'6 Californias' Breakup Plan Headed for Ballot

Measure gets 800K signatures, will likely see 2016 vote
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2014 4:40 AM CDT
California Breakup Plan Headed for Ballot
America's future richest state?   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A measure that will let Californians vote on abolishing California appears to be headed for 2016 ballots. Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper says he has gathered enough signatures for his "Six Californias" plan to go ahead and he plans to file them with state authorities today, reports Reuters. His plan would split America's most populous state into Silicon Valley around the San Francisco Bay area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, which would include LA; South California, including San Diego; North California, encompassing the Sacramento area; and the state of Jefferson in the northernmost part of the current state. "California needs a reboot," his campaign said in a press release. "Six Californias is our opportunity to solve the many problems we face today ... Six states that are more representative and accountable."

Draper has poured $4.9 million of his own money into the campaign to split up the state, but few believe it has any chance of succeeding at the ballot box, or winning congressional approval even if Californians do decide to break up the state, the Contra Costa Times reports. "This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand, our ability to attract business and jobs and move our state forward together," says a spokesman for the OneCalifornia team created to oppose Draper's plan. According to nonpartisan state analysts, if the state is split into six, Silicon Valley will be America's richest state and Central California will be its poorest. (More Tim Draper stories.)

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