Around The Capitol

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  • SD33 (Long Beach): added Lynwood councilmember José Solache (D) (2019 special election, date TBD)


  • Camp Fire: 84 fatalities, 13,672 single-family residences, 282 multi-family residences, 514 commercial destroyed; 153,336 acres; 95% contained


#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 84 deaths (November 2018) - active fire
#4 Tubbs Fire (Napa/Sonoma): 22 deaths (October 2017)
#11 Redwood Valley Fire (Mendocino): 9 deaths (October 2017)
#14 Carr Fire (Shasta/Tehama/Trinity): 7 deaths (July 2018)
#15 Atlas Fire (Napa/Solano): 6 deaths (October 2017)

(source: CALFIRE plus Camp Fire incident update; as of 11/21/18) 


#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 14,468 structures destroyed (November 2018) - active fire
#2 Tubbs Fire (Napa/Sonoma): 5,636 structures destroyed (October 2017)
#7 Carr Fire (Shasta/Tehama/Trinity): 1,604 structures destroyed (July 2018)
#8 Woosley Fire (Los Angeles/Ventura): 1,500 structures destroyed (November 2018) - active fire
#9 Nuns Fire (Sonoma): 1,353 structures destroyed (October 2017)
#10 Thomas Fire (Ventura/Santa Barbara): 1,063 structures destroyed (December 2017)
#14 Atlas Fire (Napa/Solano): 783 structures destroyed (October 2017)
#20 Redwood Valley Fire (Mendocino): 546 structures destroyed (October 2017)

(source: CALFIRE plus Camp Fire incident update; as of 11/21/18)

THIRTEEN MONTH TALLY (only from top 20):

  • Fatalities: 121
  • Structures: 26,953 structures destroyed (excluding "minor structures" i.e. guest houses/"granny" units, barns)

Happy Black Friday Noonerific people! I hope you had a very pleasant Thanksgiving. The only "shopping" I'm doing today I actually did on Wednesday and my treasure just arrived! Apparently, the hip thing to do in SacTown is to change your filter and show just how awful the air we have been breathing really has been. 

If you received a series of messages this morning between 4-4:30am, that's my bad. I was working on The Nooner script (see below) and errantly sent it to not just myself but to the "link-only" subscribers. My apologies!

If you've been thinking about getting an Instant Pot, today appears to be a great day, with the multi-function cooker available for $59.49 on THAT online store. I use mine almost daily and absolutely love it. I pretty much only use pressure and slow cooking and really need to branch out, but it's worth it just for the pressure cooker function.

I see that Amazon Echo is super cheap, but unless I can say "Hey Alexa, write The Nooner," I really have no use. Plus, after eating my apple crisp last night, I really don't need another piece of technology to keep my ass in my chair.

Speaking of Black Friday, isn't media consolidation great?

Black Friday

I think I fixed the glitch on the headlines feed at the bottom of The Nooner. I know it's been neglected, but I've heard from many of you that missed it.

That said, I wrote the base of the headlines script for AroundTheCapitol and the dozen or so scripts like 15 years ago. Obviously, newspaper sites have changed a lot since then, when the issue of paywalls was limited to pretty much just the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, I think the feed is back and I'll be working on the underlying scripts to hopefully make for a better user experience. It hasn't aged well and has gotten pretty janky.

Thank you for your patience. There are a lot of moving parts behind this animal and my "to do" list is never ending. 

On to elections. If you were puzzled by my math yesterday when I stated that, if CA21 flips, Democrats would pick up their "9" targeted congressional races. Except, my fingers typed "9" instead of 7. Yes, even if my chosen education was in law and math isn't my forte, I do know that 46-39=7. 

The two big counties--Fresno and Kern--in CA21 that account for 70.5% of the current share of votes in the district are both off today. Fresno next reports at 3pm on Wednesday, while Kings returns to counting on Monday. 

Fresno is splitting about evenly, with the predictable Democratic lean with ballots tallied after Election Day. Kern is where Josh Harder's hopes lie, as it is splitting 60-40 for the Democratic challenger, with a greater tilt in the later counts. Kings County, where incumbent David Valadao (R) dominates, only has 1,577 ballots left, which is about 6% of the combined number of Fresno and Kern.

