Billionaire Tim Draper renews effort to split California into multiple states

A fresh push to split California into multiple states his cleared its first hurdle, as state Secretary of State Alex Padilla granted Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper permission to solicit signatures to get the proposal on the ballot in 2018.

The new plan, backed by the billionaire bitcoin enthusiast, would divide the Golden State into three states — Northern California, Southern California and California.

Northern California would go from the San Jose area and extend to the Oregon border. Southern California would start in Fresno and cover most of Southern California, including the Inland empire and San Diego, and California would include Los Angeles County and extend up the coast to Monterey County. For more, here is a county-by-county breakdown.

The group must collect signatures from 365,880 registered voters to get on the ballot. And even if voters approve the measure in 2018, it would still require a vote by the state Legislature and the U.S. Congress.

“No one can argue that California’s government is doing a good job governing or educating or building infrastructure for its people,” Draper told The New York Times. “And it doesn’t matter which party is in place.”

Backers of the plan say it would equally divide populations and wealth, leading to better political representation with state capitals being closer to the people.

“The citizens of the whole state would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities, and towns,” Draper wrote in the initiative’s statement of findings. 

It’s not the first time Draper has made the push. Back in 2014, he funded “Six California,” which was a proposal for six states. And while it grabbed headlines, the measure failed to grab enough signatures to quality for the 2016 ballot.

If the latest effort did actually pass, it could have a major effect on the electoral map by putting one of the new states in play for the GOP, as the potential “Southern California” includes Fresno, Tulare, Madera and Kern counties, all of which voted for President Trump in 2016. Additionally, the historically conservative Orange County is in the theoretical state.

Like the previous campaign, this one is relatively sparse on details as to how issues like water rights, education spending, and health and social services would be worked out during the transition.

Moves to disrupt California’s map have picked up steam in the Trump era, with some activists pushing for outright secession. For example, Louis Marinelli, the now ex-president of Yes California Independence, led a “Calexit” charge earlier this year but abandoned the campaign back in April after donors pulled out. However, the effort has since been renewed.

But any campaign to redraw the boundaries faces a steep climb, as the initiatives are still seen as fringe movements without the backing of prominent political leaders.

“California is the economic engine of the United States of America; we on our own, as a state, could be the sixth economic power in the world,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently said on Fox News Sunday. “The U.S. needs California as much as I believe California needs to be part of the United States.”


Write a comment
  1. garithkart
    garithkart 31 October, 2017, 12:59

    This proposal would be a nightmare for the rest of the country. The way the lines are drawn, it could result in the election of 3 Progressive Governors, many more progressive Congressional reps, and 6 progressive liberal Senators. Presently, the state has One progressive liberal Governor and only 2 progressive Senators, why should the other states accept this. I would predict defeat at the congressional level.

    Reply this comment
    • BookMDanno
      BookMDanno 31 October, 2017, 15:07

      Right on the money, gartihkart! Now Liberals are tinkering with the basics to get their outcome. Can’t win at the ballot box. Can’t win now through executive actions–don’t have the presidency. Getting harder to sustain a court victory. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the possible outcome of them so angry and desperate.

      Reply this comment
  2. Ed
    Ed 31 October, 2017, 15:39

    California requires water from Arizona so this whole complex their AG has is inflated.

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 31 October, 2017, 16:03



    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 1 November, 2017, 09:09

      Even worse, Queeg. It’s DBA- Dead Before Arrival.
      Draper’s plan just compounds the problem by creating 3 new uber-liberal states. Those of us in the rural parts of the state would still have to put up with the edicts of urban tax and spend, green fanatics.
      Better an east/west split of the state so we rural folks could get some say in how we are governed.
      All this is just mental masturbation anyway. The whole scheme has to be approved by Congess. The rest of the states are not going to allow 3 Crazyfornias to send more nut job, leftist, looneys to Washington.
      Total waste of time…

      Reply this comment
  4. twh99
    twh99 1 November, 2017, 09:54

    I would much rather see an effort to have California’s electoral votes be divvied up by congressional district.

