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'Six Californias' Instead of One?
Townhall ^ | 03/09/2014 | Jeff Jacoby

Posted on 03/09/2014 11:24:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

"I love Germany so much that I am glad there are two of them," the French novelist and Nobel laureateFrancois Mauriac commented acerbically during the Cold War. Investor Tim Draper loves California so much that he thinks there should be six of them.

Draper is one of Silicon Valley'ssuperstar venture capitalists, an early funder of numerous high-tech enterprises, including, most famously, Skype and Hotmail. He is also the prime mover behind the "Six Californias" initiative, a proposal to partition the nation's most populous state into six smaller ones. From north to south, those new states would be: Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley (including San Francisco), West California (including Los Angeles), and South California.

With 38 million people spread over such a vast and varied territory, Draper argues, a monolithic California has grown ungovernable. The state's population is more than six times as large as the average of the other 49 states, and too many Californians feel estranged from a state government in Sacramento that doesn't understand them or reflect their interests. He is far from the first to say so. Plans to subdivide California have been put forward since the earliest days of statehood in 1850. In an 1859 plebiscite, voters approved by a landslide a proposal to split off Southern California into a separate state. (The measure died in Congress, which was in turmoil over the looming Civil War.)

Can Draper's six-state plan do better? It moved one step closer to plausibility last month, when California's secretary of state gave backers the go-ahead to begin collecting the necessary petition signatures to put "Six Californias" on the ballot. If 808,000 signatures are submitted by July 14, the measure could go to voters in November.

Clearly, a six-way Golden State split is the longest of long shots, and critics aplenty have already started blasting Draper's proposal. But even many of the critics agree that California has become an unwieldy, unmanageable mess.

"No other state contains within it such contradictory interests, cultures, economic and political geography,"writes Keith Naughton at PublicCEO, a website that covers state and local California issues. "It has become impossible to even remotely reconcile the array of opposing forces. The only way to get anything done is to shove laws and regulations down a lot of unwilling throats." In the Los Angeles Times, business columnist Michael Hiltzik claims the economic fallout from the Six Californias plan would be "horrific" — he's especially disturbed that the proposed new state of Central California "would instantly become the poorest state in the nation," while Silicon Valley, where Draper lives, would be one of the wealthiest. Yet Hiltzik concedes that "Californians have lost contact with their government as more budgeting and administration [have] been upstreamed to Sacramento" and as state policies have "taken decision-making for everything from pothole repair to art and music classes out of the hands of the locals."

It's been a long time since an existing state was partitioned into smaller states. It last happened in 1863, when 50 northwestern counties of Virginia were renamed West Virginia and admitted as the 35th state. More than 40 years earlier, Maine, which had been part of Massachusetts since the 1650s, voted overwhelmingly for a divorce, and eventually entered the union as a new state in 1820. In both cases, separation was driven, then embraced, by communities and people who had grown alienated from a state government dominated by interests they didn't share. West Virginia's mountain people had chafed under Richmond's rule, and sharply opposed the formation of the Confederacy. Mainers had long complained that the Legislature in Boston — where Maine was underrepresented — was not only too far away, but too willing to sacrifice their interests to those of Massachusetts.

Maybe those chapters from 19th-century history have no relevance to California today. Or maybe Draper is onto something that shouldn't be dismissed too casually. Last September, in California's rural north, Siskiyou County and Modoc County voted to pursue secession from California and support the creation of a new State of Jefferson. Local residents crowded the Siskiyou board of supervisors' chambers, and when a speaker asked who in the audience favored the idea, the local paper reported, "nearly every hand in the room was raised."

Conventional wisdom says Draper's scheme hasn't got a chance. But venture capitalists have a knack of seeing openings and opportunities that most people miss. Would "Six Californias" would be an improvement over the status quo? That's definitely a debate worth having.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; secession; sixcalifornias
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1 posted on 03/09/2014 11:24:56 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

2 posted on 03/09/2014 11:25:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

3 posted on 03/09/2014 11:26:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

4 posted on 03/09/2014 11:27:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

No way Jose are we going to get MORE Senators and congress critters. No just no. HELL NO.


