Three different Jefferson ideas move forward
Despite Measure C’s failure in the June 3rd primary, backers of the Jefferson Republic are continuing their effort to “get back to a constitutional government” by designating Siskiyou County as a republic within the state of California.
In a separate movement, a State of Jefferson group that wants to see northern California and southern Oregon counties split into a 51st state are campaigning for counties to take action in the form of a “declaration to withdraw.”
Backers of a third movement, called the Six States Initiative, have been gathering signatures to put their measure on the state ballot. The measure’s proponent, Tim Draper, is required to collect signatures of 807,615 registered voters by July 18 to qualify.
Anthony Intiso, the leader of the Jefferson Republic movement, said his committee continues to meet, and they are deciding on another “plan of attack.”
“With better education, (Measure C) would have passed, I believe,” said Intiso. “Last time, we pulled the entire thing together in just six months. I think we did pretty good for that.”
According to final election results released by County Clerk Colleen Setzer, 55.51 percent of Siskiyou County voters cast no votes on Measure C. The measure needed a simple majority to pass.
Intiso pointed to low voter turnout in the county as one of the reasons Measure C was unsuccessful.
According to Setzer’s Statement of Votes Cast, 11,504 cards were cast in the June 2014 Primary. There are 24,838 registered voters in the county, for a turnout of 46.32 percent.
That was much better than the statewide voter turnout in June, which was just 25.2 percent. The certified June 2014 election results, including county-by-county data and historical statistics on voter turnout are at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2014-primary.
South county’s influence
Looking at Siskiyou County’s voting by polling location it can be seen that a large percentage of south Siskiyou County voted against Measure C.
At the four polling places in Mount Shasta, nearly three-quarters of the votes cast were opposed to Measure C.
In Dunsmuir and Weed, about 62 percent of the votes were against Measure C.
In McCloud and Lake Shastina, voter opposition to Measure C was about 57 percent.
Polling places in areas such as MacDoel, Dorris, Tulelake, Gazelle, Seaid, Montague and Hornbrook had the opposite results, with more than two-thirds favoring the measure, according to information released by the county clerk’s office. Scott Valley voters in Etna and Fort Jones hovered between 44 and 54 percent in favor of the measure.
The results at six Yreka polling places were all less than 50 percent supporting Measure C, with a range of 33.33 percent at one location, to 46.97 percent at another.
Now that people have heard about the Jefferson Republic, Intiso believes the organization can make do a better job convincing voters of its advantages.
“We can take more time and answer some specific questions,” said Intiso. “Then I think it will pass.”
Those interested in joining the Jefferson Republic committee can call Intiso at 530-841-1394.
State of Jefferson movement
Since Siskiyou County’s Board of Supervisors approved a declaration which supports withdrawal from the State of California on Sept. 3, 2013, three other counties have followed suit: Modoc, Glenn and Yuba.
In Tehama County, citizens approved Measure A last month, asking their supervisors to approve the declaration.
In Sutter County, supervisors indicated that they’d write their own resolution and will vote on it on July 22.
Shasta County supervisors voted 4-1 last month to reject the idea of the State of Jefferson after more than two hours of public input on the issue.
“The time has come for 51!” said Liz Bowen, administrator of jeffersondeclaration.net, a blog dedicated to presenting “news, grievances against the State of California, events and media articles” regarding the Jefferson State movement.
The declaration was approved by the Siskiyou supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the declaration, with District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela casting the sole opposing vote. The declaration points to a lack of representation for rural counties in the California legislature and the state’s “tendency... to exercise legislative and fiscal malfeasance in the form of illegal fire tax, property rights violations, assaults upon Second Amendment rights... and disregard for other unalienable rights” of Siskiyou citizens.
It also points to the effort to remove four Klamath Dams despite the objections of the board and Siskiyou County citizens, and the “sue and settle” process which has “denied the County of Siskiyou, its businesses, and citizens, access to our most abundant natural resources, causing untold harm to our economy, as well as to our health and public safety.”
Creating a 51st State is allowed in the US Constitution in Article 4, section 3, according to Bowen.
Work to create the State of Jefferson is continuing in Butte, Del Norte and Placer counties, according to the Jefferson Declaration website.
Six States Petition
Venture capitalist Tim Draper submitted a six page proposal to the California Attorney General in December 2013 to split California into six new states, citing improved representation, governance, and competition between industries, according to a press release from Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office.
Bowen approved the proposal in February, allowing supporters to start collecting signatures in order to qualify the petition for a ballot. The 807,615 registered voter signatures required is eight percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
The initiative proposes to divide California into six states. This division would have to be approved by Congress.
It assigns each county to one of the new states, unless county voters choose reassignment.
The initiative establishes a commission to settle California’s financial affairs after division, and upon failure to resolve, each new state would retain assets within its boundaries and would receive proportionate distribution of California’s debts based on population.
The measure authorizes counties to refuse to provide state-mandated programs and services absent sufficient State reimbursement, and empowers counties to make and enforce all laws governing local affairs.
According to a summary of estimate by the state’s Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of the fiscal impact the initiative would have on state and local government, “If the federal government approves the proposed creation of six new states, all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end, with its assets and liabilities divided among the new states. Decisions by appointed commissioners and elected leaders would determine how taxes, public spending, and other public policies would change for the new states and their local governments.”