By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – As petitions to withdraw from the United States now cover all 50 states, a growing signature campaign is also underway to strip the citizenship and deport those who sign the secession petitions.
Residents of a few cities, notably in Texas, also want to secede from their state if it pursues the secession move.
Other residents want an open election to determine whether their state should secede from the Union or not.
In the confusing and conflicting duel of petitions, some of the citizens who initiated the withdrawal are also becoming known, indicating either a personal or a philosophical reason for seceding.
Some are saying the petitioners are Mitt Romney supporters who are simply “venting out their anger” for their candidate’s loss to President Obama.
Others say this is a ploy to deny Obama a mandate and prevent him from governing effectively in the face of a still divided U.S. Congress.
Whatever the reasons, the White House website, We The People, has been inundated with the petitions following Obama’s victory on November 6.
More than 700,000 signatures have been submitted so far, a tiny fraction though of the million who voted in the November 6 election.
Several petitions seeking to strip the citizenship and deport or exile those who sign the withdrawal petitions have also been submitted.
The most prominent is one submitted by Joshua (no last name provided) of Birmingham, Alabama, which as received 23,158 signatures.
Submitted on Nov. 12, 2012, it only needs 1,839 more signatures by Dec. 12 to meet the 25,000-vote threshold to merit action from the White House, according to the guidelines.
Residents of three, Texas cities – El Paso, Houston and Austin – want to secede from Texas if that state pursues secession. Texas has gathered the most signatures – 109,000 as of last count .
But Gov. Rick Perry has thumbed down the withdrawal idea, according to a spokesman.
“Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it,” the spokesman said. “But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Some of the people who started the secession effort have also come to be known.
The Huffington Post reported that Derrick Belcher, a 45-year-oldtruck driver from Chunchula, Ala.initiated the secession petition in Alabama.
He is upset that the business he owned – a topless car wash – was shut down by the government.
“I don’t think any one state can stand alone. But if we’ve got 20 of them, then that starts to be something,” Belcher said of the secession movement. “If you look at a map of the red states, we have all of the oil and we produce all of the food. We’re the ones that are carrying the rest of the nation,” the Post reported.
He blames the federal government for shutting down his topless car wash, Euro Details, which he claims was successful for a decade in Mobile, according to Alabama.com.
In 2001, Belcher was arrested and charged with obscenity. “The government ripped my business away, and now they’re choking America to death with rules and regulations,” he said.
States whose active petitions have not yet reached the 25,000 signature threshold include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
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