Secessionists in California are making a second attempt to win support for a ballot initiative that, they hope, could pave the way for the state to leave the union. And it appears the movement retains a connection to Russia.
California’s attorney general in late July gave leaders of the secessionist movement, dubbed Calexit, permission to start gathering signatures to place a question on the 2018 state ballot. The decision marked a revival of sorts for Calexiters: initial efforts at winning support for a ballot initiative collapsed in the spring after it was discovered that a prominent figure in the movement, Louis Marinelli, head of an organization called YesCalifornia, was living in Russia, and maintained close ties to a Kremlin-funded group. Amid the controversy, Marinelli, announced that he would no longer lead YesCalifornia.
But now, it seems, he is back in a position of influence.
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