California Rural counties for equal representation

Jefferson - California Rural counties for equal representation

Yuba’s Jefferson backing to Capitol

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 12:09 am

By Andrew Creasey/


Yuba will be one of three Northern California counties today to have its declaration presented supporting withdrawal from the state of California.
The declarations were lauded by supporters of the State of Jefferson, who have spearheaded the movement to withdraw from the state, but members of the board of supervisors from Yuba and Sutter counties took a more tentative approach, saying the proposed 51st state has a long, uncertain road to approval.

Declarations from Tehama and Glenn counties will also be presented by the Jefferson Declaration Committee, who volunteer in support of the State of Jefferson, to the secretary of state and both houses of the state Legislature. State of Jefferson supporters will rally at the Capitol, but the Yuba County Board of Supervisors will not attend. Both boards in Yuba and Sutter counties passed resolutions supporting withdrawal last year, although Sutter County’s resolution has not been presented to the state.
State of Jefferson supporters maintain that the rural, northern counties of California are under-represented by a state Legislature dominated by urban politicians who over-regulate and misunderstand the issues affecting the North State.
But county supervisors stopped short of offering unwavering support for a new state.
John Nicoletti, a Yuba County supervisor, said the declaration states that it is difficult to work with California, but said it does not represent a policy shift or signify that the county is abandoning California.
In particular, Nicoletti mentioned Beale Air Force Base and resource sharing work that has been done to allow local government agencies to provide municipal services to the base, such as wastewater treatment.
“It has taken years to get those things worked out from the federal standpoint, and it would take years to shift it to a new state authority,” Nicoletti said. “I feel very protective of those contracts. I’m not willing to abandon that or adversely affect it in any way.”
Ron Sullenger, chairman of the Sutter County Board of Supervisors, said the county’s stance on the proposed state is “lukewarm.”
“We think it’s a great idea; we just don’t know if we want to step and say ‘it’s State of Jefferson or nothing,'” Sullenger said. “We’re going to hurry up and wait to see if it goes somewhere. We’re not convinced it will go somewhere.”
Nicoletti echoed the sentiment.
“We can give a rally on idealism and perhaps political preference, but the technical aspect of this is more than a deep challenge,” he said.
Tom Knorr, president of the Tehama County State of Jefferson committee, said he frequently hears how challenging it will be to create a 51st state, which requires approval by the state and federal legislatures. The last state to successfully withdraw from an existing state was in 1863, when West Virginia split from Virginia.
“My first response is, if you’re not asking for anything, you’re not going to get anything anyway,” Knorr said. “It will be a tough task, but I think there’s some rationale for doing it. California is too large. There’s thousands of examples where one-size-fits-all does not work. We’re going to have to do something in order to fix it.”
The resolution passed by Sutter County cites abuses by the state, including the imposition of certain taxes and fees, the state’s disregard of payment-in-lieu-of-taxes funds owed to many rural counties, excessive environmental regulation that “has crippled our industry, delayed important public projects and greatly increased costs,” and disregard of the county’s historic water rights, among others.
Sullenger said he is in talks with other county supervisors to try to return the California Senate model to its original format, when each county had a senator. Today, the distribution of Senate seats is based on population, due to a United States Supreme Court Decision in 1968 known as Reynolds v. Sims.
“We basically have two assemblies, so everyone north of Sacramento is taxed without representation,” Sullenger said. “That approach is more doable and easier to sell (than the State of Jefferson).”

CONTACT reporter Andrew Creasey at 749-4780.

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‘State of Jefferson’ Supporters Rally at Capitol

Fox40 TV Sacramento

Posted 7:21 PM, January 15, 2015, by


Two hundred people in support of the “State of Jefferson” rallied at the Capitol Thursday.

The group held green and yellow flags in support of a 51st state.

Representatives presented three new petitions to withdraw from California from Yuba, Tehama and Glenn counties.

Mark Baird admits creating Jefferson is a big challenge and bold move but he believes splitting California will benefit everyone.

