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Government United States

'New California' Movement Wants To Create a 51st State (wqad.com) 565

PolygamousRanchKid, Ayano, and an anonymous reader all shared the same story. Tribune Media reports: A group has launched a campaign to divide California into two states. It isn't the first attempt to split California, but unlike a failed campaign in 2016 to divide California into six states, the campaign to create New California would split the state into one made up of rural counties and another made up of coastal counties.
USA Today provides some context: Breaking up California remains no easy task: A formal secession means getting approval from both Congress and California's legislature itself. But that hasn't stopped folks from trying. Hundreds of times... Monday's declaration of "the State of New California" marked the latest in more than 200 long-shot efforts to split the Golden State. All so far have failed.
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'New California' Movement Wants To Create a 51st State

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  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @02:56PM (#55968307) Homepage

    Splitting California's electoral votes is a right wing wet dream. Makes you wonder if it's the Koch family or the Mercers behind this push. Or some combination of billionaires and Russian foreign intelligence.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DFurno2003 ( 739807 )

      Not paying for democrat inner city pet projects and providing sanctuary to illegal aliens is a rural land owners wet dream

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wonder at times who else is tired of all the apparent astrofurfers who pretend like we're a democratic nation, turn every issue into an "us vs them" debate (often spouting unfounded accusations, disrespect, hatred, and obscenities against whoever the "them" is), and expect people to align with one side or the other.

      ---

      I have no representative. No one approaches me asking me to appoint or endorse someone for that role (or whether I would prefer to cast my own votes on the issues). Instead, we get to vote

    • I would think it's a left wing wet dream. You get a no-contest Democrat vote for the most populous area of the state and the least populated, right wing area of the state gets virtually no representation. This translates very well for Democrats in presidential elections.

      • I mean, it all depends on how you split the state up. Which is exactly how gerrymandering works.

        However, the idea of splitting the state actually does benefit all Californians: it gives them better representation in the Senate.

    • On the one hand, this would generate two new Senate seats. Yay! As a Californian, what's not to like about that? Since the new seats would almost certainly be Republican, the Democrats might not like this. Personally, I wouldn't stop at two states, I'd create three or four.

      As TFA says, there have been many moves to break up California. It's not driven by any outside interest, it really is a local movement. The state really is too large. The liberal, urban coast has very little in common with the rural mount

    • Splitting California's electoral votes is a right wing wet dream. Makes you wonder if it's the Koch family or the Mercers behind this push. Or some combination of billionaires and Russian foreign intelligence.

      I started watching the pitch video on the website. But I did not need to go any further than the part where the founder asserts than school boards are a communist plot. Honest to God. It is no surprise that he was speaking to an elderly all white audience. Probably taking a break from watching the Hannity Show.

  • by jordanjay29 ( 1298951 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @03:00PM (#55968321)
    All of these split-state movements make no sense as long as we're keeping Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands in territory hell. If anyone deserves statehood, it's these places, not some disgruntled counties in a long-established state.
  • by kfh227 ( 1219898 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @03:00PM (#55968323)

    That state has the most electoral votes and it is always a democratic state. If they split it into 6, they could probably get 2 of those new states to be republican states.

    What horse crap. Can we do that with Florida too?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      6 would be gerrymandering as fuck, the only parts in CA which are liberal are the cities, everyone else is just forced along for the ride.
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      You're short sighted. If you split into 6 states with 4 liberals that would give the dims 6 more Senators while the Rs would gain only 4. It would however weaken the dim's hold on all the natural resources of the state.

  • by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @03:02PM (#55968341) Homepage Journal

    More like from a "goofy secessionism dept"

  • Don't name it "New California," keep the name "California" and make the SF+LA part take the name "Commifornia."
    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

      Oh man, "commifornia".

      It's no wonder there are very few conservative professional comedians

      • There are lots, we just call them "unfunny nutjobs." Like Ann Coulter, those things she says that cause people to groan and lose faith in humanity? Top-shelf conservative knee-slappers.

    • They should use Cryptofornia, the vote will pass in a mudslide. The urban area should be named Leaded California, and advertise with little stickers on every product sold in the states - oh wait.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 20, 2018 @03:07PM (#55968369)

    Better idea: Split the US in two countries. The Red States and the Blue States. And build a wall between the two.

    It is obvious that conservatives and liberals have two fundamentaly different and irreconcilable ways of seeing the world, two completely different and opposite cultures, and that their union will never be anything else but a neverending compromise between the two that satisfies noone and only breeds frustration, anger and hatred. The civil war never really ended, people just stopped killing each other. The US is simply living under a century old cease fire.

    Let the two countries in one part their own ways amicably. This way the red states will be able to continue electing their beloved Donald Trumps and the blue states their Harvey Weinsteins, and everyone will be happy.

  • The major problem with the "rural" vs coastal concept is MONEY.

    When you split a state, you don't just get to ignore the debt, it has to be split up and fairly. But the coastal part earns all the money, while the rural part of California has a bunch of wealthy people that hate high taxes.

    If they split the state, the rural people will try to avoid their fair share of taxes, leaving them with not enough taxes to pay off their share of the debt.

  • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @03:15PM (#55968399)

    If we're going to do this then maybe we should trim the liberal parts of Texas off to create another state as well to keep things even. Otherwise a plan like this is just tilting the federal government to the Right.

    • If we're going to do this then maybe we should trim the liberal parts of Texas off to create another state as well to keep things even.

      I don't think making the city of Austin into a state is going to change the balance of things very much.

