Response to Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise)

Segregation? Divisive?

State Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) said “…people are now looking at carving up states and moving state lines that have been in place for more than a century so that they can avoid being around people with whom they politically disagree.”

This is false.  Relocating a state line does not help us avoid being around anyone because it does not change who lives in our communities.

On another occasion, she said, “We should not be self-segregating by ideology like this… The answer cannot be to carve up the country and redraw lines that have been in place for a century or more, just so we can only be surrounded by people that perfectly agree with us.” 

The people who are trying to segregate eastern Oregon are the people who tell eastern Oregon conservatives to move to Idaho if they don’t like Oregon’s politicians. Eastern Oregon voted 75% Republican last November. If Republicans moved out of eastern Oregon, our communities would be divided, so telling Republicans to move is divisive. We aren’t trying to add a new state line: Oregon and Idaho are already divided by a state line – it’s just in the wrong location.

Segregationists want to control where people live. Our proposal does not do that. It groups communities who prefer Republican governance under Republican government and leaves communities who prefer Democrat control to have a more Democrat-controlled state government.

Bad Precedent?

Rep. Rubel was quoted concerned about the precedent this sets. What stops every red county from leaving every blue state? Plenty. State lines can only be moved with both states’ permission, and with the permission of Congress. It is therefore impossible for this movement to get “out of control.”  Besides, there are very few places in the US where the economics of a border relocation offer a “win-win” solution for both states.  And eastern Oregon only has half an electoral vote, and is already represented by a Republican in the US House of Reps.

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