How fares the dream of a free North Colorado? "Colorado's rural counties were split on the secession movement," The Huffington Post's Matt Ferner reports:
Washington, Phillips, Yuma, Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties voted in favor of secession, while Weld, Logan, Sedgewick, Elbert, Lincoln and Carson counties rejected the 51st state question. Voters in Moffat County, the sole northwestern county involved in secession threats, also rejected secession, halting the possibility of it becoming a new panhandle to Wyoming.
The question to voters reads: "Shall the Board of County Commissioners of ______ County, in concert with the county commissioners of other Colorado counties, pursue becoming the 51st state of the United States of America?"
The counties whose voters approved of secession plans cannot automatically break free from Colorado now; it simply allows officials in those counties to pursue the idea of secession further.
One big roadblock for the counties that want to secede—and for relatively conservative rural counties elsewhere who want to fly their own banners, from the would-be State of Jefferson in northern California to the breakaway bubbling in western Maryland—is convincing congressional Democrats to admit a state that is certain to send more Republicans to Washington. A wise move for the secessionists would be to forge an alliance with the D.C. statehood movement, which has the opposite problem: Their new state is sure to vote in Democrats.
The government shutdown put D.C.'s municipal officials in the ludicrous position of begging Congress for permission to draw on their own budget. Everyone involved would obviously be better off if the feds finished the job of devolving authority to the people of D.C.—everyone, that is, except Republicans concerned about the balance of power in Congress. But if you admit the State of Columbia at the same time that you admit the State of North Colorado, or whichever rural secessionist movement manages to get its act together first, you can give people more power over their own lives in two places at once without disrupting gridlock. A win all around.