In the latest news in the “it’s too bizarre to be true, but it is” category, billionaire investor Tim Draper is reporting that he has accumulated enough signatures to put a plan to split California into six states on the ballot in November 2016.
Tim Draper is a venture capitalist who has invested in a variety of tech companies including Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), HotMail, Skype and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). He told Reuters in an interview Monday, July 14th, that his group has the 808,000 signatures needed on a petition to have the initiative made into a public referendum. Under the hard-to-believe plan, one new state would be called “Silicon Valley” and would include the valley as well as the city San Francisco.
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Details on Tim Draper’s plan
According to Draper’s plan, a new state called “Jefferson” would include the northernmost portion of the current state; “South California” would include San Diego and east Los Angeles, while the rest of L.A. would be called “West California.” A province called “North California” would be established surrounding Sacramento, and “Central California” would include central valley farm area, including Tulare and Fresno counties.
the new Silicon Valley would become the nation’s richest state (surprise, surprise), while Central California would become its poorest, according to data provided by the nonpartisan Callifornia Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Critics of the plan call it “kooky” and self-serving, and note that the idea of dividing the satte has ben discussed numerous times before and dismissed as a crackpot notion. California news station FOX40 reports there have been about 220 efforts to divide California and all failed.
Signatures to be submitted July 15th
Tim Draper and other plan supporters say they will officially file the signatures with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen later on Tuesday. The deadline to file the required signatures and have the measure appear on next November’s ballot is July 18th.
“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, the campaign spokesman. “The idea … is to create six states with responsive local governments — states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents.”
The group argues dividing California into six states would create a more business-friendly environment, solve a host of water issues and ease traffic problems.
One final consideration — if the measure actually passed, it would certainly throw a monkey wrench in U.S. politics, as each of the six new states would have its own electoral votes .