What are we then to make of right-wing rural counties in Democrat-dominated Colorado and Maryland agitating for political and cultural self-determination? As it was 160 years ago, the rural peoples in Colorado and Maryland groan under the dominance of the legislatures in Denver and Annapolis, bodies dominated by culturally alien and demographically distinct urbanites from the Front Range and Washington-Baltimore axis and that cynically structure the legislature to their voice as much as possible
[A] group of conservative Republicans want Garrett and four other Maryland counties to break away and form the 51st state...I spoke Monday to the leader of what's called the Western Maryland Initiative. Scott Strzelczyk is his name. He doesn't like the word "secession." He's talking about something different - the formation of a new state out of five counties. The U.S. Constitution allows regions to separate with approval from the state legislature and Congress. There are similar efforts around the country. West Virginia is the last state to successfully break away from another, and that was 150 years ago. That's what Strzelczyk has in mind. He no longer wants to be part of the Maryland associated with Prince Georges County, Baltimore City and Montgomery County. Being a Republican, he's miserable. The Democrats control the Maryland General Assembly, hold all statewide offices and, he says, gerrymandered legislative and Congressional districts. The state has only one Republican member of Congress, Andy Harris.
"The entire state is controlled basically by three jurisdictions," Strzelczyk said. "That's not representative government. ... We don't think this government can be fixed."
Western Marylanders aren't the only folks dissatisfied with their far-away liberalist political masters. Enter those who want to become the State of Northern Colorado, or simply be annexed by a more culturally congruent Wyoming:
Weld County commissioners on Thursday announced that they want to join other northeastern Colorado counties in forming a new state - North Colorado. Commissioners said a "collective mass" of issues have cumulated during the past several years that isolate rural Colorado from the rest of the state and put those counties at a disadvantage. They said they met with county commissioners at a Colorado Counties, Inc. conference earlier this week to discuss the feasibility of forming a new state, a question that would first be put to voters on the November ballot.Money, as it was 150 years ago, is they key driver behind secession movements. Then as now, rural folks tire of feeling exploited by their more urbanized rulers. As seen repeatedly throughout history, self-determination remains a recurring human desire. Yet to secede from within a state is Constitutionally quite difficult. In addition, it is probably next to politically impossible to persuade both of these urban Democrat-controlled legislatures to give up the substantial revenues conservative rural counties send to the state government. Instead, it may be more an efficient use of one's resources to fight from within the system, as Colorado voters recently did by recalling two liberalist State legislators, or as 54 of 64 Colorado sheriffs as well as several western Maryland counties have done by filing suit against their legislatures challenging the Constitutionality of their laws.
Commissioners said Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson counties all expressed interest in the idea. The signing of S.B. 252, which increases renewable energy standards in rural areas in a way that rural energy companies say is too costly, and an attack on the oil and gas industry from the Legislature this year were the "straws that broke the camel's back," commissioners said. Weld County's main economic drivers - agriculture and energy - are under attack, even though they fill Colorado coffers, said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway.
He said Weld County hardly sees a return from its financial contributions to the state.
Then again, perhaps not...that serious talk of secession--which happens far more often than one would think--in the end creates enough political ruckus that concessions from the dominant party in the state capitol result.