The example the New California founders cite is West Virginia, which broke away from the Confederate state of Virginia during the Civil War in 1861.
Preston and Reed posted on their Facebook campaign page that the forgotten men and women of rural California live "under a tyrannical form of government that does not follow the California and United States Constitutions".
The putative state has issued a declaration of independence which says it wants to create a "free, sovereign and independent state of New California due to the past and current government of California having failed".
For New California to exist, it would need Congress to approve the breakup of the existing state.
Similar to the "Calexit" movement (in which some Californians made noises about starting their own country in the case of a Donald Trump victory) but not really, political conflict has fueled another drastic plan within the state.
"High taxes, education, you name it, and we're rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California", Preston told KOVR. His proposed state would give greater representation to California's rural areas, as opposed to the urban and more left-wing coast that Preston said represents bonds of tyranny. The group proposes to keep the coastal region stretching from San Francisco to Los Angeles in California (branching into Sacramento as well), and most other areas of the state would be part of New California. "Old California will become the 2nd most populous state behind Texas and ahead of Florida, losing 25-27 seats in the US House of Representatives".
"We stand firm in our pledge to maintain and support the freedoms of the people of our Nation and New California at all times, at home and overseas".
This is not the first effort to split up California. They face an uphill battle securing approval at both the state and federal level to achieve statehood, US News reports.