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REMINDER: My scott@scottlay.com email address is still in DNS hell. scottlay@gmail.com (where that other email usually goes anyway) is working just fine.







  • Vote-by-mail: 3,459,665
  • Provisional: 1,032,942
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 55,036
  • Other (i.e. damaged): 81,285
  • Total: 4,628,928


The awful week continues. The Camp Fire in Butte County is now the most destructive in California history and now tied for tenth deadliest. PG&E informed state regulators that a transmission line failure may have caused the fire after firefighters responded to a vegetation fire under high-voltage transmission lines. PG&E's stock was down 16.49% on the news yesterday. Get ready for that continued conversation when the Legislature returns. 


  • Camp Fire: 9 deaths, 6,453 residences, 260 commercial destroyed; 15,000 structures threatened; 100,000 acres; 20% contained
  • Woolsey Fire: 2 deaths (believed to be related), 150 structures estimated destroyed; 70,000 acres; 0% contained

Nobody is immune, from the retirees in Paradise in the north state to movie stars north of Los Angeles. Alyssa Milano tweeted seeking help to move her five horses. The horses got out but she didn't know if her house survived. Milano was one of the most prominent campaigners for Democrats in Tuesday's election, but her elation quickly changed. It appears Martin Sheen and his wife Janet have lost their Malibu home. In 2018 style, Charlie Sheen tweeted that he couldn't get in touch with his parents. A FOX LA reporter found him and recorded a video message for Charlie.

The Santa Ana winds that fueled the LA/Ventura fires are expired to quiet today before returning tomorrow through Tuesday.

President Trump again didn't grieve with us and used the opportunity to blame the fires on forest management in California, even though these suburban, not forest, fires. I don't recall him blaming Florida for allowing development in clear hurricane hazards. Instead, he went to hand out water.

Forest management is a big issue. However, the Woolsey fire in SoCal was scrub brush, grasses, and oak trees. Oak trees aren't dying from bark beetles, which attack conifers. Oak trees are protected in California and generally don't burn in fires. Palm trees do, but those are landscaping and not wild.

TRANSITION: Governor-elect Gavin Newsom named Ann O'Leary as Chief of Staff and Ana Matosantos as Cabinet Secretary. O'Leary is an influential DC political/policy advisor and lawyer, lives in Oakland, and was legislative director for Senator Hillary Clinton. She is married to California Supreme Court justice Goodwin Liu. Matosantos is longtime state finance voice and served as Director of Finance under both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown. She was the first Latina and openly gay woman to serve in the post. Matosantos left the Brown administration in 2013 and opened a consulting firm. 

Great moves by Gavin. A Director of Finance hasn't been named yet, but Ana clearly will be key to shaping the January 10 governor's budget proposal, which basically needs to be put together by mid-December. While it can be somewhat of a template, Newsom's team wants to have real meat in the proposal to come out of the gate showing that he has real policy chops.

ELECTIONS: I purposely was hesitant to not talk on Election Day or the day after, knowing that the Tuesday night returns would be irrelevant and that last night's updates would be the first real indicator in competitive races. That's the new reality. Lots of people were spiking the football or making projections far too early. I turned down media requests and there's no reason to have a "liveblog" which I used to really enjoy.

We have a much better picture now, even with over 4 million ballots left to count (most counties haven't updated their unprocessed numbers). Orange County plans to have daily workday updates, although I saw something indicating that they would be counting on Monday, Veteran's Day. Los Angeles County plans its next update at the end of the day Tuesday.

I currently project 60% turnout of registered voters, assuming that 80% of the unprocessed ballots are validated and counted. While not presidential general election numbers, which average in the high 70s, it is much higher than the abysmal 42.2% that turned out in 2014. However, it's not that much higher than 2010 or 2006. 

The number of voters looks to be 1.6 million higher than 2010 and 2.9 million than 2006. That's because percent of registered is deceptive. If the state is registering more voters, that's a good thing. But, the state has made it easier to register--online and DMV. That's a good thing for democracy, but also results in a lower turnout percentage.

