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Browsing the archives for the JEFFERSON DECLARATION category.

Baird declares Jefferson movement ‘cannot be stopped’

JEFFERSON DECLARATION, Mark Baird

Lassen News.com

By Sam Williams
Managing Editor

“What’s going to happen next cannot be stopped,” Mark Baird, one of the most highly visible organizers of the state of Jefferson movement, boldly declared during a May 1 meeting at Veterans Memorial Hall in Susanville. “Keep It California does not realize they cannot stop Jefferson. They couldn’t stop Jefferson even if they wanted to. They couldn’t stop Jefferson if tomorrow 10 counties stood up on a chair and said we don’t want this. They can’t stop it.”

According to Baird, the state of Jefferson’s legal team plans to file a lawsuit that will result in “an automatic ticket to the United States Supreme Court that cannot be stopped. No political entity can stop us from going to court – as long as we can afford to pay our lawyers.”

This case will go through the federal courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court unless the state of California decides to orchestrate the split of the state of Jefferson, Baird said.

He said the Jeffersonians and their attorneys currently are working hard to make sure “The arguments we’re making are substantial, substantiated, verifiable, truthful and constitutional arguments to outline the fact that we have been denied adequate representation in the state of California and the state must be made to either comply and expand representation or allow us to separate.”

“We’re not suing them to create a state of Jefferson,” Baird said. “There is no way to judicially separate a state. We are suing them as citizens and residents of the various counties of California … We’re going to sue in the federal court for the Eastern District for lack of representation and dilution of vote.”

According to Baird, a district court judge cannot hear a voter dilution case alone. He must take the case to the chief justice. If the case is rejected, “we’re prepared to go to the Ninth Circuit Court to appeal, and we can.”

But Baird said all that decision by the court does is delay the inevitable.

“Here’s the beauty,” Baird said. “We cannot be stopped, folks, we can’t. Because when we appeal to the Ninth Circuit, they automatically appoint a three-judge panel … Once the district court appoints a three-judge panel, that’s an automatic ticket to the supreme court, and they cannot say no to our case.”

But Baird said the Jefferson’s legal team believes there’s a “strong possibility” of another resolution.

It’s possible “The state of California will come to us and say, OK, OK, we get it, what is it going to take to make you people go away?” Baird said. “And here’s where we say, ‘You own the monoparty in California, and we all know it. It’s no secret. You engineer an Article 3 Section IV vote for state split and you instruct the two United States senators that are in your pocket to do the same in the United States Senate, and we will drop this cause of action and go away and you can continue to steal from your people until the cows come home and we will be free to institute a constitutional republic that protects the property rights and the individual rights of its inhabitants.'”

The people have spoken

The people of Jefferson have spoken, Baird said.

“We have been bombarding Sacramento with thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of phone calls and thousands of emails” to representatives “who refuse to even answer our questions … and the response is an utterly, abjectly, deafening silence from every single one of those representatives. Does that constitute representative government?”

Baird said it doesn’t.

“When you have representatives who refuse to represent you, I would say that’s a lack of representation just by deductive logic,” Baird said.

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” Baird said, and the people cannot force their representatives in the state legislature to sponsor a bill that could lead to the creation of the state of Jefferson.

So, according to Baird, the Jeffersonians have standing to file a lawsuit because their representatives have not moved their petitions forward.

He also said 21 counties have expressed a desire to explore the state of Jefferson concept.

Baird said the California Constitution gives the people in the state “the inalienable right” to change the government anytime the public good demands. He said all just power derives from the consent of the governed.

“We don’t need the permission of anyone to do what we’re doing,” he said. “We’re not asking anyone’s permission. We’re asking whether some governmental bodies agree with us. If they do, good. If they don’t, who has all the power? Us. We don’t need their permission. We are doing this because it has to be done. We are doing this because, according to our founding document, we have suffered a long train of abuses.”

According to Baird, the Jefferson movement has a chance “to change this nation – not this county, not this state, to change this nation forever for the better. How? And that’s the most important part of this question. By restoring representation to each and every county in California.”

And when the supreme court upholds the Jefferson lawsuit, “everyone has to listen. If we prevail in the supreme court, we’re going to restore representation to every single county in the United States of America.”

