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.



I finally have the contest programmed and ready for your participation. I dropped the two tie-breakers, and added a few more races. I've also changed the point values to emphasize the latest we know about competitiveness. The voter registration data is also the latest September 22 report (data as of September 7).

Below is your unique link. If you forward this message, remove this block. New Nooner email subscribers (paid or unpaid) will be get their own link between now and the contest close.

You can come back to change your picks any time up to 12pm on Election Day--November 6.

Only the top 25 participants will be shown, but the individual race answers will not be listed. As I've done in the past, I will have a "Wisdom of the Crowds" page showing the percentages of each of the answers after there is a sufficient sample size of participants. 

Thank you for your patience! There seems to be a lot going on! 





  • 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 9/26-10/2/2018 has Democrats+7.2. (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: 22.1% D, 77.9% R (Change from yesterday: R+1.3)
  • 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: 74.0%% D, 26.0% R (Change from yesterday: D-1.5)
  • House seats: 228 D, 207 R (Change from yesterday: D-1)
  • Popular vote margin: +7.7% D (Change from yesterday: D-0.2)
  • California delegation: 45 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 2 toss-ups (Change from yesterday: D-1)


SPORTS PAGE: After defeating the Braves 6-0 in game 1 last night, the Dodgers host Atlanta at 6:37. 

Happy Friday! You made it! After a cray-cray week, the weather looks beautiful this weekend.

Today, we have the vote on the Brett Kavanaugh cloture vote, with a final vote likely Sunday morning. If you have been at a silent yoga retreat for the last month, he is a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. 

People ask me what the impact will be of the hearings and nonstop news coverage will be. Honestly, non-affiliated analysts have no idea. It could go either toward the Republicans for a partisan victory, or to the Democrats for holding out and a very high turnout of women, particularly of young women. Or, it could have a non-discernible effect nationally, but will have localized impacts.

For example, I don't think it will have any impact on CA21--TJ Cox's (D) challenge to Congressman David Valadao (R). It could, however have a huge impact in CA45, where UC Irvine law professor Katie Porter (D) is challenging Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R). The law school alone could account for the outcome of the race.

This was yesterday at my beloved alma mater:

King Hall - Kavanaugh

Hung and posted by students, but I am sure many faculty were smiling.

EAR TICKLER: Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos sit down with Gavin Newsom for KQED's Political Breakdown Podcast for a largely biographical discussion. Great listen. Another great one I listened to last night was the interview by David Axelrod of Meet the Press host and CNN political director Chuck Todd on The Axe Files. Great biographical discussion and talk about the state of our political system.

VOTER REG:  Here's my spreadsheet of the comparison of voter reg % between 2014 and 2018. Yeah, I don't have mad Excel skillz, but it works for me for a quick look at comparing mid-term to mid-term. The "Count" row was just the easiest way to create a blank row in between districts.

U.S. SENATE: For CALmatters, Laurel Rosenhall has a great in-depth on what makes Kevin de León tick:

Few politicians can match de León’s hard work, persistence and political instincts, yet few spend as much time dealing with people, even some political allies, who personally dislike them. The 51-year-old, who remains lean and tall, barely gray at the temples, characterizes it as the price of success.

“I’m willing to fight for what I believe in,” de León told me, “and willing to fight for what’s right.”

After 12 years in the Legislature, de León—the first Latino in modern history to lead the state Senate—is now forced out by term limits. He leaves a stack of accomplishments born of his penchant for aggressive politicking and his embrace of controversial legislation. Laws written by de León advance progressive priorities—combating climate change, helping workers save for retirement and protecting undocumented immigrants. . . .

Perhaps nothing de León has done is more polarizing than his challenge to [Dianne] Feinstein, a 26-year incumbent and Democratic legend. He is attacking her from the left, energizing progressives by framing himself as a more forceful resistance against President Trump. Yet with 32 U.S. Senate candidates on the ballot in the June primary, Feinstein not only trounced de León statewide, but also defeated him in his very own district. Then he scored a huge coup, convincing leaders of the California Democratic Party to endorse him.

GOV: A new ad titled Gavin Newsom for Governor - Are You Sh***ing Me? the "Restore Our Values" independent expenditure committee asks Gavin Newsom "Are You on Crack"? The committee's biggest funder is Los Angeles multi-family housing developer Geoff Palmer, who is a regular donor to GOP politics. Not surprisingly, he has given $2 million to the No on 10 (rent control) committee as one of the largest donors to that side. Palmer regularly has conflicts with Democratic elected/appointed officials in Los Angeles and has been accused of housing known drug dealers in his buildings. 

The ad blames Newsom for the "clean needle" and straw "ban" which he of course wasn't involved in because he is, well, lieutenant governor.

PROP 8 (kidney dialysis centers): The two sides battling over whether the state should be able to regulate kidney dialysis centers have now raised a combined $100+ million, with 80% of it coming from the corporations that operate the clinics. The biggest company, DaVita, kicked in another $20.6 million yesterday, bringing its total to nearly $60 million. Fresenius added $3,937,440 today.

As someone posted on Twitter last night, there are two sides to the campaign:

  • "Yes" - If you don't pass Prop. 8, people will die.
  • "No" - If you don't pass Prop. 8, people will die.


