Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said recent interest in support for the 51st state movement from western slope counties is a “game-changer” in the debate over water issues should residents succeed in forming a 51st state.
“We are now getting support from counties on the Western slope, this is a game-changer,” Conway said. “The way things are going, we could end up voting Denver and Boulder off of the island.”
This Tuesday, voters in 11 Colorado counties will be voting on a ballot initiative asking them if they want their county commissioners to pursue options to become a 51st state.
The issue is the result of long-simmering disputes between the rural and urban residents of the state. However, during the last legislative session Democrats, who controlled both chambers of the legislature as well as the governorship pushed through a series of radical bills on a wide range of liberal causes including “gay” civil unions, abortion, gun control and an energy bill that placed special renewable energy requirements on rural residents while exempting municipal entities from the same rules.
As if Weld County voters didn’t have enough reasons to vote on the secession initiative, state officials have recently decided to take a stretch of I-25 that runs right through their county and designate one of the existing lanes into a toll lane.
Conway said that officials would even think about doing this to Weld County shows that despite claims to the contrary, state officials are still blind to the disconnect between the rural and urban areas of the state.
“Where do they put the toll road first? This would be the first section of interstate highway that was originally built as a general purpose lane that is being made into a managed lane,” Conway said. “Why us? What makes it so special that we get this great opportunity to pay for this road twice?”
While much of the media attention has focused on the northeastern counties voting on the issue, there are also several western slope counties that have also expressed support for the idea of a 51st state.