The Tri-City Herald, based in Kennewick and serving the whole of the Mid-Columbia region, doesn't mince words in addressing a topic that seems to continually make the rounds in Eastern Washington.
"The idea of splitting Washington state apart based on voting patterns is ridiculous, but the suggestion continues to come up and has been getting attention again," the Herald writes on its editorial page.
The newspaper note that November's midterm elections highlighted the difference between rural “Red” and urban “Blue” regions and that some conservatives are fuming that Initiative 1639 — which places restrictions on buying and storing certain guns — was approved on the statewide ballot with a dominant “yes” vote coming out of Western Washington.
Says the Herald:
One of the reasons the extreme idea of splitting the state endures is that Republican Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley continues to push the proposal. He even has a name for the new, 51st state – Liberty.
There is awebsite devoted to its creation, complete with state flag, seal and a draft constitution. From all appearances, it looks like a serious endeavor.
Yet it makes no sense. Contrary to what the Liberty website says, we can’t imagine how splitting off from the west side would help the east side, particularly economically.
Surely residents of our beautiful, dry and sunny side would pay more in taxes and receive less services if our state was divided. State revenue generated by Puget Sound giants like Boeing, Amazon and Microsoft help everyone.
Click here to read the full editorial.