Silicon Valley Billionaire Backs Ballot Issue To Split California Into Six States

Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper is backing a ballot amendment to split California into six states. The State of Jefferson movement has remained active for many years, but so far has been unable to garner enough support to divide the liberal and conservative regions of the state.

Tim Draper supports splitting California into six states, naming the various new entities, Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, West California, and South California. The venture capitalist is also the founder of a Silicon Valley firm that heavily invested in high-tech companies such as Skype, HotMail, Twitter, and Tesla. Draper stated during an interview with Reuters that he currently has the 808,000 signatures to get the petition on the California ballot and force a vote on the public referendum in 2016.

“California needs a reboot,” Draper said. “Six Californias is our opportunity to solve the many problems we face today. Six states that are more representative and accountable. Six states that embrace innovation and strive to improve the lives of residents.”

The state of Jefferson would encompass the northern portion of California. South California would include eastern Los Angeles and San Diego. The remainder of the Los Angeles area would be part of West California. North California would be configured about the Sacramento area. Central California would be created out of the central valley farming regions of Fresno and Tulare.

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts that if California is split into six states, Silicon Valley would become the most wealthy state in the nation, and Central California the poorest. According to local Fox40, there have been approximately 220 attempts to divide California into multiple states. While all have obviously failed, there is a first time for everything, as the old saying goes.

Democratic political strategist Steven Maviglio formed the OneCalifornia group to fight Tim Draper’s plan to split California into six states.

“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,” Maviglio said.

Some feel that if splitting California into multiple states is merely a “kooky idea,” why form a group to fight the ballot issue?

“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 Californians,” said Roger Salazar, a representative to the campaign to split California into six states. “The idea is to create six states with responsive local governments, states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents.”

What do you think of the plan to split California into six states? Would such a localized government plan be popular in your state?

[Image Via: TechCrunch]