Friday, March 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Two plans going nowhere

TomEliasW

By
From page A6 | January 14, 2014 |

The end of December and early January is usually a downtime in the co-dependent businesses of government and news, replete with vacation breaks for many. This can mean that flaky ideas get 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 former 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 vetoes 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 person wanting 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 actually would 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 United States. Draper’s notion has about as much prospect of becoming real as Srinivasan’s: none in the foreseeable future.

For making six new states out of one would give the current California 12 U.S. 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. And 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.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at [email protected]

Comments

comments

.

News

Anti-gay initiative puts AG in a bind

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
County supervisors consider options for historic courthouse

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
State loosens sex offender residency restrictions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Lawyer disputes police’s hoax claim in California kidnapping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up for Camp Shakespeare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Empower Yolo offers peer counselor training

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Sing along on April Fool’s Day

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

.

Forum

Blame Reid for impasse

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Practice cancer prevention each day

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Turnabout is fair play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

Be aware and be afraid

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

UCD’s Hawkins, Harris to shoot at Final Four

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Home sweet home: Aggie women win a tennis match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Devil boys grind out a net win at Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS baseballers fall to Vintage in eight innings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD men edge Hawaii on the court

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Recent youth softball games feature big hitting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sacramento get its second straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks get a key win over Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

UCD Student Fashion Association presents charity fashion show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
‘Get Hard’ comes across as rather limp

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Monticello announces April live-music shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Leonardo Tuchman’s work shows at UC Davis Craft Center Gallery

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Preview Art Studio Tour participants’ work at The Artery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Smokey Brights to perform at Sophia’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
‘Deserted Destinations’ is April exhibit at Gallery 625

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

Camry Hybrid takes a step forward

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

 
.

Obituaries

Celebrate Rusty Jordan’s Life

By Creator | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, March 27, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B4