Baird said three U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s “got us where we are now,” but from Baird’s perspective, those decisions are flawed and ultimately created the one-man, one-vote system that denies rural counties representation and abolished California’s legislature the ability to base itself upon the federal model (a representative from nearly every county in the state senate and an assembly apportioned by population).

He said the current situation arose because citizens quit paying attention and stopped holding government accountable.

http://www.lassennews.com/story/2016/05/10/news/baird-declares-jefferson-movement-cannot-be-stopped/1087.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Ex-CalPERS chief Buenrostro jailed in Sacrmaento on battery of former girlfriend

JEFFERSON DECLARATION, State gov

Ex-CalPERS chief Buenrostro jailed in Sacramento on battery of former girlfriend

Buenrostro already facing up to 5 years in bribery case

Second battery arrest this year for former CEO

Magistrate previously issued warning, ordered anger management program

Former CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Fred Buenrostro testifies at the Legislature in 2005 on pension issues. John Decker Sacramento Bee file photo.

Monday, 25 April 2016

By Dale Kasler /

dkasler@sacbee.com

The former chief executive of CalPERS, already facing a prison term in the pension fund’s corruption scandal, was arrested in Sacramento over the weekend on charges of committing battery against a former girlfriend.

Fred Buenrostro, due to be sentenced May 18 after pleading guilty to accepting bribes, was being held at the Sacramento County main jail without bail after his arrest by Sacramento police late Saturday on misdemeanor battery and domestic violence charges, according to jail records.

It was the second time this year that Buenrostro, once the CEO of America’s largest public pension fund, was charged with battery. After pleading no contest, he was sentenced in March to complete a treatment program and spend 60 days wearing an electronic ankle bracelet; he was also placed on probation, defense lawyer William Portanova said.

Because he has now violated terms of his probation, Buenrostro will have to serve the rest of the 60-day sentence behind bars, Portanova said. It wasn’t clear how many days are left on that sentence. Nor was it clear whether Buenrostro will be able to appear for sentencing next month in the bribery case in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the lawyer said.

In the federal case, Buenrostro, 66, has been free on bond since he pleaded guilty in 2014 to accepting more than $250,000 in bribes from investment banker Alfred Villalobos, who was seeking investment deals on behalf of his clients.

Buenrostro is expected to receive up to five years in prison in the bribery case. In a separate civil case connected to the scandal, Buenrostro agreed in February to pay the state $250,000 in five annual installments after his release from prison.

In February, following his first battery arrest, a federal magistrate in San Francisco warned Buenrostro that his bail in the bribery matter could be revoked and he could be put behind bars immediately. He was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and anger management classes, according to court records.

“It’s just very unfortunate, and it’s very wrong. It’s just a tragedy,” Portanova said Monday, referring to Buenrostro’s latest legal troubles. “When these things happen, they have to be dealt with head on. There has to be recognition, and there has to be punishment. There has to be modification of future behavior.”

Brad Pacheco, spokesman for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, said the pension fund had no comment on Buenrostro’s arrest.

The battery arrest represents the latest twist in a scandal that’s become increasingly sordid.

Buenrostro, who ran CalPERS from 2002 to 2008, admitted taking sackfuls of cash and other bribes from Villalobos in a scheme to steer several billion dollars in pension investments to Villalobos’ clients in the private equity industry.

Besides the cash, Villalobos took Buenrostro and former CalPERS board member Charles Valdes on an around-the-world junket in 2006 that included stops in Dubai, Hong Kong and Macau, according to a lawsuit filed by state officials. Valdes died in September 2014, a week after he was beaten by his housemate and domestic partner. The partner was charged with battery and elder abuse; authorities ruled that Valdes died of unrelated health issues. Valdes was never charged in the CalPERS case and said he had done nothing wrong.

In January 2015, police said Villalobos shot himself to death at a gun range in Reno, just weeks before he was scheduled to go on trial in San Francisco. Villalobos, who was in poor health, had pleaded not guilty in the bribery scandal.

# # #

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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One Man One Vote Decision by SCOTUS nothing more than Punt by Court

Constitution, Elections, JEFFERSON DECLARATION

Shasta Lantern.com

One Man One Vote Decision by SCOTUS nothing more than Punt by Court

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Supreme Court rejects conservative challenge to ‘one person, one vote’

Constitution, Elections, JEFFERSON DECLARATION

April 4, 2016

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that states may satisfy “one person, one vote” rules by drawing election districts based on the total population of a place, a defeat for conservative interests that wanted the districts based only on the number of people eligible to vote.

