Happy Thanksgiving

Fox and Hounds Daily Editors

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

Fox and Hounds Daily will resume publishing on Monday, November 30th.

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A Sleeper Senate Race in California

John J. Pitney, Jr.
Professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and coauthor of American Government and Politics: Deliberation

The race to succeed Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) of California could very well produce the upset of 2016.

The prohibitive favorite would seem to be Kamala Harris. As the state’s two-term attorney general, she has good name recognition and an established political network. As a woman with both African and Asian heritage, she has a unique appeal to the state’s diverse electorate. She has achieved national prominence, albeit in a slightly awkward way. At a San Francisco fundraising event a couple of years ago, President Obama praised her brilliance and toughness, then added: “She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country.” After getting widespread criticism for the sexist character of this remark, the president apologized. Ms. Harris accepted with good grace.

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What Are Taxpayers Thankful for in 2015?

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

With the recent terror attacks against France, America’s oldest ally, most Americans are rightfully concerned for the welfare of our friends abroad as well as our own safety.

With the French, we share a common heritage of a dedication to liberty. The Statue of Liberty that stands proudly in the harbor of New York is a gift from the people of France.

Acknowledging the contributions of French officer the Marquis de Lafayette to the success of our revolution, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Stanton a commander of the American Expeditionary Force in WW I, told Parisians on arrival, “Lafayette, we are here!”

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Holiday Season Sends Health Food Into Hiding

Susan Shelley
Susan Shelley is an author, former television associate producer and twice a Republican candidate for the California Assembly.

It happens every autumn. No sooner has the last goblin rappelled down the wall of Halloween candy in the supermarket than the fruits and vegetables go into the witness protection program and refuse to be seen unless covered from tip to stem in cream cheese and pecans.

Other popular disguises include vanilla custard and cream of mushroom soup.

It’s challenging, but not impossible, to maintain healthy eating habits during the holiday season. And before anyone objects to the use of the term “holiday season,” let’s call it by its rightful name: the weight-gain season.

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Governor Brown Encourages Californians to Shop Small Ahead of “Small Business Saturday”

Fox and Hounds Daily Editors

 (Editor’s Note: From 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 28th.  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 28th, I urge all Californians to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.”

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California Still Over a Barrel

Steve Greenberg
Steve Greenberg is an award winning editorial cartoonist and artist based in Southern California.

CA still over a barrel

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Gavin vs. Kevin, and California Dysfunction

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)

It’s not just a tempest in a teapot. It’s more telling than that.

The back-and-forth over state Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon’s pulling back two employee positions from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has become a statewide story, with lots of speculation about what’s behind the move and what it may mean.

Politically, I’d say the winner is Newsom, as a sign that he’s got enough momentum in his gubernatorial campaign that newspapers care to spend any time or resources publishing stories about staffing at the lieutenant governor’s office. Indeed, making any news at all when you’re lieutenant governor is an achievement.

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Friday’s California Job Numbers/”Eve of Destruction” Songwriter from the 1960s

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director and author, The Autism Job Club (2015, with R. Holden)

eveofdestructinoTwo events from last week are of note for our California workforce community and more general California public affairs community: the latest monthly job numbers, and the passing away of the P.F. Sloan a Southern California songwriter whose songs included the 1965 hit “Eve of Destruction”. Let’s briefly explain, including their loose connection.

Last Friday’s state job numbers (for October 2015) continued the trend in California dating from February 2010 of steady job gains, and a declining unemployment rate. The state gained 41,200 jobs during the month, bringing the total job gains to 463,000 in just the past 12 months, and 2,131,800 jobs since February 2010. The unemployment rate declined to 5.8%. In 2010 it was above 12.5%.

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Picking the Wrong Number for LA City Pensions

Jack Humphreville
LA Watchdog writer for CityWatch, President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and Publisher of the Recycler

During the last year’s budget hearings, Los Angeles City Council Members Paul Krekorian, the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, and Paul Koretz, the Chair of the Personnel Committee, were pushing to increase the investment rate assumption for the City’s two underfunded pension plans to 8%, up from the current level of 7.5%.

This would have the dual effect of lowering the then $8 billion unfunded pension liability and decreasing the City’s Annual Required Contribution by an estimated $200 million.  This additional cash would allow the City Council to fund the new budget busting labor contract for the City’s 20,000 civilian workers, begin the repair of our lunar crated streets, or pay for new initiatives or pet projects.    

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Pepperdine Grad Students’ Head-On Collision With Local Govt. Officials

Katy Grimes
FlashReport Senior Correspondent

pepperdine universityWhy does it take 54 days, more than 30 emails, 25 phone calls, 3 faxes, and 2 trips to the city of West Covina to obtain records available to the public? The short answer is that some local government officials don’t believe they have to make the public records available to the public.

A group of graduate students working to achieve a Masters Degree from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy were assigned with obtaining all official campaign contribution forms 410, 460, and 700 for elected officials in the city of West Covina from 2012-2015.

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