Tim Draper might be back.
Draper, the eccentric venture capitalist who spent more than $5 million – nearly $450,000 alone on political consultants – on a fabulously unsuccessful effort to carve the state in six, has announced plans to possibly spend more money.
“I realize that not everyone was a fan of Six Californias,” Draper, who last year failed to get the measure on the ballot, said in a prepared statement.
But, in a press release, YouTube video and email blast, cordially addressed to “Friend,” Draper said that doesn’t mean many aspects of state government can’t be improved.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
“That’s why I’m asking Californians if they think they have a better idea. If so, I want to hear it. If you have an idea that will transform government, bring it to me and maybe we can get it on the ballot,” he said.
As part of the “Fix California Challenge,” Draper said he is looking for ideas from an “entrepreneurial” mindset. His criteria calls for plans resulting in: “transformation,” “accountability,” “opportunity” and “representation.” Similar to a business plan competition, he continued, “we’re going to run a ‘government plan competition’ to find the best ideas and implementation strategies out there.”
As evidenced by Draper’s futile effort last year, even a well-funded signature-gathering operation and media campaign does not guarantee a measure will qualify for the ballot. He submitted more than 1 million signatures (about 807,000 valid ones were required) and still came up short. That, he said at the time, amounted to “yet another example of the dysfunction of the current system and reinforces the need for six fresh, modern governments.”
As part of Draper’s latest quest, he’d be looking at spending between $1 million and $5 million on a proposal, and maybe untold millions more on a campaign.
Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.