January 2, 2019

CA EXCEEDS THE OPTIMAL SIZE FOR A NATION, NEVERMIND A STATE:

California divided: Will the Trump era fuel the Jefferson separatist movement's efforts to split off into a new, 51st state? (Stephen Magagnini , 11.29.18, Chico News & Review)

Almost anywhere you drive through Northern California, you'll see green and gold signs, flags and banners heralding the arrival of the state of Jefferson, a separatist movement that nearly succeeded in 1941 and, more recently, has grown significantly in the era of Trump.

The signs feature "The Great Seal of the State of Jefferson," a gold pan emblazoned with two X's--Jeffersonians have long believed they've been double-crossed by big-city politicians in Sacramento who take their money but ignore their concerns.

Over the last two years, the signs have popped up on billboards, front yards and haystacks, sometimes next to Confederate flags and anti-immigrant slogans.

They also can be seen at county fairs and frequent rallies featuring supporters, some in camouflage fatigues, outside the Federal Building in Sacramento, where the secessionists have taken their fight all the way the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jeffersonians argue that, since Southern California has 111 elected state reps (74 Assembly members and 37 senators) and Northern California above the San Francisco Bay Area only nine (six in the Assembly, three in the Senate), the courts have "a legal, moral and constitutional" obligation to fix this imbalance by adding more state legislators, especially in far-flung rural counties.

"Taxation without representation," the rallying cry of the American Revolution, now resonates with tens of thousands of Jeffersonians in 23 counties from Stanislaus to the Oregon border--nearly all of which voted for Trump. The "double cross" dates back to 1941, when residents of five counties, sick of paying taxes and not getting needed roads in return, joined forces with rural Northern Californians to secede and then formed their own border patrol.

Today, they reflect a growing sentiment that California should be carved into anywhere from two to six states in order to adequately govern its 40 million people and their conflicting political views on a broad range of issues, including immigration, gun control, water rights and environmental regulations.

Just this summer, a measure to ask Congress to split California into three states, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, qualified for the November ballot. It was eventually invalidated by the California Supreme Court, which questioned the measure's constitutionality.

The legal setback didn't discourage Jeffersonians.

Indeed, this unlikely assortment of survivalists and hippies, pot growers and hardline cops, real estate appraisers and loggers, fencing instructors and gun lovers, Latinos and anti-immigrants has joined forces, seemingly impervious to criticisms.

Posted by at January 2, 2019 6:10 PM

  

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