Last October, I reported that tech billionaire Tim Draper had organized a petition drive to get a vote to split California into 3 states (Northern California, Southern California, and California) on the ballot.

Draper’s team has managed to get enough signatures to qualify for a vote.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper, who authored an initiative to break up the Golden State, says it has received enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Draper says the initiative, which he calls the “CAL 3” has more than 600,000 signatures and will be submitted to election officials next week.

The initiative needed signatures from 365,880 registered voters – 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 election – to qualify for the ballot.

“This is an unprecedented show of support on behalf of every corner of California to create three state governments that emphasize representation, responsiveness, reliability and regional identity,” Draper said.

The proposed CAL3 plan partitions California into northern and southern regions, with a strip along the coast that would encompass the Los Angeles basin.

The regions were selected based on their “leading industries. For example, Northern California has wine production and and forestry, Southern California focuses on financial services and trade, and “California” includes tourism and motion pictures.

The next hurdle Draper’s team has got to jump is the signature validation process.

The supporters of CAL 3 will submit the signatures to election officials next week, and if the California secretary of state verifies the signatures, and if it passes review from the attorney general, the measure could appear on the November ballot.

Typically, thousands of petition signatures are found to be invalid, something Draper knows all too well. In 2014 he mounted a similar effort to split California into six states and turned in 1.3 million signatures, only to see nearly half of them disqualified. He ended up about 100,000 short of the valid signatures he needed.

Interestingly, California has been the subject of more than 220 proposals to divide it into multiple states since its 1850 admission. More recent proposals include 1941’s “State of Jefferson”, 1965’s North/South split, 1992’s 3-state solution, a 2011 plan for a separate Southern California, and Draper’s original 6-state plan in 2014.

I suspect that the CAL3 plan is also doomed. One of the key reasons I suspect that it will ultimately fail is the proposal fails to address the substantial political differences in Northern California.

The 2016 election results map by county reveals a substantial ideological split within that region.


There is a reason that the NorCal Tea Party is one of the most active conservative independent groups in the country: They are battling the twin progressive centers of San Francisco and Sacramento.

As a San Diegan, I love the idea of detaching from areas that have brought us Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Brown. However, I don’t think my Northern compatriots are going to embrace any plan in which they remain connected to either city politically.

And of course, the split must be agreed to by the U. S. Congress. I do not foresee Democrats giving up the power of 55 straight-up electoral votes.

But if it does happen, the good news is there would be even more California to kick around in the comments section!


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.