Legal Insurrection readers will recall the #CalExit secession movement in which adherents are endeavoring to get a state secession plan on our ballot.

It turns out that that the leader of Yes California (the organized, supposedly San Diego-based effort for this movement) is an American who lives in Russia and runs the independence campaign from there.

On paper, the leader of the California secession movement lives in an apartment complex near San Diego’s Golden Hill neighborhood. But in reality, the Calexit campaign is being run by a 30-year-old who lives and works in a city on the edge of Siberia.

Louis Marinelli heads the secessionist group Yes California. Following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the organization has gone from an unknown fringe group to one discussed seriously in mainstream media.

…A former right-wing activist from Buffalo, New York, Marinelli first moved to Russia almost a decade ago. He studied at St. Petersburg State University, the alma mater of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He returned to the United States to campaign against LGBTQ rights as part of the National Organization for Marriage.

Here is Marinelli talking from his base in Ekaterinburg, Russia. I will simply point out that the interview is being conducted by CNN, one of the media outlets leading the charge on President-elect Trump’s supposed Russian connections.

A detailed look at Marinelli’s background shows Russian media outlets have regularly covered Marinelli’s effort in earnest. For example, the Communist Party’s Pravda newspaper covered the Yes California campaign, including a meeting with other secessionists at a conference sponsored by the Russian government.

On the other hand, the American press treated him more as a crackpot than a serious political movement leader…until Trump’s surprise election.

…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.

“If Trump wins I am announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation,” Pishevar tweeted. That message would be retweeted almost 2,000 times, and soon the idea was trending on social media.

I have opined that the best deals in stocks under Obama were for booze makers and gun manufacturers. Now, I am going to recommend buying stock in Orville Redenbacher…because someone is going to have to pass me lots and lots of popcorn during the Trump presidency.

And this is the movie I will be watching while I eat it.


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