Billionaire's breakup plan would chop California into six states

San Francisco Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:33pm EDT

Timothy Draper, Founder and Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, speaks at the Reuters Global Technology Summit New York May 21, 2009 file photo.     REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Timothy Draper, Founder and Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, speaks at the Reuters Global Technology Summit New York May 21, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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San Francisco (Reuters) - A long-shot effort to break California into six separate states got a boost on Monday, when the billionaire venture capitalist behind the proposal said he had gathered enough signatures to place it on the ballot in two years.

Timothy Draper, a founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in Twitter, Skype and Tesla, among other companies, has been agitating for months for a ballot initiative to chop the most populous U.S. state into smaller entities.

"It’s important because it will help us create a more responsive, more innovative and more local government, and that ultimately will end up being better for all of Californians," said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the campaign. "The idea ... is to create six states with responsive local governments - states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents."

Salazar said Monday that the campaign had gathered more than the roughly 808,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the November, 2016 ballot. Draper and other supporters plan to file the signatures with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Tuesday.

But the plan has raised bipartisan hackles across the state, and opponents say it stands little chance of gaining voter approval. If it does win the support of voters, it must still be passed by Congress, which opponents say is also unlikely.

"This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand,” said Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political strategist who has formed the group OneCalifornia with GOP strategist Joe Rodota to fight Draper’s plan. "It has zero chance of passage. But what it does is scare investment away... at a time when the Governor is leading us to an economic comeback.”

Draper's plan would split the world’s eighth-largest economy along geographic lines.

One state, to be called Silicon Valley, would include the tech hub along with the San Francisco Bay Area. Jefferson, named after the third U.S. president, would encompass the northernmost region. The state capital of Sacramento would be in North California, while South California would be made up of San Diego and the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles.

L.A. itself would be part of a state called West California.

Proponents say the division would help create a more business-friendly environment, solve the state’s water issues, and ease traffic congestion.

(Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Eric Walsh)

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Comments (37)
Loucleve wrote:
I will never vote Republican again.

Anything that would improve government efficiency, get back to smaller government, more local control etc etc is opposed by both parties.

a pox on them both.

Jul 14, 2014 10:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:
“Billionaire’s breakup plan would chop California into six states”

RESPONSE:
We should do a similar subdivision of Texas, then keep the portion containing San Antonio and the Democratic areas of Austin, and sell the other five portions to Mexico.

Jul 14, 2014 11:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
shadyj911 wrote:
REnninga,
Do you have a valid response to the California proposal, or do all of your rebuttals deal with sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “If you do that, I’ll do this?”

Jul 14, 2014 12:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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