[env-trinity] Redding.com Editorial: Editorial: Can Sacramento hear the message of 'withdrawal'?

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Wed Sep 4 08:13:48 PDT 2013


http://www.redding.com/news/2013/sep/03/editorial-can-sacramento-hear-the-message-of/

Editorial: Can Sacramento hear the message of 'withdrawal'?
	* Posted September 3, 2013 at 6 p.m.
Ever known a couple that divorced after a long marriage? Seen how long and expensively the feuds over money and property and the good dishes can drag on?
Now imagine breaking up California 163 years after statehood. Untangling responsibility for the prisoners, the pensions and the highway plows — not to mention writing a new state’s statutes from scratch — could occupy an army of lawyers rivaling the adult population of Siskiyou County.
And yet the Siskiyou County supervisors voted Tuesday to seek a new state. They cited an array of political frustrations — the erosion of gun rights, the fire tax, the state’s push to dismantle Klamath River dams, heavy regulation that prevents use of natural resources. Their resolution, passed with one dissent by Ed Valenzuela, asks the Legislature to approve the county’s “withdrawal” from the state along with any other like-minded counties. (And yes, proponents are making the rounds.)
However many resolutions might pass in rural counties, it’s hard to realistically see how this could take effect. Jefferson boosters note that other states have split before. That’s true. But the last time was during the Civil War, when Virginia seceded from the Union and West Virginia stayed behind. California wages pitched political battles, but they are strictly wars of words.
But if secession is a preposterously long shot, the idea nonetheless is enduringly popular. Elsewhere in California, news of Siskiyou County’s request for a divorce will make the county the butt of punch lines. Here? It wins many nods of understanding.
And maybe our leaders in Sacramento ought to take the movement seriously enough to wonder why many rural residents are so frustrated and alienated from our state government that a bunch of tea party sympathizers’ “fresh start” begins to seem not like a crackpot idea but reasonable, even essential.
Political leanings aside, it’s difficult to find a piece of rural California that is really thriving. The economies are shrinking and young people are leaving. The system just isn’t working for too many communities in the North State. Siskiyou County’s activists might be the most vocal, but they’re just expressing what a lot of their peers elsewhere think.
Any chance political leaders in Sacramento might take that to heart and think about why? Even address their needs?
This withdrawal notion is a dead end, but the state won’t have heard the last of it unless something changes.
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