UPDATE: FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, it's officially a movement!
Commissioners from Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson counties all expressed interest in the idea. Many met earlier this week at a Colorado Counties Inc. conference to discuss the feasibility of forming a new state.
Conway and Weld County commissioners Doug Rademacher and Mike Freeman told the Greeley Tribune they think a North Colorado would be a viable state.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan's Patrick Malone reports:
Rural Colorado county commissioners are pursuing a plan to splinter from the state and create a new one in the aftermath of a legislative session they say runs counter to their way of life.
Laws passed this year in the Democrat-controlled Legislature enacting stricter gun control and impacting agriculture paired with attempts to expand regulation of oil and gas production to provide the tipping point, according to Sean Conway, a commissioner in Weld County, which is leading the charge to ask voters in November whether to form a new state…
Conway said it would likely be a requirement that the counties are contiguous, but he said any county — including some in neighboring states such as Nebraska and Kansas — is welcome to pursue the option, which he concedes is extreme. [Pols emphasis] Larimer County commissioners were unfamiliar with the plan, Commissioner Lew Gaiter said.
“Some will call (it) extreme, maybe aggressive,” said Weld County Commissioner Douglas Rademacher. “I would say absolutely. Extreme times call for extreme actions.”
We really don't know what to say about this–if it were some "Tea Party" or "9/12er" activist group proposing Weld County's secession from the state of Colorado, we would let it end with a good laugh–and it would still be newsworthy, much like the spate of "petitions" after last year's election calling for various states to secede rather than face another four years of tyranny under President Barack Obama.
Call us quaint, but we're shocked to see elected county commissioners seriously talking about such a patently ridiculous idea. Even in the case of Weld County commissioners, it's an escalation of a series of increasingly politically far-out positions, after already facing controversy over their decision to stop offering emergency contraceptives at county health clinics. Weld County's Sheriff John Cooke, as we've noted in this space, has embraced undeniably extreme positions on guns, the very issue upsetting the commissioners–such as repealing the post-Columbine Amendment 22 gun show background check law, and even repealing all instant federal background checks for gun sales. There seems to be a real breakdown of rationality in Weld County, among officials who wield considerable power. It's embarrassing, but also kind of fascinating to watch.
As Malone reports, apparently if a county wants to secede, a countywide vote is necessary, which would then require state legislation, the Governor's approval, and subsequent petitioning of Congress to create a new state. Alternatively, they might be able to join Wyoming or Nebraska, but we don't know how that would work exactly.
Perhaps the best thing to do is let them get it out of their system, like when a kid throws a tantrum.