Around The Capitol

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  • AD72 (Seal Beach): A poll conducted by Goodwin Simon for Josh Lowenthal's (D) campaign against Tyler Diep (R) finds topline at 47% for Lowenthal and 43% for Diep. [n=406 performance-based likely voters; telephone; MOE ~ +/-5%]

    District stays a Toss-up, with more evidence to keep it as such. I'm watching contributions here...

    When I write "performance-based," that means that the poll used actual voter lists that have been pre-identified as being likely voters. For this election, the PDI definition is "[(Voted at least 3 of 11/10, 11/14, 11/16 or 6/18), Or (Registered since 11/14 & voted in both 11/16 and 6/18)] & to qualify for universe voter had to have voted 11/16 or any election since, or has a registration date since 11/16."

    This differs from national and statewide polls, which start with random dials narrow using questions to gauge voter registration, partisan affiliation, and intensity. That's acceptible and is often the most affordable way to do large polls. This is also why I spend a lot of my time understanding methodology.

    I still prefer live calls with pre-identified registration lists but polling has gotten a lot more difficult and expensive. Of course, my number in PDI is my old cell and if I don't know your number, I don't answer.


  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 42 Democrats, 8 Republicans, 3 toss-ups
      - Dems hold 39; Reps hold 8
      - Dems pick up 3 in Knight (CA25)Rohrabacher (CA48), and Open/Issa (CA49)
      - Toss-ups of Denham (CA10), 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).

California congressional outlook

For Nooner Premium subscribers, the chart of my ratings and those of five others has been updated on the subscribers page.




Generic congressional vote: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 8/15-8/31/2018 has Democrats+9.5. In the same period in 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4. 

For what it's worth, projections:

  • House control: 75.4% D, 24.6% R
  • House seats: 229 D, 206 R
  • Popular vote margin: +8.4% D
  • California delegation: 43 Democrats, 9 Republicans, 1 toss-up

The difference from my predictions are that they have CA39 (Fullerton) as a toss-up.

IT'S TIME TO DO THE LAUNDRY! Longtime readers know that one of my favorite issues to talk about is the ability for special interest money to pass through party and independent committees and then be in turn contributed to state candidates far exceeding the limits. This loophole was known but not widely advertised in Proposition 34 (2000), the ballot measure written by the parties in response to Proposition 208 (1996), which had provisions blocked by a federal court as unconstitutional.

For this cycle, the relevant limits from a person (individual, corporation or PAC) to candidates are:

  • Governor: $29,200
  • Other statewide offices: $8,800
  • State Senate and Assembly: $4,400

Each of these limits are applicable for both the primary and general elections, but are restricted for use as such. 

The limit to a political party committee (state and county) for committees restricted for use to state candidates is $39,600 per calendar year.

The amount a political party (state and local) contributes to a candidate is exempted from the limits enumerated above.

Okay, are you following the bouncing ball? 

Under the Prop. 34 rules, Sully Corp. can give $8,800 today to Mike Wazowski for Assembly, assuming Mike came out of the primary with "debt"--either third party or from a "loan" from himself.  Sully can't give a dime more to Mike.

However, Sully's lobbyist knows that the Boo State Party, Waternoose Boo County Central Committee, and Randall Boo County Central Committee each have Mike Wazowski's Assembly race as a top priority, as it is listed on their websites as a "key" targeted race. Sully's lobbyist tells Sully to "max out to the state committees of the three--a total of $118,800 for the calendar year. Sully can't tell them to pass the money on to Mike's committee--wink wink--but can say "best of luck with your priority races."

Obviously, Sully's money will be commingled with that of several other donors to the three party committees. Those three committees can then provide $39,600 each to Mike's committee--far in excess of the individual contribution limit that Sully had already reached directly.

The intention was to strengthen the parties rather than "independent" committees, and that was admirable. Of course, it is really an addendum to the "independent" committees rather than a replacement. Sully can also give $7,300 each to the many independent committees that regularly play for specific groups of political candidates. Those committees then can give state candidates $4,400 for each election.

From the Fair Political Practices Commission web site: "California is a national leader in promoting transparency and fairness in elections."

We do have better transparency than the feds because of large/late reporting. That said, I don't think overall transparency is our high point.

Last week, there was much to-do about the $25,000 given on 08/27 by In-N-Out Burger to the California Republican Party. The only other contributions by the chain this year were to Californians For Jobs & A Strong Economy (04/18 - $50,000) and the California Restaurant Association's Issues PAC (04/18 - $7,500).

Californians for Jobs & a Strong Economy, which receives money from many other business interests, although In-N-Out was among the biggest, made the following contributions:

TIM GRAYSON FOR ASSEMBLY 2018 $4,400.00 8/20/18
TOM DALY FOR ASSEMBLY 2018 $4,400.00 8/20/18
GRAY FOR ASSEMBLY 2018 $4,400.00 8/20/18
JIM COOPER FOR ASSEMBLY 2018 $4,400.00 8/20/18
ANNA CABALLERO FOR SENATE 2018 $4,400.00 8/20/18
BLANCA RUBIO FOR ASSEMBLY 2018 $3,100.00 8/20/18
SUSAN RUBIO FOR SENATE 2018 $4,400.00 8/20/18


The big issue for In-N-Out Burger this year was the plastic straw "ban." I in no way suggest there was a tit-for-tat, but it was clear that the bill was going to hit In-N-Out hard. Most fast food restaurants have "self-service beverage stations." You can understand why that's a problem. The Golden Arches hands you a large cup along with your heart attack (joke, lawyers, joke), and you walk to the station to fill it. Then, you realize that there are no straws and have to return to the counter to ask for a plastic straw.

