News

Could California be split into six states?

Could California be split into six states?

CALIFORNIA TIMES SIX?: California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (L) speaks with members of the Legislature before Governor Jerry Brown delivers the State of the State address in Sacramento, California Jan. 31, 2011 file photo. Photo: Reuters/Max Whittaker

By Dan Whitcomb and Laila Kearney

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A venture capitalist seeking to break California into six new states has won approval to begin collecting signatures needed to get his plan on the ballot in November, but experts said such a measure likely stands little chance of success.

The proposal, which would also require approval by the Congress, would split California into six new states called Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.

Under the plan, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara would be part of “West California,” while San Francisco and San Jose would be in “Silicon Valley.”

“California, as it is, is ungovernable,” proponent Tim Draper, founder of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said in a statement released by his office on Thursday.

“It is more and more difficult for Sacramento to keep up with the social issues from the various regions of California. With six Californias, people will be closer to their state governments and states can get a refresh,” Draper said.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said on Tuesday that the proposal needs the signatures of 807,615 registered voters by July 14 to qualify as a ballot measure in November’s elections.

Representatives for the Six Californias initiative declined to comment beyond Draper’s statement. A spokesman for Governor Jerry Brown also declined to comment.

But political experts said that like most such break-up bids, such a dramatic move faces major challenges in California, the most populous U.S. state.

“This is really just a hypothetical question. It’s not going to happen,” said Stanford Law School professor Nate Persily, citing a likely resistance by Californians to being broken into separate states.

Persily also cited the cost and complications of establishing six new governments, each with its own state capital and representatives in Washington, D.C.

David Carillo, executive director of the California Constitution Center at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, agreed, saying the U.S. Constitution could also be interpreted to require approval of such a move by the California state legislature.

Carillo also said the U.S. Congress was unlikely to get on board with the plan.

“One could wonder whether Congress would look favorably on adding five new stars to Old Glory,” he said.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Laila Kearney; editing by Amanda Kwan and G Crosse)

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Sports

Cavaliers beat Hawks in series opener

Fresh
14-overlay-1

A week off did not disrupt the Cleveland Cavaliers' momentum, nor was it enough time to alter the Atlanta Hawks' history against them. The Cavaliers still have never lost to the Hawks in the postseason, but this one was not easy.

1 hour ago in Sports

Murray makes his mark as Pens beat Caps

Fresh
capsREUTERS

The Pittsburgh Penguins do not have a goal yet in the series from Sidney Crosby. Or a power-play goal. What they do have is a 2-1 lead over the Washington Capitals.

1 hour ago in Sports

British soccer team Leicester celebrates 5,000-1 title success

Fresh
leichesterREUTERS

Leicester City's Premier League title dream became reality on Monday when one of the greatest sporting fairytales reached its conclusion in west London where chasing Tottenham Hotspur were held 2-2 by Chelsea.

2 hours ago in National

Obama takes Supreme Court fight to Republican senators’ home turf

Fresh
obamaREUTERS

President Barack Obama on Monday took the political battle over his pick for a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court to the home states of seven Republican senators up for re-election in November.

2 hours ago in Entertainment, Sports

Hulk Hogan seeks second slam of Gawker over racist comments leak

Fresh
Terry Bollea, known as professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, listens while testifying in his case against the news website Gawker at the Pinellas County Courthouse, in St. Petersburg, Fla., Monday, March 7, 2016. Hogan is suing Gawker for $100 million for publishing a video of him having sex with his best friend's wife. (Boyzell Hosey/Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool)

Hulk Hogan accused Gawker of leaking his racist remarks in a lawsuit filed in Florida on Monday involving a secretly-recorded sex tape of the wrestling celebrity, who recently won $140 million in damages against the media website in a related case.