3,817,117 59.72 % 9,224 8.09 %
Mohave Kingman 1864 200,186 3.13 % 13,470 11.82 %
Navajo Holbrook 1895 107,449 1.68 % 9,959 8.74 %
Pima Tucson 1864 980,263 15.34 % 9,189 8.06 %
Pinal Florence 1875 375,770 5.88 % 5,374 4.71 %
Santa Cruz Nogales 1899 47,420 0.74 % 1,238 1.09 %
Yavapai Prescott 1864 211,033 3.30 % 8,128 7.13 %
Yuma Yuma 1864 195,751 3.06 % 5,519 4.84 %
Totals: 15 6,392,017 113,997

Federal representation[edit]

Arizona's two United States Senators are John McCain (R), the 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee, and Jeff Flake (R).

Arizona's representatives in the United States House of Representatives are Ann Kirkpatrick (D-1), Ron Barber (D-2), Raul Grijalva (D-3), Paul Gosar (R-4), Matt Salmon (R-5), David Schweikert (R-6), Ed Pastor (D-7), Trent Franks (R-8), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-9). Arizona gained a ninth seat in the House of Representatives due to redistricting based on Census 2010.

Political culture[edit]

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2012 53.65% 1,233,654 44.59% 1,025,232
2008 53.60% 1,230,111 45.12% 1,034,707
2004 54.87% 1,104,294 44.40% 893,524
2000 50.95% 781,652 44.67% 685,341
1996 44.29% 622,073 46.52% 653,288
1992 38.47% 572,086 36.52% 543,050
1988 59.95% 702,541 38.74% 454,029
1984 66.42% 681,416 32.54% 333,854
1980 60.61% 529,688 28.24% 246,843
1976 56.37% 418,642 39.80% 295,602
1972 61.64% 402,812 30.38% 198,540
1968 54.78% 266,721 35.02% 170,514
1964 50.45% 242,535 49.45% 237,753
1960 55.52% 221,241 44.36% 176,781

See also: Elections in Arizona, Political party strength in Arizona

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of March 1, 2012[64]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Republican 1,131,802 36%
  Democratic 1,002,937 32%
  Unaffiliated 1,011,679 32%
Total 3,146,418 100%

From statehood through the late 1940s, Arizona was primarily dominated by the Democratic Party. During this time period, the Democratic candidate for the presidency carried the state each election, with the only exceptions being the elections of 1920, 1924 and 1928—all three of which were national Republican landslides.

Since the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, however, the state has voted consistently Republican in presidential elections. Arizona voted Republican in every presidential election from 1952 to 1992, with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan winning the state by particularly large margins. During this forty-year span, it was also the only state not to be carried by a Democrat at least once.

The closest that a Democrat came to carrying the state during this time was Lyndon Johnson in 1964, who lost the state by less than 5,000 votes to Arizona Senator and native Barry Goldwater (This was the most closely contested state in what was otherwise a landslide victory for Johnson that year). Democrat Bill Clinton ended this streak in 1996 when he won Arizona by a little over two percentage points (Clinton had previously come within less than two percent of winning Arizona's electoral votes in 1992). However, Clinton’s victory has proven to be an exception, as the state has continued to support Republican presidential candidates by solid margins in every election since.

In recent years, the Republican Party has also dominated Arizona politics in general. The fast-growing Phoenix and Tucson suburbs became increasingly friendly to Republicans from the 1950s onward. During this time, many "Pinto Democrats", or conservative Democrats from rural areas, became increasingly willing to support Republicans at the state and national level. While the state normally supports Republicans at the federal level, Democrats are often competitive in statewide elections; two of the last five governors have been Democrats.

On March 4, 2008, John McCain effectively clinched the Republican nomination for 2008, becoming the first presidential nominee from the state since Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Arizona politics are dominated by a longstanding rivalry between its two largest counties, Maricopa County and Pima County—home to Phoenix and Tucson, respectively. The two counties have almost 75 percent of the state's population and cast almost 80 percent of the state's vote. They also elect a substantial majority of the state legislature.

Maricopa County is home to almost 60 percent of the state's population, and most of the state's elected officials live there. It has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1948. This includes the 1964 run of native son Barry Goldwater; he would not have carried his home state had it not been for a 20,000-vote margin in Maricopa County. Similarly, while McCain won Arizona by eight percentage points in 2008, the margin would have likely been far closer if not for a 130,000-vote margin in Maricopa County.

In contrast, Pima County, home to Tucson, and most of southern Arizona have historically been more Democratic. While Tucson's suburbs lean Republican, they hold to a somewhat more moderate brand of Republicanism than is common in the Phoenix area.

