Russia’s Role in CA Secession Movement

yes-california-russiaThe campaign to place California secession on the ballot next election year entered uncertain waters as news broke that its mastermind lives and works in a city in the center of Russia.

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“I immigrated to California, and I consider myself to be a Californian,” Louis Marinelli told The California Report from his Yekaterinburg apartment, KQED reported. “I wanted to handle some personal issues in my family, regarding immigration. My wife is from Russia. I’m here handling various personal issues. But at the same time, we have some political goals we can achieve while I’m here.”

From founding to funding

Marinelli’s deep Russian ties, past and present, attracted attention as he took his current stay in the country as an opportunity to start work on a so-called “embassy of California” in Moscow. That undertaking, as Bloomberg noted, has the aid of “a vehemently anti-American group supported by the Kremlin” — the Anti-Globalist Movement of Russia — which Marinelli said supports California’s right to self-determination. “Talking to the Russian tabloid Life, Alexander Ionov, the president of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, said that the embassy would serve as a hub to boost tourism and foster cultural and economic exchanges between the Golden State and Russia,” Heat Street reported.

“We may disagree on several issues, but if we have common ground on one issue, why shouldn’t we have a dialogue?” Marinelli asked Bloomberg. But he has already begun to hit against the limits of that rhetoric.

“Marinelli’s Russian connection has created a schism, if not quite the Great Schism, in the breakaway movement with members of the California National Party, a group that is formally affiliated with Yes California but has publicly disavowed Marinelli as a Russian marionette. Silicon Valley investor and Hyperloop co-founder Shervin Pishevar briefly became another standard-bearer of ‘Calexit,’ as it come to be known, threatening Marinelli’s virtual monopoly on the cause, but backed off, saying he didn’t really support secession.”

The Trump factor

But crisis management was not the only reason Yes California accelerated its timetable to land their initiative on the California ballot in 2018. (According to the prospective measure’s language, voting yes “would trigger a special election the following March in which residents would decide if ‘California should become a free, sovereign and independent country,’” as the San Jose Mercury News observed.) Donald Trump’s election provoked a degree of dismay among some California Democrats intense enough to suggest a secessionist movement could take advantage while passions remained relatively hot.

“It wasn’t until Trump’s victory last month that mainstream U.S. outlets — including the Sacramento Bee, the L.A. Times and NPR — covered the group more seriously,” KQED noted. “The story got new legs because several influential tech figures took to Twitter to voice their desire for California to leave the union after Trump’s election. Among them was Shervin Pishevar, an investor and co-founder of Hyperloop One, a startup promoting a futuristic new transportation technology.”

Although no elected officials have promoted the breakaway effort, tempers have flared around the idea that a Trump presidency would try to stymie state Democrats, seen by many party members nationwide as a progressive vanguard on social and environmental issues.

In a recent San Francisco speech before the American Geophysical Union, for instance, Gov. Jerry Brown vowed to press ahead with the state’s current climate policy regardless of what happens in Washington. “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” he said, according to the IBTimes. “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers and we’re ready to fight.”

Rough going

Despite the flurry of attention, from Russia, Marinelli’s personal political reach in California was likely to remain limited. To date, his track record has been spotty. He “filed a handful of statewide ballot measures related to secession in 2015 and none qualified for the November ballot,” the Sacramento Bee recalled. “He also waged an unsuccessful campaign to represent state Assembly District 80, but didn’t advance beyond the June primary.”

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  1. True Teacher says

    I can hear Elizabeth Warren screaming about the possibility of California leaving the existing union. The loss of those 2.8 million votes giving Hillary a plurality over Trump would be devastating for “our democracy.”

  2. Three words for this secession silliness: American Civil War.
    One word for Jerry Brown: Insane.

  3. Yekaterinburg is the site of the mass murder of the Romanov Royal Family by the agents of Lenin (Cheka) on 16 Jul 1918.
    A suitable place to plan the CA Secession from for all our little home-grown Marxist/Leninist snowflakes.

    • Even California deserves better than this !! Russia has nothing to do with this and I despise any hinting otherwise. Typical media for the most part.

      This alleged Russian is an American born unstable wannabe, as far as I am concerned. He did flit around Russian intermittently from Oct, 2007 to the summer of 2011 as an Eng teacher. However, he spent time during that same period in the USA politicking. In earlier years he campaigned for John Edwards. He participated in the 2010 Summer for Marriage Tour which I believe he organized. He was an avid mover and shaker in the “one man, one woman” marriage protection movements and then suddenly shifted sides in April, 2011 when he announced his support for marriage equality publicly apologizing to the LGBT community. Then the sleaze bucket turned around and started publishing confidential information about his knowledge of the inner workings of the National Organization for Marriage despite a confidentiality agreement.

      He’s run for office in the San Diego area for the Assembly and has petitioned for various ludicrous ballot proposals such as a Devolution Panel, the President of California Act, The California National Flag Act, The California Independence in State Elections Act, and The California Immigration Reform Act. He is currently the President of “Yes California”.

  4. Bill Saracino says

    If you play episode #179 of The Rocky & Bullwinkle show backwards, you can distinctly hear Boris and Natasha saying “Moose, Squirrel and California Republic must die…” Trust me on this…

  5. All Caifornian’s must understand that they will no longer be protected under the Constitution of the United States of America.

    • We’re already there, simply look at all the violations of the 2nd Amendment. Besides, these fools loath the Constitution, so I say let them have their little commie banana republic. Just drop give me and other logical beings a little more time to leave, is all I ask, lol!

  6. The whole thing is a joke. There is only 2 ways this can happen. Either the federal govt will say ok or by doing it by force. Neither of which is going to happen

  7. I hope Trump’s America invites Ca to leave. That way the USA would obtain greatness faster, and Ca could get all the progressives to bail from the greater US and join the 3rd world result of progressive thinking. In 10 years Ca will be begging for help which should be rejected. I would be glad to sell out and move to the real US. Mexico can have Ca back as a northern province.

  8. Thomas Shultz says

    We, the U.S. bought the Southwest from either Mexico or Spain, can not remember which. California does not have any water they’re piping it in from other states. I can see a whole coastline full of desalination plants. They would not have a navy because are those ships would be somewhere else. If it happens, then U.S. should leave a pile of rubble at each Federal building. Maybe that is too rough.

  9. Christine Ripka says

    All the Democrats are delusional. The best thing that could happen to California is split it into 2 states. No way in hell would our Government give up the state.

  10. Maybe Santa Moscow can lend an explanation as to why they like to live like the Marxist, progressive leftists they are. I can’t stand to be around that town where everything is for the “common good of the people” where their schools are named Campus for the engaged learners or some bull crap like that. It should be named an expensive high school to brain wash your useless children of the rich.

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