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Online, Texas Secessionists Petition the White House (Updated)

Update: Gov. Rick Perry has weighed in on the online secession petition. The Dallas Morning News has posted a commentfrom Perry press secretary Catherine Frazier, who says the Governor believes "nothing should be done to change" the union. 

Update (Nov. 12, 3:07 p.m.): This afternoon, Texas' petition broke the 25,000 signature requirement needed for the White House to issue a (certainly perfunctory) statement in response. 

On Twitter, some users are encouraging Texas to take the rest of the South with it. Meanwhile, others are asking whether a bargain can be struck to keep Austin in the union. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

Original Post (Nov. 12, 12:08 p.m.): After any presidential election, you hear chatter from folks threatening to the leave the country since their candidate didn’t get elected. Now, an Arlington man is asking to leave the United States – and take the whole State of Texas with him.

The White House website features a Petition page, where citizens can raise issues with the executive branch. Over the weekend, Arlington resident "Micah H” petitioned the newly re-elected Obama administration to “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”

Here’s the text of the petition itself:

The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

The post since inspired a wave of copycat petitions from other disgruntled state residents: Buzzfeed counts Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana and North Carolina.

While Texas secession is about as likely as it sounds, somehow the idea keeps bubbling up in the state’s collective unconsciousness. Gov. Rick Perry famously flirted with the concept of secessionism before his failed presidential bid, telling a crowd of supporters that if Washington, D.C. “continues to thumb their nose at the American people … who knows what might come out of that.” NPR took a lengthy look at what independence would mean both for Texas and the formerly United States.

The petition is currently some 5,000 signatures short of the 25,000 required for the White House to issue a response.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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