Baja Arizona?

Seal of Pima County, Arizona

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, in an interview on MSNBC, former Pima County Democratic Party Chair Paul Eckerstrom declared his desire for the county to split from the rest of Arizona to form their own state.

This isn’t a notion new to the United States. California has proposed dividing into two states dozens of times. As Washington has become more liberal in the west, and more conservative in the east, division has come up more frequently. Within Washington, King County (with liberal Seattle to the west, and conservative towns to the east) has discussed division.

All told, at least 36 of the current states have proposed various forms of partition into multiple states.

So how serious is this latest proposal? When one considers that the United States has had only one state divided in over two centuries, it’s hard to believe that this is likely to occur. These proposals are typically little more than publicity stunts. It’s hard for me to believe that this is any different.

About Michael Weiss

Michael is now located at, along with Monotreme, filistro, and dcpetterson. Please make note of the new location.
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46 Responses to Baja Arizona?

  1. mclever says:

    I agree, Michael.

    It’s a publicity stunt, and should probably be treated as such.

    The road of division is never a good path to start, because there is no end in sight until we’re each our own individual little fiefdoms.

    It’s like those who suggest dividing our country between red & blue states. The whole problem with that notion is that no place in this country is 100% pure of either color. Every state, county, town, street is various shades of purple, and any attempts at defining a dividing line will necessarily end up with some significant population on the “wrong” side of the line.

  2. msgkings says:

    California is about the only place this kind of state division would make any sense, it’s such a big state in every sense, always referred to as the ‘9th largest economy in the world’ and so on. And the differing regions within it are truly different.

    But it’d be pretty hard to make something like that work politically…and 50 is such a nice, round number. As is 100 senators. 102? Not so much.

    Maybe there could be a one-time multiple division, where we create 5 or even 10 more states, to keep things tidy?

  3. mclever says:


    But I lived in California, and the division isn’t so nice-n-neat. North vs. south? Well, there are pockets of extreme liberalism within twenty miles of staid, conservative suburbs. Los Angeles vs. Orange County, for example. Or San Francisco vs. the rest of the north. Seriously, if you look at a map of the “10 most liberal and 10 most conservative” cities, you’ll think all the liberals are in the north and all the conservatives are in the south, but if you look at a county-by-county map, the opposite pattern appears. Or, maybe you’ll try coastal vs. inland… same problem.

    Sorry, but I don’t buy the idea of splitting up California for political reasons. Perhaps for population and economic management purposes, a couple of our largest states (Texas and California both come to mind) could be split, but trying to define a “liberal” or “conservative” part of either state gets messy pretty quickly.

  4. Mr. Universe says:

    I’ve mentioned this before but my neck of the woods has been having this debate for 50 years or more. Google ‘State of Jefferson’. Basically southern Oregon and Northern California. There’s a credible argument for it. The area is geographically and economically distinct from their respective boundary lines.

  5. mclever says:

    Divisions for geographical reasons I might buy…

  6. GROG says:

    Is that a Google ad I see?

  7. Mr. Universe says:


    Not an advocate for it or really believe it will happen but I understand there are still people who take it seriously. I hiked through there this past summer. It does have its own distinct flavour.

  8. Grog,
    What did you see?

  9. msgkings says:

    I live in CA now and I wasn’t speculating on dividing her up based on political leanings, for the impracticalities you describe (among other reasons).

    But geographically there are some big differences, in a big state. I’ve read a bit about the ‘Jefferson’ idea, and while far northern CA you can easily see breaking off from CA, is OR big enough to split in two?

    For CA, if we’re playing mapmaker, you’d probably have 3 or even 4 divisions. Far northern CA (north of Marin County and Sacramento), the Central Valley/Inland Empire, and the coastal cities (SF south to SD, and in enough to encompass Sacramento and so on). That last bit could be split in two as well, NoCal urban and SoCal urban.

    None of it will ever happen but it might improve governance of a place that maybe too big and diverse and complex to work optimally anymore.

    Of course, you could say the same about the whole country too.

  10. GROG says:

    An ad that invites you to vote in a straw poll.

