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

IC Steve Poizner (N) 55.26%
IC Ricardo Lara (D) 44.74%


CD39 Gil Cisneros (D) 59.31%
CD39 Young Kim (R) 40.69%


SD14 Andy Vidak (R) 58.29%
SD14 Melissa Hurtado (D) 41.71%


SD22 Susan Rubio (D) 56.87%
SD22 Michael Eng (D) 43.13%


AD38 Dante Acosta (R) 53.04%
AD38 Christy Smith (D) 46.96%


AD72 Josh Lowenthal (D) 58.48%
AD72 Tyler Diep (R) 41.52%


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, and the individual race answers will not be listed. 






  • CA congressional delegation:
    • Current: 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    • My current projection for 116th Congress: 43 Democrats, 8 Republicans, 2 hell, I don't knows
      - Dems hold 39; Reps hold 9
      - Dems pick up 5 leaners/likelies -- Denham (CA10), Knight (CA25) Walters (CA45) and Open/Issa (CA49)
      - Toss-ups of Open/Royce (CA39) and Rohrabacher (CA48)
  • 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 10/1-10/17/2018 has Democrats+7.7. (change from yesterday: D+0.1) 

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


  • US Senate control: 21.9% D, 78.1% R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • Senate seats: 49 D, 51 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 59.5%, de León 40.5% (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • House control: 84.9%% D, 15.1% R (Change from yesterday: D+0.5)
  • House seats: 234 D, 201 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • Popular vote margin: D+8.9% (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • California delegation: 46 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 1 toss-up-CA39 (Royce/Open)



  • mailed: 12,501,648 total: 5,445,214: Dem (44%), 3,126,925 Rep (25%), 3,929,459 NPP/other (31%)
  • returned: 567,124 tootal: 239,978 Dem (42%), 192,890 Rep (34%), 134,896 Other (24%)

Full data:  statewide and local government | federal and state legislative districts


SPORTS PAGES:  The Dodgers did it and return to the World Series to try to pick up their first championship since the 1988 win over the A's. Game 1 will be Tuesday at 5:09 PDT, at Boston. Cal picked up a W over Oregon State 49-7, USC lost 28-41 at Utah, Stanford won 20-13 at Arizona State, and UCLA grabbed a 1-point victory over Arizona. Fresno State easily won over New Mexico and Sandy Eggo State beat San Jose State. The UC Davis Aggies won the Battle of the Golden Horseshoe in the rivalry game at Cal Poly, posting a 52-10 final score, while Sac State dropped one to North Dakota 41-15. Today, the 6-0 Rams face the 1-5 Santa Clara 49ers at 1:25pm. Following the colossally embarrassing 149-129 loss to New Orleans, the Kings have a 4pm tipoff in Oklahoma City today.


Happy Sunday! Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti was on Jake Tapper's "State of the Union" this morning, satelliting it in from Minneapolis. When asked about his decision-making process over a possible run for President. Not unlike other possible candidates appearing on the air this weekend, the talking point is that "right now, I am focusing on the next 16 days." He went on to say that he anticipated a decision in the next couple of months.

SCHOOL WARS: In his Sunday column, John Myers writes for the Los Angeles Times on the pricey $40 million fight for the nonpartisan Superintendent of Public Instruction. As Myers writes, candidates State Senator Tony Thurmond and "schools improvement director" Marshall Tuck, don't differ much in their top-line views. However...

[T]he elephant in the room is funding and oversight of California’s 1,400 charter schools, and the election results are unlikely to resolve the long, nasty fight that’s brewed for years. Tuck’s resume includes stints running the public-private enterprise that took over low-performing schools in Los Angeles and before that, a nonprofit that runs several other L.A. charter schools.

. . . 

The wealthy donors to a multimillion-dollar independent political action committee backing Tuck are well known in the fight over charter schools and education overhaul efforts. They include Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad, the descendants of Walmart founder Sam Walton and Gap founder Donald Fisher, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Thurmond, with campaign cash from teachers' unions, wants to pause the creation of new charter schools until long-term funding and transparency questions are resolved. And he’s opposed to Tuck’s call for different teacher pay at different schools.

CALIFORNIA AS A RELEVANT STATE: In National Journal, Josh Kraushaar writes that a narrow win by Democrats of the House of Representatives may rest on California's seven most competitive seats.

A few of these are likely to be very close and that means they may not be determined for weeks after the election. I can see it now, daily updates on the teevee with the paid "political commentators" on both sides spewing their talking points fighting over "provisional" and "conditional" ballots. Ugh.

CA22 (Tulare): For KQED, Lily Jamali looks at the most expensive congressional race in the country--one that is unlikely to flip. Jamali writes:

Devin "Nunes has raised an eye-popping $10.5 million. His Democratic challenger, Fresno prosecutor Andrew Janz, hasn’t fared poorly either, bringing in $7.2 million. And they’re not done yet.

“We oftentimes don’t see a congressional race top $7.2 million in total cost,” said Sarah Bryner, research director at the Center for Responsive Politics. “So to see a challenger raising that much money is an indicator that this race is going to be very expensive and also, clearly, one that both parties are aiming to win.”

On the Politico Nerdcast recorded yesterday at Politicon in Los Angeles and uploaded this morning, the team starts by talking about the congressional landscape. They cite CA22, saying that if the GOP loses that race, it would be the strongest sign that the house majority as flipped. Of course, if it's close, we likely won't no the local or national implications on election night.

The seat is R+9.17. It's only on the wide-screen radar for two reasons--Nunes and Janz. The former is a polarizing figure and the latter is a master fundraiser in this cycle. With more generic candidates, there is no way we'd be talking about the dairy district.

AD15 (Berkeley): Willie Brown peers across the Bay at the race to succeed Tony Thurmond in the East Bay seat, which pits "Berniecrat" Jovanka Beckles against former Obama Administration official and organizer Buffy Wicks.

It is the most Democratic seat of any district in the state at D+59.42, a perfect location for battle between two Democrats. That's very different from the similarly two-Dem general race in AD76 (Oceanside), where "traditional" Dem Tasha Horvath Boerner faces "Berniecrat" Elizabeth Warren. No, not that Elizabeth. That district is D+0.49 and will be competitive in 2020. GOP Assemblymember Rocky Chávez will likely seek to reclaim his seat after his failed bid in June for CA49.

PROP 12 (animal husbandry standards): For the MercNews, Paul Rogers looks at Proposition 12, which increases the space standards for confinement of egg-laying chickens, veal calves, and breeding sows, and limits the products therefrom that can be sold in California.


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: December 13-14, February 7-8
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels 



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PAY TO PLAY? For CALmatters, Dan Walters calls both Proposition 3 and 4 "pay to play" ballot measures, noting that they are both bonds repaid with state general fund that have some private/nonprofit beneficiaries who are financing the campaigns. "Quentin Kopp had it right with his legislation banning pay-to-play ballot measures. Those who write and finance such propositions should be subject to the same conflict-of-interest laws that apply to legislators."

I've written about Proposition 4, the only ballot measure that I've exercised a point of personal privilege to express a position. Walters does not talk about the fundamental issue that few people understand--this is about reimbursement rates for poor, uninsured kids. Children's hospitals serve a disproportionate share of these kids. They are a combination of public hospitals of the University of California and nonprofit hospitals like Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Sure, criticize Prop. 4, but only if in the same breath you call for increased state reimbursement rates to the same hospitals in next year's budget and every year so they can maintain safe, caring facilities for our state's sick kids. Since that's not going to happen, they proposed financing it over 30 years, which makes sense for a capital cost.

Thank you for your patience. Yeah, it's deeply personal to me. 

While Dan tries to liken these ballot measure campaigns to the pay-for-play Shrimpscam in the late 1980s, he fails to mention the state electrical workers union giving the California Democratic Party $1 million as the final push for the PG&E rate-payer wildfire liability shift occurred. While not in the pockets of individual legislators, make no doubt they knew about it and the money is working in the field to win elections for Democrats on November 6.

Dan also fails to mention Proposition 11, the "meals on call" ballot measure. I hate the measure, even though I voted for it. It should have been addressed by the Legislature. I understand and respect the issues on both sides, which arise out of the California Supreme Court decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, which held that under California Labor Code, employers can not consider a meal/rest break required under law if the employee was on call during that time. 

The decisive case was over security employees, although several private-sector EMTs and other emergency workers were seeking a similar legal conclusion (public union contracts generally preempt the state law through negotiations). American Medical Response--the largest ambulance contractor for public agencies--and AFSCME--the largest representative of its employees--tried to reach a legislative solution but it didn't happen. 

So, AMR is trying to change the underlying law via initiative and has put $26 million behind the qualification and Yes campaign. The measure has a direct financial benefit to a private company, unlike Proposition 4 for children's hospitals. That's far more akin of "pay to play" that Dan references today. 

All that said, AMR has a good point, as do others that provide private-sector response to emergencies. Without fixing the law, it would require a doubling up on staff in many cases, such as air ambulances and AMR and other private rigs in isolated communities.

Labor sees it as a slippery slope and officially opposes it, as does the California Democratic Party. That said, other than putting it on slate cards, no money has been spent against it and the free argument in opposition wasn't even submitted, which is a clear sign of its position on the stated opposition's priority list. There's a tacit understanding that, for the $26 million hit is enough of a kick where it hurts to AMR and the change will be made up for in the next round of bargaining.

The Legislature should have fixed this. I joked the other day on Twitter that if a poll asked Californians if they read the 94-page tome sent to us to explain the ballot measures would return something like the following:

  • Yes: 10%
  • No: 30%
  • Lying: 60%

Admit it, how many of you, loyal Nooner readers who know far more than the average voter, know about the court's ruling in Augustus and the complexity of emergency contracts with local governments? Could you imagine if the Legislature failed on SB 901 (wildfire liability) and PG&E and labor put that before the voters? Remember, the initiative process was created to overcome failures of the Legislature and parties. 

Don't get me wrong, Dan knows I'm a fan. The Proposition 4 issue is far more complicated, as most initiatives are, than what made today's column.

STEEERIKE! The strike against Marriott Hotels in San Francisco continues after two weeks and workers took to the streets yesterday, reports Lauren Hernández in the Chronicle. 

This is a huge week as San Francisco's second largest annual convention OracleWorld begins tomorrow. The event attracts an estimated 60,000 attendees from around the world and was likely at least partly the impetus for scheduling the strike.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Diana Coronado, Lisa Gasperoni, Mike Jacob, Monica Madrid, and Ryan Trabuco!



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: 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: