Hot Air noted on Tuesday that a scheme to split California into six states has apparently garnered enough signatures to earn a spot in the 2016 ballot as a referendum, thanks to the efforts of a Silicon Valley investor named Tim Draper. However the plan has likely insurmountable obstacles that likely doom it to failure from the start. In any case both Republicans and Democrats have reasons to hate the idea.
“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.”
On the face splitting up California would seem to be a good idea, creating six smaller, more manageable states. However when one looks at some of the implications of the split there are more than enough reasons to hate the idea. They include policy and political reasons.
For one thing it would create both the richest states and the poorest states in the Union, Silicon Valley and Central California respectively. That means Central California would lose a lot of tax revenues from coastal areas/ On the other hand, perhaps in exchange the rural, farm area might be able to get out from under the madcap environmental regulations imposed from Sacramento that has caused it to be poor.
Red State suggests that unions will hate the idea because it will dilute the power they have over California’s government, since some of the more conservative new states would be hostile to organized labor. Republicans will hate it because it likely means a net addition of Democratic senators. Thus left and right both have reason to oppose the scheme.
It shows in the polling. Roughly 59 percent of Californians oppose splitting their state into six. In any event, even if the ballot measure were to pass, it would have to pass muster in Congress. That is not likely to happen because of the previously mentioned political difficulties. Thus we seem to be in for another entertaining California ballot initiative fight, but little or no prospect of anything substantial happening.