So, there are a lot more people registered and that is reflected in the absolute numbers, if not the percentage. Registration at the 15-day pre-election deadline was 78.16% of eligible voters. The average for the previous 5 midterm elections is 71.97%. Then add 55,036 conditional registrations, which it ticks it up a bit more.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Marshall Tuck (nonpartisan race) 3,434,000 (50.4%), Tony Thurmond (nonpartisan race) 3,383,730 (49.6%)

Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara (D) 3,802,088 (50.8%), Steve Poizner (NPP) 3,677,366 (49.2%)

House of Representatives - The current California delegation is 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans. With the first significant late ballot returns last night, most analysts add four for the Democrats--CA10, CA25, CA48, and CA49. The remaining two in play are CA39 and CA45, which predictably with late ballots, are trending toward the Democratic candidates. Thus, the range for Democrats is 43-45, and correspondingly for Republicans it is 8-10. CA39 is more difficult to predict than CA45, as CA45 is pretty much partisan-predictable. CA39 adds ethnic issues that motivate candidate support, possibly in a way that supercedes party.

  • CA04 (Foothills): *Tom McClintock (R) 145,361 (55.2%), Jessica Morse (D) 118,052 (44.8%)
  • CA10 (Stanislaus): Josh Harder (D) 88,961 (50.9%), *Jeff Denham 85,743 (49.1%)
  • CA21 (Kings): *David Valadao (R) 39,475 (53.1%), TJ Cox (D) 33,844 (46.2%)
  • CA22 (Tulare): *Devin Nunes (R) 81,543 (55.2%), Andrew Janz (D) 66,277 (44.8%)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale): Katie Hill (D) 90,298 (51.7%), *Steve Knight (R) 84,272 (48.3%)
  • CA39 (Fullerton): Young Kim (R) 83,211 (50.8%), Gil Cisneros (D) 80,539 (49.2%)
  • CA45 (Irvine): *Mimi Walters (R) 103,975 (50.5%), Katie Porter (D) 101,955 (49.5%)
  • CA48 (Hunt. Beach): Harley Rouda (D) 105,047 (51.8%), *Dana Rohrabacher (R) 97,719 (48.2%) 
  • CA49 (S. OC/N. SD Coast): Mike Levin (D) 106,052 (54.2%), Diane Harkey (R) 89,458 (45.8%)
  • CA50 (E. SD County): Duncan Hunter (R) 89,002 (53.7%), Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) 76,662 (46.3%)

State Senate  - Democrats went in to the cycle with 26, and will pick up two seats for 28. That is supermajority plus one. 

  • SD12 (Salinas-Merced): Anna Caballero (D) 72,034 (52.2%), Rob Poythress (R) 65,853 (47.8%)
  • SD14 (Fresno-Bakersfield): Michelle Hurtado (D) 46,248 (52.2%), *Andy Vidak (R) 42,268 (47.8%)
  • SD22 (San Gabriel Valley): Susan Rubio (D) 71,323 (52.3%), Mike Eng (D) 65,042 (57.7%)

State Assembly - Democrats start the cycle with 55, pick up two in AD40 and AD76, and are likely to pick up AD16, AD38, and AD74. If they hold on to their defensive plays in AD32 and AD60, they will enter the 2019-20 session with 60 votes. 

