From KGUN Channel 9 Tucson:
51st state idea gets strong reactions from sheriffs
Posted: Feb 25, 2011 6:12 PM MST
Updated: Feb 25, 2011 6:14 PM MST
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Whether it’s a political ploy or political movement, the idea for Pima County to secede from the state of Arizona to form the 51st state in the nation has elicited strong reactions, including from officials in neighboring counties.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Estrada told KGUN9 News: “I think it’s a tremendous idea. It’s about time we kind of separate ourselves from the great state of Maricopa. We’ve been ignored, we’ve been abused, we’ve been pushed around, we’ve been kicked around long enough.”
Estrada said that even if the idea of secession isn’t practical, it sends the message that other counties merit consideration and giving input on important issues.
Pinal Co. Board of Supervisors Chairman Pete Rios agrees, emphasizing that his support is a tongue-in-cheek way of demanding change.
“They’re the tail that wags the dog. The rest of us, regardless of whether we join teams together, we cannot come up with enough votes to defeat anything that Maricopa County legislators want,” Rios said.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio believes the idea of Pima County seceding is “stupid”: “If you don’t like the elected officials, just get rid of them and put somebody in there where you like their philosophy and agendas. You don’t just form a new state! What’s the next step? Include Mexico? Is that what they want? I guess Mexico can take over Baja Arizona as time goes on. ”
KGUN9 News also asked officials what they think the new state should be named.
Sheriff Estrada said he likes the name “Santa Cruz,” Chairman Rios said he prefers “Baja Arizona” and Sheriff Arpaio responded: “I’m sure as time goes on, they’ll want to call it ‘Mexico’ or ‘Get Mexico’ or put that in there somewhere.”
Sheriff Joe behaves as usual…..he must not like the idea that if Baja Arizona actually became a state he’d have no border to worry about.