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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Jews Wrestle with Cantor Defeat

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his Republican congressional primary to Tea Party-backed Dave Brat in a shocking landslide Tuesday, is the highest-ranking Jew in the history of the U.S. Congress. As news of Cantor's defeat spread, Jews on both sides of the aisle wrestled with what his defeat meant for American Jews in politics--and for Republican Jews in particular, who had long seen Cantor as a champion for their cause. Jun 11, 2014 5:09 AM PT

Wall Street Journal, Election Day: 'Immigration a No-Show in GOP Primaries'

As voters began heading to the polls in Virginia on Election Day, the Wall Street Journal posted a story declaring "immigration a no-show in GOP primaries." By the end of the day, House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) had been defeated by Dave Brat, riding a wave of public opposition to Cantor's immigration policies. Jun 10, 2014 7:37 PM PT

Eric Cantor Defeated by the Tea Party He Helped Create

The stunning demise of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his congressional primary on Tuesday--by a huge margin--is a sign of how deeply the conservative base resents the Republican leadership's efforts to frog-march the party towards immigration reform before securing the country's borders. The Tea Party's death turns out to have been greatly exaggerated. Ironically, it was Cantor himself who breathed life into the movement in 2009. Jun 10, 2014 5:29 PM PT

Breaking: California Judge Strikes Down Teacher Tenure in Vergara Case

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has struck down teacher tenure as unconstitutional, ruling in the highly-anticipated Vergara v. California case that such protections "disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students." Judge Rolf Treu found that laws granting tenure after two years, prioritizing seniority in layoffs, and making it difficult to fire teachers violate state constitutional guarantees of adequate public education. Jun 10, 2014 10:34 AM PT

California Mayor Caught Tossing Dog Poop on Neighbor's Lawn

The mayor of San Marino, a small, wealthy community in Los Angeles county where the median income is near $140k per year, was caught on camera tossing dog excrement on his neighbor's lawn, local news sources report. Jun 10, 2014 7:26 AM PT

Texas Gov. Perry: 'We Need California to Be the Golden Bear Again'

BEVERLY HILLS -- Rick Perry makes "no apologies," he says, for his efforts to recruit California businesses to his state. He is proud that Texas has surpassed California as the top exporter of technology, and proud of the low-tax, low-regulation model that sets his state apart. Yet he is not rooting for California to fail--far from it. "We need California to be the Golden Bear again," he told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Sunday. Jun 8, 2014 5:58 PM PT

The Trouble with 'Reform Conservatives'

The new buzz in the Beltway is the emergence--or, rather, return--of the "reform conservatives." Politico's David Nather reports that these "policy wonks" share a desire to "move the GOP beyond its Reagan-era script of cutting taxes and shrinking government and toward a focus on what a more limited government can and should do, especially for the middle class," and are aiming to shape the 2016 presidential race with their ideas. Jun 8, 2014 6:25 AM PT

Koch Brothers Give $25 Million to United Negro College Fund

In a move that is sure to confound--and enrage--the left, the Koch brothers have donated $25 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the foremost source of financial support to African-American students. Jun 6, 2014 8:16 AM PT

Blue State Blues: How Does Elan Carr Solve Ted Lieu?

Republican Elan Carr did the unthinkable this week: he won the primary in California's 33rd congressional district, winning nearly 22% of the vote and defeating 17 rivals in a district that elected Democrat Henry Waxman for 40 years. Now Carr will have to do it all again: he faces the best possible Democrat--i.e. the worst possible opponent--in State Sen. Ted Lieu, who finished second with 19% and is favored to win the general. Jun 6, 2014 5:36 AM PT

Feinstein Slams 'Unilateral' Obama for Bergdahl Deal

Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, offered sharp criticism of the Obama administration Tuesday, saying that it was "very disappointing" that the White House had not consulted with Congress 30 days prior to trading five Taliban leaders for alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl, as required by law. Jun 3, 2014 3:49 PM PT

California Primary: Welcome to the 'Jungle'

California's 2014 primary has been notable for low levels of public interest--and high levels of outside funding. The state's relatively new "jungle" primary system (also known as a "blanket" or "top-two" primary) means that all candidates, from all parties, and for all offices, compete for every single vote. The major parties have not yet adjusted to the new rules. Yet they could lead to some interesting results heading into the November runoff. Jun 3, 2014 1:10 AM PT

CA-33: Republican Elan Carr Launches Jobs Message on Eve of Primary

Give Republican Elan Carr credit. Not only has he fought for--and won--near-universal acknowledgment as a frontrunner in Henry Waxman's district, but the Army veteran and county prosecutor is already preparing for the general election. That's the takeaway from a statement the Carr campaign issued on the eve of the June 3 primary election, focusing on ways to stop the steady flight of jobs from Southern California to other states. Jun 2, 2014 8:24 PM PT

Waxman Race: Anti-Cellphone Candidate Robo-calls Cell Phones

Republican Kevin Mottus is one of eighteen candidates, and three Republicans, listed on the ballot for the June 3 primary to replace retiring Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman in California's 33rd congressional district. Mottus's focus throughout the campaign has been on the dangers, he says, of cell phone signals and wireless radiation. He wants Congress to mandate "wired headsets" for cell phones "to prevent brain tumors," for example. Jun 2, 2014 11:13 AM PT

Candidates for Waxman's Seat, in 100 Characters

Early in the primary race, Breitbart California issued a challenge to each of the 18 contenders for the 33rd congressional district seat currently held by retiring Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman: summarize your candidacy in 100 tweetable characters or less. The experiment was largely a failure, but a few candidates actually responded. Here are the responses, linked to the candidates' Twitter accounts (if they have them). Jun 2, 2014 10:55 AM PT

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