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THE Nooner for July 19, 2016

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Well, that was a first fun night of the Republican National Convention. While I usually stick to California politics, we'll be a bit more national the next couple of weeks because California-domestic pollitics are back-burnered for the conventions. All of our reporters are temporary gun-totin' Buckeyes.

Also, it will seem that I'm overly critical and some might think it's partisan, but I'm sure I'll have similar critiques. Conventions are made to be critiqued. We were also given a lot to talk about last night.

My takeaways:

  • The first eight innings were pretty good, sort of like some of the San Francisco Giants games we have seen lately. Only problem was that too many speakers repeated the same points. While that is good for "hammering the point home," there were other issues that could have been addressed.

    I don't think the issue of "keeping guns out of the hands of criminals" was mentioned, an NRA talking point and the counter to gun control advocates. That should be a highlight of the GOP's "Make America Safe Again" theme of the night. I'm not sure guns were mentioned at all, and it's one of the biggest issues in the country right now, and the GOP has to go on the offensive with its positions.

    There was also the Arizona couple talking about the impact of immigration after losing a family member who was a border agent. The reportedly "live" shot was in front of a border wall. That's a bit off-message. Was there nowhere that they could have done the shot where there wasn't an existing wall in the background. I mean, maybe it wasn't the "most beautiful wall you've ever seen," but it was a wall. 
  • As GOP strategist (and Trump foe) Ana Navarro pointed out, there were was only one Latino/a on stage, and it was the wife of reality star-turned-Congressman Sean Duffy. I, like many others, thought that actor Antonio Sabato, Jr. is Latino, and then he immediately dismissed that by talking about his Czech mom and Italian dad. I am sure he is proud of his heritage, but a speech editor should have cut that and left it unclear.
  • Donald J. Trump committed an unforced error by calling into Bill O'Reilly while Benghazi mother Pat Smith was giving a tearful speech about the loss of her son Sean Smith, who said "I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son." One of the best lines of the entire night.
  • Trump's entrance to "We Are the Champions" with a backlit, fog machine filled backdrop was just awkward. This morning, surviving members of Queen are taking issue with the use of their song.

    I'm guessing that's the first and last time you'll hear Queen on C-SPAN. Also, to paraphrase Stephen Colbert, there is nothing for the family values party to have their presumptive nominee enter to the music of a bisexual Englishman.
  • The event should have ended after Melania's speech, which is when the coverage on the networks ended. And, in an overall lineup that was heavy on XY chromosomes, leaving Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to speak to a couple of hundred leftovers in an empty arena was a big mistake. The Iraq veteran-turned-Senator's speech was great, and she is an up-and-comer in GOP politics, with her famous camouflage heels that she donned for last night's speech. Unfortunately, that was near midnight, and convention veterans know that the nightly party invitations listed 11pm EDT as the start time, and food runs out early. Rudy Giuliani's red meat speech could have been cut a bit shorter to put Ernst in the primetime spot, and it would have been significant 
  • Finally, shortly after the session concluded, news broke that a paragraph in Melania's speech was very similar to Michelle Obama's 2008 speech. The speech overall went over fantastically, but the sunshine quickly turned to a thunderstorm. It is now the leading story of the first night of the convention. It wouldn't be a big issue, except that Melania told Matt Lauer that she personally wrote the speech. Had she not said that, a low-level staff person could be thrown under the bus (and move him/her to the RNC), and the issue could be quickly put behind the campaign.

    They've already lost Day 1.

    GOP chair Reince Priebus said this morning that he'd fire the person that wrote the speech, but you can't fire the candidate's spouse. Donald is reportedly furious, and that can't be a pretty sight, and is highly distracting in a very important week for him. The "sweet justice" was that now-CNN commentator and fired campaign manager Cory Lewandowski said this morning that now-campaign manager Paul Manafort (who reportedly pushed Lewandowski out) should be fired over the plagiarism scandal. 

    The Trump campaign says that they are moving on and no action will be taken over this. That's a big mistake and will hurt day 2, which is "Make America Work Again."

