Only a few weeks after Siskiyou County voted to secede and form a new state, Jefferson, a second Northern California county has voted to leave as well. The far north Modoc County held a vote in which all four supervisors voted unanimously for secession. The chairwoman of the Modoc County board put the measure forward after hearing strong support for the idea from the people themselves. According to Fox News, almost 40 people showed up to the County Board meeting, “which amounted to a standing-room only crowd in Modoc’s country chambers.” Although the entire county is home to almost 10,000 people, which is significantly less than Siskiyou’s 44,000 residents.
The idea of a northern state of Jefferson has been around for a very long time, and many believe this is just a threat to gain some attention from both the media and Sacramento for these out of the way, rural counties in a very populous state. Mark Baird is a spokesman for the “Jefferson Declaration Committee,” saying, “California is essentially ungovernable in its present size.” Citing laws such as the fee for fire prevention or other, mostly-liberal initiatives, the mostly conservative residents of these northern counties feel they are not being heard in the state capital. “We lack the representation to address the problems that affect the North State,” says Baird.
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Joe Mathews of The Sacramento Bee, however, says it’s all bluster, calling the resolutions merely a threat meant to get media attention. “If Siskiyou were serious about leaving the state, its supervisors would have launched their secession threat not with criticism of Sacramento (in a meager two-page resolution) but with some serious sucking-up to the state Legislature.” Still even though Mathews believes it’s a stunt, he still admits that their complaints have some merit.