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Modoc County votes to withdraw from California; Supervisors plan to create a new state, not through illegal secession
After hearing a series of speakers voice their support for a measure outlined by Siskiyou County’s Mark Baird, who headsCommittee that wants to create a new state of far Northern California counties, supervisors voted to support the declaration by a 4-0 vote. Supervisor Jim Wills was absent. “All we ask is public support for the idea,” Baird told supervisors. “It will be the people who move it forward.” Baird said the group is proposing that counties “withdraw” from California, not secede, which he admitted is illegal. The intent, according to the declaration, is to “start over” by creating a new state that “represents the needs, provides opportunities, and protects the rights, liberties, public health and safety of the people of a new state of Jefferson.” Battle for the state of Jefferson continues with Modoc County’s latest vote to ‘withdraw’
“It’s legal, it’s moral, it’s ethical,” Baird said of withdrawing. “I think we have a narrow opportunity and we need to do it now.”Earlier this month, Siskiyou County supervisors voted to support the withdrawal effort by a 4-1 vote, a decision that has attracted the attention of the national news media. Brandon Criss, whose district includes Butte Valley and Tulelake, voted in favor of withdrawal.
Baird and a series of speakers, who mostly supported the idea during the public comment period, said withdrawal is necessary because of the “lack of representation for rural and frontier counties in the California legislature.” The declaration specifically claims the state of “legislative and fiscal malfeasance in the form of an illegal fire tax, property rights violations and assaults upon Second Amendment rights.”Baird predicted companies in California would flock to a new state with fewer regulations, saying, “We could have companies that are bailing out by the thousands … I think the funding would find us.”
He said a new state would save money by eliminating various state departments, including state police and state road departments that he claimed should be run by counties. He also said a new state could better exercise state’s right through application of the Tenth Amendment, which says powers not granted by the Constitution to the federal government are reserved for the states or people.“This is about the self-representation of a people who have none,” Baird said. “There are many idiotic things coming out of Sacramento now.”
Noting critics claim the effort is to create a conservative, Republic state, he said the proposed state would include about 150,000 registered Democrats and 200,000 registered Republicans, insisting, “We propose inclusion. If we don’t, we will fail.”Following the meeting, Baird, 61, who is a rancher and owns a Siskiyou County radio station, said he’s been busy promoting the withdrawal idea. He said Butte County supervisors will vote on the withdrawal proposal Oct. 27 and said efforts are growing in several far Northern California counties, including Butte, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lassen, Shasta and Tehema.
“I want as much popular support as possible before we ask the Legislature,” he said.Under the process, withdrawal must be approved by the state Legislature. Baird said a key factor in rallying support is educating state representatives and state senators, especially from Southern California, on the benefits a smaller state would create.
Admitting that withdrawal is an uphill battle, Baird said, “We must do this or our lives will never change for the better … We must forge a future for ourselves and our families.”firstname.lastname@example.org
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Page Updated: Saturday September 28, 2013 01:54 AM Pacific
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