Oh my: California to vote on whether to split into six states

posted at 8:41 pm on July 15, 2014 by Allahpundit

The people behind the idea missed the deadline for this year’s ballot, but now that they have enough signatures — more than 800,000 — they’ve earned a spot on the 2016 ballot. That’s a presidential election year, of course, which means higher turnout. A lot of Democrats are going to end up weighing in on this at the polls.

Any reason why a Democrat from an overwhelmingly Democratic state might vote to divide into six smaller but still mostly Democratic states? I can think of one.

“If we have six Californias and we in effect dissolve the one we’ve got, those six allow us a new start,” [venture capitalist Tim] Draper says in a video posted on the Six Californias website. Each state, which would have its own capital and legislature, would be able to write its own constitution.

The six carved out states would look like this:

Jefferson: The northern part of the state, including Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

North California: The wine country counties of Sonoma and Napa, as well as the Sierra Nevada region.

Silicon Valley: Including San Francisco, San Jose and most of what’s considered the San Francisco Bay Area.

Central California: The vast central valley farm region, including Tulare and Fresno counties.

West California: Including Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

South California: Including what’s called the Inland Empire of San Bernadino and Riverside, plus San Diego.

I’ve read half a dozen stories on this today and all of them mention Draper’s role in leading the charge, but none of them offer insight into his motives. I can’t tell if this is some principled libertarian exercise to prove that smaller jurisdictions really are more responsive to their residents’ needs — federalism through disintegration — or if there’s more to it. Turns out Draper made his money in Silicon Valley, investing in companies like Hotmail and Twitter; it also turns out that splitting California into six states would make Silicon Valley the single richest state in the U.S. while Central California would become the poorest. Maybe this is as simple as the tech industry getting tired of sending its money across its de facto “border” to pay for the rest of California. That would be ironic, given how little use they have for borders generally.

So why might a majority of the state go along? Well, they probably won’t: A poll taken earlier this year shows 59 percent opposed. People everywhere inherently dislike the idea of their state breaking up, I think, partly due to simple loss aversion and partly because they’ve grown up with an impression of the state as a distinct culture (even if it’s actually several different cultures) that contributes to their own identity. It’s hard to get them to toss that away, and it’ll get even harder when opponents start educating voters from poorer areas on lost tax revenue if Silicon Valley and L.A. go bye-bye. But, as I said, if you’re a hardcore Democratic partisan there is one reason to support disintegration — namely, you’d add 10 new seats to the U.S. Senate and most (but maybe not all) of those seats would be held by Democrats. That’s a major obstacle to this happening, as the U.S. Congress (as well as the California state legislature) would have to approve the state’s disintegration even if a majority of California voters support it. House Republicans aren’t about to do that. So the only way this has even a whisper of a chance of happening is if … a major red state also splits up, ensuring a bunch of new Republican seats in the Senate too. How about it, Texas?

Two clips for you, one from the “Six Californias” group and the other from Reason TV to remind you that there may be some support for this idea in rural, right-leaning California districts.



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I have long argued that this is the way we should go…

TXUS on July 15, 2014 at 11:35 PM

Breaking up TX and sticking to the failed united States?

You obviously aren’t a Texan.

Secession is the shibboleth of a true Texan.

Reuben Hick on July 15, 2014 at 11:40 PM

As long as we don’t have to admit them to the Union.

claudius on July 15, 2014 at 11:34 PM

Gets my vote for thread winner.

partsnlabor on July 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM

I’m fine with six Kallyfornya’s as long as we can have five Texas’s, two Michigan’s and Wisconsin submits becomes Minnesota’s Cheese Province.

Bruno Strozek on July 15, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Reuben Hick on July 15, 2014 at 11:40 PM

Yes, secession would be my first preference, and the current chaos might well make that a viable option, but I doubt it. Texas is stronger with a strong United States and the United States is stronger with a strong Texas. If Texas can add 8 red Senate seats, through a split into 5 states, and seats that would stay red for decades to come, that might be the only chance for the USA to survive.

