Well. An NPR station in California reported that the head of the Calexit movement, Louis Marinelli, may be orginally from Buffalo but currently resides in, you guessed it, Russia.
Now, Marinelli says that he’s in Yekaterinburg to handle his wife’s immigration. Linking the Calexit movement with Putin on that basis would be unfair. But what would not be unfair is noting that Calexit appears to have been covered mostly by Russian outlets until November 8th. At that point, Shervin Pishevar tossed out his infamous tweet, which got journalists googling. They picked up the Calexit people, and poof, instant news of secessionist sentiment in the Far West.
Robert English (of USC) said it best: “This is what Russia is great at. Their media apparatus is so good at spreading disinformation. It makes the line between nutsos and normal people hard to draw.”
There are many ways in which the next four years could go dramatically wrong. Blue state secessionism is not one of them. But Russian attempts to weaken our tottering democratic institutions, well, that is a worry. Our immune systems are weak; consider how quickly this gobbledygook story spread.
For the curious, here is the proposed initiative.