Paul Preston on American Thought Leaders produced by THE EPOCH TIMES discusses the New California State movement.
Why Some Californians Want to Create a New State—Paul Preston
BY JAN JEKIELEK
April 21, 2019 Updated: April 21, 2019
Today we sit down with Paul Preston, founder and president of the movement for a New California state. We discuss how realistic the New California movement actually is, why God would be re-introduced into the preamble of the the new state constitution, and how the Reynolds vs Sims 1964 Supreme Court undermined the US “lowercase-r” republican model of governance, leading to the challenges facing many Californians today.
Jan Jekielek: So, Paul, you’re the founder and president of the movement for a new California state. And this might sound kind of outrageous to many of our viewers.
Paul Preston: Right.
Jan Jekielek: Can you tell me what this is all about?
Paul Preston: Well, we’re actually forming a new state from California. We’re in the process of forming a new state from a preexisting state and following the constitution. Our constitution and Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights provides for us to form a new state when the citizens feel compelled to. And so right now there’s obviously a lot of things going on in California and have been going on in California. There’s great unrest with Californians. And we’ve managed to pull it together over the course of last several years–probably eight years to actually get a cohesive state movement together. And there’s been a number of other programs you probably heard about–six state, three state, that sort of thing. None of them were constitutional. They didn’t pass constitutional muster. And our state movement has passed constitutional muster. We’ve seen all of our opposition fall off, basically, with their attempts at forming new states because they weren’t following the Constitution. So we’ve adhered to the Constitution and we’re in the process of forming the 51st State.
Jan Jekielek: So California is economically the largest state in America. I’ve read that if it were alone it would be the fifth largest economy in the world. Why is it that you want to break that up?
Paul Preston: Well, the economy is not working for most Californians. It’s working for very few at the top. That’s really what it’s coming down to. The middle class has been squeezed out by over taxation, overregulation. That’s been a process that’s been going on in California for really the last 25 years. And so now we’re at the point where we just really have an elite upper class and a very poor middle or lower class–if you’d say lower class. We have the highest poverty rate of any state. Our homelessness situation is just off the hook in both major places like San Francisco and really all throughout the state when you travel the state like I have–I’ve been to all 58 counties. Poverty really is everywhere, and it’s really unfortunate. So our system and how we got there economically is very much broken.
And right now at this point in time in our state’s history there is, like I said, there’s great turmoil. Part of that has been derived from the California’s Constitution and the Constitution we’re technically working under, which is the playbook. You know, how is the state going to be run, the Constitution is your playbook. If you use sports you have a playbook that you follow. The Constitution has been amended in this state since 1879 more than 30-plus times through propositions and things like that. And that’s really had a detrimental effect upon the actual function and the basis for why they had the Constitution. And one of the things that they brought in starting in 1966 was a full-time legislature. Now, when you start to think about that, what could possibly go wrong in a state with a full-time legislature. Which means that you have created an enormous bureaucracy and an enormous bureaucracy has to do something. So what they do is they create laws. That’s basically what they’re there for. So in 1966 they brought in, I call it the professional legislature, which meant that the legislature was going to meet 11 months out of the year. Now, prior to that, our legislature, like in the state of Texas because we had similar constitutions, at the time we were only meeting once every two years as a legislature.
But the boom, the explosion of the bureaucracy and the bureaucratic monster, if you will, that we have today started back then. And that kind of folded into another problem, and that was a court decision called Reynolds vs. Sims from 1964 that took effect in 1967. So by 1967 when Ronald Reagan was governor for the first year, because he was elected in 1966, we had this confluence and coming together of the Reynolds vs. Sims decision and then also the situation going on with the full-time legislature. And so, really, we created this monster of bureaucracy that we have today.
So that’s why the legislature can meet at will today in our term, in our modern-day 2019, and pass a bill within a matter of a couple of days. And they’re passing bill after bill after bill after bill. There was over 2,300 bills that were introduced just this legislative cycle, and they predicted there’s going to be about 1,500 of those are going to be passed. That’s just outrageous. And of course when they’re passed you get the regulations, you get the fees, you get the all the additional taxes, anything that goes with the bill. And then you get a bloated bureaucracy which takes energy and it takes money away from the private sector. So that’s why businesses are fleeing California, and as we sit here in this room I look around at the businesses and the signs that are up for lease around this area–a beautiful area of California–but it’s that way throughout most of California. Businesses cannot stand up to the high taxes, the high regulations and fees that are going on coming from Sacramento.