If it doesn’t, then we leave, having given it our best try for salvation.

And, by the way, a “true” Texan never questions another one, the ultimate insult.

TXUS on July 16, 2014 at 12:09 AM

How about a compromise. They split into 6 but then we don’t admit any of the 6 to the Union. That OK with everyone else? And how is one of the 6 not going to be called Disneyland?

SoRight on July 16, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Well the State of Jefferson was almost a reality in the early 1940′s save for the Japs attacking Pearl Harbor.

I love the idea of the ultimate gerrymandering!!
Wish we’d do that up hear in Washington; the eastern part of the state really needs to dump the Seattle Libtards west of the Cascades.

Besides, a 55 star flag would look cool. All we need to add is Kenya and Indonesia for Obozo’s 57 states.

Bubba Redneck on July 16, 2014 at 12:50 AM

if there is a north california and south california, will they be NC and SC?? because we already have that…

Sachiko on July 15, 2014 at 8:53 PM

North California: NO

South California: BA for Barrio

Bubba Redneck on July 16, 2014 at 12:55 AM

The state isn’t as liberal as you think. Its just over whelmed by SF and LA. Southern California could easily go republican and so could at least a couple others. Really it will probably profit republicans more then democrats.

You’ll likely get three democrat states and three republican states.

Karmashock on July 16, 2014 at 12:58 AM

I’m so glad I moved to Orange County.

Oil Can on July 16, 2014 at 12:59 AM

Actually, there is a good chance that the Senate split would be 50/50.
Only two of the proposed states are solidly Democrat (though they probably have nearly two thirds of California’s population between them).

Count to 10 on July 15, 2014 at 9:06 PM

How do you figure?
All of North Cal is liberal, Humbolt the most liberal, even more than SF. And the three states below are solid dem, so that makes four.

Central is a mix and San Diego leans a little more Republican, Orange County is pretty well split now, 20 years very conservative, but not so much now.

The more important is that SF and LA, would have to rely on their own taxes and people to take care of their problems. They would become a “Chicago or Detroit” in 4 or 5 years.

A small example…just the hunting and fishing fees used to be used for conservation and regulation, but under Gov. Moonbeam, he moved them to the general fund to take care of everything…same with the gas tax, it goes into the general fund.

Those of course would be removed and applied to the various “states”.

It would be a great thing for California, and you would soon find it being liberal in probably just 3 of the states eventually, but those 6 senators would not have the power that just the 2 now have. Boxer and Feinstein represent what, something like 17 million voters?

right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 1:06 AM

You’ll likely get three democrat states and three republican states.

Karmashock on July 16, 2014 at 12:58 AM

4 liberal, 2 conservative…

But the power would be so broken up…I tell you who would fight it, Nevada.

One of the states would make gambling legal, and that would devastate Las Vegas.

Also water rights would have to be heavily negotiated…

I can’t see it happening…Humbolt area, that alone would be worth seeing as a state…it would make Colorado look like a Sunday school regarding legalizing pot.

right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 1:11 AM

I support the self-determination of the people in each of the proposed states. If they vote to split up into smaller, more representative states, more power to them! Hurray for representative government! It is one small step toward moving political/crony power closer to the people geographically. It’s even “green” because people won’t have to travel all the way to Washington DC to plead their case to a royal class, thus reducing the carbon-footprint of government even while making it more representative and accessible.

FloatingRock on July 16, 2014 at 1:14 AM

Let’s just give the state to Mexico and then build the dang fence.

Vince on July 16, 2014 at 1:17 AM

won’t have to travel all the way to Washington DC to plead their case to a royal class, thus reducing the carbon-footprint of government even while making it more representative and accessible.

…Or rather, Sacramento.

FloatingRock on July 16, 2014 at 1:19 AM

Great. A potential 8 more dem senators.

Mimzey on July 15, 2014 at 8:48 PM

counting is hard :P

lorien1973 on July 15, 2014 at 8:54 PM

No, it’s right. All the Senate candidates from the state with SF in it will have died from aids or scabies by then.

