Around The Capitol

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  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 44 Democrats, 9 Republicans
      - Dems hold 39; Reps hold 9
      - Dems pick up 5 leaners -- Denham (CA10), Knight (CA25)Walters (CA45), Rohrabacher (CA48), and Open/Issa (CA49)
  • Senate:
    • Current: 26 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 27 Democrats, 13 Republicans
      - Dems pick up Open/Cannella (SD12)
  • Assembly:
    • Current: 55 Democrats, 25 Republicans
    • My current projection for 2019-20 session: 55-57 Democrats
      - 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).



GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 9/16-10/2/2018 has Democrats+7.7. (change from yesterday D+0.5) 

For comparison purposes only: In the same period in 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4. 


  • US Senate control: 23.4% D, 76.6% R (Change from yesterday: R+0.6)
  • Senate seats: 49 D, 51 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 59.7%, de León 40.3% (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • House control: 75.5%% D, 24.7% R (Change from yesterday: D+0.4)
  • House seats: 229 D, 206 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • Popular vote margin: +7.9% D (Change from yesterday: D-0.1)
  • California delegation: 46 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 1 toss-up (Change from yesterday: no change)


SPORTS PAGE: Well A's, it was fun while it lasted. The Dodgers host Atlanta at 5:37pm on FS1, following the Rockies at Milwaukee at 2:07. Dodgers are starting Hyun-jin Ryu on the mound.

Happy National Taco Day. That's just wrong. National Taco Day is every Sunday for street tacos at Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

POLL POSITION: Overnight (literally at 3am), the Los Angeles Times and Berkeley IGS released poll results on 8 California congressional races we're all watching carefully, reports David Lauter. Lauter writes up the methodology used.

CA10 (Stanislaus):

  • *Jeff Denham (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 45%
  • Josh Harder  (D)): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 50

CA22 (Tulare):

  • Andrew Janz (D): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 45%
  • *Devin Nunes (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 53

CA25 (Santa Clarita/Palmdale):

  • Katie Hill (D): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 50%
  • *Steve Knight (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 46

CA39 (Fullerton):

  • Gil Cisneros (D): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 49%
  • Young Kim (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 48

CA45 (Irvine): 

  • Katie Porter (D): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 52%
  • *Mimi Walters  (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 45

CA48 (Huntington Beach):

  • *Dana Rohrabacher (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 48%
  • Harley Rouda (D): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 48

CA49 (Oceanside):

  • Diane Harkey (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 41%
  • Mike Levin (D): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 55

CA50 (East San Diego County):

  • Ammar Campa-Najjar: LAT/Berkeley IGS: 47%
  • *Duncan Hunter (R): LAT/Berkeley IGS: 49

* = incumbent

[n=5,090 likely voters, online w/email invite, September 16-23. "The number of likely voters in each district varies from 912 in the 22nd district to 519 in the 45th. The margin of error ranges from roughly 4 to 6 percentage points in either direction.]

What's striking to me how close these races, with the exception of Mike Levin (D) in CA49. Another is how close Ammar Campa-Najjar has gotten to Congressman Duncan Hunter (R), and was before Hunter's stupid attack ad against Campa-Najjar discussed below. 

We can debate methodology with any poll, but the numbers largely confirm the NYT/Siena College results in "live polling" last week.

The polling was conducted before the controversial Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Fight Back California is out with polling suggesting it's a volatile issue in the Orange County races.

Women overwhelmingly support the Democratic candidates for U.S. House
○ In district 39, Gil Cisneros leads Young Kim 58% to 39%.
○ In district 45, Katie Porter leads Mimi Walters 53% to 42%.
○ In district 48, Harley Rouda leads Dana Rohrabacher 56% to 43%.
○ In district 49, Mike Levin leads Diane Harkey 59% to 36%.

CONGRE$$$: In the Times, Maya Sweedler reports on the big fundraising hauls by Democratic challengers in some of the competitive congressional races.

Andrew Janz, a Fresno County prosecutor challenging incumbent Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) in California’s 22nd Congressional District, revealed Wednesday that his campaign brought in $4.3 million last quarter. He entered the quarter with $1.1 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Nunes, an eight-term incumbent who has consistently polled ahead of Janz, entered the quarter with more than $6 million on hand.

In the 10th District, Josh Harder’s campaign announced it raised $3.5 million between July and September. The single-quarter haul is more than any congressional candidate in the Central Valley district has raised in an entire two-year cycle, his campaign said. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), who is trying to fend off the former venture capitalist’s challenge, has not released fundraising numbers for the past quarter ahead of the filing deadline, but his campaign had $2.4 million on hand as of June 30. FEC filings for the most recent quarter are due on Oct. 15.

In the battle to replace retiring Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), environmental attorney Mike Levin raised $2.2 million over the summer, almost doubling the amount he raised in the 15 months prior. He is facing Republican Diane Harkey, chairwoman of the State Board of Equalization, in the competition for the 49th District covering northern San Diego and southern Orange counties.

VOTER REG DAY: The Secretary of State's Office reports that 95,872 Californians newly registered or updated their voter registration through the state’s online voter registration portal on the Sept. 25 National Voter Registration Day. Of those, 22,780 are new registrations and 73,092 are updates to registrations. Those are in addition to yesterday's Report of Registration as of September 7. There are 1,451,713 more registered voters than there were at the same point during the previous Gubernatorial Election cycle in 2014.

From Paul Mitchell: "Some of this incredible growth in new and re-registrations is coming in the state’s most competitive congressional districts. Two in particular – the 39th district with Young Kim (R) facing Gil Cisneros (D), and the 45th district with Mimi Walters (R) vs. Katie Porter (D) — have seen a tripling of total registrations and nine-fold increases in re-registration compared to 2014."

Wow. Just wow.

U.S. SENATE: It is still unclear whether we get a debate between Dianne Feinstein (D) and Kevin de León (D). She hasn't debated since the 2000 race against former congressman Tom Campbell in a debate hosted by KRON-TV.

BACK-UP PLAN: de León yesterday opened a committee for lieutenant governor in 2026. 

INSURANCE COMMISH: State Senator Ricardo Lara (D) debated Businessman/Non-Profit Director Steve Poizner on KQED's Forum yesterday.

CA39 (Fullerton): In the super competitive race to succeed retiring Ed Royce, the SuperPAC airing the ads accusing Gil Cisneros has dropped the ad after the woman recanted her sexual harassment case, reports Jordan Graham in the Register.

Speaking of Fullerton, former Vice President Joe Biden is in Fullerton to rally the troops in support of the county's congressional candidates. Ballots will be arriving in mailboxes mid-next week. Orange County is not a Voters Choice Act county.

CA49 (Oceanside): In the SDUT, Charles T. Clark reports on Tuesday night's debate between Diane Harkey (R) and Mike Levin

CA50 (East San Diego County): Congressman Duncan Hunter is up with an ad suggesting Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) is a secret Muslim. He is a Christian. By the end of the day, 70 current and former foreign affairs and national security experts condemned the ad in a letter, reports Maya Sweedler in the Times.

AD60 (Corona): Prosecutor Bill Essayli yesterday picked up $100,000 from Republican Party of Orange County landromat for his run against Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D). The GOP has been one of the key committees collecting money from around the state to pass on to competitive races. It also passed along $77,000 to Rob Poythress in SD12.

PROP 6 (gas tax repeal): In the Chron, John Wildermuth reports that the GOP spent a lot money qualifying the gas tax repeal, but largely abandoned it down the campaign stretch. Of course, as I've written, many just saw it as a political tool to improve turnout and are fine with the law staying put as road projects get underway in their districts. 

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti joined business and labor leaders yesterday to call for rejection of the measure, reports Laura J. Nelson in the Times. Joel Fox writes that the measure is in trouble with staggering opposition. Meanwhile, Joe Rodota and Matt Klink have updated their endorsement scorecard of the ballot measures.

SB 822 (Wiener): While the broadband industry has joined the federal Department of Justice lawsuit to block California's net neutrality bill, backers of the law are vowing to fight back. Fight for the Future has launched a website for a national expansion. The nonprofit is supported by big foundations and tech interests. As I've written about before, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast spent heavily against and used a suspicious astroturf campaign that had lots of opposition reflected in legislative analysis, apparently without permission.

Many of these organizations were also listed in the SB 901 as supporting bill to allow PG&E to recoup wildfire costs and have questioned how they got listed. In particular, 

The SB 822 analysis is really a remarkable document to read. It lists that the Senate Floor Analysis support and opposition was verified on August 29, the day before it got final passage in both houses. Lots of small minority chambers of commerce and small civic organizations. I don't know how legislative staff could contact a couple of hundred organizations in the last week of the frenetic legislative session. The support list is similarly lengthy.

AT&T has lots of lobbyists, so it is unclear who is responsible.

The LAT's Maura Dolan looks at the case and a unrelated showdown in the D.C. Circuit that challenges the Federal Communications Commission's administrative process in banning net neutrality. The California case is in the Eastern District, located in Sacramento.

FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: George Skelton looks at some of the fun Jerry Brown had in his veto messages in his final year as governor.

