Black Bart Award Nominee — Legislature is California’s Comeback Story

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Pigs are taking wing. There are snowdrifts outside the devil’s door. The Chicago Cubs will win the World Series. And the California Legislature is my pick for the Black Bart award. Yeah, that’s pretty much the same Legislature that in 2009 defined dysfunction by forcing the state to issue IOUs because lawmakers couldn’t agree on […]

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Who To Vote For, No Names Allowed

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

(Editor’s Note: I wish this editor’s note was an April’s Fools joke, but, unfortunately, it is not — John Wildermuth’s column here is his last for Fox and Hounds. John has been pulled back onto the political reporting team at the San Francisco Chronicle so he must forgo his writing for F&H. John’s contributions to the site have […]

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Serious Issues Don’t Bring Serious Discussions

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

There may be some favored spot in the United States where politicians and their constituents can discuss controversial matters and come to a decision based on the facts of the case, but California sure isn’t that place. The case in point is the recent effort to pass SCA5, a constitutional amendment that would have again […]

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Politicians Want to Run for Office, Any Office

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

If flexibility, the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, is one of the most important virtues in our new, high-tech world, boy, are California politicians virtuous. Take Wendy Greuel. It was less than a year ago that she was running for her dream job as mayor of Los Angeles. Everything in her political career […]

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Sacramento Scandal Response Is For Looks Only

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Responding to the scandal that has a pair of Democratic state senators looking at jail time, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has proposed banning legislators from accepting free tickets to ball games and theme parks. That will show ‘em. Admittedly, Steinberg and the Democrats have a problem. When Roderick Wright and Ron Calderon’s, ah, […]

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Brown’s Re-Election Effort Likely To Be Quiet One

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Stop the presses. Jerry Brown is running for re-election. Newspapers from the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune all the way down to the Sioux City Journal and the Billings Gazette carried the news Thursday. Web sites and blogs all reported that the governor announced his intentions in a Twitter feed. The statement on […]

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Marijuana Measure Will Have New Look in 2016

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Well, it looks like Californians are going to have to keep relying on constipation, obesity, writers cramp and a whole constellation of other ailments if they want to keep their legal marijuana coming for the next two years. Backers of the well-financed Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act, a weed legalization measure that had been […]

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Brown Finally Surrenders on Prison Overcrowding

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

The endgame is here for Gov. Jerry Brown’s long-running battle with the courts over prison overcrowding. On Monday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District court gave Brown the two-year extension he was looking for, but he had to pay the price. And it was a steep one. The governor agreed to accept the court’s […]

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Politics Trumps Reality in State Water Wars

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Well, the water bill by Hanford GOP Rep. David Valadao that just passed the House may not ease the drought, but it did wonders to warm up the state’s political climate. “Congressman Garamendi Opposes California Water Theft Legislation,” screamed the press release by, well, Congressman Garamendi. Sen. Barbara Boxer called it “another divisive and discredited […]

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For Brown, It Won’t Be Easy to Just Say No

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Gov. Jerry Brown knows he’s in trouble when even President Obama seems to be ganging up against him. One of the high points of the president’s State of the Union address the other night was a clarion call for universal pre-school education, paid on the public dime. You know, almost exactly like the proposal by […]

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