South California
Supervisor urges 13 counties to secede
Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 07/11/2011 08:10:22 PM PDT

RIVERSIDE – A local lawmaker has called for much of Southern and Central California to secede from the Golden state.

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone’s vision for a new state mirrors the kind of California that Republican lawmakers have been working toward attaining. But GOP lawmakers say pushing their agenda for relaxed regulations and pension reform has been a challenge with a Democratic governor and a Democratic-controlled Assembly and Senate.

Clearly frustrated with the opposing priorities of the state, Stone lists statistics for key areas in which he said California has faltered.

Jobs, Stone said, are leaving the state in significant numbers. He added that the state has too many excessive and duplicative regulations, residents are overtaxed, state pension reform is needed, and illegal immigration is a huge cost to taxpayers.

Stone said automation in production is also key.

“The state is more interested in preserving antiquated jobs than using existing and emerging technologies to reduce cost and expedite services to the taxpayers,” according to Stone’s report. “Why do we need 250 offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles? Why can’t a citizen pay their fees online and renew their car registrations? Gas consumption and traffic loads would diminish, and long waiting lines at DMV offices would disappear.”

Stone has called for the counties of Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare to consider the de-annexation of their regions from the state of California for a new 51st state to be called South California. He said other local officials may join in the discussion as well.

Los Angeles County is not included on Stone’s list.

“I’ve heard from thousands of people who have shared their anger and frustration, living in this dysfunctional state and see that this is the only solution to remedy what was once the fourth largest
economy in the world,” Stone said. “My goal is to bring all the local officials together in a summit. Any local jurisdiction in the state is invited to share what they think of the state’s continual pillaging of local governments and refusal to enact appropriate pension reform and reverse the job unfriendliness of the state.”

Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, said he understood Supervisor Stone’s frustration, “but I don’t think voters would approve it.”

Tim Donnelly, a fellow Republican Assemblyman based in Hesperia, said voters are dissatisfied with the Legislature, but added, “It is our role to change that.”

“The people are demanding that their elected representatives actually represent them,” Donnelly said. “What we need to do now is restore the people’s voice in California; I am not giving up on our state.”

Janice Rutherford, a San Bernardino County supervisor, offered a voice of support and is interested in further discussion about the details of the proposal with Stone.

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