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Episode Info:


“The devil is always in the details, right?”

—Mark Baird



If the State of Jefferson ever formed, it’s unlikely Anthony Bourdain would ever travel there for its pizza or burritos.

Mark Baird, the “unofficial” leader of the State of Jefferson movement, likes to think they’d be known for their buffalo burgers. Though, he’ll admit, he’s in the minority. Most people behind this movement, he says, would probably prefer beef.

Being in the minority is a feeling he’s had for quite some time. Living in Northern California with Baird’s heavy libertarian point-of-view would likely drive most people crazy, and out of the state.

But Baird wants to stay. He’d just prefer he was living in a new state, a State of Jefferson.

Feeling that he’s had no representation in how Sacramento operates, this semi-retired pilot and former buffalo rancher has spent the past several years convincing thousands of citizens along with cities, counties and mayors to join his grass-roots movement.

In Part II of II of this story, we ask how Baird plans to form this new state and look into the financials, legality and likelihood of whether the State of Jefferson can ever live up to being more than just a state of mind.

Show Notes:

  1. [00:25] Mark Baird’s speech on 05.31.17 in front of California State Capitol building in Sacramento
  2. [00:55] “Borough” by Blue Dot Sessions
  3. [02:25] See Citizens for Fair Representation et al. v. Padilla
    1. Recommended: A recent 60 Minutes profile of Gov. Brown (CBS News)
  4. [02:30] The photo of California Gov. Jerry Brown looking at a flag of the State of Jefferson
  5. [04:15] “This Land Is Your Land” performed by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
  6. [04:50] Recommended: Listen to Part I before listening to this episode
  7. [09:35] Light reading on Kevin Hendrick (The Union)
    1. Earlier profile of the movement (The Sacramento Bee)
  8. [11:45] One of the first counties the State of Jefferson movement made its case back in 2013 (Siskyou Daily News)
    1. Results of Ballot Measure A in 2014 on the matter of state-split question
    2. And an economic overview
  9. [12:00] Light reading on Tehama County
  10. [12:25] Results of Del Norte County’s state-split ballot measure (Associated Press)
  11. [13:05] “Jefferson State of Mind” performed by local musician CQ
  12. [13:20] Official map of the State of Jefferson and its declared counties
    1. Results of Measure G on state-split question
    2. The county’s Board of Supervisors placing issue on the ballot (The Sacramento Bee)
    3. A short news brief on the results of the vote (USA Today)
    4. And an economic overview
  13. [13:40] Light reading on Lassen County
  14. [13:45] Map of the State of Jefferson according to Keep It California
  15. [16:30] “Borough-Alternate Opening” by Blue Dot Sessions
  16. [16:55] Richard Seel’s presentation on the State of Jefferson’s financial model called “Show Me the Money
    1. An earlier presentation of his model
    2. The latest spreadsheet detailing the financial model
  17. [17:00] Light reading on Steve Baird
    1. And on budgets and spending (NASBO)
    2. And on state budgets and the federal government (NASBO)
    3. And a break down of how state budgets are formed (California Budget Project)
  18. [17:45] A short primer on state taxes and revenue (National Association of State Budget Officers)
  19. [19:05] List of U.S. States by budget size
  20. [19:10] A bigger breakdown of state budgets including Nebraska
    1. Holistic overview of California’s total debt (California Policy Center)
    2. Related: An old report from 60 Minutes on the state budget crisis
    3. Unrelated: A primer on the federal debt and deficit
  21. [20:30] The $340 billion number comes from a 2014 report (Los Angeles Times)
  22. [20:55] “Borough Celeste-Solo” by Blue Dot Sessions
  23. [21:35] Light reading on zero-percent interest rates (Investopedia)
    1. And additional reading on the California wildfires (BBC News)
  24. [22:05] Light reading on Montana’s wildfires and its budget short fall (Rapid City Journal)
    1. Related: New Mexico’s list of state departments
  25. [22:30] California’s list of 343 state agencies
  26. [24:50] Light reading of an old profile on Peter Thiel (The New Yorker)
  27. [25:00] “Sunset on the Ganja Farm” by The State of Jefferson Band
  28. [25:10] More on the Colorado pot boom (The Denver Post)
  29. [26:15] More on Dan Walters (@DanCALmatters) here
  30. [27:00] An overview of California’s economic output by region (The Sacramento Bee)
    1. And an economic forecast (Calif. Department of Transportation)
  31. [28:30] Current breakdown of Siskyou County, where Baird lives
  32. [30:05] Light reading on U.S. history and the partitioning of states
    1. Additional reading on how to become a state (How Stuff Works)
  33. [30:25] Light reading on how admission into the Union
    1. And Puerto Rico (Newsweek)
    2. President Donald Trump comments on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto (Fox News)
  34. [32:10] More on the Washington D.C.’s bid for 51 (NPR)
    1. A much deeper and thorough dive on how Tennessee became a state
  35. [32:40] Light reading on the Tennessee Plan (The Orlando Sentinel)
  36. [32:55] “Tennessee” by Jimmy Martin
  37. [34:05] Light reading on the City (Town) of Fort Jones
  38. [35:15] The original lawsuit filed against California Secretary of State Alex Padilla
  39. [36:20] “Lamb Drop-Minor Feel” by Blue Dot Sessions
  40. [38:05] “Coronea” by Blue Dot Sessions
  41. [38:20] Note: The Citizens for Fair Representation is technically a DBA for the State of Jefferson Formation, which is based in Nevada, as noted here. And confirmed here. (Yreka News)
    1. California’s State Constitution of 1879 (see: Article V)
  42. [38:50] California’s population growth over the years
  43. [39:15] Representation ratio based on California population in 1879
    1. Additional reading here
    2. Recent column on the measure in the New York Times
  44. [39:40] Light reading on the Apportionment Act of 1929
  45. [40:10] More on the Hamilton-Vinton Model
    1. Power In Numbers: Reapportionment and the Constitution (Constitution Center)
    2. Congressional Apportionment: Past, Present and Future (Duke University)
    3. The House of Representatives Apportionment Formula: An Analysis of Proposals for Change and Their Impact on States (Congressional Research Service)
    4. The 1911 House Reapportionment (
    5. Op-ed for enlarging the number of representatives (The New York Times)
    6. Methods of Apportionment (US Census)
  46. [39:40] Related reading on Congressional Apportionment:
  47. [41:40] Herbert Hoover’s full speech in St. Louis, MO in 1932 (CSPAN)
  48. [42:50] Assemblymember Paul Fong on Local Edition
  49. [42:55] See Article XIX here
  50. [43:15] Light reading on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
  51. [43:30] More on California’s apology to the Chinese here (TIME)
  52. [46:10] “Velejo-Atmo” by Blue Dot Sessions
  53. [47:50] “Lord Weasel-Thoughtful Bridge” by Blue Dot Sessions
  54. [48:00] Full text of the Declaration of Independence (National Archives)
  55. [48:25] Background on Margalynne Armstrong
  56. [48:40] “March on Gumdrop Field-Cello Leader” by Blue Dot Sessions
    1. The 14th Amendment
    2. The impeachment of Andrew Johnson (Politico)
    3. Recommend Listen: More Perfect’s American Pendulum II
  57. [48:45] Light reading on:
    1. Recommend Listen: More Perfect’s The Political Thicket
  58. [50:15] Audio from Baker v. Carr (Oyez)
  59. [50:20] Audio from Reynolds v. Simms (Oyez)
  60. [50:40] “The Telling” by Blue Dot Sessions
    1. Related: The Guarantee Clause and California’s Republican Form of Government (UC Berkeley)
  61. [53:10] Guarantee Clause
  62. [53:30] Citizen for Fair Representation and Baird’s motion to intervene in LaVergne v. United States House of Representatives
  63. [52:10] More on the State of California’s motion to dismiss the Citizens for Fair Representation lawsuit (Siskyou Daily News)
  64. [54:25] More on Scott Stafne
  65. [01:00:40] “Velejo-Tense” by Blue Dot Sessions
    1. Historian Robert Calhoon polls support for the Revolution around 40 percent
    2. US Department of Veteran Affairs numbers
    3. Some additional forum chatter on Reddit’s r/AskHistorians
    4. Some light reading on Three Percenters
    5. Some recommended viewing on the Three Percenters (VICE)
    6. More additional reading on the Three Percenters (Anti Defamation League)
    7. And one last bit on the Three Percenters (
    8. Light reading on the Oath Keepers (VICE)
    9. Additional reading on the Oath Keepers (Washington Post)
    10. A profile on the Oath Keepers (Mother Jones)
  66. [01:00:50] Some links to debunk the “three-percent myth
    1. Excerpt played from this airing
  67. [01:01:55] “Jefferson State of Mind” on KCNR 1460
  68. Southern Poverty Law Center’s spotlight on the State of Jefferson
    1. Oregon Public Broadcasting
    2. Quartz
    3. Gawker
    4. St. George News
    5. Los Angeles Times
  69. [01:03:30] More on LaVoy Finicum from
  70. [01:03:50] Light reading on the Malheur Standoff (The Oregonian)
  71. [01:04:10] Released video of Finicum’s traffic stop
  72. [01:07:00] “Olsted Harten” by Blue Dot Sessions
  73. [01:10:00] Recommended Podcast:
  74. Closer Than They Appear[01:10:10] Recommended Podcast Newsletter: Constant Listener

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