United we stand? Petitions to leave the union circulate - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

United we stand? Petitions to leave the union circulate


In a way, it's the Civil War all over again.

Following President Obama's re-election, petitions began on the White House's We the People website in all 50 states asking permission to withdraw from the union.

Texas's petition has more than 100,000 signatures.

But what if Iowa, or any other state, became its own country? For one, it would cost money.

"Can you afford your own army and your own defense?" asked U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican. "You'll have to have your own navy."

One Coe College professor says it shows America isn't as united as it used to be.

"It's interesting because we've not seen this before -- at least, not in my lifetime," said Bruce Nesmith, Lipsky Professor of political science. "I think what it would take would be the consent of the other 49 states."

Iowa's petition has more than 3,000 signatures. Many are from out of state.

But lifelong Iowans have mixed feelings about creating an Iowa nation.

"If we wanted to spend it, then we'd have to tax ourselves, and we could spend it better than the federal government," said Scott Gearheart of Mount Vernon.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Brandy Hoffmeier of Cedar Rapids. "I don't think anybody is ever completely happy with any election."

The petition's goal of 25,000 signatures is still drastically less than state's population.

The White House's We the People website says if a petition gets enough support, it will be sent to policy experts. It does not give a specific number of signatures needed for that to happen.

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