So, basically, as we view it in New California–combine that with education, combine that with other parts of the economy, the overregulation, transportation, infrastructure–we take a look at California as a failed state at this point. And that’s when we got together and said there’s got to be an answer to this. A lot of us 10 years ago were saying there’s got to be a solution as to how we can make this change. And we looked at it and said, “Well, we’ll pass a constitutional proposition,” And everybody said, “Well, they’ve been doing that and ruining California through the propositions. What can we do?” … “Well, the only thing that we really, possibly, can do is to take a look at forming a new state, and what would that look like.” And as we started to look at it more and more it made a lot more sense to form a new state from a preexisting state. And because of the attempts at trying to derail Reynolds vs. Sims, it really looked like the only possible way we could do it successfully is by forming a new state. So we looked at that and said, “OK, how can we do that?” We looked at the tools which we had which was the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. The tools were there. The Founding Fathers put those tools in place for moments like this when a state was in the process of failing.
And right now, economically, the economic trajectory for California is it’s going to run out of money. It’s at that point where Margaret Thatcher says the state California government is running out of other people’s money, and that’s going to happen much sooner than people think. And, you know, with the reports we get from the field is that there’s a lot of, I guess you’d say people not being paid by the state right now as we speak. So that’s called an indicator or a clue of the economic disadvantages that are going on from the state–they’re not paying their bills.
But the other part of it is, of course, what’s going on to society in general. And when you start taking a look at the overregulation, you start looking at what’s going on with crime–and crime in California, regardless of what you’re hearing from the state, which you look at the things from the state that come out and you research and you find out it’s not really accurate, that they basically are trying to cover up a lot of the crime statistics, but crime is growing. And then we’re finding out that a lot of the legislative packages include packages that are really kind of benefiting the criminal. So when you start taking a look at that you realize that’s failing. So, you know, our response is: Well, we need a new constitution, period. We think that a fresh look at a new state, as the constitution provides, is really the only option that we have left.
Jan Jekielek: When I was learning about the new California movement the thing that really struck me was how it’s this kind of a rural interior vs. coastal urban divide. And if you can kind of package that for me a little bit yeah know be helpful. Am I right?
Paul Preston: No you’re absolutely right. And that’s the core of what we’re doing. I mean there’s many core pieces of what we’re doing but this is actually the heart and soul really of what we’re doing because in the problems that we have all throughout the nation is you having a centralization of power that’s taking place right within the states themselves. But in Reynolds versus Sims they decided that counties being represented under the little federal model by Senators would be best served if they were representing people only. So in other words rather than representing a county or the resources or the schools or the you know the economy or everything that has to do with a county and the sovereignty of a county they looked at it as a population grab. So in other words senators should should have an equal number of people that they represent in that way they can rule better. You know that that was the thinking. And they didn’t touch the federal model which called for two senators per state because they wanted. The founders wanted states to have an equal balance of power when they got into the legislature as a bi cameral. And in California at the time that California was founded they came up with a formula for 80 Assembly members and 40 senators primarily because we had about 40 counties at the time so everybody got a senator. And when Reynolds vs. Sims came along they did away with that. They said that represent one person one vote. That was their mantra. And so what they did is they divided up the senators in the states by districts and they gave them numerous counties to represent. And they had a population had to represent first. Well you’ve got to think about that because population was already being represented by the Assembly or by the House of Representatives over there state as they represented the people. So now what you did is you gave the House of Representatives really more humans to be there to represent people as the senators. We have one senator here that actually it’s multiple counties that he represents one senator and Senate District One represents eleven counties in California. And then down if you go down to San Diego up to Los Angeles you have twenty two senators in just three counties.
Jan Jekielek: So the power in the Senate basically became concentrated in these very urbanized areas.
