Around The Capitol

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Happy Saturday and GO AGS! The Aggies host Northern Iowa at 4pm in the second round of the Football Championship Series playoffs. (ESPN3 or, if you're a baller, Aggie Stadium. I'll be a baller today although look anything but the part.) 


The new Secretary of the State Senate will be Ricardo Lara's chief of staff Erika Contreras, reports the LAT's Patrick McGreevy. "Contreras, who graduated from UC Santa Barbara, was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and raised in the San Fernando Valley, according to Atkins’ office. Her family was granted legal residency following the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and she later earned her citizenship."

Contreras will replace the retiring Danny Alvarez. Damn, I've known Danny for a long time from his state budget days. My friend Denise Ducheny would frequently say "You need to talk to Danny about that."

From amnesty under Ronald Reagan to the top staff person in California's State Senate--remarkable. Think about it. She is supported by a lesbian Pro Tem from Appalachia. This state is amazing.

On my morning walk, I listened to a great New Yorker podcast on what's actually happening with the migrants in Tijuana. It's a truly fascinating listen about the logistics for those seeking asylum. The refugees themselves are keeping the priority list--in order of sign-up. There are over 1,600 entries on the list representing over 5,000 people. Each day, US CBP announces how many applicants can be processed and the refugees call the list numbers. It can take over a month and the living conditions have meanwhile gotten awful, although going home to Honduras could be a death sentence.

Meanwhile, some Capitol offices have been shuffled around. New members start in the office of their predecessor, but presumably newly elected Democrat Tasha Boerner Horvath will get an office in the Capitol and not Rocky Chávez's in LOB across the street. 

Here's an odd aside following the sad loss of George H.W. Bush that I posted to Facebook. "Fascinating family history I just got in re: George Herbert Walker Bush. "Herbie Walker" was a New York stockbroker used by 41's broker Prescott Bush, also used by my paternal grandfather, a Texas oil geologist."

I knew that granddaddy had a connection, but that's just wild.

Camp Fire update: 88 fatalities, 18,804 structures destroyed; 153,336 acres; 49 persons unaccounted for

Good news in the Camp Fire, as the number of people unaccounted for dropped by nearly 150 and no new remains were discovered yesterday. Bad news is reported by Paige St. John and Joseph Serna in the Times, as they find that more than one-third of Paradise residents who signed up for emergency alert calls did not received them. "Many of the town’s residents said they relied on calls from alarmed relatives and the sight of approaching flames to flee from California's worst fire on Nov. 8. Logs released Friday show the official warning system reached fewer than 6,200 of the 27,000 who live in the ridge-top community."

PG&E AND THE B-WORD: For CALmatters, Judy Lin looks at what would happen if Pacific Gas and Electric files for bankruptcy after wildlife liability is determined.

Bankruptcy could affect wildfire victims seeking damages because the filing triggers a stay on lawsuits against PG&E. Multiple victims of the Camp Fire have already sued PG&E alleging negligence and health and safety code violations by the utility. That comes on the heels of dozens of lawsuits related to fires in 2017.

“They can ultimately have their claim determined outside of the bankruptcy court, but it still is a claim of the bankruptcy,” [Sacramento bankruptcy attorney Steven] Felderstein said. “So if the creditors only end up getting paid a percentage of the amount they are owed, then that would affect the injured parties as well.”

If wildfire victims aren’t happy with the reorganization, it could be that their claims are so large that they can veto the plan. “It isn’t for sure that they’d be able to stop a plan, but obviously there’d be a chance that they could,” Felderstein said.

This is the stock of PG&E's parent company's in November. The 50% haircut is the evaporation of $13.7 billion in market cap.

PCG stock 

CDP: I erred yesterday stating that Holly Mitchell is termed out of the State Senate in 2020. She was just re-elected through 2022. That's how much attention I paid to her very safe race. Also talked about yesterday are outgoing insurance commissioner Dave Jones and treasurer John ChiangKimberly Ellis, who narrowly lost the race for chair to Eric Bauman last year certainly sounds like a candidate and calls for unionization of party staff, campaign workers, and legislative staff. She also included one of her campaign signs in a tweet yesterday.

The replacement will be filled at the party's May convention. That sets up a lot of battles in caucuses held in January by Assembly district, which elect a large part of delegates to convention. I mistakenly yesterday said it would be the Executive Board, but that's only if a special meeting is called and it would be a temporary choice until convention. The most activist folks who weren't Bauman supporters seem focused on the January caucuses rather than calling a special meeting of the E-board, betting on electing an "outsider" at convention that is not an appointed interim installed by the more insider e-board.

Kevin de León appears very interested and has been talking to people about it, while detractors are obviously not enthused. He, however, did get the party's endorsement post-primary for his challenge of Dianne Feinstein even after MeToo hit the Capitol and his former roommate had resigned, although that was e-board and not the full convention. 

