Thursday, August 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Silly season: 2 plans going nowhere

elias column sig

By
From page A11 | January 15, 2014 |

The end of December and early January is usually a down time in the co-dependent businesses of government and news, replete with vacation breaks for many. This can often net flaky ideas and words far more coverage than they deserve.

So it was when ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called state legislators a bunch of “girlie men,” early in his term, only to have those same folks later best him at every turn, and when ex-Gov. Gray Davis first suggested the same lawmakers exist to “implement my vision.”

It’s that way again these days, but current Gov. Jerry Brown is savvier and more tight-lipped than his immediate predecessors, so the newest laughable ideas come from rich folks who apparently have too much time and money on their hands.

First out of the gate early in the Christmas season was John Cox, a San Diego County real estate investor who doesn’t like current California legislators. He realizes he can’t entirely rid the state of elected lawmakers, so instead, he proposes flooding the state with them.

Cox is just now starting to circulate an initiative to expand the Legislature from its current 120 members (80 in the Assembly, 40 in the state Senate) to 12,000, each with a district of 5,000 to 10,000 residents. Imagine being a member of the decennial Citizens Redistricting Commission and having to draw boundaries for all those districts, many encompassing little more than a neighborhood or a large apartment complex.

Oh, Cox realizes that elected bodies of 8,000 (Assembly) and 4,000 (Senate) people would be just a tad unwieldy. So he’d only actually send to Sacramento one out of each 100 of those elected. What do you know? That yields two chambers precisely the same size as today’s. Except their work product would be subject not only to vetos by the governor, but also by the larger bodies they’d represent.

Cox thinks this might take the money out of politics, forcing candidates to go door to door in their tiny districts, rather than flooding airwaves and mailboxes with advertising. Actual, working Sacramento lawmakers each would really have just 100 constituents for pleasing and pandering to.

Don’t expect this one to go very far once it becomes apparent to voters they wouldn’t even be changing the number of people in Sacramento, but would add a whole new layer of government.

Equally unlikely is the new pipe dream of technology investor Tim Draper, a billionaire venture capitalist who helped found such outfits as Skype and Hotmail, since acquired for huge amounts by others. Draper is the latest who wants to break up California, only he wants it divided not into two new states, but six, one including essentially the Silicon Valley and little more. That would actually be the name of one of his new entities.

Draper would grant the wish of far Northern California and Southern Oregon activists who want to carve a new state called Jefferson out of a few mostly rural counties so they’d no longer be subjected to the wishes of their urban fellow Californians. His other four states: South California, North California, Central California and Coastal California, all of which would produce more Californias than today’s combined total of Dakotas and Carolinas.

The idea is not quite as far-fetched as what Balaji Srinivasan, co-founder of the San Francisco genetics company Counsyl called for last fall, when he suggested Silicon Valley should leave not just California, but the entire United States. Draper’s notion has about as much prospect of becoming real as Srinivasan’s: None in the foreseeable future.

Making six new states out of one would give the current California 12 United States senators, not a prospect that would sit well with other states who already resent the 53 members of Congress this state’s big population produces.

Congress, of course, would have to approve creation of any new state, no matter what voters or legislators here might say. Members from other states have worked for years to deprive California of influence. That’s one reason this state now gets back only about 77 cents in federal spending for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes.

All of which makes the two new ideas fun to consider, but nothing to take seriously.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at tdelias@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Locke an unparalleled universe in the Delta

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Review set for Vacaville fitness center suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield motorcyclist hurt in Beck Avenue crash

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Logue misses meet with Libertarians in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Suisun City police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Chamber event looks at health care law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Winterhawk Winery up for auction

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Boy hurt in California quake: ‘I should be dead’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
California Senate passes gun restraining order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California sets ride-sharing insurance standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Mom pleads for release of captive US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Q-and-A on Westerners who join the fight in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
US to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
.

Opinion

 
Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 28, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

 
Let’s improve entertainment control units

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Fuld’s homer in 9th lifts A’s over Astros 5-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Posey hits game-ending 2-run homer for Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Maria Sharapova comes through in 3 sets at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
IndyCar sets April 12 New Orleans date

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No. 23 UNC suspends 4 players for opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal needs more from its running game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Kevin Hogan a ‘stabilizing agent’ at QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NFL suspends Browns star WR Gordon for 2014 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Keenum, Savage to settle Texans’ backup QB duel vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
After trio of near misses, 49ers chase Super Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Video games come of age as spectator sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

SEC adopts rules on loan-backed securities

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Stocks drift higher; S&P 500 holds on to 2,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Fernanda Dee Villarosa

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Herman P. Sorensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lyle R.C. Cullum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8