Thousands sign petitions for 33 states to secede

Florida, Texas nearing enough online signitures to draw White House response

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Thousands of Americans in 33 states -- including Florida and Georgia -- have signed online petitions in the last week for their states to secede from the United States of America.

Dozens of petitions to secede from the union and form new state governments were filed on the White House website since Barack Obama was re-elected president.

Here's the text of the petitions:

"We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of (various) to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government," the petitions read.

"As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776: 'When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.'

"…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…"

Petitions have been filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Under the "We the People" program launched last year, the White House will respond to any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days. Anyone over the age of 13 can create a petition.

According to the Washington Post, previous popular petitions demanded the White House beer recipe (success) and marijuana legalization (without success).

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, signatures on Texas and Louisiana's petitions had passed 25,000 with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Missouri North Carolina and Tennessee surpassing 20,000 signatures.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) raised the idea of secession back in 2009, but he has since made clear that he has no interest in it. In a statement to the Dallas Morning News, Perry's press secretary wrote, "Gov. Perry 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. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas."

Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp (R) suggested in 2010 that some states might have to "consider separation from this government" should the leadership in Washington not change. "I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government," he said.

Seventeen of the states who have petitions running on the White House site had a majority of voters support Mitt Romney for president.

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