Would Six Californias Be Better Than One?


On July 15th, venture capitalist Tim Draper produced 1.3 million signatures representing voters who want Californians to consider a plan that would split the state into six smaller entities. Over the next few days Draper will deliver the signatures to officials in each of California's 58 counties. The campaign, called "Six Californias," has been largely funded by Draper and is expected to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

Reason TV recently visited some northern California separatists who are sick and tired of Sacramento (and Washington, D.C.) politics. 

"Should Northern California Secede and Become the State of Jefferson?," produced by Alex Manning. Approximately 5:30 minutes.

Original release date was Jun 9, 2014 and the original writeup is below.  

Activists in Northern California, near the border with Oregon, are pushing to secede from the Golden State. They say they're fed up with taxes, regulation, and lack of representation. If they get their way, the country's 51st entrant would be called the State of Jefferson.

"The three major urban areas dictate politics for the entire state," says Mark Baird of the Jefferson Declaration Committee. "Our children are leaving, our economy is crashing, we are taxed, every breath we take is regulated, and we feel that a free state will cure that."

To date, five county governments have signed on the plan and more may be joining up. 

"We can't afford to run a California style beauracracy, that is true," says Baird. "But as a small rural state, we don't want to. "

The idea of secession in California isn't new. During the Great Depression, folks started pushing a similar plan in the same part of the state, but threw in the towel after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Both California's state legislature and the U.S. Congress would have to approve the plan to make Jefferson more than a pipe dream. That's not going to happen any time soon, but Northern California's separatist movement is worth exploring as a way of pushing back against a distant and unresponsive government. 

Produced by Alex Manning. Additional camera Tracy Oppenheimer.

About 5:30 minutes.

NEXT: Sheldon Richman on War, Peace, and Murray Rothbard

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  1. “The people have the right to instruct their
    representatives…” California Constitution, Art. I(3)(a)

    If the voters approve this measure, it will be instruction enough.

    Not that the legislators will care.

  2. Thomas Frank: What’s the matter with Obama?

    “In point of fact, there were plenty of things Obama’s Democrats could have done that might have put the right out of business once and for all?for example, by responding more aggressively to the Great Recession or by pounding relentlessly on the theme of middle-class economic distress. Acknowledging this possibility, however, has always been difficult for consensus-minded Democrats, and I suspect that in the official recounting of the Obama era, this troublesome possibility will disappear entirely. Instead, the terrifying Right-Wing Other will be cast in bronze at twice life-size, and made the excuse for the Administration’s every last failure of nerve, imagination and foresight. Demonizing the right will also allow the Obama legacy team to present his two electoral victories as ends in themselves, since they kept the White House out of the monster’s grasp?heroic triumphs that were truly worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. (Which will be dusted off and prominently displayed.)”…..s_failure/

    1. Huh. So, once again, they just didn’t hit it hard enough. Also, people would love them more if they truly understood what they stand for. Just not getting’ that message out effectively.

    2. Ah, “put the right out of business” – a sort of final solution to those troublesome people.

      Masks, slipping, etc.

    3. Permanent Republican Democrat majority.

    4. might have put the right out of business once and for all

      This line of thinking is so delusional. You’ll never get your 1000 year Reich in a democracy, you idiots. The US has a two-party system, and neither side will be in control for too long.

      1. It never ceases to amaze me how team-members are just certain that this temporary majority is really a non-revocable writ to govern. That all of the power they desire govt to have and use will in the not very distant future be in the hands of their opponents.

  3. I am not familiar enough with the demographics of the state to say if it would be better or not. It would depend on which way it would skew the senate and house. Six Boxer/ Feinstein combos instead of one would be disastrous. How many more Waxmans and Waters would we have? I shudder to think.

    1. The idea in general isn’t bad, but this particular proposal is. The new state of Jefferson would have a smaller population than Wyoming – although you might have a real chance of electing two Libertarian US Senators from there.

      Not to mention how can any self respecting leftist [I kid] get behind a proposal being driven by a 1%er? Shouldn’t they be automatically shunning it?

