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

IC Steve Poizner (N) 55.27%
IC Ricardo Lara (D) 44.52%


CD39 Gil Cisneros (D) 59.37%
CD39 Young Kim (R) 40.63%


SD14 Andy Vidak (R) 58.70%
SD14 Melissa Hurtado (D) 41.30%


SD22 Susan Rubio (D) 56.61%
SD22 Michael Eng (D) 43.39%


AD38 Dante Acosta (R) 52.86%
AD38 Christy Smith (D) 47.14%


AD72 Josh Lowenthal (D) 58.80%
AD72 Tyler Diep (R) 41.20%


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: no change) 

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


  • US Senate control: 20.5% D, 79.5% R (Change from yesterday: R+1.6)
  • Senate seats: 49 D, 51 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 59.8%, de León 40.2% (Change from yesterday: Feinstein+0.3)
  • House control: 86.0%% D, 14.0% R (Change from yesterday: D+0.6)
  • House seats: 235 D, 200 R (Change from yesterday: D+1)
  • Popular vote margin: D+8.9% (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • California delegation: 47 Democrats, 6 Republicans (Change from yesterday: CA39 (Royce/Open) goes Lean Dem; CA10 (Stanislaus) goes to Likely Dem)



  • 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


Voter Registration Deadline Tonight at 11:59:59pm


Happy Monday to you! I hope you had a delightful weekend. The Niners sure didn't. It's closing time for voter registration, although not completely. We'll be talking the process for conditional registration/voting starting tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm experimenting with a new font today after suggestions from readers. Please send me feedback. 

As noted above, CA39 (Fullerton/Diamond Bar) moved to Leans Dem from Toss-up on FiveThirtyEight this morning, and CA10 (Stanislaus) moved from Leans Democrat to Likely Democrat. The CA39 change is due to the addition of the NYT/Sienna College poll discussed below. It is only half-finished leading to a 5% MOE, so make of it what you will. CA10 seems to have moved with September campaign finance reports and the generic tracker.

The NYT/Sienna polls over the next few days will be key to a better read. I'll be revisting CA39 (currently toss-up) and CA10 (Stanislaus) as they are completed.

ABSENTEE VOTE WEBINAR: You saw above that I added the daily statewide updates from PDI's Absentee Vote Tracker. You can use the tracker down to state and federal district level, as well as local governments and geography. There is also a demographic breakdown for ballots mailed out and returned. I don't get paid to say this, but it's awesome.

Paul Mitchell and Nick Zoteslo from PDI have added a second webinar to explain what you're looking at and how to use it for Wednesday, from 2pm-3pm.

$$$ FOR TURNOUT: You're not seeing Tom Steyer's "Need to Impeach" mug constantly on the teevee attacking President Trump, but that doesn't mean he's gone into hiding. For the LA Times, Christine Mai-Duc writes that his NextGen America is focused on turning out new and low-propensity young voters.:

"Steyer, whose advocacy group NextGen America has pledged $33 million to engage young voters in 11 states — $3.5 million alone in California — insists that his is no quixotic venture. He and others believe that the only hope Democrats have of taking control of Congress is to inspire new and infrequent voters to cast ballots as a check on President Trump."

As Mai-Duc writes, the success of the program is unknown and won't be for awhile after Election Day after the dust settles. Young voters are notoriously difficult to turn out, particularly in an anger election such as 2018. Young voters are engaged in some states on the gun violence issue because of organizing by the Parland, Florida students, but there is no evidence whatsoever that there has been an effect among California's potential young voters.

Last night, I watched the CA39 (Fullerton) and CA48 (Huntington Beach) debates on C-SPAN. There was nothing to inspire a first-time young voter and if you tuned in, it was "older angry people," particularly in the CA39 conflict clash. Neither candidate provided any inspiration, but the odds of young people watching C-SPAN on a Sunday night are like me leaving my teevee on for Joel Osteen after Face the Nation on Sunday mornings.

Yes, I know that candidates are posting pictures of young campaign volunteers on social media. Campaigns always have young volunteers. Richard Nixon had a brigade. We're not talking about them, but rather the 75-80% of 18-29 year old voters who regularly sit out midterm elections.

However, FiveThirtyEight's Geoffrey Skelley writes that there are indications that youth turnout may actually be higher in 2018. "[C]ombining the Democratic lean of younger voters with the perceived enthusiasm advantage of Democrats over Republicans in this year’s midterm, it makes sense that we might see greater participation by young voters in a Democratic-leaning electoral environment."

I'll believe it when I see it. Meanwhile, kids, get off my lawn.

POLL POSITION: The New York Times/Siena College collaboratice continues to add "live polls" to its rolling effort and we have three more California ones that were added to the mix over the weekend.

For the new Noonerites, this is a series of polls conducted by live interview in selected competitive congressional races around the country. The results are shared live as they come in once there are 250 respondents, and then continue until they reach 500 to reach a 3.5% margin of error. They are weighted in the normal demographic fashion for likely turnout, and have proved consistent with other legit polls, both internal and independent, we have seen in these races.

Here are the new three that are ongoing for the next few nights:

CA10 (Stanislaus): [n=57; the requisite 250 likely will be reached late this evening after calling resumes or tomorrow evening, but you can see the early numbers and geographic responses now]

  • *Jeff Denham (R): 
  • Josh Harder (D): 
  • Undecided: 

CD39 (Fullerton/Diamond Bar): [n=391; MOE +/- 5%]

  • Gil Cisneros (D): 38%
  • Young Kim (R): 36%
  • Undecided: 6%

Donald Trump job approval:

  • Approve: 44%
  • Disapprove: 52%
  • Don't know: 4%

CA49 (S. Orange County/N. San Diego Coast): [n=237; the requisite 250 likely will be reached early this evening after calling resumes, but you can see the early numbers and geographic responses now]

  • Diane Harkey (R): 
  • Mike Levin (D): 
  • Undecided: 

THE #METOO PLAY: Republican challengers are on the attack against Democrat state legislators, using alleged laxity in the crackdown on lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, reports Alexei Koseff in the Bee. The claims are being used against Ken Cooley (AD08), Sabrina Cervantes (AD60), and Sharon Quirk-Silva (AD65).

Be careful with fire folks. The President is, well, not a great banner on the issue and the GOP candidate for governor had his attacks on affairs of two Democratic guber candidates backfire when his own affair allegations was discovered in court documents LAST WEEK. And, the OG remember that the name for The Nooner came from the braggadocio claims by a GOP member about his lunchtime Hyatt affairs with two female lobbyists.

Yeah, that member resigned from the Quirk-Silva seat. And, while sexual assault and harassment are far worse, such interactions by an elected with lobbyists are certainly ethically suspect. Desperation is clearly setting in when the stones are picked up from within glass houses.

WILL GASSY HIGH HOPES SAVE THE GOP? Political commentators Sherry and Douglas Jeffe don't think so. "The California establishment is pretty much united against Proposition 6. Business, labor. environmentalists, local governments and the construction industry have weighed in heavily against Proposition 6. The NO side is vastly outspending Prop 6 proponents and the Republican Party and House leadership have turned off the funding tap for the YES side. Recent polling indicates that Proposition 6 is in trouble."

The problem for Prop 6 proponents is twofold. First, the GOP whales (and there are many still in California despite the overall partisan bias) aren't passionately against the gas tax. An overwhelming number of major businesses are opposed, leading to the opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce. While labor benefits from the roadwork funded by the tax, so do tons of private businesses, which range from small subcontractors to behemoths like Sacramento's Teichert.

Owners and leaders of these businesses may vote GOP, but they're not going to take money out of their pockets to support a ballot measure that will take money away that is going in to their pockets through work. I've written before that the proponents overreached by adding the kicker of requiring all future tax and vehicle-related increases to be approved with a vote of the people. That includes inflationary increases on fixed-rate, rather than %, taxes. 

Thus, the Yes campaign is raising money in small dollar amounts. While that's working for congressional challengers through large national networks, that doesn't work for a California gas tax repeal. The measure would not have qualified had it not been for the support of House Republicans concerned with California congressional races in the context of making Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) Speaker and keeping the gavel from going to Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco). After qualification, they went back focusing on defending their seats, rather than to see a gas tax repeal to the finish line.

The other factor is the one that few people are willing to talk about on the record. Carl De Maio is not liked among most in the California Republican Party. I'll leave whether it's because he's a San Diego moderate in the vain of pre-Prop 187 Pete Wilson or because he is gay and ran an ad holding his partner's hand for you to discuss at the water cooler. I don't know De Maio personally and only know this from conversations with GOP insiders over several years.

