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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Venture Capitalist Gets Enough Support to Put Crazy Measure to Split California Into Six States on 2016 Ballot

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 10:09 AM

The new world order.
  • The new world order.

Venture capitalist Timothy Draper, the man who bankrolled the erstwhile Bang with Friends Face Book App (now rechristened "Down"), and unleashed a university of rich, entitled "Superheroes" onto the world, has recast himself as a political zealot.

And now, he's pushing a bizarre plan to divide California into six separate states, each with its own government and economy. Silicon Valley, predictably, would constitute one of these autonomous empires.

Believe it or not, Draper actually has followers -- enough to put this plan on the November 2016 ballot. Yet another chance for sane voters to promptly shut down pointless movements. After dumping $2 million of his own savings into the campaign, Draper garnered the requisite 808,000 signatures required to legitimize the measure.

"Six Californias" organizers say they will present their petition to Sacramento election officials this week. In fact, wild crusades to create separatist techie nations are nothing new. Three years ago, ex-Google Engineer-turned-political-economist Patri Friedman floated a proposal to build his own libertarian nation 12 miles off the coast of California. Others, such as biotech entrepreneur Balaji S. Srinivasan, have offered a more modest proposal: that Silicon Valley simply secede from the U.S. and build its own "opt-in" tech society. Most of these ideas fizzled out after a brief, bright, public flogging in the blogosphere. But it seems we may have to hear about the Six Californias plan for another four months. At the very least it will provide good think-piece material -- and new West Coast fodder for The Daily Show.
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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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