Fed up with what they say is a lack of representation, members of the Tea Party of the Hills heard a proposal Tuesday night that would result in most of northern California breaking off and forming a separate state to be called Jefferson.
With exploratory committees already formed in a number of rural counties including Siskiyou, Placer, Yuba, Shasta, Butte, Sutter and six others, spokespersons Terry Rapoza and Robert Smith made their pitch for El Dorado County to join them.
Citing debt and lack of adequate representation in the state legislature, Smith claimed California is $418 billion in debt due to long-term liabilities with the total actually being closer to $1 trillion.
“Since 1994, we have lost 72 percent of our economy in the state,” he said, adding, “we can’t afford not to leave California.”
He also said that bills passed by the legislature make criminals of most citizens.
Smith laid a lot of the blame for what has happened on Reynolds v. Sims, a 1964 United States Supreme Court case that said state legislative districts have to be roughly equal in population.
Prior to 1960, every county had its own senator. Now one-third of Northern California is represented by only two senators. “Your vote is irrelevant,” he said, adding that Northern California has only three out of 80 seats in the Assembly and two out of 40 seats in the Senate in addition to just two out of 53 seats in the House of Representatives. And U.S. Senators Boxer and Feinstein have never represented us, he maintained.
Who is represented, Smith claimed, are those living in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and the Bay Area, with Los Angeles electing one-third of those in the lower chamber.
Rapoza went on to say that the movement to create the 51st state has attracted some 82,000 people with many young people joining them as they see no future for themselves in the way California is presently run. People in seven other states have also expressed an interest as a divide has opened up between those in cities and those living in more rural areas.
Smith claimed that California uses Enron-type accounting to hide the fact that if northern counties were to break away, they could be self-sustaining. “We need to get the government out of our way so we can restore our future,” he said.
Listing all the things wrong with the state’s regulatory environment, the two speakers claim California is the worst taxed state with the highest deficit nationwide; with the highest personal income and sales tax; the highest tax on gasoline at .53 cents a gallon; the tenth-highest property taxes; the third-worst business taxes in the nation; and that it spends 32 percent of its budget on social services, much of which goes for the three million undocumented aliens living in the state.
Promising a laundry list of reforms, those spearheading the movement want to, among other things, return to the federal model of government prior to 1964; to elect their own two U.S. senators and congressional representatives, governor, state senators and Assembly members; to have common sense tax laws; to reduce the 570 state agencies and bureaucracies; to have constitutionally based gun laws; to be able to utilize natural resources; and for their to be an evaluation of all social services, voter ID, locally based school curriculum and textbooks, and no adoption of Agenda 21 policies.
People interested in the movement were directed to the Websites JeffersonDeclaration.net and JeffersonNewsService.com and were encouraged to contact the board of supervisors for a statement in support of creating the new state.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.