South California - the 51st state?
So is the world ready for two Californias? Well one west coast official thinks just that.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone is pushing for 13 counties in southern California to secede from the rest of the Golden State, a move that would cause the US flag to increase its number of stars up to 51 and have atlas makers and other cartographers up in arms over the addition of “South California” to the Union.
Stone tells the Los Angeles Times that him and his constituents are “sending a message” to lawmakers because, as he puts it to the New York Times, he’s tired of his home state being “the laughingstock of late-night jokes.”
This could all be resolved, says Stone, if more than a dozen conservative-leaning counties at the bottom of SoCal separate from the rest of the state.
Stone says that the state is spending too much on prisons, public unions have too much power and illegal immigrants are all too rampant.
"We have businesses leaving all the time, and we’re just driving down a cliff to become a third-world economy," he tells The Times.
Under Stone’s proposal, 13 largely Republican counties — including Fresno, Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino — would start up a new state. South California would become the fifty-first state in the US and the fifth-largest by population.
A spokesman for multi-term Democrat Governor Jerry Brown tells the LA Times that Stone is just being silly, though.
"It's a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time," spokesman Gil Duran says. "If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there's a place called Arizona.''
"We know it's going to be a challenge to form a second state, but it's not an impossible,” says Stone, who thinks he “has struck a chord” with a lot of fellow-minded Republicans out west.
In the meantime, Stone’s suggestion looks unlikely to come through.
Regardless of how it all pans out, it should be noted, however, that Los Angeles County will remain part of the United States, much to the chagrin of most of America.