      1. The new state of Jefferson would have a smaller population than Wyoming

        You say that like it’s a bad thing.

        1. Well if we’re going to re-allocate representation (and not repeal the 17th Amdt) we ought to increase the size of the House (and reduce the number of people each member represents).

      2. “although you might have a real chance of electing two Libertarian US Senators from there.”

        I love the optimism, but let’s pump the brakes on that. Then again, it’s not like this is ever gonna happen.

        1. At the very least some people in current California would have representation in the Senate that was more sane than Boxer/Feinstein.

    2. Unlikely to affect congressional races much, since those are already local races.

      Senate might be bad (although it’s likely a few of those will skew more conservative/libertarian). Worst case scenario, some conservative states will also split themselves up.

      The real win is at the state level: California no longer is a monolithic, disfunctional state with a monopoly on nice west coast weather. It will increase governance competition, and that, in the long run, really trumps everything.

      1. It really depends on how the borders are split. If we can force LA and San Diego together and isolate the Bay Area, the possibility of more Libertarian/Conservative ‘states’ arise.

        1. The six state solution has OC, SD, SB, Riverside and Imperial counties as a separate state.

    3. Heh, the whole point seems to be to untangle Silicon Valley from the idiot parasites, but then you remember that Pelosi is elected and reflected from Silicon Valley.

      1. Pelosi represents San Francisco

        Her district is 50 miles from Silicon Valley.

    4. Demographics aren’t static either. If the new state was any better than rump California in taxes and regulation, the U-hauls would soon start arriving and turn it into California Jr. Just like they do in Oregon, Colorado, and other states.

  4. You know who else wanted to separate out people who weren’t the same?

    1. Jefferson Davis?

    2. Dr. Bertram Katz?

    3. Or Dr. Ben Carson.

  5. California should be stripped of statehood.

    1. http://www.onlinenewsheardnow……tout/3360/

      The suspect, who is thought to be related to the girl and is from Atchison, Ks., stepped out of his vehicle, pointing a gun at the officers. A barrage of gunfire ensued.

      Just like that. The gunfire erupted spontaneously.

      According to Mark Malick, a KBI special agent in charge, the girl didn’t appear to be shot by police officers.

      If the suspect was pointing his gun at officers, then it wasn’t pointing at the girl, was it?

      1. the girl didn’t appear to be shot by police officers

        That’s obviously not a police issue bullet hole. I can tell by looking at the blood spatter. I’ve seen a lot of bullet holes.

    2. Wow. In other words, the prosecutors have complete control over the grand jury. No impartiality whatsoever and no liability for misconduct.

      1. “Hey Dan, what is the punishment for prosecutorial misconduct?”

        1. Early retirement and a settlement paid on the backs of taxpayers. But why do you ask?

          1. You wish – try promotion to higher office!

            1. Or you become a TV personality…

    3. Don’t know if it’s been brought up here, but in Jersey City a couple of weeks ago a cop shot an unarmed kid while trying to enforce a warrant.

      A week or so ago there was retaliation. The dead kid’s foster brother/fellow gang member (depending on who I hear the story from) beat up a Walgreens guard (LadyBertrum, based on where she said she works, probably has driven past this Walgreens), took his gun, waited for the cops to show and blasted away at the first car on the scene, killing a 23 year old cop.

      The last couple of weeks have been pretty violent, with a noticeably increased police presence on the streets. Funny thing is, as a late night person, seeing all these cops around makes nervous as hell.

      1. I’ve seen the cop shooting story a few times, but this is the first I’m hearing about the previous killing. I work in JC myself but on the waterfront where all these goings-on might as well be happening in another state.

        1. If you haven’t already, you may want to check out Surf City after work. It’s an out door bar on the water a couple of stops on the lightrail from Exchange place.

      2. I hope the Walgreens guard is OK. Kind of sucks to be dragged into a turf war like that.

  6. In a revolutionary new prevention tactic, officers will doorstep individuals who repeatedly come to their attention and who they believe – but cannot yet prove – pose a serious danger to women.…..s.24799887

    This is what happens when you don’t have a Constitution.

