And, they’re at it again.
This movement for California to secede from the United States is not the first for a state, and it’s not the first for California. However, it got a lot of press in the last few days, emphatically linked to frustration with our new President. Much of the press coverage was poorly researched, flamboyantly titled click bait that wasn’t worth the click.
But that didn’t stop a host of people on the fringe from trumpeting the boldness, the rightness, the goodness of the idea of secession.
Those people must have forgotten about the states that tried to secede over 150 years ago … and it didn’t end well for them.
I am not entertained. I am flabbergasted that people can discuss this idea with a straight face.
It’s a horrible idea for all of America. And, it will never, ever happen.
For starters, many headlines screamed that California would vote to secede later this year. That is a barefaced lie.
Here’s what actually did happen: a public initiative has been accepted by California’s Office of the Attorney General as a possible ballot proposition for the fall of 2018, if the promoters can gather the required 585,407 “wet” signatures of registered voters in California. These signatures must be done in ink … hence the term “wet” signatures. Online petitions or other social media exploits do not work for this process. Most initiatives hire paid signature gatherers for this task; the “Yes California” committee says they have thousands of volunteers (variously reported as 9,000 to 13,000+) that will gather the signatures. That low budget, volunteer strategy rarely works for such efforts. In any event, they have until July 25 to submit the signatures, at which point the state will evaluate the signatures for validity, and either certify the proposition for the fall 2018 ballot, or, more likely, end the effort at that point.
However, if the committee succeeds in gathering enough signatures, then the first vote will take place. Voters will be asked to approve a proposition that the California state constitution be revised twice: 1) to delete a reference to California being inseparable from the US, and further, 2) delete a sentence stating that the US Constitution is the supreme law of California. If that proposition passes with over 50% of the vote, THEN…
A special election is called for March 2019, when California voters will vote on whether or not they want California to secede from the United States. IF 50% of the voters do vote, and IF 55% of the voters vote YES, then the Governor is instructed to petition the UN for California to join as a member nation … and California would then seek to find a way to legally secede from the US.
And experts say there is no constitutional path to do so. In fact, experts think that the only way a state could secede is if a constitutional amendment were passed … which requires 38 states and 2/3 of the House and Senate to approve. That’s an unlikely event on any topic these days. An alternative solution would be for 2/3 of the states to hold a constitutional convention, which is something that has never happened in our history. Experts even disagree if the convention could be limited to a single topic, and many believe that any amendment could be suggested at such a constitutional convention. After the convention, IF a constitutional amendment that’s on point were passed, THEN 38 of the states would have to approve the amendment before California could Calexit.
As of today, there have been 33 constitutional amendments submitted to the states for approval. Of those, 27 have been passed. Could Calexit make it 28? I sincerely hope not.
Here’s the text of the initiative that’s been approved by the Attorney General’s office for the signature gathering effort. Note that “tens of millions of dollars of one-time state and local elections costs” would result from the approval of this proposition … and THEN we only have to amend the US Constitution for this to have any impact.
For the record, I won’t be signing, and I hope you will not as well.
And just for a little added spice … did you hear that Russia’s involved? The man behind this initiative, Louis J. Marinelli, is a US citizen that lives in Russia with his Russian wife, and works as a school teacher. He’s met with a group that allegedly has ties to the Kremlin. The Yes California website, however, emphatically states that Russia is not funding this effort.
So if you believe Russia influenced the US election, then ….
And publications as illustrious as the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times are taking this seriously?
Journalism, I mourn for thee.