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Riverside Supervisor Hopes Southern California Secession Movement Takes Hold

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The State of South California. (credit: CBS)

The State of South California. (credit: CBS)

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RIVERSIDE (CBS) — With the royal couple in town, it might be time to re-visit that Southern California needs to secede plan. After all, it was the country’s pulling away from England that formed the United States of America in the first place.

If he has his way, Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone will try to pull California in two distinct directions. He wants Southern California to form its own perfect union and bolt from the north.

He will reportedly outline his reasons for wanting Riverside County — and 12 other counties —  to form the state of South California.

Under the supervisor’s proposal, first floated a week ago, Riverside, Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare counties would constitute a new state.

His five-page memo has been set for the Board of Supervisor’s agenda this Tuesday.

Stone believes the time for a 51st state is now, and he believes Southern California is the place to do it.

Stone cites businesses leaving the state as the core of his plan.

“As a result of thousands of jobs leaving our state, those citizens waiting for this economic cycle to turn are in for a very big disappointment. It has been estimated that many businesses can relocate to Texas and expect to save 20 to 40 percent! What will remain here is a `welfare state.”‘

Stone, a pharmacist by trade, says California has become “too big too govern.” And he adds, “It is time to take corrective and decisive action.”

Stone’s plan has been met with conflicting and divergent opinions from both sides of the aisle.

Governor Jerry Brown’s press secretary, Gil Duran, said Stone was engaging in a “monumental waste of taxpayer dollars.” And he added another swipe. “Most people are normal and will view this as a very strange publicity stunt.”

Duran, for one, hopes the plan dies before it takes root. “Mercifully, this will not go any further. It’s clearly a joke.”

But at least one Republican lawmaker isn’t laughing. Assemblyman Brian Nestande, from Palm Desert, concurs with Stone. “We’ve got a state now that is literally unmanageable.”

» RELATED STORY: Official Calls For Riverside, 12 Other Counties To Secede From California

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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