PROP 10 (rent control): Also for CALmatters, Byrhonda Lyons and Matt Levin give a one-minute rundown of the rent control ballot measure. The opponents had raised $31.3 million through September 22, and $3.8 million since. More came in yesterday, including $1 million. Apparently, there's a lot of money in multi-family real estate... 

On the "yes" side, backer AIDS Healthcare Foundation kicked in $5 million for the campaign. I saw my first "Yes" campaign commercial this morning after seeing dozens on the "no" side.

PROP 12 (farm animal confinement): For CALmatters, Byrhonda Lyons also has a one-minute rundown in Proposition 12.

CA10 (Stanislaus)/CA48 (Huntington Beach): I missed this one on Tuesday. For the Times, Joe Mozingo and Jazmine Ulloa look at the very different races on immigration issues between Republican congressmen Jeff Denham and Dana Rohrabacher based on the demographic make-ups of there respective districts. 

Rohrabacher: “We went surfing down at Brookhurst, and Newport the day before,” the Republican congressman said, pointing out his teenage son and daughter. “What a wonderful place to live. We should all be grateful to God that we have this quality of life.

“But the quality of life will not survive if we have open borders and millions of …” Applause drowned out the rest.

More than 300 miles north, in Modesto, another Republican congressman’s relationship with California’s growing Latino population is more welcoming, even personal. Rep. Jeff Denham often speaks of his father-in-law, a Mexican immigrant who became a citizen. He talks about a young relative who benefited from an Obama-era program that allowed people brought to the United States illegally as children to study and work.

CA39 (Fullerton): For the Times, Christine Mai-Duc profiles Young Kim (R), the former Assemblymember who is running for congress in the race to succeed retiring Ed Royce (R). "Kim’s profile is as compelling as it is rare for someone running under the GOP banner: an immigrant, an Asian American and, perhaps most important, a woman in a year when female voter enthusiasm is surging. If she wins, she would be the first Korean American woman elected to Congress."

CA48 (Huntington Beach): For KQED, Guy Marzorati reports that congressional challenger Harley Rouda (D) is focused on showing up in his race against Dana Rohrabacher (R). "In his bid to defeat Rohrabacher in this historically Republican district, Rouda, a former Republican himself, has honed in on the most nonpartisan of messages: a critique of Rohrabacher's lack of engagement with constituents."

INSURANCE COMMISH: Joel Fox looks at the campaign of independent candidate Steve Poizner for insurance commissioner, who has captured a sweep of newspaper editorials. "Can a string of newspaper endorsements help an independent candidate or any candidate win the race for a seat that is not well understood by voters?" Poizner faces State Senator Ricardo Lara (D) in the low-profile race.

VEEP: In the Times, Michael Finnegan and Maya Sweedler write-up last night's Fullerton rally by former Vice President Joe Biden in support of the four Orange County Democrat congressional challengers and also TJ Cox, who is challenging David Valadao in CA22 (Kings). David Siders writes for Politico that his outreach is raising eyebrows "One month before the 2020 presidential primary begins in earnest, Biden continues to lead in early polls. He is ramping up his schedule of midterm campaign appearances and, perhaps more significantly, meeting with donors."

Biden/Harris 2020? That would be a helluva ticket, strictly from a political perspective. 

CALPERS: Ed Mendel writes that CalPERS board president Priya Mathur lost re-election to Corona police officer Jason Perez. Perez campaign over re-aligning the pension board's investment in favor higher yields rather than the policy currently pursued of more socially responsible investments. Mathur is a Bay Area Transit District analyst who has serve on the board since 2002.


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)
      • Lighthouse Public Affairs: Legislative Assistant (Sacramento)
      • 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.


  • Lighthouse Public Affairs, Sacramento seeks FT Legislative Assistant to provide scheduling, technical and legislative support in fast-paced, collaborative environment. Salary range $40-50k w/benefits. Open until filled. Send resume and cover letter to

    Link to full job description:

  • 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:


CalPERS Board President Is Ousted In Election, Losing To Corona Police Officer
John Myers @
The president of the board of administration of CalPERS, the state’s largest public employee pension fund, lost her bid for reelection to a Corona police officer, the agency announced Thursday after tallying votes from members cast over the last two months.

Why is Heidi Heitkamp voting against Kavanaugh?

She is the most vulnerable Senate Democrat running for reelection in November, if not the most vulnerable senator on the ballot in 2018. Her race, in a state President Trump won by 36 points, is groun...

Booming San Francisco Takes Unprecedented Step To Target Earthquake-vulnerable High-rise Towers
First, a centerpiece of San Francisco’s new downtown, the 58-story Millennium Tower, started sinking and tilting. Then last week, the city’s new $2.26-billion transbay bus station was abruptly shut after cracks were found in two steel beams. Both events have fueled anxiety about how San Francisco’s growing skyline would hold up in the kind of major quake that destroyed much of the city in 1906.

Kavanaugh cloture vote count: Here's how senators voted

The cloture vote allows the Senate to move forward with Kavanaugh’s nomination, with the full floor vote expected as early as Saturday.