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Should California Split Into 6 Smaller States?

Venture capitalist Tim Draper wants to split California into smaller states with his "Six Californias" plan. Sonoma County would be part of "North California." Real estate mogul John Cox wants to split the state legislature into 1,000 pieces.

Courtesy http://www.sixcalifornias.info/
Courtesy http://www.sixcalifornias.info/

By Alex Gronke

The Golden State is a hidebound monopoly that delivers poor services at high prices to its citizen-consumers. It’s time to carve California into smaller states, just as Ma Bell divided into the Baby Bells in the 1980s. That’s the assessment of Tim Draper, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent venture capitalists, who is hoping to put a proposition on an upcoming ballot that would split California into six new states.

Draper notes that the 38 million people currently represented by only two senators in Washington would have 12 with his idea, which he is calling Six Californias, according to Tech Crunch. The founder of Draper University of Heroes wants to have language for a ballot proposition submitted to state officials before the end of the year.

Southern California real estate mogul and venture capitalist John Cox wants to keep the state intact, but he aims to smash the legislature into 11,000 little pieces. On Dec. 19, Cox got approval from the secretary of state to collect signatures for an initiative to divide the 120 Senate and Assembly districts into neighborhood districts representing 5,000 and 10,000 people, respectively. 

Cox thinks lawmakers from micro-districts would spend more time listening to constituents and less time hobnobbing with campaign cash donors, according to the Los Angeles Times. Cox has until May 19 to gather 807,615 signatures.

The political dreams of Draper and Cox may appear radical, but they are fairly mainstream when compared to the visions of other moguls with sidelines in civics. PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel is a proponent of seasteading, floating cities where pioneers can experiment with new forms of government.

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Neal Fishman December 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM
That California with nearly 40 million people has two senators and Wyoming with about 1 million also has two is the result of the "Great Compromise". Whatever they were thinking in 1789, this scheme now tends to reward gun nuts, cattle barons, and strip miners with more political power than the rest of us. They then add to this power by shamelessly overusing the filibuster. But how would this six state scheme be set up. If it gives two senators to a northern California with less than a million people, and two to a San Francisco/Oakland with five or six million, forget about it. If it "equally" sets up three democratic leaning states and three republican, when California is overwhelmingly democratic, forget about it. I'm a democrat. I also believe in democracy.
Jon Kennedy December 29, 2013 at 05:01 PM
John Cox is more on the right track. Let's solve the problems with better representation and communication rather than somewhat silly symbolic statements that most likely will never pencil or come to fruition.
bruce mallon January 01, 2014 at 09:38 AM
What a swell idea. While we're at it, lets divide New York state into 10 states, and combine some of the low population states into one mega state so they don't get 2 senators for a little over 1 million folks. We could make Montana, Idaho and Wyoming into one state. Call it Wyoidamon, it has a nice ring and they get only 2 senators for about 3.5 million Republicans. I'm all for that.

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