In short, things are not looking good for Valadao, but I think you've likely been following that since it's one of only a few congressionals nationally that haven't been called by all media outlets. 

Meanwhile, the "what happened" analysis continues, with Ron Brownstein writing in The Atlantic California Has Become a Crisis for the Republicans.

"The GOP’s retreat in California long predated Trump, but there’s no question he has intensified and accelerated it. Over the past two years, California House Republicans, under pressure from then-Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, compounded their risk by voting with Trump more reliably than their Republican counterparts in other blue-leaning coastal states such as New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“They bet on Trump and they bet wrong,” says John J. Pitney, a Claremont McKenna University political scientist and former aide at the Republican National Committee."

 . . .

“The national party has become a cultural brand that’s anathema to the demographics that have grown here,” says GOP consultant Rob Stutzman, the former communications director for Schwarzenegger.

With Republicans so marginalized in the state—Democrats this month restored super majorities in both state legislative chambers and routed the GOP in all state wide races—just raising enough money to make their case may grow increasingly daunting for Republicans, Stutzman says.

California may be an extreme case of the political risks the GOP faces in a changing nation as Trump focuses the party’s message and agenda ever more narrowly on the priorities and cultural preferences of older, blue-collar, rural and evangelical whites. 

BALLOT UPDATE as of November 21, 2018

  • Vote-by-mail: 286,233
  • Provisional: 694,609
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 39,038
  • Other (i.e. damaged): 28,021
  • Total: 1,047,901

TURNOUT as of November 21, 2018

  • Eligible to register: 25,200,451
  • Registered voters as of 10/22: 19,696,371
  • Ballots tallied through 11/21: 11,725,825
  • Turnout of eligible: 46.5%
  • Turnout of registered: 59.5% 


(as of 11/22/18)
  U.S. House of Representatives State Assembly State Senate
As of 11/06/2018 39 Democrats
14 Republicans
55 Democrats
25 Republicans
26 Democrats
14 Republicans
2019-20 45 Democrats
7 Republicans
1 Toss-up (CA21)
60 Democrats
20 Republicans
29 Democrats
11 Republicans 



  • CA21 (Kings): *David Valadao (R) 54,713 (50.2%), TJ Cox (D) 54,266 (49.8%)
  • SD34 (Westminster-Santa Ana): Tom Umberg (D) 130,739 (50.4%), Janet Nguyen (R) 128,877 (49.6%)
  • AD77 (North San Diego): *Brian Maienschein (R) 94,627 (50.7%), Sunday Gover (D) 90,345 (49.0%) 

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)
  • Education: Wharton School of Business: Executive MBA Informational Reception: Thursday, December 6
  • Job: Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation: full-time program manager (Los Angeles)
  • Job: California Hospital Association: legislative advocate
  • Job: NorCal Cannabis: Political, Legislative and Regulatory Strategist/Analyst
  • Job: Reed and Davidson: Associate Attorney (Los Angeles)
  • Job: The University of California Office of the President: Associate Director of Strategy, Planning & Operations in its (Sacramento). 
  • Job: Victor Valley Community College Community College District: Vice President of Human Resources (Victorville)
  • Lobbying: The California Rental Housing Association: lobbying RFP
  • Training: Lobbying Seminars with veteran Ray LeBov: Next dates: December 13-14, February 7-8, April 4-5
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels 

GAMING THE LAW? In the Union-Tribune, Greg Moran reports on a lawsuit by two gaming tribes against a dozen card rooms that the tribes allege are violating law by offering house-banked games. The two tribes are Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, who operate a North County casino, and the Santa Ynez of Chumash Mission Indians, who have a casino on tribal land in Santa Barbara County. The Rincon tribe contracts with Caesars Entertainment brand Harrah's to run its casino.

"The law for card rooms instead says that the role of the dealer rotates among all players, so everyone at the table has to take the deal and be the banker. The law specifically says the deal must be “continuously and systematically rotated” among all players.

But the tribes contend that since the early 2000s card room operators have worked around those restrictions largely via the use of “player-banked” games, where a person seated at the table with a large bankroll effectively acts as the house. The tribes contend the state for years allowed card rooms to ignore the rule — keeping the deal with the bankrolled player, increasing the stakes and excitement of the game.

