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The chance of California splitting into three has moved a step closer after a billionaire secured enough signatures to trigger a referendum on the issue, reported The Telegraph (UK).
Tim Draper, who made his money through Hotmail and Skype, has gathered 600,000 signatures supporting the change – way above the 364,000 needed.
Those who want to break up California believe it would boost educational standards and reduce the political power of Sacramento, the state’s capital.
Providing the state authorities agree the signatures are genuine a referendum on the issue will be held this November alongside other mid-term elections.
Mr Draper met Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, just weeks after Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016 to see how he could replicate the Brexit campaign’s success.
A source close to Mr Farage said he would be willing to campaign ahead of the referendum if asked. He has a right-wing following in America thanks to his regular Fox News appearances.
Mr Draper, who was due to announce the news on Thursday, said in a statement to The Telegraph that gathering more than half a million signatures was a big moment for the campaign.
Mr Draper said: “This is an unprecedented show of support on behalf of every corner of California to create three state governments that emphasise representation, responsiveness, reliability and regional identity.”
He added the support was a “milestone” and sent a message that people across California would “create a brighter future for everyone”.
The proposal is for California to split into three separate states – Northern California, which includes San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose; Southern California, which includes San Diego; and California, which includes Los Angeles. The new states would later be allowed to change their names.
California state rules allow for referendums on individual issues, with a simple majority needed to win.
If that was secured in this instance, the US Congress would then need to approve the change given its political and constitutional significance.
While the ambition remains a pipe dream, gaining enough signatures for a referendum is a significant step forward in Mr Draper’s campaign.
His previous attempt to split the state into six different territories, first proposed in 2013, failed to even make that stage.
The 600,000 signatures have been collected from all 58 counties in California, according to the campaign, which is called “CAL 3”.
A campaign spokesman said: "CAL 3 is committed to solving California’s most pressing issues, including the state’s failing school systems that impact more than 6 million kids, highest-in-the-nation taxes, deteriorating infrastructure and strained government.
“Partitioning California into three states would empower regional communities to make better, fairer and more sensible decisions for their citizens.”
Mr Draper has put more than a million dollars into the campaign, according to a source involved in the drive.
show source https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/12/exclusive-splitting-california-three-step-closer-billionaire/