  • AD15 (Berkeley): Buffy Wicks (D) 68,709 (55.8%), Jovanka Beckles (D) 54,327 (44.2%)
  • AD16 (Tri-Valley): *Catharine Baker (R) 72,953 50.3%, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D) 71,967 (49.7%)
  • AD32 (Kings): *Rudy Salas (D) 23,154 (51.8%), Justin Mendes (R) 21,504 (48.2%)
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita): *Dante Acosta (R) 68,518 (50.1%), Christy Smith (D) 68,305 (49.9%)
  • AD40 (Redlands): James Ramos (D) 50,901 (57.9%), Henry Gomez Nickel (R) 37,058 (42.1%)
  • AD60 (Corona): Bill Essayli (R) 28,687 (50.2%), *Sabrina Cervantes (D) 28,511 (49.8%)
  • AD72 (Seal Beach): Tyler Diep (R) 58,177 (53.6%), Josh Lowenthal (D) 50,265 (46.4%)
  • AD74 (Irvine): Cottie Petrie-Norris (D) 68,461 (50.6%), *Matthew Harper (R) 66,819 (49.4%)
  • AD76 (Oceanside): Tasha Boerner Horvath (D) 52,986 (55.7%), Elizabeth Warren (D) 42,137 (44.3%)

SIXTY SHADES OF BLUE? For CALmatters, Laurel Rosenhall looks at the changing political make-up of the Legislature. "That means the prevailing tension in the statehouse probably won’t be between Republicans and Democrats—but between different shades of blue. It could make for some counterintuitive outcomes, once the results are tallied, including a Legislature that skews more toward business on some fights."

It will be interesting, as the pick-ups for Dems are from moderate districts or ones (AD16, AD76, SD22) that chose the more moderate Democrats. So, on an issue like single-payer health care, the prospects are really no better, and the opponents of it spent big to ensure that the more mod Dems were elected. This could be a big assist to Governor-elect Newsom. While his position has evolved, the California Nurses Association (CNA) will likely be nipping at his heels on the issue. Will he get out early with an alternative that doesn't have the price tag of complete single-payer? Will he lead or will the Legislature lead? There are more questions than answers.

On single-payer, remember that several entrenched liberal interests are very concerned about it without a comprehensive financial plan (labor unions outside of CNA). Their members largely have health care insurance and they fear programmatic competition within the state general fund.  


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: Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation: full-time program manager (Los Angeles)
  • 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: Local Health Plans of California seeks a Program Manager
  • Job: OPR Communications Account Executive
  • Job: Reed and Davidson: Associate Attorney (Los Angeles)
  • Job: Southern California Association of Governments: Legislation Analyst (Los Angeles)
  • Job: The University of California Office of the President: Associate Director of Strategy, Planning & Operations in its (Sacramento). 
  • 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 





Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Robbie Abelon!



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

  • The University of California Office of the President is looking for an Associate Director of Strategy, Planning & Operations in its Sacramento Office. The position serves as a key member of the office’s management team, facilitates issue management across legislative, budgetary and advocacy portfolios, produces briefings, memos, reports and presentations on a variety of matters affecting the University, and directs special projects. Job requires strong knowledge of UC, the executive and legislative branches of California government and higher education policy. Bachelor’s or advanced degree in public policy-related fields and 7 years of related experience is preferred. Salary commensurate with experience.
    To apply, visit:
  • Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation seeks a full-time program manager in Los Angeles. The program manager will reach out to, educate, and involve key constituencies, including state and local elected officials, leaders of community groups, and their respective constituencies. A full job description can be found at tinyurl.com/ydez2t5a. Email cover letter and resume to info@apalf.org.
  • 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, ana@politicallaw.com 
  • 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 apptrkr.com/1319417 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: www.cmadocs.org/careers.

  • 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.applicantpro.com 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 jmccoy@aaronread.com For questions, call Joelle at (916) 448-3444.

  • 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: www.capitolseminars.net 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 aherrera@oprusa.com.
  • 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 scag.ca.gov/opportunities/Pages/CareerOpportunities.aspx.
  • 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: www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/796664542
  • 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. www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/796648751
  • 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: onepoint.employernet.net/ta/CSBA.jobs?ShowJob=134407117  
  • 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: onepoint.employernet.net/ta/CSBA.jobs?ShowJob=134407122
  • 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 go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy or contact us at publicpolicy@pacific.edu.
  • 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: publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/masters-6