In Which The “51st State Movement” Just Gets Ridiculous


Analisa Romano of the Greeley Tribune reports today, with most of the story behind a paywall:

If Greeley residents had not voted in last week’s election, the 51st state initiative still would have been shot down by Weld County voters, according to a breakdown of ballots provided by the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

Without Greeley voters included, 52 percent of Weld County voters would have chosen not to move forward with seceding from the state of Colorado, versus 48 percent who voted for the measure.

The final count on the 51st state question was 56 percent of Weld County voters against secession, compared to 44 percent in support.

The city of Greeley is the largest population center both within Weld County, as well as all eleven mostly rural Colorado counties who voted on a secession ballot question this month. Six of those eleven counties voted against–not just in Weld, but also truly rural locations like Lincoln and Sedgwick counties. Now, most reasonable people would conclude from that that the secession movement was simply a bad idea.

Weld County commissioners last week said they feel the rural-urban divide also exists within the county. [Pols emphasis]

Oh, okay, so it wasn't that secession was a bad idea? It's just that those Greeley city-slickers (we're amazed to be typing that with a straight face) are infected with the same urban degeneracy that exists in the obviously foreign nations of Denver and Boulder!

Except that's not true either. As it turns out, the voters of Weld County–regardless of how far out on the fruited plain they live–rejected the secession measure, even without…the mean streets…of Greeley. And with that, we can't hold back our laughter anymore. It's just irredeemably preposterous.

Weld County commissioners. Note Colorado flag to right.

Weld County commissioners. Note Colorado flag to right.

​Do you think we're being too hard on these poor Weld County commissioners, groping for an excuse to explain away their abject failure of a secession movement? Folks, we run the state of Colorado's political blog of record. The Weld County board of commissioners–Doug Rademacher, Sean Conway, William Garcia, Mike Freeman and Barbara Kirkmeyer–wanted to break up the state of Colorado, a state we happen to love. They never had a good reason. It was absurdist folly from the very beginning. They relied on offensive "urban vs. rural" stereotypes that, now that they have failed to provoke a secession movement, are apparently being applied within Weld County as an excuse for the movement's failure. To call that pathetic is, we believe, a considerable understatement.

In a perfect world, this nonsense would cost all five of them their political careers. But that will depend on the same Weld County voters, and Greeley voters, whose intelligence they have so thoroughly insulted.


18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCatBlueCat says:

    Seems as though the Weld County Commissioners represent "the people" about as much as the GOTP does. These self identified champions of the people ought to take a peek at a poll or two once in a while before they yap about what "the people" want. Significant to huge majorities usually beg to differ.

  2. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    I heard a rumor about a recall Conway petition. Anything happening with that?

  3. ClubTwitty says:

    Why I heard tell they have grain elevators there that are FIVE STORIES TALL!  And traffic lights that have THREE COLORS…Red, Green, AND yellow!!!!

  4. MADCO says:

    Weld County is rich people and immigrants who cannot vote.

    The rich people who want to secede are politicos trying to create more govt.


  5. rathmone says:

    "gets" ridiculous?

  6. Gray in Mountains says:

    simple solution. don't let Greeley voters vote in county elections. illegal? so what, it is only fair since taxpayers within Greeley probably pay the bulk of Weld property taxes

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Apparently, though, even that wouldn't have helped in this case. But yeah, it would be interesting to see how the "real" Weld County folks would get along without Greeley taxes.

    • Tom says:

      County-wide elections tend to exclude or at least dilute Greeley votes already. It's not like Greeley is a liberal, urban mecca, but the commissioner districts are arranged like a pie centered roughly around the Greeley Mall, splitting the city-wide vote into thirds.

      As far as the tax-paying public goes, quite a lot of the property outside of Greeley is owned by municipalities or the federal government. There's a inadequate fund transfer method that's supposed to substitute for property taxes, but that tends to be unaffected by actual tax rates. So, many of the farmers and ranchers that swing county-wide elections actually lease their land from Thornton or the feds- they're not contributing any tax revenue directly to the county.

  7. Nasty Womanyameniye says:

    "am I too civilized to be a cowboy?"

    "once they see the light bulb of Greeley, they will never come home"

    "the cow shit only smells bad outside the city limits"

    At some point these fools must understand they are reading the wrong script of life.

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      That might depend on which kind of cowboy. A real honest-to-work horse cowboy or a windshield cowboy, you might be too civilized ineither case.I've found cowshit smells just like cowshit regardless where you're at.I went to school at UNC and they used to fertilize the lawn at the student center with a product from the Monfort feed lots. Made it difficult to go to class for a few days until the new wore off.At some point these fools will realize they're reading a script.I recall reading somewhere that the margin of defeat in Weld county alone was larger than the combined populations of several of the other counties involved.

  8. Diogenesdemar says:

    Weldistan — it's a 51st State of mind!!!

  9. ClubTwitty says:

    "once they see the light bulb of Greeley, they will never come home" – See more at:



  10. skeptical citizen says:

    Silly 51st-staters overlooked the US Constitution:

    Article IV Section 3 states: "New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new state may be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress."

    Constitutional scholars will argue exactly what this means. This non-constitutional citizen concludes that the whole issue was a fruitless tantrum.


    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Yes, and as M. Douglas Wray points out below , they should have to eat those words…buy paying for them. Was there no legislative oversight into the viability of this secession referenda? Were they referred, or were they petitioned onto the ballot?…Anyone here know?


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