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Plan to chop California into 6 states may reach ballot

By McClatchy News Services

LAST UPDATED: 05:01 p.m. HST, Jul 14, 2014

Once easily mistaken for political satire, venture capitalist Tim Draper's "Six Californias" ballot measure to tear the Golden State asunder seems bound for the November 2016 ballot.

Draper, who has shelled out $4.9 million on his oft-mocked and maligned campaign, announced he'll submit petition signatures for the measure Tuesday and hold a news conference in Sacramento.

"California needs a reboot," said a news release issued Monday by his committee. "Six Californias is our opportunity to solve the many problems we face today. ... Six states that are more representative and accountable. Six states that embrace innovation and strive to improve the lives of residents."

The measure would split California into six states, each with its own government; much of the San Francisco Bay Area, plus Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, would become the state of Silicon Valley. California's northernmost parts would become Jefferson, as some counties up there have wanted for years; some North Bay counties would become part of North California; Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield would be among Central California's largest cities; Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara would wind up in West California; and San Diego would anchor South California.

Silicon Valley would become the nation's richest state while Central California would become its poorest, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office found.

"This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand, our ability to attract business and jobs, and move our state forward together," said Steve Maviglio, a veteran Democratic strategist speaking for the OneCalifornia committee created to oppose Draper's effort. "It's unfortunate that Mr. Draper is putting his millions into this effort to split up our state rather than help us face our challenges."

While it's sure to become fodder for late-night talk show hosts from coast to coast, the measure still faces tremendous hurdles, not the least of which is money: Draper so far is the only contributor. And even if California voters approve the measure, splitting the state still would require action by Congress.

"He's got a pretty high bar to pass," said Corey Cook, director of the University of San Francisco's Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. "There'll be a general skepticism of how dividing the state would improve it."

Cook also said it'll be hard for Draper to find anyone else willing to bankroll the effort. "I'm not sure it's a wildly popular idea, and I think the perception is that if this guy wants to propose it, he can fund it too."

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niimi wrote:
Up to 10 more Democratic Senators.
on July 14,2014 | 05:39PM
Kaimiloa wrote:
Not likely. Several of those "states" would definitely go Republican.
on July 14,2014 | 06:40PM
Polopeka wrote:
That is the problem in the counties in far northern California and southern Oregon in their Quixotic quest to become the State of Jefferson. Adding two Republican Senators won't be approved by Sacramento. On the other hand, in the article's scenario there would probably be 8 new Democratic Senators and two Republicans...so it may work, but not in my lifetime.
on July 15,2014 | 05:46AM
Skyler wrote:
More money than brains.
on July 14,2014 | 06:27PM
rayhawaii wrote:
That would add 5 more stars to the American flag and cost billions to change everything that has something to do with Red White and Blue.
on July 14,2014 | 07:50PM
jeffhonolulu wrote:
When I went to Berkeley (CA) High School, way back in the dark ages, in my English class we debated if CA should be divided into 2 state. Most of us were for that because Northern CA was nothing at all like Southern CA. That still might work, but 6 states, no way !!
on July 14,2014 | 10:48PM
atilter wrote:
for that matter - all six have very difffering characteristics, which is why there will be wide chasms in the variances, and economic and natural resources (access to H2O).
on July 15,2014 | 05:40AM
bleedgreen wrote:
Sounds like a move to cut away from LA that has the social problems and high maintenance costs. Then they can become a ward of the federal government so we all pay.
on July 15,2014 | 04:26AM
localguy wrote:
Exactly. Hawaii hates competition for being a ward of the federal government. Ours and ours alone to keep.
on July 15,2014 | 06:33AM
Kai37 wrote:
Into 6 states? Why not do into 8, or 12 states? Then Hawaii should follow suit and each major island becomes its own state. Heck, if Ni`ihau wants to be its own state, why not. Hilo-side and Kona-side of Big Island should also be its own state since each side is pretty different from the other.
on July 15,2014 | 08:06AM
awahana wrote:
All I can say is Plissken.
Life imitates art. Nuff said.
on July 15,2014 | 09:22AM
Mei mei wrote:
is that mean potentially there will be 56 states?
on July 15,2014 | 12:51PM
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