Today (starting at 2:30pm PDT-CSPAN has wall-to-wall) we hear from Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Kevin McCarthyPaul RyanDonald Trump, Jr., and the rarely talked about (and reportedly distant) Tiffany Trump. Also today, California GOP leader Harmeet Dhillon will be delivering the invocation from her Sikh heritage.

Commence the jokes about Dr. Ben Carson giving the final major speech of the night as the lullaby . . .  I feel bad for soap actress Kimberlin Brown, one of the "A-List celebrities" we were promised, who is the last speaker, following Carson.

California GOP staffers sickened with norovirus at Ohio hotel [Sarah Heise @ KCRA/SFChron] - "Several staff members of the California Republican delegation have become sick with norovirus while staying at a hotel about an hour away from the GOP Convention site in Cleveland."

Let the jokes flow about a stomach bug running rampant after Day 1 of convention . . .

I sincerely hope things turn around. I want to hear discussions about ideas, whether I agree with them or not. But, so far, we're talking about who is responsible for plagiarism, the misrepresented "architecture degree" on Melania's website and in the convention program, the misordering and overbooking of speakers, and norovirus. Let's make both conventions great again!



US SENATE: Barack Obama and Joe Biden endorsed Kamala Harris today.

US SENATE MONEY MATTERS: How much are California's U.S. Senate candidates worth? [Phil Willon @ SFGate] - "California’s two U.S. Senate candidates may not be as rich as some of Washington’s well-heeled politicians, but they aren’t exactly hurting. Both state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez have a net worth that likely runs in the millions."

SIREN: California Obamacare rates to rise 13% by 2017, more than 3 times the increase of last 2 years [Melody Petersen]:

Premiums for Californians’ Obamacare health coverage will rise by an average of 13.2% next year — more than three times the increase of the last two years and a jump that is bound to raise debate in an election year.

. . .

On Tuesday, officials blamed next year’s premium hikes in the program that insures 1.4 million Californians on rising costs of medical care, including specialty drugs, and the end of a mechanism that held down rates for the first three years of Obamacare.

GOOD TAX NEWS FOR CALIFORNIA: Chino Hills Powerball ticket owners claim share of $1.6-billion jackpot [Joseph Serna @ LAT] - "Joseph Serna @ LAT" - "The owners of the Chino Hills Powerball ticket that will share a third of the record $1.6-billion jackpot won in January have finally come forward, California State Lottery officials announced Tuesday."



LET THERE BE (SUN)LIGHT: Katehi scandal at UC Davis called ‘worse than pepper spray’ [Sam Stanton and Diana Lambert @ SacBee]:

“I have to stop looking at this stuff …,” Katehi director of executive communications Gary Delsohn wrote in an email sent at 4:54 a.m. April 16 to colleague Gary Sandy.

“We are the laughingstock of the world right now, and we’ve given a pathetic, dying newspaper a day in the sun,” added Delsohn, a former Sacramento Bee reporter who also wrote speeches for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“It makes me physically ill,” Delsohn continued. “This story is everywhere. Worse than pepper spray. It will fade away, but not for a while. And based on our track record, it’s a sure thing we will do more stupid stuff as we try to put it behind us. We have too many soft-headed people making decisions …”


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to CTA's Jennifer Baker, my former great teammate at the Community College League Judy Centlivre, Assemblymember Chris Holden,'s Brian Leubitz, AICCU's Erica Romero, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson!




