Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dividing California

There is a movement by a Republican member of the Riverside Board of Supervisors, Jeff Stone, to cut California in twain - a liberal half and a conservative half. Stone is honest about his reasons - he wants to live in a right wing enclave and doesn't want to move to Arizona.

This is hardly a new idea. By one count there have been 27 different plans for cutting up California. Cut it north and south, east and west. Cut it into thirds. Or even divide it into fourths.

When Ronald Reagan was governor Democrats wanted to cut out Orange County. Now its conservatives trying to get rid of San Francisco. During the Civil War, pro-slavery Southern California wanted to split from northern California.

For a long time there has been a movement for the northern counties of California to kidnap the southern counties of Oregon and form the new state of Jefferson. In 1992, the rural northern counties voted to cut up California. The margins were significant but the totals tiny -  Alpine County voted "yes" 306 to 191. None of the big counties bothered to vote on the question.

Stone's plan will get no farther than any of the previous attempts but it is a mildly entertaining circus.

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