Monday, December 11, 2023

Rural Counties in Ore. and Calif. Hope to Secede through Greater Idaho Movement

‘This is our last resort…’

IMAGE: GreaterIdaho.org

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) On the heels of West Virginia politicians’ efforts to encourage outraged Virginia counties to secede from its far-left government, another serious secession crisis is arising on the opposite end of the country.

Residents of rural Oregon, tired of being ruled by the unhinged, leftist radicalism in Portland another urban pockets, are petitioning to join Idaho, the more rural eastern neighbor, which—despite considerable migration from California to Boise—remains a conservative enclave.

“Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,” Mike McCarter, one of the two chief petitioners, said in a news release.

“We tried voting those legislators out, but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored,” McCarter continued. “This is our last resort.”

A petition filed in January proposes moving Oregon’s border north of Josephine County, putting 19 counties and portions of other counties under the jurisdiction of Idaho.

Supporters argue that the move would be mutually beneficial, allowing the liberal areas near the coast to focus on their budgetary priorities while ensuring representation for those who oppose their politics.

It now is in the process of gathering signatures and support to become a ballot initiative, according to the group Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho. The group is also helping spearhead efforts to annex rural, conservative parts of Northern California.

The supporters were optimistic that the movement may quickly gain traction. The petition notes that the border between Minnesota and North Dakota was relocated as recently as 1961 after an interstate compact that was approved by Congress.

Unlike the West Virginia–Virginia effort, which would require the approval of both legislatures, the emphasis that the western states place on voter referendums via ballot initiative could give it a greater chance of success.

Valerie Gottschalk, another of the Greater Idaho chief petitioners, noted that recent efforts to recall Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, although falling short of the number of signatures needed, had been well received in the affected rural areas.

“I expect this movement to grow rapidly, having seen the response to the ‘Recall Kate’ petition circulated last year,” Gottschalk said.

“People here would prefer Idaho’s conservative governance to the progressive/liberal current Oregon governance,” she continued. “Every time I look at the Facebook group Greater Idaho, the group has gotten bigger. And our Facebook poll got 84% in favor out of 1300 polled.”

However, according to USA Today, a similar attempt to split the rural areas of Oregon and California into a separate state, called Jefferson, failed in 1941.

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