  • APICA SUSHI SHOWDOWN: It’s back! Join the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association (APICA) for its 4th Annual sushi-eating contest, Sushi Showdown. You won’t want to miss out on the food fight of the year on Tuesday, August 2 beginning at 530 PM at Mikuni Midtown at 1530 J Street in Sacramento. The Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association (APICA) is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of legislative staffers, advocates, and other API professionals in the Capitol community. Sushi Showdown provides the financial support for all of APICA's programs, including our Capitol internship program for college juniors and seniors. For sponsorship opportunities, to register as a competitor, or for more information, please contact
  • The Women's Foundation of California is seeking a five-star writer, experienced project manager and proud feminist to lead our storytelling and digital communications work (email marketing, list building, social media, website, blog, advertising and online engagement). This is an exciting opportunity for a self-starter and digital media expert who is looking to flex their exceptional skills as a writer in the service of positioning the Women’s Foundation of California as a thought leader in women’s economic security and a critical catalyst of social change in our communities. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Introducing Jacobson & Zilber Strategies. Dave Jacobson and Maclen Zilber just launched a new communications and political consulting firm. For more information, visit
  • The Sierra Club-San Francisco Bay Chapter is currently seeking candidates for the position of Chapter Director. ( This position oversees conservation, fundraising, and political program work of 12 Chapter staff, including development, conservation, communications, and administrative staff; hires and trains staff; develops and manages Chapter budget and finances; acts as the voice of the Chapter in local advocacy work; and is regularly involved with major donor and fundraising campaign work. The Chapter Director works closely with a volunteer executive committee. For job details, please apply at Sierra Club Careers webpage.
  • STATE SENATOR BEN ALLEN (D - Santa Monica) discusses his controversial child vaccination bill, and legislating in Sacramento in this exclusive video interview:
  • TBW Media/TBWB Strategies is interviewing experienced campaign managers and campaign staffers at all levels for potential campaign positions with our client campaigns this year throughout California. If interested please send a cover letter, resume, salary history, writing sample and 3 references to Barry Barnes ( No phone calls.
  • We are currently seeking experienced candidates for the position of Assistant Director of Government Relations for the California State Student Association (CSSA). This position informs and advises the Executive Director and Board of Directors on state and federal public policy matters that affect CSU students and public postsecondary education. The position is based in the CSSA Office in downtown Sacramento. This position works directly for CSSA but enjoys the full benefits of state employment through the California State University Chancellor's Office. For more job details, please apply
  • LEARN HOW TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE AT GOVERNMENTAL ADVOCACY. Capitol veteran Ray LeBov's Lobbying 101 & 201 seminars cover the total picture of lobbying in California and the people, processes and best practices you need to succeed. July 21-22, $275 each / $500 for both. Lobbying 101 covers the Legislative process and Legislative advocacy. Lobbying 201 explores the equally critical areas of Budget Advocacy, Regulatory Agency, Lobbying the Administration and Media Relations. Essential for lobbying firm principals / staff, organizations / agencies that employ lobbyists, newcomers to the profession. Information / registration:
  • Chariot LLC, GOP campaign firm, seeks experienced account support for campaigns in CA, NV through election day. Excellent writing and data skills. $6k to $10k/mo. San Francisco. Resume and cover to:
  • Sales and Administrative Positions for the General Election Cycle. Applicants should be reliable and have experience in political campaigns. Familiarity or experience with slate cards is helpful.  We are looking for self-starters who are able to work independently and as part of a team in our Long Beach office. Ability to demonstrate a positive attitude, attention to detail, and meeting deadlines is a must! Sales position requires some previous sales experience within the field of politics. Competitive salary, commensurate with experience. Email cover letter and resume to
  • California Housing Consortium is hiring a Communications & Policy Associate. Duties include external communications, social media, event-planning and policy work. Communications background needed, affordable housing knowledge a plus. Full time, salary around 50k DOE, generous benefits. More info here.

  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West Regional Political Organizers (Inland Empire and Silicon Valley). 85,000 member California healthcare union seeks strategic, progressive, motivated political organizers, 3-5 yrs political/union experience. Competitive salary and benefits package. Resume, letter, 3 references:

  • Subscribe to the Capitol Morning Report and closely follow who’s doing what each day in California government and politics. We list news conferences, legislative hearings, state board meetings and other events. Plus we add in community news and announcements from political campaigns. More info at

Judge Throws Out Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca's Plea Deal, Saying 6 Months In Prison Not Enough
A federal judge rejected a plea agreement Monday under which former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca would have served up to six months in prison for lying to federal authorities, saying the punishment was not severe enough.

Reality Aside, Mcclintock Delights The Sandusky Crowd | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Morain @
Tom McClintock, in his fourth decade in office, declares that it’s a new Republican Party

CalPERS Posts Worst Year Since 2009, With Slim Returns
California pension plan CalPERS eked out a return of just 0.61% for the year ended June 30, the fund's worst year since 2009.

