Tim Anaya – Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office
Winner: Advocates of increased federal spending – It was pretty clear that when a $1 trillion state and local bailout and $2,000 stimulus checks were rejected in the December stimulus plan, advocates of this increased spending were setting their sights past Jan. 20 when Joe Biden becomes president. It appears they may get their big spending wish list and then some. Biden is proposing a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, including the extra $1,400 stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits, and other new spending.
Loser: CNN Airport Network – Who hasn’t been stuck at a gate at an airport, waiting for your heavily-delayed flight, forced to watch the CNN Airport Network as that was the only thing being shown on TV at the gate. Take solace, weary travelers. The CNN Airport Network is shutting down effective March 30. The big question – what will replace it at airport gates across the country?
Evan Harris, Media Relations and Outreach Manager
Winner: PRI’s Lance Izumi! – It’s not often I pick a PRI fellow for a weekly winner, but PRI’s Lance Izumi has hit the ground running in 2021. Lance authored a new brief on school choice, appeared on national news outlet Newsy to discuss school re-openings, recorded an “o-dark-thirty” radio interview in Texas, and was featured with leading state education experts in EdSource’s expert response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 education budget proposal.
Loser: Any Attempt at Political Partisanship – Many of us were hoping that 2021 could have been the start to more cooperation and bipartisanship. But last week’s un-American attack at the U.S. Capitol kicked off the latest ugly round of partisanship. Calls for resignations, a record second impeachment vote, calls for resignation and political backstabbing, corporate donation backlash, investigations into other members, etc., etc. Even California democrats even held a press conference and tried to mistakenly connect the congressional mob to current recall efforts against California Governor Gavin Newsom (with an incredible amount of backlash). 2021 seems like it’s starting where 2020 left off unfortunately.
Rowena Itchon, Senior Vice President
Winner: PRI as we celebrate this week more than a decade of publishing the work of Senior Fellow in Business & Economics, Wayne Winegarden – From reforming California’s environmental and energy policies to advocating free market reforms to the nation’s drug policies, Wayne has made tremendous contributions to PRI.
Loser: PRI – Poof! Our Parler account is no more.
Kerry Jackson, Fellow, Center for California Reform
Winners: The University of Alabama football team, its coaches, and its fans – Monday night’s national championship win is a fitting conclusion to a season many said shouldn’t even be played because of the pandemic. All college football fans, not just the Tide’s, should be happy that so many involved in the sport refused to be bullied by the fearmongers.
Losers: All those who entered the U.S. Capitol last week, even those who didn’t break anything, or hurt anyone, and had no malicious intentions – The same mentality that drove the second impeachment of President Donald Trump is demanding retribution for what happened in Washington. Few will escape the dragnet.
McKenzie Richards – Development Associate
Winner: Disneyland – While the magical rides at Disneyland may not reopen anytime soon, the theme park now serves the Anaheim community as a vaccine super site. After just one day, 3,000 California citizens already received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Disneyland Resort.
Loser: Law Students at Chapman Fowler School of Law – After Dr. John Eastman, a constitutional law professor from Chapman Fowler School of Law, worked with Rudy Giuliani on the ongoing election fraud lawsuits and spoke at the Save America rally, over 160 members of the faculty and over 1500 colleagues demanded his resignation. Dr. Eastman resigned Wednesday. Political differences aside, one thing is for certain: Chapman’s law students lost the opportunity to study with one of the nation’s foremost scholars of constitutional law.