Joel B. Pollak

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large and in-house counsel at Breitbart News. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he also has a degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cape Town. He ran for Congress in 2010 in his hometown of Skokie, IL and worked as a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, as well as speechwriter to the Leader of the Opposition in the South African Parliament. He enjoys improv comedy, rock 'n' roll, and the literature of liberal apostates and iconoclasts. His wife Julia is a Ph.D. Fellow at the Pardee Rand Graduate School and his daughter Maya is unbelievably cute.

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WSJ: Emily's List vs. Democrats in California

California's "jungle primary" system, in which all candidates compete in a common primary, continues to befuddle the two major political parties. Just as in the 33rd congressional district, where a crowded field and strong campaigns by Republican and independent candidates could mean that no Democratic candidate emerges to succeed liberal stalwart Rep. Henry Waxman, the 31st district east of L.A. could see a similar fate. Apr 28, 2014 5:27 AM PT

CA-33: Carr, Lieu Shine at Forum; Williamson Riles 'Em Up

Republican Elan Carr (left) and Democrat Ted Lieu (right) stood out at Sunday's candidate forum in California's 33rd congressional district, where 18 candidates are vying to replace retiring Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman. Independent candidate Marianne Williamson provided the most rousing performance, however, as she exhorted voters to support her effort to push big money out of politics and "disrupt the status quo." Apr 27, 2014 4:09 PM PT

Live Blog: Candidates to Replace Waxman Face Off at CA-33 Forum

I'm at the University Synagogue on Sunset Blvd. in West Los Angeles for the first candidate forum for the 33rd congressional district--the district that retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D) has represented for forty years. There are eighteen candidates in this Democratic Party stronghold--10 Democrats, 3 Republicans, one Libertarian, one Green, and three independents. This is the first time that all will have appeared on the same stage. Apr 27, 2014 2:25 PM PT

California Schools to Teach Kids Racial 'Significance' of Obama Presidency

In a unanimous 71-0 vote last Thursday, with no debate or discussion, the California State Assembly passed a bill that would require the state's board of education to teach students the racial "significance" of Barack Obama's presidency as part of the standard history-social science curriculum in the Golden State. Apr 27, 2014 6:22 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Universities and the 'Chicago Way’

My father called me from LAX on Wednesday, on his way back home to Chicago after the holidays. Had I seen the Los Angeles Times yet? "There's a story there about a doctor at UCLA. A whistleblower. They had to pay him $10 million because of a lawsuit over corruption at the hospital. He accused them of taking big money from medical companies and putting patients' lives at risk." My father paused. "Just like what happened to me." Apr 25, 2014 8:06 PM PT

L.A.'s Union Station Celebrates 75 years

Union Station in Los Angeles is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The gorgeous Mission Revival structure is the focus of a summer exhibit at the Los Angeles Public Library: "No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station," as Dan Allen notes in Westways, the magazine of the Automobile Club of Southern California. Apr 25, 2014 5:52 AM PT

NFL 'Not Serious' About L.A., Says County Supervisor

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who has long advocated for the National Football League to return to the city, warned Wednesday that the NFL is "not serious" about expanding or relocating to the area. Football fans in L.A. will have to content themselves with college football, the L.A. Kiss of the Arena Football League, or the L.A. Temptation of the Lingerie Football League, whose season and home opener is this Saturday night. Apr 24, 2014 11:48 AM PT

Aborted Babies Could Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Fight Climate Change

One possibly redeeming (or exacerbating) feature of the shocking story that aborted fetuses have been burned at an Oregon facility that converts biomedical waste into municipal energy is that the babies may have helped combat climate change. According to the website of Covanta, the energy company that operates the Oregon facility, the energy-from-waste (EfW) process "offsets greenhouse gases to combat climate change." Apr 24, 2014 10:58 AM PT

Why SF Dominates LA in California Voting

Why do so many statewide politicians come from Northern California, when there are more people in Southern California? The answer is simple, writes Anthony York of Capitol Weekly: Democrats from the Bay Area vote. Apr 24, 2014 5:30 AM PT

Elizabeth Warren, Neel Kashkari Clash over Wall Street Bailouts

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has fashioned herself as the next hope of the liberal grassroots, argues in her new memoir, A Fighting Chance, that California gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari lied to her during his tenure at the U.S. Treasury, where he helped run the Wall Street bailout program known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Kashkari's campaign fired back with furious denials, the Los Angeles Times reports. Apr 24, 2014 5:19 AM PT

The Candidates Agree: Debra Bowen Isn't Doing Her Job

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen was the common target of four candidates for her office in the 2014 elections as they debated Wednesday at the Sacramento Press Club, the Sacramento Bee reports. Bowen pushed back, the Bee notes, in an email from her spokeswoman: "We understand that it’s part of politics to run against the incumbent even though there is no incumbent in the race,” she said on behalf of the term-limited Bowen. Apr 24, 2014 4:54 AM PT

California Just Lost Its Right to Mock Kansas

The Contra Costa Times reports that the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a decision "that found using a wooden spoon for a spanking that seriously bruises a child is not necessarily child abuse." Only one judge voted to hear the case, in which a woman had been reported to the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services for inadvertently bruising her child. Apr 24, 2014 4:39 AM PT

Cooley Drops Calderon Endorsement After Breitbart Report

California State Assemblyman has apparently pulled his list of endorsements off his campaign website, after a Breitbart News article by Kurt Bardella earlier this week highlighted Cooley's continued use of an endorsement by State Sen. Ron Calderon. Calderon, for whom Cooley once worked as Legislative Director, was recently indicted on federal bribery charges regarding legislation involving the film industry and workers' compensation. Apr 23, 2014 2:44 PM PT

Saunders: Solve SF Housing Crisis with 'Google Barges'

Conservative San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders could not get much of an answer from Mayor Ed Lee when she asked him about the city's housing shortage, though he introduced a seven-point plan in January. She does, however, have something of a solution of her own: house people on "Google barges," such as the mysterious floating structure that the company built last fall in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Apr 23, 2014 2:34 PM PT


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