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We Stand With Seniors

reserve this space




  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 40 Democrats, 9 Republicans, 5 toss-ups
      - Hold of 39, pick-up in Open/Issa CA49; Toss-ups of Denham (CA10), Knight (CA25), Rohrabacher (CA48), Open/Royce (CA39), and Walters (CA45)
  • Senate:
    • Current: 26 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 27 Democrats, 13 Republicans
      - Dems hold 13, pick up Open/Cannella (SD12)
  • Assembly:
    • Current: 55 Democrats, 25 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 57-59 Democrats, 23-21 Republicans
      - Dems hold 55, pick up AD76 with tough holds for Dems in Salas (AD32) and Cervantes (AD60), likely pick-up in Open/Steinorth (AD40) and possible pick-ups for Dems in toss-up Acosta (AD38) and Open/Allen (AD72) and long-shot in Baker (AD16).

 Congressional delegation outlook


Yesterday, I provided the below (filled in) for Nooner Premium subscribers. I don't just offer it as a tease, as you can print it out and use it as a scorecard. There's a lot of commonality among the ratings, but some differences. When I differ, I try to get in much deeper analysis.

If you are Nooner Premium and didn't get my email this morning, there are now HTML, PDF and DOC version in the subscribers section.


Around the CapitolCook Political ReportSabato's Crystal BallInside Elections/
Roll Call
CA04 (Foothills) Tom McClintock (R) Jessica Morse (D) Leans Republican          
CA10 (Stanislaus) Jeff Denham (R) Josh Harder (D) Toss-up          
CA21 (Kings) David Valadao (R) T.J. Cox (D) Leans Republican          
CA22 (Tulare) Devin Nunes (R) Andrew Janz (D) Leans Republican          
CA25 (Santa Clarita/Antelope Vly) Steve Knight (R) Katie Hill (D) Toss-up           
CA39 (Fullerton) Open (Ed Royce) Gil Cisneros (D) 
Young Kim (R)
CA45 (Irvine) Mimi Walters (R) Katie Porter (D) Toss-up          
CA48 (Huntington Beach) Dana Rohrabacher (R) Harley Rouda (D) Toss-up          
CA49 (Oceanside) Open (Darrell Issa) Diane Harkey (R)
Mike Levin (D)
Leans Democrat          
CA50 (E. San Diego County) Duncan Hunter (R) Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) Leans Republican          



Good Tuesday morning to you. 

The two-house conference committee on SB 901 (Dodd) that is looking at wildfire preparedness and response met late last night and, with knowledge that the clock is ticking for a deadline of midnight tonight (really, before) for both houses to adopt language, there were many sticking points that made it clear that the casserole isn't cooked just yet.

That said, lawmakers know that they need to deliver something on the enormous disasters that have hit the state over the last year. 

Last night, the lawmakers spent over an hour on opening statements that praised elements of the plan but generally avoided getting into the specifics of the 72-page long list of amendments. I don't know what time everyone received the amendments, but they are timestamped 5:49 pm yesterday, and the hearing started around 8:30pm. 

Members of the public were each given one minute to express their thoughts but were reminded repeatedly that their time was running out, as was the time to reach a deal on the package. The deal, if there is one, will largely be done behind closed doors. The committee will meet for the opportunity to sign the conference report. A majority of three members of each house must sign the conference report for it to go to both floors. Am

A litany of supporters from civic organizations, particularly minority chambers of commerce, came forward in support of the plan. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) seems to have mobilized many of these groups and is also a generous supporter of their efforts. I am confident that many of those providing testimony supporting the package don't have knowledge of the specifics of the package on the table. 

The bill is crafted to be a majority vote bill, with "appropriations" on a going forward basis in future state budgets. However, it still needs a two-thirds votes to make the amendments on the floor of each house, since it is after the standard deadline for doing so.  While the very complicated package likely won't see final votes of supermajorities in both houses, I expect that members will "go up on" the motion for amendments tonight, even if they don't plan on voting affirmatively on the resulting bill on Friday.

Even those who vote for it are likely to send out press releases that declare that it's a good start, but more work will be done next year. Meanwhile, while the package is imperfect, preparation for next year and stability for PG&E that benefits those who work for the utility and their customers requires action this year.

