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.



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

IC Steve Poizner (N) 55.64%
IC Ricardo Lara (D) 44.16%


SD14 Andy Vidak (R) 57.93%
SD14 Melissa Hurtado (D) 42.07%


SD22 Susan Rubio (D) 56.75%
SD22 Michael Eng (D) 43.25%


AD38 Dante Acosta (R) 53.66%
AD38 Christy Smith (D) 46.34%


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. 





DISTRICT CHANGES: I still have CA25 (Simi Valley-Palmdale) at Leans Democrat, but it's certainly on watch for a move to Toss-up. The biggest factor? President Trump. We've seen many polls, and there has been a very strong correlation with the President's job approval rating. As listed below, the NYT/Siena poll is 86% complete and has Trump approval at 47-47, and gives Steve Knight (R) a 2-point lead, clearly margin of error. Berkeley IGS had Katie Hill (D) up 4, with a POTUS approval rating of 45-55 (although methodologically different with the option of "somewhat" answers in Berkeley IGS). 

Very, very close. Money is no object. It's voter engagement and turnout. 

For Republicans hoping to hold on on to the seat, objectively, you're doing very well in early vote-by-mail ballots. With a 14.7% return rate so far, GOP ballots are +11% of returns over mailed, Dems are -3%, and NPP/other are -8%. 

For Democrats seeking to flip the seat, the subjective word from unaffiliated sources is that Hill is rocking it on the ground. That said, for all the talk about door knocking and lawn signs, there's only one thing that matters when the ballots are counted. 

Very, very close to returning this to toss-up.


CA25 (Simi Valley-Palmdale) Vote-by-Mail Status

courtesy of PDI (more data/districts

Congressional district 25 ballot returns

 click for larger



  • 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 in 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)
      - While I have SD14 as Leans Rep, it's appearing very close
  • 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, Republicans hold 21, plus:
      likely Dem pick-up in Open/Steinorth (AD40)
      - lean Dem in Salas (AD32) and Cervantes (AD60)
      - lean Rep in Acosta (AD38) , and Harper AD74
      - toss-ups in Baker (AD16) and Open/Allen (AD72)


We Stand With Seniors


GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 10/8-10/23/2018 has Democrats+7.6. (change from yesterday: no change) 

For comparison purposes only: In 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4 in the RCV average, with final results of Republicans +5.7. In 2010, Republicans had an edge of +9.4 in the RCV average, with final results of Republicans +6.8. So, it's good for trends, but in the end can change within margins of error. 


  • US Senate control: 17.7% D, 82.3% R (Change from yesterday: R+0.6)
  • Senate seats: 48 D, 52 R (Change from yesterday: no change)
  • CA US Senate projected vote: Feinstein: 59.5%, de León 40.5% (Change from yesterday: Feinstein-0.3)
  • House control: 84.9% D, 15.1% R (Change from yesterday: D+0.1)
  • House seats: 234 D, 201 R (Change from yesterday: D+1)
  • Popular vote margin: D+8.7% (Change from yesterday: D-0.1)
  • California delegation: 46 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 1 Toss-up-CA39 (Change from yesterday: no change)  


  • mailed: 12,605,648 total: 5,493,166: Dem (44%), 3,150,945 Rep (25%), 3,960,956 NPP/other (31%)
  • returned: 1,763,918 total: Dem 756,217 (43%), Rep 600,833 (34%), NPP/other 406,868 (23%) 

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


Conditional Voter Registration and Voting Continues


It's a sad day after yesterday's massacre. I'm going to write quickly this morning to make it to the Buddhist Church of Sacramento's 9:30am service. It's a good day to be with the sangha in the hondo, both for me and to send a message that hate will not dissuade us from our free exercise in America.

One note from a reader. Some news accounts have suggested that because the Tree of Life synagogue was a collection of conservative congregations of Judaism that there was some political meaning. Like I'll find this morning in the betsuin among members of a Jodo Shinsu sect, religious practice does not necessarily correlate with political affiliation. Rather, orthodox Jews didn't see the news on the teevee, because they don't use electricity on the Sabbath. Some Buddhists are vegetarian under the Four Noble Truths, while others sell teriyaki chicken at the church bazaar. 

I'm not a thoughtsy-prayersy guy. To me, it's a political way of saying "I have no clue what to say." Indeed, I have no clue what to say.

I weep and won't say anything on that front. There will be discussions after the investigation and election. If there are policy issues to be confronted, and there likely are, let us all hope that they don't perish in the dark of the non-legislative winter.

