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It's been a hot topic more than 220 times: Should California state become two states, split to North and South CA? The Riverside Board of Supervisors voted "yes" in a July 12 vote--in an "ok" to further plans for secession in a future meeting to "fix" the state. One Republican's doesn't want a geographical divide. L.A. residents be warned: You've just been ousted from your own So Cal region, per representative Jeff Stone.
The business owner from Temecula, Jeff Stone, likes the idea of splitting the state of California even though he admits it would be a long and arduous task, stating: "I would like to keep on the agenda the idea of secession. We have hit a nerve with citizens who are fed up with business as usual in the [CA] state."
Stone wants 13 of California's 58 counties would be split off from Northern regions -- in order to form the new state of "South California".
The Board of Supervisors voted all in favor, in a 5-0 voting process that took place July 12, 2011, to allow the Republican an opportunity to convene a statewide meeting with the purpose of examining the idea of secession -- along with other measures to address the state's financial problems. Stone apparently had to agree no county funds would be spent on the meeting over a possible, future secession for the state. But while the July 12 official vote was unanimous, the Temecula Republican's four fellow Supervisors put their opposition to the idea of secession on record -- before giving a go-ahead for the Republican's planned meeting.
Even though the proposal is to name California state as North and South CA, the new "South" state that Stone wants would actually include regions that extends to the northern parts of the state. 13 counties of "South California" would actually stretch north to include Mono County, meaning that a new "South California" state could actually include areas farther north than San Francisco, Sacramento, and Napa Valley. The split seems to be a unique idea in more ways than one: Stone's proposal creatively includes sections of the state that would logically be broken, geographically, very differently than the parts he apparently wants to include for political and financial power and decisions.
There's no standard north-south divide being used by Stone in his proposed California split -- rather, it seems, he's picking and choosing whom he'd like on his 'side': The Republican's new, two states would instead recognize the significant political faultline in the state -- the California coast versus the "Golden State's" interior. Stone's got some specific counties he wants as targets for "South California": He plans to include Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare -- a good-sized chunk that comprises the California's easternmost fringe. Those regions also happen to represent the state's most conservative counties.
Of the thirteen counties the Southern California Republic wants in his planned territory, just two -- San Bernardino and Imperial counties -- contain a higher number of Democrats than Republicans as voters. Six of the included counties for a future "South California" make up the core of the conservative San Joaquin Valley -- and the remainder of the 13 counties are in dominated by a favored Tea Party contingent located in the California Desert.
Stone hasn't hidden his favor of a political divide in creating two states. In fact, it's been his rationale for a "South" and "North" split as the Republican claims, "Our taxes are too high, our schools don't educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public. It has to change."
Not surprisingly politically, Los Angeles County -- the most populous of any Southern California county -- is absent from Stone's proposed list for a new "South California". It may all be a bit confusing for current Southern Cal residents of the state. But it seems Stone doesn't want L.A. -- the county he sees as a hotbed of "tax-and-spend" liberals in the county he says "has the same liberal views Sacramento does."
Stone's dubbing it the "fix California" meeting -- though others are seeing the proposal as absolutely ridiculous, a pick-and-choose method that seeks to simply garner political clout. The Temecula man's idea probably isn't going very far: splitting the state of California into two would require ratification by the California Legislature and the U.S. Congress. It would also require adding two reliably GOP seats to the Senate -- and potential effects on the Electoral College plus a political polarization are going to throw far more than a wrench into Stone's plans. In addition to all those battles, the counties Stone has marked for secession -- to make up the new "South California" state -- would all have to agree to the idea.
And then there's that expectation that affluent areas like San Diego County and Orange County would possibly be willing to provide the sole tax base supporting programs for areas in need -- including far less affluent regions like the desert and agricultural zones.
Stone wants South California to keep a law based on Proposition 13, meaning the new state would automatically inherit the issues the current state wants to kick.
And then there's water issues. With the bulk of Los Angeles County water supplied by the Owens Valley and Colorado River, supply would present a new problem: The Owens Valley would become part of South California in the proposal for secession, but the Colorado River would no longer touch the state of California anywhere along its length. L.A. would be forced to depend on all its water from South California. In the meantime, Fresno and Tulare County farmers would supposedly be getting the bulk of their water needs from, literally, across the state line.
There's also the educational system which would now be thrown into a complete mess with division of California State and University of California facilities: A total of nine colleges would be affected in a split of the state, with three UC schools and six Cal State colleges suddenly finding themselves in a completely new state.
Republican Stone's idea for secession isn't new: It's been argued or attempted no fewer than 220 times since the state's existence. But, despite a unanimous vote that's sending Stone's idea to the next meeting, California will probably remain as one for now -- flaws and all.