OPINION PIECE BY LINDA SUTTER
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.