Paul Preston: Right. And what what what it’s become in most states of the United States is now you have a unicameral legislature. You really don’t have the differential the differences in the power sharing that we’re in an inherent in a bicameral legislature that had equal power with the senators representing counties which represented all the resources all the commerce all the things that go into counties. You did away with that. And so that’s what’s collapsed the system into power power spots centralized governance in the states. In California You’ve got Los Angeles you’ve got San Francisco and Sacramento. Those are the three power places. If you take a look at New York and Manhattan in upstate it’s all concentrated in Manhattan because all the senators represent people in Manhattan not in the counties in the counties that are out there and not in upstate New York. If you take a look at Illinois Chicago as that is the most populous Cook County in Chicago is the most populous state. So it has all the resources and all the rural areas of Chicago don’t have those resources and they’re fighting. You know they’ve actually started a new Illinois movement based upon our model because in our model we restore the one senator for one county situation we bring that back and we’ll talk about that.
Jan Jekielek: You are actually challenging Reynolds vs. Sims.
Paul Preston: Absolutely.
Jan Jekielek: And that it’s not just for California.
Paul Preston: That’s for other states. Yeah yeah. And there’s numerous movements that have now developed that we’re that people are calling us and using us as a resource. New Illinois is really the one that’s the most furtherthest along they actually have a resolution before the state assembly right now that they’re bringing out. Then you have new Hawaii. They want to join. We actually had new Nevada actually did declare independence and they’re working on getting their counties together a new Oregon and New Washington have shown interest and they want to be a part of this. So it’s growing is what’s happening. And there is a new New York group of people too.
Jan Jekielek: You know aside from staging a coup or something like that it doesn’t sound like that’s anything like what you’re planning to do. You know it sounds like you’re planning to use that use the. The rules and the Constitution and legislative approaches to do this. It seems like you would actually need the California legislature to pass legislation to allow this to happen. So forgive me for being skeptical. I don’t see that happening.
Paul Preston: Well it will. And they are in there an impossible situation we understand that. And we’re basically here to help them more than than hurt them or to bury them or something like that. But the economy for California is tumbling so far out of control. They need help and we understand that. But with the Reynolds vs. Sims decision and going in conflict with a big federal model that was put down to the little federal model we do have that opportunity because we are following the Constitution I want to speak about that for a second. This is really important that we follow the Constitution in New California and then we also have declared that we are going to be a part of the United States and be under the auspices of the United States Constitution and we will follow those laws as opposed to other movements that haven’t done that. And of course that’s where you get into things like coup. You know you mentioned coups because when you start to listen to some of the voices of leadership in those groups they’re really talking about coups because you’re not talking about using the Declaration of Independence the Bill of Rights in the Constitution as the tool to form a new state. And that’s where the founding fathers knew there would be moments like this if you have a tyrant in a given state as a governor you have tyranny that’s what the people can do something about it. So what the Constitution calls for an article 4 Section Three is that the people can form a state from a preexisting state by directly going at the legislature and dealing with the legislature concerned. So we have an opportunity as citizens to not appeal to our state representatives in our own districts per say but as a whole as a whole group of counties which we have represented we are. We don’t work with the governor. The governor is irrelevant in the process and the executive branch is irrelevant in the process and the courts are irrelevant in the process of getting approval seeking approval of the state legislature so that it is our goal is that we will be working with hands on with the state legislature as citizens from the counties concerned and that’s how we’ll get approval. It’s a resolution that has to be passed in the Assembly and also in the Senate. And we think that the circumstances are coming together quite nicely right now for those events to take place and they are there taking place right now. We’ve already had some discussions with state legislators. We’re not dealing with government agencies or even at the county level because they’re irrelevant in the process. We want to get their support ultimately and that’s what we want is their support. But we’re not going to go actually actively after it. And the reason being is that they’re part of the problem. You know the founding fathers don’t want us to work with the problem makers if you’re forming a new state you know because you want to be free from that and you’re your opportunity to do so is to work directly with the legislators concerned. After that we go to the Congress we’ll get approval and I’ll explain that in a second. But then we the next step of Article 4 Section 3 is that we seek approval from the Congress and we’ve already started that process as well where we are in contact with certain members of Congress at this point in time and we are absolutely being overwhelmed with support.
