Angry at city-sophisticated California’s approval of Proposition 2 because of "warm and fuzzy" arguments about animal treatment, a group of rural California farmers proposes a novel way to split California into two states: create a 13-county Chile-like Coastal California, or West California, as America’s 51st State.

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Which counties would make up the new State 51, Coastal California?

They are: Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angles [sic] counties.

The backers of this 45/13 plan decided to keep one city, not surprisingly the most conservative California city:

San Diego, the second most populous city, would remain part of the 45-county California, which Maze believes should retain its name.

These rubes also plan to keep a rural coastal county with a huge but currently illegal and untaxed cash crop, as you can tell from the map: Humboldt. Somehow I think we Coastalites would like to bring that county with us. I know Marin County would.

There have been proposals to split California before; former state Senator Carol Migden sometimes asks voters to make her Governor of Northern California. One plan, only interrupted by World War II, made some progress:

One of the most famous attempts occurred in the early 1940s when a group of Northern Californians, tired of promises for new roads and bridges from the state legislators that didn’t come, attempted to join two California and two Oregon counties into the State of Jefferson.

They even elected a governor in a non-binding vote. But the effort came to a halt after the start of World War II, though there are still signs at the Siskiyou County line welcoming travelers to the "State of Jefferson."

Most tempting to us "farm-uneducated" Coastalites is that the prime mover behind this proposal, former State Assemblyman Bill Maze from Visalia, has suggested a wonderful solution to California’s intractable and expanding budget deficit. Being good conservatives, Innie Californians would deal with it quickly:

When asked how the two states might split California’s enormous $40 billion-plus debt, Maze said the 45 counties are more fiscally conservative, so "I bet they — these people will say, ‘We take the debt,’ and will pay it off in two or three years."

We liberal welfare cheats in the animal-coddling and spendthrift coastal counties salute you from our Cadillacs, sir!  Take our debt, please.    

But, dude, please — let us have Humboldt, won’t you?

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge