http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... -1.2957526
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, January 27, 2017, 2:05 PM
California is one step closer to possible secession.
Supporters of the so-called “Calexit” movement got the green light late Thursday to begin collecting the 585,407 voter signatures needed to get an initiative on the November 2018 ballot.
The group behind the proposal, known as Yes California, now has six months to collect and submit the signatures, according to California's Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Yes California started back in 2015 but exploded with a groundswell of support — and the catchy #Calexit hashtag — in the days following President Donald Trump’s election.
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“California and America are different cultures, very different. Donald Trump never would have been a candidate here, not even a party nominee. Do we need more evidence than that?” Yes California spokesman Marcus Ruiz Evans told the Daily News Friday.
He argued California is an economic powerhouse that subsidizes dozens of southern and midwestern states that don't share its values. He said the Golden State’s own crumbling highways, bridges, levees and schools should get that money instead.
“We're pumping out billions to other states. That's colony status,” he said Friday.
The proposed Calexit ballot measure seeks to repeal provisions in the state's constitution “stating California is an inseparable part of the United States and that the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land,” according to wording approved by the California Attorney General.
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“We're absolutely excited,” Evans said. “A lot of people said this was unconstitutional. If it's unconstitutional, how come the Attorney General approved it?”
If the new measure qualifies for the ballot and passes, there would be a follow-up special election in March 2019 to ask voters if they want California to become an independent country.
Experts say the process would then require approval by the other states in the union, likely though an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Evans, 39, said he's not worried about that.
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“There’s lot of evidence suggesting the 35 states who all voted for Trump have very different values and don’t like California. They don’t like immigrants, don’t like accents. They don’t believe in LGBT rights, women’s rights,” he argued.
“If you already hate us and you don’t know we support you financially and you vote on emotion, we have the votes today,” he said.
Yes California’s president Louis Marinelli hails from upstate New York and was a registered Republican when he started the separatist movement.
The 30-year-old, who previously lived in Russia, is now a member of the fledgling California National Party.
Asked what the government of an independent California might look like, Evans said little would have to change.
“It's going to be whatever Californians decide, but probably not a lot has to change,” he said. “For everything the federal government does, there's already an equivalent state agency. Our governor already acts like a president, traveling to foreign nations, signing trade deals.”
Good luck with that.