The case, Evenwel v. Abbott, was considered one of the most important on voting rights this term, and a decision the other way would have shifted political power away from urban areas, where Democrats usually dominate, and toward more Republican-friendly rural areas.

The court’s ruling left open the possibility that other methods of reapportionment might be constitutional. But the decision was clear that using anything other than total population would face certain Supreme Court review.

The leader of the effort to use voting-eligible population as the standard said it was unlikely that any jurisdiction would test such a system until after the 2020 census.

The Supreme Court has never explained what metric should be used to satisfy the “one person, one vote” standard that the court advanced in the 1960s, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. chose Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to write the majority decision.

“What constitutional history and our prior decisions strongly suggest, settled practice confirms,” Ginsburg wrote. “Adopting voter-eligible apportionment as constitutional command would upset a well-functioning approach to districting that all 50 States and countless local jurisdictions have followed for decades, even centuries.”

She added, “As the Framers of the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment comprehended, representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote.”

She was joined by Roberts and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. agreed with the outcome but filed separate concurrences.

Currently, all states, with some minor variations, use total population for redistricting, and that standard is used to allocate congressional districts to the states after each census.

More

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-rejects-conservative-bid-to-count-only-eligible-voters-for-districts/2016/04/04/67393e52-fa6f-11e5-9140-e61d062438bb_story.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Making Jefferson Happen Town Hall 4-2-16

JEFFERSON DECLARATION, Mark Baird

21 Counties have signed Declarations to Separate from California.
What happens next?  Find out this Saturday!

How YOU Can Make It Happen!

Bring a friend! PLEASE SHARE!

Shasta County Town Hall

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Senior Citizens Hall

2290 Benton Drive

Redding, CA

Doors open at 3 p.m.

Meeting at 4 p.m.

Speaker:  Mark Baird

Time for the State of Jefferson?

Facing up to the state’s debt burden

The state of California has run up $6,400 on your credit card. And the same amount for your spouse and each of your children. A family of four owes more than $25,000.

ocregister.com

How is California working out for you?

“Use your common sense move to Texas, Tennessee or any other free State (a free State is one with low taxes and does not force workers to pay bribes to unions). Do you want freedom or good weather? Your choice.”
YOU CAN HAVE BOTH! Move to Jefferson!

Rider: Unaffordable California – It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way – California Political Review

Great website for more info, below:

www.capoliticalreview.com

PROPERTY TAX:  California in 2015 ranked 14th highest in per capita property taxes

PERSONAL INCOME TAX: Prior to Prop 30 passing in Nov. 2012, CA already had the 3rd worst state income tax rate in the nation.

SALES TAX:  CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation.  7.5% (does not include local sales taxes)

GAS TAX:  CA has the nation’s 5th highest “gas pump” tax at 59.0 cents/gallon (January, 2016).

PROPERTY TAX:  California in 2015 ranked 14th highest in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only major tax where we are not in the worst ten states.

“IMPACT FEES” ON HOME SALES:  Average 2012 CA impact fee for single-family residence was $31,100, 90% higher than next worst state.

“CAP AND TRADE” TAX:  CA has now instituted the highest “cap and trade” tax in the nation – indeed, the ONLY such U.S. tax.

SMALL BUSINESS TAX:  California has a nasty anti-small business $800 minimum corporate income tax,

CORPORATE INCOME TAX:  CA 2016 corporate income tax rate (8.84%) is the highest west of Iowa (our economic competitors) except for Alaska.

BUSINESS TAX CLIMATE:  California’s 2015 “business tax climate” ranks 3rd worst in the nation – behind New York and anchor-clanker New Jersey.

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT:  The American Tort Reform Foundation in 2015 again ranks CA the “worst state judicial hellhole” in U.S. – the most anti-business.

FINES AND FEES:  CA driving tickets are incredibly high. Red-light camera ticket $490. Next highest state is $250. Most are around $100.

OVERALL TAXES:  Tax Foundation study ranks CA as the 4th worst taxed state.

UNEMPLOYMENT:  CA is tied for the 8th worst state unemployment rate (December, 2015) – 5.9%. National unemployment rate 4.9%.

