Around The Capitol

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Well, happy Monday. And it is a happy one in and around the Capitol. With a week full of 90+ temperatures, the legislative recess is a dress clothing liberation in SacTown.

As I write this morning, I am again playing Game Change. What a year 2008 was. I was literally on my honeymoon (y'all know, didn't work) in Oaxaca as Lehman filed for bankruptcy. Because I was involved in capital and cash-flow community college financing, which requires the private sector.

I had friends at high levels at Lehman and throughout the banking industry. [Friends means I worked with them--I never profited in any way personally.]

A big-name bank VP one day, and unemployed the next day. It was heartbreaking. The world literally changed over a few days. 

TURNOUT: There have been good discussions (is that what they are) on Twitter about whether there really was a surge in turnout or not, and whether the five "Voters Choice Act" counties propelled turnout.  

Of course, 2018 primary (2018P) results are semi-official, as the official certification is due by Friday, but we're essentially done.

First, the biggest "analysis" has been 2018P over 2014P (both mid-term elections), and indeed 11.3% is a big increase. However, that's because nobody voted in the 2014 primary. GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari never had any traction and left the state to become the head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve. He is a very smart guy in finance, but never energized the base behind him or provided an attraction to independents when they were pretty satisfied with Jerry Brown's term. Kashkari was played by Ayad Ashkal in HBO's Too Big to Fail starring William Hurt, which was about the banking crisis. Good flick.

Also, 2014 was the first year when only legislatively placed ballot measures were on the primary ballot, and the two were a bond for veterans' homes and something dealing with public records. Anyway, there was little driving turnout. 

Thus, the real comparison is 2010, when there was an open race for governor and five ballot measures, including the open primary.

So, June 2018's primary turnout of registered voters appears to be 37.5% and 2010 was 33.3%. A partial uptick. It's not like polling with a margin of error, as we are looking at actual votes and not a sample. Of course, 4.2% is significant in looking at turnout, although not huge. It most likely can be attributed to the highly contested congressional races, where millions were spent by independent groups. 

For example, in Orange County--the site of the most contested congressional races and well-funded candidates, turnout was 30.11% in 2010, but 42.5% in 2018. That's a big jump.

It's unlikely to take too much away from that. More people likely participated in these primaries with a full menu of options in those races, and those are people may have sat out primaries in the past but regularly vote in November.

So, what about the Voters Choice Act, where five counties replaced traditional polling places? Like here in Sacramento County, ballots were mailed to every registered voter and could be returned by mail or at a voting center, which also allowed in-person voting. Frankly, there doesn't appear to be any significant change in turnout. 

That's of course not the only consideration about the value of the Voters Choice Act. Similar statistics have been seen in Oregon, which has all-mail balloting. But, there may be a net cost savings for counties, and voters may make more informed choices if they have their ballot for two weeks at the kitchen table. It's not necessarily great news for campaigns as the timing for mail and other advertising is far more complicated. I was still getting mail and seeing ads up until election day, when I voted far before that. 

Anyway, I think the Voters Choice Act is a good thing for voters, candidates, and counties overall, but don't jump to a conclusion about a "surge" in voters last month. It's basically on par with normal.


County 2010P Turnout 2014P Turnout 2018P Turnout   Difference between 2018 and 2014 Difference between 2018 and 2010
Madera 46% 33.4% 44%   -1.6% 10.6%
Napa 44.6% 39.6% 49%   4.4% 9.4%
Nevada 51.1% 44.7% 56%   4.9% 11.3%
Sacramento 37.5% 29.6% 41%   3.5% 11.4%
San Mateo 38.4% 27.5% 44%   5.6% 16.5%
Statewide 33.3% 25.7% 37.5%   4.2% 11.8%


Of course, my good friend Paul Mitchell posted something similar at 10 a.m. as I was writing. Dude and I go back around 25 years, that happens even when we're not coordinating. Just a couple of guys in The OC wearing Barbara Boxer t-shirts and/or hospital scrubs. Barefoot or flip-flops. Grilled cheese with tomatoes were sustenance. #groupthink #HeHasMoreData





Classifieds below:

  • Education: Pepperdine Masters of Public Policy (GRE waived for legislative staffers)
  • Education: UOP/McGeorge School of Law: MPP/MPA (full-time or part-time, 3 miles from the Capitol)
  • Event: Capitol Seminars lobbying workshop
  • Job: California Welfare Directors Association
  • Job: Cargill Director of Governmental Relations (Newark-Bay Area)
  • Job: Local Health Plans of California seeks a Program Manager
  • Job: Serna Center @ Sac City Unified: Chief Business Officer
  • Job: The California Dental Association seeks full-time Associate Legislative Advocate
  • Job: Probolsky Research - Research Analyst - Public Opinion (Orange County)
  • Job: SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles)
  • Job: SEIU-UHW -- Political Capacity Organizer (Oakland or Sacramento)
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels   



Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Kimberly Ellis, Dana Ferry, and Mark Rosso!




Add your classified of up to 100 words by emailing for $40/week.
  • WE CAN HELP MAKE YOUR LOBBYING EFFORTS MORE EFFECTIVE. Numerous nonprofits and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, trade associations and government entities use Capitol Seminars as their No.1 training resource -- for new lobbyists, support staff, executives who hire and manage lobbyists. Conducted by 43-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov, our Lobbying 101 & 201 seminars offer you comprehensive coverage of the Legislative process, along with best practices for Legislative, Budget, and Regulatory Agency advocacy, Lobbying the Administration, and Media Strategies. You’ll refer to the extensive curriculum materials long after the seminars are over. Next dates: August 2-3, October 4-5, December 13-24. More information / registration: or 916-442-5009.
  • The County Welfare Directors Association is hiring a Human Services Policy Analyst focusing on county-run programs serving children and adults. The Analyst supports the advocacy work CWDA is engaged in, at the direction of senior staff, including but not limited to legislative and budget efforts and implementation of policy changes enacted at the state and federal level. Competitive salary, excellent benefit package. Open until 8/1. Details:
    SERNA CENTER Sacramento City USD 5735 47th Ave. Sac, CA 95824
    Salary Range: $157,252 – $197,031 yrly. Medical, Dental and Vision; $4,800 annual travel stipend
    CBO’s role is to create a structure incorporating the District’s annual budget process with the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) using the SCUSD Guiding Principle and Core Value Statement. The ability to incorporate them into one seamless process could lead to more equitable outcomes for all students.
    Contact: Monica Garland
  • The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, in Sacramento offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees to both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a deep understanding of statutory interpretation and regulatory processes critical to modern governance. Learn more at or contact us at
  • Cal State Student Association seeks Legislative Policy Analyst
    The position is responsible for researching and analyzing legislative policy issues. Additionally, the position will be responsible for externally representing the organization in legislative meetings and committees. Lastly, the position will be responsible for advising our board of directors and legislative affairs committee. For more information and to apply, visit

  • Finance & Operations Manager
    California YIMBY is looking for an innovative, resourceful, inspired individual to serve as the Finance & Operations Manager to manage day-to-day finances and operations, act as internal authority on grant requirements, and create and track annual budget. Reports directly to the CEO. $65,000-$85,000/year DOE + benefits. for details.

  • Digital Director
    California YIMBY is seeking an innovative, resourceful, inspired individual to serve as the Digital Director to create digital program to tell story of CA's housing crisis. Reports directly to the Chief Advocacy Officer. $75,000-$90,000/year DOE + benefits. for details.
  • Organizing Director
    California YIMBY is seeking a motivated, tenacious, creative individual to serve as the Organizing Director to conceive large scale organizing strategy and develop, write and implement a comprehensive strategic organizing plan. Reports directly to the Chief Advocacy Officer. $75,000-$90,000/year DOE + benefits. for details.
  • Local Health Plans of California seeks a Program Manager to work across multiple teams providing management, coordination, and support needed to execute programs and initiatives. Ideal candidate is a self-starter, good writer, client service oriented, has an eye for detail, and believes in California’s local health plans’ mission. Salary BOE. Details.
  • Imprenta Communications Group Seeks Account Coordinator to Join Our Sacramento Office. Successful candidate will have 1-3 years previous experience working at a public relations agency, on political campaigns, political staff, or corporate marketing. The ideal candidate is a hard-working, professional, and dedicated individual seeking to empower communities of color. Spanish or Asian language fluency preferred. Full job description can be viewed here. Submit resume and cover letter to Ken Tiratira at for consideration
  • GRE waived for qualifying government & legislative staffers to apply to the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s Master of Public Policy program, considered the most unique policy graduate program in the country. Specialization tracks, including State & Local Policy, allow students to personalize their policy studies. Current State & Local Policy courses include, “Advanced Topics in Politics and Budgeting,” “Public Policy for Criminal Justice, Cannabis, and other Drugs,” “Permissions Development and the Environment,” and “Leadership through Public Engagement.” Find out more about this Top 10 in the West/Top 5 in California MPP program located in Malibu:
  • SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles)
    This position is responsible for a broad range of program objectives to build and strengthen our infrastructure and engage our members to be a powerful force at their worksites, in the legislative process, in the community and at the ballot box. Proven track record is a must. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at
  • SEIU-UHW – Political Capacity Organizer (Oakland or Sacramento)
    This position is responsible for working in close collaboration with multiple levels of staff and members to develop goals and execute plans for members participation in all areas of the political program and hard dollar fundraising.  Also provides staff support to our Political Action Advisory Committee, in collaboration with representational staff.  Candidate will train and mentor COPE chairs and member activists to help them achieve political goals.  Proven fundraising track record is a must.  Competitive salary and excellent benefits.  For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at
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