“This is a win for all of California. It is something we have to have to survive and the state needs to redress our grievances,” Baird said.

The State of Jefferson would include 20 Northern California counties – from Placer and Mendocino up to the Oregon border.

So far, five counties have filed declarations to secede.

“We’re very optimistic about what’s going on, because this isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing or conservative versus liberal, this is American people saying something is broken and the State of Jefferson is really the only answer for that,” supporter Kayla Brown said.

State of Jefferson supporters believe California is too large to govern and that their regions aren’t fairly represented in Sacramento.

Assemblyman Brian Dahle’s district would be a part of Jefferson.

Dahle says he understands the motivation behind the movement, but knows it will take a lot of work.

“The devil is in the details and if the details are worked out and looked like it was something that, financially, could work and we work all those things, then maybe I can get behind it,” Dahle said.

State of Jefferson supporters will be back at the Capitol in February when three more counties are expected to deliver their petitions to separate from California.

The group says they plan to craft legislation once 12 counties have filed their petitions.


State of Jefferson brings three more California counties on board

01/15/2015 1:22 PM

01/15/2015 10:25 PM

Read more here:

Supporters of the aspiring State of Jefferson returned to Sacramento on Thursday to present “declarations of separation” from three more Northern California counties.

The petitions from Tehama, Glenn and Yuba counties, expressing their desire to withdraw from California because of a perceived lack of representation in the Legislature, bring the total number of breakaway counties to five. Jeffersonians rallied at the Capitol last August after presenting their initial declarations from Siskiyou and Modoc counties.

Mark Baird, the movement’s chairman who hails from Mugginsville in Siskiyou County, said that when he filed the petitions with state officials Thursday, “They didn’t know what to do with them. They didn’t want them.”

He’ll be back next month with another declaration from Sutter County, Baird said, and Plumas and Lake counties may follow. Once 10 or 12 counties are on board, Baird and his allies plan to ask the Legislature to pass a bill allowing the State of Jefferson to secede.


Before a rally on the steps of the Capitol, freshman Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, met with attendees. He sported a pin with Jefferson’s XX seal, which stands for double-crossed by Sacramento.

“You need to get Shasta,” Gallagher told Terry Rapoza of Shasta County, a Jefferson organizer, “and Placer would be great.”

“He really has the testicular fortitude, doesn’t he?” Rapoza said of Gallagher.

Gallagher said he is a “big supporter of trying to get better representation, especially for the rural areas,” and he is interested in changing the structure of the state Senate, perhaps to one senator per county. California and many other states had such a setup until the mid-1960s, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that legislative districts had to have equal numbers of people.

But Gallagher side-stepped questions about whether he would support Jeffersonians’ efforts to secede: “We’re not there yet.”

Baird said they’re still looking for lawmakers, preferably a Republican and a Democrat, to sponsor a State of Jefferson bill.

“The fact that (Gallagher’s) out here means something to us,” he said.

Ginny Rapini of Placer County soon called the rally to order, where Baird would condemn California’s cap-and-trade program and high-speed rail, as well as socialism.

“Can we get it done without the intervention of God?” Rapini asked the crowd of more than 100. “No! Let’s pray.”

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to:

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Declaration Day at California Capitol 1-15-15

Rally at California Capitol West steps

Thursday, January 15, 2015

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jefferson supporters are invited to participate

Declarations from three counties:

Glenn Co. Board of Supervisors

Yuba Co. Board of Supervisors

Tehama Ca. Board of Supervisors

The Declarations

will be submitted to California

Secretary of State

Assembly and Senate

by Mark Baird and leaders of the Jefferson Declaration project


Read Glenn and Yuba Declarations

Read Glenn and Yuba Declarations

The Boards of Supervisors from Glenn and Yuba Counties approved Declarations for withdrawal from the State of California in 2014.

If you would like to read those official Declarations, go to the above red banner and find “GLENN”  and  “YUBA”, which is a tab to their pages.

You may need to scroll down a ways, but the Declarations with grievances are there.