At this point we’re actually getting overwhelming support from the people that we’re talking with and we’re finding overwhelming support with the general public when we go out and meet with them we’re getting more and more proactive in that regard. But getting back to the point about the state legislature we understand the positions they’re going to be in because there won’t be the money that they thought that there was going to be an we’re here basically not to just help ourselves out and improve our lot as new Californians in the rural area because that’s our focus. We’re here to help them too. So we want to make it a win win situation at the state separation. But the big thing that we’re doing is that divide of rural versus urban and that is the problem with Reynolds vs Sims because you know as I was talking about before you had that situation with one senator representing 11 counties there’s no representation. We bring that all back. We return that because in our state formation process we’re following in the historical footsteps of three other states who did this before it’s only been tried three times. In the last time was with West Virginia at the time of the civil war in the West Virginia situation. They followed the other models that they saw and they got together with their own people in their own counties. Counties did the work in the committees in the counties did all the all the work with the legislature. They were the ones meeting with the legislatures. But in the case of West Virginia was a very unique case. There was a great deal of obviously animosity between the Civil War was at hand in fact there was a lot of bloodletting and in Virginia and in West Virginia at the time and all this was happening actually. But the West Virginians did not want to become part of the plantation mentality of the South. So they did not want to secede from the union as Virginia did and so they were forming their own state but more than [reflection of ] Ohio and in Pennsylvania. And so when they came to the point where they were going to actually declare that the separation and work with the legislature Virginia pulled away and became part of the south leaving them high and dry. So they met and they said what are we going to do about this. They went to the Congress and Congress said no we you can’t be a state or you can’t approach us until you satisfy Article 4 Section 3 of the Constitution. You have to work with the state legislature. And so what happened was one of the guys stood up and said Pierpont was his name he raised his hands and I’ll be the governor of the restored government of Virginia. And everybody looked round at him like he’s crazy and he said no. I’ll do that. And you and you and you can be a lieutenant governor and a secretary. So he they put together a makeshift government. They called it the restored government of Virginia. They appealed to the Congress and Congress let them in. And so as at that point then West Virginia went to the restored government of Virginia and they got the authority they got a resolution passed that allowed them to go on to the Congress, so by 18 that was in 1861- 62. By 1863 the Congress had granted them statehood. Now we are in the exact same situation in California. There is so much tension we don’t know what’s going to happen with the economy. We don’t want there’s civil unrest brewing. You know we have the sanctuary state thing going on. And one of the arguments that we make in these three major arguments that we make for statehood in New California. One that this all hinges on Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution that guarantee clause, that one we are not being given a representative government. In other words a republican form of government. That’s exactly what it states.
Jan Jekielek: So there’s some kind of. You know you mentioned tyranny earlier. So this is kind of the tyranny of the majority being enforced on everyone.
Paul Preston: Right. of the minority actually. It’s the legislators and those leaders that are foisting the tyranny upon us and they’re using a system that doesn’t have a republican form of government. See the United States in California all the states are not democracies. We hear the term democracy being used all the time but adopt democracy as a dictatorship. So when they broke down the little federal model and we got Reynolds of versus Sims and the senators all became representatives literally of people just like the assembly member then you pulled all that power together for the people and not for the resources. So that’s the tyranny and that’s a democracy. You just you lost the power of the representation of the counties and you gave the representatives of the people more power in the founding fathers did not want that they understood what a tyranny was. And if you had all your power concentrated concentrated in a centralized area then all the people in the rural areas all the people with the natural resources all the natural resources would soon come under the power of just the people. I mean one man can’t represent eleven counties properly for the resources. That’s a fact. So this is what we have now is that tyranny that’s here and they are passing laws that are very egregious. They’re there. They’re not guaranteeing our safety in public here in California any longer. We’re certainly not free from invasion. I mean when the when the the government of California openly induces offers enticements for people to come swarming across our borders. That’s not protecting us from invasion which is the second guarantee and the guarantee clause the third one is to keep us free from civil unrest in freedom from violence. And those are the three elements and right now that’s not being that’s not happening you can ask Kate Steinle his family if that’s happening. If you take a look at the sanctuary state status