Southern California : The 51st State?

By Proof

I saw this story last night, and put it in the Saturday links, but seeing LCR's piece on it and the comments it generated, got me thinking a little more seriously about it. Jogged some old memories, actually.

In the past, the talk was always about the North seceding from the south! I think boundaries and the redness or blueness of the new states would be a concern. LCR seems to think they might be "purplish". I'd always figured we'd draw the line below Fresno, something like this:

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...which would definitely tilt the North towards the red and the south would be bluer.

Since the 51st state would have two new US Senators, making sure that they were at 50% conservative or at least competitive could be a deal breaker. No one (sane) wants two more liberal senators in DC.

One practical concern I used to think about was the cost of doubling the bureaucracy:
Two governors, two Lt. Governors, two DMVs, two boards of everything, and it just seemed like quite an expense. Now, it may be more like the old joke:

Q. Why is divorce so expensive?

A. Because it's worth it!

It may be a little bit idealistic of our friends in the south, to think that all the ills of the state reside in Sacramento. Make that, "currently reside". Do you honestly think that Los Angeles as the capitol of Southern California would be anything other than the same liberal big government types we have up here?

Again, it comes down to where you draw the line. Splitting the liberal power hold of Sacramento/SF/LA may do great things to make the states more competitive and more business friendly. But, two bare liberal majorities would mean extra liberal votes in the Senate, confirmation of judges, etc.

It is an interesting idea. One, perhaps, whose time has come, should Californians ever decide where the line should be drawn.

One suggestion for the southerners: "South California" sounds so Dakota-ish. I would suggest a name more in line with the deep cultural contributions of southern California: "La La Land".

Update: Mr. Stone wants to gerrymander the state so that LA is part of "Northern" California. Yeah. Right! In your dreams! Northern California doesn't want your excess baggage.

More at Memeorandum, LCR

Cross posted at Proof Positive


  1. It'll never happen - how on earth do you get 51 stars on the flag evenly?

    Seriously though, the risk-reward value proposition for conservatives needs to drive the argument. No doubt you'd have one state more successful than the other and a string of likely conservative governors and probably senators, there needs to be relative certitude of that to get conservative support.

    Beyond support, how does the state then divide the existing fiscal mess. Who takes on what share of the debt? What about inherited welfare and pension rules? What about inherited government unions and regulation? It would take years to untangle all of that? It would be simpler no doubt, for true conservatives to just find another state.

    I'm not arguing a it's a bad idea, just that it would be nearly impossible to do.

  2. "it would be nearly impossible to do." Yeah. I think you've got that right. Look at how hard reapportionment is and what a mess is made of that. There is disagreement right off the bat as to where to draw the line.
    And in any such proposal, the liberals would be trying to figure how to game the system so that they end up with even more power.

    As I say, I haven't thought of it in years, but if someone can come up with a workable plan, I'd be willing to take a look at it.

  3. Los Angeles County is not part of the group of counties that will form the new state. LA is a foreign country already, primarily a territory of Mexico and Central America. The counties that would secede under the plan have nothing in common with LA. In LA the predominant language is Spanish and about half of the population subsist on the taxes imposed on working Californians.

  4. "The counties that would secede under the plan have nothing in common with LA" And you think Northern California does? Thanks a lot!

  5. @Dean_L, about the flag question, see


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