“North Colorado” Secession Plan Sputters, Gets Even Wackier

One of several proposed North Colorado state flags (via Progress Now).

One of several proposed North Colorado state flags (via Progress Now).

The Denver Post's Adrian Garcia updates on the plot by a number of rural northeastern Colorado counties to secede from the state of Colorado, and form their own new state of "North Colorado." Apparently, and it's not like anybody could have predicted this, but the original plan to secede is not really working out so much:

Fervor for a plan to carve northeastern Colorado into a 51st state has been cooled by legal barriers and a lack of public support, [Pols emphasis] but commissioners from rural counties say they're not done fighting for better representation of their citizens…

[T]he counties now are contemplating the Phillips County Proposal, which would change the way state House districts are represented at the Capitol.

The plan, offered by Phillips County Administrator Randy Schafer, would have representatives elected by county, rather than by population.

That's right, folks, kind of like the U.S. Senate, rural northeast Colorado county commissioners, since outright secession isn't working out like they planned, would now like to turn the Colorado General Assembly into a body elected by county boundaries–not the precisely equal population distribution that guides the legislative reapportionment process every ten years in Colorado, most recently in 2011.

Of course, equal representation of states in the U.S. Senate is one thing, and that is itself not without controversy despite being the express constitutional intent of the Founding Fathers. The idea that Phillips County, Colorado (population 4,500) should be "equally represented" in the Colorado General Assembly with, say, Jefferson County (population 540,000), however, is ridiculous–and unconstitutional per the 1964 Supreme Court decision of Reynolds vs. Sims. If rural Colorado counties feel underrepresented today, imagine how Jefferson County residents would feel when told that a Phillips County vote should be worth one hundred Jefferson County votes in a legislative election.

It seems to us, folks, that proposing to devalue urban and suburban voters in order to be "fair" to rural voters is not much different from the offense rural voters claim against themselves. There's no going back: Colorado's population is changing, and it is urbanizing, and that does inevitably mean the power is shifting away from rural areas to population centers. In a society where everyone is equal, population is power and it always will be. Even most rural voters understand that, which explains the lack of public support for secession reported above. And they know that when you get down to it, Coloradans in Jefferson County aren't really that different from those in Phillips County.

That said, penny-ante rural politicians have an equal right to waste their time.

55 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    They complain that we City Slickers take them for hicks. Then they spend all this time and energy on deciding between a non-starter secession plan that won't garner enough votes at any of the required levels and a non-starter unconstitutional plan.  OK so would they prefer we take them for urban/rural neutral just plain fools?

    And really, what's all the sturm and drang about. How does civil union hurt them? How do the new gun regulations hurt them?  And if they want more of a voice they can always dump the no compromise no how candidates they support in favor of candidates who would work with the majority to get more of  what their constituents need in good old fashioned horse trading deals. Their ultra social conservative fringe candidates are the ones taking the over our dead body stands so what do they expect?

    This is just their own pols, who know perfectly well that this is all nonsense that will get their constituents nowhere, using them to grandstand.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    What say you ArapaGOP … 

    …  is one Wackistani goober Republican (sorry for the redundancy) voter worth 10X more than an Arapahoe goober Republican??!!??

    (… and, why isn't cowboy-hat-wearing Ronnie Raygun sitting astride ole' Paint on that flag?  A hog??? — where's the antelope for chrissakes????)

    • BlueCat says:

      A little early for a response from the Goof. He probably isn't home from summer school or day camp yet.

    • Harley says:

      They HAD to use that hog—-all those 100 round magazines has just done in the antelopes/jackalopes up in the Northeast. And they are afraid that those squirrels will get out of control if they can't keep the large magazines.

  3. OrangeFree says:

    Gotta love it when these staunch defenders of the contitution propose a solution that is blatently unconstitutional. 

    • Curmudgeon says:

      You guys are missing a vital piece of information; They're not using the stupid liberal U.S.  Constitution, they're using the Super-Duper Real Amurikan Constitution, with all the Amendments removed except the 2nd (so it would fit on the back of a Waffle House placemat).

      Perhaps it's hypocritical for me, a Western Colorado resident, to make fun of hicks; but damn; at least most of our representatives can read (Josh Penry don't count).

    • gaf says:

      Well, it is unconstitutional because the Supreme Court said so in the "one person-one vote" decision. But the Roberts court has already overturned a number of precedents to achieve their political ends, so these folks may not be entirely crazy to hope for another!

  4. Duke Cox says:

    I guess that should be "hillbillies"..but then, hillbillys like me can't spell too good.

  5. ArapaGOP says:

    This is about frustration. Rural citizens are frustrated by urban areas and liberal Democrats who don't understand them passing laws that hurt their local communities and way of life.

    I'm not surprised that Colorado Pols has such seething contempt for rural Coloradans, but I don't. And I respect their quest for solutions.

    • Davie says:

      That's ironic, coming from you, a representative of a party that touts the supremacy of individual rights for yourselves, but not for anyone that disagrees with you.

      For the party of GOP-Me-Me-Me, you'll eventually get down to the base believers.  When that person (you?) are the only one left. don't forget to turn out the lights.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Ah the old "We're the victims" justification.  Originality just boils out of this man like vapors from his ass.  You gotta love the "libruls are hurting us" line like it is some sort of Biblical truth.  Seriously how much can it hurt to have to show up for concealed weapons classes.  This is their beef?  Really?

    • Republican 36 says:

      I was born and raised in rural America and we had guns (for hunting) but let's get down to specifics. Commissioner Conway and you make these bald statements about "rural citizens are frustrated by urban areas and liberal Democrats who don't understand them passing laws that hurt their local comunities and way of life." The three areas of legislation that supposedly have "hurt their local communities and way of life" are the gun safety laws, civil unions, and SB 252 and yet you have never cited one specific example of how any of these pieces of legislation has changed how people in the rural areas of our state conduct their everyday lives.

      How did the civil union legislation changed the rural way of life or harm their communities? I haven't heard of one example of this changing rural Colorado life. I don't know of any examples. Please cite one.

      How have the gun safety laws changed rural life. Aside from limiting the size of magazines to 15 rounds how has it changed hunting, the eliminaiton of farm and ranch predators or any aspect of day-to-day life in rural Colorado? I know of no examples.

      How did SB 252 change rural life? It certainly will mean higher rates for electricity in rural areas but the legislature has done the same thing to the urban areas in the past. So how is this a rural/urban issue?

      If you have examples, I sincerely want to hear and read them. I haven't detected any changes in day-to-day life in rural Colorado because of any of these peices of legislation.


    • Duke Cox says:

      I'm not surprised that Colorado Pols has such seething contempt for rural Coloradans, but I don't.

      Lemmesee…I gotta go back and look for that part where this blog displayed seething contempt for rural Coloradoans. I must have missed it.

      A little jeering going on at some hypocrisy and silliness…true enough…but, seething hatred…?

      I don't think so.

      • Duke Cox says:

        my apologies…contempt..not hatred.

        • BlueCat says:

          The ones showing contempt for rural Coloradans are the R pols encouraging them to waste their time on efforts they know perfectly well are dead ends for their own self selfish, self promoting purposes. Kind of like their DC counterparts showing contempt for all of their constituents by spending their time voting against Obamacare 37 times knowing the same thing and for the same cynical selfish reasons.

          • MichaelBowman says:


            I've said my peace on this in an earlier diary.  That article was both incredibly difficult to read and full of sadness from my perspective as a multi-generational resident of eastern Colorado.  There is a special place in hell for leaders who are wasting their time and their constituents time on this.  If they spent half as much time and energy figuring out how to engage in this process instead of adopting the 'McConnell/Cantor' plan at a local level they'd be well on thier way to solving their problems.  Both the perceived and generally faux problems and the real problems. 

            The authentic political voices of eastern Colorado of yesteryear – men like Bud Moellenberg and long-time Speaker of the House Bev Bledsoe – no longer exist. 

        • ArapaGOP says:

          I'm sure they're okay with the word "hate."

          • langelomisterioso says:

            Once again,as usual it's a wingnut who's the very first to introduce the word or idea "hate"or "hatred" into the discussion.I can only surmise this is the result of a long, intimate relationship with the emotion combined with the wingnut's propensity for projection and a vastly expanded definition in which any disagreement-however benign- or dissent from the wingnut perspective is classified "hate"

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Says the suburbanite Republican to the rural Democrat. 

      This is about grandstanding and media harlotry. 


    • Aristotle says:

      If I were a relic from the 19th Century (if not the Dark Ages), I would also be frustrated with the realities of the 21st, too.

  6. Craig says:

    The funny thing is that rural Colorado Republicans have no one but themselves to blame.  And they should be proud of it.  They're always talking about making it better for Colorado business so Colorado can grow and prosper.  It's one of their mantra's, probably one of the few that 90% of Republicans agree on and that most Democrats and Republicans and unaffiliates agree on as well.  It was those rural Republicans that during the 60's created a climate of massive growth.  Frankly, it led to the election of Dick Lamm and the rejection of the Olympics.  So now they want to complain that the growth in Colorado doesn't suit their political purposes.  Talk about sour grapes.  Suck it Sean Conaway.  You know better.

  7. b trexel says:

    the "liberals" / "progressives" –  want THEIR way- and won't "give-up"..!  The "conservatives" – say "We tried"..   A Texas doktor says "NO"..! (GodFather politics .com)

  8. Gray in Mountains says:

    CCI will be concerned that dues paying members may drop out so they'll craft a bill and carry it fully knowing that a) it won't pass in the leg, and b) it is unconstitutional so would never be implemented. CCI is falling into line with others afraid to tell the truth because tea baggers may desert them when they should take the opportunity to educate

    • Littletonian says:

      Eh, CCI exists to represent the interests of counties. I don't have a problem with CCI lobbyists paying lip service to this idea if it's what their constituents want them to do – lobbyists back unreasonable legisation all the time.

  9. Littletonian says:

    "If rural Colorado counties feel underrepresented today, imagine how Jefferson Country residents would feel when told that a Phillips County vote should be worth ten Jefferson County votes in a legislative election."

    I'm pretty sure you mean one hundred.

  10. dwyer says:

    The most telling fact in the article is the one enbolden by Colopols.  The problem the sessioners are having is "Lack of public support." Rural Coloradoans evidently don't share those "rural values."

  11. ClubTwitty says:

    The US Constitution was clearly meant to mean what Repubicans said so in 2013.  God-fearing, gay and Mexican hating, vaginal probing, polluter-loving do nothing conspiracy nuts, that's the Jeffersonian ideal of the yeoman farmer in a nutshell. 

  12. Sir Robin says:

    It's late, and I'm typing laying down…That would be, What CT says…..

  13. Albert J. Nock says:

    Just as the Democrat party has been hijacked by far left egalitarians and moral relativist, the Republican Party has been hijacked by paranoid schizophrenics.

    I know many of the Weld County Republican “insiders” and simply put, they are stupid. Flaky borderline morons.

  14. ClubTwitty says:

    Oh no Egalitarians!!!  But, pray, tell–what is a 'moral relativist' and how would you set about proving that anyone is anything but? 

  15. ClubTwitty says:

    No, Jesus was a capitalist that escaped to Ridgway to avoid taxes.  Or do I have my foundational myths mixed up?

  16. Hawkeye-X says:

    These idiots can move one state north of Colorado – it's called Wyoming.



    • Davie says:

      From a legal standpoint, they might actually have a better chance of getting Wyoming to annex their territory — after fair compensation to the state of Colorado of course.

      But, yeah, otherwise they should just seek asylum in Wyoming as political refugees, since Colorado is such an oppressive state 😉

  17. Duke Cox says:

    Nockwursts' comment above is kind fun to read…I have to say I have been enjoying the spectacle afforded by the sinking of the good ship GOP. Cannibals, they are.

    It's gruesome… but I can't look away.

  18. Gray in Mountains says:

    The Dumphuckistan efforts should help Baumgartner more than Hill

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