    1. We should really try to get one of those here in the States.

  7. “The price for food, the price for gas, college, health care — these are all going in the wrong direction,” he said. “And wages are either stagnant or down, so we need economic freedom and that’s really what my campaign is all about.”…..50481.html

    1. Derpity do

    2. I have no idea what ‘economic freedom’ is but I have my suspicions.

      1. Apparently it is what you talk about when your spiel on economic justice doesn’t win any converts.


    So much bullshit here. I’m fucking sick of leeches trying to cash in.

    1. I’m suing Hostess for $387 trillion. Those damn Ho-Hos are killing me.

      1. Unless someone grew up in a cave built by Phillip Morris and was force-fed tomacco as their only means of sustenance, there’s no way a suit against the cigarette manufacturers should have standing or merit.

        This is wealth-envy pure and simple. Fuck these jurors. And fuck the judge for establishing rules that prevented RJR from even being able to defend a position in the suit.

        1. What are you going to do with all of that false consciousness you’re exhibiting?

          1. Smoke it, of course.

            1. The real irony – the left is on a crusade to legalize marijuana (which I agree with, minus the ridiculous regulation of the sellers) while still waging a futile war against tobacco.

              Marijuana, amazingly enough, is often times smoked. Which isn’t healthy at all. Inhaling hot smoke from anything is unhealthy, but marijuana in some respects is even worse than smoking tobacco.

              Logical consistency and honesty count for nothing.

    2. I wonder what would happen if the plaintiff were to hold their breath until they get that check?

      1. Apparently,the award is not in line with federal or state law, so I would imagine they’d only be holding their breath until the appeal hits the next desk.

        Besides, the plaintiff has been holding his breath since 1996. His widow is the one suing “on his behalf”.

  9. While, as a theory, I support splitting Ca up – I worry about the reality.

    You want to see gerrymandering on an epic scale, just let the state/federal government have control of where the boundaries will be set.

  10. Six,Californias are definitely better than one. As would be six Texases, three Floridas and three New Yorks.

    But the bigger problem is the lack of representation in the House, not necessarily the Senate. If we used the representation the founders envisioned, we’d probably have thousands of reps who would never leave their districts…and should thereby be responsive to local politics and much more likely to be representative of their constituents instead of their national party donors.

    1. Yes indeed. There should be more like five thousand representatives in the House.

      1. And what’s fucked up is that it should be an easy sell to the left but it won’t. I had this exchange with a lefty friend recently:
        Me: you know we should have several thousand Reps in the House, which would be a good thing.
        Prog: why would it be a good thing?
        Me: it would make politics local. And as a bonus, it would eliminate big diners like the Koch brothers from controlling elections like your side thinks happens now.
        Prog: I sure they’d find another way to control them.

        I gave up after that. It was just not going to matter what I said, he wasn’t going to listen because it might make him support a principle as opposed to a principal.

        1. What on earth makes you think that progs would be ok with that proposal?

          If they had their way, we’d be ruled entirely by “non biased experts” with no influence from special interests (aka common people)at all.

        2. One of the CBC (Maxine Waters, I think) actually suggested a district size that would have resulted in about 1700 representatives.

        3. Prog: I sure they’d find another way to control them.

          Which of course explains Mr. Frank’s desire to get the right out of the way once and for all.

          These are the most self-unaware people walking the face of the earth.

  11. “Would Six Californias Be Better Than One?”

    That depends on how many of the ten new Senator seats would be held by progressives.

  12. Heck, a lot of persons would be less of a danger to both themselves and everybody else if they were divided six ways.

  13. Sorry, but you all ain’t been kicked in the nuts….until now.

    I humbly present anonymous cops, in their own words speaking amongst themselves about the NYPD chokehold murder of a man accused of selling untaxed cigarettes.…

    1. I’ll start you off with this:

      Posted by SAPDMAS on Saturday, July 19, 2014 04:42 PM Pacific Report Abuse
      If you can’t breath you can’t be able to talk. This POS died because he was a coronary waiting to happen. I am sure if he had just let them cuff him he might of been ok to eat another triple decker burger with double bacon again. But fat boy had to over exert himself and his blocked arteries caught up with him.

