- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Calexit campaign has won approval to collect signatures again for a ballot initiative aimed at separating California from the union, marking the third such attempt for state secessionists.

The group Yes California kicked off its petition campaign Monday after California Secretary of State Alex Padilla gave orgnaizers the go-ahead to collect signatures for a 2020 ballot measure “to ask voters whether California should become an independent country, in the form of a republic.”

If approved, the initiative would require a special election in May 2021 to affirm the vote.

The measure must garner 365,880 valid signatures by Oct. 17, according to the secretary of state’s office.

This isn’t the first time secession fever has hit the Golden State. Yes California, led by Marcus Ruiz Evans and Louis Marinelli, tried to qualify the question for the 2015 and 2017 ballots, without success.

At the launch event in Sacramento, supporters displayed posters saying, “It’s Time for a Divorce” and “Irreconcilable Differences.”

“This has nothing to do with Trump. We don’t care about that,” Yes California’s John Pomeroy Jr. told NBC’s San Francisco affiliate. “This is about taxation without representation. Every revolution starts because of that.”

The 2017 campaign fizzled following media scrutiny over Mr. Marinelli’s move to Russia in 2016. He has said that he decided to live there temporarily after he and his wife embarked on a trial separation.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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