Washington State’s firebrand state representative, District 4 Representative Matt Shea, presented the case for eastern Washington creating its own new state at a meeting of the Spokane Conservative Republicans on Sept. 18th.
The state would be named Liberty and would encompass the portion of Washington State east of the Cascades.
Matt Shea’s bill explains the motivation for the proposed separation: “Since statehood, the lifestyles, culture, and economies of eastern and western Washington have been very distinct and dramatically different, while the urbanization and rapid growth in the western portions of the state has progressively heightened this divergence of cultural and economic values between the western and eastern portions of the state.”
“IS IT CONSTITUTIONAL?”
Creating the “State of Liberty” is clearly constitutional:
S. Constitution, Art. 4, Sect. 3: “…no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.”
THE CASE FOR LIBERTY’S CREATION
Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right — a right which, we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. — Speech by Abraham Lincoln in the House of Representatives, January 12, 1848
Matt Shea: “Why do I believe that this is a solution? Because we are already two states. We have two totally different worldviews.”
He cited a poll of over 8,000 people that revealed there is 73% support in eastern Washington for creating the new state of Liberty.
He pointed out that eastern and western parts of Washington are morally, politically and economically different. The bill actually says, “The urbanization and rapid growth in the western portions of the state has progressively heightened this divergence of cultural and economic values between the western and eastern portions of the state.”
Shea told the meeting attendees, “Honestly the principle is very simple, a government should represent the general views of the folks, and the problem is right now, that’s not happening in Washington State. In fact, the other side of the state doesn’t feel like they are represented. They feel like we are stealing money from all their social programs. In a split state, we would more closely represent our own views.”
He also said that the left still calls eastern Washington a welfare state. For instance, he said that they say that for every dollar raised in Okanogan from taxes Okanogan gets back a dollar eighty-four, therefore you guys are a bunch of welfare freeloaders in eastern Washington. To which Shea rebounded with, “I’m sorry, will you please forgive us. We are so sorry to become such a terrible burden on you people in downtown Seattle. Will you please let us go?”
(Click photo to enlarge)
The question about Liberty being able to function is answered in a chart Shea displayed comparing the state of Idaho to the new state. Shea stated that not only is splitting the state viable but he feels they have a duty to split it. “If you guys on the west coast want to live that way, great. We don’t want to.”
Shea also points out that Liberty would actually bring in a comparable amount of taxes to that of the entire state of Idaho. Liberty State is also similar in population size to the State of Idaho.
A Story of Support: Shea mentioned that a lobbyist came into his office one day and told him that he had to confess something to him. He said he had dinner with a bunch of multimillionaires recently and he started making fun of Matt Shea’s 51st state idea and then he realized that he was the only one at the table laughing.
He said he then asked them they what they thought of the idea. He said they told him, “This isn’t funny. This is a very serious matter. If there was a new state we would move everything we have to that new state, all of our businesses.”
Shea followed up with, “Look at Amazon right now.”
Some of Liberty’s Benefits:
- A much smaller sized government, not even close to Washington’s.
- An influx of businesses moving in. • Lower taxes would actually result in more tax revenue.
- Fewer regulations.
- When you create a place where prosperity can thrive people will move there.
HISTORY PROVES LIBERTY CAN HAPPEN
This has happened before in America. First, with the state of Kentucky splitting off from Virginia. In 1789, the state legislature of Virginia approved the creation of the state of Kentucky, followed two years later by the constitutionally mandated approval by Congress; second, the state of Maine was formed in a similar fashion having separated from Massachusetts; and in 1861 — in a manner much less constitutionally compliant — West Virginia separated from Virginia.
FOR THE DOUBTING THOMASES
Matt Shea enjoyed calling attention to a story The Colombian newspaper wrote titled “Folly” which quoted an article from the Spokesman-Review. Except that in 1984 the Spokesman-Review did a 96-page insert to their newspaper in support of the 51st state! Shea said, “I have copies of that sucker and they are ticked off that I do.”
The New American magazine’s Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. makes a good point, “Classically, of course, the idea of restraining republics to territories wherein the residents share fundamental values was accepted as a given. In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu asserts that ‘the public good is better felt, better known, lies nearer to each citizen.’ In this, the celebrated Frenchman was advocating a small size and the State of Liberty, should it be formed, is certainly not small.”