    Why should all of California’s electoral votes go the Democratic party? Roughly 30-40% are Republican leaning districts. Those districts are not represented in the electoral college.

    Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 3 November, 2017, 00:42

    We up here in Norhern California/Southern Oregon want the State of Jefferson and phooie on Moonbeam Brown

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 3 November, 2017, 08:20

      One thing for sure, Spurwing. Those of us in the rural Nor Cal counties will not have anything to do with any sort of governmental structure called ‘Northern California’ that includes the SF bay area.
      Throw those green, commie lunatics into our midst and there will be another split-off muy pronto.
      I like our chances too. We have all the guns and those people still can’t figure out which bathroom to use.

      Reply this comment
  6. War Pig
    War Pig 5 November, 2017, 14:16
    The Public Bank Option: Safer, Local and Half the Cost | Global Research
    By Ellen Brown
    7-9 minutes

    Phil Murphy, a former banker with a double-digit lead in New Jersey’s race for governor, has made a state-owned bank a centerpiece of his platform. If he wins on November 7, the nation’s second state-owned bank in a century could follow.

    A UK study published on October 27, 2017 reported that the majority of politicians do not know where money comes from. According to City A.M. (London) :

    More than three-quarters of the MPs surveyed incorrectly believed that only the government has the ability to create new money. . . .

    The Bank of England has previously intervened to point out that most money in the UK begins as a bank loan. In a 2014 article the Bank pointed out that “whenever a bank makes a loan, it simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money.”

    The Bank of England researchers said that 97% of the UK money supply is created in this way. In the US, the figure is about 95%. City A.M. quoted Fran Boait, executive director of the advocacy group Positive Money, who observed:

    “Despite their confidence in telling the public that there is ‘no magic money tree’ to pay for vital services, politicians themselves are shockingly ignorant of where money actually comes from.

    “There is in fact a ‘magic money tree’, but it’s in the hands of commercial banks, such as Barclays, HSBC and RBS, who create money whenever they make loans.”

    For those few politicians who are aware of the banks’ magic money tree, the axiom that the people should own the banks – or at least some of them – is a no-brainer. One of these rare politicians is Phil Murphy, who has a double-digit lead in New Jersey’s race for governor. Formerly a Wall Street banker himself, Murphy knows how banking works. That helps explain why he has boldly made a state-owned bank a centerpiece of his platform. He maintains that New Jersey’s billions in tax dollars should be kept in the state’s own bank, where it can leverage its capital to fund local infrastructure, small businesses, affordable housing, student loans, and other state needs. New Jersey voters go to the polls on November 7.

    That means New Jersey could soon have the second publicly-owned depository bank in the country, following the very successful century-old Bank of North Dakota (BND). Other likely contenders among about twenty public banking initiatives now underway include Washington State, which has approved a feasibility study for a state bank; and the cities of Santa Fe in New Mexico and Los Angeles and Oakland in California, which are exploring the feasibility of their own city-owned banks.

    A Bank Is Not Simply an Intermediary

    An article in City Watch LA critical of the idea of a city-owned bank observed that Los Angeles formerly had a bank that failed, closing its doors in 2003 due to insolvency. The argument illustrates the confusion over what a bank is and what it can do for the local government and local communities. The Los Angeles Community Development Bank was not a bank. It was a loan fund, and it was designed to fail. It was not chartered to take deposits or to create deposits as loans, and it was only allowed to lend to businesses that had been turned down by other banks; in other words, they were bad credit risks.

    With a loan fund, a dollar invested is a dollar lent, which must return to the bank before it can be lent again. By contrast, as the Bank of England acknowledged in its 2014 paper, “banks do not act simply as intermediaries, lending out deposits that savers place with them.” A chartered depository bank can turn one dollar of capital into ten dollars in bank credit, something it does simply by creating a deposit in the account of the borrower. If the bank’s books don’t balance at the end of the day, it borrows very cheaply from other banks, the Federal Home Loan Banks, or the repo market. It borrows at bankers’ rates rather than retail rates, and that is one of the many perks that a publicly-owned bank can recapture for local governments. Borrowing from banks rather than the bond market actually expands the circulating money supply, stimulating the local economy.

    Compelling Precedents

    Public sector banks, while rare in the US, are common in other countries; and recent studies have shown that they are actually more profitable, safer, less corrupt, and more accountable overall than private banks.

    This is particularly true of the Bank of North Dakota, currently the only publicly-owned depository bank in the US. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is more profitable than Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase. The BND is risk-averse, lends conservatively, does not gamble in derivatives or put deposits at risk. It is able to lend at lower than market rates because its costs are very low.

    The BND holds all of its home state’s revenues as deposits by law, acting as a sort of “mini-Fed” for North Dakota. It has seen record profits for almost 15 years. It continued to report record profits after two years of oil bust in the state, showing that it is highly profitable on its own merits because of its business model. It does not pay bonuses, fees, or commissions; has no high paid executives; does not have multiple branches; does not need to advertise; and does not have private shareholders seeking short-term profits. The profits return to the bank, which either distributes them as dividends to the state or uses them to build up its capital base in order to expand its loan portfolio.

    The BND does not compete but partners with local banks, which act as the front office dealing with customers. It does make loans that community banks are unable to service, but this is not because the borrowers are bad credit risks. It is because either the loans are too big for the smaller banks to handle by themselves or the smaller banks cannot afford the regulatory burden of lending in rural communities where they get only a few loans a year.

    Among other cost savings, the BND is able to make 2% loans to North Dakota communities for local infrastructure — half or less the rate paid by local governments in other states. The BND also lends to state agencies. For example, in 2016 it extended a $200,000 letter of credit to the State Water Commission at 1.75% and a $56,000 loan to the Water Commission to pay off its bond issues. Since 50% of the cost of infrastructure is financing, the state can cut infrastructure costs nearly in half by financing through its own bank, which can return the interest to the state.

    If Phil Murphy wins the New Jersey governorship and succeeds in establishing a New Jersey state-owned bank, expect a wave of public banks to follow, as more and more elected officials come to understand how banking works and to see the obvious benefits of establishing their own.

    Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, a Senior Fellow of the Democracy Collaborative, and author of twelve books including Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution. A thirteenth book titled The Coming Revolution in Banking is due out this winter. She also co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money.” Her 300+ blog articles are posted at

    Reply this comment
  7. patriot
    patriot 10 November, 2017, 19:29

    you lost the election for a reason—it was because you assumed those of us with memory somehow forgot how bad the progressives have made life here. there are way more of us than you know, and we are fed up and refuse to take it any more. We have not abrogated any of our rights; you will not continue to sink the state further into your dystopia. Your lies and corruption are being exposed. California abounds in clueless bamboozled billionaires with good intentions but very little common sense. What a damn shame. Get ready for a huge dose of reality.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ted. Mentor to the doomed....Builder of the FUTURE!
    Ted. Mentor to the doomed....Builder of the FUTURE! 15 November, 2017, 19:49

    And the alt rt republitrumps wonder how they could lose big in 2018…..lmao

    Reply this comment
  9. Tim
    Tim 13 May, 2018, 11:31

    This proposal would only create three separate Democratic States.
    Adding 2 blue states to the 50 would be counter productive. Giving 4 additional Senators in DC would not be good.
    Best thing would be splitting the north extending the Placer County line to the west following other county lines to the Pacific Ocean. Making a Northern California & Southern California. Give the north representation & a vote that actually is a vote

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Large counties could be required to increase number of Supervisors

The idea of increasing representation by having fewer constituents per elected representative is getting some attention. On the state level,

UC endowments soar as tuition hikes continue

While families struggle to help students with tuition — and as student loan debt skyrockets — California universities continue to

Drug prices latest CA ballot battle

Responding to a growing sense of alarm among state officials and the general public, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has secured