'South California' proposed as 51st state by Republican supervisor
The 51st state should be named South California, says Jeff Stone, a Republican on the the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. But the proposed 13 southern California counties that would split off from the Golden State would not include Los Angeles.
Stone told the Times' Phil Willon that the ommission is intentional and is part of a plan that would make for a new conservative Californian state.
"Los Angeles is purposely excluded because they have the same liberal policies that Sacramento does. The last thing I want to do is create a state that's a carbon copy of what we have now,'' Stone said.
"Los Angeles just enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags. That put three or four manufacturers out of business,'' Stone, a pharmacist from Temecula, said.
Stone plans on formally proposing secession Tuesday during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
South California would encompass Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare counties, totaling approximately 13 million people.
The proposed 51st state would be the fifth largest by population, more populous than Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. South California would take nearly a third of the population away from California, making the Golden State the second-largest state after Texas.
Eleven of the 13 proposed counties in South California traditionally vote Republican, a fact noticed by California Gov. Jerry Brown's office.
"If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there's a place called Arizona," Brown spokesman Gil Duran said.
-- Tony Pierce
Map of the proposed 51st state, South California Credit: Los Angeles Times