News

Arizona liberals think maybe they should have their own state

Pin it

Vintage Welcome to Arizona, Grand Canyon State, Sign

If you're a political lefty, that sign in the picture above is a lie! That's why the liberals of southern Arizona's Pima County want to start a new state of their own, a little haven they're calling Baja Arizona. The new entity would encompass basically just Tucson, give or take some desert, and the Democrat-heavy region is petitioning for this two-state solution to be added to next November's ballots. When that goal is met, the next step is for modern-day Arizona's conservative majority to go to the polls and select, "No. What? I don't at all think the liberals should create the country's 51st state and put two free Democrats in the U.S. Senate. Why would you even ask me that?"

Now, I'm not going to sit here and lie to you about knowing all sorts of things about Arizona's geopolitical history — I've never to my knowledge met anyone from the place, let alone seen it for myself — but that's why the world has Reuters to explain what's the matter with Pima County:

The modern concept of Baja Arizona dates back to 1965, according to Hugh Holub, a local attorney widely credited with coining the term that year during anti-war protests at the University of Arizona. He supports the current effort. … But a more historical precedent can be found in Arizona's origins as a U.S. territory, more than half a century before statehood was granted in 1912. The northern bulk of Arizona was ceded by Mexico to the United States in 1848, six years before the lower portion of the territory, south of the Gila River, was separately acquired in 1854 under the Gadsden Purchase.

"It should have been its own state from the get-go," Holub said.

In addition to sounding like something from Taco Bell's dollar menu, Baja Arizona would "exceed Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, and New Jersey in land mass and surpass several other states in population, including Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, [and] the Dakotas." Can our liberal friends baking in the American Southwest pull this off? Of course not, but if they collect 48,000 signatures by June 5, 2012, the issue will at least make it onto state ballots (and cable-news teleprompters) before going nowhere.