Such a move was paved in 2007, when the state’s top gambling agent wrote a letter to two card room owners who were also lobbyists for the industry. That letter set a new standard: as long as the deal rotation was offered to other players, the game would be considered legal even if the deal didn’t rotate."

As if another fight over wildfire liability wasn't enough the wet the whistle of lobbyists for 2019, why not add a gaming fight? Between the upcoming session and the 2020 ballot bonanza (which likely will spill into next year's legislative session), it's a full employment act...

...speaking of that, the hamsters wanted me to tell you that now is a great time to advertise your wares in The Nooner.

Probolsky Research  

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Autumn Burke, Tim Reardon, and Prophet Walker!



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

  • The Victor Valley Community College District is currently recruiting for the position of Vice President of Human Resources. First date of review is scheduled for December 20, 2018. [full job description and application]

    This positions will plan, organize, direct and supervise a comprehensive human resources program, including recruitment and selection, classification and pay, employee-employer relations, benefits, unemployment and record keeping; may provide general supervision for the district’s campus police and safety program; promote, direct, and implement programs to ensure equal employment opportunity, tolerance, and cultural awareness; assure compliance with applicable district policies and procedures, state and federal laws, codes and regulations; serve as chief negotiator.

  • Looking to make a real difference?  The California Hospital Association is seeking a full-time Legislative Advocate.  This position will be responsible for representing and advocating the interests, policies and issues of CHA on state legislation, including high priority and complex state legislation. For more information and to apply, visit
  • Learn how you can earn the top ranked Wharton MBA right here on the West Coast, without putting your career on hold. Join Admissions Director Barbara Craft for an Information Reception on Thursday, December 6and learn what it takes to earn the Wharton MBA while continuing to live and work in Sacramento. Barbara will be joined by local students and alumni who will share their perspectives on why Wharton is worth the commute. This event will provide an overview of the admissions process and discuss what makes the Wharton program unique, followed by time to network and ask additional questions while enjoying light refreshments. Register for the event here.

    The California Rental Housing Association (fresh off a win on Proposition 10) is looking for a lobbyist. For details please contact Russell Lowery at or call 916-710-2872. CalRHA represents 22,000 people who provide 500,000 homes for families across California. Are you interested in working with the Governor and Legislature on real solutions? Contact us today. [full description]

    NorCal Cannabis has been developing and shaping the legal cannabis industry since 2016. We are looking for spirited and motivated individual who will ensure NorCal Cannabis Company is engaged and strategic in its current regulations and future legislative changes affecting the company at the state and local level.


    • Legislative and regulatory tracking and strategy for California cannabis opportunities on a local and state level.
    • Support government relations and public affairs at the local and state level.
    • Follow and examine the legislation and regulations and provide detailed reports about how the legislation will influence the organization's activities.

      Please go to our website for the complete posting at or email with your resume and cover letter. 
  • WHY DOES CAPITOL SEMINARS DRAW PARTICIPANTS FROM ALL OVER CALIFORNIA? Because we offer comprehensive, cost-effective advocacy training you can put to immediate use. Our moderator, 43-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov, and guest faculty are current practitioners in governmental advocacy or state government, and provide unique inside insights you won't find anywhere else. We're the No.1 advocacy training resource for nonprofits and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, government entities and trade associations. Professionals in government relations, public affairs, public policy, public administration and allied fields know that our training helps advocates, support staff, and execs who hire and manage lobbyists work together more effectively. Next dates: December 13-14, February 7-8, April 4-5. Learn more / register at or 916-442-5009.
  • 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 Email cover letter and resume to
  • 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, 
  • 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.

  • 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:
California's politician-free redistricting taking hold in other states
John Wildermuth @

California’s 2008 effort to take the politics out of redistricting is the hit of the land.

California Has Become a Crisis for the Republicans
Ron Brownstein @

For years, the state’s massive congressional delegation was highly competitive, but not anymore. Of 53 House seats, Democrats now hold at least 45.

N.Y. Democrats Vowed to Get Big Money Out of Politics. Will Big Money Interfere?

The state’s campaign finance laws are among the nation’s weakest, and Democrats campaigned on a vow to strengthen them. But politics may intervene.

Fed up tribes sue card rooms, seek to halt offering some games they contend are illegal
Greg Moran @

Two Native American tribes that operate reservation casinos are suing a dozen card rooms from Chula Vista to the Bay Area, contending they are breaking state gambling laws by offering prohibited games that cost the tribes millions in lost revenues.

