From LA Times:
The 51st state should be named South California, says Jeff Stone, a Republican on the the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. But the proposed 13 southern California counties that would split off from the Golden State would not include Los Angeles.
Stone told the Times’ Phil Willon that the ommission is intentional and is part of a plan that would make for a new conservative Californian state.
“Los Angeles is purposely excluded because they have the same liberal policies that Sacramento does. The last thing I want to do is create a state that’s a carbon copy of what we have now,” Stone said.
“Los Angeles just enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags. That put three or four manufacturers out of business,” Stone, a pharmacist from Temecula, said.
Stone plans on formally proposing secession Tuesday during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
South California would encompass Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare counties, totaling approximately 13 million people.
The proposed 51st state would be the fifth largest by population, more populous than Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. South California would take nearly a third of the population away from California, making the Golden State the second-largest state after Texas.
From Time Magazine:
A California politician is proposing that his state split in half as a way to address political and logistical issues – marking yet another instance someone has proposed this idea in the Golden State.
Although on a national scale, the idea of splitting up a state may seem novel, similar proposals has been made in California politics more than 220 separate times. But Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone is not letting the past failures of these proposals mute his ardor for secession.
And from the Los Angeles Times:
“It’s a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time,” Duran told The Times. “If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona.”
Riverside County should probably focus on fixing its $130-million revenue gap for next year, Duran said.
Lawmakers in “South California” would not have term limits, the legislature would be part time and there would be controls on property taxes, Stone said.
But Stone’s “South California” could end up being the 52nd state if “Baja Arizona” beats it to the punch — the southern region of Arizona is trying to escape the Republican politics its residents don’t agree with. In fact, the group “Start Our State” symbolically declared its independence as the 51st state on July 4, according to the Tucson Sentinel. The group is trying to put a petition on the ballot in 2012 that would ask for the Legislature’s permission for Pima County to ask Congress to consider making Baja Arizona its own state.
In order for a new state to be added to the nation, the state’s legislature and Congress must consent to the addition, according to Article IV of the U.S. Constitution. Proposals to split California have come up more than 220 times since the 1850s. It’s not likely to happen; a state hasn’t been split since 1863 – when West Virginia was created during the Civil War — despite hundreds of proposals across the nation.
COMMENT: Baja Arizona is never going to be its own state if that means adding two more Democrats to the US Senate. But…. If South California got close to statehood and adding 2 Republican Senators…then Baja might be the “deal” in Congress for both to happen.
I loved the quote from Governor Brown’s office “It’s a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time,” Duran told The Times. “If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona.”