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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Sandra Fluke Loses Key Endorsement in CA State Senate Race

State Senate candidate and free-birth-control activist Sandra Fluke lost a key endorsement this week, as the Santa Monica Democratic Club endorsed local school board president and Harvard graduate Ben Allen instead as its candidate for the 26th district in the June 3 primary. Local party endorsements are often the key to winning state and local elections, because many voters rely on party mailings when deciding whom to support. May 16, 2014 5:49 AM PT

New NYT Editor Was Ousted from LA Times in 2006

Dean Baquet, the new executive editor of the New York Times following the ouster of Jill Abramson, was himself ousted as editor of the Los Angeles Times in 2006--on Election Day. Baquet was reportedly removed because of his strong--and public--stance against cuts to newsroom staff as the paper struggled to stay afloat. May 15, 2014 8:01 AM PT

It Begins: California Agrees on 'Compromise' to Change Proposition 13

On Tuesday, legislators, business groups and tax reformers reached a compromise to change part of California's Proposition 13, the legendary restriction on property taxes passed by referendum in 1978. At the time, Prop 13 heralded the beginning of an economic turnaround for California, as well as the beginning of the nationwide "Reagan Revolution." Democrats, however, have increasingly seen it as an obstacle to their spending goals. May 14, 2014 6:00 AM PT

Media's Knives Out for Donnelly

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly was in second place in the latest poll, with a net favorable rating. California's newspapers, however, seem determined to change that. The Los Angeles Times has focused on comments Donnelly made about illegal immigration several years ago, while the San Francisco Chronicle has seized on Donnelly's defense of his vote not to ban state sales of Confederate symbols. May 13, 2014 2:30 PM PT

State Bar: No Comment on Lawyer who Gave Electrical Shock to Witness

The California State Bar is not commenting on whether it would discipline a California attorney who gave an electric shock to a witness during testimony in a Utah state court. The attorney, Don Howarth, gave an expert witness a trick pen with a AAA battery that shocked him. The point was to show, contrary to the expert's testimony, that the same current could give a shock to cows grazing on land above underground power cables. May 13, 2014 5:48 AM PT

Toyota is Leaving, but Sriracha Hot Sauce Will Stay in California

Toyota may be leaving for Texas, but Sriracha Hot Sauce is staying put. That is the latest news from the troubled condiment manufacturer, whose plight has become a cause célèbre for locals irritated by the state's onerous business regulations, but which in the end could not afford the distance from the peppers needed to make its signature product. The company may, however, expand into other states, according to NPR. May 12, 2014 5:45 AM PT

Pants on Fire: Politifact in Texas-Sized Blunder Defending Wendy Davis

Politifact Texas hit Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott May 6 with its worst rating--"pants on fire"--for claiming that Democrat rival Wendy Davis raised money for a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. That member was Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who hosted Davis at her annual "Ultimate Women's Power Lunch" fundraiser on May 5. The fact is that Schakowsky was indeed a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, as Breitbart News readers can confirm in the documents below. May 12, 2014 4:46 AM PT

Sandra Fluke May Have Met Her Match

Free-birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke began her campaign for the California State Senate after something of an anticlimax. She had intended to run for the congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). Party elders, however, intervened, and she decided to set her sights on state office, declaring instead for the State Senate seat currently held by Democrat Ted Lieu, who is one of the contenders to succeed Waxman. May 11, 2014 1:40 PM PT

Roommate: Chuck Schumer 'Has Not Made His Bed in 30 Years'

Retiring congressman George Miller, a Bay Area Democrat and lieutenant to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, told a local NBC News reporter that his roommate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), "has not made his bed in 30 years." May 11, 2014 6:35 AM PT

Almonds, Rice Suffer Drought's Worst Effects

The extended drought in California--one of the worst in the state's history--is hitting the Central Valley farming region, and several key crops in particular. The Sacramento Bee reports that almonds, the state's largest farm export in dollar terms, are in danger throughout the San Joaquin Valley, and also reports that rice paddies are being fallowed and farmers are turning to substitute crops such as popcorn in the Sacramento Valley. May 11, 2014 6:11 AM PT

Roske Drops Out, Endorses Independent Williamson in Waxman Race

Brent Roske, a television producer and director who was running as an independent, has dropped out of the race for the congressional seat held by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and endorsed fellow independent Marianne Williamson. The Williamson campaign released a video of Roske's endorsement at its campaign headquarters on May 9, and welcomed his support as a sign of that campaign's growing momentum. May 11, 2014 5:51 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Why Do America's Rich Hate Themselves?

President Barack Obama's fundraising pilgrimage to California touched all the liberal stations: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and La Jolla. Two patterns stood out: first, that Obama continues to be heckled by friendly audiences; and second, that America's richest political donors not only tolerate attacks on wealth but enjoy them, nodding and murmuring their approval when the president tells them they are the greatest enemies. May 9, 2014 6:47 PM PT


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