Initiative to split California into three states qualifies for ballot

An initiative to split California into three states qualified for the November ballot Tuesday.

What initiative author Tim Draper has dubbed "CAL 3'' surpassed the 402,468 projected valid signatures needed to qualify by random sampling on Tuesday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced today.

Splitting California into three states would require congressional approval.

One proposed state would be called California or a name to be chosen by its residents after a split. It would consist of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties.

A second state, Southern California or a name to be chosen by its residents, would consist of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera and Mono counties.

The remaining 40 counties would be part of the state of Northern California or a name chosen by its residents.

Draper, a venture capitalist, said he conceived the initiative out of a belief that ``the citizens of the whole state would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns.''

Said Peggy Grande of Citizens for Cal 3, the campaign on behalf of the initiative: ``The California state government isn't too big to fail, because it is already failing its citizens in so many crucial ways. The reality is that for an overmatched, overstretched and overwrought state government structure, it is too big to succeed. Californians deserve a better future.''

Steven Maviglio, a longtime Democratic Party political consultant who is a spokesman for OneCalifornia, the campaign against the initiative, said, ``California government can do a better job addressing the real issues facing the state, but this measure is a massive distraction that will cause political chaos and greater inequality."

``CAL 3'' has no connection to efforts to have California secede from the United States.

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