Let's just say that the GOP is not going all-in on the gas tax as hoped by Prop 6 supporters. The money is simply not coming forth from the usual party benefactors, and De Maio is part of the reason. But, the bigger one is the opposition by big business leaders. Both parties are responsive to these business players and how their priorities have a correlation to political strategy down the stretch.


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)
  • The Council of State Governments: Policy Committees and Programs Coordinator (Sacramento)
  • 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 




ALL POLITICS IS LOCO: For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes about the fine line that local governments must follow when they have measures on the ballot before the voters. Public funds can not be used to expressly encourage a vote one way or another. That's well known. Objective information about the impact of a vote either way is allowable. Just how close to a saying "yes" or "no" without going over the line is a lot more complicated and, well, you can always find an attorney to take either side of a challenge.

OAKTOWN: In the East Bay Times, George Kelley writes that Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has ordered the police department to stop asking applicants to waive their rights in background investigations that would reveal if they have been past victims of sexual assault. The action was in response to an article published yesterday by the Chron's Kimberly Veklerov.

NGUYỄNING! For the Los Angeles Times, Anh Do writes why first name is more important than last name for lawn signs for many Orange County races. "In this part of the traditionally Republican county, it is open to debate whether a much-touted Democratic “blue wave” will sweep through the midterm elections. But it’s indisputable that there will be a Nguyen wave."

Okay, since Anh wrote it, we can use the "Nguyen Nguyen" joke here, which was last used in a San Jose City Council race.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Gil Gonzales and Mike Shimpock!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Of course, it's Tasha Horvath Boerner in AD76. There are two Dems, not two Elizabeths, in the race. Damn double vision...



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

  • The Council of State Governments is seeking a Policy Committees and Programs Coordinator in Sacramento, CA.
    Position contributes to the organization's policy objectives and engagement with regional policy-makers and other stakeholders. This includes coordinating and providing policy committee and program support.

    • Provides administrative, logistical and communications support to policy committees and programs staff.
    • Conducts entry-level policy research, follow-up activities, and provides information to members.
    • Maintains communication, conducts outreach and establishes rapport with committee staff, legislators, representatives of the private sector, and with federal, state and local government officials.

    View full posting at CSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer (Minorities/Females/Veterans/Disabled)

  • 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:


2018: The Health Care Election
airing totals @
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, pro-Democratic ads tended to avoid the issue of health care. It appeared in a mere 8.7 percent of ad airings in 2010, 7.6 percent in 2012, 7.0 percent in 2014, and 10 percent in 2016, a stark contrast to the 54.5 percent of pro-Democratic airings in 2018 that mentioned health care.

Tax Cuts A Bust For Republicans In Midterms - Politico

With polls showing Americans are more likely to disapprove of the tax law than to approve of it, GOP candidates have been changing the subject to other issues like immigration and health care. Some of the lawmakers who wrote the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are even struggling to hang onto their seats.

Is There Interference In The 2018 U.S. Midterm Elections?
Associated Press @
A look at what is known about foreign efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.

The Health 202: These four states will vote on marijuana in the midterms

Michigan and North Dakota will vote on legalizing pot for recreational use. Utah and Missouri will vote on medical marijuana.

Sharon Quirk Silva Is Scary – Voter Discretion Advised

On Politics: Republicans Fret Over Key Battleground Races

Republican leaders worry that candidates for governor and Senate are in trouble in several key battleground states, and that difficulties could spill into House races.

3 UC Berkeley Professors Elected To National Academy Of Medicine
Three UC Berkeley professors were elected Monday to serve in the National Academy of Medicine, or NAM, for their research on issues related to health and medicine.

Running Anti-muslim Campaigns 'a Losing Strategy,' Report Finds - Politico

Muslim advocates say Rep. Duncan Hunter is running the most anti-Muslim campaign in the country. | Denis Poroy/AP Photo

Barbara Lee, Laura Wells Vie For 13th Congressional District Seat
Though Wells said she believes that Lee, as an incumbent, has a very high chance of winning the election, Wells hopes that the Green Party can make a name for itself by being represented on the November ballot.