Louis Marinelli, who was somewhat open with his ties to Russia and is now moving there permanently, had always been a major thorn to the actual Californian independence movement.
There is somewhat nobility in the last move in trying to send the supporters of Yes California to the California National Party – but for CNP members, it would be too little, too late. Marinelli had attributed much of the Calexit name for himself. In emails, he was the self-proclaimed CNP leader, urging Yes California members to vote for him in vying for control of the young CNP party. Ultimately he failed – and it may be this reason that his departure for Russia was so quickly and unexpectedly put on the table.
For the actual Californian independence movement, undoing the damage that Marinelli has done will be major hurdles. For one is the US media, so desperate to make the secession movement as a fringe movement. They had associated the entirety of the movement to him – and with the Democrats being thrown into the anti-Russian craze, this meant connecting the California secession movement with another Russian proxy. Of course, this was only true for Marinelli and the “Russian embassy” themselves, with Yes California being the sole benefactor of such a move.
However, it may be that the #Freethebear (rival to the #calexit hastag) is finally able to breathe until now. With Marinelli out the picture, their initial strategy of slowly building political power through primarily state and local offices will seem to be a much more relaxed without worrying about possible Russian interference. Now they have too watch out for the conservatives that would but like to see California broke apart – and not through the route of secession, but through breaking the state and separating one of the biggest Democratic strongholds. Not to mention overcoming possible future Democrat sabotage of the movement for precisely the same reason.