Californians Will Vote on Splitting State Into Three Parts

Californians Will Vote on Splitting State Into Three Parts June 13, 2018
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Hakan Dahistrom https://www.flickr.com/photos/dahlstroms/

A move financed and pushed by a persistent California billionaire has finally made it onto the November ballot. 

This is the third attempt by venture capitalist Tim Draper to get his idea of dividing California into several smaller states onto the ballot for a vote of the people. His earlier petition attempts, which would have called for a vote to divide the state into six smaller states, failed to meet signature requirements. 

The version which will be voted on in November calls for California to be divided into three smaller states, which Mr Hopper has labeled, Northern California, California, and Southern California. Even if the petition gets a majority of the popular vote, this does to meant that California will be divided into three separate states. 

The question of statehood is a federal matter. The United States Constitution provides that existing states in the Union cannot be subdivided without the consent of the state legislatures and the United States Congress. 

Here is the pertinent verbiage:

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, without consent of the legislatures of the states concerned, as well as of the Congress. 

The last time a state was divided was when West Virginia broke off from Virginia as a result of the Civil War. If I remember correctly, the last state to be admitted to the Union was Hawaii, in 1959. I believe that President Gerald Ford asked Congress to admit Puerto Rico to the Union, but this went nowhere. 

California’s upcoming vote is a reading on the will of the people of California. But it will be the will of California legislature and the United States Congress that decides the matter. That’s as it should be, since the composition of the Union affects every American citizen. 

In the meantime, there is another question for us to ponder, and that is the overweening power that the concentration of wealth has given to a few people to direct the actions of our government. We are seeing more of government by the rich guys in this country, and it raises the question if we really want an oligarchy here. I, for one, do not. 

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21 responses to “Californians Will Vote on Splitting State Into Three Parts”

  1. Representative democracy is defacto oligarchy. Rich people will practically by definition have more sway over the political process. The only choice is between competing oligarchs.

    If a state can wave federal immigration laws without repercussion, I think a state should be able to break itself up into smaller states that are more representative of specific populations.

    Of course, as with any independence/separatist movement, the final determination comes down to: are you willing to fight for your independence?

    • Your assumptions about oligarchs are historically off. The anti-trust laws and labor laws were designed to level the playing field and they worked until they were dismantled. The level of concentration of wealth we see today is unprecedented; greater than the so called gilded age.

      As for your other idea, we settled that question a long time ago. The dispute was called the Civil War.

      • My point was much broader than you take it. Rich people (and the corporations and industries for which they often work) are far more capable of buying legal representation than any number of poor or middle class people. Special interests like the military industrial complex have vast amounts of sway, and the foreign governments that lobby (often covertly) our supposed representatives are much more capable of getting access to the our political system than any individual or group of working class people. The party system itself is mostly oligarchical, and they supply the names we are to choose from a sheet of paper come election time.

        Corporations are people, as decided by the Supreme Court, and thus have the same rights of speech (where speech=money) as individuals. Since they can vastly outspend practically any individual, they therefor have “more speech” and thus more political and economic clout.

        In some form or another this has always been the case. The American Revolution was started by a small group of privileged elites who wanted to fight against and gain independence from another small group of privileged elites. Even the electoral system they established reserved political power for white landowning males; and it was only participation in military service that expanded this political power to other males.

        • Your viewpoint belies the reality of the situation in which we find ourselves. It is not replicated in other periods of our national history for a number of reasons, which are too complex to go into in a combox.. Yes, the founding fathers came from the small business class in the North and the landowning class in the South. Also, it is true that the wealthy have many options for petitioning the government that those of less means do not have. However, the organized stranglehold on government by a few very wealthy individuals — most of whose wealth was acquired at the government trough — is a new thing. It’s the difference between a Republic and an oligarchy, which, believe it or not, are very different.

          You are correct that what President Eisenhower called the military industrial complex was the beginning of this, and still holds sway in many ways. But the rise of think-tanks, direct investment I political campaigns which is what in reality government money one step removed, which was obtained by earlier political action has become a cancer on our democracy. It is not part of the normal continuum of power.

          • There has never been a Republic that wasn’t an Oligarchy. Once you have representatives, you have class warfare. The Republican form of government tends towards different oligarchies.

            I have grave doubts that *ANY* democracy can exceed 500 citizens without this being so. Maybe with computer technology, you could enable direct citizen voting up to the address space of the microprocessor, but then who would grow the food?

        • Corporations under SPRvsSCC (1873!) are first class citizens. Everybody else is 2nd class. The dream of the revolution died after the civil war. But I read the other day that 31% of Americans believe we’re going to have another civil war within the next 5 years. Perhaps that will change things.

      • Then why do we have only Republicans and Democrats able to get elected? Political parties are basically oligarchies; and are built by concentrations of wealth.

        I say, no government larger than able to be walked across in two hours by a single human being.

  2. I think that the union itself should be dissolved. I have nothing in common with people in Southern California, and neither do people in Northern California.

    Big state solutions are outdated under globalism anyway.