Nutstuyu on July 16, 2014 at 1:28 AM

Does anybody understand that this would add 10 new, likely all liberal, Senators to Washington? Crazy idea!

Corky Boyd on July 16, 2014 at 1:35 AM

I would probably vote for it. I would end up living in South California. I can’t imagine it would be anywhere near as far left as the current state is.

El_Terrible on July 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM

I wonder if businesses would flee the state of Los Angeles. Moving 5 or 20 miles down to get a major tax cut would seem to be worth the effort.

El_Terrible on July 16, 2014 at 1:57 AM

Does anybody understand that this would add 10 new, likely all liberal, Senators to Washington? Crazy idea!

Corky Boyd on July 16, 2014 at 1:35 AM

It doesn’t matter, there’s only one political party anyway. If splitting California disrupts the balance in DC then maybe the R-party should split some republican states, thus returning even more power to the people while balancing the the equation. Let there be more competition to shift power away from distant capitals and vest it closer to the people, not less.

FloatingRock on July 16, 2014 at 2:00 AM

I would get behind this idea if:
1. California seceded from the Union, and
2. became a country composed of the six new States of California.

The real question would be, what would be the descriptor? United States of California? Socialist States of California? Republic of California?

Eastwood Ravine on July 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM

I would get behind this idea if:
1. California seceded from the Union, and
2. became a country composed of the six new States of California.

The real question would be, what would be the descriptor? United States of California? Socialist States of California? Republic of California?

Eastwood Ravine on July 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM

It would be the People’s Republic of California, of course.

Theophile on July 16, 2014 at 2:23 AM

I know California very well.

This is a good idea, for many reasons.

MichaelGabriel on July 16, 2014 at 2:34 AM

I know California very well.

This is a good idea, for many reasons.

MichaelGabriel on July 16, 2014 at 2:34 AM

Yeah, 12 leftist US Senators from CA instead of only 2? This is a total waste of time as it will never fly in the US congress.

Dollayo on July 16, 2014 at 5:16 AM

Central is a mix and San Diego leans a little more Republican, Orange County is pretty well split now, 20 years very conservative, but not so much now.
right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 1:06 AM

Not right. Orange County is about 42% registered Republican, 31% registered Dem and 20% no preference but favor Repub. San Diego County’s Dem and Repub registration is even at about 35% each, with 25% no preference, but favoring Republican. Riverside County, likewise, has more registered Republicans than Democrats.

These three counties alone have over 8 million people in them.

Splitting the state in 2 would lessen the Dem’s built-in electoral college advantage and would mean the state of Southern California would likely elect Republican US Senators.

bluegill on July 16, 2014 at 5:52 AM

Now, it all depends on how you divide the state and where LA goes.

bluegill on July 16, 2014 at 5:53 AM

Now, it all depends on how you divide the state and where LA goes.

bluegill on July 16, 2014 at 5:53 AM

People outside of California don’t realize that LA County is now 30% Asian (Chinese). I wonder over time will they want to use their income to support poor Latinos? That’s LA County now, Latinos, Asians, and “Hollywood” types.

Oil Can on July 16, 2014 at 6:29 AM

In order for CA to split up, it must first secede from the Union. We could refuse to let Silicon Valley and Southern California back in, right?

Count Mahdrof on July 16, 2014 at 7:16 AM

Now … won’t that just be grand! 5 new states … which means 10 new demorat senators … perpetual demorat rule in the Senate … Harry Reid, Majority Leader for Life …

r27cj on July 16, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Who in their right mind would give California 12 Senators? Better to allow one statelet to remain in the union and give the other five entities the same status as Puerto Rico and Guam.

potkas7 on July 16, 2014 at 7:28 AM

Water rights have been killing attempts to break up CA for a few decades and will scuttle this, as well. It isn’t just the big cities, but agricultural areas and the moment those get freed up from sending water to the cities so as to support agriculture, the cities will get rationing, at best. And if the cities had to pay market prices, they would be forced to downsize as they couldn’t afford the utility cost that others would place on that water for local purposes.

