Photo: Courtesy of msnbc.com
Today’s Wall Street Journal has a tongue-in-cheek story on the quixotic campaign to turn Pima County, Arizona into the union’s 51st state.Baja Arizona (the working title) will almost certainly remain a dream, but it suggests the growing chasm between the state’s Republican leaders and its frustrated liberal minority.
For decades, there has been friction between Pima County and its more conservative northern neighbour, Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. Residents of Pima County (pop. 1 million) have often joked about forming their own state. The chasm yawned last year when Gov. Jan Brewer approved an immigration law that prompted a legal battle between the state and the federal government and made the state the target of boycotts. A new batch of immigration bills followed this year, along with a Republican-sponsored state Senate bill to let Arizona nullify specific federal laws.
While the campaign is a cunning media ploy, any succession attempt is obviously hopeless. The measure would have to be approved first by Pima County voters and then in a statewide referendum. Even then, Congress and the President would have to sign off on the new, as-yet-unnamed state.
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