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Author Topic: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot  (Read 3188 times)

Brandon

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It's happening yet again.

Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot

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An initiative that would divide California into three separate states qualified Tuesday to appear on the ballot in November's general election.

Californians will vote whether to separate into three states: California, Northern California and Southern California -- subject to approval by US Congress.
The proposal by venture capitalist, Tim Draper to break up California in a campaign called "Cal 3," received more than 402,468 valid signatures -- surpassing the amount required by state law.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will certify the initiative as qualified for the November 6th ballot on June 28.

Didn't they just try the Six States Plan last year?
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It's not going to pass.

The current US Congress wouldn't approve it, anyway; Northern California and (regular) California are both solidly Democratic, and Southern California leans Democratic (comparable to New Mexico politically), and the current Congress is Republican.
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Where would the other 2 capitals be?

TX has a few folks every so often trying to trot out either a secession plan or a multiple-parts-split plan.  It hardly lasts any time until the dust settles and nothing comes of it.  I'm not sure those folks think things through completely as to all the changes to make and hoops to jump through.
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roadman

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TX has a few folks every so often trying to trot out either a secession plan or a multiple-parts-split plan.  It hardly lasts any time until the dust settles and nothing comes of it.  I'm not sure those folks think things through completely as to all the changes to make and hoops to jump through.
Exactly why such matters should not be decided through the initiative petition process.
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gonealookin

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I hope they put agricultural inspection stations on the freeways at all the new borders, particularly on the ones between Los Angeles and Orange Counties.   :-D
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SP Cook

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As to the partisan stuff, take a gander at the really good red-blue maps, especially the ones by county, over time, and understand that times change.  Solid this or solid that is just a transitory discussion. 

In any event, nothing can come of these deals.  Unscrambling things like state debt, state assets, the UC endowment, and such is impossible. 
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jeffandnicole

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Where would the other 2 capitals be?

TX has a few folks every so often trying to trot out either a secession plan or a multiple-parts-split plan.  It hardly lasts any time until the dust settles and nothing comes of it.  I'm not sure those folks think things through completely as to all the changes to make and hoops to jump through.

That's not for them to worry about though.  Most laws that are created have a lot of behind-the-scenes changes that most people aren't aware of.

From a roads standpoint, even something as minor as changing a Yield Sign to a Stop Sign involves quite a bit of work.  The public only sees a sign change.
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WR of USA

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Poor Interstate 5, all the exits would have to be renumbered.
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Poor Interstate 5, all the exits would have to be renumbered.

On the other hand, I-238 can now have a proper number.
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Brandon

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Poor Interstate 5, all the exits would have to be renumbered.

On the other hand, I-238 can now have a proper number.

Um, no it can't, sandwiched as it is between two I-x80s, which would only be in "North California".
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kkt

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 04:49:18 PM »

Poor Interstate 5, all the exits would have to be renumbered.
On the other hand, I-238 can now have a proper number.

That would not be first on my list of concerns about this proposal!
 :-D
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DTComposer

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 04:58:03 PM »

(this is long, and I apologize)

Once again, Mr. Draper has brought to the table an idea that has had little thought or research put into it, with it only gaining momentum by exploiting the anti-government sentiment that pervades the country nowadays, using the concept that California is "too big to govern."

First, his proposed boundaries are thoughtless, for a number of reasons. The only rational I can see for his boundaries is they create three states of roughly equal population. Meanwhile:

Let's start with splitting Santa Cruz from Monterey and San Benito Counties. They are one geographic region (and one television market) that has a region-wide planning body (Monterey Bay Association of Governments). San Benito County has turned into a exurb of Silicon Valley. And why separate Monterey and Santa Cruz, which has urban clusters and areas right against the county line (and therefore close socio-cultural ties) rather than separating Monterey from San Luis Obispo Counties (which has 60+ miles of rural area between the two closest urban clusters, AND is a historical dividing line between north and south)? Given the choice, would Monterey rather be governed by Sacramento or Los Angeles?

