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Election 2024: Saturday Salons on Politics at the School of Public Policy

US flags with hands dropping ballots into the box

This November will be one of the most important elections in American history. We will all be watching the Trump/Biden rematch and the battles for control of the House and Senate which look equally tight. Other key races up and down the ballot at all levels will also be critically important.

Join us for a series of Saturday morning conversations throughout the fall in which we work to make sense of this incredibly contested and complicated political landscape. We’ll be led by California political veterans Joel Fox and Dan Schnur to discuss the elections at regular intervals throughout the fall. Guest experts will join Fox and Schnur as well to discuss what we should be looking for throughout the election season.

Upcoming Salons


Presidential Debate Discussion and
Path Forward for Both candidates

Saturday, September 14, 2024 I 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM PST I Center for Learning and Technology, Room 159 

In this first conversation, Professors Schnur and Fox will assess how the candidates performed in that week's debate, and explore the best political strategies for each going forward.

Examine Closing Weeks of Campaign for President, Congress and Other Important Races in California

Saturday, October 19, 2024 I 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM PST I School of Public Policy, Room 188

In the second session, which is less than three weeks out from the election, Professors Schnur and Fox will go through the California ballot - including major ballot measures - and also provide updates on the two presidential campaigns as they head into the final stretch.

Looking Back at Campaign Season, Results and What it Means Going Forward

Saturday, November 16, 2024 I 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM PST I Center for Learning and Technology, Room 159 

In the final session, Professors Schnur and Fox will review and analyze the results from Election Day, both at the national and state levels, and discuss what it means for California and the nation.



Joel Fox

Joel Fox Headshot

Joel Fox was co-publisher and editor-in-chief of the website Fox and Hounds Daily, which offered commentary and news on California business and politics. Fox and Hounds Daily was founded in 2008 and ran through 2020.  The Washington Post twice named Fox and Hounds Daily one of the top California political websites. Fox’s articles have been collected by the California State Library.

Campaigns and Elections Magazine placed Fox on the list of the top 100 “influencers” in California politics. Fox is a frequent commentator on local and national news media.

The San Fernando Valley Business Journal included Fox on its list of the Valley 200, San Fernando Valley’s Most Influential People, in 2017 to 2020. 

Fox operated Joel Fox Consulting, a public affairs/political consulting firm. He served as founder and president of the Small Business Action Committee, from 2003 to 2017 battling for small business on important political issues.  Prior to starting his own firm in January 1999, Fox worked for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association for 19 years, serving as the association’s president from 1986 to 1998.

Over the years, Fox has taken a key role in many statewide and local ballot proposition campaigns, including leading the campaign to successfully pass Proposition 218, the "Right to Vote on Taxes" measure, on the 1996 ballot.  In 2004, Fox was a proponent of the workers’ compensation reform initiative embraced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, which played a major role in leading to legislative compromise on workers’ comp reform.

Fox has authored hundreds of opinion articles which have been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune, Sacramento Bee, CALmatters online news website, Indianapolis Star, National Review Online, and Manchester (NH) Union-Leader, as well as other newspapers and websites. He also wrote a piece for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and had an essay published in a Time Warner-Baseball Hall of Fame sponsored book, "What Baseball Means to Me." 

Fox’s book on California’s famous tax revolt, The Legend of Proposition 13, was published in May 2003. He wrote a chapter for an anthology, "After the Tax Revolt: California’s Proposition 13 Turns 30," published by the University of California Press, 2009. His essay appears in the book of essays on the state of California titled Taxifornia, 2016. Fox’s first novel, Lincoln’s Hand, a mystery/suspense was published in 2010 by Echelon Press. His second and third novels published by Bronze Circle Press are FDR’s Treasure and The Mark on Eve, for which he received many starred reviews. A short story mystery, "Lizzie is Whacked," based on the Lizzie Borden case, was published by Mysterical-E online magazine, Spring 2018 edition. 

Fox served on six California state commissions, was a consultant to another, and served on two local government commissions.

  • Commissioner on the California Performance Review Commission (2004) appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Commissioner on the Assembly Speaker’s Commission on the California Initiative Process (2000-2001) appointed by Speaker Bob Hertzberg.
  • Commissioner on California Assembly Speaker's Commission on State and Local Finance (1999-2000) appointed by Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa.
  • Commissioner on the California Constitution Revision Commission (1996) appointed by Governor Pete WilsonCommissioner on the California Commission on Transportation Investment (1995) appointed by Governor Pete Wilson.
  • Commissioner on California Citizens' Commission on Ballot Initiatives (1993) appointed by Governor Pete Wilson.
  • Vice Chairman of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Budget Task Force (1996) appointed by Supervisor Mike Antonovich. Trustee of LEARN, (Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now), appointed by former Assemblyman Mike Roos (1991).
  • Consultant to the California Commission on Tax Policy in the New Economy, created by Gov. Gray Davis and chaired by future Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (2003-2004). 
    Fox was a member of the Board of Directors of Valley Vote, a community organization to improve governance and civic involvement in the San Fernando Valley and the City of Los Angeles.

Fox served as a Senior Research Associate at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College; was on the Advisory Council of the Public Policy Institute of California; and was a member of the Board of Advisors at the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California.

He has been an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, since 2006.

Fox was a Senior Policy Consultant for the Schwarzenegger for Governor campaign during the historic recall election of 2003; Policy Director for Richard Riordan for Governor in 2001-2; and a state co-chairman for John McCain for President in 2000. He was a McCain Delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention.


Dan Schnur

Dan Schnur Headshot

Dan Schnur is a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications and the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Governmental Studies. He has been teaching courses in politics, communications, and leadership since 1996 and has also taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. He is the director for the "California Influencers" project, a statewide program in which 60 of the state's foremost experts in politics, policy, and government discuss the 2018 campaign. He is the founder of the USC/LA Times statewide political poll. Previously, Schnur worked on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns as one of California's leading political strategists and served as the national director of communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of US Senator John McCain and was the chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson. In 2010, Schnur was appointed chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), where he implemented groundbreaking campaign finance disclosure requirements. He also was a founder and cochairman of the Voices of Reform project, the bi-partisan statewide effort whose work laid the foundation for California's landmark redistricting reform. 

After completing his FPPC term, Schnur registered as a No-Party Preference voter and launched Fixing California, an organization dedicated to campaign finance and political reform. In 2014, he ran for statewide office as a non-partisan candidate for California Secretary of State. Schnur has been an advisor to multiple foundations, trusts, think tanks, and a variety of K-12 education and college and workforce preparedness efforts. His commentaries have appeared in several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. In addition, he has been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio. He is a graduate of the American University in Washington, DC.