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Jul 24, 2015

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog Radio

A crazy - or maybe brilliant - plan to break California into six different states won't be on the ballot in 2016.

The proposal, pushed by venture capitalist ?? ??, would have allowed voters to decide if they wanted to divide California into a half-dozen smaller states (the largest of which would still be one of the seven biggest states, by population in the United States), but it won't be on the ballot after supporters failed to get the required amount of signatures in favor of the initiative.

California resident Steve Greenhut joins Eric Boehm to discuss the idea. Breaking up the state has some advantages, Greenhut says, like giving a voice to conservative Californians who are largely drowned out by the huge number of liberal voters in the state's big cities.  It would also give the state more influence in the U.S. Senate by essentially creating 10 new seats for a state that currently has as much representation as North Dakota and Vermont.

Then, we take a look at the surprisingly huge pile of debt in Houston, Texas. Despite a massive population boom and a growing economy, the city is not immune to the pension problems that are sinking Detroit, Chicago and many other American municipalities.

Our Big Dog interview of the week is with Tori Richards, who recently uncovered how Tesla Motors received nearly $300 million in tax credits for creating a new battery-swap system that could make electric cars more user-friendly. The only problem: they've pocketed the tax credits without making the new technology available to the general public.

All that, plus our Nanny State of the Week, on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.

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