it’s not it’s not constitutional by any stretch of the imagination and this government has been warned by the current president and the current executive about violations of Article 6 which is the supremacy clause. So those are the three elements that we’re arguing is that we are not being guaranteed a Republican Form of Government. We’re not being guaranteed freedom from invasion and we’re not being guaranteed against domestic violence. So all those are blown up and that’s where we’re coming from. Now how are we going to get that back. We’re going to be the first state since West Virginia to follow the model into statehood. And we’re following pretty much their model. In fact we’ve had a declaration of independence. We declared our independence on January 15th 2018 which is exactly what we should be doing. All the states all the countries around the new world that declared their independence did that first before they became a nation or a state. And then the other part of it is we are in the process of not only following that model we know we’re going to get there because this is the hook for Reynolds versus Sims. The last state to come into this union by territory was Hawaii. That was 1959 predating Reynold versus Sims. We are coming in post dating Reynold versus Sims and what we have done already is we as set up our own government. We have asked our county chairmen to assign to select and elect a senator for each county. So we’ve already done it. We’ve already got our Senators in place and we’ve got two assembly members as a startup for a government and we’re going to challenge reynolds versus Sims because we believe that we have a 10th Amendment right which supersedes that decision to have representation the way we deem it to be effective for our state.
Jan Jekielek: It’s very interesting. So the big question in my mind at this point is how can you be sure that what you’re doing is actually representing the will of the Californians that are living in all these rural counties that were looking to to form this new state.
Paul Preston: Well that’s really that’s a timing issue. Actually I think five years ago people would be scoffing and laughing at this and of course I was with other organizations at the time because we had this vision we could see that forming a state and setting up new borders and joining the Union becoming an additional state in the union of 50 now becoming 51 would strengthen the whole unity of these 50 other states and our own. And in a time of the globalist the globalists want to dissolve boundaries especially California borders pretty well known. This wasn’t really featured years ago. And now all of a sudden people are understanding there are these globalists who have these ill intent for our country and there they’re actually it’s actually working. And you can see that working going affect with jobs leaving our country. Of course the president has brought a lot of that back now. But the destabilisation of our borders which is where we’re at right now is a big part of.
Jan Jekielek: A values thing basically right. It’s people seeing a different vision for the future state of the country. You said it’s a timing issue. How is it that all of these let’s say the new representatives how are they and you connecting with the people.
Paul Preston: Well that’s the big quest that we’re on right now. When we first started new California and how we went about it we we we asked counties to commit by signing documents and so on and we asked the representatives to as county chair and then become senators. We’re doing that outreach right now. This is where we’re going to start really. We’ve been doing a lot of it but we’re doing more of it now. We’ve got the counties. I don’t think we’re going to grow anymore beyond the 50 to whole or part of the counties. Keep this in mind. County is part of New California. The rural area of L.A. County which is the northern tier assembly districts 36 and 38. And the reason is it’s rural. And so you can propose any border you want. So all the rural areas that are of California which is about 85 percent of the landmass you’ll have about 18 million people versus 21 one million people in the L.A. basin San Francisco and Sacramento. We have population parity but is that population of people that 18 million that we’re appealing to. And so far we’ve got any place we go. We have gotten massive outreach and support success. I mean it’s just when they hear about it you know we’ve been kind of keeping it low right now because we’re building stability.
Jan Jekielek: Basically, You’ve built the infrastructure for all of this to basically come into place and now you’re working to let people know that this isn’t even a possibility because I suspect most for most folks this is just not even in their realm of conception, right?
Paul Preston: Well you know it’s what we’re getting now. We got laughed at scoffed at. No one’s doing that. No no no no. People are going come here and tell us more we want to know more. And it’s resonating and it’s a timing issue. And we knew it would be a timing issue. We planned it years in advance to be here right now at this point in time. And we’re here and it’s working.
Jan Jekielek: Because things have kind of gotten to that point right where something may turn around or something may change.
Paul Preston: Right. Well people I think sense that you know we just what we just witnessed with the President. I never thought we’d ever see something like that and I was around when Kennedy was assassinated and everybody said that was a coup. It was an attempted power play in time and history of showing that. But really right in front of our faces we have seen really the first ever coup de etat attempt on a sitting president actually wasn’t even seated when the whole thing started as we’re fighting out. I mean this is just outrageous times.
