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State of Jefferson (SOJ51) Q & A How will the new State of Jefferson be different?

Please read the paper I wrote after taking John Chambers’ Constitutional Studies Class, as it explicitly explains why we have a lack of representation. SOJ51 will fix that situation by instituting one state senator for every county. (click here for link to paper)

The biggest difference will be that we will be conservative, constitutionally minded and want a smaller state government. The legislators will only meet for 90 days/year and each legislator will only be able to submit one legislative bill per year.
“We the People” will have more control, and it will not be “We the Government”.

We are cognizant of the failings of the present system that allows politicians to ignore the “Government Owners Manual” – the Constitution – and are working to correct that shortcoming. For instance, I proposed that the “Oath Takers” should have at least read that Owners Manual. My proposal is: they have to take a test on the Constitution and pass it at a 70% rate, or they can’t take office until they do pass that test.

What would the population of Jefferson be?

Referencing the map on the back of the brochure, there are 2.7 million in the 23 CA counties and 1 Million in the 22 OR counties for a total sum of 3.7 million. That’s assuming all of those counties join in, as each county decides for itself. For reference, CA has 39 million and OR has 4 million now.

What can you tell me of the system of taxation for Jefferson?

 There would be no property tax. The reason we want to get away from a property tax, is that the government can take your property away from you if you find yourself in the unique situation of no longer being able to pay that tax. So, we want to take that ability away from the government!

We will replace that with a flat income tax, with 80% of the funds going to the counties and 20% to the state. The draft Constitution labeled the income tax “initial”, which may mean that it will be a temporary tax, just to get the state up and running in the beginning. And there will be a sales tax, with 1/3 to the counties and 2/3 to the state. A sales tax is a fair tax. I have not heard about whether food and medicine would be exempt, but it normally is. The percentage of that tax is still being worked on, but here is something you need to know – the state government will be much smaller. For instance, CA currently has 574 state agencies, which far surpasses the feds, at 331. In comparison, OR has only 170. We will bring agencies down to about 50 in the new state. There will be no Welfare Department, for instance. Service organizations and churches will take care of those folks, just like it used to be, before big government.

The percentage of the sales tax will not be subject to the legislative body to increase. Only the people can vote on it. And that is how the people control the size of government – they control the purse strings!

One more thing, the legislative body will only meet for 90 days and each legislator will be limited to one bill per year. When we say less government, we mean less government!

As the most recent state, will Jefferson endeavor to push for the concepts of the 10th Amendment-state’s rights-and nullification of unconstitutional laws?

 The following is just an idea, and may not be utilized.

 As for federal taxes, the citizens will fill out their tax forms and send the money owed to — the State of Jefferson. SOJ is acting as an intermediary. There is a reason I use that word – intermediary. SOJ is putting itself between it’s citizens and the feds. Here’s why. We also want to reduce the size of the federal government. So, we look at the Constitution and point out to the feds that they are supposed to be a small entity, as the forefathers intended, and so we will only send them the money as authorized in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (which may be only 5-10% of what they ask for). There are 18 clauses in Article 1, Section 8, that state what the feds can do. The 10th Amendment reinforces the state powers. Now, this may or may not work , but it will be a notice to the other states that we know the method to reduce the size of the federal government.

How would the creation of Jefferson affect land which is Oregon State owned?

When CA was thinking of splitting up into 5 different states 30 or 40 years ago, the attorneys looked at the issue of ‘What happens to the infrastructure?’. They concluded that the people in those separate areas paid their fair share of taxes, so they should be able to claim all the roads, bridges, colleges, municipal buildings and even the truck and road grader in the local state highway department equipment yard.

 What about the federal lands within the new state?

We will have the unique opportunity of evoking the ‘Equal Footing Doctrine’ in our state’s Enabling Act. The original 13 Colonies, when they created the United States, realized that there would, most likely, be more states joining the new union, from the vast empty lands to the west. Of course, they were right. So, they discussed among themselves, shall we admit them as equals to us, or lessor than us? After discussion, they decided to bring them in as equals.

So, how many acres of BLM land are situated in any of the original 13 states? The answer is – there is none in any of them! So, when we become a new state, we can come in with the same status as they have – no BLM lands within our borders! They will become State of Jefferson lands and now be under local control. The Forest Service Lands will most likely come right along with BLM lands. However, congressionally designated national parks and wilderness areas will stay in fed control.

Those are called ‘Public Lands’ and are actually supposed to be given to the states when they ask for them. Utah actually did ask for them. The legislative body voted for the “Federal Lands Transfer Act” and the governor signed it, to be effective December 31, 2014. They submitted it to the feds and guess what kind of an answer they got? None! They were totally ignored, once again. Utah is preparing to sue the Feds to release those lands.  

That seems to be the standard that governments use. They ignore, and then you have to sue and exhaust your fortune just fighting them in court. That is one thing that will not happen in SOJ state government, because the state will not be allowed to spend the people’s money defending itself against the people.

What of the people who wish to have no part of Jefferson?  Will they choose to move, sell their homes, pull their kids out of school, get new jobs?  Some might resent the imposition.

There indeed are folks who believe that more government is better than greater personal liberties. They will have to decide for themselves what they want to do. But, on the other hand, there will be a lot of folks who will want to move to the State of Jefferson because of our smaller government stance, strong constitutional values and more job opportunities because of less government interference.

Bob Chard, Oregon Coordinator for the State of Jefferson