Be a part of history and attend the RALLY on Thurs, Jan. 15, 2015 on the West steps of the California Capitol between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., when Glenn and Yuba Declarations will be presented to the Secretary of State, the Assembly and the Senate by Jefferson Committee leaders.

– Admin Liz Bowen


State of Jefferson supporters will present two more Declarations to split from California

Press Release from Jefferson Declaration Committee

Jan. 12, 2015

State of Jefferson supporters will present two more Declarations to split from California

SACRAMENTO — The State of Jefferson project is gaining steam as the Jefferson Declaration Committee will present two more Declarations for withdrawal from the State of California on Jan. 15, 2015.
“We are closer to making Jefferson a reality than ever before,” said Mark Baird, spokesman for the Declaration Committee. “We are thrilled to present Declarations from two more county boards of supervisors. Glenn County and Yuba County agree that it is time to restore equal representation.”
Supporters of the State of Jefferson will rally from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the West Steps of the California Capitol as committee members present Glenn and Yuba County Declarations for withdrawal from California to the Secretary of State and both houses of the state legislature.
Both county boards of supervisors approved the decision for withdrawal during 2014. Glenn Co. Supervisors approved the Declaration with a 5-0 vote and in Yuba Co. the supervisors voted 3-1 in favor of splitting from California.
Glenn and Yuba join Siskiyou and Modoc County Boards of Supervisors, who approved the Declaration in 2013. Siskiyou and Modoc Declarations for withdrawal were presented to the State on Aug. 28, 2014 by the Jefferson Committee and Jefferson supporters.
Baird said that Northern California counties have little voice in the state legislature and county supervisors agree that it is time for a change.
“People are excited,” added Baird, “momentum is continuing to build.”
There are now 20 county Jefferson Committees throughout the North State and Baird has been on the road speaking to Town Hall meetings and providing presentations to boards of supervisors. Plumas and Colusa are on the agenda next week.
Baird cites the 930 draconian laws recently passed by the State of California – many of which create heavy burdens for the citizens of the North State. A good example is the CARB or California Air Resources Board that is implementing excessive and inefficient laws regarding diesel engines that will do nothing for air quality, but are drastically expensive for machine owners.
“We consistently and constantly ask for redress of our grievances and we are repeatedly ignored,” said Baird.
One of the goals of the State of Jefferson is to elect one state senator from each county, so that all areas have adequate representation and an equal voice in the government, Baird explains.
“We will restore representation and will use that representation to restore jobs in Northern California,” said Baird, who finished with — “The Time has come for 51!”
# # #

Basic info on Reynolds v Sims U.S. Supreme Court decision that changed representation outlined in the U.S. Constitution

Comment: It is interesting that it was a county in Alabama named “Jefferson” that pushed for the change in representation claiming that urban counties did not have sufficient representation. The 1964 Reynolds v Sims case is what changed representation at the state level legislature, because afterwards state senators are now elected according to population. BEFORE the ruling, each county elected a state senator provide a voice for all counties and areas of a state — even the rural counties. The State of Jefferson Constitution will provide for election of a senator from each county to provide equal representation. Urban counties should not be able to override rural. — Admin Liz Bowen

From Wikipedia

Reynolds v. Sims,

377 U.S. 533 (1964) was a United States Supreme Court case that ruled that state legislature districts had to be roughly equal in population.


Voters from Jefferson County, Alabama, home to the state’s largest city of Birmingham, had challenged the apportionment of the Alabama Legislature. The Alabama Constitution provided that there be at least one representative per county and as many senatorial districts as there were senators. Ratio variances as great as 41 to 1 from one senatorial district to another existed in the Alabama Senate (i.e., the number of eligible voters voting for one senator was in one case 14 times the number of voters in another).

Having already overturned its ruling that redistricting was a purely political question in Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962), the Court went further in order to correct what seemed to it to be egregious examples of malapportionment which were serious enough to undermine the premises underlying republican government. Before Reynolds, urban counties were often drastically underrepresented.

