A group called "New California" has taken its first step towards carving the Golden State in two – issuing a "declaration of independence" which would incorporate most of the state's rural counties – while coastal counties from the northern San Francisco Bay Area to the southern tip of Los Angeles would remain part of the existing state.
Quoted by CBS, founder Paul Preston said "Well, it's been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we're rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California."
"There's something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed," Preston said.
The group is serious about this effort – printing pamphlets (here and here and here) citing authority granted in the U.S. Constitution "to provide a republican form of government as guaranteed by Article IV, Section 4," which co-founder Robert Paul Preston says has not been the case in California for a long time. "There's something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed," Preston said.
"when a long train of abuses and acts to seize and hold the people's power without legal authority and pursuing invariably the same Object that clearly demonstrates a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security" –New California Declaration of Independence, Jan. 15, 2018
One of New California's pamphlets reads:
"The current state of California has become governed by a tyranny, which rivals those stated above. It is time to take action. The Duty of the People who are suffering the long train of abuses and usurpations at the hands of a tyrannical government is to abolish and make new a government by the People and for the people under GOD. State Splitting Process of California The process begins when a state's legislature first votes to split the state. Once the measure, in the form of a resolution, passes both the California Assembly and Senate, it is submitted to Congress."
New California State is being developed as the 51st State of the Union as a state 'split' from California following Article IV Section 3 and Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. –newcaliforniastate.com
The group also recognizes the need to start out with training wheels. Co-founder Tom Reed admits "Yes. We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern."
The group is organized with committees and a council of county representatives, but say it will take 10 to 18 months before they are ready to fully engage with the state legislature, according to CBS 13.