News

Could California become six states?

Could California become six states?

CALIFORNIA:Timothy Draper, Founder and Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, speaks at the Reuters Global Technology Summit New York May 21, 2009 file photo. Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

By Jennifer Chaussee

San Francisco (Reuters) – A long-shot effort to break California into six separate states got a boost on Monday, when the billionaire venture capitalist behind the proposal said he had gathered enough signatures to place it on the ballot in two years.

Timothy Draper, a founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in Twitter, Skype and Tesla, among other companies, has been agitating for months for a ballot initiative to chop the most populous U.S. state into smaller entities.

“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, a spokesman for the campaign. “The idea … is to create six states with responsive local governments – states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents.”

Salazar said Monday that the campaign had gathered more than the roughly 808,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the November, 2016 ballot. Draper and other supporters plan to file the signatures with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Tuesday.

But the plan has raised bipartisan hackles across the state, and opponents say it stands little chance of gaining voter approval. If it does win the support of voters, it must still be passed by Congress, which opponents say is also unlikely.

“This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand,” said Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political strategist who has formed the group OneCalifornia with GOP strategist Joe Rodota to fight Draper’s plan. “It has zero chance of passage. But what it does is scare investment away… at a time when the Governor is leading us to an economic comeback.”

Draper’s plan would split the world’s eighth-largest economy along geographic lines.

One state, to be called Silicon Valley, would include the tech hub along with the San Francisco Bay Area. Jefferson, named after the third U.S. president, would encompass the northernmost region. The state capital of Sacramento would be in North California, while South California would be made up of San Diego and the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles.

L.A. itself would be part of a state called West California.

Proponents say the division would help create a more business-friendly environment, solve the state’s water issues, and ease traffic congestion.

(Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Eric Walsh)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

South African Tim Clark wins Canadian Open

Fresh
Tim Clark tees off the 12th hole during the third round of the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal GC - Blue Course on July 26, 2014.

South African Tim Clark sank a six-foot par putt to beat American Jim Furyk by one stroke at the Canadian Open.

in National

Tentative agreement reached on U.S. veterans’ funding bill

Fresh
Senator-elect Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is interviewed by a Reuters reporter at Sanders' office in Burlington, Vermont on November 28, 2006.

The head of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and his House counterpart will outline the funding agreement at a news conference today.

in National

One dead after lightning strikes beach crowd

Fresh
A man is treated by a paramedic after a lightning strike in the water in Venice, California July 27, 2014.

One man died and at least eight people were injured in a lightning strike during a rare thunderstorm at Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

in National, World

Gaza fighting abates as diplomatic tension flares

Updated
Palestinian Abir Shamaleh, left, sits next to the grave of her son Saher, a civilian according to the family, who was killed in an Israeli strike during the war, as members of the family visit a cemetery in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day by visiting cemeteries, to pay their respects to the dead, and then exchange family visits.

Israel eased its assaults in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave declined sharply on Monday, with calls for a durable ceasefire.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Game of Thrones’: Season 4 bloopers

Updated
Game Of Thrones

Check out the awkwardness behind the scenes with your favorite Westeros characters.