By David Atkins /thereisnospoon / Hullabaloo
It looks like that measure to divide California into six states may be heading to the ballot after all:
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper will submit signatures Tuesday to put what could be one of the most dramatic startups ever on the ballot – a plan to divide California into six states.
Draper, a multimillionaire known as the Riskmaster, and his team are expected to announce in Sacramento that they’ve gathered more than enough signatures to put the Six Californias measure before state voters.
The measure, a constitutional amendment, needs 807,615 valid signatures to qualify. Because the deadline has already passed for November, the plan could end up on the November 2016 general election ballot.
Supporters would not say how many signatures they have gathered until Draper holds a news conference Tuesday in Sacramento. But they said they were confident they had plenty to spare.
There’s no reason to freak out, because there’s no way this thing happens regardless.
A Field Poll in February showed 59 percent of Californians surveyed opposed the idea. Even if Draper can turn that around, there would be another major hurdle: The U.S. Constitution requires the approval of both Congress and the state Legislature, which is now firmly controlled by Democrats.
But it is instructive because the entire effort is representative of the Republican Party at large. Here you have a wealthy Silicon Valley technocrat who doesn’t want his tax money going to the rest of California. He wants Silicon Valley to essentially become the world’s richest country and a techno-libertarian paradise.
Keep in mind, though, that most of Silicon Valley doesn’t want this. Silicon Valley is deep blue, and most Democrats aren’t as selfish or shortsighted as Mr. Draper. Instead, Draper is being abetted by a bunch of fools in less populated red areas of the state who are discontent with Democratic dominance and want to run their own show. They’ve been edging for a “two Californias” solution to this “problem” for some time, one in which in the desert counties in the east have their own state.
The biggest problem with that, of course, is that those counties have no money. Their roads and stop signs are paid for by the wealth of the coastal counties who send more to Sacramento than they get back, while the inland counties take more than they send off. This all the while Republican politicians in those counties decry “dependency” and “big-spending waste in Sacramento.” If we created a six-state version of California, the new Republican-leaning states would be among the poorest and most dysfunctional in the country. But that’s where most of the support (and, likely, the signatures) appears to be coming from.
So here you have an obscenely rich, selfish ideologue leading a bunch of people dependent on government largesse to decry wasteful government and demand more local control. The technocrat would make out like a bandit on the deal and the rubes will suffer, cheering the whole time. And when the fantasy gets stopped by reasonable people, both the ideologue and his marks will complain about the evil Democrats the whole time.
If ever there were a perfect encapsulation of the Republican Party, that would be it.
bob dorn says
It’s going to be interesting if this idea is reviewed nationally by big media as just another example of goofy California-hippiness that was once aimed at Gov. Moonbeam or if, because it’s homegrown in Silicon Valley, it will escape that upload of East Coast envy.
Draper himself doesn’t count.
He just seems like another lucky crank who’s read Ayn Rand and thinks he’s plugged into the Fountainhead.
Vox Populi says
So Mr. Venture Capitalist thinks that divide and conquer will work where democracy has failed him… This is the danger in an election system that allows moneybags to determine ballot measures, political parties and ultimately the outcomes of so many important issues. I can think of thousands of better uses of his money if he were really interested in doing some great things. Apparently, he just wants to be clown…
Aging Hippie says
The map shows that this is a blatant attempt to isolate LA and SF, creating 2 blue states with 90% of the state’s population, and then create 4 red states with the other 10% of the state’s population, overriding the progressivism of the smaller cities in the state.
Judy Swink says
Has anybody given thought to the costs of 6 separate governing structures, 5 of them new? And quite a few of the six proposed states having substantially lower economic bases than certain other areas which are, by contrast, “rich”.
Doug Porter says
That’s the beauty of this libertarian wet dream. There won’t be much need for governance, since the plutocrats in each zone will “take care” of these tasks on behalf of the “little people.”