Silicon Valley venture capitalist and bitcoin acapella singer Tim Draper successfully got his plan to split California into three states on the November ballot. Draper landed nearly double the number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, getting 600,000 people to support dividing the state threefold.
Draper’s plan—Cal 3—would divide the state into Northern California, Southern California, and, simply, California. Northern California would comprise of 40 counties, including San Francisco and Sacramento. Southern California would comprise of 12 counties, including San Diego, and California would comprise of six counties, including Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
“Three states will get us better infrastructure, better education and lower taxes,” Draper told the Los Angeles Times last summer. “States will be more accountable to us and can cooperate and compete for citizens.”
This isn’t Draper’s first attempt at chopping up the state for the stated sake of infrastructure, education, and taxes. In 2014, he proposed dividing California into six states. Aptly named Six Californias, that proposal failed to gain enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
But this still isn’t a win for Draper’s wild plan to split the state up into three separate jurisdictions. It still needs a majority of the votes come November, and, if that happens, approval by Congress.
“The easy thing to do is to say, ‘Oh, let it sit and maybe some politician will fix it for us,’” Draper told Mercury News last month. “It’s not going to happen.”
Draper is correct in his assertion that he is not a politician. He is a tech investor who is passionate about cryptocurrency and recently came to the defense of sinking ship and disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. He’s certainly not politically qualified, but that hasn’t stopped other self-important Silicon Valley elites from believing they have the winning idea to disrupt the government.
Draper told Time in 2014 when discussing his Six California plan that he believes that more Californias means people will “be closer” to their government. “Our government will be more in touch with our individual constituents,” he said. Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political consultant who has campaigned against the plan, disagrees with this notion.
“Splitting California into three new states will triple the amount of special interests, lobbyists, politicians and bureaucracy,” Maviglio told Mercury News. “California government can do a better job addressing the real issues facing the state, but this measure is a massive distraction that will cause political chaos and greater inequality.”