Next, let's look at including most of the San Joaquin Valley with Orange and San Diego Counties. The vast majority of the population, and therefore the wealth and power, will be concentrated in urban areas several hundred miles away (with no Interstate connection) from an agricultural heartland that already feels disconnected and ignored by the current power structures in Sacramento, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Is a farmer in Madera going to feel more or less represented once his capital moves to San Diego or Anaheim? And even if you put the capital in Fresno or Bakersfield, the real power is still going to sit in the big cities (much as it does now).

Then there's the separation of Los Angeles and Orange/Riverside/San Bernardino Counties. The layers of bureaucracy and logistical headaches that will be added by splitting a continuous urban area into two different states is enormous.

(I know this situation exists elsewhere already (notably the New York area), but those regions, states and bureaucracies have existed since before the formation of this country and have had centuries to organically grow and develop, rather than being suddenly foisted upon 18 million people.)

Thousands of employers will suddenly have to deal with employees and/or locations in two states. Area codes will have to change (and it's not just splitting codes - switching offices will have to be massively rewired). Zip codes, school district boundaries, transportation planning districts, etc., etc.

(And why use county boundaries (which are antiquated, now-arbitrary lines) at all? If you're going to blow up the state, why not actually put in some effort and draw boundaries that make much more sense in addressing many of these issues (and even solve some other issues, like the tension between north and south Santa Barbara County) - but Mr. Draper seems to be too lazy or too uninformed to put in that kind of work.)

This is on top of all of the statewide bureaucracies that will suddenly triple - and this is my biggest problem with the whole proposal. Mr. Draper pushes forth a notion that the state government is "broken" - so rather than go in and fix it, he'd rather triple it without any guarantee that we won't just end up with three governments with the same problems. This reflects the trend in Washington - the promise to "drain the swamp" has just replaced the supposed corrupt, ineffective, power-hungry bureaucratic elite with corrupt, ineffective, power-hungry private-sector elite, who have the added bonus of having no experience in government and/or politics.

And if the idea was to reduce or minimize the current Democratic stranglehold over much of the state, it should be noted that this is all cyclical. We're only eight years removed from a Republican governor (who came into office when the state recalled a Democratic governor), less than a generation removed from a Republican senator and a Republican mayor of Los Angeles, and that this is the state that gave us Nixon and Reagan, not to mention Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Finally, and more trivially, why would Los Angeles/etc. get "California" while the other states get "Northern" and "Southern?" The current capital and bureaucracy is in "Northern" California, as is the flagship of the UC system and the oldest campus of the CSU system. Plus, from an (admittedly white American) historical perspective, the events that precipitated California's admittance into the union (i.e., the Gold Rush) happened in "Northern" California. And to suddenly have an governmental entity named "Southern California" that doesn't actually include most people's perception of what Southern California is (i.e., Los Angeles) is silly.
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dvferyance

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 05:06:43 PM »

It's not going to pass.

The current US Congress wouldn't approve it, anyway; Northern California and (regular) California are both solidly Democratic, and Southern California leans Democratic (comparable to New Mexico politically), and the current Congress is Republican.
Northern California would be Republican if the split would be move a little to the north. Like just north of San Fran. Then Redding could serve as the capitol of that state. Dosen't really matter though this is not going to happen. Not sure how West Virginia could do it.
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dvferyance

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 05:07:47 PM »

Poor Interstate 5, all the exits would have to be renumbered.
Not just that but think about all the state highway signs that would have to be changed. That wasn't a problem in the 1860's when WV split from Virginia.
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kkt

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 05:12:23 PM »

Poor Interstate 5, all the exits would have to be renumbered.

On the other hand, I-238 can now have a proper number.

Um, no it can't, sandwiched as it is between two I-x80s, which would only be in "North California".

California has been ignoring the distinction between even or odd first digits of 3dis for ages.  There aren't enough 3dis numbers to go around at all, let alone worrying about odds or evens.  I-238 could turn into I-180, because CA 180 is in Fresno County which would become part of South California while I-238 would be in North California and could duplicate the route number.

Of course the number 480 has been available for over 25 years now, and CalTrans just hasn't seen any compelling reason to change.

If I lived in a low-population part of the state - north coast, northern mountains, or east of the Sierra - I'd be awfully afraid of this proposal.  The big metro areas would dominate their three separate states even more effectively than the metro areas dominate state politics now.  At least the small areas can band together about some issues.