Breaking up CA would shake up all of those internal structures and the large cities would suddenly find themselves having to pay for things they get at low cost from a large state structure. And while the larger population zones may be able to outbid for water for a short-term solution, that cost will go directly to the recipients without a cushion from other regions to help them.

Without the water for green lawns, palm trees and the like, LA would begin to dry up and the people would start to migrate. People are too comfy with their subsidized water supplies to ever write them away in a break-up. It would make for more manageable and lower cost overhead cities and towns, but that comes at a high price over a short period of time.

ajacksonian on July 16, 2014 at 7:43 AM

In Texas, “SECEDE” bumper stickers used to be a fun little occasional curiosity. In DFW, I don’t go a week without seeing one nowadays.

K. Hobbit on July 16, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Also, are we sure it would be 12 leftist senators? I would guess Southern California and Jefferson would send Republicans.

K. Hobbit on July 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM

And, by the way, a “true” Texan never questions another one, the ultimate insult.

TXUS on July 16, 2014 at 12:09 AM

Times have changed, friend. There have been a lot of foreigners claiming they are Texans coming in via I30.

I am curious how Texas could still be Texas divided up in to five regions – especially when you consider the details of water, state universities, ERCOT, petroleum, coastal ports and refineries and the need to replicate every freakin’ state agency and department four more times.

Secession is the only answer. The united States is dead.

Reuben Hick on July 16, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Splitting the state in 2 would lessen the Dem’s built-in electoral college advantage and would mean the state of Southern California would likely elect Republican US Senators.

bluegill on July 16, 2014 at 5:52 AM

This Regime has already thrown their coup d’etat and we are no longer a Constitutional Republic so the so-called “representation” in Congress is pure theater.

This Regime has decertified the Legislative and Judicial branches, (along with eliminating the sovereignty of the individual States) and has replaced both branches with the fourth and unelected Regulatory Branch that has its own Law making and its own Courts. (see IRS, EPA etc.)

The Regulatory Branch has its powers split between the Executive and the Employees Union with both the Executive and Regulatory branch of the this bicameral government fall underneath the Progressive Religion controlled by an ersatz version of Plato’s Philosopher Kings.

To effect change in what was the united States, you control who the Philosopher Kings are. Good luck with that.

Reuben Hick on July 16, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Secession is the only answer. The united States is dead.

Reuben Hick on July 16, 2014 at 8:22 AM

I would love to see that issue on the ballot in 2016.

bitsy on July 16, 2014 at 8:46 AM

12 senators instead of 2? yikes!

rhombus on July 16, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Not right. Orange County is about 42% registered Republican, 31% registered Dem and 20% no preference but favor Repub.

bluegill on July 16, 2014 at 5:52 AM

Don’t have time to find out if your figures are correct, but how they are registered is moot, it’s how they vote.

They voted 47.7% for Obama, which I think falls into the “pretty much split, still a bit conservative, but not like it was 20 years ago” comment.

right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 8:56 AM

It would be the People’s Republic of in California, of course.

Theophile on July 16, 2014 at 2:23 AM

That makes it the PRiC.

GWB on July 16, 2014 at 9:11 AM

The spoils would be hotly contested by the Democrats (The Evil Party) and the GOP (The Stupid Party).

Which do you think would benefit most?

Akzed on July 16, 2014 at 9:15 AM

I would get behind this idea if:
1. California seceded from the Union, and
2. became a country composed of the six new States of California.

The real question would be, what would be the descriptor? United States of California? Socialist States of California? Republic of California?

Eastwood Ravine on July 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM

It would be the People’s Republic of California, of course.

Theophile on July 16, 2014 at 2:23 AM

Everything on the coast; The Utopian State of Harmonic Perfection.

Everything south of Bakersfield; Aztlan del Norte’.

Everything north and east of them; The Bear Flag Republic.

