Citizens in Ohio, Other States Write Secession Petitions
By Kevin Liptak
(CNN) — Citizens in several states–including Ohio–say they want out.
An appeal calling on the federal government to allow Texas to “withdraw from the United States of America” following President Barack Obama’s re-election doesn’t have the support of the Lone Star State’s governor, his office said in a statement Tuesday.
“Gov. [Rick] Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it,” his press secretary Catherine Frazier wrote in a statement to the Dallas Morning News. “But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”
The petition, which had received nearly 65,000 signatures by mid-morning Tuesday, cites continuing “economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending” as the reason for the proposed secession.
“Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government,” asserts the petition, which appears on a section of the White House website called “We the People: Your Voice in our Government.”
The section was designed to allow citizens to voice their concerns and desires for the federal government, and stipulates that if a petition gets enough support, “White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”
The threshold for eliciting a White House response is 25,000 signatures within 30 days, meaning the Texas secession appeal has surpassed the requirements for official administration comment. None has yet been forthcoming.
The fine print notes the White House “may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition.”
A host of other states have similar petitions on the “We the People” section of the White House website, including South Dakota, West Virginia, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, California, Ohio, New York, Delaware, Nevada and Arizona.
None of those petitions were close to the 25,000 signature requirement for a White House comment.
Other petitions on the website take the opposite tack: an appeal to “strip the citizenship from everyone who signed a petition to secede and exile them” had just over 1,000 signatures on Tuesday.
While Perry’s statement Tuesday pushed back against a possible move to secede, the Lone Star governor has expressed support for such a shift in the past.
Speaking to an energetic and angry tea party crowd in Austin in 2009, Perry suggested secession may happen in the future should the federal government not change its fiscal polices.
“There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”
During his run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, Perry clarified that he never used the word “secession.”
Texas, America’s second biggest state in area and population, was its own nation for 10 years before joining the United States in 1845.
In the statement from Perry’s office Tuesday, Texas is held an example for the rest of the nation for its fiscal responsibility.
“Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper,” the statement read.
CNN’s Alex Mooney contributed to this report.