One of the local-democracy initiatives Bill Kauffman covered in his Bye, Bye, Miss American Empire was the ‘state of Jefferson’, an area of northern California (and bits of southern Oregon) that want to be free of their respective governments. Today, Tom Woods interviewed a man preparing to sue the state of California on behalf of twenty-one counties for ‘lack of representation and dilution of the Vote’. The movement is cultural, not merely political, as ‘Jefferson’ appears in the names of businesses and such in the region.
It’s an interesting and brief interview (19 mins), but below follow two quotes-in-paraphrase.
Guest, Mark Baird: “Northern California has no representation; one state senator in California has to represent a million people, and an assembly person represents half a million. There are eleven counties in Jefferson that have one state senator between them. Los Angeles county has eleven state senators, and fifteen if you count the senators whose districts overlap with greater Los Angeles. 51% of the state representation lies from the Los Angeles county line south to the Mexican border.
After explaining the problem of representation, Baird follows with concerns of how the economy of northern California has been smothered entirely by the dictums of a government nine hundred miles away. “There are four businesses through which every industry moves: timber and forest products, farming and livestock, energy production, The last [escapes me at the moment]. We have all four of those businesses but have been denied their use by the political processes of the State of California. In other words, our counties are not poor; we have been impoverished by mob rule coming out of southern California.”