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We want out: Arizona secession petition quickly draws backers

WASHINGTON — Arizona has been in the union more than a century, but some residents appear to want out after the last election.

petition to let the state secede went up on the White House website Saturday, and by Tuesday it already had received more than half of the 25,000 signatures needed to trigger an official response.

The petition was one of about 45 such petitions from states, some repeats, posted on the White House site this week. It has until Dec. 10 to reach its goal.

White House spokesman Brandon Lepow confirmed that the administration will respond if the petition gets the required number of signatures, but said he could not comment on the specific petition until then.

The White House would not release the identity of the man who started the petition, identified only as Nicholas M. of Gilbert. The White House website gives no more than a last initial and hometown for people who signed the petition, many of whom were from outside Arizona.

But a laughing Gregg Cawley said there should be no fear of another civil war anytime soon as a result of the secession petitions.

“One of the big differences between now and the mid-1800s … is the tremendous amount of federal funds states receive,” said Cawley, a political science professor at the University of Wyoming who has written about the relationship between Western states and the federal government.

“Do they really want to give up all that money? I think it makes the whole thing more symbolic than practical,” he said.

Cawley said people who make comments such as those in the petitions are more likely trying to “raise public visibility about their complaints” than actually succeed at secession.

That effort to raise visibility – about 45 of the more than 100 petitions on the White House site call for secession by various states – drew a quick response from other unhappy citizens on the other end of the political spectrum.

One petition asks the Obama administration “to deport everyone that signed a petition to withdraw their state from the United States of America.”

Cawley said the warring petitions should not be seen as an omen of more warring to come.

“A state cannot simply say they don’t want to be a part of the union anymore,” Cawley said.

“I wouldn’t say that these people starting these petitions are grumpy enough to actually pick up guns and start a war,” he said. “Just at a practical level, it is not going to happen.”

Language of the secession petition:

“We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Arizona to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government.”


  1. Ill pick up my guns and back this petition.

  2. Even if this doesn’t go through. I want people in this country to know where I stand. I don’t want Obama as my president. And I certainly am not afraid to let people know where I stand on these kinds of issues.

  3. ill vote for it i don’t want obama making the laws.

  4. my question is this to those who want az to b a free agent what will happen to our taxes as they r already rediculous, how about our social security and medicare as u now our illustrious gov dont want acchsess what will the gov b a democracy or will it b a dictatorship which i kind of go with as our gov wants just that i guess maybe a little better on the illegal but i may suggest we look at all the options

  5. Secession Petition Update 11/19/12 0:56 A EST
    NEW: Includes states that benefit financially
    NEW: Includes states with strong popular support

    With less than 2,200 signatures to go, Arizona is on track to complete to reach the 25 requirement next to SC.

    Alaska 7710
    Alabama 29782
    Arkansas 22572
    Arizona 22809
    California 14548
    Colorado 21685
    Connecticut 3555
    D.C. 8
    Delaware 7509
    Florida 34114
    Georgia 31521
    Hawaii 3923
    Iowa 4876
    Idaho 6114
    Illinois 5117
    Indiana 21011
    Kansas 8419
    Kentucky 18574
    Louisiana 36457
    Massachusetts 3955
    Maryland 3810
    Maine 4061
    Michigan 19199
    Minnesota 5419
    Missouri 19714
    Mississippi 18178
    Montana 13225
    North Carolina 29846
    North Dakota 11340
    Nebraska 7070
    New Hampshire 5395
    New Jersey 13987
    New Mexico 4920
    Nevada 10259
    New York 14818
    Ohio 11546
    Oklahoma 9320
    Oregon 14528
    Pennsylvania 13366
    Rhode Island 4588
    South Carolina 23737
    South Dakota 6394
    Tennessee 30538
    Texas 114853
    Utah 8084
    Virginia 8534
    Vermont 2183
    Washington 4209
    Wisconsin 6913
    West Virginia 7648
    Wyoming 8921

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