The national media are beginning to pay attention to movements threatening to secede from existing states and form their own new ones. There’s even a competition between efforts in western Maryland, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, northern California’s Siskiyou County, and parts of southern Oregon to be the first to become the country’s 51st state.
None are as far along, however, as those efforts pushing to win the honor for the state of North Colorado. Entitled “The 51st State Initiative,” the effort to create a new state in Colorado were driven by decisions by the Democratic majorities in the state house, senate, and governor’s mansion to impose the first gun controls on private citizens in 10 years, mandates to double the energy derived from environmentally “green” projects, and a general feeling of disregard for rural Colorado, as the populations in Colorado’s major cities have expanded. Spokesman for the Colorado initiative, Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, said:
I’m a third generation Coloradoan. But I will tell you, the state I grew up in, the state that I've come to love, is slowly and surely slipping away to something I don’t recognize. I think that is what’s fueling this movement.
It wasn't very long ago that enough Colorado politicians came from rural Colorado as to give some balance to debates over controversial issues. Roy Romer, a former Democratic governor, was raised on a farm and Wayne Allard, a former Republican senator, grew up on his family’s ranch. Said Conway:
They had a wider view of Colorado in its totality. Today we have the governor of Denver….
We found ourselves down at the capital, quite frankly, being ignored. We said, we need to figure out a way to send a message to Denver, because they’re not listening.
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