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Real Talk: Six Californias' Tim Draper Is Kind of a Clown
Scott Lucas | Photo: Ramin Rahimian | July 15, 2014
Beware of rich people bearing wacky ideas.
There's little to recommend the Six Californias plan that apparently will be appearing on the 2016 ballot (pending a signature review from the Secretary of State.) It would likely require Congressional signoff (a not-in-our-lifetime moonshot if there ever was one); it would cleave the water-producing regions of California from the water-consuming regions; it would consign the far northern fringe of the state to economic oblivion; and—maybe worst—it would rename the entire Bay Area "Silicon Valley," lending credence to widespread fears about an impending tech-industry takeover of our region.
Don't get us wrong: Sometimes we have wacky ideas too. We wonder if we should replace elections with a smartphone app. We ask whether preservationist housing policies hurt more tenants than they help. Heck, we even defend Yo and ReservationHop.
But we don't get to put those ideas on the statewide ballot—and not just because we don't have Tim Draper money. Or hubris. Or narcissism.
If we did have all those things, then like Draper, we'd be able to buy a stockpile of Bitcoin from the government like it was a car used in a bank robbery, open a non-accredited school to junior-level disrupters and call them "heroes," drop $20 million on a failed voucher school initiative, or sing some horrible song calling ourselves the Riskmaster in public while the moderator watches us with the sort of horror-stricken fake smile usually saved for a kindergarten warbling through Baby Beluga onstage.
No, we're not like Draper at all. Because Draper is a clown. If we had Draper's millions, we'd like to think we'd spend them on doing things like helping people. You know, like homeless folks. Or sick kids. Or poorly paid teachers. We certainly wouldn't shell out $3 per signature to paid petition workers (some of whom may have been gathering ink fraudulently) in order to push a proposition that nobody asked for and nobody wants.
Let's call this what it is: A desperate ploy for unearned publicity. Frankly, we expect more from a guy who once let us photograph him wearing Hulk hands.