EDUCATION:  CA public school teachers the 3rd highest paid in the nation.  CA students rank 48th in math achievement, 49th in reading.

WELFARE AND POVERTY: 
California’s real poverty rate (the new census bureau standard adjusted for COL) is easily the worst in the nation at 23.4%.

GOVERNMENT INSOLVENCY:
California has the 2nd lowest bond rating of any state

TRANSPORTATION COSTS:  CA has 2nd highest annual cost for owning a car

OUT-MIGRATION:  California is now ranked as the worst state to retire in.

Rally Sally
The Time Has Come For 51!

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Newest State of Jefferson article

Constitution, JEFFERSON DECLARATION, Liberty, Mark Baird

Rebellion in California

New York Daily News.com

BY SARAH GOODYEAR

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2016

Getting to the heart of the vast region of Northern California that wants to break free and become the nation’s 51st state requires leaving California behind. At least, any familiar notion you may have of California. And that, in a sense, is exactly what you do when you travel there by car, which is pretty much the only way to reach the small towns in this sparsely populated part of the country.

Pull onto the freeway leaving the San Francisco International Airport, and you recognize the California from the movies: palm trees, speeding traffic, the glitter of the big city on the bay, the extended slog of suburbia. You may think you’re already in Northern California, but you’d be wrong. You’ll understand just how wrong by the time you reach your destination.

It’s not long before the landscape opens up and flattens out. This is the Sacramento River Delta, the rich farmland where they grow rice and almonds, tomatoes and alfalfa, sucking up vast amounts of water coming from the north. A roadside trailer flashes past, painted with the message that Jesus bled and died for you.

At a nondescript gas station in the town of Redding, you notice the first sign of the breakaway movement: a rack of forest-green sweatshirts bearing a yellow seal marked with a bold black double X. It’s the seal of the State of Jefferson, an idea that dates back more than 70 years and is currently being revived by a passionate group of separatists. They are pushing to split from the Golden State and form a new state roughly the size of North Carolina, but with one-fifth of the population. It’s a move that would require approval from both the California Legislature and the U.S. Congress.

The fight to create Jefferson is the longest of long shots, a Hail Mary pass made by folks who are sick of being underrepresented in the state legislature and ignored by California’s urban centers. Cut off from the seats of power by geography, alienated by the state’s left-leaning politics and tendency toward regulation, enduring stubbornly high unemployment, facing the decimation of traditional industries such as logging, and harboring few prospects for economic growth, these disaffected citizens — overwhelmingly white and mostly conservative — share many of the concerns about central state overreach as the militia members who recently took control of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. They, however, are committed to a political solution rather than an armed rebellion.

MORE — very long and inclusive article, worth the read with photos:

http://interactive.nydailynews.com/2016/02/state-of-jefferson-secessionists-california-gun-totin-rebels/index.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Steve Baird to speak at Yreka Tea Party 2-9-16

Elections, JEFFERSON DECLARATION

Yreka Tea Party Patriots
Meeting for Tuesday, Feb. 9th
6:30 PM

at the Covenant Chapel Church
200 Greenhorn Rd. Yreka
Everyone Welcome
Speaker:
Steven Baird
Candidate for CA Senate to Unseat Senator Gaines
And
Architect of the Financial Viability of Jefferson State.

Free….Contact Louise for more information at 530-842-5443

You can also hear Steven at the Republican Women’s Luncheon

Meet and greet a 11AM
Meeting starts at 11:30AM
Lunch at 12 noon

Smoked Salmon and Smoked Italian Chicken with salads and dessert
$12 or just come for coffee
Miners Inn on Main St. in Yreka
You don’t have to be a Republican or a Woman to attend
for more information Call Louise at 842-5443

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Liz Writes Life 1-5-16

JEFFERSON DECLARATION, Liz Writes Life

Jan. 5, 2015
Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

It is with much sadness that I respond to the situation in Eastern Oregon making national news. I am writing this on Monday morning and the situation may have changed by the time you are reading this on Tuesday evening, so my comments will be about the event as a whole.

The best article I have read provides a time-line and it was written for “The Conservative Tree House,” a blog on the internet. Bottom-line is that I have always felt that the federal government, aka BLM, has had designs on the Hammond ranch property and the agency bureaucrats have been persecuting them for decades in hopes of getting them to sell.
The Hammonds did not burn BLM lands on purpose. The 127 acres of BLM land accidently burned in 2001 was fought and put-out by the Hammonds as they pushed their property-prescribed burn back onto their ranch lands. Steven Hammond immediately reported the fire slop-over to the local fire department and BLM.

