Secession: “North Colorado” Informational Meetings Wrap Up

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As the Fort Collins Coloradoan's Erin Udell reports:

Northern Colorado residents spoke both in support and opposition of a proposed split between Weld County and the state of Colorado Wednesday night — wrapping up a series of public meetings held by the Weld County commissioners to gather citizen input on the possibility of a 51st state.

About 90 people gathered at Ault-Pierce Fire Station 1 to express their opinions, commend the commissioners and offer up alternative solutions at the fourth and final meeting. The previous three took place in Evans, Fort Lupton and Longmont late last week and early this week…

Mike Danielson, a third-generation farmer from Eaton, instead of showing support, said he thinks the whole idea of a split is “nonsense.” Danielson echoed his wife Beth’s thoughts. Earlier in the meeting Beth Danielson spoke out to oppose the proposed secession, calling it an “inane and arrogant plan” adding that “not everyone in rural Weld County agrees with you.”

We've seen a steady stream of news stories on the "North Colorado" secession movement this summer, primarily the brainchild of members of the Weld County Commission but at least paid lip service to by other elected officials in rural Colorado counties. The tone of these stories is generally the same, admitting the "unlikely" success of a movement to secede from the state of Colorado but playing up the "disconnect" between rural areas and the major population center of the urbanized Front Range. Republican politicians like new House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso point to the secessionists as a sign that Coloradans are ready for a "change in direction." Rural desires to secede from the tyrannical rule of that evil remote place known as Denver are supposed to be "taken seriously," insofar as they underscore the "frustration" the people of rural Colorado are feeling.

It's time to call this what it is: a steaming pile of embarrassing nonsense. The "plight" of rural Coloradans, the "tyranny" imposed by a few modest gun safety bills–or, heaven forbid, in increase from 10% to 20% of the mix of renewable energy in their electricity–sounds objectively ridiculous once it's explained. Rural elected officials feel like they carry "less weight" in Denver compared to counties with one hundred times the population, apparently ignorant of the fact that that's the way it should be. The proposed "alternative" solution to secession, electing legislators by county instead of by population, in addition to being unconstitutional, gets to the ugly heart of the matter: these people think rural citizens should count for more than urban citizens.

Conflicts between urban and rural areas of the state are nothing new. The new development here is irresponsibility from rural elected officials in addressing that conflict. Whether they are caught up in a reactionary craze, or exploiting it out of political ambition, the elected officials pushing these nonsensical, unworkable secession proposals are doing both their constituents and their stated goals a profound disservice.

As entertaining as it all may be, this really needs to be noted for the record.

43 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ClubTwitty says:

    Now that the Guppy has been left by his own to flop about out of water, and is thus indisposed, I am not sure if anyone will swing by (from the suburbs of Denver, or the Springs, I am sure) to say how terrible terrible it is for the poor rural Coloradans to be ruled by liberals, and how disconnected Pols is for not seeing the rank frustration that has led to this need to secede.  And guns.  And gas. And gays.  If only you understood. 

    • Curmudgeon says:

      Fear not, I'm sure someone will be along (but not any sock-puppets of disgraced or banned former posters, I'm sure) to take up the cause for the rural Silent Majority Sleeping Giant Real American Patriot Tea Party any time now.

      NOT OFFERED AS A LEGAL PREDICTION OF FUTURE EVENTS

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        I kind of miss ArapaGOP. There I said it.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          I don't.  His moronic posts were so stupid that you couldn't even consider the possibility of a rational reality based discussion.  Same with beej.  H-man was a plant and a fraud who disappeared the day Buck got beat.

          LaughingBoy was my favorite conservative.  He had a spark of intelligence and a sense of humor and could write.  Ah for the days of a clever foil who didn't make you want to stick pencils in your eyes so you didn't have to read mindless lies.  LaughingBoy where ever you are you are fondly remembered even if you never could reach the right conclusion.

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            I remember LB that way…Seems to me he kinda went whacko when we got the new site and he became ellbee. Do I remember that correctly?

            • BlueCat says:

              Didn't he become elbee long before the new site and then disappear instead of re-registering? 

              As to the matter at hand, isn't it time these people realize that they not only do not have the corner on the Real America market anymore, they are in the minority. A really small minority. The rest of us are just as "real" and way more typical. They certainly do themselves no good by pulling these silly stunts and basically telling the rest of us we're liberal city slicker scum.  And where's the tyranny anyway? Background checks? Horrors. Majority rule with certain constitutionally recognized limits, such as the majority not being able to dictate religious beliefs via majority rule, isn't tyranny. It's our form of government.

              As for the elected officials, I'll go with exploiting this nonsense out of political ambition. If they really cared about their constituents,  they would be looking for constructive engagement on the issues important to them rather then feeding them a lot of hysterical garbage and encouraging them to waste their time on silly dead end hissy fits. All they are doing is raising their own profiles at their constituents' expense. Scum can come in rural form and most real small towns don't bear all that much resemblance to mythic Mayberry. Never did.

               

            • DavieDavie says:

              @Duke — my recollection is that ellbee disappeared on the old site right about the time he was elected one of the FPE's.

