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THE Nooner for July 20, 2016

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Well, Day 2 of the Republican National Convention is in the books, and the larger swells that rocked the boat on Monday seemed to wane quite a bit. Unfortunately, attendeess were still a little queasy (and many in the California delegation were literally sick) from some of the missteps the day prior. Donald J. Trump easily won the nomination, and there weren't eight states willing to put Ted Cruz's name in a futile nomination. The Colorado delegation was fed up and walked out at, uh, 4:20. Not making that up.

Here are my takeaways from Day 2:

  • The day was dominated by the plagiarism news (new, great video). Appropriately, nobody was blaming Melania, despite her assertion in an interview with Matt Lauer that she wrote the speech. She gave her ideas to speechwriters, who wrote the speech. That's business as usual. However, the campaign let the story fester by not placing blame anywhere and essentially ignoring the story. Instead, the story this morning is finger-pointing by the campaign (which "vetted" an entirely different speech, it claims), and Melania personally or with unknown personal advisors rewrote it. That's the problem. Fire someone, or just say "we screwed up and we are sorry." But, Trump doesn't apologize.

    There was an easy, conventional solution. Fire the speechwriter, tell them to vacation in Mexico for a couple of weeks, and then hire them back at the RNC. Done. Story over. Instead, it will be one of the takeaways from the convention. Not the speech, but rather overall campaign organization operations. The "lean" campaign promised by Trump is coming back to bite him.

    UPDATE: Since I wrote this, the speechwriter (a ghostwriter of Donald Trump's books) issued a statement. She works for the Trump Organization. Melania read her passages from Michelle Obama's speech over the phone, and the speechwriter included some of them, without checking Obama's speech. She offered her resignation this morning, but Trump didn't accept it. So, the story continues. The easy solution would have been to say "the resignation wasn't accepted, but she will work on only Trump Organization, and not campaign, business." Boom, story done. Instead, it trickle on . . . 

    And, with the session not beginning until 7pm EDT today, it gives pundits hours of airtime to fill. They should be talking about the great speeches by Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., but the 24 hour delay in solving this, and with no definitive solution, means that they'll be talking more about plagiarism.

    Over the last week, we've had the mishandling and leaking of Veepstakes, the miserable logo, the plagiarism, dissent between the campaign and the RNC charged with running the operations of the Convention, and as pundits of both parties are saying, strange and at times incoherent speaker lineups. Oh, and that backlit entrance Monday night to "We Are the Champions" was a golden platter for late night television. The only way Hillary could top that is if she comes down on a swing from the rafters like she is a Cirque de Soleil star.

  • Before people say I'm being partisan or anti-Trump, I am not. I'm talking about the campaign operations, and we'll see how things go next week with the Dems. One thing I know: you can't run a presidential campaign at the nomination point with around 100 staff members. It just doesn't work.

  • The theme of the day was supposed to be "Make America Work Again." There was very little talk about jobs and the economy. Donald Trump, Jr. did the best job, but the CEO of Ultimate Fighting Championships, not so much. Chris Christie, nothing. Ben Carson, uh, no. This is the number one issue for the heartland, and instead we were again talking about Benghazi and emails. Sure, that gets those in the arena (largely, upper middle class whites who can afford plane tickets and $250/night hotel rooms for five days), but the true audience are the undecided milllions watching on TV. 

  • Donald Trump, Jr. offered the best speech of the convention thus far, and is clearly a very bright up-and-coming political star. And, the scheduling actually worked last night, and he nailed the 10pm EDT "power hour" of network television. He's ready for a congressional bid, although would need to carpetbag to a Republican district, and there aren't many near his Manhattan residence.

    There were early accusations that Jr. also plagiarized, sending GOP strategists into a tizzy. In Jr.'s points on education, he talked about the "elevator to the middle class," echoing a recent article in The American Conservative by F.H. Buckley. However, Buckley quickly dismissed the accusations, noting that he contributed to Jr.'s speech and cribbed his own writing.

  • Tiffany Trump also was very strong, and while I've questioned having four children speak at the convention, she should have joined Donald, Jr. in the "power hour." Nobody knew what to expect from her performance. She is the most distant (and youngest) child of Trump, and the only one not the child of Trump's first marriage to Ivana (her mother is Marla Maples, wife #2). She just graduated from Penn, and has a strong future ahead like her half-siblings.

  • A major flub was found in the convention program. It listed a speaker yesterday as "Christopher Cox, former U.S. Representative and SEC Chairman." Instead, the speaker was Chris Cox, the top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. Intentional to not have NRA listed in the program? Perhaps. Or, it was just bad staff work and an example of the poor communication between the campaign and RNC staff. How do you make this mistake?

  • Dr. Ben Carson had a simply strange speech. The good news is that he didn't lull the arena to sleep; the bad news is that there were few people left in the arena to lull. A speech that repeatedly referred to Lucifer . . . remember when he was at the top of the polls? GOP strategists exhaled last night.

  • The night should have ended at the conclusion of the "power hour." Donald Trump, Jr. would have been a great closing speaker. Like Monday night, continuing on after your main speaker leads television cameras to pan around to empty seats as the energy in the arena drops and delegates split into the two real caucuses--the party-goers and the bed goers. Okay, no jokes about the parties in beds that happen at conventions.


  • Program starts at 4:20 PDT/7:20pm EDT.
  • Theme: "Make America First Again"
  • Keynote speaker: Indiana Governor Mike Pence (Vice Presidential acceptance speech)
  • Main speakers: Newt Gingrich, Marco Rubio (video message), Ted Cruz, Eric Trump.
  • If the scheduling works, Mike Pence will be the closing speaker in the 10pm EDT "power hour." (finally getting the scheduling right by closing after the keynote)

  • In my opinion, Trump made an unforced error this morning. His 757 landed at Burke Lakefront Airport. He then flew in his helicopter 800 yards to the Convention Center to park his Trump-labeled helicopter next to the airport. 

    Two things: (1) I would want my candidate to look presidential at this point. That involves getting out of black vehicles with agents around him, not a helicopter on his name on it. (2) How does this play with the all-important "fly-over states," where people are struggling to put gas in their cars (and tractors). Additionally, in many areas of these states, air travel is an all-day ordeal, as airports are far and service is minimal. Sure, candidate-labeled planes are standard fare, but a helicopter ride in what would be a healthy, fifteen-minute walk?

    Imagine that, Donald Trump, with agents trailing, walking for fifteen minutes to the convention center. That would be a message change for a convention that needs it.



US SENATE: Loretta Sanchez unloads on President Obama for endorsing her rival for Senate [Phil Willon @ LAT] - "'I believe that California voters are deeply concerned about the entrenched political establishment which has failed to work for them. Yet, it has been clear for some time that the same political establishment would rather have a coronation instead of an election for California's next U.S. Senator,' [Loretta] Sanchez said in a statement released by her campaign Tuesday evening."

CA24 (Santa Barbara): The DCCC today released its poll on the race to succeed Lois Capps:

  • Salud Carbajal (D): 49%
  • Justin Fareed (R): 39%
  • Undecided: 11%

CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale): New Democratic poll shows tightening race for Los Angeles County congressional seat [Javier Panzar @ LAT] - Steve "Knight, considered one of the most vulnerable congressional incumbents in California, had the backing of 46% of the 400 likely general election voters polled, while [Bryan] Caforio had 40% and 14% remained undecided, according to a DCCC memo provided to The Times."

STANDOFF: Jerry Brown, unions remain embroiled in negotiations [Rachel Cohrs @ SacBee] - "Between June 1 and July 2, 15 state employee bargaining units’ contracts expired. So far, only one of them has come to an agreement with the governor. This round of negotiations is particularly sticky because California Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to chip away at nearly $72 billion in retiree health benefit obligations over the next 30 years by getting state employees to contribute from their paychecks. With certain units, that strategy hasn’t gone over smoothly."



DIABLO CANYON: When do you see communities clamoring to KEEP a nuclear power plant?

SHOCKING, I TELL YOU! Who runs Sacramento? Mostly white men, city audit says [Anita Chabria]:

A final audit issued Tuesday by the Office of the City Auditor says the city’s employees – and its Police and Fire departments – are significantly less diverse than the public they serve. In all but two of 17 city departments examined, more than 50 percent of managers are white.

Of the 13 directors that oversee city departments, 11 are white. The city’s chief information officer is Hispanic, and the director of public safety accountability is black, according to the report.

Minorities and women remain largely shut out of the highest paying jobs.

MONEY MATTERS: State funding cuts during the recession still shortchanging Cal State students, officials say [Rosanna Xia @ LAT] - "State budget cuts have left California State University with about 19% less in funding to spend per student compared with pre-recession years — compromising efforts to fully address student needs, university officials said."

