Entries in Secession (3)


States with Most Signatures to Secede Took Millions in Federal Money

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- All the states petitioning to secede from the United States that obtained enough signatures to elicit a response from the White House -- with the exception of Alabama -- were some of the largest recipients of federal funding in 2010. 

Census records show that six of the seven states that amassed more than 25,000 signatures on their petitions to form independent nations in the past week took more than $10 million in revenue from the federal government that year.

The seven states -- Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina -- took more than 23 percent of all federal revenue allotted to the states that year. That being said, it was individuals in those states, not the controllers of the states' pursestrings, who signed the petitions.

Missouri also received $11 million and has collected more than 29,500 signatures, but the electronic votes are divided between two identical petitions, disqualifying the state from receiving a White House response.

Petitions to secede started popping up on the White House’s "We the People" website three days after President Obama won re-election.

The number of states petitioning had reached the teens by Monday.  By 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, every state except Vermont had a searchable secession petition on file, and each had gathered at least 600 signatures. A petition must have a minimum of 150 signatures to be found in the We the People search database.

ABC News’ reported Monday that Texas was the first state to hit 25,000 signatures, growing to more than 30,000 by the end of the day. Texas’ petition now has more than 100,000 virtual signatures.

In addition to the state’s bid to leave, a user named Caleb M. created a petition asking that his home city of Austin be allowed to withdraw from the Lone Star State, while remaining part of the United States. Caleb still needed almost 20,000 signatures to get a response from the White House.

The Obama administration policy is not to address petitions that don’t receive at least 25,000 clicks within the first 30 days after their posting.

A White House official told ABC News Tuesday that the secession petitions that made the cut would receive a response.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House to Review Online Secession Petitions

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Living up to its crowdsourcing promise, the White House says it will review online petitions from states that say they want to secede from the United States.

In the days since President Obama was re-elected, visitors to the site "We the People" have submitted a wave of petitions calling on Obama to allow 36 states to peacefully secede from the United States.

As a practice, the White House says it will review and respond to petitions that obtain more than 25,000 signatures. Three secession petitions, from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, have passed that threshold. Texas leads all petitions, with 82,799 online signatures, which the White House confirms through email.

And the White House said it would follow this procedure now.

“Every petition that crosses the threshold is reviewed and receives a response,” a White House official said when asked about the secession petitions. "As a rule, we don’t comment on the substance of those responses until we’ve issued them to the petitioners."

That said, the White House has been known to dodge. While it sometimes responds in several hundred words written by the relevant policy officials, others (such as  this one) amount to explanations of why the White House can’t or won’t comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texas Petition to Secede Reaches Threshold for Obama Comment

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A petition for Texas to secede from the union, submitted to the White House, reached the number of signatures needed to draw comment from the Obama administration Monday.

The petition appeared on a section of the White House website called "We the People" that invites users with a U.S. zip code to submit or sign petitions about policy changes they would like to see. A petition must reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days for the administration to comment on it.

The petition to "Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government," was submitted on Friday of last week. Just three days later, it zoomed past the 25,000 mark at 3:22 p.m. Monday and kept going.

In order to sign a petition, users must register with the site using a valid email addresses and entering their zip codes. The site's terms of participation indicates it has mechanisms in place to block spam, but it does not say anything about verifying zip codes or state residency.

Many signatures on the petition came from Texas, but some also claimed to be from other states, including Flagstaff, Ariz., Pinebluff, Ark., and Rio Rancho, N.M. Some did not publicly list their residency.

At least 17 other states have similar petitions to the Texas secession request on the We the People forum including New Jersey, New York, Montana, Colorado, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Oregon and Michigan. The closest behind Texas was Louisiana with 15,617 signatures.

In 2009, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hinted that anti-Washington sentiment could lead residents of his state to seek independence from the union.

"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."

At time of publishing, Perry's office had not responded to a request for comment.

So far, the president has not commented on the petition and there is no guarantee that he will. The terms of participation give the president some loopholes.

"To avoid the appearance of improper influence, 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," the site says.

The White House has refused to comment on a requests for an investigation into allegations that Rep. Chris Dodd took bribes, clemency for Native American activist Leonard Peltier and the release of accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.

The White House did respond to a petition that gained fewer than 13,000 signatures this fall: the petition seeking the White House beer recipe.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio