`Calexit’ campaign dropped as leader bolts for Russia
April 17, 2017 at 7:22 pm
SACRAMENTO — A campaign to make California its own nation folded abruptly Monday — after one of its leaders announced that he plans to make Russia, not the Golden State, his home.
In a lengthy farewell post, Louis Marinelli, of the secessionist campaign “Yes California,” explained that “it was only proper” to drop the measure since he no longer planned to return to California to “struggle for her independence from the United States.”
The announcement ends a short-lived, quixotic quest that summed up the disgust of many in the Golden State for Donald Trump, generating headlines and late-night talk show fodder — and even a topic for pollsters who found voters were amused but far from interested.
To get the referendum on the November 2018 ballot, proponents needed to gather nearly 600,000 valid signatures by July 25. But while the campaign picked up steam after Trump’s election last fall, it failed to gain mainstream traction or raise money. And, like the Trump White House, it was dogged by its ties to Russia.
“I have found in Russia a new happiness,” Marinelli wrote, “a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life.”
Marinelli’s partner acknowledged the effort was dead, but told fellow separatists to fear not. Marcus Ruiz Evans said Monday that he was joining the California Freedom Coalition, a nonprofit that formed two weeks ago, and that he will file another petition as part of that group on May 1.
“It’s coming together faster than protons move,” he said in an interview.
Passing a referendum — itself a long shot — would change little, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled over a century ago that states don’t have the right to secede unless Congress and the rest of the U.S. lets them go, said David Levine, a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law......................
Louis Marinelli, the man behind the Calexit movement, said he was shutting down the campaign for a ballot initiative — and moving permanently to Russia.