Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone's proposal to create the 51st state of "South California" minus southern California's largest and populous county, Los Angeles, fell flat at the Riverside County Board of Supervisor meeting on Tuesday.
Stone could not garner any support from his colleagues for his hare-brained scheme.
Supervisor John Tavaglione, a wannabe Congressman and profile for lack of courage, criticized the plan and left the meeting without casting a vote for or against the plan.
John Benoit, failed former state legislator and $100k plus public pension recipient, cited over 200 failed attempts to split California into two or more states.
Board Chairman and closeted liberal Bob Buster read from the Federalist Papers and practically likened Jeff Stone to confederate secessionists who wanted to leave the United States in order to keep the abhorant practice of slavery legal.
And in the end Jeff Stone was fine with this, as his colleagues gave a weak blessing to him privately pursuing a roundtable of counties and cities to discuss ways to reform California and protect cities and counties from Sacramento taking away their revenue. The Board prohibited Stone from using county staff, including his own personal staff, to coordinate the effort.
Stone gleefully pronounced that he would be able to privately raise the money as people were already contacting him stating their support for his inane 51st State Plan. Which brings us to a major motive for Jeff Stone's new state proposal. His campaign coffers are empty. He needs money to run for re-election next year.
At the end of 2010, Stone only had $24,574 in his County Supervisor campaign committee, while carrying a debt of $30,607 in his failed State Senate campaign committee. Stone is broke and in very deep trouble if he faces a well-known and/or well-financed challenger next year.
With Riverside County's economy stil in the toilet, the developers that have bankrolled the County Supervisors campaigns are no longer stepping up to the plate. They don't have projects being built and they don't have plans that need to be approved. Ergo, they aren't cutting the fat checks these days.
Riverside County's labor unions, specifically the Riverside Sheriff's Association (RSA) and the Service Employees Union International (SEIU) 721 have had enough of Stone. He pretended to be their ally when he needed money, but stabbed them in the back when he falsely attempted to re-invent himself as a conservate in his failed State Senate bid last year.
Stone's traditional donor base has also had it with him, having watched him divert over $300,000 in money they contributed for his election campaigns into his sister's bank account.
So what's a career politician like Jeff Stone to do when he's out of campaign cash and unable to raise what he needs for his re-election bid? He creates an issue to generate media attention to introduce him to people who do not know him and are unfamiliar with his baggage so he can raise money from these uninformed saps.
His colleagues on the Board of Supervisors know what Stone is up to as well. Hence why they gutted his new state proposal but endorsed his concept to put together a conference of California's cities and counties to strategize how best to deal with the state. They understand a politician in need of campaign cash and would never get in the way of one of their brethren struggling to collect it.
So dear readers, does Jeff Stone's roundtable of cities and counties have merit anyways? Absolutely not. It's a duplication of efforts, which according to Stone is a waste of time and money, since such groups already exist.
California's cities belong to a group called the League of Cities. It's Counties belong to an organization called the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), which Stone's colleague John Tavaglione currently chairs. Even with all of the public money that is contributed to them to fund full time staff and lobbying operations, neither the League of Cities nor CSAC is effective in dealing with Sacramento.
Jeff Stone's roundtable won't be effective either, but as we've just shown it's not about policy or principle. It's about the dollars Stone needs to raise for his re-election, plain and simple.