Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for September 12, 2016

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  • US SENATE: updated analysis (avaiable to subscribers)
  • SD05 (San Joaquin): moved from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat
  • SD05 (San Joaquin): updated analysis (avaiable to subscribers)
  • SD25 (Pasadena): moved from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat
  • SD25 (Pasadena): updated analysis (avaiable to subscribers)




Welcome to Monday. I hope you had a great weekend, or at least a better weekend than Hillary Clinton. Clinton will appear via teleconference today at her scheduled fundraiser in San Francisco after cancelling her two-day California funder swing.

The Los Angeles Rams kick off the regular season at the San Francisco 49ers tonight. That's just weird to write. Kickoff is at 7:20pm PDT on ESPN. I grew up going to Rams games at Anaheim Stadium. In junior high school, we even did a half-time performance (Go Kraemer!). So, it's weird to have them back in SoCal, and I sense we're going to see a returned rivalry after a hiatus between the Rams and 49ers.



- from individuals, corporations or PACs: $4,200 per election (primary and general are considered separate elections
- from state or local political party committees: no limitations

- from individuals, corporations or PACs: $35,200
- from state or local political parties to other state or local political parties:

- individuals, corporations cannot “direct” contributions for a specific candidate when giving to a state or local political party

When I was active in politics 15 years ago and chaired a Democratic Central Committee, most were small operations. We in Yolo County operated on budgets of $5,000 in election years and there were many rural ones that were similar. Between January and June of this year, the committee pulled in $70,600, with contributions from AFSCME and the Building Trades of $35,200 each and $25,000 from Pacific Gas & Electric at the end of 2015, when there were no elections were happening.

Now, this is a county party that fought a bitter fight against PG&E to allow Yolo County to join Sacramento’s public electricity district. (The measure was defeated by PG&E's campaign in Sacramento, alleging that that ratepayers in Sac would face higher rates if the annexation happened.

The fact is, this money isn’t for Yolo County. The only significant race in Yolo is the intra-party fight between Assemblymember Bill Dodd and former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada. The party endorsed Dodd over former party chair Yamada, but is unlikely to spend much money on the race.

It will be dealt like a card game to targeted around the state to targeted races. While the DONOR cannot designated where this is going, state party and legislative officials can. PG&E reported another $25,000 on August 15. How? Well, primary and general are considered separate elections, although there is no requirement that the recipient party committee spend them in those different elections.

I don’t mean to pick on Yolo, as I have friends in local party leadership, and they are just playing by the rules and there are no indications they have abused them. They just happen to be one of a handful of local party's that are serving the role in this intricate campaign finance system.

The state’s current campaign finance structure was adopted by the voters under Proposition 34 after being written for lawyers for both Democratic and Republican leadership to replace the stricter Proposition 2018.

Now, there are fewer examples on the Republican side. It is not that they don’t know the game, it’s just that since Democrats have such an overwhelming legislative advantage, the money follows accordingly.

Money does flow through the California Republican Party far more than county committees, though. San Diego County’s Republican Party has received the most large contributions, with most associated with proposed, and in some cases controversial, developments. Whether the money remains local or makes its way to races around the state, we’ll have to wait and see. Like Yolo, there are no local competitive non-same party races for the state legislative level.

What we do see in Republican fundraising is large transfers to the state party from the war chests of officeholders in safe districts. Recent examples include:

- Jim Patterson (AD23): $25,200 + $24,800 in primary election
- Brian Jones (AD71): $10,000
- Vince Fong (AD34 candidate): $35,200
- Mike Morell (SD23): $10,500
- John Moorlach (SD37): $35,200
- Rocky Chavez (AD76): $20,000
- Melissa Melendez (AD67): $5,000

The largest I’ve seen in the last week is from Democrat Jim Frazier (AD11), who transferred $183,400 to the California Democratic Party.

This money from officeholders—also a strategy among Democrats—supplements the fundraising from normal interests that donate to the party.

Why do both parties play this game? Well, it goes back to where we started. State and local political parties are limited to $35,200 from a single source. However, interest groups are willing to pony up more, and often do at the big golf tournaments, conventions, and similar events for headlining sponsorships. So, let’s say a “Gold” sponsor costs $100,000. That money needs to be spread out to avoid exceeding the limit. Thus, it might be split $35,200 to the state party, $35,200 to county committee A, and the remaining $29,600 to county committee B.

There’s nothing illegal about that, as long as the money is spread out initially and not sent to one committee for distribution. Once received by all three committees, it is “clean” to send the combined $100,000 to one vulnerable candidate’s campaign.

A few such hot races benefitting in the last week are:

Cathleen Galgiani (SD05):
- Napa Valley Democratic Committee: $45,000
- Fresno County Democratic Central Committee: $40,000
- Tehama County Democratic Central Committee: $20,000

Henry Stern (SD27):
- Napa Valley Democratic Committee: $45,000
- Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee: $25,000
- San Luis Obispo Democratic Central Committee: $25,000
- Tehama County Democratic Central Committee: $25,000
- Fresno County Democratic Central Committee: $20,000

Anthony Portantino (SD25):
- Napa Valley Democratic Committee: $45,000
- Fresno County Democratic Central Committee: $25,000
- Tehama County Democratic Central Committee: $20,000

Where did the money come from for the Napa Valley Democratic Committee--the most "generous" of these recent local party contributions?

- SEIU Local 2015 State PAC: $35,200
- SEIU Local 1000 Candidate PAC: $35,200
- California Council of Service Employees: $35,200
- Professional Engineers in California Government PECG-PAC: $35,200
- California Teachers Assn. Assn. for Better Citizenship: $35,200
- Political Action for Classified Employees of California School Employees: $25,000
- State Building and Construction Trades Council of California PAC: $25,000
- AFSCME: $35,200

That’s just since January 1. The committee reports no individual contributions. The picture is pretty clear, as Napa is not exactly a candidate battleground. It's all legal. Like Yolo, they are playing by the rules approved by the voters.

Notice how the money flowed from many of the same local parties in the same week? I'm sure there will be more this week. Follow for live reports of contributions over $5,000.

There are actually clear advantages of this system compared to the federal system, where there is far less disclosure under Citizens’ United at the federal level, even if federal candidates have far lower contribution limits. Presidential candidates are limited to accepting $2,700 for each the primary and general elections from individuals, compared to $4,200 for each election for state legislative candidates.

A final note. I mentioned earlier that contributions can’t be directed for a particular candidate, interest groups know darn well which districts are in play and where the money is likely to go. There’s no need for a wink-wink, nod-nod, they just know. They attend conferences, they read newsletters like this and the Target Book, and know where the Capitol staff is “volunteering” their time walking precincts and the like. There need not be any formal coordination.

Anyway, that was long, but it’s a fascinating campaign finance system. Personally, I would prefer to lift all limits and let each candidate stand behind the money that funds their campaign. However, the voters won’t go for that. 

News after the jump...



VAXX: New battle over child vaccinations after California moves against Dr. Robert Sears, prominent immunization skeptic [LAT]:

Dr. Robert Sears is one of the leading voices in the anti-vaccination world, a hero to parents suspicious of childhood immunizations that public health officials say are crucial to preventing disease outbreaks.

So when the Medical Board of California announced last week that it was moving to pull the Orange County pediatrician’s medical license, it immediately set the stage for a new battle in the long-running fight over whether schoolchildren should be vaccinated.

F IS FOR FAILURE: Closing of ITT Tech and other for-profit schools leaves thousands of students in limbo [Jim Puzzanghera and Ronald D. White @ LAT] - “Closures of high-profile schools such as ITT Technical Institute have left thousands of students in limbo while raising questions about the future of an industry that provides training for vocational, technical and other mid-level skilled jobs.”

CONGRATULATIONS: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-South San Diego) was named to Politico's 50 “thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016,” with Gonzalez labeled "The progressive ideas lab."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to AD06 candidate Brian Caples and Senator Carol Liu!




  • The McGeorge Capital Center for Law & Policy presents “Executive Training on Negotiating Legislation & Policy: Skills & Strategy for Success on Friday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to Noon, at McGeorge (3200 Fifth Ave, Sacramento). Instructors: McGeorge Professor Jeffry Proske, and Fredericka McGee, '91, VP of California Government Affairs & Operations, American Beverage Association. Intended audience includes lawyers, and non-lawyers with responsibilities in legislation & policy. Participants will learn negotiation skills through an interactive presentation with simulated real-world exercises. MCLE. Breakfast Buffet at 8:30 a.m.. Cost: $50-General; $25-Gov’t/Alumni. Students and prospective students are free. Register at

  • The McGeorge Master of Science in Law (MSL) degree is for professionals who seek the benefits of advanced training in legal reasoning without a JD degree. Register for an information session September 21, 5:15 p.m.(State Capitol Room 2040):  The McGeorge Master of Science in Law (MSL) degree is for professionals who seek the benefits of advanced training in legal reasoning without a JD degree. Register for an information session September 21, 5:15 p.m. (State Capitol Room 2040):

  • Emerge California is seeking a new Executive Director.  Are you a fierce advocate for growing the ranks of Democratic women in elected and appointed office? Are you dedicated to changing the face of politics by making our representation look as diverse as California?
    Consider applying today! Find the full job description here and send your resume and cover letter to the Search Committee at Join the Emerge team, and help advance our mission of identifying, training and encouraging women to run for local public office, get elected and seek higher office!
  • STATE TREASURER JOHN CHIANG discusses his career and run for Governor in this exclusive interview:
  • Research Associate position with EdInsights, through University Enterprises, Inc. on the Sac State Campus
    The Education Insights Center (EdInsights) is an entirely self-supporting unit of the California State University, Sacramento. EdInsights works to inform and improve policymaking and practice for K-12 education, community colleges, and public universities. The Research Associate position is responsible for conducting evaluation research in support of the California Community Colleges Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI) evaluation. This will involve qualitative and quantitative data and will require fieldwork, interviews, policy analysis, case studies, advanced statistical analysis of large and small data sets, and other analytical approaches. Apply by 9/2/2016 to be considered.

