California secession efforts are plentiful this year, but tech billionaire Tim Draper wants to go old school: Just split the Golden State into three.

Draper spent more than $5 million in 2014 on an unsuccessful effort to qualify a ballot measure asking voters to divide California into six states. He never gave up on the idea, though.

His newest measure, filed Friday, says the “political representation of California’s diverse population and economies has rendered the state nearly ungovernable.

“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,” Draper wrote in the proposed measure’s statement of findings.

Draper’s initiative would put the state on record as seeking Congress’ permission to replace California with three states. If approved, California’s various debts and assets would be allocated among the new states.

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Sprawling “Northern California” would include Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado and 36 other counties, while “Southern California” would cover 12 counties, from Fresno to the south. The new “California” would be anchored by Los Angeles County and then extend up the Central Coast to San Benito County, more than 300 miles away.

The measure does not mention Tulare County, but it’s within the boundaries of the proposed state of Southern California.

Draper’s proposal would keep the three new states in the U.S., unlike several “Calexit” measures meant to ease California toward independence because of the Golden State’s perceived incompatibility with the policies of Washington, D.C. and other states.

Perhaps noting the outside chance that all of the measures could end up on next year’s ballot, Draper’s plan includes language that it would override other measures “relating to the same subject” if it got more votes.

The measure would need 585,407 valid voter signatures to qualify for next fall’s ballot.

Jim Miller: 916-326-5521, @jimmiller2


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