Society

Conservative Counties in Colorado Consider Forming 51st State, North Colorado, Over Guns, Energy

| by Dabney Bailey
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Get ready to throw out your 50-star flags, because local officials in Weld County, Colorado are thinking about forming the 51st state, North Colorado. And yes, they’re quite serious.

"The people of rural Colorado are mad, and they have every right to be," said Rep. Cory Gardner (R). "The governor and his Democrat colleagues in the statehouse have assaulted our way of life, and I don't blame people one bit for feeling attacked and unrepresented by the leaders in our state."

There are a number of different issues pushing Colorado citizens to consider such drastic measures. They point to gun rights and energy legislation as the most egregious issues. Commissioners from Weld County have called them the “straws that broke the camel’s back.”

Eric Brown, a spokesman for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, explained that “Background checks on gun sales, increasing renewable energy and supporting responsible development of oil and gas" are dividing voters.

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Larimer Commission Chairman Steve Johnson is one of the people who obviously disagrees with the North Colorado proposal. He asked, "Is this April 1? I think this is the stupidest thing I've seen in a long time."

But Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway isn’t laughing. He and other county officials have met with locals to determine whether or not the new state would be economically viable in order to draft a ballot initiative by Aug 1.

Creating a new state is certainly unusual, but that hasn’t stopped the U.S. government from setting other precedents. “It hasn’t been tried in a while, but we also didn’t have a Supreme Court decide the presidential election for 100 years,” he said, referring to the 2000 presidential election.

Creating a new state might not be as simple as letting residents vote on an initiative ballot. If Weld County does seriously try to create a new state, then Colorado officials, federal lawmakers, and the courts might fight the move. If Weld County succeeds, then they will set a dangerous precedent that could fundamentally alter the U.S. legislative system.

Considering how divided rural and urban areas are politically, North Colorado could quickly be followed by dozens of new states – some as small as a single city, while others could encompass vast rural areas.

Source: Greeley Tribune