Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s proposal to split California into three states qualified for the November ballot . . . which is nice, I guess? It’s not as ridiculous as Calexit, anyway.
A Los Angeles Times story says: “California’s 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent’s edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year — as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the Nov. 6 ballot.”
But that isn’t quite correct. As the very next sentence points out: “If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, a long and contentious process would begin for three separate states to take the place of California, with one primarily centered around Los Angeles and the other two divvying up the counties to the north and south. Completion of the radical plan — far from certain, given its many hurdles at judicial, state and federal levels — would make history.”
Draper argues—and he isn’t the first—that California is simply too big and too diverse to be governed effectively. He also notes that the interests of the wealthy coastal communities, notably Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley, often outweigh those of the vast interior of the state.
True, all true. And yet . . .
Even if voters approve and the legislature signs off, the idea faces a massive political roadblock in Congress. Again, from the Times story: “Where California now has two seats in the 100-person U.S. Senate, the three states would have six seats in a 104-member chamber. That would dilute the power of other states and increase the power of what used to be a single state if its six senators banded together on various issues.”