Numerous rural California counties declared independence from the state Monday, announcing a legislative effort to divide the state in two to create New California.
The founders of the state are appealing to Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution and plan to bring legislation to the California legislature in the next 10 to 18 months to legally divide the state in two, CBS Sacramento reported Monday. West Virginia was created by the same method in 1863. The founders say that high taxes and poor government have forced the rural counties to take action against the more wealthy coastal areas.
“Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California,” founder Robert Paul Preston. “There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed.”
The movement will almost certainly fail in the legislature, despite support from 21 of California’s 58 counties. Californians have long considered dividing the state into several parts, but to no avail.
“Efforts to divide California into more manageable and homogeneous parts are as old as the Bear Flag that was raised over the state capitol at statehood in 1850,” wrote National Review’s John Fund. “When I was a legislative staffer in Sacramento in 1980, a state assemblyman named Stan Statham had a serious proposal that attracted bipartisan support. He recognized that California’s people (now 40 million) would be better served if its competing constituencies had more in common.”
Each of these attempts have failed in turn, but if the New Californians were to get their way, however, their territory would contain most of current California’s rural counties, allowing them to get out from under “the far-left Democrats who control state government.”
“California’s rush to impose harsh government mandates cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the generation of electricity is raising the electricity bills of families and businesses across the state,” the founders write on their website. “Poor families are suffering the most. In sharp contrast, Texas is successfully taking a free-market approach that is increasing the use of clean renewable energy and lowering electricity bills in the state.”
New California is quite organized, comprising committees and councils in each participating county to draft an eventual proposal for the state legislature.
“We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” founder Tom Reed told CBS.