So, on June 27, amendments were taken to mollify fast-food (and convenience store) opposition by exempting food facilities with self-serve beverage stations.

Why wouldn't In-N-Out be jumping for joy? What's the popular beverage at its 335 stores (all company-owned)? The "100% ice cream" soft-serve milk shake. It can't be served via a self-service station. The process of a customer asking for a plastic straw upon handed their milk shake would have added seconds to each transaction and a perceived hassle to the customer. Because it is a private corporation, I don't know how many milk shakes In-N-Out serves each year, but it could lead to a decline in sales of what appears to be a big profit center.

On August 6, the bill's focus was completely rewritten in the State Senate to define it's application to "full-service restaurants." That included being sat by a host, order taken at the table, and food delivered at the table. Thus, In-N-Out was in the clear, as were the increasingly popular "fast casual" chains where you order at a counter and the food is brought to you. For the SacTown folks, that's places like Buckhorn and Selland's.

Mind you, these amendments were approved in the Senate after it had passed the Assembly approved it before the "full-service" amendment. 

A contribution directly by In-N-Out to the above candidates does not have to be reported until September 27 if it was before August 8 and was less than $5,000. Those reports could be interesting. A direct contribution $1,000 or above would have had to have been reported at the time Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy wrote those checks to the campaigns.

After those critical amendments, only Adam Gray (D-Merced) voted against the bill.

One more interesting example after the jump.


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)
  • 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: Lobbying Seminars with veteran Ray LeBov: Next dates: October 4-5, December 13-14, February 7-8
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels 



TIME TO DO THE LAUNDRY: That was an independent committee example. Now back to the party laundromat. 

Last Friday, Sabrina Cervantes (AD60), James Ramos (AD40), and Christy Smith (AD38each received $50,000 from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP). Cervantes is a target defensive play, and Ramos and Smith are target offensive plays for the Democrats. Ramos is favored, and Smith is a toss-up. Ramos already has a huge financial lead (most of any non-incumbent I believe) and will continue to garner a huge cash advantage.

AD40 or AD60 are not in Los Angeles County, while 75% of AD38 is. The large donors to the LACDP are labor, but also include the California Apartment Association, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc., and Coca-Cola Refreshments. Anschutz is trying to keep the Clippers at Staples Center, which it owns, as opposed to Inglewood which is being eyed for a new arena and received CEQA exemptions at the end of session for fast-tracking legal review of objections with overwhelming.

I don't think the money was tied to the vote, as AEG is always a big player in LA politics. But, those votes are always interesting. San Diego is still pissed about the relocation of the Chargers to Inglewood and doesn't like CEQA exemptions for these new projects that lure away teams. They have been given to retain team, like the Sacramento Kings, but to my knowledge there wasn't a new facility plan in San Diego like in Sacramento at the time the Chargers made the decision to move. While the new Chargers stadium is being built in Inglewood, the Chargers and now-Los Angeles Rams are playing at the StubHub Center in Carson.

Anyway, labor is limited to $4,400 directly for the general to the three recipients listed above, but through the county party (and perhaps other counties and the state party) can multiply that many times over. 

It's all in the game, yo'.



Probolsky Research


THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, I MEAN "DOMICILE:" For the Bee, Caitlin Chen reports on an end-of-session bill by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) that makes it easier to have multiple "residences" that may allow them to reside outside their districts while maintaining a domicile within their district. SB 1290 essentially eliminates presumptions of other places where an officeholder may sleep, as long as they continue to have a domicile to which they have an intention to return to at some time. 

Bradford represents the Senate district of former Senator Rod Wright, who was convicted under the existing statute. In my opinion, it's a good move, as the law is inapplicably applied by county district attorneys. 

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Dawn Clover, Valeria Hernandez, and Scott Plotkin!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Problem with @nrcc's #YoungGuns list--it lists Michael Allman in CA52 as "On the Radar." Unfortunately for him, he wasn't on the radar of voters in June. With 3.9% of the vote, he came in fourth.



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


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  • 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
  • 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:
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    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.
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  • 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:  
  • 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:

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Stunned By A Surge In Mass Shootings, California Lawmakers Send Nine Gun-control Bills To The Governor
Patrick McGreevy @
Nearly 30 years after California became the first state to ban the sale of assault weapons and embarked on a path toward the strictest firearm laws in the nation, legislators have sent Gov. Jerry Brown nine new gun-control bills in response to a surge in mass shootings.

Obama To Launch Midterm Campaigning This Weekend - Politico

Obama will then be in Cleveland next Thursday to campaign for Richard Cordray, his former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Obama urged Cordray, who was previously the Ohio attorney general, into the race for governor, and has been eager to see him win.