It looks as though California will remain part of the United States for the foreseeable future. Louis Marinelli, the man behind the Brexit-inspired "Yes California Independence Campaign" campaign to secede from the United States has dropped his effort and instead plans seeking permanent residence in Russia. Marinelli said that he was "disillusioned" with the United States. The ballot measure that would have allowed Californians to vote on their future as an independent nation was pulled.
The drive to make the nation's most populous state its own country, with what would be the world's sixth-largest economy, has drawn extra interest after last year's election of Republican Donald Trump as president.
But the Yes California Independence Campaign faltered after its president, Louis Marinelli, revealed ties to Russia. Marinelli said in a lengthy message to supporters Monday that he is seeking permanent residence in Russia because of his "frustration, disappointment and disillusionment with the United States."
The secretary of state's office confirmed that Marcus Ruiz Evans, the group's vice president, withdrew the California Nationhood ballot measure.
While the "Yes California Independence Campaign" is dead, those who think California should be its own country still have a glimmer of hope. A self-described grassroots coalition called the "California Freedom Coalition" is also looking to write a ballot measure. The group still needs well over 500,000 signatures in order to qualify for the 2018 election.