State of dysfunction


The Mark Baird-led push for state of Jefferson endorsement in Plumas County, California, consisted of relentlessly pressuring the county board of supervisors (who are sworn to uphold the California State Constitution) for a vote of support to leave California, and then walking away from any relationship with that body when that support was not forthcoming (“A Separatist State of Mind,” HCN, 1/22/18). Once the supervisors declined to fund a countywide vote, SOJers could have invested the time and effort necessary to gather enough certifiable signatures to still place the issue on a ballot, but instead they opted for a few hundred hastily gathered signatures that I understand may have included significant numbers of unregistered individuals.

“A Separatist State of Mind” quotes Mr. Baird claiming, “We got 51 percent of the population in Plumas County. We got 40,000 signatures. We didn’t need their board.” Unfortunately for Mr. Baird, Plumas County has fewer than 19,000 total residents, so he was either misquoted or dealing with “alternative facts.” Without doubt, the sparsely populated northern counties of California are heavily subsidized by the rest of the state’s taxpayers for a wide array of governmental services. So maybe it is actually a relief for the handful of Northern Californians who were duped into believing the state of Jefferson could be functional that on Feb. 1, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed the suit filed by state of Jefferson supporters and others against California for better representation.

Piers Strailey
Quincy, California

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