Rural Counties Seek to Form a ‘New California’
Seal for New California proposed by Paul Preston. (Screenshot/newcaliforniastate.com)
October 3, 2018 Updated: October 4, 2018
Proponents of an effort by the majority of California’s 58 counties to form a new state have set a second constitutional convention of delegates for Oct. 6 in Irvine.
If such a secession effort is successful, as many as 51 counties would split from California. The “New California” entity would have a total population of up to 18 million people, making it the fifth-most-populous state in the nation. The remaining seven counties—Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Napa, Marin, Alameda, and San Mateo—with a population of about 22 million, would trail only Texas by population.
The New California movement bases itself on the principles of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Supporters plan to follow the same path taken by West Virginia in splitting from Virginia in 1861.
“We have the instrument to do it. It is called the Declaration of Independence, and they cannot stop it,” said Paul Preston, a radio talk show host and a founder of this movement.
Paul Preston, founder of the New California movement, spoke to the Mariposa County New California Town Hall meeting in Mariposa County, California on Sept. 27. (Nathan Su/The Epoch Times).
The process of forming the new state will include articulating grievances against the current state government for having failed to represent the views of those in the seceding counties.
The Declaration of Independence states: “whenever any form of government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.”
In 1861, the western regions of Virginia filed grievances against, and later broke away from, Virginia, because Virginia wanted to continue the institution of slavery.
Today, the activists in the New California movement are filing grievances against the current state of California for a long list of issues that include unfair electoral district design, corrupt election procedures, sanctuary state policies, and so on.
Each week activists announce one new grievance to the general public in front of about 20 county government centers throughout California. Preston said that this was how things got announced in the olden days.
So far there have been 36 grievances announced to the public. Preston told The Epoch Times there would be more than 50 to come.
“This is a constitutionally driven movement,” said Preston.
Article IV section 3 of the Constitution reads:
“New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
The first step the activists for the new state must take is to get approval from the current state legislature, and then later to get the approval of Congress.
California Governor Jerry Brown delivers the State of the State address at the California State Capitol on Jan. 31, 2011 in Sacramento, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Regarding the approval from the current State Legislature, the partisans for the new state believe the upcoming state budget and financial problems will actually create a win-win situation for the two future states when they split.
Based on a study by the California Policy Center, state and local public entities owe a total debt of around $1.3 trillion. The activists for the new state believe that California will eventually run out of money. In order to deal with its own financial problems, California would be willing to cut a financial deal with New California and then let it break away.
Rich in Resources
New California, after split, will be an agricultural state with rich natural resources including mines, natural water, and oil.
Preston said the new state will have fewer environmental regulations, and will welcome investments in the mining and oil industries.
The new state will also be a right-to-work state, meaning the political powers of the labor unions will be limited.
The new state will take the southern border away from California, and it will not be a sanctuary state.
Preston suggested that the new state legislators would only meet for 60 days every two years.
Preston said that two thousand bills were introduced this year alone by the California State Legislature, and 600 of them ended up on Jerry Brown’s desk. “That is outrageous. That should not happen. That is why New California is rising,” Preston said.
Recently there have been two other similar efforts aimed to split California.
Prop. 9 was put on this year’s state ballot to split California into three states, but has already been struck down by the State Supreme Court. Preston said that the Constitution never required this process to be decided by voters. Putting the new state on the ballot to be voted is an unconstitutional process.
Another effort is called the Jefferson State movement, which proposed to form a new state by joining together some of the counties from both Oregon and California. This effort currently is still in progress.
Preston, in his radio program, asked Californians around the nation to come home: “We need you to build New California. We need to take a new hold of California and do the right thing.”
Preston also claimed that this was a nonpartisan movement.
“History is in the making. There will be one more star on our flag,” said Paul Taylor, a leader in this movement and a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in this year’s California primary.
“A United States of America with 51 states will be much stronger. We will demonstrate to the world that we can do this,” said Preston. “We can declare our independence and we can become free people again in New California.”