FROM DAN'S DESK: For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes on two election-related bills acted on by the governor--one signed and one vetoed. One was the measure to ban initiative, referendum, and recall campaigns from using paid signature gatherers, which he vetoed. The other one signed is a measure to allow the Davis Joint Unified School District to exempt teachers another school employees from a parcel tax, if approved by voters.  

DOUBLE-X FACTOR: For KQED, Katie Orr reports how women of color are hoping to exercise their political power this November. 

WATER: The Bee's Kate Irby writes up Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) attempt to block a reservoir in his district that would divert water to the ocean to help salmon populations:

Denham first tried to include a provision in a congressional budget bill in July that would prevent a federal reservoir, called New Melones, from using federal dollars to participate in the plan, which would direct greater amounts of water out of his district’s water resources and into the ocean, purportedly to help salmon populations.

The California Republican’s provision was successfully attached to a House bill, but blocked in the Senate version mainly by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

DON'T MESS WITH THE GRIZZLY: For Capital Public Radio, Chris Nichols fact checks Texas senator Ted Cruz's contention that California is "hemorrhaging" people to Texas. "Cruz argued challenger [Beto] O’Rourke offers Texas a future with higher taxes similar to California."

"About five million people moved to California from other states, while about six million left the state from 2007 to 2016, according to the LAO report, which cited data from the American Community Survey."

LA-LA LAND: LA County Sheriff's deputies have been cruising I-5 over the Grapevine looking for drug traffickers. Unturnately, two thirds of the drivers pulled over are Latino, report Joel Rubin and Ben Poston in the Times.

More than two-thirds of the drivers pulled over by the Domestic Highway Enforcement Team were Latino, according to a Times analysis of Sheriff’s Department data. And sheriff’s deputies searched the vehicles of more than 3,500 drivers who turned out to have no drugs or other illegal items, the analysis found. The overwhelming majority of those were Latino.

Several of the team’s big drug busts have been dismissed in federal court as the credibility of some deputies came under fire and judges ruled that deputies violated the rights of motorists by conducting unconstitutional searches.

RECYCLING: Also in CapPubRad, Bob Moffitt writes that what you're recycling is often not actually used.

LA: Political Collectibles and Pop Culture Show & Sale

Sat, Oct 6, 2018
10 AM – 3 PM
San Marino Masonic Lodge 408, San Marino

Fans of political Americana, pinback button collectors, and pop culture enthusiasts will be out in full force at this robust memorabilia show in Southern California. Thousands of buttons, posters, ribbons, badges, and other items – covering presidential campaigns, statewide politics, advertising, sports, movies and TV, woman’s suffrage, protest and cause-related, and pop culture themes – will be available to buy, sell or trade.
The event is open to the public and free for kids. General admission is $3.


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 



The Political Centrist in the Time of Trump Trailer

THE POLITICAL CENTRIST IN THE TIME OF TRUMP documentary asks, why are our politics so angry, polarized, partisan, biased, petty, perturbed, sexist, uncompromising and fraught with financial paybacks?
View for free on Amazon Prime.



Probolsky Research



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


  • POSITION YOURSELF FOR LOBBYING SUCCESS IN JUST TWO DAYS. Conducted by 43-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov, Capitol Seminars' Lobbying 101 & 201 courses offer you cost-effective, comprehensive coverage of California's Legislative, Budget and Regulatory processes, Lobbying the Administration, and Media Strategies, along with an inside perspective on best practices for navigating these processes. You’ll refer repeatedly to our valuable curriculum materials long after the seminars are over. Next dates: October 4-5, December 13-14, February 7-8. More info / registration: or 916-442-5009.
  • 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
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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:


Garcetti Urges Voters To Reject Proposition 6, Which Would Repeal California's New Gas Tax
Laura J. Nelson @
At a news conference near LAX, Mayor Eric Garcetti told voters that repealing the gas tax could jeopardize dozens of paving, transit and highway projects underway in Los Angeles County.

Ex-democratic Staffer Charged With Posting Senators’ Private Info - Politico

The information was posted during an extraordinary hearing in which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

Suit To Block California's Net Neutrality Law Could Be Overshadowed By Broader Challenge In D.C. Circuit
Maura Dolan @
A lawsuit by the Trump administration to block California's new net neutrality law could be put on hold until a U.S. appeals court decides whether the federal government acted legally in ending internet regulation.

Senate Polls: GOP Leads In North Dakota, 4 Other Races Close - Politico

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer has a double digit lead over Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in the North Dakota poll, with 53 percent of likely voters picking the Republican and 41 percent supporting the Democrat. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images