There is a new “#CalExit” movement afoot, and it just received a $1 million cash infusion and two potentially explosive partners as the “Bad Boys of ‘Brexit’” — Nigel Farage and Aaron Banks.
The movement’s leaders have set their sights on splitting the Golden State into two Californias, Eastern and Western.
The UK Daily Mail reports that “Former [U.K. Independence Party] leader Nigel Farage and Leave backer Arron Banks have just returned from the United States, where they helped raise $1million (£800,000) for a ‘Calexit’ campaign, which would split California into two eastern and western regions.”
This move should come as no surprise to anyone whose paying attention to California politics. The State of Jefferson movement has been fighting to secede from California proper since 1941.
#CalExit has largely been a leftist movement—as the “Yes, California” campaign has sought to leave the United States altogether, and form its own country, in the wake of Trump’s election.
Meanwhile, those pushing to form the 51st State of Jefferson — from a collection of 21 rural Northern California counties — express frustration over being “ruled over” by the two heavily populated urban centers of political power, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
This new move by the architects of Brexit to split California into two separate states, along the lines of Virginia and West Virginia is likely to draw support from those who have been fighting to do exactly that for decades. The map of “#CalExit2” Movement would look like this:
- Western California along the coastline from the Los Angeles / Orange County (LA/OC) line all the way to the Oregon border, largely hugging the coastline and including the major urban centers of political power, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the northern coastal counties of Mendocino, Humbolt, Trinity and Del Norte
- Eastern California would comprise the rest of the current state of California, including all the eastern counties of the state, and also the coastline from the LA/OC line to the Mexican border.
Where the #CalExit2 map differs markedly from the State of Jefferson’s proposal is the ceding of the northern coastal counties noted above to Western California — and the inclusion of the entire eastern part of the state and Orange and San Diego counties all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
But if Farage and Banks are successful, this new #CalExit2 campaign would pit “Hollywood elites versus the people…”. According to the Daily Mail, Banks said their goal was “…breaking up the bad government. 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.”
That might give those on the right and the left something to cheer together.
Tapping the deep discontent in California, Farage and Banks believe they can help liberate voters through referendum. After raising close to $500,000 at one fundraising dinner — attended by hundreds of disenfranchised Californians in Orange County — they raised that amount again at an exclusive event for the super-wealthy captains of agriculture, industry and tech, along with a few lawyers.
Banks explained to the Sunday Times what they hope to accomplish: “Our role was to show them how to light a fire and win, to show them it’s possible. A lot of people said, ‘This isn’t possible, it can never happen.’
“We were saying that people said the same about Brexit — and we just went and did it. The money was pledged to take it to the next level. This could be the greatest political showdown ever.”
Only time will tell, but if the proposal makes the ballot, the 2018 midterm elections could be very interesting — and if #CalExit2 is successful, the 2020 presidential election might look very different, with an additional state known as Eastern California that would most likely be as red a state as Texas.