California a Separate Nation, President Jerry Brown?

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

November 30, 2016

California activists submitted a proposed ballot initiative for the November 2018 election that would pave the way for the state to secede. As the “The Mamas and the Papas” sang way back in 1965 when song-and-dance man turned politician George Murphy was a freshman U.S. Senator, that’s California Dreamin.’

Beware of what you wish for; secession would be a California nightmare.

Breaking California up into separate states or seceding altogether is an idea that’s been kicked around with various degrees of seriousness since I was a child growing up in Los Angeles. This time it’s the Yes California Independence Campaign that wants to establish the Nation of California. As the half-baked thinking goes, since California is in line with a Democratic agenda that includes open borders, generous subsidies for illegal immigrants that include health care for minor children, driver’s and professional licensing, and Trust Act protection from deportation for aliens, the state should be a stand-alone entity, and not be burdened by pesky federal regulations that, at least technically, prohibit those entitlements.

But many Californians including most of those who work might be compelled to move from the newly minted nation. After all, President-elect Trump carried 24 of California’s 58 counties, and 3.8 million Californians voted for him. The new California would have a tough task replacing the tax income those Trump supporters generate, especially if the reconstructed state continues to welcome more welfare-dependent residents.

Assuming the ballot initiative passes, a possibility, the secessionists would need congressional approval to change the Constitution and approval from 38 states, a less likely outcome.
 

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