Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join Idaho

Kristin Lam – USA TODAY

Frustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petitioned to leave the state – by moving the border with Idaho westward.

The movement secured initial approval from two counties and aims to get enough signatures to put the proposal on ballots in November, according to the group called Greater Idaho.

If the group succeeds, voters in southeast Oregon may see a question on whether their county should become part of Idaho by redrawing the border.

“Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,” Mike McCarter, one of the chief petitioners, said in a news release. “We tried voting those legislators out, but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored. This is our last resort.”

Democrats control the governor’s office and state Legislature. Last year, Senate Republicans left the capital to protest a bill on greenhouse gas emissions.

Valerie Gottschalk, a chief petitioner, said she hopes the proposal will gain traction like the petition to recall Gov. Kate Brown did last summer, though proponents did not collect the 280,000 signatures for a recall election.

Greater Idaho said it needs to collect about 2,400 signatures from Josephine County and about 3,000 from Douglas County to appear on the ballot.

“People here would prefer Idaho’s conservative governance to the progressive/liberal current Oregon governance,” Gottschalk said in a news release. “Every time I look at the Facebook group Greater Idaho, the group has gotten bigger.”

Of Oregon’s 36 counties, only 14 in the Willamette Valley area would remain if the group had its way. Moving the border would require approval from the U.S. Congress as well as the Idaho and Oregon Legislatures.

Secession in Virginia? W.Va. governor Justice says he’d welcome Va. counties wanting to secede ‘with open arms’

The proposal to join Idaho isn’t the first effort Oregonians have made to leave the state. In 1941, residents of southwestern Oregon tried to secede by creating a state of Jefferson with northern Californians.  (Click to Source)

 

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