Nostalgia For The Campaign That Never Was

Joe Rodota and Steve Maviglio
Joe Rodota, former cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff to Governor Pete Wilson, and Steve Maviglio, owner of Forza Communications and deputy chief of staff to Assembly Speakers Fabian Nunez and Karen Bass, are co-managers of OneCalifornia, the committee opposed to the Three Californias Initiative.

Tim Draper is disappointed in the California Supreme Court for stripping Proposition 9, his “Three Californias” initiative, from the November ballot.

In some ways, we share his disappointment.

The court’s decision doesn’t represent “corruption,” as Draper asserts. But it does mean Californians will miss a good chance to remind ourselves how great our state truly is.

The November ballot would have presented an opportunity to brush up on all of our state symbols, like the California Quail, post more California Poppy images to Instagram, or play “Hotel California” and other California-inspired tunes from Spotify.

It would have been entertaining to count the editorials opposed to this goofy measure from newspapers in each of the three hypothetical states envisioned by its author.

It would have been interesting to hear Team Draper explain how many families in Riverside County, where one in five residents would be commuting across state lines to a job in another state, might have been forced to file an additional personal income tax return.

Or count the many ways the federal government would involve itself more deeply in California’s economy, under the interstate commerce clause of the federal constitution.

Or estimate the construction costs of two new state capitol buildings and three new DMVs.

We had looked forward to learning what became of Draper’s “Fix California Challenge,” his campaign for fresh ideas to fix California. That website, by the way, is now for sale.

It would have been more challenging to divide up the California Hall of Fame, assigning our state’s innovators to their new home states. Clint Eastwood would have gone to the new state of (old) California. But where would we send George Lucas? He grew up in Modesto (in the future Southern California) but made his fortune as a filmmaker in Marin County (the future Northern California). Hmmm.

The November ballot has thinned out in recent weeks. There will be 11 measures on the statewide ballot, following legislative action to remove measures related to privacy, lead paint and soda taxes.

Maybe Draper will return to the ballot another year, with a proposal for Two Californias.

Or 20 Californias.

Or 200.

Like many of our fellow Californians, we’re optimists.

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