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February 25, 2011 6:57 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday Paula Aboud, a State Senate Democrat from Tucson, proposed the secession of Pima County from the rest of the state as an amendment to the State Senate Bill 1433. Aboud's move was something of a middle finger to the state legislature, as SB 1433 was the bill that recently gained a good deal of notoriety on its own as the law that would allow Arizona legislature to override any Federal laws. Aboud's amendment was unsuccessful, but it would appear that the discussion is far from over. A group of citizens in Tucson, Arizona have started a movement to promote similar push for secession, believing that Pima County should be the 51st state in the union. The Facebook page for the Start Our State movement is seeing a lot of comments, both positive and negative.
posted by shiu mai baby (69 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, they make the Tucson area a state, I'm there *tomorrow*.
posted by notsnot at 7:00 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Damn you and your logical extensions of our unserious ideas!
posted by leotrotsky at 7:00 AM on February 25, 2011


Has the world really gone this crazy lately? I mean, I've always known things were strange out there, but the past few weeks just keep topping themselves. I'm running out of outrage and popcorn.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:02 AM on February 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


Co-sponsors: MC Skat Kat (R-Scottsdale)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:04 AM on February 25, 2011 [18 favorites]


I'm running out of outrage and popcorn

The only escape is to retreat into the mind and hope no one notices you.

Bum bum bum bum dah dah dah dum
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on February 25, 2011


Has the world really gone this crazy lately? I mean, I've always known things were strange out there, but the past few weeks just keep topping themselves. I'm running out of outrage and popcorn.

Well, things can always get crazier: Town Hall Attendee Asks GA Republican When Someone Is Going To Shoot Obama
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:07 AM on February 25, 2011


Tired: Filibustering
Wired: Stunt Legislation
posted by swift at 7:09 AM on February 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


> The only escape is to retreat into the mind and hope no one notices you.

BRRRRRRRAAAAAWWWWRWRRRMRMRMMRMRMMMMM!!!
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:09 AM on February 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


Horace, thank you for the Paula Abdul joke. I've been sitting here for five minutes and I can't top that.
posted by snapped at 7:10 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, when the most influential political movement of the last election is comprised of equal parts AHHMUSLIMS! AHHMEXICANS! AHHBLACKPREZ! With a healthy dash of FU-GOTMINE!, it's not really surprising that you get a fair bit of kook once they take office
posted by leotrotsky at 7:10 AM on February 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, sneak anti union bills, a lot of dead baby dolphins

If anyone wants me I'll be off world.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is an interesting thing for me to watch play out. I was born in Tucson and lived there for the first part of my childhood. I moved away to the south after my parents' divorce, but my dad and a bunch of family still live there.

Tucson has always been to me this really chill, friendly, funky town with a pronounced hippie vibe, and my mistake has been to assume the same of the rest of the state. Seeing Phoenix go off the rails as it has in the last couple of years has been some serious cognitive dissonance for me, and while I don't think the secession movement will be even remotely successful, I can definitely understand the sentiment behind it. Tucson and Phoenix are vastly, vastly different places -- culturally, ideologically, architecturally, historically, politically, etc. -- so it's no surprise at all that the populace is suffering from a serious identity crisis.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:13 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


A buncha people tried this in 1860. It didn't work out so good. Quit while you're ahead.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:16 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's not how you form your own state.

This is how you form your own state.
posted by Think_Long at 7:18 AM on February 25, 2011


Pima county should get in line.
posted by Kabanos at 7:19 AM on February 25, 2011


Brandon, I think the key difference here is that they're talking about forming a new state, stil part of the United States, rather than an entirely new sovereign nation.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:20 AM on February 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


New states are admitted into the Union by the precedents and procedures established by the Northwest Ordinance. You can't vote on it yourself: believe me, I live in the District of Columbia.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:24 AM on February 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


Tucson resident here. Driving the hour and a half north along I-10 really is like heading into a different country; from the idyllic, relaxed, unpretentious studiousness of Tucson, Phoenix seems like a hornet's nest of aggressive, pointless furor.

The legislation that gets passed continually cuts Pima County out of whatever resources we might need, in favor of Maricopa County's coffers.

To be fair, there are a lot of great places in this state. Flagstaff is awesome, Bisbee makes Tucson look like Phoenix, the little towns scattered all over the state range from puzzling to delightful. But everything is overshadowed by the mechanized behemoth of overheated rage that is Phoenix.

