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Man behind plan to split up California likes chances in November vote

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Venture capitalist Tim Draper, fresh off an attention-grabbing victory getting a proposal onto the November ballot to split California into three states, said on Wednesday he was confident voters ill-served by their government would embrace the plan.

California elections officials certified on Tuesday that Draper’s so-called Cal3 initiative had won enough signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot, the first step in a politically complicated, uphill fight to ultimately break apart the most populous U.S. state.

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“It is all about educating the voter on how much better this will be for them. As voters become educated, they tend to support Cal3,” Draper, 60, told Reuters in an interview via email.

“Cal3 gives them an opportunity to improve the state,” said Draper, who argued California ranked near the bottom among U.S. states in quality of life, education, the tax burden and as a place to do business. “Cal3 gives them a fresh start.”

It was not clear how he determined those rankings.

A spokeswoman for the initiative said the initiative was nonpartisan and not aligned with either major political party.

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If California voters pass Cal3 in November, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown or his successor would be directed to petition Congress to approve the split, as called for under the U.S. Constitution.

President Donald Trump would then be required to sign that legislation.

Political experts say Congress is unlikely to approve a split-up of California, especially Democrats who would be deeply reluctant to break up a dependably blue state.

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But Draper believes politicians in Washington or Sacramento would be taking an even bigger risk by ignoring the will of voters fed up with a state government he says has long stopped working for them.

“The people we talked to are looking for better education for their children, a better job environment, safer, cleaner water and highways, lower taxes, and a business climate that doesn’t push their companies out of the state,” said Draper, who previously tried unsuccessfully to qualify a ballot measure that would have broken California into six states.

Under Cal3, California, which has almost 40 million people and an economy that ranks as the world’s fifth largest, would be split into three still fairly large states.

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One would include Los Angeles and a swath of the coast extending north to Monterey. “Northern California” would feature Sacramento, San Francisco and a chunk of the state extending to the Oregon border. “Southern California” would include farm communities such as Fresno and Bakersfield, the inland counties of San Bernardino and Riverside, and the San Diego area.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Peter Cooney

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Not only wrong but crazy’: MSNBC panelists recoil in horror from Trump’s ‘abnormal’ views on foreign policy

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President Donald Trump made a number of puzzling and bizarre statements Tuesday about U.S. foreign policy, and panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" were aghast.

The president canceled a tip to Denmark after its prime minister refused to entertain his offer to buy Greenland, offered a stunningly vapid assessment of the situation in Kashmir, and reiterated his interest in seeing Russia rejoin the G7.

"You can really understand in retrospect why Gen. (James) Mattis just quit (as defense secretary)," said MSNBC analyst Mike Barnacle. "He had to leave. You cannot be surrounded by such abnormalities coming out of the mouth of the president of the United States on a consistent, daily, multiple-times-a-day basis. We cannot make it normal, but there's a new normalcy when you see the president multiple times a day saying things that are absolutely, not only wrong, but crazy."

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‘Nuclear weapons arms race is here’: Russians, anti-nuke experts denounce US missile test

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A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "such tests only proved that from the very start, the Americans were determined to derail the INF Treaty and were making preparations for it."

Nuclear experts and disarmament advocates are warning that the world is witnessing a new arms race after the Pentagon tested a new missile Sunday that would have violated a Cold War-era treaty the Trump administration ditched earlier this month.

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23 Texas cities were targeted in a ‘coordinated ransomware attack’

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The majority of attacks were against small local governments, according to the state's Department of Information Resources.

Cybersecurity experts have been deployed by the state to assess the damage from a "coordinated ransomware attack" that struck 23 Texas cities on Friday, state officials said.

Investigators hadn't determined the origin of the attacks as of Friday evening and were still working to bring cities' systems back online, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Information Resources. The department believes, however, that the attacks came from a "single threat actor."

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