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Pro-secession requests grow to 40 states

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The pro-secession requests flooding the White House website grew Tuesday as petitions on behalf of a dozen more states were added to the list.

The administration’s “We the People” website showed at press time Tuesday evening petitions filed by individuals seeking permission for 40 states to secede from the union, up from 23 the day before.

Petitions filed on behalf of four states — Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas — had reached the 25,000-signature benchmark. According to the website, any petition that receives at least 25,000 online signatures within 30 days of posting will be reviewed by the appropriate executive department and receive a reply from a White House staffer.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the Dallas Morning News that he doesn’t support the effort, despite some previous jokes about Texas splitting off from the union.

“Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it,” said Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. “But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”

Critics chalk up the effort to sour grapes in response to the presidential election. Most of the petitions are dated Nov. 10, four days after President Obama won his reelection bid by defeating Republican Mitt Romney.

Several counter-petitions appeared Tuesday on the website, including one calling for the administration to “strip the citizenship from everyone who signed a petition to secede and exile them.”

Former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, a Tea Party favorite, said there are worse ways to blow off steam.

“I love it. This is one way to at least express some frustration and anger, and I think it’s a great idea,” said Mr. Tancredo. “The level of frustration and angst has never been greater in my lifetime, and it’s going to manifest itself somehow.”

No organization or individual has yet claimed credit for launching the petition drive. The petitions list only the first name and last-name initial of signers, along with their city and state of residence.

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