The Hammonds are ranchers. They have never acted in a “terrorist” manner and were are caught up in a second trial that found them “guilty” as “terrorists” and sentenced to additional five years of prison.
Now the Nevada Bundy ranching family — with a successful stand-off against the BLM back in April of 2014 — has expanded the situation currently playing-out in Eastern Oregon. Oath Keepers and militia, many who are retired U.S. military, have joined with Bundy’s.

Dwight and Steven Hammond said they will surrender Jan. 4, 2016, yesterday, to serve their most recent verdict of five years each. Meanwhile, several Bundy brothers and militia have taken control of the building housing the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in the wildlife reserve claiming the property belongs to “we the people,” because under the U.S. Constitution the federal government is only allowed to own post offices and ports. Yep, the federal government is way out of compliance. The federal lands should have been relinquished to states under the Constitution and statehood treaties; and that was not done for Western States.

Hypocrisy is blatant.

I believe the national media and government will use this new anti-BLM situation to create an even larger bias against ranchers, rural citizens and guns. The truth is that the government created most of this problem through its own greed, but I don’t see justice and right prevailing on this one. This situation will be tried in federal courts and, there too, the fox is guarding the hen house.

Correct info on State of Jefferson movement

Tomorrow, Jan. 6, 2016 will be an historic day for the State of Jefferson movement as 15 more county declarations will be presented to the California Secretary of State and the California Legislature. The Town of Fort Jones declaration will also be submitted by Mayor Tom McCulley. Two of the declarations are by the Boards of Supervisors of Sutter and Lassen Counties. The other 13 declarations are by “We the People” from the counties of Amador, Plumas, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Placer, Colusa, Sierra, Shasta, Trinity, El Dorado, Mendocino, Nevada and Butte.

Jefferson Committees were formed in these counties and volunteers gathered significant amounts of support signatures from county residents, who believe California is simply too large to govern and splitting California into two or more states is necessary at this time. The declarations cite the U.S. Constitution Article 4, Sec. 3, which provides the legal process to create a state.
“Lack of representation” is the theme. There are 80 senators elected throughout California, but they are elected according to population density. Rural Northern California is able to elect only 3-4 of these senators. The Jefferson movement believes that each county should elect a state senator to provide for equal representation.

A rally will be held at 10 a.m. on the West Steps of the California Capitol on Jan. 6th with Siskiyou County’s Mark Baird serving as key-note speaker. All supporters of the Jefferson movement are invited to participate in this historic event.

Previously, six county declarations were submitted to the State of California. Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors was the first to pass the declaration for withdrawal from California on Sept. 3, 2013. Modoc Supervisors quickly joined the movement on Sept. 24, 2013. On Jan. 21, 2014, Glenn County Supervisors unanimously showed their disgust and approved the declaration. In April 2014, Yuba Supervisors approved the declaration and in June 2014, the citizens of Tehama County approved a ballot initiative to withdraw from California. Lake County’s Declaration was submitted in 2015.

Extensive research has gone into proving the financial viability of the new state. Information on these financials, along with informative videos and maps can be found at: SOJ51.net.

Managing natural resources in a healthy, positive manner – by local government — will provide the vitality for this 51st state. It can be done. And someone can likely figure out how to fit a 51st star on the American flag!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.
# # #

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State of Jefferson Supporters Rally at Capitol

JEFFERSON DECLARATION

FOX 40

SACRAMENTO —

Nearly two dozen counties are in favor of creating America’s 51st state.

The wind and rain didn’t wash away the resolve of supporters of the State of Jefferson. Around 200 people marched on the west steps of the Capitol with signed declarations from a total of 21 counties pledging their desire to separate from the State of California.

“We are having a declaration rally where we are submitting 13 additional counties to petition to be separated from the state of California,” Ginny Rapini, a state of Jefferson supporter, said Wednesday.

El Dorado is the latest county to join Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Amador, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Butte and 13 others. Each county’s board of supervisors has voted to break away from the state and join the State of Jefferson.

Wednesday morning, leaders handed over declarations from each county to the Assembly, Senate and the secretary of state.

