Politics
              FILE - In this June 7, 2012 photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.  For Perry, saying "no" to the federal health care law could also mean turning away coverage for up to 1.3 million people. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
              FILE - In this June 7, 2012 photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. For Perry, saying "no" to the federal health care law could also mean turning away coverage for up to 1.3 million people. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)   

Southern governors dismiss talk of seceding from the US

Photo of David Martosko
David Martosko
Executive Editor

Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t the only chief executive of a state to announce that recent talk of seceding from the U.S. doesn’t interest him.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley both said Tuesday that they don’t plan to take action to separate their states from the U.S. federal system, despite a stream of citizen requests directed at the Obama administration.

Secession petitions lodged with the White House by citizens of the three states are already among the seven that have attracted more than 25,000 signatures each. That’s the threshold the Obama administration says will trigger an automatic review by a staff member. (RELATED: White House ‘secede’ petitions reach 675,000 signatures, 50-state participation)

The petition from Texas, launched Nov. 9 by University of Texas-Austin freshman Micah Hurd, has been the most successful of the 69 state-specific petitions The Daily Caller has identified. As of 9:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 95,000 have signed it.

Petitions from Alabama and Tennessee natives have each attracted about 26,000 digital signatures.

In a statement Monday morning to the Dallas Morning News, Perry press secretary Catherine Frazier said the Texas governor “believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”

“We cannot allow Washington’s tax and spend, one-size-fits-all mindset to jeopardize our children’s future, undermine our personal liberties and drive our nation down a dangerous path to greater dependence of government,” the statement from Perry’s office added. (RELATED: Will Texas secede?)

Haslam told The Tennessean on Tuesday that he had heard about the secession petition from his state.

“I don’t think that’s a valid option for Tennessee,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll be seceding.”

And Jennifer Ardis, the press secretary for Alabama Gov. Bentley, sent a statement Tuesday to WSFA-TV12 in Montgomery.

“Governor Bentley believes in one nation under God,” she wrote. “While there is frustration with the federal government, Governor Bentley believes that states can be great laboratories of change. … We can disagree on philosophy, but we should work together to make this country the best it can be.”

The Obama administration started the “We the People” petition program to encourage input from ordinary citizens. Petitions are searchable on the White House’s website once they have 150 signatures.

On Wednesday morning, however, more than half of the active petitions on the site were connected to the spontaneous secession movement that spring up after the Nov. 6 election.

All 50 states are now represented. The White House’s website has counted more than 675,000 signatures in favor of different states seceding from the U.S.

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