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Thursday, February 20, 2014

SIX (6) Californias? Petition OK'd for signature gathering

What California might look like if divided into six states.  (Six Californias)Here we go.  Secretary of State Debra Bowen gas reviewed and approved the initiative to proceed to gather signatures.  Six more, well, five more states is the goal.  All out of California! HERE is her press release from the 18th of February.

The preliminary drawing of the breakout appears to place our County in the Northern State.  We would probably be a good county for the State Capitol.  Butte and Shasta counties though are much larger so my guess is we would probably have to have a vote to place the Capitol of Northern California. I have seen the desire of people many years ago to divide the State into two but never this.  And this is the farthest anyone has attempted in my recollection. (See Stan Statham)

My guess is it will not collect the requisite number of signatures though.  Sure, we forgotten people of the north will sign the petitions but our numbers are not sufficient to carry it to the ballot.  The rest of the state, especially the liberal big cities and the coastal counties will probably not have too many people signing.  Even if they get the signatures, the Legislature and the Congress must approve and there is little chance of that happening.

What this tells me though is there is a great unrest in our huge state.  When a government gets to big and to controlling, people rebel.  In the Ukraine today the people there are doing so.  The Russian Federation was created out of the failed police state of the USSR.  People get restless.  Look at Venezuela as well.  I have always said smaller is better when it comes to governance (see Yugoslavia now).  In the counties of our state you will find your councilman or Supervisor in the local phone book.  At the State and Federal level you won't have an easy time of talking with a legislator.

California has elected two unqualified women as our State Senators for the last twenty years or so.  California is a good example of what happens when 38 million people don't pay attention.  You get a Boxer and Feinstein.  We could have had a Carly Fiorina and a Meg Whitman, but those huge liberal cities keep putting those two Senators back in charge.  Maybe with a few more states our areas that are Conservative could finally get some represent ion.

California is truly a divided state.  We see massive unemployment in the central valley, the bread basket of the country.  The water and resources to keep the valley and the mountain counties successful are shifted by Los Angeles and San Francisco liberals to the "delta smelt" and other uses. Maybe we should tear down the Hetch Hetchy and send that water to the Delta?  Timber and mining, along with grazing, are curtailed by the bleeding heart liberals and we see the results in our lands here.  Fire, beetles and crummy management of those lands has made many people destitute.  So maybe this message of dissatisfaction will spur more discussion and action?  Well maybe not.

I have said for many years that if the Republicans would just turnout in massive numbers at election time they would own the state for a while.  But the voters sit on their hands, using the voting day as just another day to shop or vacation.  And their lack of turnout allows the democrats to gain the "super-majority" here.  Even the independent voters are shortchanged since their 20 percentage share of the voters has not one member in our state legislature.  I also think a return to the old days about representation would work too.  Each county gets a State Senator, creating a third House so that rural counties get a chance to have input and a vote in the State's business.

So, we get these kinds of attempts to gain attention to the lack of response to the needs of a great many Californians.  Rather than having a Governor start spreading money (debt dollars) around as he announce yesterday regrading the drought, how about allowing some dams and other water storage projects?  How about kicking the ass of the sue happy environmental community when the stop the salvage logging of the Rim Fire fiasco?  No, rather than address the ongoing ability of local people to lead their lives the state shoves more rules down their throats.  See the results of the Angora Fire in Lake Tahoe for what they do to us. 

I wish the gatherers good luck, hell, I'll sign the petition.  It is a call for attention and any way we can get it is fine with me.  Well, not the way the Ukrainians are doing it though.


  1. I know that this topic came up somewhere before...I just do not have the time to find it. I believe that it was Steve Frisch who pointed out (rightfully I think) that a ballot initiative is constitutionally insufficient to make other states. In fact, and without looking at the Constitution, I believe that the clause states that we cannot make states completely within the borders of a single state. Don't quote me of that, as it is straight from memory. Steve did a pretty good analysis, and there is a significant discussion online somewhere that was very thoughtfully and respectfully made among the parties.

  2. Barry I think I made it clear it won't happen and if I recall I think I said that in the previous discussion you mentioned. But, unrest with the status quo coms in many forms and we see it around the world. If there is a lack of respondse from the powers that be, the people get restless.

  3. Todd:

    Creating six states is never going to happen, so I guess the proponents are going through this exercise to make some kind of point? Something the California legislature could control, however, is dividing the state into six counties –– fifty-two fewer than currently exist.

    As counties, the boundaries shown on the map might make sense. It would be a radical shift from the time-honored custom of creating little empires, but California has often been a trend-setter.

    When California was admitted to the Union in 1850, it had only 27 counties and what today is Nevada County was part of Yuba County.

    When attorney Stephen Field came to Nevada City in September 1850 campaigning to be a member of the first State Assembly, he promised to create a new county and make Nevada City the county seat. During his campaign speech, Field pointed out that it cost more money for a Nevada City miner to go to the courthouse in Marysville and adjudicate the theft of a mule than the value of the animal.

    He won the election and kept his promise. Thanks to a bill introduced by Assemblyman Field, Nevada County became the state's 28th country. After that, other large counties were periodically divided into smaller counties.

    Considering the communication and transportation improvements since 1850, perhaps reducing the number of counties from fifty-eight to six is an idea whose time has come? That would certainly take care of the need to spend $200 million or so on a new courthouse in Nevada City –– unless, of course, Nevada City became one of the six county seats.

    Steve Cottrell

    1. Steve, thanks for the history, I just enjoy it so much. I think we should actually be dividing the large counties in to smaller ones myself. I like the closeness one feels to his elected officials when you can meet them in the grocery store and bend their ear. I still think we could have a State Senator for each county and then California would return to a responsive government perhaps.

      When you and I were running for County Supervisor we were able to remember people's names and we knocked on their doors for votes. That would be pretty tough if we only had six counties.

  4. I was a registered Libertarian for several years, because I think the less government we have the better life can be. I was also a Libertarian because my liberal friends thought I was too conservative and my conservative friends thought I was too liberal. The Libertarian party offered a good compromise, although the diversity found in the California Libertarian Party is not available in the Florida version.

    So six counties would be fine with me. Today, much of the door-knocking is done electronically through Facebook, Twitter, Websites, etc –– so losing the personal touch is kind of where campaigning is headed anyway.

    Truth is, California will never be divided into six states nor reduced to six counties. It just isn't going to happen, but the petition drive does draw attention to the complexities of trying to run a state as big and diverse as California.

    Hope all is well with you and yours.

    1. I agree it will never happen but it is a cry out for fairness from many counties in the state. We will see how the signature gathering goes. Regardless, the Legislature will ignore it anyway.

      I remember when your fellow council members kept you from being the Mayor for many years. You were just to common sense for the liberal town. You finally got the position and many of us were very happy for you. Hope Florida is great!

  5. BTW...Today is officially "I hate Canada day." I will love Canada again tomorrow.


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