Tim Anaya, Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office
Winner: Sacramento Diners – Fans of the Sacramento restaurant Biba, which closed last spring amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and following the death of Biba Caggiano, its legendary chef and proprietor, cheered this week’s news that its former executive chef and several former staff members planned to open a new restaurant called Mattone Ristorante later this year. The “quarterly rotating menu will run through Biba’s best-known dishes” notes The Sacramento Bee. I’m most pleased that Biba’s famous eight-layer lasagna, which melts in your mouth, will be back on the menu.
Loser: CBS – This year’s Super Bowl between the victorious Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs was “the least-watched Super Bowl in recent history,” according to Deadline – generating around 96.4 million viewers across all platforms. The TV audience on CBS – which reportedly pays about $1 billion per season to carry NFL games – was down about 8 percent from last year, the smallest audience since the 2006 Super Bowl. But all is not bad news for the NFL – this year’s Super Bowl drew a record streaming audience, with around 5.7 million Americans watching digitally.
Evan Harris, Media Relations and Outreach Manager
Winner: PRI! – I’m giving my “winner” designation to PRI staff for last week’s virtual California Ideas in Action Conference. While I got a front-row seat working the Zoom controls, we should give a special shoutout to Tim Anaya, who moderated both days of the panel and kept things running on time, Dana Beigel for our incredible graphics, and Sally, Wayne, Henry, Kerry, Lance and an “a-list” of guest panelists who provided expert insights on free market policies in 2021. If you missed the conference, keep an eye out for recordings on our website and newsletter, and listen to our keynote from Congresswoman Young Kim.
Loser: Big Tech – Last week, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar released details about her latest bill to reign in big trust called the “Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act.” Big tech isn’t named in the bill, but Klobuchar has made it clear that her bill, which provides more funding for federal regulatory agencies and changes in legal policies for mergers and acquisitions, is meant to challenge the rise of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.
Rowena Itchon, Senior Vice President
Winners: Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles – The union for LA County’s deputy district attorneys won its lawsuit against newly elected District Attorney George Gascon. LA Superior Court Judge James. Chalfant mostly ruled in favor of the prosecutors, saying that Gascon cannot order his prosecutors to ignore laws that protect the public, including three-strike allegations and sentencing enhancements. Families of victims have been protesting Gascon’s new policies since he took office in December 2020.
Losers: Romantic restaurants – Valentine dinners: another sad loss of revenue for restaurants nationwide. But all is not lost, couples should check on special Valentine’s Day dinners for home delivery in their area.
Kerry Jackson, Fellow, Center for California Reform
Winners: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – Cruz received an apology from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell after she incorrectly tried to correct him about the author of the phrase “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Cruz attributed the line to Shakespeare, and Mitchell tried to make him look foolish, tweeting that it was from William Faulkner (who borrowed the phrase for his fourth novel, “The Sound And The Fury.”) When the Twitterverse pointed out she was wrong, Mitchell said she “clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth. My apologies to Sen. Cruz.”
Loser: Future taxpayers – The Biden “stimulus” will result in higher taxes and inflation, which is itself a tax.
McKenzie Richards – Development Associate
Winner: George Washington – With another President’s Day coming up that is not yet “cancelled” means another victory for America’s First Commander in Chief. We are grateful for the magnanimous man, who, in the name of a new republic and the sacred rights of its people, would not be made king.
Loser: Houston hospitals – Dr. Hasan Gokal who worked in several hospitals in Houston Texas, had 10 coronavirus vaccines which were on the verge of expiring. He quickly found several at-risk individuals, including a mother with a daughter on a ventilator and an 80-year-old woman with dementia, to administer the vaccine to. For his quick thinking and dedication, Dr. Hasan Gokal was charged with theft and fired from his job. Houston lost an incredible doctor who was willing to go above and beyond to serve his community.