Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for November 14, 2016



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Good midday and happy Monday to you all.

Oh, "Fuck 2016" as John Oliver said on his show last night, PBS correspondent Gwen Ifill has died. A trailblazer for female journalists, particularly African-Americans of both genders, we have lost someone huge at the age of 61. 

Sorry for the language but losing that even-handed voice who moderated two vice-presidential debates, Washington Week, and PBS News Hour is just deserving of that exclamation. 

Here is an awesome crowdsourced list of key staff positions in the 2017-18 legislative session, compiled by Sasha Horwitz, Director of Government Affairs, Capitol Impact.

We likely won't see any major election result updates today, as elections offices start counting again after the long weekend. For people that are frustrated by slow counts, have patience. Signatures have to be validated on all of these day-of vote-by-mail ballots. After all of these are done, they move on to provisionals, and even more work is required on them. 

LA is expected to report tomorrow. Praise to LA County Registrar/Recorder-County Clerk Dean Logan and his team for regularly reporting on their latest count, number of outstanding ballots and date of the next report. In contrast, San Diego still hasn't even reported its initial quantity of unprocessed ballots. San Diego is important in the CA49 race of incumbent Darrell Issa (R) and Doug Applegate (D), where Issa leads Applegate by 1.8% (3,734 votes). 74.5% of registered voters in CA49 are in north San Diego County, with the remainder in southern Orange County.

While CA49 is an emotional race  over the fate of the polarizing Issa that has no practical effect in a very Republican House, the race that is being most closely watched is SD29 (Fullerton/Diamond Bar), as Democrats and Republicans fight over a Democratic supermajority. Republican incumbent Ling Ling Chang holds a 1.8% (4,133) vote lead over Democrat Josh Newman.

Here's the breakdown of voter registration by county in SD29, which might approximate what we will expect the vote-by-mail and provisional ballots to be spread out among. There is no "science" to this, as we don't know what the number of absentee ballots within the district are accounted for in each county. Only total county numbers of unprocessed ballots are reported, not by district.

  • Los Angeles: 18.7%
  • Orange: 72.9%
  • San Bernardino: 8.4% 

Orange County has 378,679 ballots left to count and Los Angeles has 1,036,710 left to count. Obviously, Los Angeles is a a large county with a small part of SD29.

NOW WHAT? Loretta Sanchez went all-in on a failed bid for California's U.S. Senate seat. Now her next move is unclear [Sarah D. Wire @ LAT] - “With the Senate race behind her, [Loretta] Sanchez has at least a few political routes forward. She could try for governor or another statewide office in 2018, wait to see if Dianne Feinstein retires and make another attempt at the Senate, or stay closer to home and run for a position in Orange County, such as on the Board of Supervisors.”

Sanchez lives in Orange, which is in the 3rd Supervisorial district, currently represented by former Republican Assemblymember Todd Spitzer. The district strongly leans Republican.

The two seats where Democrats have a significant voter registration advantage are the 1st and 4th. The 1st (Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster, and part of Fountain Valley) is represented by Andrew Do, the former chief of staff to now-State Senator Janet Nguyen. The district is a mix of of Santa Ana Latinos, although it is becoming highly gentrified. The remaining part of the district is heavily Asian--particularly Vietnamese and Korean. Do is a Republican and the district is up in 2020. Waiting until 2020 and challenging a Vietnamese-American would probably not be the best move.

The 4th district is represented by Shawn Nelson, a former Fullerton City Councilmember. The district is on the northern part of Orange County (Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra Placentia) and is 45.8% Latino. The district is up in 2018, and as is seen in the AD65 race (Young Kim v. Sharon Quirk-Silva), is competitive for Democrats--but, particularly in presidential years with lower turnout particularly among Latinos in midterms. Nelson is term-limited in 2018.

However, it would be an easy move from Orange to an apartment in Anaheim, where Sanchez already represents 35.8% of the 4th supevisorial district.

The statewide contests that are likely possibilities are U.S. Senate, Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Commissioner, unless she chose to challenge an incumbent. Governor already has a very crowded field (Chiang, Newsom, Villaraigosa), and the Democratic incumbents in the offices of Controller and Secretary of State heavily favored. Senator Ed Hernandez has gobbled up the endorsements for LtGov and had $371,045 as of June 30, and has raised $200k+ since then. Outgoing-Assemblymember Mike Gatto has $2.1 million in an account for Lite Gov as well as $2.1 million for Treasurer. State Senate president Kevin de León has $1.2 million on hand for Lt. Gov.

Treasurer is likely to be open, with John Chiang running for Governor. Gatto also, however, is in the mix for an appointment to Attorney General.

Insurance Commissioner is currently being sought by former Assemblymember Henry Perea, who has $851,651 on hand. 

If Dianne Feinstein retires in 2018--still an uncertainty--it will be a crowded field. Look for Congressman Xavier Becerra, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, State Senate President Kevin de León, Feinstein daughter Katherine Feinstein, and activist Tom Steyer as possible candidates. This is stream-of-conciousness early in the morning, so I'm likely missing folks.

If Becerra ran for U.S. Senate, de León becomes the favorite for Becerra's 34th congressional seat, where de León also lives. Former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez also lives in the district, and has $582k on hand in two accounts. de León and Pérez are longtime rivals, and that would be a nasty fight.

It's hard to judge how much money a possible candidate like de León, as the fundraising limits on state offices are much higher than for congressional and U.S. Senate offices. (Statewide other than Governor-$7,000, U.S. Senate $2,700 (both to be indexed for inflation for 17-18). Somelike like de León could transfer up to the federal limit per donor for a U.S. Senate bid. Billionaire Tom Steyer could spend unlimited amounts of his own money on a bid, and Katherine Feinstein could obviously raise a lot of money fast.

Anyway, that's all based on speculation that Feinstein, who will be 85 in 2018, will retire. She has sent no signals that she will, but the feelings in Washington are that she will, particularly after Tuesday's results in which Democrats thought they had a very good chance to take back the Senate, which would have made Feinstein the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 2018 is not a good year for Democrats to take back the Senate, which likely influences Feinstein's decision.

It's very late to launch a campaign for statewide office in 2018, with the likely candidates having lots of cash on hand.

Supervisor, however, comes with a decent salary ~$153,000 and a pension plan, with the pension unlike the state offices. In the 4th district, then-incumbent Shawn Nelson had a landslide in June 2014, but he ran against an unknown.

If Sanchez wants to remain in public life, a run for the 4th supervisorial district is probably the likeliest move and she'd have a real shot against Nelson. My ears on the ground in OC have heard about eight possible candidates--all city councilmembers--four Dems and four Reps. None of them would have the name recognition or fundraising ability of Sanchez.

Oh, the dominoes. We're 6 days after the 2016 election, and all eyes are on 2018. Thankfully, as I have to have something to write about!

THE DEEP BLUE SEA: California Is An Alternate Universe [Sherry Bebitch Jeffe and Doug Jeffe @ Fox&Hounds] - “While the rest of the country was electing Donald Trump and returning Republican Congressional majorities, California turned an even deeper shade of blue. The Golden State delivered a drubbing to The Donald. Hillary Clinton piled up a 2.5 million vote margin over Trump, swamping him 62% to 33%. Even that erstwhile bastion of conservativism, Orange County, voted Democratic—for the first time since the Great Depression.”

BUCKING THE TREND: 5 California Winners in Election Results [Joe Mathews @ Fox&Hounds] - “There are still many ballots to count, but here’s a preliminary list of the biggest California winners in the November elections.”

California’s 58 counties need governance reform [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - “There are some steps that could improve all county governments, such as simplifying relations with the state. But Los Angeles and other big counties need a deeper overhaul – larger boards for broader representation and elected executives for accountability.”


Assembly Democrats 52   55
Assembly Republicans 28  25
Senate Democrats 26  26
Senate Republicans 14  14
Assembly Men 60 63
Assembly Women 20 17
Senate Men 30 30
Senate Women 10 10
Assembly Af-Am 10 9
Assembly Asian 9 12
Assembly Latino 19 22
Assembly LGBT 4 4
Senate Af-Am 2 2
Senate Asian 3 5
Senate Latino 5 5
Senate LGBT 3  4


  • 39 Democrats: no change
  • 14 Republicans: no change
  • 37 men: +2 (Salud Carbajal and Lpu Correa)
  • 16 women: -2 (Lois Capps and Loretta Sanchez)
  • 39 Democrats: no change
  • 14 Republicans: no change
  • 3 African-Americans: no change
  • 6 Asians/South Asians: no change
  • 12 Latinos: +1 (Salud Carbajal) 


California’s civil service changes aim for a millennial workforce [Adam Ashton @ SacBee]


THE AG LIST: Here's the current list based on conversations with many insiders:

  • Joe Cotchett, attorney
  • Rocky Delgadillo, former LA City Attorney
  • Katherine Feinstein, retired judge and daughter of Dianne Feinstein
  • Mike Feuer, LA City Attorney
  • Dario Frommer, former assemblymember and my fellow UCD law grad, who I later followed in his footsteps as president of the LSA
  • Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor and member, California Board of State and Community Corrections
  • Mike Gatto, Assemblymember (termed out)
  • Clark Kelso, professor of law at McGeorge and a Republican nominee appointed to insurance commish in 2000 when the vacancy arose after Chuck Quackenbush was compelled to resign and moved to serve as the state's chief information officer under both Davis and Schwarenegger. Easy confirmation. 
  • Nancy McFadden, executive secretary to Jerry Brown, and a key part of his inner circle
  • Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County DA
  • Ann Ravel, FEC commissioner 
  • Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County DA
  • Phillip A. Talbert, US attorney for the Eastern District of California

#CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Rob Grossglauser, David Hadley, and Amy Howorth!



  • The Office of Assemblymember Elect Phillip Chen is looking to hire talented and dedicated individuals to join its Capitol and District team in Brea, CA. The following positions are looking to be filled -- District Director, Scheduler, Legislative Assistant, Field Representative/Caseworker. For more information, please visit
  • LOBBYING SUCCESS BEGINS 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 your success. December 8-9, $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.
  • Come join Sacramento's Finest Election Gurus/Nerds in dissecting the 2016 Election, hosted by the Harry S Truman Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento.  Join the Truman Club on November 17 for our final luncheon of the year where we break bread and break down the 2016 election.  Carol Dahmen-Eckery, Scott Lay, and Roger Salazar will help us understand just what the hell happened in the United States, California, and the Sacramento region this Election Cycle.  Hug therapist will be on call (we jest). No host bar (we don't jest). Thursday, November 17 at 11:30-1:00 p.m. at the Sterling Hotel.  For tickets, visit:
  • Thinking about Graduate School?  Sacramento State’s Department of Public Policy and Administration is now accepting applications for graduate studies in Public Policy & Administration and Urban Land Development. Highly affordable, we offer a rigorous education in a political context with more than 400 alumni working in California State and local government as well as private and non-profit organizations. Priority deadline is December 1; final deadline is March 1 for Fall 2017 admissions.
  • SACRAMENTO-BASED THRILLER wins national honors for Best First Novel, Best Political Thriller & Best Female PI/Sleuth. "Entertaining whodunnit told with humor and intellect" ONE MURDER MORE by Kris Calvin features a woman lobbyist as the amateur sleuth, while the cast of suspects includes two CA Governors (one past, one present) & a Senate Fellow! Order now from Amazon or your favorite bookstore at  $13.99 trade paper $1.99 ebook!