Arizona rejected a same-sex marriage ban in a referendum as part of the 2006 elections. Arizona was the first state in the nation to do so. Same-sex marriage was already not recognized in Arizona, but this amendment would have denied any legal or financial benefits to unmarried homosexual or heterosexual couples.[65] In 2008, Arizona voters passed Proposition 102, an amendment to the state constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman, though by a narrower majority than similar votes in a number of other states.[66]

In 2010, Arizona passed SB 1070, called the toughest illegal immigration legislation in the nation, igniting a fierce debate between supporters and detractors of the law.[67]

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments March 18, 2013, regarding the validity of the Arizona law that tries to keep illegal immigrants from voting by demanding all state residents show documents proving their U.S. citizenship before registering to vote in national elections.[68]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

A November 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 44% of Arizona voters supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 45% opposed it and 12% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 72% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 40% supporting same-sex marriage, 32% supporting civil unions, 27% opposing all legal recognition and 1% not sure. Arizona Proposition 102, known by its supporters as the Marriage Protection Amendment, appeared as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Arizona, where it was approved: 56.2%-43%. It amended the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.[69]

On October 17, 2014, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced that his office would no longer object to same-sex marriage, in response to a U.S. District Court Ruling on Arizona Proposition 102. On that day, each county's Clerk of the Superior Court began to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and Arizona became the 31st state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Education[edit]

Elementary and secondary education[edit]

Public schools in Arizona are separated into about 220 local school districts which operate independently, but are governed in most cases by elected county school superintendents; these are in turn overseen by the Arizona State Board of Education (a division of the Arizona Department of Education) and the state Superintendent of Public Instruction (elected in partisan elections every even-numbered year when there is not a presidential election, for a four-year term). In 2005, a School District Redistricting Commission was established with the goal of combining and consolidating many of these districts.

Higher education[edit]

The University of Arizona located in Tucson.

Arizona is served by three public universities: Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University. These schools are governed by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Private higher education in Arizona is dominated by a large number of for-profit and "chain" (multi-site) universities.[70]

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott and Prescott College are Arizona's only non-profit four-year private colleges.[71]

Arizona has a wide network of two-year vocational schools and community colleges. These colleges were governed historically by a separate statewide Board of Directors but, in 2002, the state legislature transferred almost all oversight authority to individual community college districts.[72] The Maricopa County Community College District includes 11 community colleges throughout Maricopa County and is one of the largest in the nation.

Public universities in Arizona[edit]

Private colleges and universities in Arizona[edit]

Community colleges[edit]

Sports[edit]

Professional sports teams in Arizona include:

Club Sport League Championships
Arizona Cardinals Football National Football League 2 (1925, 1947)
Phoenix Suns Basketball National Basketball Association 0
Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Major League Baseball 1 (2001)
Arizona Coyotes Ice hockey National Hockey League 0
Arizona Rattlers Arena Football Arena Football League 4 (1994, 1997, 2012, 2013)
Arizona Sundogs Ice hockey Central Hockey League 1 (2007–08)
Phoenix Mercury Basketball Women's National Basketball Association 3 (2007, 2009, 2014)
Arizona United SC Soccer USL Pro 0
FC Tucson Soccer USL Premier Development League 0

Due to its numerous golf courses, Arizona is home to several stops on the PGA Tour, most notably the Phoenix Open, held at the TPC of Scottsdale, and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana.

With three state universities and several community colleges, college sports are also prevalent in Arizona. The intense rivalry between Arizona State University and the University of Arizona predates Arizona's statehood, and is the oldest rivalry in the NCAA.[73] The thus aptly named Territorial Cup, first awarded in 1889 and certified as the oldest trophy in college football,[74] is awarded to the winner of the “Duel in the Desert,” the annual football game between the two schools.

Arizona also hosts several bowl games in the Bowl Championship Series. The Fiesta Bowl, originally held at Sun Devil Stadium, is now held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. University of Phoenix Stadium was also home to the 2007 BCS National Championship Game and hosted Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008. It will host the state's first Pro Bowl on January 25, 2015, and Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015. The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is held at Sun Devil Stadium.

Auto racing is another sport known in the state. Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale is home to NASCAR race weekends twice a year. Firebird International Raceway near Chandler is home to drag racing and other motorsport events.

Baseball[edit]

A spring training game between the two Chicago teams, the Cubs and the White Sox, at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

Arizona is a popular location for Major League Baseball spring training, as it is the site of the Cactus League. The only other location for spring training is in Florida with the Grapefruit League. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a new spring training facility in Phoenix owned by Glendale which opened in 2009, making them the 14th team in Arizona. Spring training has been somewhat of a tradition in Arizona since 1947 (i.e. the Cleveland Indians in Tucson until 1991, and the San Diego Padres in Yuma until 1992) despite the fact that the state did not have its own major league team until the state was awarded the Diamondbacks in Phoenix as an expansion team. The state hosts the following teams:

Besides being home to spring training, Arizona is also home to two other baseball leagues, Arizona Fall League and Arizona Winter League. The Fall League was founded in 1992 and is a minor league baseball league designed for players to refine their skills and perform in game settings in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives, who are in attendance at almost every game. The league got exposure when Michael Jordan started his time in baseball with the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Arizona Winter League, founded in 2007, is a professional baseball league of four teams for the independent Golden Baseball League. The games are played in Yuma at the Desert Sun Stadium, but added two new teams in the California desert, and one more in Sonora for the 2008 season.

