Gov. Brown Appoints Leondra Kruger to State Supreme Court

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Governor Jerry Brown has nominated a U.S. Department of Justice official for a spot on the California Supreme Court.

On Monday, Brown nominated Leondra R. Kruger, a Yale Law School graduate, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who left the court in April. If confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, Kruger would be Brown’s third appointee to the state’s highest court in as many years.

“Leondra Kruger is a distinguished lawyer and uncommon student of the law,” Brown said in a press release announcing the appointment. “She has won the respect of eminent jurists, scholars and practitioners alike.”

Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Kruger has spent the past eight years working in various positions at the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 2013, Kruger has served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where she has earned high praise from the federal government’s top lawyer.

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Janet Beats Jerry at His Own Game

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Napolitano, 1, Brown 0.

Last week’s Board Regents meeting, which I got to see in person on Wednesday, was great political theater – a contest between the UC, which was offering a boost-state-support-or-we’ll-raise-tuition plan, and state political leaders.

But this contest was different because the UC has a politician leading it, the former Arizona governor and homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano.

And this made all the difference. Napolitano took the fight to her fellow politicians in a way that UC hasn’t done before. And she won a big round, getting the better of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Her successful strategy was this: she out-Browned Brown.

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On November 29th, Remember to Shop Small – You’ll Have a Big Impact!

John Kabateck
California Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business

It’s already happening. Almost every other TV and radio ad these days showcases Black Friday deals that await shoppers the day after we gorge ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie. Once again, we’ll find some of our friends and neighbors camping overnight or rising before dawn to head to the nearest shopping mall or big box store in anticipation of the money they will save. A recent news story featured two women who have already started a line at a large electronics store in anticipation of what they might save on a big screen television. Did I mention they were in line two weeks before Black Friday? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of time or patience…and I like to sleep.

Do you really want to start off your holiday season like that? What if you had a less chaotic, more civilized approach before you as an option?

Well, you do, and here’s the best Black Friday advice of all: Wait a day, catch a few more zzz’s, and shop Small Business Saturday, November 29, instead! The economy and your own blood pressure will thank you.

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Governor Brown Lauds State’s Small Businesses Ahead of “Small Business Saturday”

Fox and Hounds Daily Editors

(Editor’s Note: The following statement on “Small Business Saturday” was released by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a letter in support of the upcoming Small Business Saturday on November 29th.  Small Business Saturday is an initiative that marks a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

“Small businesses embody the entrepreneurial spirit that has driven the economy of our Golden State,” said Governor Brown in his letter. “Over half of our private sector workforce is employed by small business. On Saturday, November 29th, I urge all Californians to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.”

California has 3.4 million small businesses which account for 99 percent of the state’s employers and employ 52 percent of the workforce.  The complete text of the letter can be found here.

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How To Blow Nine Congressional Districts

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

It was quite a feat.  Congressional Republicans had a chance to win nine Democratic-held House seats in California and blew every one of them – actually ending up down one seat in an election when nationally the House GOP has its largest class since the Hoover Administration.  How they blew these seats is a story in itself.

On Election Night, an unknown and unfunded Republican farmer from Fresno named Johnny Tacherra was leading veteran Democratic Congressman Jim Costa by 700 votes.  He eventually lost, but only by 1,300 votes.  To his north, unknown and unfunded Republican Tony Amador held Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney to just 52 percent.  Every expert called that race safe for McNerney; it was not.  And in the counties north and west of Sacramento, another veteran, Democratic Rep. John Garamendi, held off retiring GOP Assemblyman Dan Logue with just 53 percent.

What do these three races have in common?  Each was in California parched Central Valley where farm folks believe, with good reason, that urban Democrats and environmentalists are starving them for water during the drought while taking care of the cities and the fish.