Lawyers For President-elect File Motion To Delay Trump University Trial
A motion to delay the Trump University trial until after the presidential inauguration is filed in San Diego federal court.

Trump's Election Sparks Fears Of California Health Consumers
Healthcare experts agree Trump and the Republicans will gut Obamacare. But even the law's critics agree: Whatever change occurs will likely take at least a year, if not two.

Marijuana Legalization Measure Drew Strongest Support From Young Voters, Clinton Backers, Poll Finds
Update on 'Essential Politics: More than 4 million votes left to count in California, Kamala Harris won't leave her day job anytime soo...

California Government Making Changes To State Worker Civil Service | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Under President Trump, What Will Happen To Mexican Immigrants? - The Orange County Register
Local Mexican consulate officials are wondering, with Donald Trump’s remarks on immigration that aired Sunday and that he made throughout his campaign: What will his election mean for California’s undocumented population?

Remedial Classes Might Be The Biggest Roadblock To Success For Community College Students
Remedial classes largely fail to help California community college students earn a certificate or degree or transfer to a four-year university, study shows.

Sacramento Regional Transit Consider Alcohol Ads On Sides Of Buses And Light Rail Trains | The Sacramento Bee
Tony Bizjak @
Tony Bizjak writes about traffic and travel in the Sacramento region

UC Berkeley police investigate election-related hate crime
A man in his 50s who went up to Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley while election returns were playing on a screen Tuesday evening shouted racist and homophobic phrases at two students, according to the University of California Police Department. The man then spat at them with spittle landing on one of the students. UCPD is classifying this as a hate crime. The two students, one male and one female, were watching the election returns around 6:40 p.m. when the man yelled at them, according to police.

California Democrats Bet Big On An Anti-trump Strategy. It Didn't Work
Democrats had hoped to parlay low opinions of Trump into legislative wins down-ballot, but election returns show the strategy may have been a dud

Trump Victory Aside, It Was A Good Election For Mayor Ed Lee - San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee won’t be going off to Washington anytime soon to serve in the Cabinet, but local election returns in his favor will help pave the way for a smoother final three years at City Hall.

Students Plan Walkouts At L.A. Schools; LAPD Asks Parents To Warn Their Children About Following The Law
Students at schools across Los Angeles have made plans to leave their classes on Monday as a symbolic protest of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, according to authorities.

Hillary Clinton's Lead In Popular Vote Could Grow To More Than 2 Million - Sfgate
Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote is continuing to grow-and it will likely grow more.

Why Trump Needs Silicon Valley - San Francisco Chronicle
President-elect Donald Trump has said he can more than double the growth rate of the U.S. economy. To do that, he is going to need Silicon Valley, a region that largely rejected his candidacy.

Trump Says He'll Seek To Deport Up To 3 Million People In The U.S. Illegally
President-elect Donald Trump says his administration will seek to promptly deport up to 3 million immigrants with "criminal records’’ who are in the U.S. illegally but will defer the far wider exclusions he called for during the campaign until "after the border is secure.’’

New UC Davis Museum Puts Natural Light To Striking Use - San Francisco Chronicle
More than most buildings, contemporary museums are designed with two aims. The idea is to make a memorable visual statement while displaying art in appropriate and flattering ways.

California, As Clinton Territory, Finds Itself A Political Outlier - Wsj
Alejandro Lazo and Jim Carlton @
On Tuesday night, as most of the country turned red, rock-solid-red Orange County, Calif., went blue.

GOP Preps Immigration Legislation -- The Playbook Interview: Sen. Rob Portman -- What Is Trump Saying About Lobbyists? -- Eliana Johnson And Tara Palmeri To Politico -- B’day: Valerie Jarrett - Politico
Good Monday morning. 67 DAYS until Donald Trump is inaugurated as president of the United States.

The big jobs the president-elect must fill — secretary of state, attorney general and defense secretary — are subject to a Senate confirmation vote.