    It links to

  11. filistro says:

    @GROG… An ad that invites you to vote in a straw poll. It links to

    Well, that’s just great. We finally hit the big time, and nobody can see it but our caveman! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. GROG says:

    I swear it was there. Now there’s another one. I’ll copy and past it.

    Ads by Google

    Scott Walker Poll
    Do you support Governor Walker? Vote here now.

    And from Newsmax! Funny.

  13. GROG says:


    You guys aren’t going to be bolting for the New York Times are you?

  14. mclever says:

    No ads on my screen. Maybe because I use Firefox?

  15. Mr. Universe says:

    Ive only made cursory foraging into ads. Nothing permanent yet.

  16. mclever says:


    Fair enough. I hear you about the distinct regions of California. As you say, “None of it will ever happen but it might improve governance of a place that maybe too big and diverse and complex to work optimally anymore.” While I agree that California is big, diverse, and complex, I’m just not convinced that dividing it up would actually improve things. I guess the same goes for the nation as a whole, too.


  17. Mr. Universe says:

    I believe (in looking through the WordPress documentation) that ads are part of the package unless otherwise requested. Grog may have clicked on an ad on another site which would be an opt-in to see one on our site.

  18. filistro says:

    Maybe Townhall just follows you around the Web after you’ve visited them enough? (I suspect our GROG is probably a Townhall kind of guy… no?)

    I have no idea how these things work.

    Full confession… I’m not even entirely sure what a cookie is.

  19. Max aka Birdpilot says:


    flour, sugar, eggs, flavorings, sometimes have additions as nuts, chocolate chips etc, baked.

  20. filistro says:

    Thank you, Max. Here is my famous recipe for Grandma’s Cookies.

    (Is this hijacking a thread?)

  21. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Ah HA!! You WERE sandbagging! I suspected as much from a wily Canadian.

    I need to look at that recipe. I’m a bit worried.

    If chocolate chip cookies contain chocolate chips, what do grandma’s cookies contain??

  22. WA7th says:

    In Texas they teach history students that Texas only agreed to join the union under a provision that says Texas has the permanent right at any time to divide itself into 4 separate states , and that Texas never relinquished that right. They neglect to mention that Texas gave up that right when it joined the confederacy.

  23. Mr. Universe says:


    what do grandmaโ€™s cookies contain??


  24. GROG says:

    I can honestly say I have never been to Townhall or Newsmax.
    This is what I have on my screen now. It appears just below “Share This”:

    Ads by Google

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  25. filistro says:

    @GROG… I can honestly say I have never been to Townhall or Newsmax.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    Where does “Share This” appear on your screen? I can’t find it on mine.

  26. GROG says:

    Just under “Related Articles”.

  27. WA7th says:

    I just bought a new PC, but it doesn’t seem to have a cookie dispenser that I can find. A pretty handy cup-holder tray slides out the front at the push of a button, though.

  28. filistro says:

    Okay, found it… but I have nothing there except a row of little icons.

    Anybody else?

  29. filistro says:

    @WA7th… A pretty handy cup-holder tray slides out the front at the push of a button, though.

    That’s not a cup holder, you silly! The diameter clearly indicates it is intended to hold a soup bowl.

  30. drfunguy says:

    succession _is_ kind of boring; ads, now there’s a topic that gets me excited.
    Here is what I see just above about Michael Weiss

    Share this:

    Ads by Google

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    1 ridiculously huge coupon a day. Like doing Vancouver at 90% off!

  31. JC2 says:

    Grog, DrFunguy,

    Do either of you have the Google Toolbar installed by any chance? If so, you might want to check the settings and/or try uninstalling it.

    On dividing states, Texas could make four new ones and Alaska could make eight or more of equal size the the ‘baby Tex” states. Don’t quite know which way the Caribou and Buffalo states would lean politically.

  32. drfunguy says:

    no google toolbar for me… far as I know.

  33. drfunguy says:

    As for succession, the State of Jefferson is a good idea but no one knows how it would lean poltically either.
    Its full of survivalists, home-schooling evangelicals, and hippy drop-out back to the landers. I mean its loggers and Earth-Firsters at the same bar if you can believe that.
    I mean its pot-growing redneck white trash and radical environmeddlers… etc.
    Beautiful country though and the highest plant diversity in the continental U.S. maybe excepting some parts of the Smokies.

  34. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Dang Dr, if you threw in some cowpokes and bikers you’d have Gruene Hall most any weekend!

  35. filistro says:

    Seriously, I’ve never been able to understand why some of the northern states aren’t trying harder to form a union with Canada.

    Really… look at the space, the richness, the natural resources, the fresh water, the sport of curling…. granted it might not appeal to Texas or Mississippi, but don’t you think say.. Oregon and Washington would be willing to give up their guns and their hate speech to get with some of that?

    Maps are made to be malleable. I often wonder what the map of North and Central America will look like if we pop back around in a couple of centuries.

  36. mclever says:


    We Americans like our free speech. You Canadians even forbid lying on the news! (Canada’s Radio Act forbids a licenser from broadcasting any false or misleading news.)

    Large swaths of our northern states are reddish-tinged purple, and I doubt they’d survive without their Fox News fix!

  37. filistro says:

    mc… yes indeed. No lying on news channels… what a concept, eh?

    Meanwhile we have FOX doing stuff like this.

    When you cross that 49th parallel, it’s like a whole other country ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. dcpetterson says:

    Michigan’s Upper Peninsula keeps wanting to become a separate state, to be called Superior. The referendum keeps barely failing.

    Idaho every now and then makes noises about dividing into three states. I don’t know where that movement stands today.

    I don’t think the Arizona “movement” will gain any traction. I also think it’s a cowardly suggestion. Much better to work to correct the racist wrongs that the far right scapegoaters have inflicted on the immigrants there, in the name of consolidating hypocrisies into official policy.

    America is about acceptance and diversity, not about running from the challenges of oligarchic feudal lords. Secession is for wimps.

  39. mclever says:

    Yeah. What dcpetterson said.

    Secession is for wimps!


  40. Regarding the advertisements, this is what I found today when digging around the WordPress site:

    Note: To support the service (and keep free features free), we sometimes run advertisements. We try hard to make the ads discreet and effective and only run them in limited places.

    I believe we are a victim of our own success, having generated enough traffic to warrant their trying to recoup costs.

  41. GROG says:


    It’s interesting how the left was desperate to depict the Tea Party as a racist and violent movement which is completely unfounded. Now the right is retaliating by trying to depict the union protesters as a violent mob which is also unfounded.

  42. Max aka Birdpilot says:


    Conflation alone doesn’t equate to fact.

    Perceptions matter. The use of lack of faces of color, violent rhetoric, signage and obviously packing heat to political events, even though a 2nd Amendment right, all together form a perception. There was no need for “going off the reservation” so to speak, as is the case with the Billo show, to produce the images that created that perception.

    A vast difference. The Billo example is an outright LIE.

  43. filistro says:

    @GROG… the left was desperate to depict the Tea Party as a racist and violent movement which is completely unfounded. Now the right is retaliating by trying to depict the union protesters as a violent mob

    You are a brave and loyal fighter for your team (which is why I like you)…. but that comparison is nonsense.

    First, I’m not talking about something being done by “the right.” I’m talking about something that was done by FOX News. (Okay, same thing… but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?)

    And the problem is not that FOX is “trying to depict the union protesters as a violent mob.” The problem is that they took news footage from a protest in another state and showed it over a report about Wisconsin in a clear attempt to create the false impression that the protesters in Wisconsin are violent.

    That a mainstream news outlet would do such a thing is shockingly wrong. It alarms me.

    You can fight for your principles, GROG, and stick to your guns, and be a loyal soldier for the right. I will disagree with you but still admire you for it.

    But FOX doesn’t deserve loyalty from a good guy like you.

  44. filistro says:

    PREDICTION.. In 18 seconds, rgb will log on to tell me MSNBC does the same thing all the time.


  45. Brian says:

    I refuse to acknowledge any state other than New York as “Superior”!

  46. Pingback: Raising Arizona | 538 Refugees

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