Sherrod Brown sets his sights on Trump in 2020

In a POLITICO interview, the Ohio Democrat highlights his connection with Trump voters, a possible preview of a 2020 campaign.

Senate Dems' guide back to the majority: A trailblazing freshman
Burgess Everett and Elana Schor @

Catherine Cortez Masto has already made history: She’s the first woman elected to the Senate from Nevada, and the first Latina senator, ever. Now she’s ready to add another honorific: Majority maker.

What's up with all those black men who voted for the Republican in the Georgia governor's race?
Vanessa Williams @

Between 8 to 11 percent of black men did not vote for Stacey Abrams in her bid to become the nation's first black female governor.

Cindy Hyde-Smith has embraced Confederate history more than once in her political career

People close to the Mississippi Republican, facing a Senate runoff next week, say that despite her controversial "public hanging" comments, they've never known her to show racial bias.

Thanksgiving Special: Nancy Pelosi Pursues the Speaker's Gavel, Plus Patrick Murphy and David Jolly on Working Across the Aisle
On this Thanksgiving episode from Political Breakdown, Scott and Marisa revisit their interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as she moves in on regaining the Speaker's gavel. Then, Guy Marzorati talks with former Congressmen Patrick Murphy and David Jolly about their push for reforms to bring back bipartisanship in Congress.

Inside a corporate giant's fight to thwart a massive pollution tab
Annie Schnider @

Chemical industry giant 3M is waging an aggressive campaign to stave off new regulations and potentially billions of dollars in damages stemming from a contamination crisis that has fouled tens of millions of Americans’ drinking water.

Republicans Hit Rock Bottom in New York. Can They Bounce Back?

The party lost eight seats in the New York Senate and every statewide race. Many blame President Trump’s unpopularity in his home state.

POLITICO Playbook: Warning signs for Trumpâ

And rhetorical bedlam erupts as President Trump speaks to the world from Mar-a-Lago.

Associate Of Roger Stone In Plea Talks With Mueller - Politico

Jerome Corsi told The Associated Press he has been negotiating a potential plea but declined to comment further. He said on a YouTube show last week that he expected to be charged with lying to federal investigators, though he said at the time that he was innocent of wrongdoing.

Warning signs mount for Trump reelection bid
Steven Shepard @

Donald Trump insists the GOP’s midterm election shellacking had nothing to do with him. Things will be different, he says, when his name is actually on the ballot in 2020.


At least in terms of partisan preference in recent elections.

Stone associate Jerome Corsi is in plea negotiations with special counsel, according to a person with knowledge of the talks

A plea deal could bring Robert S. Mueller III’s team closer to determining whether President Trump or his advisers were linked to WikiLeaks’ release of hacked Democratic emails in 2016.

Disapproval of Trump's handling of race relations hits 60 percent
Eugene Scott @

One of the first polls published after the midterm elections gives President Trump low marks in an area where he has been viewed negatively since the days before he occupied the Oval Office: race relations.

Rebuffing C.I.A., Trump Says It Only Has "Feelings" About Khashoggi Killing

The exchange with reporters was a notable deviation on a Thanksgiving that was otherwise almost an exact replica of how the president spent the holiday last year.

More Dems Threaten To Withhold Support For Pelosi - Politico

Saudi Crown Prince In Uae, First Trip Abroad Since Khashoggi - Politico

His tour abroad underscores the strong support the crown prince continues to have from his 82-year-old father, King Salman, and signals that he faces no immediate threats to his grip on power at home.

Ex-C.I.A. Officerâ

For two years, Montenegrin officials have been pursuing the question of whether Russia secretly backed a coup to topple its government.

Climate Change Will Take a Bite From U.S. Economy, Report Finds

Without major action to rein in global warming, the American economy could lose 10 percent of G.D.P. by 2100, according to a report from 13 federal agencies.

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to immediately take up transgender military ban

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear an appeal of a ruling against the ban next month.


He is more thankful for his presidency than the American public.

Bernie Sanders: Lion of the Left, but Not the Only One Roaring

As he prepares for a likely run in 2020, Mr. Sanders is still a leader of the liberal wing. But other Democrats have adopted his message, making him less of a singular figure.