Residents in Arkansas and other states start petitions to seced - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Residents in Arkansas and other states start petitions to secede from the United States

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Arkansas is one of dozens of states in which people have filed a petition to secede from the United States since Election Day.

The Arkansas petition to "peacefully grant the State of Arkansas to withdraw from the United States and create its own NEW government" was created November 10 on the White House web site, petitions.whitehouse.gov.

The petition threshold requires 150 signatures for a petition to be publicly searchable on the web site, and 25,000 signatures within 30 days of the petition being created to solicit a response from the White House.

The Arkansas petition had more than 17,000 signatures as of 7 p.m. Tuesday evening and must reach 25,000 by December 10.

The Missouri petition had more than 14,000 and must reach 25,000 by December 10.

Of the states that have filed petitions, Texas has met the threshold with more than 85,000 signatures, in addition to Louisiana with more than 28,000, and Florida with nearly 30,000.

ASU political science professor Dr. Hans Hacker said the practice is common after elections.

"If President Obama had lost the election we probably would've heard from a lot of liberals threatening to leave for Canada or perhaps even seceding," he said.

"Secession is one of those things that the South not only traditionally threatens but a percentage of Southerners actually support. Polls taken in the 1990s show that 10 percent of all white Southerners supported the South leaving the Union if it could be done without war."

Using the Texas petition as an example, Dr. Hacker said the likelihood of states following through is low.

"Texas balanced its budget last year, sure, but it did it with four billion dollars in federal aid, so if it leaves the Union I imagine the federal government probably is going to want its money back, and I imagine the federal government will want its money for its interstate highway system, and I imagine the federal government will want its money back for the Medicare and Medicaid payments that its made."

Texas Governor Rick Perry released a statement Tuesday regarding the petition:

"Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government."

Dr. Hacker said the petition process is not something that should be discredited, but people also need to understand the implications of seceding from the union.

"There is no way for Arkansas to pay for its interstate highway system, to buy it from the federal government. There is no way for Arkansas to pay for the Medicare and Medicaid pot of money that the federal government has provided Arkansas. This is not a realistic proposal."

Petitions to deport or strip the citizenship of people who signed petitions to secede are also listed on the White House web site, with a combined total of more than 23,000 signatures.

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