The people backing an initiative campaign to split California in two have just signed on some powerful political help to possibly get it done.
After President Donald Trump ascended to office, progressives wanted the entire state to exit from the United States.
And over the years, there have been plenty of other ideas for splitting up California. The “north vs. south” version was popular for a while. But now, some GOP leaders in California see a more natural political divide between east and west.
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And now people who want to split from Hollywood, Los Angeles and San Francisco believe they have the political horsepower to pull off such a move.
The Sunday Times reports that the men known as the “bad boys of Brexit,” Nigel Farage and Arron Banks, have agreed to manage the initiative campaign for the latest version of Calexit:
Banks said: “It would be portrayed as the Hollywood elites versus the people, breaking up the bad government. Seventy-eight percent of people in California are unhappy with their government. It’s the world’s sixth-largest economy and it’s very badly run.”
The goal would be to get the initiative qualified for the ballot in November 2018.Getty Images/Alex Wong
Farage and Banks attended big fundraisers in Orange County, where $1 million was raised to get the campaign started. The Times reports that backers of the split say big money is coming out of the woodwork to fuel the effort:
Farage then attended several fundraising events in [Republican congressional candidate Scott] Baugh’s Orange County base. One dinner raised about $500,000 from several hundred guests. A similar sum was raised at a more select gathering for wealthy donors — many of whom were agriculture tycoons, tech entrepreneurs and lawyers disillusioned with the liberal Democrats who run the state.
“They feel they’ve been left out since Reagan,” [Banks’ spokesman Andy] Wigmore said. “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.”
They’ve got their work cut out for them, as 365,880 signatures would be required to put the initiative on the ballot.Getty Images/Mark Ralston
California awards the most electoral college votes in the nation. The winner-take-all election grants 55 electoral votes, which means that even though there are “red” portions of California, all 55 of those votes go to a single party.
The Times reports that the Republicans hope they can do better with California’s rural farmers, ranchers and business owners who are tired of progressive politics in the state.
The Sun reports that the campaign would pit Hollywood against the rest of the state:
Their goal is to pit the rural east of California, which is more likely to vote Republican, against the ‘liberal coastal elites’ of the west coast including L.A and San Francisco.
As New York Magazine noted, the Republican Party is practically extinct in California. Democrats hold majorities in both the Assembly and Senate, and they hold both U.S. Senate seats, the majority of the congressional seats, and the governor’s mansion.
Farage said that people didn’t think Britain’s exit from the European Union would happen, either, but he told the Times that stakes couldn’t be higher for California:
“This could be the greatest political showdown ever.”
He said that the money raised so far will take the campaign to the next level.