An initiative to break California into six smaller states will be placed on the ballot in 2016, the campaign Six Californias said Tuesday, but it faces a steep uphill battle to overcome low voter support and criticism that it’s ultimately unrealistic and a waste of time.
The plan, conceived and headed by Silicon Valley tycoon Tim Draper, who has poured $4.9 million of his own money into the effort, has reportedly garnered over 808,000 signatures, making it eligible to be presented to California voters under state law.
“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 of Californians,” campaign spokesperson Richard Salazar told Reuters. “The idea … is to create six states with responsive local governments – states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents.”
Not all Californians buy this logic, however: according to a poll conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle, 59 percent of residents oppose partition.
Some see the plan as a distraction from the political issues facing California – or even as a way for the affluent Bay Area crowd to financially separate itself from poorer areas of the state such as the Central Valley around Fresno and Stockton.
“This is a colossal waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand,” Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political strategist who has formed the group OneCalifornia to oppose Six Californias, said to the Chronicle. “Mr. Draper’s plan would split the world’s eighth largest economy along geographic lines.”
SOURCE: Gram Slattery
Christian Science Monitor