///?

cheers

eon

eon on July 16, 2014 at 9:33 AM

I wonder if we could get that proposed map overlayed with the red/blue county map of California?

Occams Stubble on July 16, 2014 at 9:41 AM

My prediction is that the initiative would lose in Sacramento, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties.

It would win in all others.

That’s how I think the state should be divide up, those 7 counties in one state, all the rest in another.

MichaelGabriel on July 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Texas, through its agreement to join the USA, which joinder I still cuss Sam Houston and his soul for, despite his leadership during our independence from Mexico, has the absolute right to split into 5 separate states, no congressional approval needed. If we decided to split, the current Texas legislature would define the boundaries of those states, meaning we’d probably get 4 reds and maybe a blue/purple one.

I have long argued that this is the way we should go, as 8 extra US Senate seats, and gloriously red ones at that, would mean not only a more conservative Senate but, more important, the added votes in the electoral college, and thus the end to the National Democrat party for generations and generations to come.

It would also guarantee that California would not be able to split and gain more Senate seats. A win win.

TXUS on July 15, 2014 at 11:35 PM

There’s a good chance that at least two of the five Texas states would trend Democratic:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/messing-with-texas/

jim56 on July 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM

the real problem with a Big Ballot measure like this is that it totally messes up the expected voter turnout models.

folks may be apathetic about voting for someone after wondering who this “Ben Ghazi” guy is … but they sure as heck will show up for something like this.

WaldoTJ on July 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM

The only way to prevent the division of California – or any other state for that matter – is to have one senator from each county in the state senate. The house of representatives will still need to be divided up by population with as little gerrymandering as possible. With all the outer counties as equally represented as the most populace counties in the senate, nothing will make it into law that isn’t good for all the people.

If one county or city in California wants to do something ‘special’ like offering welfare, it can do so within its local jurisdiction without placing a burden on the rest of the state.

If enough outer counties want better roads that lead to the cities, it will have a better chance to pass than with the most populace counties and cities in what is effectively total control of the legislature. As it stands, the most populace areas will vote for better roads in their cities and counties only because that is where the votes are concentrated. With a senate equally populated by county, and if the outer counties and towns want better roads, their greater strength in the senate will guarantee that everyone will get better roads instead of just the most populace cities and counties.

One must remember that a senate is a deliberative body. The people are well represented in a house of representatives, and local concerns are better represented in a senate. Nothing will pass that is not good for all, and no burdens will be placed on people who will not benefit.

It won’t matter how many states California is divided into if the above principles of a republican government are not implemented.

Woody

woodcdi on July 16, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Breaking up TX and sticking to the failed united States?

You obviously aren’t a Texan.

Secession is the shibboleth of a true Texan.

Reuben Hick on July 15, 2014 at 11:40 PM

Make mine ‘Republic of Texas’

Willys on July 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Texas Nationalist Movement

Willys on July 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Except “Silicon Valley” would be better called Moonbattia, and West California should be Lalaland.

PJ Emeritus on July 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Orange County should be part of South California, not West California.

Esaus Message on July 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I think we should apply this model to the U.S. overall — specifically, I think we should break up the U.S. into several different countries. If we don’t stop the bleeding of Democrat rule, the entire country will soon end up like Detroit. The best option to avoid that result is to allow the more conservative regions of our country to go their own way.

Little Napoleon on July 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Little Napoleon on July 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM

We tried that once, then “Honest” Abe Lincoln made us come back. /s

PJ Emeritus on July 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM

You fail to mention that in addition to being one of the most prominent VCs in the Valley, he’s also one of the few Republicans in the tech community.

BrunoMitchell on July 16, 2014 at 1:03 PM

I think we should apply this model to the U.S. overall — specifically, I think we should break up the U.S. into several different countries. If we don’t stop the bleeding of Democrat rule, the entire country will soon end up like Detroit. The best option to avoid that result is to allow the more conservative regions of our country to go their own way.

Little Napoleon on July 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM

The end result can be accomplished by abolishing the Seventeenth Amendment and put the several state legislatures back in control of the US Senate. That way, that which is not good for all of the states cannot become law and each state can go its own way except for the very limited powers and duties granted to, or assigned to, the Union.

