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Move to Split California Into 6 States Takes Hold

By Melissa Clyne   |  

California venture capitalist Tim Draper has vowed to put his money where his mouth is and back an initiative to divide California into six separate states.

Arguing that the Golden State and its population of 40 million people, divided into 58 counties, is "too big and bloated," Draper, 55, of Silicon Valley, has filed paperwork to put the measure, known as Six Californias, on the November ballot, The Washington Times reports.

"There have been many good people governing our state for many years and they work very hard for Californians, but the results are horrendous," he said. "We are the state that charges the most for the worst service. We are simply too big and bloated. This is not the fault of anyone. This has just happened. The status quo is not going to work for us."

Though Draper hasn’t revealed how much he would spend to bankroll Six Californias, he previously shelled out $20 million for a failed 2000 initiative to create a state-funded private-school voucher system.

Six Californias divides the state geographically, with states named Silicon Valley and West California, anchored by San Francisco and Los Angeles. Orange County and San Diego would become part of the state of South California, and what is currently northern California would be divided into the states of Central California, North California, and Jefferson, CNN reports.

"Citizens of the whole state would be better served by six smaller state governments," Draper said, citing California’s diverse geography and industry.

There appears to be no clear political advantage to the proposal, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reports that "if the six states existed in the last presidential election, Mitt Romney would have narrowly carried Jefferson and Central California, while President Obama would have won wide victories in three of the other four states, while narrowly carrying South California."

Numerous other secession movements have been attempted over the years, though none successfully. It will be an uphill battle for Draper and his supporters as well. One million signatures are needed just to get the proposal on the ballot. A recent poll found that the majority of Californians — Republicans, Democrats, and non-partisans — favor leaving the state intact.

"Even after a successful referendum, the state legislature and Congress still have to approve it. And that is, well, not going to happen," The Washington Post reports.


Related Stories:
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California venture capitalist Tim Draper has vowed to put his money where his mouth is and back an initiative to divide California into six separate states.
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