Organizers in Tucson and surrounding Pima County have launched a petition drive that would put their plan to secede from Arizona on the ballot in 2012, a movement born out of liberal disgust with the conservatism of Phoenix and other northern neighbors. The plan is undoubtedly a long shot, and the creation of a “Baja Arizona” would be the first successful split since West Virginia branched off during the Civil War. But at the very least, the “Start Our State” movement sends a signal to the country that not all Arizonans support measures like the immigrant-targeting SB 1070 or the escapades of Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio. —KDG
Huffington Post Politics:
Partisan tensions have long been a fact of life between left-leaning Pima County and a Phoenix-based political establishment that has produced such conservative giants as Barry Goldwater and John McCain.
But the rift was heightened during the past two years as Republican Governor Jan Brewer and her allies in control of the statehouse pursued a political agenda Democrats saw as extreme, including a crackdown on illegal immigration and proposals, ultimately unsuccessful, to nullify some federal laws.
Even Tucson’s best-known Democrat, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, had to fight tooth and nail to fend of a Republican challenge in her bid for a third term in November.
The ballot measure sought by Arizona secession backers is a non-binding measure asking Pima County voters if they support petitioning state lawmakers for permission to break away.