To the editor: Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s ballot initiative to split California into three states is a great example of money controlling our politics. One billionaire has the money to hire paid signature gatherers to stop hurried, uninformed voters at a supermarket and ask them to sign a petition for something they know little about.
I still regret signing the petition for term limits in California. Though it sounded like a good idea at the time, now we see politicians running for their next job instead of spending time on fixing the state’s problems. Now, the only people in Sacramento who have institutional memories and influence are the career staff and the lobbyists.
So now we have a billionaire creating a situation that will create chaos for many years to come if our mostly uninformed voters support something that sounds good to them but would destroy California. Maybe they should consult with the Brits and see how they currently feel about Brexit.
Herb Adelman, Del Mar
To the editor: Rural residents often have a “wide open spaces” conservative attitude toward government’s role, yet they resent being last in line for infrastructure, healthcare and community resources even though they have a smaller tax base to pay for them.
That urban-rural tension is what drives Draper’s ill-conceived repeated efforts to split up the state.
He says that with three states instead of one, “governments will have to compete for us now because if we don’t like one, we can now bust out.” What’s keeping him? He's free to move to any of the other 49 states to find one that suits him.
Our nation has a similar rural vs. urban divide, so are we supposed to split up the country to solve the problem? Everyone seems to think “somebody else” has disproportionate power or is costing them too much.
Linda Kranen, Carlsbad
To the editor: Instead of dividing the state, we Californians should consider consolidating our 482 municipalities and 58 counties. The billions in savings could be put to immediate use in better and more coordinated public safety, housing, education and social services.
One of many examples is the Palos Verdes Peninsula, which has multiple cities where a single entity makes much more sense.
Daniel Constant, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: To those considering voting for Draper’s proposal, this native Virginian directs your attention to the only two words that really matter: West Virginia.
Thomas Michael Kelley, Newbury Park