Brexit engineers raise serious money to push Calexit next

One of my new life goals really needs to be figuring out how so many people come up with all of this extra cash to invest in jousting at political windmills and where I can get in on that action. One of the latest examples is the group of donors who signed on with Nigel Farage and Arron Banks, kicking in at least a million dollars to push a plan which would split California into two states. Trying to build on their brand, they’re calling it Calexit even though it’s actually not. But hey… let the good times roll, gentlemen. (Daily Mail)

The ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ who led the campaign to break Britain away from the European Union have taken on a new exit challenge: splitting California into two states.

Former UKip 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…

Farage and Banks, who led the ‘Leave.EU’ campaign, appear to be pitting the eastern, more rural side of California against the western ‘coastal elite’ liberals in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

As I mentioned above, this really isn’t Calexit at all. The actual Calexit initiative isn’t looking for a restructuring maneuver of any sort because they’re pushing to have the entire state secede from the union. (No doubt triggering a war which would go down in history.) They’re already busily collecting signatures for a referendum on the subject… but I digress.

What Farage and Banks are cooking up is a plan to split California pretty much down the middle from north to south. The two states would leave most of the population (almost undoubtedly in Democratic control) on the coast while taking the more rural and agricultural inland sections into a new state where Republicans would have a fighting chance at winning elections.

This obviously sounds like a great plan to everyone except the Democrats. They certainly wouldn’t want to see two more GOP held seats showing up in the Senate, nor would they want their powerhouse block of electoral votes diluted. There’s also the already tricky question of who would be supplying them with their water (because southwestern California is a desert when left to its own devices) and how much they would be paying for it. It’s a complicated stew they are cooking up to be sure.

What this plan lacks in realistic probability of success it at least makes up for in being more legally permissible, at least in theory. We’ve had states split up before. (Think of the Virginias and the Dakotas.) Unfortunately for them there are a lot steps to the process and Congress would need to approve it, so it remains primarily a pipe dream. But as John Fund pointed out in a recent editorial on the subject, it’s an important conversation for residents of the state to have. The current state is too large, unwieldy and divided, with far too many people being shut out of the political process. The geographic and cultural fabric of California is already divided enough and it might help them to find a way to smooth over those divides.