“The declaration basically says, because of the lack of representation, it’s time for California to let us go form our own state,” said Howard Thomas, a State of Jefferson supporter from Plumas County.

Supporters said the reason behind their desire to break away from California is a lack of representation at the Capitol and in Washington.

“We have representatives that represent 11 counties all the way from here to the Oregon border, there is no way they can adequately represent all of us, we are all so different,” Rapini said.

They’re hoping to have legislation to separate from California in front of the Assembly and Senate to vote on no later than March.

“They may just table it or try to hide it, and if they do that it just makes our court case stronger because we are not being represented,” Thomas said.

They say if state leaders ignore the State of Jefferson, they will take their fight to the Supreme Court — a fight they believe they can win.

“I believe we are going to make this happen this time. This is not the first time, this has been going on for 60 years. This is the first time we have gotten this far, and I do believe we are going to take it over the finish line,” Rapini said.

For more information on the effort, head to SOJ51.net.

Editor’s Note: We reported in an earlier version of this story that Placer County’s board of supervisors had voted to break away from the state of California and join the state of Jefferson. According to Placer County’s director of communication, Placer County has not taken any action on this issue and has no plans to take action. At this time, it is not something the board of supervisors is considering. 

State of Jefferson Supporters Rally at Capitol

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Jefferson staters keeping up their fight

JEFFERSON DECLARATION

At Sacramento rally, rural residents say Legislature has ignored their issues

The flag of the proposed state of Jefferson.

— In Siskiyou County, the tax base is so small and land area so vast the county’s 44,000 residents have to rely on themselves in an emergency. The county can only afford a slim law-enforcement presence, so if there’s a problem the response time may be “basically never,” explains Mark Baird, a rancher and retired deputy sheriff who met with me in a Sacramento coffee shop on Wednesday.

Yet, he pointed out, Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, just announced his support for more expansive gun-control measures. That disconnect between rural residents, who rely on their guns for self protection, and the more urban-oriented priorities at the Capitol, is an example of why he drove to the Capitol this week.

Baird is a leader of the ongoing effort to carve out rural northern California counties (and in past proposals, some southern Oregon counties, also) into the 51st state of Jefferson. The idea got a burst of attention in 2014 when Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim Draper tried (and failed) to place on the ballot a measure that would break California into six states, one of which would have been called Jefferson.

But while the attention faded away, the Jefferson movement – the continuation of an effort that got its start in the World War II era – has plugged along. Baird was here to present “declarations” from 15 of California’s 58 counties calling for withdrawal from California. The group held a rally on the west steps of the Capitol.

Those petitions – some approved by majorities of boards of supervisors, others comprised of signatures from local voters – were dropped off at the Legislative Counsel’s Office, where they will no doubt be duly ignored from legislative leaders.

Such efforts are easy to dismiss, but it’s too bad it has to be that way. Unlike the armed Bundy activists who have taken over a federal wildlife center in eastern Oregon, these Jefferson activists are petitioning their government in a thoughtful and peaceful manner. They may be tilting at windmills, but such protests are as American as apple pie.

Baird and Fort Jones Mayor Tom McCulley explained to me some of their frustrations. Their towns used to be thriving rural communities, but state and federal environmental policies dried up economic opportunities in logging, farming, energy development and mining. Now, McCulley said, the top employers in the county are county, state and federal government. Their kids are moving away and not coming back because of a lack of opportunity.

They gave numerous examples of officials coming in and making unreasonable demands, such as the requirement that McCulley’s town of 650 spend $5 million on a new sewage facility, or restrictions on harvesting dead trees, or a federal agency’s taking of half of one town’s water supply, or state air restrictions that shut down a remote seed pellet mill. “Its government from afar with no empathy with how we live and we lack the representation to do anything about it,” Baird said.

Indeed, their arguments were not mainly about grievances, but about political representation. At the Capitol rally, attended by several hundred people, I saw this sign: “Rural areas need proper representation.” As one speaker noted, “This is not secession.” He then invoked the Federalist papers No. 51, an essay about the proper way to construct a legislature. Baird points to a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court case that forced legislatures to base representation solely on population (rather than having Senate seats divvied up by county). In fact, their next step is a federal lawsuit based on these representation issues.

MUCH MORE

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jan/06/state-jefferson-sacramento-representation-rally/

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