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Well, it's another smoky morning and the Legislature wil be back in a week.  Tomorrow is the state campaign finance reporting deadline, and I'll get to the races I'll be looking at in the reports and other news after the jump. However, we must start with the fires, as they will be a top issue when the two houses return next week. 

I may not be comprehensive today. I've been writing nonstop (except for coffee refills) for 6.5 hours and I feel like I'm just skimming the surface. ¡Lo siento mis amigos!

FREE POLITICAL ADVICE: I'm on lots of congressional fundraising lists and they are issuing their pleas. This morning, Josh Harder (D), challenging Jeff Denham (R) in CA10, sent a message talking about the scorching days. Yesterday, the firefighter who died fighting the Ferguson Fire was transported to a hero's welcome by fellow firefighters as we was taken to the Stanislaus County Coroner's Office in Modesto--the heart of CA10. 

I don't write to pick on Harder or to assist Denham, as this is only one over the last few days from both parties of the many targeted races with fundraising operations based in Washington, DC that are completely disconnected from what's going on in California. I haven't seen any emails to the same lists mentioning the fires or, most importantly, the four deaths of firefighters so far.

It just looks utterly stupid.

No, firefighter deaths shouldn't be mentioned in a fundraising message, but rather a separate message.

Don't get me wrong, as lots of state and local legislators have been working hard on this in their districts, with state legislators of both parties setting aside their last ten days of recess to assist constituents. Bravo! 

Note: In the stats below, there are inconsistencies in data reported. That's because each incident command reports different information to CAL FIRE or US Forest Service (Cranston, Ferguson).

CARR FIRE (Shasta/Trinity): The headlines from the state's largest fire yesterday were mixed. It slowed down yesterday and moved primarily west into Trinity County away from the more populated Redding area. However, another deceased victim was found yesterday, bringing the number to six (four civilians, two firefighters), making it tied for 13th deadliest in California recorded history. At least six were still missing as of yesterday. It is also now the 11th most destructive wildfire in California recorded history. This morning, some evacuated areas were re-opened. I don't know it well enough to understand what percentage of evacuees this accounts for.

Trinity had to deal with sustained power outages after the power plant at Trinity Dam was shut down.

This morning, a VA Outpatient Clinic opened at 351 Hartnell Avenue in Redding to serve veteran victims of the Carr Fire.  Services provided by the clinic will include primary care, urgent care, pharmacy, mental health, dental, and social work; Veterans with scheduled appointments will be able to access cardiology, eye, physical therapy, chiropractic, urology, podiatry, and dietary services. Veterans seeking to confirm appointments or inquire about services should contact our Call Center at 1-800-382-8387.

The looting problems continue, with two more arrests this morning. While looting in any natural disaster is not uncommon, the city's well known problem of meth likely increases it. Drug addicts of all kinds steal, although meth is known for some of the most fearless stealing (i.e. scrap metal from freeway guardrails). I'm not stereotyping, but just acknowledging the problem. 

  • Acreage: 98,724
  • Containment: 17%
  • Deaths: 6 (2 firefighters, 4 civilians)
  • Structures destroyed: 874
  • Structures damaged: 175
  • Structures threatened: 5,012
  • Personnel: 3,388
  • Engines: 334
  • Helicopters: 17
  • Dozers: 68
  • Expected full containment: Unknown

CRANSTON FIRE (Riverside County): Most of the evacuation order for Idyllwild and Pine Wood have been lifted.

  • Acreage: 13,139
  • Containment: 57%
  • Personnel: 1,546
  • Expected full containment: 08/09/18

FERGUSON FIRE (Yosemite area): The Ferguson Fire burning in the wildlands around Yosemite had another casualty yesterday as Brian Hughes, a captain with the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots employed by the National Park Service, lost his life as a tree fell on him. As he was brought to the Stanislaus County Coroner's Office, his brothers and sisters from the local department in Modesto stood atop their engines to give him a hero's honor.


Brian Hughes

Brian Hughes 

(Photo by Brad Torchia/Courtesy of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks) 

  • Acreage: 56,659
  • Containment: 30%
  • Deaths: 2 (firefighters)
  • Structures destroyed: 1
  • Injuries: 7
  • Personnel: 3,766
  • Engines: 244
  • Helicopters: 14
  • Dozers: 78
  • Expected full containment: 08/09/18

"Yosemite National Park announces Yosemite Valley will reopen to all visitors at 4:00 pm on Friday, August 3, 2018. Limited visitor services will be available inside Yosemite Valley, including campgrounds, lodging, and food service operations. Due to continuing firefighting operations along the Wawona Road, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and the Wawona Road (Highway 41) from the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park to Tunnel View will remain closed until further notice. For information on Yosemite National Park, go to: or call 209-372-0200."

MENDOCINO COMPLEX (Lake/Mendocino): Much of the attention yesterday shifted from the Carr Fire, which was moving toward west into mostly wildlands to the quick-growing convergence of the Ranch and River fires that started in Mendocino County and moved into Lake County. Most of the communities on the north side of California's largest natural lake are under mandatory evacuation, including the county seat of Lakeport. As of this morning's reports, firefighters have held the line keeping the fire out of the communities.

Significant employers Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Robinson Rancheria Casino and Hotel, and Running Creek Casino are all in the mandatory evacuation area. Dozens of inns and restaurants where employees rely on tips are as well. Tips aren't covered by unemployment. Major stores such as CVS, Safeway, and Grocery Outlet are closed as well. While Lakeport has only about 4,800 permanent residents, this is the peak recreation time for the lake, which swells the population.

Power for much of Mendocino County was out yesterday for an interesting reason--smoke fried out transformers. You learn something every day. Smoke apparently conducts electricity, per PG&E. Power came back on between 7:45-8:30 in various places, with the village of Mendocino among the last, according to the outage map on PG&E's web site. Mendocino is probably my most favorite spot in California, but I can't imagine being there with no power and no place to eat for miles.

Apparently, power is still largely off in the evacuated areas of Lake County. Evacuees that are low/out of gas are stuck because the gas pumps are off (even if they still have gas), and AAA is not able/willing to provide assistance (likely because their local contracted drivers have been evacuated). Last night, only a casino gas station was operating, and the lines looked like the 70s.

  • Acreage: 55,987 
  • Containment: 5%
  • Structures destroyed: 6 (residences)
  • Structures damaged: none
  • Stuctures threatened: 
  • Personnel: 1,379
  • Engines: 118
  • Helicopters: 6
  • Dozers: 37
  • Expected full containment: 08/06/18



Who’s Who of LA’s Political Movers and Shakers Honor Freshman Policymakers: Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed) together with the BizFed PAC will host its 4th annual Freshman Policymakers Reception on Thursday, August 2 at the Avalon in Hollywood from 5pm – 8pm. Meet more than 100 government officials shaping the future of business in LA County. Tickets available at

WHAT: Over 100 statewide elected officials, State Assemblymembers, State Senator, Mayors, and City Council members from around Los Angeles County will be the guests at Los Angeles County Business Federation’s (BizFed) annual Freshman Policymakers reception. The event will honor all newly elected office holders from LA County. Over 300 leaders from the LA County business community will be in attendance.
WHERE: AVALON Hollywood, 1735 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
WHEN: Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 5:00 PM PST to 8:00 PM PST
VIPS: Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán
Congressman Jimmy Gomez
State Controller Betty Yee
State Senator Steven Bradford
State Senator Ling Ling Chang
Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel
Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago
LA County Assessor Jeffrey Prang
* More to be announced


CAMPAIGN FINANCE: RACES TO WATCH: Here are the races I'm most anticipating reading campaign finance reports for when they are filed tomorrow:

  • Lieutenant Governor** - Hernandez (D) v. Kounalakis (D)
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction** - Thurmond (N) v. Tuck (N)
  • Insurance Commissioner - Lara (D) v. Poizner (R)
  • SD12 (Salinas/Merced): Caballero (D) v. Poythress (R)
  • SD14 (Fresno/Bakersfield): Hurtado (D) v. Vidak (R)*
  • SD22 (San Gabriel Valley): Eng (D) v. Rubio (D)
  • SD28 (Coachella Valley): Silver (D) v. Stone (R)*
  • SD32 (Whittier): Archuleta (D) v. Delgado (D)
  • SD34 (Huntington Beach): Nguyen (R)* v. Umberg (D)
  • AD15 (Berkeley): Beckels (D) v. Wicks (D)
  • AD16 (Tri-Valley): Baker (R)* v. Bauer-Kahan (D)
  • AD32 (Kings): Mendes (R) v. Salas (D)*
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita): Acosta (R)* v. Smith (D)
  • AD60 (Corona): Cervantes (D)* v. Essalyi (R)
  • AD76 (Carlsbad): Horvath (D) v. Warren (D)

* = incumbent
** = a majority of the spending in these races likely will be independent

POTUS? In the Chron, Matier and Ross look at how Senator Kamala Harris is elevating her national profile as she mulls a possible 2020 presidential bid. "It’s unlikely she’ll decide on a run until after the November midterm elections, but team Harris is making the moves, just in case."

PROPOSITION 10 (Rent Control): For Politico, Jeremy B. White writes how Democrats are splitting over the measure to roll-back the Costa-Hawkins Act that limits the authority of local governments to enact rent control and the impact thereof on the campaigns of two presidential possibles. Los Angeles Eric Garcetti has endorsed the measure, while Kamala Harris has proposed alternatives, but stopping short of coming out against the proposition.

HOME STRETCH: Lobbyist Chris Micheli gives Fox&Hounds a preview of the final month of the legislative session.

DMV: The Bee's Bryan Anderson reports that customers are fed up with misleading wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and legislators are hearing it from their constituents.

Tyré Nichols had no clue what he was getting himself into. He went online, arrived at the office at 9:45 a.m. and brought all his necessary paperwork.

He expected to be in and out within a couple hours. And yet, there he sat six hours later, waiting outside the Department of Motor Vehicles in miserable 98-degree heat.

This follows the State Auditor's report that found that a DMV employee slept on the job for nearly four years:

During the investigation, the employee's supervisor stated that because she woke up the employee three to four times each day, she believed the employee missed only 20 to 30 minutes of work time daily. However, four witnesses reported consistently observing the employee sleeping at her desk for hours at a time during work hours, rather than the 20 to 30 minutes estimated by the supervisor. In fact, two of these witnesses estimated that the employee slept for a minimum of three hours each workday because the supervisor did not consistently wake up the employee even when the supervisor was aware that the employee was sleeping. 

As of the issuance of the report, the employee was on the job. Whether she is awake or not, that's for next year's audit of improper behavior.

CRAY-CRAY TRAIN: In the NYT, Adam Nagourney looks at the future of the high-speed rail project.

Yet for all the cranes, crews in orange vests, beeping trucks and fresh concrete, it remains far from certain that this project will ever be completed. In addition to the lack of funding, it faces opposition from both Mr. Trump and Kevin McCarthy, the Bakersfield Republican who is the House majority leader.

The continued delays and rising costs have fueled criticism that California, perhaps the most prosperous state in the nation, is squandering money on a transportation project that critics describe as a prime example of big government waste in a state controlled by Democrats.

For all the construction, the project faces the ever-present threat that a future governor may decide that state resources would be better used dealing with, to name one example, the housing crisis. Gov. Jerry Brown, a big proponent, is leaving office at the end of the year.

(I often use the crazy train moniker, but I honestly really don't know how I feel about it. I just don't want to have a "bridge to nowhere" type of project. Maybe Tim Draper can finance it.)

COMMUNITY COLLEGES: For CALmatters, Dan Walters looks at the changes in financing, course delivery, and student support at community colleges and concludes they don't go far enough. "California has a looming shortage of college-educated workers and if the gap is to be closed, community colleges must be full partners and not merely academic stepchildren."


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 Nancy Bui-Thompson, Matt Cate, Laurette Healey, Cory Jasperson, and Amy Miller!



Add your classified of up to 100 words by emailing for $40/week.
  • CA School Boards Assn- Legislative Advocate (West Sacramento) Under supervision of the Assistant Executive Director for Governmental Relations, researches, analyzes, and evaluates proposed and current state and federal legislation, legislative issues, statutes, regulations, and policies; communicates and advocates for the Association’s position to influence opinion in favor of public education; develops, summarizes, and maintains reports and records; fosters cooperative working relationships among Association staff and acts as liaison with various legislative, educational, community, public, and government agencies; and performs related work as required.


  • ASSEMBLYMEMBER AUTUMN BURKE (D-Marina del Rey) discusses chairing the powerful Revenue and Taxation committee, and lawmaking in Sacramento, in this exclusive interview:
  • Attorney General's Office is seeking a Legislative Advocate with subject matter expertise in areas such as civil law, criminal law, public rights and law enforcement. The Advocate represents the Department of Justice on legislative matters before the State Legislature. The job can be viewed here.   
  • CA School Boards Assn- Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (Bay Area)
    This position serves as CSBA’s liaison to local school and county boards of education, key decision-makers and the community-at-large, and is responsible for implementing CSBA’s grassroots program, establishing relationships, and facilitating local and regional outreach and activation efforts. Communicates about issues in education that require familiarity with educational laws, regulations and trends.  Executes grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, support and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. BOE. Details:
  • CA School Boards Assn- Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (Orange County)
    This position serves as CSBA’s liaison to local school and county boards of education, key decision-makers and the community-at-large, and is responsible for implementing CSBA’s grassroots program, establishing relationships, and facilitating local and regional outreach and activation efforts. Communicates about issues in education that require familiarity with educational laws, regulations and trends. Executes grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, support and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. BOE. Details:
  •  CA School Boards Assn- Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (San Joaquin North)

    This position serves as CSBA’s liaison to local school and county boards of education, key decision-makers and the community-at-large, and is responsible for implementing CSBA’s grassroots program, establishing relationships, and facilitating local and regional outreach and activation efforts. Communicates about issues in education that require familiarity with educational laws, regulations and trends.  Executes grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, support and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. BOE. Details:

  • 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
  • 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:
Trump Urged By New York Times Publisher To Stop His Inflammatory Rhetoric Against The Media
Laura King @
Trump suggests private talks with New York Times publisher centered on problem of "fake news"; publisher says he "implored" president to eschew "dangerous" rhetoric.

Bannon To Kochs: ‘shut Up And Get With The Program’ - Politico

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon tore into the powerful Koch political network Sunday, accusing it of undermining President Donald Trump ahead of a midterm election that threatens to derail his presidency.

Calculations Show Bullet Train Can Complete Route Within 2 Hours And 40 Minutes. Reality May Prove Slower
Ralph Vartabedian @
But over the next decade, the state rail authority made a series of political and financial compromises that slowed speeds on long stretches of the track.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I Have 'at Least Five More Years' On The Bench - Politico

"My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. | Jim Watson/Getty Images