-- postscript to writing this as the clock strikes my 11:30 deadline: I just got back from church and farmers market. Church was peaceful and people seemed calm and serene through the gather of the sangha and there was of course a moment of silence. The usual private security guard was in front and he wanted to talk to me about how Jump bikes worked, after I parked it on the grass. He's going to try one later today and I thanked him for his work.


Moving on...

SPORTS PAGE: Ugh, flippin' ugh. Bright side for Bears fans with a win over the Huskies. And, I've got to note that the UC Davis Aggies were down 3-21 at the half, and ended the game with a 49-21 win over Montana. World Series game 5 at 5:09pm.


Well, it was a sad day of course. I got away from the teevee for a bit in the afternoon to write in the park. Suddenly, people started gathering with cool bike rides, including many on "lowrider"-style bikes. Eventually it was 100+ people. You know me, so I was googling what it was. At 3:30, the Día de los Muertos bike ride started, and the parade left Southside Park to head on a route downtown for many planned food and beverage stops into the evening. They had City of Sacramento bike cops riding along to ensure safety, at least one of whom joined in "wheelie" fun. Several riders were adorned in the traditional makeup, some had "ghetto blasters" adorning their bikes, and of course one was wearing a panda head.

Thank you folks, for bringing your fellow Sacramentans a smile on a day we needed it. 

While watching the baseball game last night, I started to tackle today's NYT Crossword. A clue was written for the legislative crowd:

  • Four letters
  • Clue: -Vaxxers

While my mom would have no clue, any Capitol person should be able to get at least one right in the Sunday puzzle.

POLL POSITION: The NYT/Siena College polling continues in the very tossity toss-up of the Knight congressional race. With only 71 more interviews needed to make the methodological goal, we should have a final by this afternoon. 

INCOMPLETE: CA25 (Simi Valley-Palmdale): [n=429; MOE +/- 5; calls continue today] 

  • Katie Hill (D): 44%
  • *Steve Knight (R): 48%
  • Undecided: 5%

Donald Trump job approval:

  • Approve: 47%
  • Disapprove: 47%
  • Don't know: 6%

MONEY MATTERS: In his Sunday column, John Myers writes that the big story about this election may be about the jaw-dropping amount of money being raised and spent in a mid-term, the largesse is not reaching the statewide GOP candidates.

"In campaign filings late last week, Republicans running for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and controller had raised a combined total of $681,485 for the entire year. As of Oct. 20, the four candidates had cash in the bank totaling just $132,036 — less than might be seen in a lackluster campaign for the state Assembly. To make matters even worse, the GOP hopefuls are reporting total debt of more than $196,000."

Ironically, the "best" chance for Republicans is that of a former Republican, Steve Poizner (NPP) in the race for insurance commissioner. Even that won't be about campaigns, I would bet, but rather an alignment behind Poizner of NPP voters and GOP voters, as well as some Democrats to avoid the guilt of voting straight party line and, with no insult to Ricardo Lara or Poizner, few voters know or care about what the office does. Oddly, they will spend more time contemplating which candidate for lieutenant governor is better able to read the morning paper to learn whether the governor has been incapacitated or is traveling out of town.

Speaking of dough, Myers's colleague Phil Willon at the Times looks at how GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox made his dough.

"Cox has tapped into the profits from those real estate ventures, combined with the proceeds from his Illinois-based law office, investment firm and property management business, to bankroll two decades of ambitious — and thus far unsuccessful — forays into politics. This year, that wellspring of cash has helped take Cox all the way to the November election and a one-on-one face-off with Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"The Rancho Santa Fe Republican has poured $5.6 million into his campaign for governor of the $14.7 million he's raised, and it wasn’t the first time he cracked open his wallet. Cox loaned $1 million to his quixotic bid for president in 2008; more than $1.1 million for his failed U.S. Senate runs in Illinois in 2002 and 2004; and more than $750,000 on other political runs in Illinois."

Cox ended the October 20 filing period with $398,260.49 cash on hand. Newsom ended the same period with a net $14,978,242.04 and is likely to be sworn into office in January with massive warchest. As we've witnessed with Jerry Brown, that largesse will go a long way when it comes to governing. Knowing Gavin, he won't stop fundraising if and when he becomes governor. Rather, he can raise money concurrently for reelection as well as a ballot measure committee.

The latter hammer can forge legislative deals, and looking at the 2020 "split roll" ballot measure, he could be the major force in pushing for some compromise avoiding all-out war in November 2020 that would suck money out of labor and liberal coffers in a critical year for Democrats or would-be Democrats in state legislative and congressional seats.