Art and culture[edit]

Visual arts and museums[edit]

Phoenix Art Museum, located on the historic Central Avenue corridor in Phoenix, is the Southwest’s largest collection of visual art from across the world. The museum displays international exhibitions alongside the Museum’s collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. With a community education mandate since 1951, Phoenix Art Museum holds a year-round program of festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs. The museum also has PhxArtKids, an interactive space for children; photography exhibitions through the Museum’s partnership with the Center for Creative Photography; the landscaped Sculpture Garden and dining at Arcadia Farms.

Arizona is a recognized center of Native American art, with a number of galleries showcasing historical and contemporary works. The Heard Museum, also located in Phoenix, is a major repository of Native American art. Some of the signature exhibits include a full Navajo hogan, the Mareen Allen Nichols Collection containing 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry, the Barry Goldwater Collection of 437 historic Hopi kachina dolls, and an exhibit on the 19th century boarding school experiences of Native Americans. The Heard Museum has about 250,000 visitors a year.

Sedona, Jerome, and Tubac are known as a budding artist colonies, and small arts scenes exist in the larger cities and near the state universities.

Film[edit]

Several major Hollywood films, such as Billy Jack, U Turn, Waiting to Exhale, Just One of the Guys, Can't Buy Me Love, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Scorpion King, The Banger Sisters, Used Cars, and Raising Arizona have been made there (as indeed have many Westerns). The 1993 science fiction movie Fire in the Sky, which was actually based on a reported alien abduction in the town of Snowflake, was set in Snowflake, but filmed in the Oregon towns of Oakland, Roseburg, and Sutherlin.

The climax of the 1977 Clint Eastwood film The Gauntlet takes place in downtown Phoenix. The final segments of the 1984 film Starman take place at Meteor Crater outside Winslow. The Jeff Foxworthy comedy documentary movie Blue Collar Comedy Tour was filmed almost entirely at the Dodge Theatre. Arguably one of the most famous examples could be Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Psycho. Not only was some of the film shot in Phoenix, but the main character is from there as well.

Some of the television shows filmed or set in Arizona include The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Medium, Alice, The First 48, Insomniac with Dave Attell, Cops, and America's Most Wanted. The 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, for which Ellen Burstyn won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and also starred Kris Kristofferson, was set in Tucson, the TV sitcom Alice, which was based on the movie was set in Phoenix. Twilight was also set in Phoenix at the beginning and the end of the film.

Music[edit]

Main article: Music of Arizona

Arizona is prominently featured in the lyrics of many Country and Western songs, such as Jamie O'Neal's hit ballad "There Is No Arizona". George Strait's "Oceanfront Property" uses "ocean front property in Arizona" as a metaphor for a sucker proposition. The line "see you down in Arizona Bay" is used in a Tool song in reference to the possibility (expressed as a hope by comedian Bill Hicks) that Southern California will one day fall into the ocean.

"Arizona" was the title of a popular song recorded by Mark Lindsay. Arizona is mentioned by the hit song "Take It Easy" written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey and performed by the Eagles. Arizona is also mentioned in the Beatles' song "Get Back," credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney; McCartney sings: "JoJo left his home in Tucson, Arizona, for some California grass."

Arizona's budding music scene is helped by emerging bands, as well as some well-known artists. The Gin Blossoms, Chronic Future, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Jimmy Eat World, Caroline's Spine, and others began their careers in Arizona. Also, a number of punk and Rock bands got their start in Arizona, including JFA, The Feederz, Sun City Girls, The Meat Puppets, The Maine, The Summer Set, and more recently Authority Zero and Digital Summer.

Arizona also has many singers and other musicians. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Michelle Branch is from Sedona. Chester Bennington, the lead vocalist of Linkin Park, and mash-up artist DJ Z-Trip are both from Phoenix. One of Arizona's better known musicians include shock rocker Alice Cooper, who helped define the genre. Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of the bands, Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, calls the town of Cornville his current home.

Other notable singers include country singers Dierks Bentley and Marty Robbins, folk singer Katie Lee, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, CeCe Peniston, Rex Allen, 2007 American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and Linda Ronstadt.

Arizona is also known for its heavy metal scene, which is centered in and around Phoenix. In the early to mid-90's it included bands such as Job for a Cowboy, Knights of the Abyss, Eyes Set To Kill, blessthefall, and Abigail Williams. The band Soulfly calls Phoenix home and Megadeth lived in Phoenix for about a decade. Beginning in and around 2009, Phoenix began to host a burgeoning dessert rock / sludge metal underground, (ala' Kyuss in 90's California) led by bands like Wolves of Winter, Asimov and Dead Canyon.

American composer Elliott Carter composed his first String Quartet (1950-51) while on sabbatical (from New York) in Arizona. The quartet won a Pulitzer prize and other awards and is now a staple of the string quartet repertoire.[citation needed]

Miscellaneous topics[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Some famous Arizonans involved in politics and government are:

Arizona notables in culture and the arts include:

For a complete list, see List of people from Arizona.

State symbols[edit]

Cactus Wren, the Arizona state bird

See also[edit]

References



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