Big talk, little support: That’s the state of Jefferson

The county Elections Office drove a spike into the heart of the local effort to get Nevada County onboard the State of Jefferson movement when it announced Monday that an initiative to force a vote on the issue failed to qualify for the November ballot.

Initiative backers were hopeful that a yes vote in November would cower the county Board of Supervisors into passing a resolution supporting creation of the 51st state. Alas, they couldn’t even get the 3,840 valid signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Jefferson backers, led by local political gadfly Eddie Garcia, made a big show of delivering a petition with 5,270 signatures to the elections office in January. But it turned out that 1,537 of them were no good–588 weren’t registered to vote, and 378 provided an incorrect address. Then there were the 282 who signed the petition more than once. Apparently this movement appeals to people who are confused about a lot of things.

Local backers of the movement were good at selling T-shirts, posters, bumper stickers and signs that features a representation of a really ugly flag. (There’s a guy where I live in the south county who has a sign plastered to the driver’s side door of his pickup; I hope he can get it off without ruining the paint.)

Jeffie backers managed to bully the supervisors into holding a long, theatrical but largely uninformative hearing about how the rural areas of the state are ignored in Sacramento. Garcia was front-and-center at the hearing, and spouted off regularly in The Union.

Not surprisingly, he couldn’t be reached by The Union for comment Monday on the failure of his initiative to make the ballot. Maybe Eddie should stick to what he apparently does well: Defeat fire protection taxes.



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