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Readers React: Why California Democrats will never allow the deep-red ‘Jefferson’ to carve itself from the state

A gun is held up for auction at an event to raise money for the "State of Jefferson" movement in Anderson, Calif., on Feb. 17.
A gun is held up for auction at an event to raise money for the “State of Jefferson” movement in Anderson, Calif., on Feb. 17.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: You don’t like what’s going on in Sacramento? Go there. Lobby. Make change. The way not to be politically irrelevant is to sell your positions in the marketplace of ideas. (“In California’s rural, conservative north, there are big dreams for cleaving the state,” March 17)

California bought the so-called state of Jefferson’s “ideas” when we enacted Proposition 187 a generation ago. We’re not going back to that. Jefferson is never going to happen.

I and the millions of other Democrats in this state won’t allow the tyranny of rural America to get any worse. Instead, putative Jeffersonians can look forward to actual political irrelevance in 2020 when Democratic legislatures around the country tear down the undemocratic voter suppression regime that Republicans have constructed over the last decade.

Branden Frankel, Encino

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To the editor: The state of Jefferson seems like a good idea.

I would, however, suggest that instead of including only several breakaway counties in Northern California, the 51st state draw its borders south along the Sierra Nevada, the San Bernardino Mountains and the Santa Rosa Mountains to the Mexican border.

Residents of these inland and northern areas, their families and their communities are damaged and disenfranchised by their association with California.

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Tim Bradley, Irvine

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To the editor: In the mid-1980s, the San Francisco Chronicle published a letter to the editor by yours truly ridiculing the state of Jefferson as economically nonviable. That criticism still stands.

Californians should fiercely oppose the creation of what in effect would be a West Coast Mississippi, yet another economically depressed red state that would leech off of the wealth generated by states like California and New York. But then again, these welfare ranchers already benefit from federal water subsidies and state largesse for highways and other infrastructure they could not afford on their own.

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Making matters worse, the “Jefferson” residents interviewed in this article repeat the tiresome (and tacitly racist) anti-immigrant litany that betrays an unwillingness to compete in the modern economy.

Residents of “Jefferson” should be thankful that their wagons are hitched to one of the most productive and innovative economies on Earth. If they feel “left out,” they should adapt and join the productive ranks of Californians.

Chris Ford, Phoenix

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To the editor: If Jefferson is to succeed in splitting itself from California, it should include the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. Doing so would distribute California’s Democrats, who are underrepresented in the United States Senate, more fairly.

Creating a large-area, low-population rural state would exacerbate what’s already wrong with this country: the many states with small populations that are over-represented in the Senate.

Dave Koepke, West Hills

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To the editor: If Jefferson becomes the 51st state, why not make the San Fernando Valley the 52nd?

Think about it: The state and even the city of Los Angeles have been very lax in fixing the roads and bridges in the Valley. It floods even when it drizzles, many roads don’t have adequate lighting, and the traffic is terrible. Plus, Sacramento is really far away.

We’ll call it the state of San Fernando. We’ll get two senators and representation in the House, and we already have a commercial airport. Why not?

Mike Cohen, Studio City

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