Remembering those who lost their lives on September 11th.

Fox and Hounds Daily Editors

The Fox and Hounds Daily Editors ask you to join them in remembering all those who lost their lives on September 11th.

September 11th honors the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Each year, in the United States the day is dedicated to remembering those who died as well as those who risked their own lives to save others.

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More Local Tax Initiatives on the Horizon

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

Many government officials have detested the initiative process, but maybe a non-action by the California Supreme Court will change that attitude. The Court decided not to take up a case challenging a tax increase for a specific purpose that garnered a majority vote but not the two-thirds that was thought to be required for earmarked taxes. A lower court declared the two-thirds requirement only applies to local governments raising taxes. If the tax increase comes via direct democracy, then the restriction doesn’t apply.

By the Supreme Court refusing to take up a challenge to the lower court ruling, for now the door has been opened for initiative generated earmarked special taxes to be passed with a majority vote. In this instance, the City of San Francisco raised gross receipts taxes on certain businesses to fund homeless services.

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Would The End of Trump Mean the End of Newsom?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

The defeat of Donald Trump would be a victory for the country, for democracy, and for the many victims of his presidency.

But it could be a disaster for Gavin Newsom. 

President Trump has long offered a perverse sort of protection for Newsom, and other prominent Democrats in our state. Californians, especially Democratic Californians, might be furious with what they were getting from California’s leading Democrats. They might be wondering why huge Democratic supermajorities weren’t translating into more and better education, health care and other vital services. They might wonder why the state’s rules couldn’t move more quickly to build housing, especially with money set aside for housing homeless people.

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Environmentalists Destroyed California’s Forests

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

Millions of acres of California forest have been blackened by wildfires this summer, leading to the usual angry denunciations from the usual quarters about climate change. But in 1999, the Associated Press reported that forestry experts had long agreed that “clearing undergrowth would save trees,” and that “years of aggressive firefighting have allowed brush to flourish that would have been cleared away by wildfires.” But very little was done. And now fires of unprecedented size are raging across the Western United States.

“Sen. Feinstein blames Sierra Club for blocking wildfire bill,” reads the provocative headline on a 2002 story in California’s Napa Valley Register. Feinstein had brokered a congressional consensus on legislation to thin “overstocked” forests close to homes and communities, but could not overcome the environmental lobby’s disagreement over expediting the permit process to thin forests everywhere else.

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Counting the Vote in CA and More Trump Books

Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Bill Boyarsky is a former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, is a retired Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California

What’s the impact of all the Trump books?  We examine whether anyone other than politics addicts care when so many Americans are busy worrying about the pandemic.  We also look at how Joe Biden is handling his media face off against Donald Trump,  Most important, there’s growing concern over counting the vote. In California, extensive preparations didn’t  prevent long lines in the primary election, especially in populous Los Angeles County.  Can election officials do better in November?

Inside Golden State Politics podcast is here.

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An Unexpected Last Minute Legislative Boost for Small Business

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

Talk to business leaders who dealt with the legislature over the past few months and they often expressed frustration that the legislature, while understandably focusing on employee concerns, were giving businesses short shrift. But at the last minute, a gut-and-amend bill did move ahead to give small businesses a boost to help them rebound from the disastrous business collapse. 

SB 1447, authored by Senator Steve Bradford, created a $100 million tax credit for small businesses to rehire and hire workers through November 30 at a $1,000 credit per worker. 

There are qualifying parameters for small businesses to claim the credit including documenting a loss of 50% of its revenue over the last year. The maximum a small business can claim is $100,000 and it can use the credits over the next five years. Gov. Newsom signed the bill. 

California’s small businesses were devasted by the business lockdown. Unemployment in the state shot up to over 16%. SB 1447 is intended as an incentive to bring workers back on the jobs at a time that is uncertain how robustly the economy will come back. In a sense, the incentive is based on a supply side concept of a tax cut in the form of a tax credit to expand small businesses by adding employees to improve services and generate increased business. 

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Legislative Fumble

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

The California Legislature fumbled a chance to boost economic recovery in the state by choosing the easy path: business-as-usual. 

Facing the three horsemen of the CApocalypse – pandemic, economic collapse, and social unrest – the Legislature instead took refuge in the warm embrace of its special interests, legislating as if millions of residents weren’t jobless and thousands of small businesses were not bankrupted. 

 Economic development doesn’t do any good if a business has no customers and no jobs to offer California workers.  This year, Legislators seemed tone-deaf to the issues that are among the most important to Californians — electric reliability, ubiquitous testing and business re-opening.  Unfortunately, it seems that lack of awareness on their part is merely business-as-usual. We’re in a hole, and the Legislature continues to dig. 

 This year, the Legislature passed a handful of new, unnecessary business regulations, which is not unusual for a typical year, but particularly inappropriate during a pandemic crisis.  

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California Democrats And Communism

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

California Democrats seem to have a problem with communists.  Rep. Karen Bass of Los Angeles was on the Biden short list for vice president until her praise of “commandante Fidel” came out, and Democrats fearing the loss of anti-Castro Florida dropped her from contention.  That was followed by the bizarre praise of communist leader Ho Chi Minh by a Democratic Party leader in Orange County.

Orange County is home to 180,000 Vietnamese Americans whose families fled communist Vietnam, yet Jeff LeTourneau, vice chair of the Orange County Democratic party, posted this on social media: “Ho Chi Minh liberated an entirely poor colonized nation from 2 of the most imperial military forces in the world (the US and France) and won full independence for the people of Vietnam.” 

Outrage from the Vietnamese community was immediate, and Orange County Democrats not wanting to blow their campaigns in that county forced LeTourneau to resign his position with the party.  But the incident underscores how little many Americans know of Vietnam or America’s long war there that cost 58,000 lives and billions in American treasure.

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Sacramento’s misguided attacks on single-family housing

Susan Shelley
Columnist and member of the editorial board of the Southern California News Group, and the author of the book, "How Trump Won."

“Honest question,” a housing activist wrote to me on Twitter, “since you mention the ‘impacts to all’ of housing policy, what do you say to someone who wants to live in Pasadena but can’t afford $875K to live here (or $3K/month in rent)?”

The topic of discussion was Senate Bill 1120, a housing bill that was awaiting a vote in the Assembly while the clock ticked toward the constitutionally mandated deadline for the end of the legislative session on Aug. 31.

SB1120 was controversial. As the phones were ringing off the hook in lawmakers’ offices at the Capitol, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, an author of the bill, tweeted, “I’ve seen lots of drama over density bills. Never have I seen the bizarro reaction we’re seeing against SB 1120, which legalizes DUPLEXES. Yes, apocalyptic predictions over letting folks build TWO HOMES INSTEAD OF ONE.”

Here’s a tip for gamblers. The war on the suburbs will be won by the suburbs. Don’t bet against the house.

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A Fire Season Like No Other

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

A California fire season like no other likely could get worse with the prediction of high winds blowing across the state. Some statewide and local political campaigns might try to gain an advantage by tying ballot measures to fire response needs, but timing will determine if they have any hope of success. As suggested here previously, the most obvious advantage will go to the wildfire fund created under Proposition 19. 

Besides those brave souls from CalFire, OES, and the contributions of local firefighters from around the state who deserve praise for their valiant efforts, a special tip of the hat goes to the California National Guard for the Hollywood movie-like helicopter rescues of residents, vacationers and hikers involved in Fresno County’s Creek Fire. 

Will California officials learn any lessons from this latest set of devastating fires bedeviling the state?

In the north, the winds are called Diablo. In the south Santa Anas. In California fire season, they are like the carriers of a fast spreading plague. 

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