“Whether you agree or not with this initiative, this is not the way democracies are supposed to work,” billionaire Silicon Valley VC Tim Draper said in an email, after the California Supreme Court decided unanimously last month to remove from the November ballot a measure aimed at dividing California into three states. “This kind of corruption is what happens in Third World countries.”
As a reminder, Draper had gathered more than 402,000 signatures when he submitted Prop. 9 in April to qualify for the November ballot. He argued that California had become too large to govern and would better represent its population by dividing into three separate states.
On July 9, California’s Supreme Court pulled Prop. 9 from the midterm ballot because of “significant questions regarding the proposition’s validity.”
Cal 3 was originally drafted as an amendment to the state constitution, but the environmental group Planning and Conservation League filed a lawsuit, maintaining that Draper’s proposal amounted to a “revision” that would require support from two-thirds of the state Legislature before appearing on the midterm ballot, the San Francisco Chroniclereported.
Draper was given a 30-day window to argue whether the proposal should be placed on the 2020 ballot.
Draper contended the court’s decision to remove the measure meant “the desires of hundreds of thousands of Californians who signed the initiative petition have been disregarded because of some ‘potential harm’ that would befall the voters if they were even presented an opportunity to discuss the failings of their government.”
And now, in a letter to the court dated Aug. 2, Draper said the court’s decision last month to remove Cal 3 from the 2018 midterms, “effectively put an end to this movement,” and that he does not intend to appeal the decision, the Sacramento Bee reported, adding that “the political environment for radical change is right now.”
The letter was made public by his opponents Thursday, who gloated that Draper’s decision not to appeal as evidence “that (Draper) has no serious interest in the policy implications of his foolish idea, but that he just wanted to piggyback on what he thinks is a political trend.”
Draper, who spent more than $1.7 million to qualify his initiative for the ballot, which required gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures, noted that he had “no idea” if his initiative would have passed or if Congress would have given the necessary approval for the split but that the ballot measure would have spurred debate over government failings.
“I wanted to let the voters debate, discuss and think about a different way forward — essentially a reboot.
And, I wanted the political class to hear and witness the frustration of California’s voters with decades of inaction and decay,” he wrote.
“I believed there was significant benefit to our democracy in that.”
Even billionaires cant always get their way… especially in California.
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