GOP record of ‘Six Californias’ backer Tim Draper

Venture capitalist Tim Draper – the man behind a proposed ballot measure to split California into six states – seemed discomfited when a reporter at his news conference Monday cited his history of funding conservative causes, but it’s a well-documented history nonetheless.

Tim Draper“I don’t fit into either political party,” said Draper, a registered Republican. But a review of his political spending over the past decade shows a clear preference for GOP candidates and causes – and that’s since the $20 million he spent on his own unsuccessful school voucher initiative in 2000.

Now he’s pushing this “Six Californias” measure – or is he? He’s holding news conferences about it, but said Monday he’d like to spend “as little as possible” from his own pocket to put it on the ballot and support it; he also claimed to have others willing to bankroll the measure, but refused to name them. He wouldn’t say whether he’s aiming for this year’s ballot – which would require a herculean signature drive essentially by mid-April – or waiting for 2016.

Draper did say Monday that he had discussed the measure by phone at some point with Gov. Jerry Brown; asked whether Brown had expressed any support (or said it sounded crazy), Draper replied, “Gov. Brown is a very open-minded, creative guy… He’s governing a state that is ungovernable and I think he sees that.

Asked Tuesday what the governor thinks of Draper’s plan, Brown spokesman Evan Westrup replied that “while we generally do not comment on pending ballot measures, the proposal has serious practical challenges.”

Draper gave generously over the years to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s various campaigns and causes. Spokespeople for Schwarzenegger didn’t return emails Tuesday seeking his opinion of Draper’s new effort, and Schwarzenegger himself didn’t respond to a tweet asking the same.

IF this did really make it onto the ballot, and IF Californians could be convinced it was a good idea, what would the practical effects include? Well, for one thing, California’s monolithic 55 electoral votes – awarded “winner-take-all” to whichever presidential candidate wins the state’s popular vote – presumably would be split among the six new states, putting some of them within the GOP’s reach for the first time in more than 25 years.

See a list of Draper’s political contributions since 2003, after the jump…

  • 6/27/2011 – $100,000 to Californians Against Special Interests, Yes on 32
  • 10/27/2010 – $1,000 to Anna Bryson’s campaign for Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees
  • 9/20/2010 – $100,000 to the California Republican Party
  • 9/20/2010 – $1,000 to San Jose arbitration & pension reform measures V and W
  • 9/20/2010 – $1,000 to Republican Tony Strickland’s campaign for state controller
  • 9/10/2010 – $10,000 to San Diego Pension Reform Charter Amendment B
  • 6/2/2009 – $25,900 to Republican Meg Whitman’s gubernatorial exploratory committee
  • 4/30/2007 – $22,300 to Californians for Arnold Schwarzenegger 2006
  • 6/14/2007 – $3,600 to (then-)Republican Nathan Fletcher’s Assembly campaign
  • 11/6/2006 – $22,300 to Californians for Schwarzenegger 2006
  • 5/12/2006 – $50,000 to Stop the Reiner Initiative, No on 82
  • 5/11/2006 – $46,000 to Stop the Reiner Initiative, No on 82
  • 4/13/2006 – $150 to the California Society of Certified Public Accountants PAC
  • 3/13/2006 – $22,300 to Californians for Schwarzenegger 2006
  • 1/25/2006 – $510 to the Lincoln Club of Northern California PAC
  • 11/4/2005 – $25,000 to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s California Recovery Team
  • 11/4/2005 – $5,000 to Teachers, Firefighters and Law Enforcement for Paycheck Protection, Yes on 75
  • 8/30/2005 – $25,000 to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s California Recovery Team
  • 7/27/2005 – $1,000 to Republican Richard Riordan’s gubernatorial campaign committee
  • 5/23/2005 – $250 to Greg Munks’ campaign for San Mateo County Sheriff
  • 9/23/2004 – $12,500 to Californians for an Open Primary, Yes on 62
  • 9/17/2004 – $510 to the Lincoln Club of Northern California PAC
  • 9/8/2004 – $500 to Bill Evers’ campaign for Santa Clara County Board of Education
  • 2/26/2004 – $25,000 to Californians for an Open Primary, Yes on 62
  • 2/10/2004 – $150,000 to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Recovery Team
  • 8/20/2003 – $21,200 to Californians for Schwarzenegger
  • 9/18/2003 – $20,000 to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall Committee
  • 9/15/2003 – $10,000 to Women for Arnold, sponsored by the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition
  • 9/12/2003 – $10,000 to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall Committee
  • 6/25/2003 – $2,000 to Citizens for After School Programs, Yes on 49
  • 4/9/2003 – $1,000 to Republican Curt Pringle’s 2006 Anaheim mayoral campaign
  • Josh Richman

    Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

    • JohnW

      Might make sense. Jerry could run for a couple of more terms in one of the six states. We could push all of California’s debt and unfunded liabilities onto one of the six, leaving the other five debt-free. Making all those new U.S. flags with 60 stars could stimulate the economy.

    • Elwood

      60? I’m confused. 49+6 = 55 50+5 = 55

    • redluke

      This is a silly plan by another conservative who doesn’t want to change his party so they become relevant in California but wants to divide the state so they can have some say in some of the 6 states. It also puts the majority of those poor people that reps hate in several states.

    • JohnW

      Yikes! My bad. Obviously it is I, not you, who was confused.

      I had been thinking about the fact that this would add 10 new U.S. Senators and somehow managed to mix that up with the flag thing. But going straight to 60 might be a good idea, inasmuch as Colorado and Oregon have contemplated similar moves.

    • Evelyne Cole

      Certainly push the debts in one or two of the states you are not in! Good expedient!

    • Evelyne Cole

      Planning for good weather picnickers who will never go back to tell you how they did not chose the right day and were wipe out by unforeseen bad weather.

    • JohnW

      This wouldn’t have amounted to anything even if it had qualified and passed. Now, in the U.K., apparently Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland can just vote to secede. That must annoy William Wallace, who was drawn and quartered over independence for Scotland.

    • BJ001

      No Reps don’t hate poor people, they just want to push them to better themselves and truly get out of poverty. Democrats on the other hand want to keep and make as many poor people as possible so they can keep and add votes. Many of the “poor people” in California are illegal aliens who need to go home anyway.

    • BJ001

      California was a swing state in 2000. So many illegal aliens in the state is why it is Democrat and almost bankrupt. I say just give the whole state back to Mexico.