Black Bart Award Winners for 2019: Lorena Gonzalez and Scott Wiener

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

Choosing the winner of Fox and Hounds Daily’s annual Black Bart Award for a leading figure in California politics is often a close call because the nominations cover a wide field. And, while many deserving candidates were mentioned in the columns this week by our nominators, two clearly stood out.

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and state Senator Scott Wiener are the F&H Black Bart Award Winners for 2019.

As Joe Mathews wrote in suggesting Gonzalez and Wiener as co-nominees: “Wiener and Gonzalez represent the growing power and ambition of the California legislature, for better and for worse. They played the game best in 2019.”

John Wildermuth promoted Scott Wiener for the recognition: “Scott Wiener is a legislator. And his willingness to take up important but controversial issues and fight hard to do what he believes is best for the state is what makes him my nominee for Californian of the Year.”

While undoubtedly a player on many fronts, Wiener’s most controversial legislation, SB 50 re-ordering zoning laws to deal with the housing crisis, stalled.

Not true for Gonzalez’s prize legislation, AB 5, dealing with worker classification and the gig economy, which is bound to effect California’s technologically driven, entrepreneurial economy in significant ways. As I wrote, “While any casual reader of this page knows that I am no fan of AB 5 … there is no question that Assemblymember Gonzalez muscled this legislation through despite its flaws and critics and it will have a deep effect on the way California works.”

Given the nominations, the choice this year was pretty clear. Lorena Gonzalez and Scott Wiener are F&H Daily’s Black Bart Award winners in the California political world for 2019.

F&H Daily Black Bart Award winners:

  • 2009 State Sen. Abel Maldonado
  • 2010 Governor-elect Jerry Brown
  • 2011 Controller John Chiang
  • 2012 Molly Munger and Charles Munger Jr.
  • 2013 California’s Mayors
  • 2014 The Non-Voter
  • 2015 Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
  • 2016 Senator-elect Kamala Harris
  • 2017 State Senate Leader Kevin de León
  • 2018 Dominating Democrats
  • 2019 Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and Senator Scott Wiener

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