Around The Capitol

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Here are the current tallies of the picks of contest participants. These are all percentages of participants who predict the candidate will win, of course not how much candidates will win by. The page is updated live as participants join and make or update picks.

With 413 participants as of this morning, here are a some of the closest (<60%) projected wins:

IC Steve Poizner (N) 53.26%
IC Ricardo Lara (D) 46.74%


CD39 Gil Cisneros (D) 58.90%
CD39 Young Kim (R) 41.10%


SD14 Andy Vidak (R) 56.37%
SD14 Melissa Hurtado (D) 43.63%


SD22 Susan Rubio (D) 55.65%
SD22 Michael Eng (D) 44.35%


AD38 Dante Acosta (R) 53.20%
AD38 Christy Smith (D) 46.80%


AD72 Josh Lowenthal (D) 58.53%
AD72 Tyler Diep (R) 41.47%

I previously announced the awards:

  • First: $100 Amazon card or charitable contribution of your choice (pot in case of tie)
  • Second: $50 Amazon card or charitable contribution of your choice (pot in case of tie)
  • Third: $25 Amazon card or charitable contribution of your choice (pot in case of tie)

In addition, any Nooner Premium subscriber will have a $25 bonus applied to their prize in thanks for their support.

Here is your unique link. If you forward this message, remove the link since it belongs to you. 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. 







  • 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/likelies -- 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: 57-59 Democrats
      - Dems hold 55, with guaranteed pick-up AD76 Chávez/Open seat
      likely pick-up in Open/Steinorth (AD40)
      - tough holds for Dems in Salas (AD32) and Cervantes (AD60)
      - tough holds for Reps in Acosta (AD38) and Open/Allen (AD72), and Harper AD74. Reps holding in Baker (AD16).



GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 9/27-10/11/2018 has Democrats+7.3. (change from yesterday: D+0.4) 

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


  • US Senate control: 19.3% D, 80.7% R (Change from yesterday: R-0.5)
  • Senate seats: 48 D, 52 R (Change from yesterday: R+1)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 59.8%, de León 40.2% (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • House control: 79.7%% D, 21.6% R (Change from yesterday: D+1.3)
  • House seats: 231 D, 204 R (Change from yesterday: D+1)
  • Popular vote margin: D+8.4% (Change from yesterday: D+0.1)
  • California delegation: 45 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 2 toss-ups (Change from yesterday: no change)


SPORTS PAGE: Dodgers win 4-3 of a two-run homer by former Cal State Fullerton Titan Justin Turner, and head to Chavez Ravine with the series tied 1-1. Game three is at 4:39 PDT tomorrow. The Chargers and Raiders are playing as The Nooner goes out. This afternoon, we have Rams at Broncos @ 1:05 (FOX), as the Rams try to maintain their 5-0 undefeated record a mile above sea level. Finally, the Niners are in Green Bay at 5:15 (ESPN). 

Happy Sunday to you! The perfect weather continues in Sacramento today and, for the SacTown folks walking precincts in SoCal, the rain should be gone today. 

I continued to tweak the voter registration pages yesterday: trend by district | sortable stats. As always, your feedback is welcome.

POTUS? For the Chron, Kimberly Veklerov reports that Kamala Harris  is heading to Iowa October 22-23 to rally the vote, raising eyebrows about the junior senator's 2020 ambitions. 

Harris placed third in 2020 presidential Dem nomination in a new CNN/SSRS poll out this morning, behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

GOV: The NYT's Tim Arango looks at candidate John Cox's effort to introduce himself to California voters:

“We have a politician, Mr. Newsom, who has made a name for himself,” Mr. Cox said. “Made a national name for himself as mayor of San Francisco. So his name recognition is probably 95 or 99 percent. Against a business guy who just came out of the woodwork basically. I’m not a celebrity. I’ve never sought the limelight for anything here. I’m getting known. I expect over the next 30, 40 days people are going to know who I am.”