    • … ” I think that the union itself should be dissolved …”

      So, you want to do away with the Untied States of America? You want to live in the nation of Oregon?

      • I might want to eventually move to Jefferson, Cascadia, or Eastern Oregon especially given the influx of Californicators in Western Oregon; but yes.
        Democracy just does not scale well, and representatives just turn into tyranny of the best advertising.

    • This is kind of my way of thinking about it. Without the Supreme Court, abortion would be illegal or heavily regulated in every state accept California, New York, and maybe a few others.

      Plus, the US population has just become too big and diverse to be represented by a single state. There really is no American nation, or American people, just millions of people who happen to live, work, and buy stuff in the same vast geographic territory held together by a bank cartel/war machine. I think a large scale partition would be favorable, even to many people on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

      • Sorry I didn’t return here to look sooner- you are absolutely correct.

        Even economically, we’re diverse: The data on dollar bill movement from the Where’s George crowdsourced database shows 11 distinct economic regions, most of which don’t trade with each other much at all on the consumer level.

  3. With any luck the Liberal sections of California form one state and the conservative sections form two. That means they’ll have four Republican Senators and two Democrats. 😛

    It will be an interesting vote. I doubt Congress would ever vote to allow this. I don’t live there or ever intend to live there, so I don’t really have an opinion. But why three states? Why not two? or four?

  4. The petition path to place an item on the ballot has become so corrupted that I, a CA voter, refuse to sign any of them. Originally designed to bypass a choke hold of special interests at the CA legislature, they’ve become a path for extremely wealthy people to get what they want. How? They pay for people to gather signatures. CA should make it illegal for signature-gatherers to be paid for collecting signatures. If enough residents of the state think something is important enough to get on the ballot then the signatures should be able to be gathered without compensation going to those who collect them. I feel very strongly about this.

  5. As a Canadian, I find it very odd that the people of California would, as a majority, want to split the state into three different states. A simple majority vote (50%+1) is not good enough. a 2/3 majority makes much more sense for something so important (even if it would be allowed). Nevertheless, I have a suggestion for the names for the three proposed states… North California, South California, and Cloud Cuckoo Land. Barring that, LaLa Land for the last…

  6. Rebecca, I know this is off topic but are you really running for the National Committee of the American Solidarity Party? If so, where do you stand on the issue of subsidiarity versus the current leadership’s attempt to control everything and run off everyone who disagrees with them, especially those who were disappointed by the party’s removal of the language describing marriage as between one man and one woman or who occasionally use religious language by calling them theocrats. I would really appreciate your take on this. Sincerely, Sue Korlan
    Skorlan7@gmail.com

    • Sue, yes, I was asked if I would put my name in nomination, and I agreed to do it because I think the Solidarity Party offers an opportunity to build a political party that reflects the core values I believe in.

      I honestly don’t know anything about the dispute that you are asking about. After your question I read the blog post on the party website in which they refer to the issue and I can kind of guess where you are coming from. But I don’t know anything about calling people “theocrats” or whatever fights have occurred in the past.

      I can say that one of the things which led me to consider the Solidarity Party was the hostility and downright ugliness I encountered from the Democratic Party because I was pro life. That, coupled with what I see as the total sell-out to moneyed interests on the part of the Republicans, made me decide that it was time to look elsewhere.

      I personally believe that marriage under the law should be between one man and one woman. However, I also believe in accepting the outcome of votes. If the party members approve — in a legal vote — a platform without a statement calling for marriage to be defined as being between one man and one woman, I would accept the vote. That does not mean that I would cease to advocate for what I believe. That’s what politics is about. You don’t always win, but every loss is temporary if you decide to keep working for what you believe. There will be another election, and another opportunity to see your viewpoint prevail.

      I view calling people you disagree with names as a weak-minded thing to do. It’s also destructive and harmful. I absolutely would not support calling people who want their viewpoint represented in a party platform any kind of name for doing so. I’ve been called a “theocrat” myself a few times, along with a whole raft of other names. All it did was make me contemptuous of the name caller and more determined to forge on.

      I don’t know if this answers your question Sue. I only did this because I think we need as a nation to consider other parties besides the R and D. It’s time for a change away from them and their closed shops. The Solidarity Party offers the best hope of a truly pro life political party that I know of. But right now it’s more of a think tank than a political party. I’d like to see it become a political force for our values Sue.

      • I was a theocrat chased out of the ASP over the issues raised.

        There was no legal vote on the change. They kept changing the rules to limit voting participation in the party.

        If you and Carlos are now on the National Committee, I might decide to take a 2nd look at returning and actually financially supporting the ASP now that I’m permanent with Intel and have a more steady income. But otherwise, the “Democrats for Sexual Freedom and life” wing of the party kind of poisoned it for me. Identity politics is kind of the opposite of solidarity for me, it destroys any chance at true solidarity.

        I’d love to see it become a real values-based political party as well, but as long as they continue to insist on racist, sexist, and sexual orientation divisions in the human species, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

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