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PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Someone has started a petition on the White House web site in effort to get Arizona to secede from the United States.
The petition to the Obama Administration asks to peacefully grant the state of Arizona to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government.
The online document states:
"'...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government...'
The citizens of the great state of Arizona have the right to stand for their principles. That man is granted unalienable rights, which are not the dispensations of the government, but find their beginnings in God and come from God alone. These are the principles that our forefathers stood for, the principles upon, which our Constitution is based, and those in which we firmly place our belief and resolve."
As of Tuesday evening, more than 16,000 had signed the petition and there were similar petitions for 42 other states.
"When you get more than 21 states that want to say goodbye to the United States of America, there is definitely something wrong," said Tom Landerie, who signed the petition Tuesday afternoon.
"This has got to change. We're digging a hole, and the Democrats have their hand on the flush, and they're getting ready to flush the toilet. I don't want to go down with them," continued Landerie.
Bill Hart, a Senior Policy Analyst at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU said the petition is nothing more than a way for people to protest what they believe is the wrong direction the country is headed.
"It's clearly a form of political protest, presumably because of the results of the presidential election and the still poor state of the economy," said Hart.
However, he said many of the people who signed the petition may not realize how important the federal government is in their livelihood.
"If we seceded, we would presumably be without the help of the U.S. Border Patrol and The Department of Homeland Security. (We would be without) military sensors and overflights that we have now, so it might not be wise for Arizona. It might be better for Iowa or someplace else where you are surrounded by other states," explained Hart.
CBS 5 News asked Gov. Jan Brewer her thoughts on Arizona leaving the country.
"You know I believe that we are states that make up the best country in the whole wide world, and that's the United States of America," said Brewer. "I believe in the United States of America."
A reporter asked Brewer if we are seceding this week.
The governor replied, "No, I don't think so."
According to the web site the creator of the petition is "Nicholas M." of Gilbert and it was posted Nov. 10. To date Nicholas has not publicly identified himself.
The petition needs 25,000 signatures by Dec. 10 for the White House to take note. However it is not likely to have any effect, no matter how many people sign it. The authority of any state to secede from the Union rests not with the federal government, but with state legislators.
The most that might come from the White House over any of these secession petitions is a simple note of acknowledgement. And in fact the petition issue has already spawned an unforeseen result: another petition asking that all of those who signed for secession be deported!