[Ed. – Interesting indeed]
… Arizona has elected a number of ideologically heterodox Republican officials. While that might seem strange, it’s not: Assured of strong backing from their base no matter what, Republicans feel free to act in unorthodox ways.
Jan Brewer, governor from 2009 to 2015, is mostly remembered for wagging her finger at President Obama on an airport tarmac in 2012, and her signing of SB1070, the harsh anti-immigration law (largely gutted by the courts) that sharply polarized racial politics in Arizona. This has led to her caricature as some kind of arch right-winger. But in reality, Brewer cut a much more unorthodox figure. She was, you could say, downright mavericky.
Sure, she came under fire for speaking of “beheadings” along the border, and she’s a social conservative who signed a bill banning public funding of Planned Parenthood. But Brewer also expanded Medicaid, and (temporarily) raised taxes to combat a budget shortfall. (She hiked sales taxes while cutting business taxes.) Whenever there is a horrific mass shooting, Republican officials wave their hands at the need to address “mental health.” Brewer actually did so, boosting funding significantly a state behavioral health program. Now out office, Brewer still refuses to toe the party line. …