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.

Why isn’t Gov. Newsom Going Toe-to-Toe with Texas over Business Losses?

Granted, Gov. Gavin Newsom has a lot on his plate now, but hasn’t he noticed the flow of business leaving California is turning into a tidal wave? Many, especially big brand name companies, are headed to Texas. Newsom should fight against the loss. But unlike when Gov. Jerry Brown took on Texas governor Rick Perry over business raids nearly a decade ago, Newsom hasn’t be visible on the recent departures. Maybe that is because Newsom’s problem with business is not an external challenge but California policy, itself, when it comes to business.

In 2013, Texas Governor Perry created a campaign to bring California businesses to the Lone Star State. Texas ran radio and magazine ads while the Texas governor made numerous trips to California to coax business leaders to move their operations to his home state. California governor Jerry Brown dismissed the offensive, labeling the campaign no more than passing gas. (more…)

To Solve Governance Problems, Newsom Turns to Spin Doctors Dee Dee and DeBoo

Gov. Gavin Newsom has governance problems. He’s struggled with finding a consistent response that local officials will follow. He’s failed to fix the state department that handles unemployment. He hasn’t rallied sufficient support for the unemployed and distressed businesses. He’s failed to re-open schools. 

But Newsom seems to think his problems are primarily about politics and perception. So instead of bringing on stronger managers and those with governance experience in California, he’s turning to political consultants, and putting them in charge of his administration.

He’s apparently making Jim DeBoo, who is also a lobbyist, his next chief of staff. I say apparently, because the switch appears to have been bungled—which does not reflect well on DeBoo or Newsom—with a pre-emptive leak that chief of staff Ann O’Leary was leaving before she was actually leaving.  (more…)

Padilla and elections are top California story

The 2020 election year has been a roll call of voting disasters. The Iowa caucus. The New York primary. High-visibility legal battles in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia and many, many others.

Missing from the list? California, which ran a secure and problem-free election, despite a record number of voters and a virtually all-mail balloting.

For putting together an election-system that worked wonderfully well in a time of pandemic and for keeping California out of the national election news, Secretary of State Alex Padilla is my choice for the 2020 Black Bart award.

It’s easy to argue that Padilla had an easy job in a deep-blue state where the result in the presidential race was never in doubt.  But at a time when the coronavirus was ravaging the state and forcing dramatic changes in the way Californians voted, more than 17 million people cast ballots with only a handful of complaints and problems. (more…)

One “Dastardly Deed” Cements Gavin Newsom as my Black Bart Nominee

I thought I might nominate Donald J. Trump for this year’s Black Bart Award. But it’s time to retire our lame-duck President’s number. Instead, I nominate California’s Governor Gavin Newsom–for his often good, sometimes bad and, once-in-a-while really stupid impact on the Golden State.

On the plus side, or the negative–depending on where you stand politically, Newsom has managed not to totally alienate President Trump.  Despite Trump’s incessantly bashing the Golden State—political punishment for its blue hue, he hasn’t spewed a whole lot of angry tweets in Newsom’s direction. Trump, you could argue, likes Newsom better than the state he governs.  And no matter what your political persuasion, you’ve got to admit that this somewhat curious relationship has been more useful than an unceasing poke in the eye—especially when federal assistance is needed. 

Newson  has shown movement (sometimes chaotic) on several progressive agenda items (e.g. fracking and prescription drug costs). But unresolved major state issues, like the homeless crisis and the affordable health care conundrum, continue to haunt his tenure. (more…)

Becerra: Another Bright Spot For California And The Rest of The Country

We look at the good news and the bad.  The appointment of California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra to head the Department of Health and Human Services brings an accomplished  politician and health care champion to the challenging job.  We dismantle the congressional stalemate on  coronavirus aid.  And we   criticize California  Gov. Gavin Newson, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the news media for lack of effective communication on the pandemic aid bill.  Finally we agree it’s time for the public to demand action.  

Nancy Boyarsky is the producer-director of Inside Golden State Politics

The podcast is here

Becerra’s Problems with Senate Confirmation

Gov. Gavin Newsom best not plan to appoint a new attorney general too quickly because there is a very distinct possibility that current Attorney General Xavier Becerra, nominated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, will not be confirmed by the US Senate.

Thus far Senate Republicans have been fairly restrained about President-elect Biden’s cabinet appointments; a new president usually gets his first set of picks although President Trump did lose his first Labor Secretary.  But Becerra has two drawbacks that the others do not have.

First, he has no direct experience in the bureaucracy of health care, yet he would be heading up a massive federal health care agency.  Already there is some grumbling over this; most secretaries of HHS have had some medical or healthcare background; Trump’s current secretary, Alex Azar, came out of the pharmaceutical industry.  (more…)