CA48 (Huntington Beach): I don't endorse candidates and rarely share political fundraiser information, but a birdie shared with me a fundraiser for Harley Rouda (D). She knew I would be interested because the funder features cast and crew members of The West Wing, and she knows that TWW is my writing BFF on most days when I've had enough cable news for a few hours. So, testing your knowledge of The West Wing, without IMDBing it, which characters were played by these scheduled attendees? Richard Schiff, Tim Matheson, Janel Maloney, Bradley Whitford,  Thomas Schlamme, and Martin Sheen.



Upward Mobility at Cal State LA

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 Medical Association: Director of Communications & Public Affairs (Sacramento)
  • Job: California School Boards Association: legislative advocate
  • Job: California School Boards Association: regional representatives
  • Job: Climate Resolve: Communications Director (Los Angeles)
  • Job: Climate Resolve: Outreach Program Coordinator (Los Angeles)
  • Job: The Council of State Governments: Policy Committees and Programs Coordinator (Sacramento)
  • Job: 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)
  • Job: University of California Office of the President: Administrative Services Manager (Sacramento)
  • 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 


HOUSING: In the Times, Steve Lopez writes that there's a great willingness of people in the City of Angels to help fund housing the homeless, but NIMBYism is alive and well:

“These people don’t want to work,” [nonprofit executive Anne] Miskey recalls hearing, among other complaints. “They’re bums, they’re mentally ill … they should be shipped out, put them in fields. We don’t want them in our neighborhood.”

And happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

DOLLARS AND SENSE: Dan Walters writes for CALmatters that a labor shortage could slow California's economy. 

Recessions begin because of inflation and labor shortages, and the two are inter-related. The labor shortage, as Walters writes, is a combination of the low unemployment rates and "discouraged workers"--those who have given up working. Unemployment is below 5%--often cited as "full employment"--in 45 of the state's 58 counties. Those above that bar are much lower than their normals, so it's not necessarily all doom in gloom in these counties, which are all counties with a significant agriculture presence.

On the workforce participation data, I'd like to see how the Bureau of Labor Statistics (a department of the US Dept of Commerce) is handling the growth in the gig economy and the challenges of surveys (polling) in this environment. BLS has an elaborate and generally validated methodology of a rotating mix of 60,000 households, with one-fourth being surveyed for four consecutive months before being returned to the pool. When a contact is made in person or on the phone, the interviewee is asked about the workforce characteristics of each member of the household.

Again, I don't criticize BLS, but we have talked a lot in this space about the challenge of polling because of the growth of cell phones and drop in landlines. BLS can't use random dial cell numbers in the manner political polls with its current methodology. It is likely that the legally defined unemployment rate is actually lower and the participation rate is higher, even though lots of the extra workers are underemployed. 

The unemployment rate and workforce participation is an issue for business and workforce training planners, but I write more deeply about this as a much more important survey is rapidly approaching--the 2020 Census--the constitutionally  required decennial actual enumeration of every human in the United States. It has enormous political and governmental importance, ranging from apportionment of congressional seats among states and drawing of district lines from Congress to school board. Many state and federal funding streams also rely on an accurate count.

The Census Bureau has an elaborate plan of trying to reach people but is also significantly underfunded. No Democrats, you're not going to take back the House by campaigning on Census Bureau funding. Even if you do, it's extremely unlikely that funding will be approved to meet the needs to adapt the Bureau's methodology and operations to meet what independent scholars suggest is necessary. That was my takeaway from the PPIC study and briefing earlier this month.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to my state senator, Dr. Richard Pan and Yong Salas!



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

  • Small, downtown Los Angeles boutique law firm is looking for an associate attorney with a demonstrated interest and/or experience in political, election, and nonprofit organization law, as well as a broader interest and/or experience in business law and civil litigation. [full job description]
    Email resumes to Ana Simeonova, Office Manager, 
  • The University of California Office of the President is looking for an Administrative Services Manager for its Sacramento Office. The position manages the office’s human resource administration, budget development and tracking, account, fiscal and inventory controls, space planning and technical support services, among other administrative duties. Bachelor's degree in related area or equivalent experience is required, plus five years of experience performing a range of administrative functions. Salary commensurate with experience. To apply, visit and search for requisition 20180461. 
  • Director of Communications & Public Affairs – California Medical Association (Sacramento)
    Reporting directly to the VP of Strategic Communications, this position will develop/execute earned media and public affairs strategies in support of physician-focused health care advocacy. Seeking an assertive and tactful self-starter with the ability to effectively generate and shape media coverage. Must be driven with the ability to adapt to evolving priorities and deadlines. On-the-record experience required; health care or political experience strongly desired. Great culture and amazing benefits with 401k match. $85-100k DOE. View the full description and apply at:

  • 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. 
    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: