Tue. Jun 18th, 2024



And so was the case at the meeting Tuesday night, February 4th, at Del Norte County Fairgrounds, representing Jefferson State movement. A small brochure was handed to every person who walked through the door of what to expect from the State of Jefferson. The brochure spoke to lower state personal tax, lower state sales tax, however they seemed to leave out property tax. Red flag! Echoes of 800 billion dollar debt California owes, and yet when Robert Smith asked the question, “What would Jefferson State look like if we left California? The answer, “It would look like it looks now”.  My question is this: why would 10 to 15 counties want to take on that kind of debt just to be called Jefferson State?

           Mark Baird leader and main speaker advertised how Jefferson State would have a senator representing each county. What is interesting about that figure of speech is the fact there are only two senators from each state that represent the state.  Mr. Baird and his consoles ranted about how Jefferson State would be the state to uphold the constitution and the laws of the land, in a perfect world that may hold true, but the fact of the matter is there is always conflict with laws and even state workers who are suppose to abide by the law do  not uphold the laws of the land that’s why there are law suits.

          What seemed to cause the smoke from Mr. Baird to begin with was the mere fact that he was mandated by California State Law to place a smog device on his personal tractor at the tune of $20,000.00 dollars. He felt this law was unfair in the aspect that we live in the north where there is no smog, not down in the south where smog is prevalant. Mr. Baird felt that he was not represented by California law makers who make laws with Southern California in mind. Yet, in the same abated breath Mr. Baird marches to the drums on how Jefferson State would uphold all the laws of the land. I guess if those laws are suited for what he likes he would uphold them, kind of like Waco Texas antics.

          Another point of view Mr. Baird shared was the fact that California laws concerning the water quality, commerce, coastal regulations would all change in his words for the better. Allowing semi-trucks to plow through our county, open up mills for income and accepting big corporations who would pay less in taxes. Less law the better. In one respect that can be a good thing, however, do we the people really want the quietness of Del Norte County to change into a bustling City where quiet is another word in the dictionary between P and R? 

          At the beginning of the meeting one of the speakers informed the group how 500 people showed up in siskiyou county for a board of supervisors meeting in support of Jefferson State and the board of supervisors immediately signed a doctrine to join this Jefferson State Task. Really? As of July 2011, the population of Siskiyou County is 44,507 people, is 500 representative of 44,000?  Another meeting at Chico State where 500 people showed up and again the board of supervisors signed the doctrine. Really? The population of Butte County as of July 2011 was 220,266 Is this what you call representation when a few people show up out of hundreds of thousands and those few people are represented but not the majority? I noticed at the meeting these speakers mentioned Humboldt County had not been approached on the subject yet. Really? This has been going on for months and Humboldt County has not been contacted yet? Could it be that is where the environmentalist are strong? They would probably laugh out these good ole boys wanting to develop Jefferson State.  Approximately 120 people showed up at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds representing  28, 659 people who live in the County. And on September 26, 2013 The County of Modoc’s Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 for the move which was supported by the majority of 40 attendees at the meeting, including a spokes person for the Jefferson Declaration Committee, the group hoping to compel 6 counties in the area to sign on before asking State law makers for approval according to Racialicious.com publication Arturo Garcia, who authored the publication.

          So the writing is on the wall at this point. The State of Jefferson is going after what they think are the easiest counties to join alignment with separating from California and the total support is less than 2,000 who have made an appearance to the Board of Supervisors for each county, yet representing thousands. Keep in mind the earlier quote from Robert Smith whom I recorded, question he asked, “ What would Jefferson State look like financially if separated from the state of California?” Answer; “The same.” But he added, we would work on financial stability whereas California does not.

          You see California we are all fiscally responsible for our debt we voted the knot heads in that got us into this mess and we continue to vote them in. Do we have representation for the Northern portion of California. No. But can the 10 to 15 poorest counties accrue billions of dollars in debt for the sake of fishing, cutting down 4% of our trees, mining, infecting our clean water with chemicals and bringing in corporations that give praise to the almighty dollar instead of a quality of life. Additionally, think about the good jobs that are here such as the prison and other law enforcement agencies. The spokesperson Baird stated, “ When we become Jefferson State the officers that work at Pelican Bay would keep their wages but new officers that are not vested would be subject to a lower wage.” Really? Think about that, Jefferson State would give you what “they” think is a viable wage for working in a prison, maybe to the tune of $20.00 per hour, nothing more and possibly minimum wage to start for officer’s who are giving up the possibility of their life when they walk in the gate. That spokes- person suggested we would no longer need the Highway patrol, because the Sheriff office would take care of monitoring our highways. Really? That absolutely scares me especially since the local Sheriff department gets away with murdering young men who are unarmed, when they get away with busting into an individual’s house without probable cause, and when they are not held accountable for inmates who hang themselves in the jail because the officer was not paying attention. That is what we are subjecting ourselves to with Jefferson State. Is that the kind of representation you want?

          It absolutely baffles me how these men who are heading this task actually have any support at all, the hard subjects have not even been discussed. Yep there is no room for progress with Jefferson State, not even financially, this is about wanting to be politicians who want to control people’s lives the way “they” see fit, and then pass it off as, You the people will vote on what you want, or at least that was the typical answer. Personally if these people would utilize their time to make changes in our current state we might be better off instead of trying to separate from the state.

  1. Mr. Yarbrough,

    Thank you for shedding some light on a very difficult subject. I agree something drastically needs to be done, and forming another state maybe the answer, but, I am concerned about the presentation. I am not feeling it yet with what these people have to say…I guess maybe they should think about developing something more than a brochure to hand out to people that has more substance to it. Saying words just does not cut it for me. Linda Sutter

  2. Wow was Mrs Sutter at the same meeting of the SOJ as I was?1st there was 317 attending and more turned away for the lack of seating.2nd the prison contract with new C/O’s is already different then the vested C/O’s 3rd none of the worker Bees manning the petition tables desire anything but a better life for our children and grand children. 4th.the present petition signature by validated voters of Del Norte county stands now at over two thousand and more to come.5th why would responsible Americans want to stay in a state that doesn’t represent any of the northern counties , will not let you cut a tree down on your property, say when you can go rock fishing in the ocean and have increase the debt to over one trillion dollars and has proposed a fast train to L.A. that will not benefit the north but we have to help pay for it.now this morning Gov. Brown proposed a 700 billion water project from Sacrament to the all American canal finally stealing the rest of the water from N. Ca, a pipeline big enough to drive a semi truck through.Sacramento has no intension of ever living within a budget once again keeping the North in a poverty state.I have lived in Del Norte county since 1949 and remember the timber days, mills, mining, fishing, hunting, never did these industry’s spoil our beautiful Smith River, nor would the people of the SOJ allow that to happen.Mrs Sutter get your facts accurate. know that growing up here with the industries that existed before the coastal commission and state and federal land grabs if you wanted a job you could get a living wage job. now we have to export our children to other states and metropolitan areas to make a living wage.I do not want to export anymore children or grand children. I do not want to live in a state with the highest tax rates in the nation, thank you Chuck Tweed.

    1. Dear Mr. Tweed,

      Remember, this is just my opinion and my perspective no one has to place value on it. Additionally, there is so much the platform is not saying that places doubt. despite the two thousand signatures from del norte county that is less than 10% of the total population which is not a majority. I will continue to listen to what Jefferson State proposes, but right now, the light I see at the end of the tunnel is a freight train that will hit you if you stand in the way.

  3. Wow, I’m just plum worn out from reading this! Linda Sutter has missed the boat on so many things, and misrepresented so much. I was there at the meeting as well, and I did not have such an impression. I think that anyone who reads her opinion will see it for the negative angry rant that it is, written with a fanatical zeal, full of opinion, and light on facts. I’m a supporter for the State of Jefferson, and it is all about us up here being self sufficient with the freedom to prosper, and having a say in our political system. One thing at the meeting that I think we need to address and write about- that was missed in “Linda’s rant,” is to ask the Native Americans who are actually from here- what they think. A young Native American man spoke up at the meeting about the rights of Native Americans under the State of Jefferson. Mr. Baird responded that Native interests are Federal. I would really like the State of Jefferson to strive to reach out now to the Yurok and Tolowa, Karuk tribes, and all the Native Peoples of the proposed State of Jefferson, and hear from those communities. I would respect their opinion. I think we would find that we all want the same things for our families, and our way and quality of life.

    1. Dear Mr. Bier,

      Remember this is just my opinion and my perspective, you don’t have to place value on it. I am not angry by no means, but I am cautious, as this is a big project that requires thought and planning. I understand Del Norte County has received 2000 signatures which is less than 10% of the total population, that is something to take into consideration. If all people were so aboard with this project there would have been at least that many wanting to attend the meetings. Thank you for your response. Linda Sutter

  4. Aren’t rants wonderful ? They bring out the very issues that need to be flushed out so meaningful dialog can begin. As with the Q & A session immediately following the meeting any an all questions about the path before the residents of all the counties none were censored. Not all the questions had answers. There was no BS just a ” I don’t know”, “that’s a very good question and it needs to be addressed” or “we are studying that issue and hope to have an answer for one and all soon but because of the complexity it may take more than a few days or weeks to be adequate.”

    There also was full admission that when all the cards are on the table they won’t be sufficient to sway the California legislature. This isn’t a Nancy Pelosi moment “we have to pass it so we can tell what’s in it” in any way. This is the beginning of a long process. Keeping this in perspective is important for everyone.

    More importantly and more accurately is as was stated ‘California has reached a point of being ungovernable. The system is corrupt and out of balance. There is nothing on the horizon that gives any confidence it is going to get any better any time soon if not worse. What is need is something better.

    Anyone, including the author of this article, is more than welcome to come up with a better solution other than that provided by the State of California.’ No one is stepping forward except the people who have understood the history of the State of Jefferson and they are.

    Thank you for your interest Ms Sutter. As a member of the SOJ Declaration Committee I encourage you to get as many of your friends and associates to bring out their issues as well.

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