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Billionaire’s plan to split California into six states appears headed to the ballot

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A long-shot effort to break California into six separate states got a boost on Monday, when the billionaire venture capitalist behind the proposal said he had gathered enough signatures to place it on the ballot in two years.

Timothy Draper, a founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in Twitter, Skype, and Tesla, among other companies, has been agitating for months for a ballot initiative to chop the most populous U.S. state into smaller entities.

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“It’s important because it will help us create a more responsive, more innovative and more local government, and that ultimately will end up being better for all of Californians,” said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the campaign. “The idea … is to create six states with responsive local governments – states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents.”

Salazar said Monday that the campaign had gathered more than the roughly 808,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the November, 2016 ballot. Draper and other supporters plan to file the signatures with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Tuesday.

But the plan has raised bipartisan hackles across the state, and opponents say it stands little chance of gaining voter approval. If it does win the support of voters, it must still be passed by Congress, which opponents say is also unlikely.

“This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand,” said Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political strategist who has formed the group OneCalifornia with GOP strategist Joe Rodota to fight Draper’s plan. “It has zero chance of passage. But what it does is scare investment away … at a time when the Governor is leading us to an economic comeback.”

Draper’s plan would split the world’s eighth-largest economy along geographic lines.

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One state, to be called Silicon Valley, would include the tech hub along with the San Francisco Bay Area. Jefferson, named after the third U.S. president, would encompass the northernmost region. The state capital of Sacramento would be in North California, while South California would be made up of San Diego and the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles.

L.A. itself would be part of a state called West California.

Proponents say the division would help create a more business-friendly environment, solve the state’s water issues, and ease traffic congestion.

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The rise and fall of Newt Gingrich: The firebrand who remade the Republican Party — and paved the way for Trump

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When I describe a Republican politician who rose the political ladder by smearing his political opponents with lies and attacking the system as corrupt, and who never expanded his core base while burning bridges with many of his onetime supporters, you might probably would assume I'm talking about Donald Trump. And you would be correct. Except there's another famous GOP politician cut from that same cloth who helped pave the way for Trump: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

As Princeton professor and CNN contributor Julian Zelizer lays out is his new book, "Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party," Gingrich was Trump before Trump. Zelizer explained in his recent visit to "Salon Talks" that Gingrich's "ruthless partisanship" and "political wrecking-ball" style helped usher in a new style of partisan politics. Before Gingrich, members of Congress in opposing parties were far more cordial with each other. Gingrich changed all that as the original "own the libs" conservative — who like Trump, he seemed to care more about garnering headlines and acquiring power (at any and all costs) than actually governing.

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‘Christians have to resist being used’: New Republicans Against Trump ad takes aim at his evangelical base

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In a new ad from Republicans Against Trump, a group of Christian voters explains why they can't support President Donald Trump because his morals and ethics simply don't follow the values taught by Jesus Christ.

"I grew up in the church. I attended a private Christian high school," says Tommy, a Republican voter. "You look at the way someone lives their life and you believe them."

The ad then recalls the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape where President Donald Trump brags about being able to sexually assault women, because "when you're a star they let you do it."

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Michigan restaurant owner faces furious backlash for ‘disgusting, racist’ rant about face masks and Black Lives Matter

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The owner of a well known Michigan restaurant railed against Black Lives Matter and face masks in a Facebook post this Monday, Michigan Live reports.

The owner, Carl Nelson, later tried to claim that the post was meant for his personal page and was mistakenly posted to the business page for his restaurant, Pronto Pups. The post denounced the BLM movement, praised the Michigan Militia, compared the media to Adolf Hitler, along with other bizarre proclamations.

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