The question we dealt with in deciding the Fox and Hounds Daily Second Annual Black Bart Award winner as Californian of the Year was: Is the obvious choice always the best choice? A strong argument was made that an unexpected player who changed the course of California politics might be an appropriate choice. In this category, Nicky Diaz Santillan had strong support. Meg Whitman’s former housekeeper certainly upset the Whitman strategy and changed the course of the gubernatorial campaign.

However, even if Diaz Santillan had never shed one tear in front of a camera or found her name in one newspaper, the odds are Whitman would have lost the governor’s race, anyway.

Governor-elect Jerry Brown was mentioned by all three of our writers as a nominee for Californian of the Year. He is the winner of the Second Annual Black Bart Award.

John Wildermuth, who tabbed Brown the equivalent of an “Old Testament prophet,” rightly pointed out that while Brown is Californian of the Year 2010, he will be judged on his record of accomplishments in 2011, which will likely be a tough standard to meet.

Yet, today, Brown, in true Hollywood fashion, has all the spotlights on him as he prepares to celebrate his second go-around in the governor’s corner office, and offers the promise that he can find a path to resolve California’s difficulties.

As we noted last year, we decided to name the Californian of the Year Award after the gentleman highwayman Black Bart, a California original. He mixed a bit of larceny, artistry, and polite manners with character to push-back when he thought the system was working against him, as exemplified by his famous poem left at the scene of his first stagecoach holdup:


I labored long and hard
For Honor and for riches
But on my corns too long you’ve tred,
You fine-haired sons of bitches.
Black Bart, the Po8


When Black Bart was released from prison, a reporter asked him if he would write more poetry. Black Bart responded: “Young man, didn’t you hear me say I would commit no more crimes?”

We at Fox and Hounds Daily did not make such promises – so we will continue publication with our commentaries on California business and politics in 2011.

Thanks for visiting us this year.