              Speaking of which, I guess that's another tradition that has slipped away, along with the meetups.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      What all you big city liberals need to understand is that regardless of whatever State you live in, or whichever slope of this particular mountain state you reside upon, that being disgruntled, afeared, bitchy, disgusted with your lot, or a little off your rocker is pretty much about the only entertainments that full-time rural residency has to offer for itself, it's kind of a "culture" thing . . . 

      I mean really, what else have you really got to do to occupy yourself . . . besides, maybe, shoot up a few acres of watermelons … ??

      NOT REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT ADVICE

       

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        It is a sad state of affairs when we have to start filling in for the trolls, Dio…

        Is Dr. Moderatus the best they can do? I mean, anyone who can make Nock look smart by comparison…sheesh.

        But to answer your question:

        I mean really, what else have you really got to do to occupy yourself?

        …watch Duck Dynasty?

        NOT OFFERED AS ENTERTAINMENT ADVICE

         

  2. ajb says:

    Has it ever come up in this discussion of secession that rather than form a new state, they simply annex themselves to Kansas? It seems like a much simpler solution to the 'problem'. 

  3. Republican 36 says:

    Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, the prime instigator of the 51st concept, has announced he no longer favors forming a new state.  Instead, he now endorses the Phillips County plan which would require equal representation for each county in the General Assembly.

    Under that plan, each county in the state would be equally represented in the House and Senate. For example, Phillips County would have two representiatives and El Paso would be entitled to two.  Setting aside the obvious constitutional problems, if this was implemented the 53 least populous counties would have 106 six members in the state House of Representatives and the 11 most populous counties (including Mesa), with 90% of the populaiton, would have only 22 representatives.

    Isn't it time for the news media to ask Commissioner Conway some questions? For instance, why is he supporting a plan to severely reduce his own county's representation in the state House and Senate? Why does he believe the citizens of Weld County, let alone the entire state, are not entitled to equal representation? Why does he support a system that would give 10% of the population complete control of our state government while throwing the interests of the other 90%, including the citizens of Weld County, under the bus? Its time for him to answer the hard question of why he intends to subvert the interests of his constituents.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      Any links?

      • Republican 36 says:

        I tried to paste a link to this but failed.  My source is the Denver Post, July 29, 2013 story (updated on July 30th) about the meeting hosted by the Weld County Commissioners.  The story was authored by Adrian Garcia.  In the story he states:

        "Commissioner Sean Conway who originally supported the plan to secede, opted to support the other proposal instead. Conway, who is also general government chairman for CCI, plans to have the association make the Phillips County proposal a legislative priority during a September meeting, he said. 'I'm supporting it and pushing it. I think the Phillips County proposal makes a lot of sense,' Conway said."

        Sorry I couldn't paste a link but that is jmy source.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      These questions need to also be posed to the gubernatorial candidates.  Where do Brophy & Tancredo stand on this?  Brophy prides himself as a constitutional scholar of sorts – is he going to explain to his future voters that their efforts are futile and inconsistent with our constitution?  The problem isn't our representation – it's our representatives.  Stop sending flame-throwers to the capitol; spend half as much energy trying to find common ground as you do ginning up hate and there will be no end to the opportunities for rural Colorado.

  4. gertie97 says:

    Sean Conway knows full well that it's one person, one vote in the state Legislature. He just likes to keep his name in the papers, and he's good at it.

  5. dlof says:

    As a Weld resident and political observer, I suggest that this is not really about secession.  It's the beginning of the same thing the GOP did in 2009-10, beginning with stimulus, continuing through cap & trade, and reaching its peak during the healthcare debate.  The GOP is setting up the narrative that our representatives "are not listening."

    I think progressive activists and Democratic candidates will make a mistake in taking this movement at its face value, instead of directly addressing the idea of "disconnect."

    You can see more of my take here, http://widestreets.net/category/secession/

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      But is the "disconnect" real or propaganda like the examples you gave? If it's not real, that definitely changes the way you deal with it.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        I think it's more likely that everyone realized how ridicuouls they sounded, bellowing about secession, and now confronted with the realities, to save face, they're going to try the "disconnect" angle.   

         

      • dlof says:

        My personal opinion is that the commissioners are encouraging voters to conflate "didn't listen" and "disagreed with me."  "Disconnect" is the term the commissioners are using to frame the discussion at the meetings.

        There are real disagreements, but there is a great deal of misinformation being tossed around to support the "rural" side of the argument.

        • BlueCat says:

          In any case, the officials "supporting" these efforts know perfectly well that there will be no new state of Northern Colorado and there will be no assigning representation based on county with the sparsely populated having just as much representation as the most populous making each rural voter count many times more than any urban or suburban voter.  None of that is ever going to happen. Period.  They know it. They're the ones treating their constituents like ignorant bumpkins, not the libruls, the estabishment,  "urban" voters, or any of the other boogymen they may point to.

  6. Gilpin Guy says:

    I'd like to see the number of how much it would cost for the residents of the 51st state to pay their share of outstanding bonds and indebtedness incurred while they were residents of the 38th state.  They need to pay their share before they break away and in cash because they have been known to renege on their promises.

  7. EccentricRepublicanEccentricRepublican says:

    Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
    Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
    By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves!

    SING LOUDER WHEN QUESTIONED

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