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Plan to divide California into 6 states advances, Should California be divided, and should they get 12 Senate seats?

CrazyDeen0 2014/02/21 19:40:41
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Plan to divide California into 6 states advances
http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=AP&date;...
February 20, 2014 8:17 PM ET.

By By MICHAEL R. BLOOD
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California has reached the breaking point, says Tim Draper. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist is pushing a proposal to crack the nation's most populous state into smaller pieces - six of them.

California has grown so big, so inefficient, it's essentially ungovernable, according to a ballot initiative that could reach voters as early as November.

It has to go, he says.

"Vast parts of our state are poorly served by a representative government," according to Draper's plan, which cleared a key government hurdle this week, part of the process to qualify for the ballot. California residents "would be better served by six smaller state governments."

In an interview Thursday, Draper said he has seen a state once regarded as a model slide into decline — many public schools are troubled, transportation, water and other infrastructure systems are overmatched and outdated, spending on prisons has soared.

A group of states could change that, he said, competing and cooperating with each other.
Without change "it will get worse," he warned. "California is not working."

No one would dispute that California, home to 38 million people, is full of rivalries and squabbling. Dodgers or Giants. Tacos or sushi. Where water goes, and how much of it.

But the state has proven reliably resilient against attempts to split it apart, dating to the era of its founding in 1850. Over the years, proposals have suggested California should be two states, or three, or four.

"It's certainly fun to talk about," said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. But "its prospects are nil."

Even if it were to be approved by voters, Congress would have to endorse the idea of creating six new states — and adding 10 senators to the chamber's political mix (as with all states, California currently has two). Congress, under the U.S. Constitution, must approve the creation or division of any states.

"I don't think anyone is going to give California 12 Senate seats," Sonenshein said.

Draper, in documents he submitted to the Secretary of State's Office, recommends dividing California regionally, including establishing a state called Silicon Valley, which would include San Francisco and nearby counties that are home to technology giants like Facebook and Apple.

Los Angeles would become part of the new state of West California, which also would include the coastal cities of Santa Barbara and Ventura. The state's farming heartland would become Central California. San Diego would be the largest city in the new South California.

Earlier this week, he received approval from the state to begin collecting petition signatures to qualify the proposal for the ballot — he needs about 808,000 by mid-July to make the cut.

It's also possible the proposal could be delayed until 2016. Facing a tight deadline to gather signatures and build political momentum, "I want to make sure there is enough time," Draper said.

The complexities of dividing a state the size of California, by itself among the world's top 10 economies, would be daunting.

What would become of the California State Water Project, which uses aqueducts and pumping stations to disperse water across the state? If the federal government approves the idea, tax collections and spending by the state would end, and its assets and debts would have to be divided.

Draper said the smaller governments would be more responsive to the needs of residents and communities, compared to Sacramento. There would be vigorous competition for residents among them, he predicted, again driving change.

Campaign veteran Matt David doubted the proposal would get far.

"California is as diverse geographically as it demographically, but ultimately we all take pride in the fact that we are Californians," said David, a Republican consultant based in Los Angeles. "Diluting that identity between six states will never happen."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Top Opinion

  • brettw97 2014/02/21 20:39:13
    No, leave it alone
    brettw97
    +3
    First off, if they're granted that, it will open the door for Rural Western Maryland to secede and get rewarded with two seats, and that will lead to more and more states doing so beyond California. So, that's not going to happen. Only one state has seceded from their state and been readmitted to the union as a separate state----West Virginia. It took a Civil War to force that to happen. Congress will never approve such a representation. Everyone else in the nation would be offended if California was rewarded with 12 Senate seats instead of 2 because their state government became so inefficient. What they're doing is admirable and should send the message to all governments, municipal, state, and federal, that you'd better get your house in order.

    That aside, the reason this is happening is that Sacramento has gone Looney Tunes in the eyes of many in California, and they're fed up with it. Don't underestimate people who have had enough.

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Opinions

  • Ashley 2014/02/24 17:46:59
    No, leave it alone
    Ashley
    Leave it as is.
  • LesWaggoner BN 1 2014/02/22 23:17:01
    Undecided
    LesWaggoner BN 1
    That is up to Californians.
  • brettw97 2014/02/21 20:39:13
    No, leave it alone
    brettw97
    +3
    First off, if they're granted that, it will open the door for Rural Western Maryland to secede and get rewarded with two seats, and that will lead to more and more states doing so beyond California. So, that's not going to happen. Only one state has seceded from their state and been readmitted to the union as a separate state----West Virginia. It took a Civil War to force that to happen. Congress will never approve such a representation. Everyone else in the nation would be offended if California was rewarded with 12 Senate seats instead of 2 because their state government became so inefficient. What they're doing is admirable and should send the message to all governments, municipal, state, and federal, that you'd better get your house in order.

    That aside, the reason this is happening is that Sacramento has gone Looney Tunes in the eyes of many in California, and they're fed up with it. Don't underestimate people who have had enough.
  • Obama Failed America 2014/02/21 20:21:35
    None of the above
    Obama Failed America
    Fat Change ever will past here
  • Simmering Frog 2014/02/21 20:08:24
    Undecided
    Simmering Frog
    +2
    Leave it up to Democrats to destroy the most beautiful state in the nation.
  • none 2014/02/21 19:56:09
    No, leave it alone
    none
    +2
    There enough damn fool liberal Senators in Congress from California as it is, the last thing the country needs is more of those fools like Boxer and Feinstien trying to ruin the country.
  • CrazyDeen0 none 2014/02/21 19:57:18
    CrazyDeen0
    +1
    LOL! That's what would concern me the most.
  • Amasaman none 2014/02/24 18:05:02
    Amasaman
    I think only two of the four "new" states would still vote Democrat. That would mean 8 new Republicans.
  • none Amasaman 2014/02/24 19:41:48
    none
    +1
    You never know in the land of fruits, nuts, and loony liberals.
  • Studied 2014/02/21 19:53:42
    Undecided
    Studied
    +2
    It is possible that if this division actually took place, the people who do not believe their state is doing the right thing might actually have fair representation. It is the folks in California rising up against their state and its burdensome policies that are behind this possible split.
  • CrazyDeen0 Studied 2014/02/21 19:55:48
    CrazyDeen0
    Good point
  • beachbum 2014/02/21 19:50:59
    No, leave it alone
    beachbum
    +2
    Of course it's not working in CA - it's California!!!!!!

    If CA can't or won't handle being 1 state, then how does anyone expect 6 Californias to work?
  • CrazyDeen0 2014/02/21 19:50:13 (edited)
    Yes, Its too big
    CrazyDeen0
    I agree that smaller government is more efficient, however, it scares the heck out of me to think of 12 U.S. Senators from California.
  • Kane Fe... CrazyDeen0 2014/02/21 19:53:08

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