Fox and Hounds Daily Says Goodbye

With this article, we end publication of Fox and Hounds Daily. It has been a satisfying 12½ year run. When we opened in May 2008, our site was designed to offer an opportunity to those who wished to engage in public debate on many issues, especially in politics and business, but found it difficult to get placed in newspaper op-ed pages. 

Co-publishers Tom Ross, Bryan Merica and I have kept F&H going over this time investing our own time, funding, and staff help. Last year at this time we considered closing the site, however with an election on the horizon we decided to keep F&H going through the election year. With the election come and gone, and with no sense of additional resources, we have decided to close the site down. 

Fox and Hounds will live on, at least, with my articles collected in the California State Library.

On a personal note, I have spent over 40 years in California policy and politics. There have been some incredible high moments and some difficult low points. It pains me that politics too often is a blood sport, frequently demonizing the motives of opponents and using the legal system as a weapon in public discourse. At Fox & Hounds, we tried to adhere to the practice of giving all a voice in the debate, yet keep the commentaries civil and avoided personal attacks.

F&H offered the opportunity to publish different perspectives (even ones that criticized my writings!).  We had success as indicated by the Washington Post twice citing Fox and Hounds Daily one of the best California political websites and many other positive affirmations and comments received over the years.

Tom, Bryan and I want to thank our many readers and writers for being part of our journey.  The publishers of Fox and Hounds Daily believe that we added value to California and its people. We hope you agree.

Billionaire Texas Democrat Seeks to Reform CA Pensions

California’s pension problems are so massive that any help should be welcomed, even from outside the state.

Enter Texas billionaire Democrat John Arnold, who announced an effort to reform unsustainable public pensions across the United States, starting in California.

According to Reuters, that sparked a response from Lowell Goodman, communications director for the southern California chapter of the Service Employees International Union, “It’s the height of narcissism for a Texas billionaire who doesn’t have to worry about his retirement to come into California to try and meddle with the secure retirement of working class people.” (more…)

Prop 8 Decision

The United States Supreme Court decision on California’s Proposition 8 can be found here.

Supreme Court Finally Fixes the Voting Rights Act

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court finally tossed out the antiquated formula that brought a number of states and counties, including four here in California, under the federal Voting Rights Act.  The outcry from the usual suspects has been ferocious, that the Court decimated minority voting rights by finding that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is so outdated as to be unconstitutional.  Count on hysterical editorials from our state’s leading liberal newspapers as well as the gaggle of law school professors who follow this stuff.

But in fact the coverage formula should never have been renewed by the Congress in 2006, and in 2009 the Supreme Court warned them that it was probably unconstitutional.  Now it is.  (more…)

Wage Issue Overshadows Biz Moving In/Out of CA

How much workers at newly established jobs are paid may be the bigger issue than businesses coming in or leaving California according to some preliminary data released in a new effort to understand the regulatory impact on business and its relation to the surrounding community. An ambitious project undertaken by the California Business Roundtable and the Los Angeles Urban League through the auspices of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs released some initial data yesterday.

Nolan Rollins, head of the Los Angeles chapter of the Urban League, succinctly expressed the goal of the sponsors by noting that he wears a pin that spells JOBS. He said what is often lost in conversations about the business environment is the connection between businesses and the health of the community. (more…)

California is Ground Zero for Food Lawsuits

For some time, the plaintiffs’ bar has been looking for the next cash cow and the food industry seems to be it. Last year, a story on ABC laid out how the same guys who got rich by pummeling the tobacco industry have set their sights on a new target: those who make and sell food. That accusation that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in the pocket of the food industry combined with the fact that more than a third of Americans are obese make for the perfect storm for trial lawyers. Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale University prevention Research Center stated, “The three major detriments of all our ills are tobacco, poor diet and lack of physical activity.” He went on to add, “There is no question the problem of poor diet has been aided and abetted by those profiteering from the status quo.” (more…)

New State Retirement Plan Can Learn from Past Mistakes

Adventures are often fraught with peril.  That’s what makes them adventures.

Adventures also present exciting opportunities.  Last year, the state Legislature authorized the initial steps to create the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program — an unprecedented effort to provide retirement security to 6 million Californians employed by small businesses.

The entire cost of the program would be supported by employee contributions and investment income.  Employers withhold contributions from their employees’ paychecks and send the money to the state, which would invest the money and pay benefits when employees retire. (more…)