      It goes downhill from there.

      1. Given the porcine nature of more than a few of those fine, rotund men in blue – this might actually be a case where the guy isn’t just talking out his ass.

    2. “A New York City man died during an arrest …”

      I can’t even make it through the first sentence anymore. Yeah, the guy just up and died.

    3. De Blasio has put on his concerned face and delayed his vacay by one day and now he’s got Al Sharpton making noises. I’m gonna get the popcorn.

  14. On a nitpicking note, there already are three Californias. Two are in Mexico.

    1. Well, since only four of the new ones would have California in the name (Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California, and South California), it would actually total six. 😉

  15. It may be worth noting that Draper is the guy who won the auction for some of the bitcoins the FBI stole from Silk Road.

  16. Tying this proposal together with DC statehood in a package deal might be just the thing to get the latter enacted.

  17. Here is another proposal. Give DC statehood and then move the nation’s capital to the geographic center of the country, maybe Omaha. Disperse the functions of government around the new capital, but not nearer than 200 miles, i.e. share the loot with the rest of the country.

    Any yes, break up California.

    1. Shorter version of this proposal = GODZILLA

      1. Lacist!

    2. If the capital were not in DC, then the city of Washington should revert back to Maryland. There is no reason for DC to be separate jurisdiction.

      1. I will allow this.

        1. But would Maryland? Hell, half of the state as it is wants to divorce Baltimore and the DC suburbs.

          1. Yeah, no way Maryland would go for this. If the federal government moved to Omaha, the only people left in DC would be those too incompetent to get even civil service jobs, which is another way of saying that Washington would quickly become another Detroit. If it were part of Maryland, then the local pols would start looking to Annapolis for funds to keep the welfare spigot flowing. Even the prog Dems who control Maryland have no interest in taking that burden on. (They’d argue that the responsibility should be that of the nation as a whole–which is why they’d insist on keeping DC as a separate unit.)

    3. That would just require the funding and construction of a HSR network to shuffle the drones around the new capital.

      Of course the elite would just use the Essential Air Service program to expand the number of small fixed wing and heli-ports available for their use.

      1. Speaking of ESA

        PA airport has 6-7 passengers a day.

        Airport manager claims its removal from the ESA tit will “. . . really hurt the economic vitality of the region.”

    4. And absolutely do not give congress any say in how the new capital is run. They want special treatment they can get it like any other citizen – bribe someone in local government.

  18. As long as they have a long and bloody civil war that eliminates half the population preceding the breakup, I see no possibility of downside.

    1. A bloody civil war that eliminates half of California’s population? Well that would cut the number of registered voters by about 12%.

      1. Yeah, but which 12%? Only one side has the gunz.

        1. Both sides have guns. Surprisingly enough, its the leftists that have the *bigger* guns (in the form of military and state militia).

          1. Military, leftist?

            Not very goddamned likely.

          2. in the form of military and state militia


            No one is stupid enough to let loose the US military onto the American public. It would turn its guns on Washington DC.

            There is a reason why Obama and company are loading up guns and ammo into such federal agencies like the FDA and BLM…only lock step bureaucrats are willing to reliably kill American civilians.

  19. This is perfect! There can be a scale of sorts from 1 through 6. Since Liberals tend to stick together and avoid associating with anyone having differing views. Embracing tolerance, acceptance, and equality no doubt. Number 1 state would represent rational Liberal like…well if you think of one post it. Number 6 state would represent irrational, bat shit crazy uber wealthy limousine Liberals like Feinstein, Pelosi, and the Hollywood crowd. States 2-5 is everyone else. Imagine how much easier demographic research will be!

  20. Why this won’t happen: Democrats control California now. Why should they want to split it up and lose control over parts of it?

    1. So this. The only way I could see it is if they thought they could get an advantage in new Senate seats and the national party was able to pressure the state party.

    2. You have to think of the legions of second and third tier Feinsteins and Boxers sitting around Sacramento twiddling their thumbs hoping one of them dies.

    3. Yes. Water.

      See= Chinatown

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