Happy Holidays

Fox and Hounds Daily Editors

The Fox and the Hounds are on their annual end of year hibernation and will return in 2019.

Happy Holidays to all!

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Black Bart Award Winner for 2018: Dominating Democrats

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

While the nominees for Fox and Hounds Daily’s annual Black Bart Award for the political person/event/organization of the year covered a wide range from politicians to a movie director, this year’s honoree is collectively the California Democrats who dominated the elections and will pursue an agenda fit for one-party rule.

Gov. Jerry Brown was mentioned by all of us offering our opinions on the most prominent California political actor, as was incoming governor Gavin Newsom, but neither were tabbed as an outright nominee.

Since the Democrats’ landslide victories and the Republicans’ humbling defeats did each garner a nomination—two sides of the same coin from this year’s influential and historic election—it seemed that the election story, and the big-time winner, should receive the nod for the Black Bart Award for 2018.

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The Annual F&H California Office Pool

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)

Double digits! This year, the California Office Pool has its 10th version. It was inspired by the late, great New York Times columnist William Safire, who made a habit of writing an annual column he called Office Pool. In it, Safire offered, multiple-choice style, a series of possible news events that could take place in the new year. At the column’s end, he let you know which ones he thought would occur.

Safire’s focus was Washington; ours is California. My picks are at the end.

I hope you did better than I did on last year’s quiz. I was right about the arc of Kamala Harris, about Uber staying private, and Apple staying on top of Alphabet. But I failed to foresee just about everything else: about the size of Democratic Congressional wave (I thought the Democratic gains here would be 4 or fewer), wrong about Pelosi surviving, wrong to predict a Kevin de Leon upset of Feinstein, and wrong about Villaraigosa, not Cox, finishing second in the governor’s race top two. I thought the Dodgers would win the World Series (they nearly did) and that Trump wouldn’t visit California (he did, but didn’t stay long).

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Californians Willing to Accept Emission Control Costs

Ronald Stein
Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

Seems that Californians relate energy just to electricity and believe pursuit of intermittent renewable electricity from wind and solar will save California and the world. Unlike France, Californians are supportive of the 12-cent gas tax to fund infrastructure improvements and other emissions crusade cost. Thus, it’s unlikely, for now, that California will follow France in their revolt of high costs associated with the emission crusade.

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Don’t Kill the Growing Gig Economy

Charles Crumpley
Editor and Publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

What was the biggest local business story of the year?

With a sigh, I vote for the state Supreme Court’s decision in April that basically outlawed the gig economy in California. I sigh because the ruling truly may disrupt the way business increasingly is being done today, especially here in the San Fernando Valley area.

In its decision in a case titled Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court, the court essentially said you should not hire an independent contractor to do work that is a core part of your business. Instead, you need to hire that person as an employee. If you are a baker and you have a contractor on call who comes in as needed to make specially decorated cakes, you may need to hire that person, if only part time.

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Black Bart for the Black Panther

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)

2018 was an awfully rough year for many Californians. But that means it offers no shortage of candidates for Black Bart.
Victims of our massive fires—and the firefighters who worked almost constantly to protect people and communities—were first to come to mind when considering a year when the town of Paradise literally burned to the ground. CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott deserves Black Bart consideration as a stand-in for everyone who faced these unprecedented fires.

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Poll Results Give Conflicting Directions

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

One way to interpret findings in the new Public Policy Institute of California poll (PPIC) is to conclude that poll respondents want to spend more on on-going or new programs while concerned that the money won’t be there in the future for such spending. How can elected officials follow these directions?

The poll results are partly due to the limitations offered to the questions asked in which respondents were given only certain choices. But consider those responses.

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Voters Win with Top Two Primary

Chad Peace
Founding Board Member for the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers and a legal strategist for the Independent Voter Project, author of California's nonpartisan top-two primary system

Joe Matthews argues that getting rid of top-two primaries is the best way to “reverse one-party rule in California.” It is this party-centric view of the world that, while accepted by the political class, is increasingly rejected by voters.

In a traditional primary, parties elect nominees. Their candidates get special treatment. Their voters get more voice.In a nonpartisan primary, voters elect nominees. Everyone — including candidates, parties, and voters — is treated the same.Primaries are also funded by taxpayers and administered by public officials.

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The Potential Impact of Post-Janus Litigation

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

The landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court in the Janus vs AFSCME case has given government workers the right to not only refuse union membership, but to refuse to pay any dues or fees to that union. In the wake of this ruling, new lawsuits have been filed on behalf of plaintiffs who allege the unions are attempting to circumvent the Janus ruling.

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CARB Must Consider Those Living in Poverty

Lovester Adams
Bishop of Greater New St. Matthew M.B.C., Los Angeles CA.

While California is experiencing tremendous growth and historically low unemployment rates, our state’s poverty rate is still the highest in the country. In fact, one of every five Californians today lives in poverty, including two million children.

CARB has to take into consideration all the households that are at and below poverty that will be impacted by this increase. Statistics show that Californians have paid $5.8 billion more for electricity than ratepayers in the rest of the country using the same amount of energy. 

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