OAN Roy Francis
8:49 AM PT – Tuesday, February 28, 2023
The “Greater Idaho” campaign, with the objective of having eastern Oregon secede from the state and join the neighboring conservative Idaho has gained momentum recently.
State leaders and legislatures from both states have expressed support for the movement to relocate the border between the two states. The 13 Oregon counties that would join Idaho are the more rural, conservative counties of the state along its eastern border. Those 13 counties account for 9% of the state’s population, as well as 63% of the state’s landmass.
Mark Simmons, the former Oregon House Speaker, wrote in the Idaho Statesmen his reasoning for supporting the move.
“Idaho would have the satisfaction of freeing rural, conservative communities from progressive blue-state law,” Simmons said. “We are dismayed by the manner in which Oregon government has marginalized our values and villainized our resource-based livelihoods.”
Simmons also gave one of the bigger reasons why border towns along the Idaho side are in support of relocating the border. He explained how since Oregon’s laws are much more lenient on drugs, stores in the Oregon towns along the border sell drugs, which make their way across the border, and into Idaho’s population.
“These counties would help maintain rural values in the Idaho Legislature, values of faith, family, and self-reliance,” he said. “All of eastern Oregon voted against marijuana legalization and the decriminalization of hard drugs.”
Moving the border line would incorporate those conservative Oregon towns into the Idaho communities and would change the drug laws within the communities. This would solve problems for both communities, it would move drugs away from the Idaho communities that are suffering from it, along with helping conservative eastern Oregon towns with their drug problems as well.
Early in February, Idaho’s House of Representatives had voted a measure that would call for formal talks between the two states’ legislatures about moving the boundary line.
Relocating the border line between the two states would require approval from both states’ legislatures and the United States Congress. The move will undoubtedly face greater resistance in the Oregon legislature, which is held by a Democrat majority. Although, Republicans within the Oregon legislature are in support of the move, Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Ore.), has also filed a proposal to begin formal talks with the Idaho legislature.
Supporters of the move also include 11 counties along the Oregon-Idaho border. All 11 counties have voted for measure to discuss and explore the idea of the move, and a poll had showed that the majority of residents in Idaho also support the move.
Critics argue that moving the borderline would actually increase division among the American people. They argue that disgruntled citizens of a certain state can always move if they do not like the way that their state is being governed.
However, supporters of the move within Oregon say that the move would be financially beneficial for the state. This would also allow the state legislature to freely govern as liberally as they like because the conservatives of the state would not be able to vote for state legislature any longer.
The move would also be financially beneficial for the state of Idaho, as shown in a recent analysis by the Claremont institute. The analysis had showed that the state would gain a net of $170 million per year.
Not only would Idaho gain the $170 million per year, the state would also become as big as the state of Montana with a population that would be twice as large. The newly acquired land would increase Idaho’s population by around 21%.
Simmons also explained other benefits for the state of Idaho that would be a result of the relocation of the borderline.
“Many people are moving to Idaho to gain political refuge from blue states,” he wrote. “Adding a large part of Oregon to Idaho would take some pressure off of Idaho’s current housing market by giving new people more locations to choose from. It would reduce traffic congestion and reduce the loss of Idaho farmland to suburban housing.”