(this is long, and I apologize)

Once again, Mr. Draper has brought to the table an idea that has had little thought or research put into it, with it only gaining momentum by exploiting the anti-government sentiment that pervades the country nowadays, using the concept that California is "too big to govern."

First, his proposed boundaries are thoughtless, for a number of reasons. The only rational I can see for his boundaries is they create three states of roughly equal population. Meanwhile:

Let's start with splitting Santa Cruz from Monterey and San Benito Counties. They are one geographic region (and one television market) that has a region-wide planning body (Monterey Bay Association of Governments). San Benito County has turned into a exurb of Silicon Valley. And why separate Monterey and Santa Cruz, which has urban clusters and areas right against the county line (and therefore close socio-cultural ties) rather than separating Monterey from San Luis Obispo Counties (which has 60+ miles of rural area between the two closest urban clusters, AND is a historical dividing line between north and south)? Given the choice, would Monterey rather be governed by Sacramento or Los Angeles?

Next, let's look at including most of the San Joaquin Valley with Orange and San Diego Counties. The vast majority of the population, and therefore the wealth and power, will be concentrated in urban areas several hundred miles away (with no Interstate connection) from an agricultural heartland that already feels disconnected and ignored by the current power structures in Sacramento, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Is a farmer in Madera going to feel more or less represented once his capital moves to San Diego or Anaheim? And even if you put the capital in Fresno or Bakersfield, the real power is still going to sit in the big cities (much as it does now).

Then there's the separation of Los Angeles and Orange/Riverside/San Bernardino Counties. The layers of bureaucracy and logistical headaches that will be added by splitting a continuous urban area into two different states is enormous.

(I know this situation exists elsewhere already (notably the New York area), but those regions, states and bureaucracies have existed since before the formation of this country and have had centuries to organically grow and develop, rather than being suddenly foisted upon 18 million people.)

Thousands of employers will suddenly have to deal with employees and/or locations in two states. Area codes will have to change (and it's not just splitting codes - switching offices will have to be massively rewired). Zip codes, school district boundaries, transportation planning districts, etc., etc.

(And why use county boundaries (which are antiquated, now-arbitrary lines) at all? If you're going to blow up the state, why not actually put in some effort and draw boundaries that make much more sense in addressing many of these issues (and even solve some other issues, like the tension between north and south Santa Barbara County) - but Mr. Draper seems to be too lazy or too uninformed to put in that kind of work.)

This is on top of all of the statewide bureaucracies that will suddenly triple - and this is my biggest problem with the whole proposal. Mr. Draper pushes forth a notion that the state government is "broken" - so rather than go in and fix it, he'd rather triple it without any guarantee that we won't just end up with three governments with the same problems. This reflects the trend in Washington - the promise to "drain the swamp" has just replaced the supposed corrupt, ineffective, power-hungry bureaucratic elite with corrupt, ineffective, power-hungry private-sector elite, who have the added bonus of having no experience in government and/or politics.

And if the idea was to reduce or minimize the current Democratic stranglehold over much of the state, it should be noted that this is all cyclical. We're only eight years removed from a Republican governor (who came into office when the state recalled a Democratic governor), less than a generation removed from a Republican senator and a Republican mayor of Los Angeles, and that this is the state that gave us Nixon and Reagan, not to mention Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Finally, and more trivially, why would Los Angeles/etc. get "California" while the other states get "Northern" and "Southern?" The current capital and bureaucracy is in "Northern" California, as is the flagship of the UC system and the oldest campus of the CSU system. Plus, from an (admittedly white American) historical perspective, the events that precipitated California's admittance into the union (i.e., the Gold Rush) happened in "Northern" California. And to suddenly have an governmental entity named "Southern California" that doesn't actually include most people's perception of what Southern California is (i.e., Los Angeles) is silly.

I'll just say briefly that I agree completely.  The lines are not reasonably drawn, and leaves many regions even more poorly represented than they are now.  If they split up, none of the successor states should get the name "California", just for clarity.

Also the chances of Congress approving this are worse than those of the moon becoming the 51st state.
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DTComposer

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2018, 05:22:21 PM »

It's not going to pass.

The current US Congress wouldn't approve it, anyway; Northern California and (regular) California are both solidly Democratic, and Southern California leans Democratic (comparable to New Mexico politically), and the current Congress is Republican.
Northern California would be Republican if the split would be move a little to the north. Like just north of San Fran. Then Redding could serve as the capitol of that state. Dosen't really matter though this is not going to happen. Not sure how West Virginia could do it.

True, but you'd also have one of the smallest and poorest populations of any state in the union, without any real solid economic base, so any little leverage they might currently wield would disappear.
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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2018, 05:55:26 PM »

The current US Congress wouldn't approve it, anyway; Northern California and (regular) California are both solidly Democratic, and Southern California leans Democratic (comparable to New Mexico politically), and the current Congress is Republican.

The fact that one of the three isn't solidly blue means a split would probably be good for Republicans. Then at least they'd have a shot at winning in part of it, which is more than they can say now.

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2018, 06:27:01 PM »

It's not going to pass.

The current US Congress wouldn't approve it, anyway; Northern California and (regular) California are both solidly Democratic, and Southern California leans Democratic (comparable to New Mexico politically), and the current Congress is Republican.
Northern California would be Republican if the split would be move a little to the north. Like just north of San Fran. Then Redding could serve as the capitol of that state. Dosen't really matter though this is not going to happen. Not sure how West Virginia could do it.
West Virginia became a state during the Civil War (1863, I think) when it broke off from Virginia and essentially rejoined the Union.
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kkt

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2018, 06:38:00 PM »

The current US Congress wouldn't approve it, anyway; Northern California and (regular) California are both solidly Democratic, and Southern California leans Democratic (comparable to New Mexico politically), and the current Congress is Republican.

The fact that one of the three isn't solidly blue means a split would probably be good for Republicans. Then at least they'd have a shot at winning in part of it, which is more than they can say now.

The balance in the senate would change from 2 reliably Democratic seats to 4 reliably Democratic seats and 2 tossup seats.

Likewise, in the Electoral College the balance would change from 1 reliably Democratic state to 2 reliably Democratic states and 1 tossup state.  The GOP isn't going to go for it.
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roadman65

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2018, 06:38:42 PM »

Well I used to cater to California tourists years ago and the people in SF did not consider LA or San Diego to be California.  Many in that part of the state who patronized the hotel I used to work at, did not like the other part of the state.  I can see that happening.  However the change in power won't be effected much and Pelosi will still have her seat.

It could happen, if WV did it so can California making us a 52 state nation.
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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2018, 06:42:26 PM »

West Virginia could do it because it was wartime and they petitioned for entry into the Union before Virginia rejoined.  Unless we're in the middle of a civil war and half of Congress has walked out, don't expect it to happen again.
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roadman65

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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2018, 07:55:01 PM »

West Virginia could do it because it was wartime and they petitioned for entry into the Union before Virginia rejoined.  Unless we're in the middle of a civil war and half of Congress has walked out, don't expect it to happen again.

I would think you need more than congress to approve this measure.  Don't you need two thirds of the state's approval just as you would for a Constitutional Amendment?
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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2018, 08:00:01 PM »

I would think you need more than congress to approve this measure.  Don't you need two thirds of the state's approval just as you would for a Constitutional Amendment?

Nope. Per Article IV, section 3 (in a completely different part of the Constitution than governs amendments):

Quote
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

West Virginia's not the only state resulting from a split: Vermont split off from New York, Maine from Massachusetts, and Kentucky from Virginia. So it's been done before, in more peaceful circumstances than West Virginia's.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 08:04:16 PM by oscar »
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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2018, 08:04:48 PM »

Well it should prove interesting then. The consent will come from the November election and then after the next session of Congress will be the approval of our national government.
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Re: Initiative to break California into 3 states to go on November ballot
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2018, 08:14:50 PM »

Well it should prove interesting then. The consent will come from the November election and then after the next session of Congress will be the approval of our national government.

Not quite. Voter approval might not be enough if the existing California legislature balks. You have some interesting Supreme Court case law on whether a voter initiative can take the place of a legislative approval required by the Constitution.
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