Baja Arizona

NPR reports on the secessionist movement to split Arizona into two states, with the relatively liberal bastion of Tuscon and its surrounding area to become Baja Arizona, the 51st state.

Baja Arizona supporters say there’s a serious side to their quest to create a new state. They say Arizona is headed in the wrong direction — cutting education and health care funding and hurting the state’s reputation and business climate with laws like SB 1070. And they say Republicans in the Legislature are punishing Pima County for its opposition. The Legislature tried to deny money to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik because he doesn’t support SB 1070. It passed a law trying to change the way Tucson holds city elections, and another bill dictating how the city can bid public works projects. Republican state Rep. John Kavanagh helped pass many of those laws. He says the Legislature is doing what it thinks is right. “We pass laws based upon what we believe the people of Arizona want,” he says. Kavanagh says the effort to split the state is just Democratic sour grapes.

Like all secessionist movements, Baja Arizona doesn’t have the remotest chance of becoming a reality. But it’s interesting to see the good guys behind one of these campaigns. That’s a switch.