We shouldn't have to secede. We should be able to jettison Phoenix. They can go be their own sovereign nation somewhere, preferably someplace that there's plenty of things to pave over, and a neverending supply of GRAR.
posted by MrVisible at 7:25 AM on February 25, 2011 [14 favorites]


Brandon, I think the key difference here is that they're talking about forming a new state, stil part of the United States, rather than an entirely new sovereign nation.

True and good point, but they can't seriously think this'll work. It's so batshitinsane it makes batshitinsane shake its head and say "Oh come on."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:35 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's terrible. We've reached peak popcorn.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:39 AM on February 25, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm in Tucson, too. I've lived in downtown Phoenix for years. I agree with everything you are saying there, MrVisible.

Tucson is closer to the border, yet Phoenix has Sheriff Joe and all of the crazy, clearly racist sweeps he does. After the shooting down here, the Pima county sheriff called for restraint against political hate speech and gets slammed by Fox News...

I have to wonder though, if America is such an empire, why did we stop at 50 states? I'm betting we could split a few more states up and get anywhere from 55 to 60 in no time.
posted by Catblack at 7:41 AM on February 25, 2011


As a non-Tucson resident with in-laws* in the area, I couldn't agree with MrVisible more. My partner's mother has hinted quite a bit about us moving closer to them, but we always come back with the argument that we love them and love Tucson, but they're in Arizona. I like to imagine she's got politicians inolved now.

* Of course, we can't legally marry in our current state of residence, but though I'm not holding my breath for Illinois, I'd be a deeper shade of purple doing so in Arizona.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:41 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Dominion of Canada is hiring.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:43 AM on February 25, 2011


Did we get to the part of the thread where we can just blame stuff on Scottsdale?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:44 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


> The Dominion of Canada is hiring.

Our current Prime Minister is doing his best to turn Canada into Phoenix.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:45 AM on February 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I personally am not that much into numerology, however, there is a definite charm to having a nice round number of states, and 50 works very well. It would be jarring to have 51. However, if Pima County can get together with another 49 counties that are each interested in becoming states, so that we can raise the total to a nice even hundred, I will approve.

Unfortunately, no amount of sub-division of existing states is going to affect the more serious problems that the US faces, such as deficit spending on all three levels of government. But we can at least think of the numerology.
posted by grizzled at 7:46 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


It would be jarring to have 51.

Yeah, but it would be excellent to have 52. Cards, weeks of the year, the original 13 plus three more thirteens = Badass! Make it so!
posted by dirtdirt at 7:49 AM on February 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


Well, when the most influential political movement of the last election is comprised of equal parts AHHMUSLIMS! AHHMEXICANS! AHHBLACKPREZ! With a healthy dash of FU-GOTMINE!, it's not really surprising that you get a fair bit of kook once they take office

I'm not complaining that you didn't read the link, because hey, people are busy. But you didn't even read the post.

LOLTEAPARTY is clearly the new "first."
posted by nasreddin at 7:50 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but it would be excellent to have 52.

Somebody get Austin on the phone, stat.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:52 AM on February 25, 2011 [12 favorites]


The people of Austin share your pain, Tucson.
posted by adamrice at 8:04 AM on February 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


LOLTEAPARTY is clearly the new "first."

Oh come on, the base legislation that this protest legislation is in response to is clearly LOL worthy. Arizone legislators think that they can declare federal laws to be unconstitutional. That's pretty freaking LOL-worthy.
posted by muddgirl at 8:07 AM on February 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


I just noticed this being shared by some friends on Facebook -- a clip from an ABC show "What would you do?" -- which is set in a Tucson restaurant. One I recognize as not far from my house. It's of course a small tv show sampling, but Pima county is closer to the border, yet not so racial profilingly crazy.

(And shakespeherian, Scottsdale? That frothy mixture of of bad fashion and entitlement?)
posted by Catblack at 8:08 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Tucson thinks it gets a raw deal from the state now, they should think about how oppressive being an ostensibly-moderate, independent state land-locked inside crazy-ass teabag Arizona will pan-out. Can you say BerlinTucson Airlift?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:10 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad, they wouldn't be landlocked like, say, Vatican City or anything. If the map on this page is to be believed, they're sort of using the Gila River as a guide to split off the southern third of the state.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:16 AM on February 25, 2011


I don't know anything about US state/governance laws; could Tucson join another state instead of trying to go independent?
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:18 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was totally sure Austin would be the first to try this one.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:23 AM on February 25, 2011


I don't know anything about US state/governance laws; could Tucson join another state instead of trying to go independent?

Sonora? rimshot.
posted by Catblack at 8:23 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ceribus,

I believe that would be significantly easier to do. Killington, VT tried to secede to New Hampshire a few years ago (which would have been hilarious as it's directly in the middle of the state)

Also back in the day Martha's Vineyard was pissed with Massachusetts and wanted to secede - they received an offer from Hawaii to become part of that state
posted by Riptor at 8:25 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was totally sure Austin would be the first to try this one.

If that happens I'll be on the next flight down. I'm sick of the NE.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:26 AM on February 25, 2011


If this works, can Chicago give the rest of Illinois to Indiana?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:35 AM on February 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I can totally see Congress going for that.
posted by valkyryn at 8:39 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've long been of the mind that (I'm a resident of, mind you) New York City should secede from the union and either become a sovereign city-state or a protectorate of the UN. I have a fantasies of 1) Keeping our tax dollars 2) Our own currency! 3) Monuments to Rudy Giuliani!

You guys can have Staten Island, they don't want to be part of the city anyhow.
posted by jivadravya at 8:40 AM on February 25, 2011


I was thinking - what if all the more liberal counties seceded from their more conservative state regions. And then united as a single state.

At first I thought - well, no, can you have non-contiguous land as a single state? But Michigan has Lower Michigan and the UP, and of course some states have islands.

Pretty stupid, I know.

I'm more of a fan of bioregionalism combined with certain cultural traditions as being a better marker for boundary.
posted by symbioid at 8:43 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the Difference Engine, Manhattan becomes a commune and breaks off from the rest of the country and has like, showgirl unions.
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


can Chicago give the rest of Illinois to Indiana?

Can Milwaukee hook up with Chicago, then? I'd be fine with it as long as we can get Metra service and that Mayor Emmanuel doesn't force us to root for the Bears, Bulls or Cubs.
posted by drezdn at 8:55 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but it would be excellent to have 52.

Somebody get Austin on the phone, stat.


Jefferson, please.

(Actually, it should probably be Puerto Rico why not.)
posted by elsietheeel at 9:05 AM on February 25, 2011


It would be jarring to have 51.

I was once in a conversation with an Australian in which she insisted to me that that US had 51 states. I politely asserted that the correct number was 50, but to no avail. Eventually I asked her what, then was the name of the 51st state - and her reply was, "I don't know, you're the American - you tell me!"
posted by nickmark at 9:07 AM on February 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


Mayor Emmanuel doesn't force us to root for the Bears, Bulls or Cubs.

Well I don't see why he would; no one else does.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:08 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a resident of Cochise County, I'd like to say thanks for including us and Yuma, my family's hometown. It's true what MrVisible says. Maricopa County is a cancer on this state and they're so god damn populous that it doesn't matter what anyone else anywhere else thinks or wants.

¡Viva Baja Arizona!
posted by kjh at 9:21 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jefferson, please.

I'm completely okay with Jefferson becoming one of the states of Cascadia.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:28 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wait, I thought England was to be the 51st state of the USA...?
posted by Catblack at 9:41 AM on February 25, 2011


Seems like things don't always work out so well when political boundaries are drawn up arbitrarily or for political reasons unconnected with the welfare of the people inhabiting those areas, and things just get worse when people start behaving as though these boundaries were handed down from on high rather than at the convenience of surveyors or national or imperial politicians.

(on phone so linking is a pain but just pretend there's wikipedia links relating to the Dakotas, the SW US, and the Middle East sprinkled through the above comment)
posted by jtron at 9:54 AM on February 25, 2011


As a lifelong Tucson resident, this sums it up for me:

¡Viva Baja Arizona!
posted by azpenguin at 9:54 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, GOOGLE RON PAUL 38 STATE MAP OF THE U.S.
posted by jtron at 9:55 AM on February 25, 2011


Too bad it's so unlikely. Separating Maricopa county from the cool places in Arizona is my mom's last best hope for getting me to move her grandchildren closer to her. Many's the time we've said "Too bad Tucson's in Arizona", to her dismay.
posted by padraigin at 9:58 AM on February 25, 2011


~10 years ago The Tucson Citizen polled readers to see which NFL team they should cover as their "home team". The Arizona Cardinals came in second.
posted by TheShadowKnows at 10:01 AM on February 25, 2011


Also, Tucson should be sure to grab Bisbee.
posted by TheShadowKnows at 10:02 AM on February 25, 2011


Can we just mention how bat-shit crazy the Tea Partiers are?

Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, defended her bill.

"This gives our body the ability to look at Obamacare and some other things that truly will throw this state into the Third World country we don't want to be," Klein said.


So let me get this straight. Ms. Klein, you believe that improving healthcare for millions of America’s poorer citizens will make the United States into a third-world country, and that the way to save Arizona from this utter madness is to reject the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution?

“I will work to protect and strengthen the protections laid out in our U.S. and Arizona Constitutions, and I will work to reassert our state’s rights as defined in the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

“ I have a long record of fighting to protect our personal health care rights, and I will continue this work in the Arizona State Senate. I have been working to create very strong rights, enshrined in our state’s constitution, that allow you to choose not to participate in government-approved or dictated health insurance schemes. Your right to choose your doctor and your care is fundamental and should not be infringed upon. You should not ever be forced to purchase government healthcare.”


I think that’s a yes.
posted by spitefulcrow at 10:37 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Keep in mind that New York City have wanted to do this for years. Bloomberg's even made offhand comments about forcing the issue to a vote (where it'd fail, but would also effectively unseat every standing NYS legislator due to the shitstorn that would almost certainly ensue). NYC gets a fantastically raw deal from the state's taxation formula, even despite having a lower median and average income than the rest of the state.

As the constitution states, a new state may only be formed out of the land of an existing state with the consent of both the state's legislature, and US Congress. To be blunt, that's not gonna happen.

Similarly, I'm sure that Arlington, VA, Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, MD would love to form their own state (Beltwayvia?). With the exception of Maryland jettisoning PG county, there's no way that DC would gain statehood, or Virginia would let go of its cash cow.
posted by schmod at 10:53 AM on February 25, 2011


Arizona...lol

So, wanting to see where the boundaries of Pima county were, I did a goole of arizona counties. The first two "images" that came up were decent, so I opened them both up. The first, was from what appears to be a website offering contacts for people seeking help for depression.

The second was from what appears to be one of those whacky right-wing groups, the Border Narcotics Intelligence website. They want you to know that despite the look of the website,

"We are not affiliated with the United States Government!"


Yep, Arizona
posted by Windopaene at 10:55 AM on February 25, 2011


(Also, that 38-state map is damn interesting. I usually disagree with those things, but the lines actually seem to be rather sensibly drawn out on that one. In a lot of ways, it makes more sense than the current breakdown)

(Also also: Separating liberal vs. conservative constituencies would probably result in a civil war. Bad idea. Also also also: If conservative constituencies were actually forced to pay their fair share, I suspect they'd end up a lot less conservative)
posted by schmod at 10:56 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


If we did this kind of thing right, we could stack the Senate with lefties, and get rid of the right bias there.
posted by QIbHom at 12:05 PM on February 25, 2011


> the mechanized behemoth of overheated rage that is Phoenix.

I lived in Tucson for 20+ years and that is probably the best description of Phoenix I've ever read.

I used to tell people that if you want to live in the desert, move to Tucson. If you want to live in the desert and have a job, move to Phoenix.

I can add to that now, if you want to live in the desert and like gambling, drinking and night life, move to Las Vegas, otherwise, move to Tucson or Phoenix.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:07 PM on February 25, 2011


It's beginning to look like being the 51st state is a lot like being the "fifth Beatle"

Lot's of claimants, no real winner.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:14 PM on February 25, 2011


> Too bad Tucson's in Arizona

Mine is, "too bad San Diego's in California"
posted by mmrtnt at 12:16 PM on February 25, 2011


> Your right to choose your doctor and your care is fundamental and should not be infringed upon.”

I need an abortion and a Limbaughload of Vicodin.

Where are we on that?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:20 PM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Similarly, I'm sure that Arlington, VA, Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, MD would love to form their own state (Beltwayvia?). With the exception of Maryland jettisoning PG county, there's no way that DC would gain statehood, or Virginia would let go of its cash cow.

Think bigger. Take in Baltimore, and then keep going north until we've got Philadelphia, too. That would be a pretty cool state.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:51 PM on February 25, 2011


In Escape from New York, Manhattan becomes a maximum security prison and has like, Snake Plisskin.
posted by perhapses at 3:36 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Arizona seeks to ban… karma?
posted by homunculus at 12:56 PM on February 26, 2011


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