Jan Jekielek: So we’re talking about you know spygate the whole valley and all that so. Right.
Paul Preston: All that stuff. And one of the things that I do a radio show called Agenda 21 Radio and I’ve been doing this for years as a result of my interpretation of events and seeing these kind of things starting to move forward. The rise of the totalitarians, the globalists and things like that right. And now they’ve risen and now they’re being confronted. And as with all totalitarians and I’m sure you understand this they overplay their hands. And you’ve seen them overplay their hands I think with President Obama and then the as things moved on and progressed. That’s why I say we could see this coming. It’s pretty obvious if you looked at the cold war situation or lived through all that it was going to happen here. It was bound to end it has happened and now the tide has turned. But the whole Spygate thing is it’s being known now was clearly a real official coup de etat.
Jan Jekielek: Attempt …
Paul Preston: Attempt. But see that’s played into what’s happening in California and the other states because people are waking up to this whole thing. Wait a minute. Why back in the 60s did they come up with Reynolds versus Sim to concentrate all the powers in the states centralized government which of course we all know happens with centralized government. It never works. autonomous counties which is the root of all liberty and freedom in the United States is really where it’s at. So the rural areas their balance of power was taken away and we got the power that was sucked in. So that’s why we’re we’re doing what we’re doing with rural versus urban. And that’s the core essence of what we’re doing. So we have all these counties we’re doing the outreach right. Outreach outreach right now. We’ve had three constitutional conventions repast numerous resolutions and the resolutions that we passed the first and one of the first ones we passed was to accept the Declaration of Independence that we put out the next one was to put God in the preamble and then we came up with the third resolution and this was in the Second Constitutional Convention to cover our bases because if there is an insurrection and if the president has to sign the Insurrection Act and there is an actual insurrection we put out already a resolution and mailed it to him letting him know that we would form a restored California government. Just like there would be if something happened to the California government and then we passed additional resolutions that we actually have presented to the president and those resolutions are freedom from what you get to guarantee that he has to guarantee. The president United States he swears an oath and the president has to guarantee and this is what people don’t understand. I think about the president and the border and all this stuff. He has sworn an oath. That he has to protect the borders. That’s his job. And that’s the first. The second thing it says in that guarantee clause not only does he have to guarantee a Republican Form of Government which many states don’t have right now but he has to guarantee us freedom from invasion and then domestic violence. And that’s his job. That’s his responsibility are we so we passed three resolutions requesting that he do that. And we sent those to him and he’s got possession of them today.
Jan Jekielek: One last question. Why is it so important to you to put God back in the preamble?
Paul Preston: Well the the founders were godly people and they were Christian faith and they were Protestants. Most of them were Protestants. When you take a look at the Declaration of Independence. There were 56 founders who wrote the Declaration who were part of it and certainly Thomas Jefferson gets a lot of plaudits but 56 of the founders 54 were Protestants and two one was a Catholic and one was a Jew. And when we did that we thought wait a minute you know a lot of people don’t understand that through every constitution in every one of the 50 states they mentioned God in the very first part of their constitution in the preamble. So we’re doing the same thing. We’re being consistent. We want to follow in the footsteps of the other founders of all the other states and also our founding fathers because we look at the world that they created with their faith and look at the United States of America what it’s been and it’s all been attacked right now. Yeah I used to be in education I was an educator for 41 years custodian to superintendent and I saw the wiping out of constitutional concepts in the education system still where our constitution that’s another part of our education system is a is a failing system and people don’t understand how the Constitution works and why it should work. So that was a very important element to put that in there. The other resolutions of course passed without any problem with the God mentioned. It was a very very important one for all of us because I think we need to go back to that and we need to go back to our roots and our heritage as a nation because it’s worked very very well it’s the only model for freedom and liberty that’s out there and we have to keep it healthy and to keep it healthy means that we’re going to grow a new state and add to the states that are already in this union of fifty will be the fifty-first state New California.
Jan Jekielek: Paul Preston I’m very excited to learn what comes next with your movement.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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