#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for former LAT Sac Bureau Chief and Capitol Morning Report founder Bob Fairbanks, Holly Mitchell's district director Sydney Kamlager-Dove and Rev and Tax's David Ruff!




  • 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

Jerry Brown, Unions Remain Embroiled In Negotiations | The Sacramento Bee
Rachel Cohrs @
Brown wants state employees to contribute to retiree health benefits

L.A. County To Pay $10 Million To Man Whose Murder Conviction Was Overturned
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to pay $10 million to Francisco Carrillo, who served 20 years in prison before having his murder conviction overturned.

New Mexico governor casts state's votes for Trump

Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.) cast the state's 24 votes for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, two months after Trump criticized Martinez.

Florida Gov. Scott: Same-sex Marriage Is 'law Of The Land' - Politico
"We need to figure out how to come together as a country and include the Republican Party," Scott said.

UC Regents Will Meet This Week To Vote On Major Changes To Committee Structure | The Daily Californian
If approved, the new structure will be implemented at the next regents meeting in September.

State Funding Cuts During The Recession Still Shortchanging Cal State Students, Officials Say
Essential California Newsletter

Loretta Sanchez Rips President Obama For Endorsing Kamala Harris | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
Sanchez says Obama should focus on Trump

L.A. Housing Measure Has An Unexpected Foe: Tenant Activists
Activists with the L.A. Tenants Union held a news conference Tuesday to oppose a November ballot measure that would impose labor and affordable housing requirements on big developments.

Patent lawsuits swell and watchdog says the government is to blame

The Government Accountability Office found that a slew of lawsuits provide a clue to poor quality patents.

California To Set Legal Limit On Probable Carcinogen In Water -
Amy Quinton @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Trump Campaign Dismisses Criticism Of Melania Trump Speech
Today's high

Former attorney general targets Clinton's email scandal

Former attorney general Michael Mukasey spoke at the Republican National Convention, using a line associated with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton against her in his speech: “What difference does it make?”

Majority Leader Kevin Mccarthy's Priorities: Congress, Then Trump
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy backs Donald Trump, but he hasn't been anywhere near the forefront of the Trump movement.A speakin...

GOP Convention Notebook: This Democrat Switched Her Party To Vote For Trump - The Orange County Register
In 2008, Jean Perry left the GOP and joined the Democratic Party as part of her support for Barack Obama. Four years later, she voted to re-elect him.

Chino Hills Couple Claims $528 Million Powerball Jackpot | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
File: A customer picks up her California Powerball lottery tickets at the famous Bluebird Liquor store which is considered to be a lucky retailer of tickets, in Hawthorne, California on January 13, 2016. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Rubio Vows To Keep Up Fight Against U.S. Ambassador In Cuba - Politico
He told POLITICO that he won't drop his objections to any theoretical ambassador nominee.

Hyperloop One Wants $250 Million From 'gang Of Four' That Sued The Start-up
The Los Angeles company rebut accusations that four key employees were pushed out for their role in staging what the company describes as coup.

Ex-PG&E VP says he didnâ
Libby Rainey @
A former Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive testified Tuesday in the company’s trial on pipeline safety that he had signed a letter that was instrumental in PG&E being charged with obstructing a federal investigation by trying to conceal an allegedly illegal policy of testing older lines for welding problems. PG&E is charged in federal court in San Francisco with 12 counts of violating pipeline-safety laws in order to cut costs, and with obstructing the investigation into the September 2010 San Bruno explosion that killed eight people and leveled 38 homes. At the heart of the obstruction charge was the April 2011 letter signed by Hayes and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board, disowning an internal memo that PG&E had provided to investigators describing a policy of testing older lines for welding problems only if gas pressure exceeded the federal maximum by 10 percent. Hayes, who served as PG&E’s liaison during the NTSB’s investigation into the San Bruno explosion, testified that he did not review drafts or alter the final version of the letter, which he said he signed electronically before sending it to investigators. Jurors also heard from an FBI special agent, who testified that there were 196 segments on six pipelines that the government’s review of the evidence found posed safety risks. Sandra Flores, the FBI agent who acted as an investigator for the case, said Tuesday that PG&E had knowingly allowed pipe segments to exceed maximum operating pressure and failed to properly test the pressure of hundreds of feet of pipelines in areas near Aptos High School in Aptos (Santa Cruz County) and other public spaces.