5 posted on 03/09/2014 11:27:35 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Interesting from an Electoral College perspective.


6 posted on 03/09/2014 11:29:37 AM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: SeekAndFind

“With 38 million people spread over such a vast and varied territory, Draper argues, a monolithic California has grown ungovernable.”


Think thats bad? Wait until you have 6 separate states fighting over water rights, etc.


7 posted on 03/09/2014 11:32:14 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: SeekAndFind

I like the lines except I think the purple state should be divided and absorbed into the light blue and dark red states making for a 5 way division.


8 posted on 03/09/2014 11:34:27 AM PDT by staytrue
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To: chessplayer

4 of the 6 have enough water

only the southern 2 need water


9 posted on 03/09/2014 11:35:37 AM PDT by staytrue
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To: SeekAndFind

Dems will never allow that.


10 posted on 03/09/2014 11:36:26 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: SeekAndFind
I'd like to see all of Jefferson - i.e., including those parts of Oregon which wish to merge with it.

Regards,

11 posted on 03/09/2014 11:36:35 AM PDT by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: Drango
At least three of those proposed states would have a better than even chance of electing conservative representatives.

But I don't like the idea either.

12 posted on 03/09/2014 11:37:00 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: SeekAndFind

It was made ungovernable...


13 posted on 03/09/2014 11:38:28 AM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: skeeter

Any takers on which one will become the New Detroit!


14 posted on 03/09/2014 11:40:12 AM PDT by DocJhn
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To: SeekAndFind

The third most westerly one named Western California?


15 posted on 03/09/2014 11:43:19 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: SeekAndFind

You ever notice that when liberals run a place into the ground, they then declare, along with their leftist media allies, it to be “ungovernable”?


16 posted on 03/09/2014 11:44:10 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: skeeter

You know, it’s a real hoot to watch people cut and run.

They don’t like the way California is run, so they pack up and leave. They don’t like it’s political make-up, but they don’t hawk Conservatism in the state. They run!

Now they want to hack the state into six pieces. It’s just laughable.

Those areas that are Conservative aren’t fully red anymore. They have turned light red, and will soon be light blue. What do we wind up with. Six Liberal California states instead of one. Man, what an improvement. /s

What do we do about it? We stand and fight toe to toe with Liberals who have nearly destroyed this state.

Who in the state stands up and exploits what the state Legisature has done to the state over the six to eight decades the Democrats have had almost exclusive control? Name one person in California who does this folks?

It’s just amazing the avoidance going on here. The City of Los Angeles has been dominated by Leftists and Unions for decades. How did that work out for us?

Is anyone talking about this? Is there a well known Republican in California who addresses this? I don’t hear them! I don’t see them. Where are they?

I have read where people want to break states away from the Union now. This is Conservatism’s brilliant way to preserve and protect our nation?

Good Lord, we couldn’t be a bigger friend to the enemy with our cut and run tactics.

It’s toe to toe time folks. It’s not time to let them see our backs running for the hills. None the less, that’s what we’re showing them.

And man do we have a big broad yellow streak running the length of it.


17 posted on 03/09/2014 11:48:33 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Immigration Reform is job NONE. It isn't even the leading issue with Hipanics. Enforce our laws.)
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To: skeeter

They can have my state, when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers.


18 posted on 03/09/2014 11:51:10 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Immigration Reform is job NONE. It isn't even the leading issue with Hipanics. Enforce our laws.)
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To: DoughtyOne
Retreat has never been an effective strategy.

And those who think the disease cannot infect their safe red states have a big surprise coming.

This is not a disease that crosses the border - it grows from within.

19 posted on 03/09/2014 11:52:40 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: skeeter

The third most westerly one named Western California?

ya , WC , LOL


20 posted on 03/09/2014 11:55:10 AM PDT by molson209 (Hillary Clinton)
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