Here are some articles on last night's deliberations:

From those headlines, you tell me where we are with 12 hours (11.5 for Nooner Premium) before the midnight deadline to amend bills on the floor (although, as I wrote yesterday, if the governor wants the package, he can send a letter saying that it is part of the emergency declarations he previously signed).

Meanwhile, while PG&E has been heavily criticized for its inaction on wildfire preparedness, there were few jabs against the corporation itself last night.

Rather, blame was largely aimed at shareholders who collected dividends during time that the investor-owned utility should have spent more on strengthening the power grid in preparation for an era of increased wildfire threat. The utility ceased dividends after Q3 of 2017 as the liability of the October 2017 disaster of the Tubbs fire--which destroyed 5,636 structures--became apparent. Although Tubbs was the most destructive in California history, five more in the Top 20 have occurred in the last twelve months in PG&E territory.

Not all were initially started by electrical transmission equipment, as Carr/Redding) was a flat tire. However, the fire could have spread because of equipment, but proving that is the challenge in assessing liability.

Committee members referred to those who are playing the market on both sides of a deal--the shorts and the longs. Short stock buyers bet on a stock dropping, while longs bet on it increasing in value. These can be made into huge bets either way through options.

At 8:45am, PG&E's stock was up over 3% following last night's hearing. It is down 31% over the last year. 

#METOO: In the Times, Melanie Mason reports "An Assembly committee has rejected former Assemblyman Matt Dababneh’s appeal of a legislative investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, upholding the probe’s original findings that he “more likely than not” exposed himself to a lobbyist in a hotel bathroom." The Rules Committee also denied an appeal filed by Dababneh that sought the ability to more completely refute the allegations and introduce character witnesses.  

Dababneh previously filed a defamation lawsuit, which accused lobbyist Pamela Lopez of "making false and public accusations against him." The allegations include "Defendant acted maliciously, with knowledge that the statements in the press conference and complaint filed with the California State Assembly were false."

So, now what with the lawsuit, now that a governmental body--not a judicial body--has substantiated the allegation? Time for my friends in tort law to weigh in. 

I wasn't in the hotel suite, let alone the bathroom that night. I've previously outlined why I don't think that the defamation case meets the multi-pronged test because there appears to be no way that either party can prove that it did or did not happen. The only relevant truth on Dababneh's side would be a witness that said that he or she had eyes on him the entire night and he never went to the bathroom. I know of no such witness.

I hope both parties can move on and heal. It's been a period of learning for the entire Capitol community and hopefully beyond.

More after the jump...



Upward Mobility at Cal State LA


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: 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: Southern California Association of Governments: Legislation Analyst (Los Angeles)
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels


MONEY MATTERS: AB 84 (Mullin), the bill that would allow legislative caucus leaders at the limits applied to political parties, was shelved for the year. Even if Senate Democrats could hold their caucus and woo over one Republican, it became increasing clear that the 54 votes in the Assembly were unlikely. In particular, looking ahead the biggest members being defended (Sabrina Cervantes and Rudy Salas) were tough votes, as were an apparent group on the left who were being heavily lobbied by good government groups.

So, instead, we'll play the county party central committee "doing the laundry" game money so wink-wink, the legislative party leaders limit their direct contact with special interest money. Don't worry, political industry, the money is still there.

Joel Fox offers his take on the bill and the fight within the Democratic Party.

HAMSTERDAM: In the Chron, Melody Gutierrez reports that AB 186 (Eggman) to allow San Francisco to be a pilot for "safe injection sites" for those addicted to intravenous narcotics has gone to the governor. The goal of such "havens" is to ensure clean needles, safe disposal of needles, and available medical personal, while also working to connect those addicted to treatment programs. Critics argue that such programs sanction the continued use of illicit drugs.

The vote was 42 "Ayes," with 41 Dems and Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside), with 30 "Noes" including 6 Democrats. 8 Democrats took a walk. 

NET NEUTRALITY: Senator Scott Wiener's hard-fought SB 822 on net neutrality is item 345 on the Assembly Floor and may be brought up today. The bill is strongly supported by Silicon Valley and consumer groups, while opposed by the big telecom companies that provide Internet access to a large majority of California subscribers. [analysis w/ supp./opp.]

Like the above discussion on support for PG&E on wildfires, a lot of the opposition is from minority chambers of commerce. There's nothing wrong with that, as everyone deserves a voice. Their history of consistent support by big telecom companies probably helped them listen to the opposition arguments. The bill otherwise would be unlikely on their agenda. 