    • If we're going to do this then maybe we should trim the liberal parts of Texas off to create another state as well to keep things even

      In fact, at least at first look, it'd even be easier. By the Constitution, splitting a state takes both the state government and the federal government agreeing on it. But the Texas state government can split the state of Texas into up to five states unilaterally, because it's a clause in the treaty signed with the then sovereign nation of Texas by which Texas joined the un

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        That's funny. We're talking about America, a country with a long history of ignoring treaties.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @03:37PM (#55968521) Journal

    Paul Preston and Tom Reed are two cranks who have been at this game since the early 90s. If you go to their "movement's" website you will find that their various "regional committees" are almost completely made up of Paul Preston and Tom Reed. Their previous efforts consisted entirely of raising money.

    The funny part of this story is that Russian bots were pushing the story on Twitter and Facebook that this "New California" officially seceded from the rest of the state. Scamsters selling swag quickly got in on the fun:

    https://twitter.com/GrantJKidn... [twitter.com]

    State secession has long been a favorite trope of the Russian bots. I'm sure you remember this story about how they pushed for Texas to secede. Turns out their Facebook page was run by the "Internet Research Agency" run out of St Petersburg, Russia.

    https://extranewsfeed.com/how-... [extranewsfeed.com]

    https://washingtonmonthly.com/... [washingtonmonthly.com]

    No collusion...

    http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @03:40PM (#55968535)

    Think of all the 1-star patches that would have to be sent out to update all the US flags and all the problems that would cause. Many companies can't even apply OS patches and most people can't even patch drywall w/o problems. Flags will be messed up for *years*. They probably won't all get patched exactly the same way, and improperly patched flags would look funny and could even fly all wrong. As a sysadmin, and someone who sometime sews, I'm against this.

  • "of rural counties and another made up of coastal counties."

    If you take away the nice, coastal part, you're left with the shitty desert part. They could join Nevada or something. I'm for it.

  • by michael_cain ( 66650 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @04:10PM (#55968679) Journal
    If you dig into the details of the current California budget and look at the cash flows for roads, schools, medical care, and a couple of other things, what you find is a huge amount of money transferred from the coastal areas that would be in one new state to the rural areas that would be in the other. This is not unusual; it happens in a lot of states. (I used to do that kind of study professionally.)

    Split the way it's drawn, the rural need for subsidies would remain largely unchanged, but the burden to provide the money would fall solely on the few cities (San Jose, San Diego) and their suburbs that got stuck in the rural state. Given a choice after they see a draft budget, San Jose and San Diego are going to scream about being included in the rural state.
    • And since cities usually don't have farmland within them, the rural areas usually send back things like food and other resources the cities need on a daily basis. All this talk here makes it sound like rural areas are leeching off of the cities, whereas the true support relationship is probably the other way around. Not many starbucks hipsters I would think know the first thing about how to get milk for their latte.
      • by michael_cain ( 66650 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @09:23PM (#55969933) Journal
        Then let the rural areas demand higher prices for their products, and see how far they get. (Note: too many family farms have sold out to large corporate interests; it won't work.)

        Everyone sells their products. Everyone pays their property and sales and income taxes. The state collects a pile of cash and distributes it. In a substantial majority of cases, the result of formulas is that suburban areas send money to the rural areas (urban areas too, but less so).

        A few years ago Colorado had a 51st State movement. I had an opportunity to interview one of the principle movers. I pointed out that when they cut themselves off from the urban/suburban areas, they would not be able to afford to have a state university, would have to let hundreds/thousands of miles of paved rural roads revert to gravel, and leave tens of thousands of people without health insurance. You know what he told me? "Those are features, not bugs."
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @04:16PM (#55968701) Homepage Journal

    In 1819 the Massachusetts legislature voted to enable Maine to become an independent state. However is this would have changed the balance in the Senate between slave and free states, Congress wouldn't admit Maine without admitting an additional slave state, which is what you probably learned in school was called the "Missouri Compromise".

    However ... since Republicans currently control Congress, a different limitation comes into play, From Article IV Section 3 Clause 1:

    New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

    Since California is an overwhelmingly Democratic state, it's highly unlikely that the legislature will consent to increasing Republican power in the US Senate.

    TL;DR: It can be done, but it won't happen unless another, Democratic-leaning state is admitted (e.g. Puerto Rico).

  • There's just no chance, as long as the place you are seceding from has veto power. No politician voluntarily gives up power.

    Within certain constraints, seceding should be a fundamental right. Some minimum size, sensible geographic contiguity, a super-majority, done. The place you're leaving doesn't get a say.

  • by careysub ( 976506 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @07:06PM (#55969395)

    The second right-wing billionaire plan in three months to gerrymander the entire state of California [nbcbayarea.com]. But who can blame the right? Gerrymandering is the one thing they know, and can do well. Cracking and packing is a right-wing way of life.

    Last time it was an attempt to create two new right-wing states. Both schemes use the same strategy of packing the majority of the population of California into one nearly completely blue state, creating one (or two) slightly red majority states, but with a wealthy deep blue urban center captured at its edge like a hostage to pay the bills.

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @08:26PM (#55969719)

    By nature, San Fernando valley is a desert. It has been turned into a productive agricultural area by:

    1) taping into underground aquifers (which are running dry)

    and

    2) taping into water supplies from northern California, and from other states.

    If CA became it's own country, or if northern CA split from southern CA, the agreements that allow all of this water to San Fernando, might have to be renegotiated. And it is doubtful that S. CA would get the favourable terms they got a century ago.

    San Fernando could find itself desperately short of water - sooner rather than later.

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