PROPOSITION 7 (daylight savings time): In his Sunday column, John Myers writes about the strange Proposition 7, which "would eliminate Daylight Savings Time." As Myers notes, it really wouldn't. If passed, it would direct the Legislature by a two-thirds vote to approve eliminating it, but that would only take effect if Congress passes a law that allows states to bow out of DST. 

CONGRESSIONAL LANDSCAPE: For CALmatters, Ben Christopher provides a summary of what happened in the state's key congressional races over the last week.  

CA48 (Huntington Beach): The debate over global warming and its cause and effects could determine the outcome of the low lying CA48, writes Jordan Graham in the Register. The district has Balboa Island, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, among others. CA49 also is affected, particularly in the southern half. While the GOP appears to have already written CA49 off, CA48 is going down to the wire. As voters cast ballots 

Global warming concerns and offshore oil-drilling could be the one-two punch against Republicans that could cost them their last two coastal seats in California. If Dems pick up WA-3--possible but not likely, CA48 and CA49, that would be every seat on the contiguous West Coast.

CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale): The League of Conservation voters has dropped $215,263 for polling and radio ads against Congressman Steve Knight (R).

DOING THE LAUNDRY: The Napa County Democratic Central Committee processes $75,000 through the legal laundromat and send it to Melissa Hurtado (D), who is challenging State Senator Andy Vidak (R). This is the #2 priority for a pick-up in the State Senate after SD12. Meanwhile, Napa's neighbors in Sonoma sent $40,000 to Josh Lowenthal (D) in AD72 (Seal Beach) and $20,000 to Sharon Quirk Silva in AD65 (Fullerton). The California Democratic Party sent $100,000 to Sabrina Cervantes in AD60 (Corona).

Like Alex Isenstadt writes for Politico about Democrats nationally, Democrats in California are awash in cash. While CA04, CA21, CA22, CA50 are all on the radar (CA04 is the biggest stretch), they are tougher and have candidates that have developed aggressive fundraising strategies, particularly online. That allows the DCCC and House Majority PAC, closely aligned with the House Democratic leadership, to focus on CA10, CA25, CA39, CA45, CA48, CA49.

At the state level, you don't have the national fundraising base tapped into by Democratic candidates trying to flip seats in the House of Representatives and collective targeting through several SuperPACs and efforts by organizations like Crooked Media/Pod Save America. 

Dems have the money and energy, but will they get out the vote? Barring gaffes, we're in a turnout race now, with Democrats looking at 6-9 flips on the high end. Poor turnout? It drops to a likely 2-3. A fumble down the stretch on the ground effort (notably, vote-by-mail chasing)? There's a possibility that they only pick up one--CA49.

AD15 (Berkeley): The Chron's Kimberly Veklerov writes up the battle between two Democrats to succeed Tony Thurmond in the East Bay Assembly seat. The race has "Berniecrat"-style Richmond councilmember Jovanka Beckles and Obama administration alumna and community organizer Buffy Wicks, who is seen as a "traditional" Democrat. The seat is the most Democratic Assembly seat in the state, so there aren't many differences on issues between the candidates on policy issues, Veklerov writes, so they are instead campaigning over how, if elected, they would strategically accomplish the policy goals voting are looking for.

Wicks has more money in her campaign chest and a big independent expenditure by the California Medical Association, California Dental Association, EdVoice and tech investor Ron Conway. Meanwhile, local labor unions are spending on behalf of Beckles. The Democratic Party did not choose sides on the race.

OC, BALLOTS AND LANGUAGE: In Orange County, elections officials have expedited the turnaround of non-English ballots, reports the office of Board of Supervisors chairman Andrew Do. Instead of an up to two-week turnaround in previous cycles, ballots are being translated by certified court translators and sent to voters. Good work Neal and Team OC!

Non-English requested ballots in Orange County include:

  • Vietnamese: 27,076
  • Spanish: 20,469
  • Korean: 8,457
  • Chinese: 3,470
  • Farsi (Persian): 5
  • Tagalog: 237

The translation is not always simple. Jason Hodge, the Port Hueneme Commissioner married to treasurer candidate Fiona Ma  writes about the problem of getting a correct translation of Fiona's Chinese name, 馬世雲.


