51st-state south california secession Jeff stone

‘South California’ as the 51st State?

A politician in southern California wants his community to break away from the nearly bankrupt Golden State and form the 51st state.

The man, Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, will formally propose his idea – in which 13 mostly conservative-leaning California counties break off from the state and form a unique “South California” state – on Tuesday to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Stone’s proposed 51st state, unlike the current state of California which in his words is an “ungovernable” financial catastrophe, would be one focused on focused on secure borders, balanced budgets, an improved school system and a flourishing economy

“California was once the world’s fourth largest economy and now struggles to hold on to eighth place,” said Stone in a statement. “Our taxes are too high, our schools don’t educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public. It has to change.”

While Stone’s ideas have struck a chord with thousands of Californians that are struggling economically, other political leaders have dismissed the proposal as absurd.

Gil Duran, a spokesman for Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, called Stone’s proposal a laughable political stunt, saying the Riverside County supervisors should focus their concern on dealing with their county’s expected $130-million revenue shortfall in the next budget year.

“It’s a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time,” said Duran. “If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona.”

Stone is not the first Californian to dream of secession as more than 200 similar propositions have unsuccessfully been brought up since 1850.

via LA Times