Entering the fray of efforts to change California's relationship with the rest of the country is a new campaign to divide the state in two, leaving the liberal enclaves along the coast as far south as Los Angeles to run West California, and giving Republicans potentially two new seats in the Senate in what would presumably be the red state of East California. The UK's Sunday Times picks up the story via "Bad Boy of Brexit" Nigel Farage, who along with "his money man" Arron Bank are helping raise money for this new campaign, in an effort to get a referendum on splitting up California onto the 2018 mid-term election ballot.
The pair were recently in Orange County hosting a couple of events that allegedly raised $1 million from wealthy donors who are tired of California remaining consistently Democratic, its politics typically guided by the population centers of Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
Says Banks to the Sunday Times, "It would be portrayed as the Hollywood elites versus the people, breaking up the bad government." He adds, "Seventy-eight per cent of people in California are unhappy with their government. It’s the world’s sixth largest economy and it’s very badly run."
The plan would put the southernmost part of the coast, including Orange and San Diego Counties, in East California, along with the Inland Empire, Sacramento, and all of the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Farage's spokesman Andy Wigmore says of the donors to the campaign so far, "They feel they’ve been left out since Reagan. A lot of people who fund Silicon Valley and all the big farmers were there. They believe now Trump has won, this is their chance... All the big money has come out of the woodwork."
Wigmore adds, "This has been done before with West Virginia and Virginia and North and South Dakota, so it can work."
The campaign sounds as excitedly naive as the earlier announced one, operating under the moniker Yes California, which is a liberal-driven effort to get California to secede from the United States entirely something that would not be legally possible without an amendment to the US constitution that was ratified by 38 states. Nonetheless organizer Marcus Ruiz Evans is persisting with it, hoping to collect 585,407 valid signatures from registered California voters by July 25, 2017 to get his referendum on the 2018 ballot.
The effort has also been stymied by the fact that Evans's co-organizer, and Yes California's president, Louis J. Marinelli, is currently living in Russia and works as an ESL teacher there. It's unclear how much money they have raised to support the signature drive.