More 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)
  • 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.


THE NEXT GOVERNOR AND HOW WE WORK: In her great series in the Los Angeles Times about the issues facing California's next governor, Melanie Mason uses the final chapter to write about how the changing work environment provides challenges and opportunities that will need to be addressed.

This ties in closely to the issues being debated in the strike by UNITE HERE at Marriott and other hotels that I wrote about yesterday. Automation is being demanded in the marketplace and also often saves on the bottom line. Yet, it has real world impact on employees in terms of jobs, hours, and working conditions. Beyond that, older workers feel that they will be more quickly forced out for "younger" workers who may be more familiar with the latest technologies. 

It's a big issue. Few business travelers with only a carry-on would prefer to have the Southwest Airlines kiosks return to face-to-face check-ins and have to wait in line for a boarding pass at SMurF Intergalactic Airport. But, that's jobs. The new Downtown Commons theatre usually has only one person staffing the ticket counter, and that person frequently is also the ticket-tearer. A theatre of that size used to need four or more ticket sellers and, even then, there'd be a line.

While the jobs situation appears to be good now, notwithstanding wages growing more slowly than the cost of living, the big question is how the state prepares for the next recession, which likely happen in the tenure of the next governor. The state's financial condition is good (yes, we can debate long-term pension/retiree health liabilities), but what will the state do when the jobs numbers shrink? I have my ideas in the education and training realm that is my historic domain, but there are certainly more.

Thank you Mel for your outstanding work on this series. Certainly deserving of an award.

HOUSING: The four measures on the November ballot (1, 2, 5, and 10) relating to housing would do little to help the state's housing crunch, writes Dan Walters for CALmatters. "The state says we need to be building 180,000 new housing units each year to keep up with population growth, replace housing that’s been demolished or is uninhabitable and, finally, chip away at an immense backlog. . . . Building another 50,000 units a year, even those deemed to be “affordable,” would require an additional $18 billion a year and that can only come from the private sector." 

UNPLUGGED: Yesterday, Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it may proactively turn off power in twelve Northern California counties during red flag fire conditions over the next 24 hours, ahead of high winds expected tonight through tomorrow morning. It's not just rural areas, but the list includes "parts of" Napa, St. Helena, the Clear Lake cities, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Marysville, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Placerville, Pollock Pines, Shingle Springs, Jackson, and dozens more (listed in the announcement).

While it shows a different stance more akin to PG&E's SoCal peers, the warning also punctuates the company's acknowledged grid vulnerability. It has already warned investors that it could be liable for billions from 2017 fires. This is even with the passage of SB 901, which allows it to seek approval of the Public Utilities Commission of rate increases to finance the liabilities with long-term borrowing with the debt service paid by consumer rates.

The hazard for the company is that it may only be able to go out for such borrowing for the already occurred liabilities in 2017 and 2018, even though the authority to seek such rate recovery applies to future fires. While consumers may have little choice in the amount of rate recovery, there still has to be satisfaction in the lending market to buy the bonds, meaning confidence that PG&E will not seek bankruptcy protection. 

While SB 901 passed easily (non-urgency, so it takes effect January 1) as lawmakers knew they had to do something before closing out the session, the actual intricacy of financing, rate recovery, and future fire prevention is a high-wire act.

Most lawmakers were in the dark about the exact implementation of the 71-page bill when they cast votes on August 31. Tonight, to hopefully avoid incurring more liability, many Northern California residents may literally be in the dark.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Aref Aziz



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

  • Administrative Assistant for Lobby Firm
    Qualifications: Experience working in a governmental affairs office, outstanding communications skills, working knowledge of the legislative process, calendaring and arranging travel, proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word. Salary based on experience.

    Send resume to For questions, call Joelle at (916) 448-3444.

  • 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: