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.




  • AD74 (Huntington Beach): changed from Safe Republican to Leans Republican


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: 26 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 27 Democrats, 13 Republicans 
  • Assembly:
    • Current: 55 Democrats, 25 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 56-58 Democrats, 24-22 Republicans


AURAL PLEASURE: For KQED's Political Breakdown podcast, Marisa Lagos and Katie Orr chat with Democratic political strategist Debbie Mesloh to talk about bail reform, working with Kamala Harris and women running for office. Of course, there is also an end-of-session pot pourri.

Happy Friday! You made it! For the liberals in The Nooner community, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett of the "Pod Save America" podcast were on "The Daily Show with Stephen Colbert" last night. Here is the clip. Hmph, Colbert is going on a two-week vacation.

Today, I'll take a break from writing on Dababneh and the Ridley-Thomases. As evidenced by my errors yesterday, I was totally fried before the hour of noon arrived. Writing fairly about politics often isn't easy. Writing fairly about law often isn't easy. Writing on issues of the intersection between the two is a clusterf*. I'm still researching law on Dababneh case and documenting campaign finance dots/timelines on the Ridley-Thomases. The legal issue is not just about Sebastian.

Tonight will be a fun event to begin the wrap-up of the second two-week long Wide Open Walls event that has brought artists from around the world to bring colorful murals to otherwise ugly walls in downtown Sacramento and beyond. The street party takes place from 6-11pm on L/15 Streets in front of the Residence Inn by Marriott is $10, and will feature live and electronic music and artists. Food trucks will be selling grub.

It looks like tickets are still available. Check out the gallery of some of the art from last year's event.

The event will "unveil" the mural on the east side of the Resident Inn by Marriott designed by Los Angeles artist Shepard Fairey. You know Fairey's work, whether you love it or hate it--Barack Obama's 2008 iconic HOPE poster. In addition to the unveiling his mural of Johnny Cash, Fairey will DJ a set. Here's the mural, in progress:

 Johnny Cash

Credit: Nick Brunner / Capital Public Radio


THE THINGS I LEARN! The Secretary of State publishes a list of candidates' voter registration history in the ten years prior to filing, and it's online! I think that the immediate previous one, if previous to the current party affiliation should be listed on the ballot if it has changed within the last 24 months. Not online or in the sample ballot that less engaged voters rarely look at, but right there on the ballot. I'm not blaming the Secretary of State, as it would require a statutory change. [thanks to SOS Press Secretary Sam Mahood for pointing out the online resource!]

There are several candidates who changed registration--mostly from "No Party Preference" to a party, and I think all of them lost in June. I've found one, Caney Arnold who ran in AD66 (Torrance) who changed from NPP in early 2018, changed to Democrat before filing for the race, and then changed back to NPP six days after losing the top-two primary. Voters need to know about this.

PAINT (CONGRESS) BY NUMBERS: Yesterday, Nate Silver's, the nonpartisan that uses statistics to predict election probabilities posted a new analysis of the, well, 538 congressional districts. Below are the digits on the California competitive races. Here are the predictions using their "Deluxe" methodology, which uses objective components like fundraising and past voting in the district, and expert ratings from the the groups that provide independent national ratings that are a bit more subjective on things such as candidate quality. Here's Silver's explanation of the data used in the model. 

I don't think it uses change in voter registration, which needs to be factored in when comparing to actual voting results of the last midterm (2014). 

On the top-line question of the control of the House of Representatives, the number crunchers predict the current likelihood of House control as Democrats 68.9% and Republicans 31.1%.

Here are the competitive races between parties:

  • CA04 (Foothills): 
    • Projected vote: *Tom McClintock (R) 55.1%, Jessica Morse (D): 44.9%
    • Probability of win: *Tom McClintock (R) 8 in 9, Jessica Morse (D): 1 in 9
    • My current rating: Toss-up
  • CA10 (Stanislaus):
    • Projected vote: Josh Harder (D): 51.5%, *Jeff Denham (R): 48.5%
    • Probability of win: Josh Harder (D): 2 in 3, *Jeff Denham (R): 1 in 3
    • My current rating: Toss-up
  • CA21 (Kings): If going by numbers only, the model has Cox winning, but if you are familiar with my writing on the district, I put it as Leans Democrat based on subjective factors, as have the national race projectors.
    • Projected vote: *David Valadao (R): 50.7%, T.J. Cox (D): 49.3% 
    • Probability of win: *David Valadao (R): 5 in 9, T.J. Cox (D): 4 in 9
    • My current rating: Leans Republican
  • CA22 (Tulare): 
    • Projected vote: *Devon Nunes (R): 58.0%, Andrew Janz (D): 42.0%
    • Probability of win: *Devon Nunes (R): 59 in 60, Andrew Janz (R): 1 in 60
    • My current rating: Leans Republican (see my note below)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita/Antelope):
    • Projected vote: Katie Hill (D): 51.9%, *Steve Knight (R): 49.1%
    • Probability of win: Katie Hill (D): 7 in 10, *Steve Knight (R): 3 in 10
    • My current rating: Toss-up
  • CA39 (Fullerton): 
    • Projected vote: Young Kim (R): 50.6%, Gil Cisneros (D): 49.4%
    • Probability of win: Young Kim (R): 4 in 7, Gil Cisneros (R): 3 in 7
    • My current rating: Toss-up
  • CA45 (Irvine): 
    • Projected vote: Katie Porter (D): 50.4%, *Mimi Walters (R): 49.6%
    • Probability of win: Katie Porter (D): 5 in 9, *Mimi Walters (R): 4 in 9
    • My current rating: Toss-up
  • CA48 (Huntington Beach): 
    • Projected vote: Harley Rouda (D) 51.1%, *Dana Rohrabacher: 48.9%
    • Probability to win: Harley Rouda (D) 5 in 8, *Dana Rohrabacher: 3 in 8
    • My current rating: Toss-up
  • CA49 (Oceanside): 
    • Projected vote: Mike Levin (D) 52.8%, Diane Harkey (R): 47.2%
    • Probability to win: Mike Levin (R): 7 in 9, Diane Harkey (R): 2 in 9
    • My current rating: Leans Democrat
  • CA50 (East San Diego County): 
    • Projected vote: *Duncan Hunter (R): 56.9%, Ammar Campa Najjar (D): 33.1%
    • Probability to win: *Duncan Hunter (R): 29 in 30, Ammar Campa-Najjar (D): 1 in 30
    • My current rating: Leans Republican (see my note below)

* = incumbent

All of my ratings that I have shared with you and that are on the ATC district pages basically line-up with the algorithm used by FiveThirtyEight.

The one we could debate is CA50 (East San Diego County). From numbers, obviously, it would be Likely Republican based on numbers. However, there continue to be big questions about Republican incumbent Duncan Hunter's campaign spending and personal life that Politico reported had some of his fellow Republicans hoping for a replacement candidate. leave the door open for Ammar Campa-Najjar (D). 

That uncertainty makes the weighting of prior elections in the district less reliable. That's why I keep it at Leans Republican. I wouldn't even trust polling on a race like CA50 for at least for another month. Like my race ratings, FiveThirtyEight's assessment are "live," and will change as we get more objective data and subjective information. 

The same thing is true with Devon Nunes (R), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. We have no idea about the Russia investigation, so I'm leaving it as Leans Republican now--far more subjective than objective in this case.

For those here in Sacramento, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D) is projected at 78.2% to Jrmar Jefferson (D) at 21.88%, with a probability of a Matsui win at >99 in 100 to win.

Yes, I wish I could do this level of analysis for you on all Assembly and Senate races, but I'm not owned by ABC News/Disney. Silver is lucky to have a great team who does great work with him and Mickey Mouse to buy him super-computers. For me, it's just me and a MacBook Air (with a few dead Airs and Pros I have worked to death).

BUILDING TUNNELS TO FERRY WATER UNDER WATER OR JUST UNDERWATER? Yesterday, we received an updated cost estimate to Governor Jerry Brown's controversial proposal to expand the State Water Project by building tunnels to ferry Sacramento river water under the Delta to be shipped to locales to locations further south. The price tag when introduced was $16.3 billion and has risen to $19.9 billion, reports Dale Kasler in the Bee.

However, that was in 2017 dollars. The new calculation assumes annual inflation averaging 1.5% per year for the new cost estimate, which could also be low. Like High-Speed Rail, a huge expense is raw materials, which are seeing significant cost increases under the "trade/tariff war," whether the raw materials are sourced domestically or overseas.

Notably, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said at Wednesdays luncheon that he sees both projects dead after Brown leaves office, even though he wants an alternative water solution that costs less.

BAIL: The hardly fought bill by Robert Herzberg (D-Van Nuys) to eliminate cash bail and require trial courts to use a formula to determine flight risk passed out of Assembly Appropriations yesterday, reports Ben Adler for Capitol Public Radio. Adler writes:

"Significantly, Thursday’s developments drew immediate support from the Judicial Council, the administrative body that governs California’s court system. “SB 10 appropriately balances public safety, fairness, and the rights of defendants and victims,” the council’s administrative director wrote in a letter to Hertzberg.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office said in a statement that it “is open to legislation that reforms California’s pre-trial system in a cost-effective manner that protects public safety and preserves the rights of the accused.”

The bill has been hardly for for by social justice groups, public defenders, and labor and strongly opposed by bail bond agents (obviously), district attorneys, public safety and the California State Association of Counties.

The amended language of SB 10 is not yet in print. The bill passed Approps on an 11-1 (Fong (R-Bakersfield) no) vote, with five folks who ducked the vote all together. The lone Democrat to duck was Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), which is similar to his sitting on the bench during votes on previous measures.

Also in Approps, bills to set up a state-sanctioned bank for marijuana businesses and one to require hotels to install "panic buttons" for housekeepers both failed, reports John Myers in the Times. Myers has a rundown of other high-profile bils.


Update on the fires below . . .


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: 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: Climate Resolve: Communications Director (Los Angeles)
  • Job: Climate Resolve: Outreach Program Coordinator (Los Angeles)
  • 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   



WASHINGTON: The AP's Matthew Daly reports that Agriculture Secretary and former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue told reporters in DC yesterday that "the Forest Service and other agencies will step up efforts to cut down small trees and underbrush and set controlled fires to remove trees that serve as fuel for catastrophic blazes, including a series of deadly fires that have spread through drought-parched forests and rural communities in California."

The President via Twitter has largely blamed California for not clearing trees, although the vast majority of dead trees are on federal land. On the other hand, some environmental groups have also stood in the way, who see it as logging.

Further complicating the issue is the debate over biomass electricity generation from the dead trees. There needs to be a middle ground and it goes beyond the talking points. As my wildlife biologist friend teaches me, the critters need a healthy forest. Whether by wildfire or affirmative thinning out dead trees, we have make way for saplings to see the sun to grow. Dead trees block the sun and also don't provide photosynthesis to increase oxygen in, and remove carbon dioxide from, the air, which assists in climate change efforts. 

I know it's more complicated than that, but my natural science education is at around the 7th grade level.


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) - 1,605 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) - 378,720
#2 Thomas (December 2017) - 281,893
#8 Carr (July 2018) - 218,598


Pretty much across the board, cooler weather and fewer windy conditions have slowed fire growth and increased containment.

FERGUSON: The Yosemite-area fire has burned 96,810 acres and is 87% contained. There have been two firefighter deaths associated with the fire, which has now burned for over a month.

Yosemite Status: Wawona Road (Hwy 41) between Wawona and Yosemite Valley, and Glacier Point Rd are closed due to fire
Yosemite Valley is open, but only accessible by entering Yosemite via Highways 140 or 120. Glacier Point Road and Merced Grove remain closed. Other areas of the park, including Wawona/Mariposa Grove, Hetch Hetchy, and Tuolumne Meadows are open.

CARR (Shasta/Trinity): The Carr Fire continued to burn at a slower pace and no new destruction or deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

  • Acreage: 218,598
  • Containment: 75%
  • Deaths: 8 (2 firefighters, 1 PG&E lineman apprentice, 1 CAL FIRE mechanic, and 4 civilians)
  • Structures destroyed: 1,605  (1,079 residences, 22 commercial, 503 other)
  • Structures damaged: 282 (191 residences, 26 commercial, 65 other)
  • Structures threatened: 528
  • Personnel: 3,831
  • Engines: 245
  • Helicopters: 12
  • Dozers: 44
  • Cause: Vehicle equipment malfunction
  • Expected full containment: Unknown 

MENDOCINO COMPLEX (Colusa/Lake/Mendocino): 

The River Fire component of the complex on the west side is now 100% contained and the River Fire on the east side is 76% contained.

  • Acreage: 378,720
  • Containment: 76% 
  • Deaths: 1 firefighter
  • Structures destroyed: 277 (157 residences, 120 other)
  • Structures damaged: 37 (13 residences, 24 other)
  • Structures threatened: 1,025
  • Personnel: 3,569
  • Engines: 209
  • Helicopters: 21
  • Dozers: 63
  • Cause: Unknown, but suspicious
  • Expected full containment: 09/1/18

HOLY FIRE (Orange/Riverside counties):  no update posted today

  • Acreage: 22,986
  • Containment: 78% 
  • Structures destroyed: 18 (12 Orange County residences, 6 Riverside County residences)
  • Structures threatened: 9,300
  • Personnel: 1,065
  • Engines: 103
  • Helicopters: 10
  • Dozers: 3
  • Cause: Suspected arson (suspect in custody)
  • Expected full containment: 08/17/18 



Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Diego González and Lauren Kimzey!

#DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Admit it, I'm not the only one to typing McCarthy when I meant Kevin McCarty, who I've known since I think he was an Assembly fellow. Now he's my assemblyman. Well, I managed to do it yesterday.

In the analysis of AD74 (Huntington Beach) emailed out, the sum of June 5 votes for Republican candidates was supposed to be 52.7%. My brain is just fried and I shouldn't have tried to meet a deadline to get the analysis out.



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


  • Communications Director - Climate Resolve (Los Angeles)
    Reporting directly to the Senior Operations Director while working closely with the Executive Director, the Communications Director will lead the communications and media activities for the organization. This position will develop a vision and strategy to support policy, project-based, and funding/development initiatives, as well as maintain day-to-day communications for social media. The Communications Director will generate a workplan that elevates Climate Resolve’s brand in the public sphere and grow the organization’s audience. 4+ years experience desired; Knowledge of environmental and CA policy landscape preferred. 401K, medical benefits, dental/vision stipend. $69-78K DOE. Candidates with sense of humor, please apply here:
  • Outreach Program Coordinator - Climate Resolve (Los Angeles)
    Reporting to the Senior Operations Director, the Outreach Program Coordinator will assist the programmatic staff to uphold the mission of the organization via public-facing projects. The Outreach Program Coordinator will perform assignments promoting climate solutions related primarily to energy efficiency and water conservation, including online and in-person outreach, public speaking engagements, and media and communications generation while contributing to additional policy work and projects as needed. Willingness to drive for outreach work throughout both LA County and adjacent counties up to [3] days per week + automobile required (Reimbursement provided). 401K, medical benefits, dental/vision stipend. $48-52 DOE.
  • 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:

  • 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:
Former U.S. Spy Chiefs Unite To Condemn What They Call Trump's Attempts To Stifle Free Speech And Politicize Intelligence
Eli Stokols @
With his threats to strip security clearances from critics in the national security establishment, President Trump has united spy chiefs dating back to the Reagan administration in opposition to what they called the president's attempts to stifle free speech and politicize intelligence.

Education Department Investigates Sex Abuse Scandal Amid Jordan Allegations - Politico

Multiple former Ohio State wrestlers have accused Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and former Ohio State wrestling coach, of being among the faculty members who ignored inappropriate behavior by the physician, Richard Strauss. | John Minchillo/AP Photo

Online Trolls Are Using Immigration As A Wedge Issue For November Elections
Jazmine Ulloa @
On one side, more than 200 anti-immigration activists waving American flags stopped buses carrying 140 migrant women and children to a nearby Border Patrol center in Riverside County. On the other side, Alvarez and several dozen other counter-protesters rushed out to defend the detainees.

Criminal Justice Deal Faces Steep Senate Hurdles Despite Trump’s Push - Politico

But interviews with a dozen GOP senators show that those talks remain in a precarious state.