A group of southern Arizona residents who are fed up with the "unconstitutional machinations" that go on in the state Legislature are getting organized -- the group recently launched a website to help drum up support for their push to break away from Arizona and form "Baja Arizona," the nation's 51st state.
The group "Start Our State" made headlines a few weeks ago for re-igniting the debate over whether a portion of southern Arizona should secede from the state in order to create a less-extreme government to "restore our region's credibility as a place welcoming to others, open to commerce, and friendly to its neighbors."
Critics of the group say they're just a bunch of angry Democrats seeking attention, but the group claims to have no political agenda. It claims to be interested in two things: "First, we disagree not only with the most extreme aspects of the [Senate President Russell] Pearce agenda but also with the manner in which Pearce and the state legislature are pursuing it. Second, we want to maintain our United States citizenship and we are concerned that the Pearce agenda puts us on a path to secession from the United States."
See the group's recently created website here. The group's "statement of purpose" can be seen below.
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Breaking away from the State of Arizona is a serious business. As we enter Arizona's 100th year, all Arizonans should be coming together to celebrate the accomplishments of our State and our coexistence and cooperation not only with other states but other nations, who send their children to Arizona universities in great numbers.
Instead, our state legislature and our governor, with great determination, are intent on pushing us back into the know-nothing nativism of the 19th century. Arizona has real problems that require intelligent and reasonable discussion and resolution. But our state government has ceded all authority to legislate to one man, Russell Pearce, who has repeatedly proven himself incapable of reason or tolerance.
As a result, while Arizona shares the struggles of all other states to achieve economic recovery, our legislature is enamored with xenophobic attacks on people of Mexican descent. Though done in the name of "securing our borders," the solutions in no way address the very real problems our State faces, and the legislature's desired result is to harass an entire population into abandoning their country, even if those people were born here and have known no other home. Furthermore, these laws have been, and will continue to be, struck down in the courts because they are so clearly contrary to the United States Constitution.
Now, in flagrant defiance of the realities of existing constitutional law and the rights of those who live within our borders, Pearce and his supporters in the legislature have passed legislation permitting them to nullify all federal laws with which they disagree - including the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects the rights of all Americans.
Most attempts to nullify federal laws by states have been met with a confrontation with the United States Army, whether it be the Civil War or the Whiskey Rebellion. This is particularly true where the basis for nullification has been to deprive certain peoples of basic rights, as is the case with our state legislature and governor. The vast majority of the citizens of this State wish to preserve our citizenship and our rights under the United States Constitution and avoid another civil war.
Because Maricopa County contains more than half of the population of Arizona, citizens of the other fourteen counties can never hope to take back Arizona government at the ballot box. Therefore, we must express our self-determination by breaking our political ties to the State of Arizona and endeavor to form a new State. We welcome all counties of Arizona to join us in our effort to secure the blessings of liberty.