Tech VC Says His Plan to Break California Apart Is Moving Forward

Tim Draper, legendary venture capitalist, has a plan to cement Silicon Valley's status as the most-hated locale in America: make it its own state. It sounds crazy, because it is—but the insane campaign's supporters say it's actually headed to ballots.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Draper's "Six Californias" initiative has enough petition signatures to move forward:

The measure, a constitutional amendment, needs 807,615 valid signatures to qualify. Because the deadline has already passed for November, the plan could end up on the November 2016 general election ballot.

Supporters would not say how many signatures they have gathered until Draper holds a news conference Tuesday in Sacramento. But they said they were confident they had plenty to spare.

That's a lot of people who would put their names next to a patently batshit plan! But according to one Valleywag tipster, the Draper cabal is using shady tactics to juice its petition numbers:

Today while shopping I was approached by a signature gatherer who asked me whether I was registered to vote and would I like to raise the minimum wage. She had a sign at a small table in front of the store that said "Raise the minimum wage from $9.00 to $12.00 by 2016." I agreed and she handed me the clipboard, but as I started to read the measure she said "Oh that's to split California into six states."

I told her I didn't want to sign that and asked for the minimum wage proposal. She said "Well it's just to get it on the ballot and let the voters decide." I said "no thank you, please give me the one for the minimum wage." She grabbed the clipboard back angrily and said "If you won't sign this then they won't pay me so you can just move along young lady." I said "wait a second you're lying to people about what they are signing, do you even have a minimum wage initiative?"

The woman told me she was just doing her job and to get lost before she got kicked out. I got the manager and told him what she was doing and he asked her to leave. I don't know how widespread this is or if it technically constitutes voter fraud but it seemed damn shady, and I don't even want to guess how many people are signing this thing without reading it. I'd be curious to know how widespread these deceptive signature gathering tactics are. I've heard some pretty misleading pitches before but never such a blatant lie (with a sign even!). This happened in Tehachapi, which is in Kern County, CA. Incidentally this is one of the areas that would be most negatively impacted by the state-splitting proposal.

Getting people to sign up for things without reading the terms of service is a tried and true Silicon Valley tactic—I can't wait until we have a whole state governed this way!

I've asked the Six Californias initiative for comment on the above report.