- A fringe political group is calling for a "New California."
- The aspiring 51st state would incorporate the central, mostly rural counties and contain roughly 15 million people, according to the group's organizers.
- A split between California and New California is highly unlikely.
"New California" is swiftly taking over social media.
On Monday, a fringe political group out of California called for the state's central, mostly rural counties to break away from the rest of the state. Organizers gathered in a government building outside Sacramento for a reading of their own Declaration of Independence from California.
"Well, it's been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it," Robert Paul Preston, the movement's cofounder, told CBS Sacramento.
New California would be made up of roughly 15 million people across 42 counties, leaving the state's coastal urban enclaves like Los Angeles and San Francisco on their own. According to the group's website, the existing California would surrender between 25 and 27 seats in the US House of Representatives to New California, based on 2016 population estimates.
The split would result in, effectively, a blue California and a red California.
The founders of New California took an early step toward statehood Monday with the reading of their own Declaration of Independence. They say their state is "ungovernable." https://t.co/m2y1mwWwitpic.twitter.com/oHOfWHSTen— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 17, 2018
Preston believes there's a path to statehood that is legal. The group cites Article IV Section 3 of the US Constitution, which allows for a state to be formed from another state with the consent of the original state legislature and the permission of US Congress.
Preston told CBS Sacramento that the group has representatives from counties across the state, and it plans to organize over the next 10 to 18 months. Then it will engage the state legislature.
"We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern," Preston said.
This week, people took to Twitter to express a range of reactions.
Funny how leftist Democrats are freaking out about "New California" because they know that it is the hard working conservatives the ones doing the heavy lifting and keeping the state a float paying all the taxes. When they secede it will be over for Old California!— Patriot Rome 🇺🇸 (@Patriot_Rome) January 17, 2018
#NewCalifornia is little more than Gerrymandering on steroids.— Cimbrelo vs Keating (@Bill_Cimbrelo) January 17, 2018
New California is like 15 people and 11 of them are Russian twitter bots— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) January 17, 2018
A breakaway from California is highly unlikely. The last state to be created out of another state was West Virginia during the Civil War. Farmers living in the western part of the state declared independence only after Virginia left the union, and with approval from President Lincoln.
The latest reincarnation of "Calexit" may be only a conservative pipe dream.
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