Siskiyou, California County, Votes To Secede From State

County Votes To Secede From Major State

Technically, California is the most polarized state in the nation. But for many Republicans, the Golden State can feel like a lonely place.

First there’s the exceptionally high tax burden, then there’s the strictest gun laws in the nation, and let's not forget about San Francisco and Nancy Pelosi. And it seems that one Northern California county has finally had enough.

Supervisors in Siskiyou County, a primarily Republican area in the northernmost portion of the state, voted on Tuesday to attempt to secede from California.

Citing overregulation and a perceived lack of representation at the state capitol, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of a declaration of secession, the Record Searchlight of Redding reported.

"I haven't had one contact in regard to this issue that's in opposition," Supervisor Michael Kobseff told the San Francisco Chronicle about the secession declaration.

According to the Record Searchlight, more than 100 people attended the meeting to show support for the move. The county reportedly urged other Northern California and Southern Oregon counties to join in the attempt to create a new state.

“We have to have government that's local, understands our issues and has empathy” for those affected, said Mark Baird, a rancher and water protection advocate, according to local news organization Times-Standard.

"Many proposed laws are unconstitutional and deny us our God-given rights," said Happy Camp resident Gabe Garrison, according to the Chronicle. "We need our own state so we can make laws that fit our way of life."

Siskiyou County administrative officer Tom Odom told the Chronicle that the decision did not initiate a formal secession process, but rather indicates the county's support for the move.

Will the state of Jefferson finally come to fruition?

If other recent secession efforts are any indication, not likely. In order for a secession to be possible, the group would need approval from both Congress and the state Legislature.

In 2011, elected officials in Riverside County endorsed a proposal to split California in half, calling the state too big to govern. The proposal was slammed by California Governor Jerry Brown's office at the time.

"It's a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time," Brown spokesman Gil Duran told the Los Angeles Times. "If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there's a place called Arizona.''

USC historian Kevin Starr told the LA Times that secession attempts are not necessarily genuine moves to cleave the state, but rather a way to bring frustrations to light.

"Secession proposals are just ways of thinking about California, and are also ways for people who feel neglected get the attention that they deserve," he said. "It's never passed, and it will never pass. It's been up to bat 220 times and struck out every time.''

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