  • LOBBYING SUCCESS STARTS HERE. Capitol veteran Ray LeBov's Lobbying 101 and 201 seminars give you a comprehensive, real-world picture of lobbying in California -- the people, processes and best practices critical to helping you succeed. Sept. 22-23, $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 Advocacy, Lobbying the Administration and Media Relations. Essential for lobbying firm principals / staff; organizations / agencies that employ lobbyists; newcomers to the profession. Information / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • Berkeley Lab is Bringing Science Solutions to the World, and YOU can be a part of it!: The Electricity Markets and Policy Group at LBNL is recruiting for a research position (job title: Scientific Engineering Associate). The Electricity Markets and Policy Group conducts technical, economic, and policy analysis of energy topics centered on the U.S. electricity sector.  Our current research seeks to inform public and private decision-making on public-interest issues related to energy efficiency and demand response, renewable energy, electricity resource and transmission planning, and electricity reliability.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of California seeks an outgoing, results-driven, and experienced advocate who is passionate about advancing many of the most important – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil rights and liberties in our State Capitol. Please see job description for details.
  • California Charter Schools Association: The Legal Secretary is responsible for a variety of tasks in support of CCSA’s legal team.  The ideal candidate will have litigation secretary experience. The Legal Secretary will report to the General Counsel/Senior Vice President of Legal Advocacy, along with the three attorneys making up the team.  The Legal Secretary will work in the Sacramento office, but will be assigned to attorneys who work remotely across California. Salary: DOE.

  • Place your classified ad here for $35/week.


Clinton Scare Shakes Up The Race - Politico
Physical weakness caught on camera turns health conspiracy into a legitimate campaign concern.

'an Aggressive Proposal That Touched A Lot Of Nerves': Why Gov. Brown's Plan To Stem The Housing Crisis Failed
Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to address the state's housing crisis was such a failure that not one legislator backed it. It didn't work because there were too many powerful interests against it

Clinton Camp On Handling Health Scare: 'we Could Have Done Better’ - Politico
Hillary Clinton's campaign is acknowledging that it could have done a better job handling the Democratic candidate's health issues over the weekend,...

Thousands Rally Against Gay Marriage In Tijuana: 'we Have The Right To Defend Our Values'
Thousands rally against gay marriage in Tijuana

Trump The Isolationist Is Really An Imperlialist « Calbuzz
In deciding who they want for president, American voters are looking for two things in one person: a hard head and a soft heart.

Jerry Brown Pushes Plan For A Western Power Grid | Local | Eugene, Oregon
Copyright © 1996–2016 / Terms / Privacy / Copyright

Pomona Settles Lawsuit Over Confiscation Of Homeless People's Property
Under the terms of a legal settlement, more than 350 homeless people in Pomona will be free to sleep and store their property in public spaces until the city provides shelter beds for them.

Prop. 52, A Measure To Fund Medi-cal, Is Its Own Worst Enemy - San Francisco Chronicle
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Clinton Cancels California Trip In Aftermath Of Illness
Update on 'Campaign 2016 updates: Hillary Clinton cancels trip to California after pneumonia diagnosis is revealed'

Atwater Village Pay-what-you-want Sandwich Program Aims To Cut Food Waste | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
Dune, a Mediterranean restaurant in Atwater Village, is using its day-old ciabatta bread to make sandwiches, which customers can take for free or make a donation of their choice. Dune

Report Probes Saudi Links Of San Diego's 9/11 Hijackers |
Linda Lester, center, fights back tears during a speech by 911 survivor Stanley Smagala Saturday during the San Diego 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb with some 1,300 participants at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel. — Bill Wechter

The Politico 50: Our List Of People Transforming American Politics In 2016 - Politico
Hillary Clinton's campaign is acknowledging that it could have done a better job handling the Democratic candidate's health issues over the weekend, after...

Buyers Squeezed As Sacramento-area Homes Prices Surge | The Sacramento Bee
Richard Chang @
By Richard Chang

Clinton Health Incident At Sept. 11 Commemoration Caps A Rough Week And Gives Fuel To Critics
Clinton's overheating episode Sunday will feed into concerns fueled by her opponents that she does not have the stamina to be president. 25in

Zika Concerns Prompt Another Neighborhood Spraying |
SAN DIEGO — A Grant Hill neighborhood is the latest area of San Diego slated to be hand-sprayed with pesticides after mosquitoes and larvae were found near a person infected with the Zika virus.

Prop. 58 Would Help English Learners Retain Native Language - San Francisco Chronicle
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After A Man Convicted Of Murdering A Woman Goes Free, Questions Linger Over Why He Was Charged In First Place
Raymond Lee Jennings wrote a desperate letter from prison.

Southern California Gnatcatcher Still In The Spotlight |
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Doctors: Pneumonia Is Serious But Clinton Should Bounce Back | U.S. Elections
Clinton, 68, unexpectedly left a 9/11 anniversary ceremony in New York after she became "overheated and dehydrated," her doctor said. Clinton went to her daughter's nearby apartment for a short stay, and emerged before noon to tell reporters, "I'm feeling great."