Investor trying to split California into six states

December 24, 2013

urlSan Luis Obispo County would join Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to form the state of West California, if voters support the initiative of a Silicon Valley investor. [LA Times]

Venture capitalist Tim Draper held a news conference Monday to discuss his proposed ballot measure for splitting California into six separate states.

Draper’s proposal calls for the state of Jefferson in the north, with North California south of it. The Bay Area and Monterey County would form the state of Silicon Valley, with everything to its east, as well as Kern County, becoming Central California. South California would consist of San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

“Something is not working in our sate, and I’m convinced it’s with our existing system,” Draper said. “It’s untenable and ungovernable.”

The tech industry is over-regulated, and secessionism is popular in Silicon Valley, Draper said.

“Here in Silicon Valley, people feel the state is out of touch,” he said.

Draper needs 1 million more signatures away to get his proposal on the ballot.


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I don’t want to be part of LA! What a stupid idea. And, exactly what “problem” does this solve?

Maybe this guy just wants to stuff the US Senate, since that is the only apparent benefit to the people of Old California — a whole bunch of new senators.

What exactly does “Old California” mean? Is that some bigoted remark? The first municipal city in California is Sacramento. It appears “Old California” is thriving.

I believe that the bureaucratic inefficiencies & irresponsibility of government increase proportionally to the its size. For that reason I would be in favor of a split up of the state — except that:

1. The proposed plan would never pass voter approval — there are too many splits and they are not well thought out. A plan that separated the Southern California “Metroplex” from the rest of the state might work if a couple of other problems were sorted out. Take all land draining into the Pacific from Point Conception or Rincon Point to the Mexican border as a separate state. Surprisingly, the Dem – Rep split would remain very close to what it now is in both new states. The population split would be reasonably equal too.

2. A major obstacle to getting approval would be water rights for the major metro areas. LA gets water from both sides of the Sierras and SF gets most of its water from Yosemite. Splitting them off without insuring that they retained the rights to that water would not be politically possible.

3. The process of separation would be delayed and obstructed by opponents. both within the state and outside, for decades even if initial voter approval was given. Those interests would engage in both massive propaganda campaigns to reverse the vote and in court challenges to both the general concept and individual details of the proposition.

4. It is highly questionable that even acceptance within California of such an idea would do the trick since such a split would also have to be approved by a super-majority of the US Congress. (60% if I remember correctly.) Again, moneyed interests could stop it there even if it passed within the state.

In other words, this plan has no more chance of achieving anything than a real and comprehensive reform of the existing state government (e.g. rewriting the State Constitution in a way that would limit fiscal irresponsibility and legislative corruption.)

Balkanization may not be the thing that makes us all happy.

Draper is sounding like a pied piper. Why would I want to swap the advantages of living in the 8th largest economy in the world for the 30th or 50th or 100th largest economy in the world… or worse? This is full of unintended consequences, crazy boundaries, and pitfalls, and that is IF you could get all the millions of voters in the heavily populated areas to approve such a thing, and then get the Congress to actually act upon it. Think years of court battles, right on up to the Supremes.

The initiative process in California is now bought and paid for by big interests with an axe to grind. Let’s see what Draper’s axe is: Too many taxes on his venture capital profits? Too many Democrats in Sacramento? Or perhaps he’s just bored being a third generation venture capitalist and wants a political career? No thanks, although Black_Copter_Pilot and a few others could be most appealing gubernatorial candidates.

While I agree with your comments about the initiative process and that his proposition is not a good idea, I disagree that the idea of splitting up “the 8th largest economy in the world” is inherently a bad thing. It seems to me that it is the quality of the “economy” that matters more than the size of it.

Tell us the “advantages” of the 8th largest economy?

You don’t think size matters?

It does if you’re a “dick”.

Interestingly, the colored map is INCORRECT. It depicts Kern as included with SLO/S.B./Ventura/L.A., but that is not what the proposed initiative says. Perhaps the map is from a prior revision or just plain marketing logo.

In any case, I could see this failing solely because many people won’t like where the lines are drawn. No northerly neighbor wants L.A. County. That is a HUGE, HUGE flaw. The “State of Silicon Valley” already sounds conceited. The name needs to change on that one.


That said, I’m all for busting up the enormous concentration of power in Sacramento. Make government more local, more responsive, and easier to govern.

California’s electoral votes are nearly double the next largest state and over 18 times larger than the smallest states. Presidential candidates ignore us because it’s always blue–except when asking for money to go lobby other contested states.

The sheer enormity of population in California begs for more localized and relevant elections.

I support it.

Why can’t we be bunched with Monterrey instead of LA?

You could always contact Draper and lobby him to amend his initiative. Though, I believe the Central Coast counties should not be attached to the heavily populated Bay Area counties either.

I agree with Kevin. SLO county needs NOT to be with either SF or LA. Since local control is desired then I would like to see more local citizens speak out and go to their local governmental meetings and push back on regionalism that is already taking away local control. Kevin, I know that you speak out and get involved. If more did, regionalism would die.

Who did this Draper guy ask in our county where we wanted to be? Probably no REAL person or people but POWER brokers otherwise the average person fled both SF and LA to come here whether they were left or right leaning. Central Coast wants to be separated and not be the jewel playground with LA thinking.

I’m in……..think of it: Governor Black_Copter_Pilot. I will use the Democratic Party model of “vote for me and I’ll give you whatever you want”

You got my vote, all I want is free internet, free cable TV and free phone. After all these are rights of every American, why should I have to pay for a basic right?

You sir, are absolutely correct! I will include, when elected both FNC and MSNBC on the state supported cable feed. And, the state will offer sex change operations to be limited to three per lifetime.

I don’t mind the idea of splitting up the state, but no one wants to be joined up with Los Angeles. LA is out of control and about to sink. Can you imagine the taxes they could pass for us to support their growing population? Who would be after our ground water?

No thank you.

Don’t lump us with L.A. and I’ll vote for it.

And the “Spruce Goose,” will revolutionize air travel.

No, it was never intended or billed for air travel. It’s a military heavy transport craft.