Meanwhile, advocates in support exaggerate the immediate impact. Google/YouTube won't be signing a "preferred status" agreement with a carrier as it would be an awful business decision. Your cat videos will continue. 

It's all in the game, yo'



VOTER PROFILES: The team at PPIC led by President/CEO Mark Baldassare has a new publication that profiles California's current voter population. 

The toplines:

  • Voter registration is up slightly; the share of independents has increased. 
  • Most independent likely voters lean toward a major party. 
  • Republicans are more ideologically cohesive than Democrats. 
  • Likely voters are disproportionately white; half of Democrats are non-white. 
  • Many demographic characteristics of likely voters vary across parties. 
  • Democrats and Republicans tend to live in different parts of the state. 

Of course, these aren't surprise conclusions, but it's PPIC, so they've got the numbers. Good work, team!

CHOO-CHOO: Joe Mathews writes that, to realize a high-speed rail dream, California needs to watch and take lessons from Black Panther.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Crystal Strait and Tim Sullivan!

#CAKEDAYSGONEBY: Belated happy birthday to Senator Tom Berryhill (yesterday)! And, a get well soon to Senator Berryhill.



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


  • 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 aherrera@oprusa.com.
  • Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is seeking an experienced Legislation Analyst with excellent writing and communication skills to assist the Legislation Department with advancing SCAG's policy interests and planning priorities through regional, statewide, and national engagement and advocacy. Under general direction of the Manager of Legislation, the Legislation Analyst III will navigate high-level policy discussions and communicate emerging issues to SCAG's staff and Regional Council. This role will assess the impact of proposed legislation and work with the Manager to coordinate a response to all applicable legislative proposals. This role requires a legislative expert who can navigate complex political environments to increase the visibility of SCAG's legislative efforts. This role requires an understanding of transportation, housing, and air quality legislation and policy and an ability to communicate how those issues will affect the SCAG region. To apply please visit scag.ca.gov/opportunities/Pages/CareerOpportunities.aspx.
  • Enough about California politics, how about some Arizona politics?  Everything you need to know about Tuesday's Arizona primary election, discussed on ARIZONA POLITICS THIS WEEK.  Watch and subscribe for free at www.aptw.tv
  • 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: www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/796664542
  • 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. www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/796648751
  • 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 bbarnes510@gmail.com. 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: buytickets.at/californiaworkforceassociation/176317

  • 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.

    Details here: onepoint.employernet.net/ta/CSBA.jobs?ShowJob=151143621  

  • 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:
  • https://onepoint.employernet.net/ta/CSBA.jobs?ShowJob=134407117 
  • 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 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 go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy or contact us at publicpolicy@pacific.edu
  • 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: publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/masters-6


Four Democratic Candidates Are Turning Against Their Own Party Over California's Gas Tax
Patrick McGreevy @
The defections could bolster Proposition 6, a Republican-led initiative on the November ballot that would repeal a 2017 law that increased the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees to fix roads and improve mass transit. Six Republican congressional candidates helped fund the ballot measure in hopes of boosting conservative voter turnout and changing the outcome in some close races.

Arizona Candidates Suspend Campaigns To Honor Mccain - Politico

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who is running for a second term, will likely appoint McCain's replacement after the senator is laid to rest. Until then, Ducey will stay off the campaign trail. David Garcia, the front runner among Democrats running to unseat Ducey, will also take two days off the campaign trail. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

New Direction For Gates Foundation Aims To Build On Progress In L.A. Schools
Howard Blume @
The L.A. district and others across the country hope to benefit from a foundation effort to build on what already is helping to keep students on track toward graduation.

North Carolina Republicansâ

A federal court questions the North Carolina General Assembly's "commitment to enacting constitutionally compliant, non-discriminatory election laws."

California Lawmakers Want The State To Collect Data On Drivers Under The Influence Of Pot
Patrick McGreevy @
After she was injured in a car accident allegedly caused by a driver impaired by pot, state Controller Betty Yee is backing a bill approved Monday by the Legislature that aims to begin addressing the problem of drugged driving on California roads.

Fcc Watchdog: Kushner Called Agency Chief On Undisclosed Matter - Politico

In 2016, POLITICO reported on Jared Kushner boasting that the president's campaign had struck a deal with Sinclair for better media coverage. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo