Around The Capitol

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REMINDER: My email address is still in DNS hell. (where that other email usually goes anyway) is working just fine.

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
  • Event: Workforce development celebration: Tuesday, August 28th from 6pm to 8pm at the Citizen Hotel
  • Job: Attorney General's Office: legislative advocate
  • Job: California School Boards Association: legislative advocate
  • Job: California School Boards Association: regional representatives
  • Job: California Welfare Directors Association: human services policy analyst
  • Job: Cargill Director of Governmental Relations (Newark-Bay Area)
  • Job: Local Health Plans of California seeks a Program Manager
  • Job: OPR Communications Account Executive
  • 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   



I tweet the right district number and have the analysis under AD77, and had the wrong one listed here! It was a cray-cray morning! My apologies.


  • AD77 (North San Diego): moved from Safe Republican to Leans Republican
  • AD77 (North San Diego): updated analysis [available to Nooner Premium subscribers]

BALANCE OF POWER: Note that I don't list district-specific predictions below, but rather use probabilities in toss-ups to make projections. Individual race ratings are on the ATC district pages.

  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 39 Democrats, 10 Republicans, 4 toss-ups
  • Senate:
    • Current: 25 Democrats, 14 Republicans, 1 vacancy (D after Delgado is sworn if certified returns are as currently stand)
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 27 Democrats, 13 Republicans (I've been waffling on SD12 - analysis coming soon)
  • Assembly:
    • Current: 55 Democrats, 25 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 56-57 Democrats, 23-24 Republicans   

Happy fundraising week! With the fate of hundreds of bills facing the Appropriations chopping block on Thursday, lots of members will be having fundraisers throughout the week. Of course, it's a bit of legislative kabuki, as the decisions on what gets off and moves to the floor and what dies on the fate of a "C roll call," which means Republicans are voting "aye" and Democrats are voting "no." For the home gamers prepping their scoresheets for Thursday, "A roll call" means the entire committee votes "aye," while a "B" roll means all Demorats are voting "no" and Republicans are voting "aye."

Individuals can peel off, but the script will be written throughout the week as campaign coffers are filled. There are twelve legislative fundraisers today, including ones for 2020 for Senator Scott Wiener, a member of Senate Approps, and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins. Don't worry, Wiener's is at 5pm at Mayahuel, while Atkins's is at Cafeteria 15L at 6pm. According to the listing in our friends at Capitol Morning Report, folks can also catch Atkins at a lunchtime event for Bob Archuleta, who will face Republican businesswoman Rita Topalian on November 6 for the full term for Tony Mendoza's former Senate seat. It's at noon at Café Á Côté on K Street with tickets starting at $1,000. Bring your checkbook and run!

Tellingly of the challenge for the GOP on the Sacramento fundraising circuit around these deadlines, only one of the twelve today are by a Republican, and that's one for Chad Mayes at 5:30 at Ella's. Two-term assemblymember Mayes was removed by his colleagues from the role of Assembly Republican Leader after he voted for the extension of cap-and-trade. He is now supporting an effort called "New Way California" led by Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, seeking to move the California GOP more to the center-right. Don't expect many of his Mayes's colleagues to show up at his funder, except perhaps outgoing Rocky Chávez.


TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (FOR THE KIDS): As a reminder, Wednesday night is the annual Legislative All-Star Softball Game at Raley Field, with the first pitch is at 7 p.m. The Democrats' team is led by Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), and Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), while the Republicans are led by Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego). The event costs $20 and the proceeds go to the Mustard Seed School established by the Loaves & Fishes homeless shelter, which serves students 3-15 for free. The school provides far more than education for children in homeless families.

Buy your ticket(s) here with the access code LAGOnce purchased, redeem the voucher with Karla Mendoza in Assemblymember McCarty’s office to pick up or arrange for delivery of your Legislative All-Star Game tickets.


Fire round-up: 

Rankings in California's Top 20 in history from over the last 12 months:

#3 Tubbs (October 2017) - 22 deaths
#10 Redwood Valley (October 2017) - 9 deaths
#13 Carr (July 2018) - 8 deaths
#14 Atlas (October 2017) - 6 deaths
#20 Cascade (October 2017) - 4 deaths

Most Destructive
#1 Tubbs (October 2017) - 5,636 structures
#6 Carr (July 2018) - 1,599 structures
#7 Nuns (October 2017) - 1,355 structures
#8 Thomas (December 2017) - 1,063 structures
#12 Atlas (October 2017) - 783 structures
#18 Redwood Valley (October 2017) - 546 structures

#1 Mendocino Complex (July 2018) - 328,226
#2 Thomas (December 2017) - 281,893
#10 Carr (July 2018) - 190,873


FERGUSON: The Yosemite-area fire has burned 95,5544 acres and is 80% contained. Here is the latest on Yosemite National Park (same as yesterday), which plans to reopen today-tomorrow:

Yosemite Valley, Wawona, and Mariposa Grove reopenings
Wawona & Mariposa Grove reopen Aug 13. Yosemite Valley reopens Aug 14; access via Hwys 140 and 120. No access between Yosemite Valley and Wawona. Tioga Road and Big Oak Flat Road west of Crane Flat have already reopened. Expect limited services parkwide.

CARR (Shasta/Trinity): 

  • Acreage: 190,873
  • Containment: 57%
  • Deaths: 8 (2 firefighters, 1 PG&E lineman apprentice, 1 CAL FIRE mechanic, and 4 civilians)
  • Structures destroyed: 1,599  (1,077 residences, 22 commercial, 500 other)
  • Structures damaged: 282 (191 residences, 26 commercial, 65 other)
  • Structures threatened: 528
  • Personnel: 4,641
  • Engines: 341
  • Helicopters: 13
  • Dozers: 104
  • Cause: Vehicle equipment malfunction
  • Expected full containment: Unknown 

MENDOCINO COMPLEX (Colusa/Lake/Mendocino): While an update was posted this morning, the numbers didn't change from yesterday, which isn't right.

  • Acreage: 328,226
  • Containment: 67% 
  • Structures destroyed: 258 (139 residences, 119 other)
  • Structures damaged: 37 (13 residences, 24 other)
  • Structures threatened: 1,525
  • Personnel: 3,422
  • Engines: 281
  • Helicopters: 20
  • Dozers: 76
  • Cause: Unknown, but suspicious
  • Expected full containment: 09/1/18

HOLY FIRE (Orange/Riverside counties): 

  • Acreage: 22,714
  • Containment: 52% 
  • Structures destroyed: 12 
  • Structures threatened: 9,300
  • Personnel: 1,206
  • Engines: 30
  • Helicopters: 10
  • Dozers: 3
  • Cause: Suspected arson (suspect in custody)
  • Expected full containment: 08/17/18 

Repeating this from the Small Business Administration--forward to anyone you know in Shasta County:

The Disaster Recovery Center opened at 9:00am this morning and will be open 7 days/week from 9:00am to 7:00pm.
Former Kmart
2685 Hilltop Dr.
Redding, CA 96002
The SBA Office of Disaster Assistance also opened a Business Recover Center this morning at 8:00am with the location below. It will be open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday to assist any businesses affected by the Carr Fire.
Superior California Economic Development office
350 Hartnell Avenue
Suite A
Redding, CA 96002


More stories below . . .



#METOO:  During a recording of the SacTown Talks Podcast in Friday night, a great idea came up for disgraced former Assemblymember Matt Dababneh's campaign funds. He transferred $1,062,178.30 raised for his Assembly re-election on March 29 to an account for a newly opened 2022 lieutenant governor account. 

Let's be candid--Matt Dababneh is not running for lieutenant governor against an incumbent Democrat in 2022, whether it be Ed Hernandez or Eleni Kounalakis. Debabneh resigned on December 31, 2017 after the Assembly investigation commenced into an incident that happened during a wedding party (not his) weekend in Vegas. I start by saying allegedly, but every person I have talked to absolutely believes it. The complaint was that he cornered a female lobbyist in a single-occupancy bathroom in a private nightclub room, dropped trou, encouraged her to touch him and when she didn't, finished the job himself. No charges were filed, as it was The Strip on a holiday weekend and would have required the lobbyist to stay in Vegas amidst a he said-she said on false imprisonment under Nevada law.

Moving on, this is about what he does with that cash. His donors, which include payday lenders, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, tribes, insurance companies, beer companies, banks, and dozens of others.

Carrying the money forward to a "new account" is allowed if there is a statement of intent for a future office. Money than needs to be used in furtherance of that campaign, which can include contributions supporting other candidates and, of course, the operating costs of the committee. Absent the furtherance of the campaign, funds can be refunded to the contributors, or given to bona fide charity, educational, civic, religious or similar nonprofit organization, as long as the candidate, family members or the committee's treasurer. (Ring-ring, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, FPPC is on line one, although it may already be in the hands of the FBI.)

The donors to Dababneh's lingering warchest aren't checking their mailboxes for reimbursement of their contributions. But, Advance America, Anheuser Busch, Bank of America and others (I just got through As and Bs) don't want to see their names associated with Dababneh. 

Interesting expenses (all after his December 31 resignation): 

  • $10,000 to The Rose Group (Reputation Management & Crisis Communications) - "As thinkers, fixers, doers, and creators, we make things happen - and happen right."
  • $38,000 (+$16,000 outstanding) to Summit Strategies, LLC in Riverside for consulting. I haven't heard of this entity, and it doesn't show up in Google or in the Secretary of State's business search.

"The Capitol Commission of the States is just interesting, as of a review of his past committee records doesn't show contributions to the group prior to the scandal from any of his committees. The national group sponsors California's Frank Erb, who has the trademark of "Pastor of the Capitol." In March, three months after Dababneh's departure, Erb provided the weekly Bible study of legislators a handout entitled How God Responds to Sexual Harassment. It provided: 

Even if an offender does know God, they may still pay a high price for their sin. For example, when King David, who was a man of God, seduced his married neighbor Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), God made his transgression public, and the resulting fallout had a devastating impact on David’s political career and family life. Fortunately though, the Lord can use a person’s brokenness and realization of their own sinfulness to bring them to repentance and a close relationship with Him. Our Heavenly Father extends grace and mercy to anyone who will truly open their heart and yield their life to Him."

I don't know Dababneh's religion and that is his personal choice and can change at any time. However, it's notable that last year, he was the lone Arab-American in the Legislature (former assemblymembers Katcho Achadjian and Allan Mansoor previously were on the list). Heritage doesn't mean religion, but nobody have talked to have considered him in the tightknit group of the legislators' Wednesday Bible study group and he was most associated with causes reflecting his district in the Jewish community and around Israel.

This isn't about Dababneh's $2,000 contribution to a group that is clearly allowable as a religious organization under California campaign finance law, whether in furtherance of a future campaign or not.

The bigger question is over the other spending and what he does with the $975,919.82 in funds remaining as of June 30.

On the other interesting (those not relating to campaign compliance) expenditures between January 1 and June 30, the reputation management and crisis communications spent with The Rose Group likely passes muster. However, the $32,648 spent/accrued on Glaser Weil is highly questionable. Most unconnected legal folks I have talked to on this agree that campaign funds can not be spent on civil or criminal legal work unrelated to the campaign. Clearly, if Glaser Weil was doing any work related to the complaint against Dababneh, that is not in compliance with state law for an account for a declared state office, in this case for lieutenant governor in 2020.

Even if new funds had been raised separately in a legal defense account, they likely couldn't be used related to the complaint because the indicident had nothing to do with his office. It wasn't on state grounds, had nothing to do with a legislative or campaign activity, and did not involve a staff member. I expect the FPPC will pursue this.

I don't hate Matt Dababneh, but, find the allegations disgusting. We're not talking about a drunk freshman in a college dorm here. He wilingly went to a Vegas wedding and chose to go to the nightclub party and the consequences thereof. He resigned without a formal challenge to the allegations. I'll leave you to decide the veracity. 

I even feel bad for him in a sense. He got his bachelor's degree at UCLA in political science and history. He then went to be district director for Congressman Brad Sherman (from where there have been 3 other employment-related complaints). He was elected to the Assembly. 

Lots of folks have left public office in California without celebration, but most have something to go back to. Columbia-trained Gray Davis returned to legal practice after his recall. He is now regularly called upon for public policy panels and is friendly with Arnold Schwarzenegger and has been a UCLA guest lecturer alongside CA GOP chairman Jim Brulte.

Now, Davis's recall was definitely not about misbehavior elected office, where he was a Boy Scout. He has remade himself and is a happy guy these days. If you follow Sharon on Facebook, you see that it's a very different Gray than we know of those tough days of his term (budget, electricity) that laid the path for the recall. It's good to see him having fun and I certainly was not in his inner circle.

The point of this lengthy item is that Dababneh needs to find a way forward and he's not going to do so by holding out for a statewide office in 2022, and he's unlikely to be a strong candidate for State Senate in 2024 when Hertzberg is termed out. I'm not saying the 37-year-old's political career is over. But, it is for awhile. 

The best way forward is about the $975,919.82 remaining as of June 30 going forward. Of course, hold back committee operating costs for an orderly wind-down. Don't spend a dime on legal fees or public relations fees from that money. Period. Likely illegal on one hand, and politically disasterous on the other.

Say $100,000 is held back. Spend $876,000 to support causes tied to harassment and gender equity. Clearly, females are more often the victims, but males are to, particularly gay males who may be less likely to do the already difficult step of coming forward.

Don't give it to organizations actively lobbying an agenda. I personally agree with most of their agenda, but this is about helping victims and those who may become victims. 

Here are ideas:

  • Endow a lectureship at UCLA on gender equity, sexual harassment, or similar issues. Do not name it after yourself. Period.
  • Both WEAVE and My Sister's House serve women and children who are at high risks of homelessness, and I don't need to tell you about the problem that Los Angeles and Sacramento face on that colossal social problem. I'm sure that there are similar organizations down in the district you used to represent and that's good as well. Of course, most of the large donations you received were essentially arranged (nod-nod) by Sacramento lobbyists who know those organizations.
  • Note that I used the words "large and substantial." This is not about politics. No $2,000 donations spread among dozens of organizations for political purposes is about you and not the cause. Your leftover money needs to be about making a difference, not politics.

That's just a few ideas and I am sure there are many more, but you get the gist. 

That money is not your money, Mr. Dababneh. It is from contributors who don't really want to be associated with a future run. However, every expenditure will be scrutinized by me and others, and the contributors will continue to be listed and should be asking for their money back if it's not distributed appropriately.

I've never met you and didn't have anything against you before the allegations. If you want redemption in the policy, and maybe the political arena, what you do with that nearly $1 million by the report closing December 31 will be key.

POTUS: Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) got national airtime this morning with CNN's Jim Sciutto, who was sitting in for Wolf Blitzer. Of course, the Intelligence Committee member was talking about the Russia investigation. Asked about the presidency given his recent visits to his home state of Iowa, he said that he is not closing the door, Trump is a "wrecking ball" of a President, and that he'll make that decision after the mid-terms. He did not that the the other term that will be starting soon is that of his forthcoming child. His wife 


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Greg Coppins, Adam Keigwin, and Lucas O'Connor!



Add your classified of up to 100 words by emailing for $40/week.


  • TBW Media/TBWB Strategies -  Seasonal campaign staffers needed for a variety of roles on campaigns for Democratic elected officials and nonpartisan ballot measures for the fall 2018 cycle. Looking for hard working day-to-day managers, communications, finance directors and staff, field directors and organizers. Also will be hiring for seasonal positions at our consulting firm. Send resume and cover letter indicating availability to No Phone Calls.
  • Join the California Workforce Development Board, California Community College's Chancellor's Office, and the California Workforce Association for an evening of celebration, as we herald the best that regional workforce development has to offer on Tuesday, August 28th from 6pm to 8pm at the Citizen Hotel in Downtown Sacramento.

    This is your opportunity to network with the leaders of workforce development from across the state, and discover the ways that regional economies are coming together to put California forward as the leader in innovative, sustainable workforce strategies for the entire nation!

    Please register to attend the event here:

  • Job Openings – Account Executive
    OPR Communications is seeking account executives for its media relations and public affairs teams. As the leading public relations firm in the Inland Empire, the award-winning OPR team specializes in developing and executing public affairs, media relations, public education and community outreach programs on behalf of a wide range of land-use, transportation, healthcare, energy and government agency clients. Salary DOE. Detailed info here
    Apply at

  • 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.


  • 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: October 4-5 and 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:
  • 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:
On Charlottesville Anniversary, White Nationalists Are Vastly Outnumbered By Counter-protesters Outside White House
Laura King, Tracy Wilkinson @
A year after deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., became a nationwide symbol of polarization and mayhem in the Trump era, authorities braced for potential clashes as the two sides converged on the same small patch of greenery in Lafayette Square.

Senior U.S. Politician Calls For Taiwan’s President To Be Granted Trip To Washington - Politico

Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday night in a high-profile transit visit that is certain to irk Beijing. | Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo