by Troy Senik, John Yoo
May 06, 2014
Tim Draper, a wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist and former member of the California State Board of Education, doesn’t just want to mend California. He wants to end it. Draper needs to gather more than 807,000 signatures to put a measure on the November ballot that would divide California’s existing counties into six new states. California is “nearly ungovernable,” Draper’s initiative declares, pointing to the state’s enormous size, huge population, and demographic diversity. Elsewhere, he’s cited the oppressive business, regulatory, and tax climates; the dismal performance of public education; and the decay of public infrastructure. Though many of Draper’s criticisms have merit, his broader indictment of the state as “ungovernable” doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. California is badly governed, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ungovernable. Setting aside the constitutional issues the initiative presents, the state just doesn’t have the luxury of wasting any more time on quixotic proposals.