Los Angeles — Accusing Sacramento of pillaging local governments to feed its runaway spending and left-wing policies, a Riverside County politician is proposing a unique solution: He wants 13 mostly inland, conservative counties to break away to form a separate state of "South California."
Supervisor Jeff Stone, a Republican pharmacist from Temecula, called California an "ungovernable" financial catastrophe from which businesses are fleeing and where taxpayers are being crushed by the burden of caring for welfare recipients and illegal immigrants.
On Tuesday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors will consider Stones proposal to host a statewide summit for city and county leaders to sketch out a framework for secession.
The politician said he was undaunted by scores of failed similar attempts since the 1800s, saying Californians havent faced such dismal economic times since the Great Depression.
"This has struck a chord with a lot of people in the state who have suffered economically," said Stone, adding that he has received thousands of emails supporting his proposal. "We know its going to be a challenge to form a second state, but its not impossible. Were sending a message."
A spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, called Stones proposal a laughable political stunt, saying the Riverside County supervisors should be more concerned about closing that countys expected $130 million revenue shortfall in the next budget year and possible cutbacks to public safety.
"Its a supremely ridiculous waste of everybodys times," said spokesman Gil Duran. "If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then theres a place called Arizona."
Along with Riverside, the counties in Stones South California would be Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare. Read more at latimes.com »