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Survey: A Divide Over Immigration Plan

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

If Fresno is an appropriate test market for political issues then the country is as a whole is evenly divided on President Barack Obama’s immigration proposals. A Survey USA poll taken on Friday after the president’s announcement tallied a dead even split in Fresno. One-third of Fresno residents who were aware of the president’s proposal agree with all his changes; one-third disagrees, and one-third agrees with some changes and disagrees with other changes.

On the major controversy over the legality of Obama’s move, half of Fresno says the president has the authority to make the changes, half of Fresno says he does not have the authority.

Of course, Fresno may not be a model test market for political ideas, especially on the immigration issue. California leads the country in the number of immigrants who have entered the country illegally and therefor the issue of immigration has a different context here than in other states in the union.

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President Obama’s Immigration Order and California Employment

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

It’s not too early to start considering how President Obama’s Immigration Order will impact California job markets. In fact, this past weekend has seen several commentators weigh in already, including Chapman University faculty member (and occasional Fox & Hounds contributor) Joel Kotkin, and USC faculty member Manual Pastor.

Like nearly all employment issues in California, ground zero should be our state’s Workforce Investment Board system (WIB). It is among these Boards that the issues will best be clarified and policies developed. Last week, I had occasion to speak with several of our Valley WIB directors, including Blake Konczal of Fresno, Adam Peck of Tulare and Daniel Smith of Kern. They already are on top of the subject and in touch with employers and worker organizations.

Agriculture is only one of the sectors likely to be impacted, but it is potentially a main one. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, involved the largest previous legalization. In California, it resulted particularly in movement of workers from agriculture to higher-paying jobs in the service, retail, construction, warehousing and manufacturing sectors, which were expanding in our state in the late 1980s and 1990s.

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Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty

Joel Kotkin
Editor of and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

With his questionably Constitutional move to protect America’s vast undocumented population, President Obama has provided at least five million immigrants, and likely many more, with new hope for the future. But at the same time, his economic policies, and those of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, may guarantee that many of these newly legalized Americans will face huge obstacles trying to move up in a society creating too few opportunities already for its own citizens, much less millions of the largely ill-educated and unskilled newcomers.

Democratic Party operatives, and their media allies, no doubt see in the legalization move a step not only to address legitimate human needs, but their own political future. With the bulk of the country’s white population migrating rapidly to the GOP, arguably the best insurance for the Democrats is to accelerate the racial polarization of the electorate. It might be good politics but we need to ask: what is the fate awaiting these new, and prospective, Americans?

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A Power Grab that Exacerbates the Problem

Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Majority Leader, United States Congress

The President doesn’t seem to get the point that he must work with the government he has, not the government he wants. But despite Congress and the American people’s resistance to President Obama’s unilateral action—action the President himself said would ‘violate our laws’ and be ‘very difficult to defend legally’—the President has decided to go it alone yet again.

As President Obama himself said, ‘there are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system.’

We urge the President to listen to his own words. America is a country of laws, and our Constitution does not grant the President the authority to legalize millions of immigrants with the stroke of a pen.

Not only is this action wrong, it does absolutely nothing to solve the underlying problems of our open border and broken immigration system. In fact, it may exacerbate the problem.

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Executive Action Doesn’t Fix Immigration Problem

Gonzalo Javier Ferrer
Chairman, Republican National Hispanic Assembly

Executive action on immigration reform does not alleviate the need for a legislative solution.  Real, meaningful reform can only come through substantive legislation.

Our current immigration policies are outdated and decidedly ineffective, and changes must be implemented soon.  Immigration reform is a complex and highly emotional issue, but it must not be ignored any longer.  Congress must take action soon.

Our immigration system has gone practically untouched for the last 40 years. Enforcing outdated policies that no longer meet the needs of our modern American economy is what has led to the upsurge in illegal immigration.

Congress needs to lead the charge in passing substantive immigration reform that will drive economic growth and create jobs. We need an immigration system that focuses on market-based visa programs that provide the tools and an essential labor pool of the best talent for our American industries to meet growing labor demands. 

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