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51st state would be a red state

51st state: thirteen conservative counties may look into separating from their blue state.

51st state unlikely: Republican Jeff Stone is asking 13 conservative counties in Southern California to consider separating from the blue state. Gov. Jerry Brown's office calls the idea "a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time."

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/File

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Thirteen mostly conservative California counties would break away to create a 51st state known as South California under a proposal by an elected official that would have to clear major hurdles to succeed.

Republican Jeff Stone has asked fellow members of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to support a motion to bring together officials from the 13 counties to discuss the idea.

A vote on the proposed meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

Stone said California is too big to govern, a situation that has led the state to raid local government coffers because of runaway spending. He knows it will be a challenge to create another state but doesn't believe it's an impossible task.

"We are sending a message," Stone told the Los Angeles Times.

The effort marks the latest in scores of secession movements in California dating back to the 1850s that aimed to cleave the state and split counties and cities.

Even if leaders from the 13 counties got serious about secession, the U.S. Constitution says no new state can be formed without the consent of Congress and the state Legislature.

An e-mail message left by The Associated Press for Stone's chief of staff, Verne Lauritzen, was not immediately returned.

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