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California secession plan 'supremely ridiculous,' Brown aide says

Southcalifornia The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a proposal to host a statewide summit to discuss having 13 counties secede from California to form "South California."

The idea is the brainchild of Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, a Republican. Along with Riverside, the counties in Stone's South California would be Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare.

A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown called Stone's proposal a laughable political stunt, saying  Riverside County supervisors should be more concerned about closing that county's expected $130-million revenue shortfall in the next budget year and dealing with possible cutbacks to public safety.

"It's a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time," said spokesman Gil Duran. "If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there's a place called Arizona.''

Combined, those counties are home to about 13 million people. Republicans account for the majority of registered voters in all of those counties, except San Bernardino and Imperial.

"This has struck a chord with a lot of people in the state who have suffered economically,'' said Stone, who cited high taxes and the state's financial problems as reasons for the proposed breakup. "We know it's going to be a challenge to form a second state, but it's not a impossible. We're sending a message.''


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-- Phil Willon

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