Among the more extreme pre-Reynolds disparities (compiled by Congressman Morris K. Udall):

  • In the Connecticut General Assembly, one House district had 191 people; another, 81,000 (424 times more).

  • In the New Hampshire General Court, one township with three people had a Representative in the lower house; this was the same representation given another district with a population of 3,244. The vote of a resident of the first township was therefore 1,081 times more powerful at the Capitol.

  • In the Utah State Legislature, the smallest district had 165 people, the largest 32,380 (196 times the population of the other).

  • In the Vermont General Assembly, the smallest district had 36 people, the largest 35,000, a ratio of almost 1,000 to 1.

  • Los Angeles County, California, then with 6 million people, had one member in the California State Senate, as did the 14,000 people of one rural county (428 times more).

  • In the Idaho Legislature, the smallest Senate district had 951 people; the largest, 93,400 (97 times more).

  • In the Nevada Senate, 17 members represented as many as 127,000 or as few as 568 people, a ratio of 224 to 1.


The eight justices who struck down state senate inequality based their decision on the principle of “one person, one vote“. In his majority decision, Chief Justice Earl Warren said “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.”

Justice Tom C. Clark wrote a concurring opinion.

Justice Potter Stewart also issued a concurring opinion, where he argued that while many of the schemes of representation before the court in the case were egregiously undemocratic and clearly violative of equal protection, it was not for the Court to provide any guideline beyond general reasonableness for apportionment of districts.

In dissent, Justice John Marshall Harlan II criticized the Court for ignoring the original intent of the Equal Protection Clause, which he argued did not extend to voting rights. Harlan claimed the Court was imposing its own idea of “good government” on the states, stifling creativity and violating federalism. Harlan further claimed that if Reynolds was correct, then the US Constitution’s own provision for two senators from each state would be Constitutionally suspect since the fifty states don’t have “substantially equal populations”. “One person, one vote” was extended to Congressional (but not Senate) districts in Wesberry v. Sanders (1964).


Reynolds v. Sims set off a legislative firestorm in the country. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois led a fight to pass a constitutional amendment allowing unequal legislative districts.[1] He warned that

“…the forces of our national life are not brought to bear on public questions solely in proportion to the weight of numbers. If they were, the 6 million citizens of the Chicago area would hold sway in the Illinois Legislature without consideration of the problems of their 4 million fellows who are scattered in 100 other counties. Under the Court’s new decree, California could be dominated by Los Angeles and San Francisco; Michigan by Detroit..”


Redding Record Searchlight

Jan. 10, 2015


The State of Jefferson is the return to the ideals which not only changed the world forever, but the ideals that built and made this country the envy of the world. Marcus Cicero said, some laws are not written except in the hearts of men. John Locke called these laws, the natural laws, given us by God. The inalienable rights. The right to life, liberty, and property. Samuel Adams added to those “the right to defend them in the best way possible.”

In other words, liberty. Without liberty, the money does not matter, because Sacramento will not let you keep any of the money. Without liberty, property does not matter. What liberty have you, when the government tells you what you may or may not do with the property you supposedly own, or worse can take the property from you? Did you know the state Franchise Tax Board can go into your bank account and take money on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles if you forget to register your car?

Are we, the counties of Jefferson in a position to change any of this, when the County of Los Angeles outnumbers the northern third of California counties by a factor of 10 to 1 in representation?

Liberty! With the liberty that Jefferson would give its citizens, many, many things are possible. Without Jefferson, we already know the outcome. Patrick Henry said, “ I have only the lamp of experience to guide my feet. I cannot judge the future except by the past”.

California is a debt laden, failed socialist state doomed to failure for itself, and its people.

Shall we continue on the road to ruin for another 50 years and hope for better? Or … has the time come for 51? It is time for the people of Jefferson to stand up. We need help to succeed.

Liberty was a gift, to us. Paid for with the lives, treasure and sacred honor of our fathers. We must secure liberty for our children. Failure should not be an option, for it is our children and grandchildren who will inherit this failure from us.

By Mark Baird