SACRAMENTO, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Venture capitalist Tim Draper is on a mission to collect 807,615 signatures to force a referendum on whether California should be carved up into six states.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen said in a statement posted on her official website Tuesday announcing Draper had been given the go-ahead for his petition drive. The attorney general prepares the legal title and summary required to appear on initiative petitions.
Bowen said the number of signature needed is 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in 2010. Draper has until July 18 to get them.
Even if he gets the measure on the ballot and state voters approve it, the U.S. Congress would have to OK the break-up of California, which on its own would have the world's eighth-largest economy if it were a country.
Draper says he wants to see California broken up because it has become unmanageable, ABC News reported Wednesday.
Draper would put San Diego and Orange County into "South California," Los Angeles and Santa Barbara into "West California," Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton in "Central California," San Francisco and San Jose into "Silicon Valley," Sacramento into "North California" and the Eureka and Redding areas into "Jefferson."
"California as it is is ungovernable," Draper told ABC. "It is more and more difficult for Sacramento to keep up with the social issues from the various regions of California. With six Californias, people will be closer to their state governments, and states can get a refresh."
Could it happen? Brendan Nyhan, a Dartmouth College assistant professor of government, doesn't think so.
"Splitting California into six states would raise all sorts of concerns about the partisan balance of the Senate," Nyhan told ABC. "I can't imagine this would ever go anywhere."