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A measure that would allow San Bernardino County supervisors to explore secession from the state of California could be put to county voters in November.

The Board of Supervisors approved the ballot measure at a meeting Wednesday night after the issue had been raised at several board meetings. Wednesday’s vote was the first step in adding the measure to the ballot, to be followed by a second and final reading and vote scheduled for next week.

“Do the citizens of San Bernardino County want the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to study all options to obtain its fair share of state and federal resources, up to and including secession?” the proposed measure reads. Voters would select yes or no.

Even if approved by voters, the county’s secession from California, whether to become its own state or to become a part of a neighboring state, is extremely unlikely. The move would need to be approved by state legislators, Congress, the Senate and, eventually, the president.

At last week’s board meeting, speakers and board members expressed frustration at the amount of funding San Bernardino County receives from the state, a point that made its way into the proposed ballot language.

“Our Sheriff’s Department, our judges, are constantly taxed with too much with not enough resources,” Jeff Burum, chairman of development firm National Community Renaissance, said at the meeting.


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Burum urged the board to put a secession measure on the ballot and was backed by Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren and Upland Mayor Bill Velto.

“The last line is the most controversial because the rest of it’s like a no-brainer,” board Chairman Curt Hagman said Wednesday, referring to the clause about options “up to and including secession.”

The measure would allow the board to expend staff resources to study the funding San Bernardino County receives from the state.

“Then we can look at options,” Hagman said. “How do we lobby for more? How do we put our state representatives on notice that, hey, we’re not getting our fair share?”

The threat of secession has long been a weapon for dissatisfied political minorities in California, the most populous state in the nation and one of the most liberal. Conservative forces in far Northern California have tried repeatedly to create their own state with no success. A proposal to break up California into multiple states also foundered. There is no indication this one would turn out any differently.

Hagman told The Times that a vote on the issue would show “the seriousness of the public.”

Supervisor Dawn Rowe called secession an “extreme example” of an action that could be taken and expressed skepticism that splitting from the state would be feasible.

“I received an overwhelming support in favor of looking at all of our options, [and] several that told us that we were crazy for considering such a thing,” Rowe said. “They were interested in basically having a voice and having hope that their elected representatives were listening to them and that they were frustrated.

“I do have significant concerns about what it would mean if we were to look at going off on our own independently,” she said, citing concerns about secession’s effects on school and mental health funding.


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Supervisor Joe Baca was more blunt in his assessment.

“I am not in favor of secession,” he said. “I just don’t believe that we have the resources or wherewithal, the staff or ability to create our own state.”

“I’m proud to be from California. I love California,” he said.

Baca still voted in favor of putting the measure on the ballot, saying he supported looking at funding levels.

“It’s clear that people are hurting; let’s go out and get more [funding], and let’s make sure we help them,” he said.

Supervisor Janice Rutherford viewed the vote as a way for constituents to express “a growing palpable anger” at the state, while also adding that secession would be unfeasible.

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Tags: california politics for subscribers for subscribers for subscribers for subscribers for subscribers measure on the ballot board of supervisors from california supervisors secession concerns mariposa grove california board meeting the board the proposed the measure the measure in favor would allow in november approved

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Vermont Democrats face historic decision in open-seat House primary

(CNN)Vermont's designation as the only state to never send a woman to Congress is poised to be dashed in November, with state Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint and Lt. Gov. Molly Gray leading the Democratic primary for the state's at-large House seat.

The winner of Tuesday's contest will be the overwhelming general election favorite to take the place of Rep. Peter Welch, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy. That month, voters will also cast ballots on an amendment to the state constitution that would protect abortion rights. Balint, a former schoolteacher first elected to the state legislature in 2014, is widely viewed as the frontrunner heading into Tuesday's election, with Gray her closest rival. What began as a crowded field has thinned over the last few months. Louis Meyers, a physician, is the only other candidate actively campaigning following Sianay Chase Clifford's withdrawal in July.
    A former Welch staffer and Vermont assistant attorney general, Gray's early momentum appears to have slowed over the summer as her rival solidified progressive support. Balint's strength has been bolstered by endorsements from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the state's popular independent progressive, and, importantly, state Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, who dropped out of the primary in May and immediately backed Balint, helping to consolidate support on the left.
      The contest for Vermont's lone House seat was triggered by Leahy's announcement last November that he would retire at the end of the term after nearly 50 years on the job. Welch quickly announced his candidacy to replace Leahy, which cleared the way for the rare open-seat race.Read MoreLeahy has not formally endorsed Gray, though he has donated to her cause and said he voted for her. His wife, Marcelle Leahy, endorsed Gray, who also has the support of moderate former Vermont Govs. Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin. Welch, who won the seat in 2006 when it last came open, has largely steered clear of the primary except to praise the women on the ballot. He won reelection in 2020 with more than 67% of the vote.
        Balint and Gray have raised similar amounts of cash over the course of the race, but Balint has benefited from significant outside spending -- which Gray's campaign has repeatedly criticized. The LGBTQ Victory Fund's PAC has been the biggest player, backing Balant, who is gay, and investing about $1 million on her behalf. The Congressional Progressive Caucus' campaign arm has also spent nearly $200,000 for Balint.Rich Clark, a professor at Castleton University and Vermont pollster, said that with so little separating the candidates on policy, branding has become a more influential element in the race. "I don't think this is an issues race," Clark said, a factor that has added more weight to endorsements and the "progressive versus moderate impression" among voters.Though Gray and Balint are, indeed, closely aligned on almost every major issue, Balint has emerged as the progressive standard-bearer, winning support from Sanders and both senators from neighboring Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is also backing Balint, along with other leading national figures on the left. "When it comes down to policy, there's not a lot of space between them, but when it comes down to image, I think there is," Clark said. "High turnout for us has been about 25% (in primary elections), so we're not talking about a real representation of the Democratic Party in Vermont. It'll be the most engaged and they'll tend to be on the progressive side."Balint has outflanked Gray on the left with her clear support for stripping qualified immunity from police, which protects officers from most private lawsuits. Gray has been noncommittal, suggesting in a recent debate that she might support such a move should it extend to a wider swath of public officials. But even as they sought to carve out distinctions in their views on policing and drug policy, it was a remark by Balint in May, during a forum with members of the Vermont Progressive Party, that provided the debate's sharpest exchange.Balint, at a gathering with VPP members this spring, said it would "be an absolute catastrophe if the candidate representing us on the left was Molly Gray," whom she labeled a "corporatist Democrat."During the debate, Gray jabbed Balint over "negative attacks" and said that while Balint subsequently backed off the comment, "There's never been a personal apology." "You can take the opportunity tonight if you want," Gray said.
          Balint did. "If you took offense to that comment, I apologize," she said. "If you found it hurtful, I apologize."

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