It’ll work like what I posted at 10:53 this AM. It worked that way up until the 17th Amendment was ratified.

Woody

woodcdi on July 16, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I think we should apply this model to the U.S. overall — specifically, I think we should break up the U.S. into several different countries. If we don’t stop the bleeding of Democrat rule, the entire country will soon end up like Detroit. The best option to avoid that result is to allow the more conservative regions of our country to go their own way.

Little Napoleon on July 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Yes. It’s time to let the regions have their autonomy.

Here in Oregon, a mindless blue state, Biden tried to shove a Colorado style gun bill while both houses in the Legislature have a Democrat majority. Didn’t make it out of committee. Both Washington and Oregon are right to carry states, despite being hopelessly blue.

The Fed is effing up our water supplies to farmers, but if left to the state we wouldn’t have an issue. The Fed is effing up our timber supply but if left up to the state we wouldn’t have nearly the problem. Washington DNR sells logs and in a big way. Oregon doesn’t have the state lands WA does so we’re limited being largely USFS and BLM both Fed agencies.

Western Dems, at times, almost smell like Libertarians while the NE Dems are just outright Marxists, ie, Bernie Sanders and Bill de Blasio. I can put up, sort of, with our Dems, but I am sick and tired of lowlifes like Jerrold Nadler and Chuck Schumer influencing my existence. New York hired them, I DID NOT ask their opinion!

An better alternative would be to limit the Fed as described in the Consitution and Bill of Rights and let the states run themselves. But, yeah, that ain’t gonna happen…

old school on July 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM

If this happened, the South would secede again. No way are those lunatics going to get 6 to 8 more Senators and god knows how many electoral votes.

Redstone357 on July 16, 2014 at 3:13 PM

There seems to be the notion that California is uniformly loony-left, from Crescent City to San Ysidro, and from Alturas down to Blythe. Not so. In this proposed six-state scenario, Jefferson and Central California would definitely elect two GOP senators. However, Silicon Valley and West California would definitely elect two radical-left Barbara Boxer-types to the Senate. That leaves North and South California.

Since North California would extend from the hard-left Wine Country east to the more conservative Sierra Nevada, it might be able to elect 1 GOP and 1 Dem to the Senate, but more likely it would elect two Di-Fi types. If South California includes Orange County (which is steadily moving left), I think it would elect at least one GOP senator, possibly two.

Overall, the ideological makeup of the Senate wouldn’t change much under this plan. I don’t like the idea of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties along the coast being included in Jefferson; they should instead belong to North California. They have nothing in common with Modoc, Shasta, Lassen and other counties much further east. But I would keep Del Norte County (Crescent City in the far NW corner) in Jefferson. It’s well to the right of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties.

A California divided up into these six proposed regions would elect 5 to 6 Republicans (half conservative, half RINO) to the Senate, and 6 to 7 Democrats (all loony-left).

Sir Rants-A-Lot on July 16, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Not right. Orange County is about 42% registered Republican, 31% registered Dem and 20% no preference but favor Repub.

bluegill on July 16, 2014 at 5:52 AM

Don’t have time to find out if your figures are correct, but how they are registered is moot, it’s how they vote.

They voted 47.7% for Obama, which I think falls into the “pretty much split, still a bit conservative, but not like it was 20 years ago” comment.

right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 8:56 AM

There are many counties in California, such as Shasta, Glenn, Modoc, Lassen, Mariposa and Madera, that have moved well to Orange County’s right when it comes to voting results. Unfortunately none of them have anywhere near the population of Orange County.

I think O.C. is going to wind up going Democrat, and remain that way within 20 years.

Sir Rants-A-Lot on July 16, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Agree with “Woody”.

The 17th Amendment is THE problem.

Otherwise, its tit-for-tat. NYC could split its boroughs into five additional liberal states.

Carnac on July 16, 2014 at 3:58 PM

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