UC Regent Named As Chancellor Of Community College System - San Francisco Chronicle
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Airbnb Strikes Deal With L.A. To Collect Millions In Lodging Taxes
Under a newly announced deal, Airbnb will collect lodging taxes due to Los Angeles from people who use its website to advertise rooms or whole homes for short stays.

California School Trustees Get In Gratis To Prop. 51 Fundraiser | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
$9 billion school bond is on California’s Nov. 8 ballot

Steven Spielberg And Laura Dern Among Those Joining Motion Picture Academy's Board Of Governors
Weeks after opening its doors to the largest, most diverse class of new members ever, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the results of its Board of Governors elections Monday, with director Steven Spielberg and actress Laura Dern among those winning seats on the board of the nearly 90-year-old institution.

Tobacco Companies Drop Nearly $17 Million Into Anti-tax Campaign | The Sacramento Bee
Taryn Luna @
The industry reported contributing the money against Proposition 56 in one day

State Supreme Court Sides With Southern California In Epic Water War Over Delta Islands
Long battle over delta island ends as California Supreme Court backs MWD ownership

Covered California To Release 2017 Insurance Rates | The Sacramento Bee
Covered California is scheduled on Tuesday to release 2017 premium rates for people who buy health coverage through the state's health insurance exchange.

Former Top L.A. County Attorney Alleges Misconduct By Supervisors In New Suit
The former top attorney for Los Angeles County, who was ousted last year, filed a lawsuit against the county alleging misconduct by the supervisors, particularly Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Obama, Biden endorse Kamala Harris in California Senate race

The endorsements are a blow to the underdog candidacy of fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez, who also is running for California's open Senate seat.

Robert B. Morgan, Senator Undone by His Panama Canal Votes, Dies at 90
Mr. Morgan, who represented North Carolina in the Senate, backed the treaty to give the canal to Panama and lost his re-election bid because of it.

Rebuilding America Now: 'America Soaring' | Campaign 2016

Rebuilding America Now, a super PAC formed by allies of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, will begin running an optimistic television ad campaign called “America Soaring."

Warriors win judgment in fight over SF Mission Bay arena
The Golden State Warriors’ three-year push to build a new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood passed a key hurdle Monday, as a judge ruled against against a group that had filed multiple lawsuits to kill the project. On Monday, Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong ruled that the city’s environmental review of the proposed arena was adequate, rejecting arguments it had failed to consider alternative sites for the arena. In a statement, Warriors President Rick Welts said the ruling “brings us a huge step closer to building a new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, which will add needed vitality to the Mission Bay neighborhood and serve the entire Bay Area extremely well.” Mayor Ed Lee, who has the portrayed the arena as his legacy project, called the decision “an important milestone in the process of bringing the Golden State Warriors back to San Francisco and to building a state-of-the-art entertainment venue the entire San Francisco Bay Area can be proud of.” The group had argued that the 18,500-seat arena will jam area streets with traffic, slowing down access to the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, which is across the street from the proposed arena.

Hillary Clinton: "Dear Donald Trump" | Campaign 2016

A new campaign ad from Hillary for America features a variety of Americans of different ages, races and religions reading an "open letter" to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Oil Refiners Agree To Pay $425 Million To Reduce Air Pollution In The West
The Justice Department announces a major civil settlement over protection of Western air quality.

Trump Ally Roger Stone Says Campaign 'must Be A Dictatorship' - Politico
Chaos and dark tones ruled the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Why There Is Still Hope Grocery Workers, Stores Will Avoid A Strike
D Buses @
Today's high

O.C. Waters Feeling Tropical And Might Stay That Way For A While - The Orange County Register
Surf instructor Richard Dagampat tried to warn two students, both from North Dakota, that the ocean off Doheny State Beach was too warm for wetsuits.

Never Trump Delegates Have Support Needed To Force Rules Vote - Politico
The issuance of written questions to Clinton would provide little of the high-stakes political drama conservatives hoped for out of a potential face-to-face...

Senator Stone statement on the passing of State Senator Sharon Runner
Senator Runner was a life-long servant of the people of California, and she will be deeply missed. Whether it was crime victims, children hoping to get a quality education, or a person in need of assistance; Sharon was always there to serve.