The mixed results in three northern-California county ballot proposals on forming a “State of Jefferson” have not discouraged proponents of the idea—nor have its low chances of success even if majorities could be rallied. Meanwhile, a more bizarre and ambitious plan to subdivide California into six separate states (discussed recently in this blog) has now gathered enough signatures to be put to voters in a state referendum in 2016.
The “Six Californias” initiative is the brainchild of the Silicon Valley venture-capitalist and sitcom actor Tim Draper, an enthusiastic Bitcoin investor and all-around eccentric cocky billionaire, who wants to divide the Golden State into the separate states of Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California, South California (that idea has its own grassroots movement, as discussed in this blog), and a—knock on wood—libertarian utopia in the State of Silicon Valley. This week, his allegedly bipartisan group of backers revealed that more than the required 807,615 signatures—out of a promised eventual total of 1.3 million—have been collected and delivered to the state legislature in Sacramento, which enables the partition plan to be put to voters on the 2016 state ballot.
|This Draper is a bit of a mad man himself.|
|An early map of the proposed entity|
In two other northern counties which polled voters on the question in June, Del Norte and Siskiyou, the idea was defeated by “no” votes of 59% and 56%, respectively. In Siskiyou, at least—which is the heart of the Jefferson movement—the final count probably belies a majority support for the idea: some voters were turned off by a more radical strain of Jeffersonian separatism which wanted to erect a libertarian-anarchist-style “Republic of Jefferson” with its own currency and judicial system. The head of the Jefferson Republic Committee, Anthony Intiso, promises a new approach after the Siskiyou results, saying voter turnout could be key. Opposition to the idea was strongest in the county’s southern half—data Intiso plans to use as the republicans regroup. “With better education,” Intiso says, “Measure C would have passed, I believe. Last time, we pulled the entire thing together in just six months. I think we did pretty good for that.”
|Anthony Intiso, third from left, father of the “Republic of Jefferson” movement|
|One proposed shape of a State of Jefferson, with counties|
that have held referenda or passed resolutions on the matter highlighted in red.
|The original movement began in 1941. (As you can see from the dateline,|
other political matters were about to crowd out 49th-state movements
just as the Jefferson push gained momentum.)
|The tie that unbinds: Tim Draper’s sartorial choice|
on the day he announced the petition threshold had been reached.
[For those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with my forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas. The book, which contains dozens of maps and over 500 flags, is now in the layout phase and should be on shelves, and available on Amazon, by early fall 2014. I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news. Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even though you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook.]
Related: hear the author of this blog discuss the Cascadia independence movement in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia in a recent interview for Seattle’s N.P.R. affiliate station KUOW-FM. Click here to listen.
Related articles from this blog:
“Sutter County Supervisors Mull Secession from California as Part of State of Jefferson” (March 2014)
“10 Separatist Movements to Watch in 2014” (Dec. 2013)