Our main document explains the benefits and practicality of moving the Idaho state border to include rural Oregon and northernmost California. You can find our main document here
Some of the answers in this FAQ are more completely answered there.
Yes, it’s constitutional, and state lines have been moved before. The last time the Oregon state line was moved was 1958, although that was a small adjustment. West Virginia was admitted to the Union in June 1863. Later, the Virginia/West Virginia border was moved in August 1863 to annex Berkeley County to West Virginia, and then again in November 1863 to annex Jefferson County.
Idaho is the state with the 8th smallest tax burden, and Oregon ranks 33rd, according to
https://taxfoundation.org/facts-and-figures-2020 . Combining all taxes together, including sales tax, the average Idahoan pays $1722 less in taxes per year than the average Oregonian. That’s averaging together every adult or child, employed, retired or unemployed. And cost of living is 39% higher in Oregon than in Idaho. Did you know Oregon has hidden sales taxes paid by retailers? Oregon tax rates will continue to go up due to a lack of willingness to control spending
Only 7 percent of Oregonian workers earn minimum wage. Everyone else’s wages are set by supply and demand in the labor market, not by law. A low minimum wage allows people to get their first job and prove their worth. A high minimum wage closes businesses in rural areas. Yes, Idaho’s minimum wage is much lower. But counties can increase their minimum wage if they want to do so.
That will be determined by negotiations between state legislatures, but we feel confident that the economics and voting patterns will cause our proposal to be accepted. We propose that Idaho accept:
Oregon: Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler. Plus:
a) That portion of Wasco County that is east of the Deschutes River, plus the City of Maupin
b) All of Jefferson County except Deschutes National Forest and Warm Springs Indian Reservation
c) Terrebonne, Redmond, Alfalfa, southeastern Deschutes County, Three Rivers, and La Pine.
California: Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Modoc, Lassen, tiny portions of northern Butte, and most of northern Plumas County.
Washington state: Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin counties.
Idahoans are very concerned about keeping their state as conservative as possible. They had 2.46 conservative votes per liberal vote in the 2016 presidential election, but eastern Washington only had 1.43.
Moreover, eastern Washington has a population of 1.6 million in 2017, as compared to Idaho’s population of 1.7 million. Idahoans don’t want to be outvoted by others in their own state, so they’re not likely to want to include such a large population into their own state. If Republican-voting southern Washington state is included, that’s an additional 0.8 million.
When we created the modern Greater Idaho proposal in 2019, we searched diligently for any possible combination of Washington State counties that would be both as prosperous and as conservative as Idaho. We only find this group of three counties: Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin counties. We are including these counties in our proposal.
Here is a plan for rural WA liberty that is more likely to get approvals than joining Idaho is: https://redstatesecession.org/washington-state-should-become-one-state-consisting-of-two-totally-independent-districts
We tried that. Only 25% of Oregonians who are registered to vote are registered Republican. Each one only gets one vote no matter how hard they vote, no matter how much they care. It’s unlikely that an election that gets high turnout from the Right would not get high turnout from the Left. We know that from the last 38 years of history. The last Republican governor of Oregon was elected 38 years ago. The Left has far more control over the ways that Oregonians are educated and persuaded than the Right does. They control K-12, universities, Facebook, Google, media, and newspapers. Plus Californians are moving in faster than you can educate them. Liberals love “educating” voters too.
We love our communities. It’s just the state government we can’t stand. We love Idaho law and low Idaho taxes.We’ve invested years into relationships with friends, family, employers, churches, shops, and the land. Our counties vote conservative. It makes more sense for conservative counties to be under Idaho governance than Oregon governance. Do you want all of us unhappy conservatives to build new housing in another state? Moving state borders is cheaper. Thousands of Californians made this state blue, but you want the conservatives whose families founded this state to move out?
Of course. Read the benefits to Idaho. When we sent an email to Idaho state legislators, 10 wrote back in favor of the idea, including the Senate Majority Leader and the House Asst Majority Leader. Since then, we’ve met with several more, all in favor. Only a single Democrat criticized it. The Governor of Idaho went on Fox News to welcome the idea.
Oregon used to have that, but unfortunately, in Reynolds v. Sims (1964) the US Supreme Court ruled against representation by county in favor of the one man, one vote principle. It said representation by county is “racist” and therefore unconstitutional for states, even though the Constitution ignores one-man one-vote for US Senate and establishes an electoral college for selecting the US president. Every US state that had such a state constitution revised their state constitution to meet the demands of the US Supreme Court. Another huge obstacle is that the Dems in the state legislature would never vote for that. So we choose to focus on a plan that is more likely to happen. And we hope you will too.
Having our own state would be great, but we want to focus our efforts on the idea that we believe would be most likely to actually happen. In Oregon, according to the US Constitution, both the State of Jefferson idea and the Greater Idaho idea would require approval of Oregon and Congress. Why would the Democrats in a blue state like Oregon approve a plan that adds two more Republicans to the US Senate? The Greater Idaho idea is more likely to be approved because it does not affect the US Senate at all.
That would be great, but we should focus our efforts on something that the Oregon Legislature would allow. Dems in the Oregon Legislature wouldn’t allow that because it would weaken the Democratic Party in Oregon, and increase the chances that we would add Republicans to the US Senate. But the greater Idaho plan doesn’t do that.
County and local employees would keep their jobs. Some state employees might move to keep their jobs in Oregon/California, others would become employed by Idaho, and maybe some would have to find new employment, since Idaho spends less on government. Think about the risks of not moving the border: PERS is not necessarily sustainable. Major changes to state borders are accomplished by an interstate compact between two states. Negotiations between the legislatures of the two states would determine a fair way to treat employees affected by issues of transferring seniority and pension plans.
We expect professional licenses and driver’s licenses in rural Oregon to be grandfathered in to acceptance by Idaho by the legislation that moves the border.
Conservative counties don’t want to be dependent on the charity of the welfare state that Salem forces on them. They will be happy to have state spending like Idaho’s. People who want to live off of welfare are welcome to move to another county. We want an economy that is not held back by Oregon regulations and taxes, including environmental regulations. We’ll still have federal and Idaho regulations, and that’s plenty. Idaho knows how to respect rural counties and their livelihoods
Idaho is one of the 5 most conservative states in the country, judging by the last two presidential elections. 80% of their legislature is Republican, and all the migration of the last two decades hasn’t changed that at all. It has the fewest pages of regulations of any US state. Its governance is better than Oregon’s or California’s. The change in Boise is just caused by sorting between urban and suburban. Boise only has 13% of the population of Idaho and hasn’t even turned its own county blue. Northwestern Oregon has 79% of the population of Oregon.
The population of Boise is estimated to be 223,000. That’s not even enough to outvote their own suburbs. The county that Boise is in, Ada County, voted Trump in 2016 and 2020. Boise is 13% of Idaho’s population. Northwestern Oregon is 79% of Oregon’s population. Adding these rural counties to Idaho would increase the population of Idaho by 71%, and reduce the influence of Boise voters in the state.
This plan does not move people to your counties. The counties we want to add to Idaho voted more for Trump, on average, than Idaho did. If we move the border, people would have more red-state counties they could move to instead of just your counties.
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