Meanwhile, CALmatters's Laurel Rosenhall writes that what happened with the Democratic Party this week shows that the MeToo movement has staying power.

BALLOT UPDATE as of November 30, 2018 (neither San Diego nor Los Angeles counties updated after yesterday's results)

  • Vote-by-mail: 125,174
  • Provisional: 222,324
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 16,083
  • Other (i.e. damaged): 20,105
  • Total: 383,686

TURNOUT as of November 30, 2018

  • Eligible to register: 25,200,451
  • Registered voters as of 10/22: 19,696,371
  • Ballots tallied: 12,465,464
  • Turnout of eligible: 49.47%
  • Turnout of registered: 63.29% 


(as of 11/30/18)
  U.S. House of Representatives State Assembly State Senate
As of Nov. 6, 2018 39 Democrats
14 Republicans
55 Democrats
25 Republicans
26 Democrats
14 Republicans
After Nov. 6, 2018 46 Democrats
7 Republicans
60 Democrats
19 Republicans
1 Toss-up (AD77)
29 Democrats
11 Republicans 


  • AD77 (North San Diego): *Brian Maienschein (R)  99,438 (50.2%), Sunday Gover (D) 98,681 (49.8%)  - next update Monday PM

There are ~20,000 ballots left in Sandy Eggo county. AD77 is about 17.65% of voters so far this November. That's 3,530 ballots in AD77. Gover needs about 58.5% of the remaining ballots to overtake Maienschein.

Yes, crazies like me have spreadsheets open that are literally named "election-scratch." 

IT'S THE VOTERS, STUPID: In the Times, Michael Hiltzik takes on former state GOP chair Shawn Steele's critique of California's voting laws that led to the party's defeat at the ballot box, as well as the allegations of fraud perpetrated by several on the losing side. "Steel may be right to warn Republicans that they face even stronger head winds in 2020. And he may be right that their ills have something to do with greater enfranchisement in states such as California. But it’s not about fraud — it’s about more voters coming to the polls with reasons to vote against GOP policies."


More below 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: Disability Rights California: senior legislative advocate
  • Job: NorCal Cannabis: Legislative and Regulatory Strategist to Public Policy Strategist
  • 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 


VOTER REG: Earlier this week, we looked at congressional and State Senate districts so, today are the top tens for each party. Obviously, they are very similar to the previous ones. The full spreadsheet is in the Nooner Premium subscriber section.

  Best Assembly District Registration Trend for Democrats
Change from 10/2012 to 10/2018
 District Total Registered Democrats Republicans No Party Preference Other
-20,223 4.31% -7.00% 3.63% -0.94%
26,142 3.98% -9.36% 5.84% -0.46%
22,365 2.66% -6.97% 4.30% 0.03%
13,946 2.57% -7.39% 5.10% -0.28%
-6,004 2.21% -7.99% 6.00% -0.21%
21,383 2.21% -7.27% 4.88% 0.17%
-29,870 2.05% -5.63% 4.17% -0.60%
25,523 2.02% -7.94% 5.70% 0.22%
Dana Point
-18,021 1.98% -5.69% 3.96% -0.25%
-3,671 1.72% -11.90% 9.75% 0.43%

Notably, five of these top 10 have flipped to Democrats during this period, whereas the relative best for the GOP below have been in mostly safe Democratic districts. Only AD01 and AD05 are currently in GOP hands.

  Best Assembly District Registration Trend for Republicans
Change from 10/2012 to 10/2018
District Total Registered Democrats Republicans No Party Preference Other
East San Francisco
1,186 0.72% -1.65% 2.24% -1.31%
South Los Angeles
40,818 -6.24% -1.86% 12.58% -4.47%
19,787 0.62% -2.19% 6.28% -4.70%


28,045 -6.49% -2.22% 12.05% -3.35%
Northeast Cal
9,771 -1.05% -2.41% -0.42% 3.89%
Culver City
27,069 -2.35% -2.48% 9.90% -5.07%
West San Francisco
7,797 0.78% -2.65% 2.68% -0.80%
33,384 -1.58% -2.76% 9.26% -4.92%
North Coast
2,667 0.85% -3.09% 3.03% -0.79%
Sierra Foothills
11,317 -1.93% -3.22% 4.84% 0.30%

WATER WARS: In the Bee, Emily Cadei and Dale Kasler report that Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) have teamed up to try to get an extension of expiring federal law that delivers more Delta water to farmers. With the support of Jerry Brown, they hope to get the provision in the must-pass federal spending bill. 

With everything going on, I missed yesterday the story by the Bee team about how the state's Delta Stewardship Council could be the final resting place for Jerry Brown's "twin tunnels" project to ferry water around the Delta. 

THE OTHER CAPITOL: While Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) lost her bid to be chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Nancy Pelosi has announced that Lee will have a newly created position. Politico's Heather Caygle reports "Rep. Barbara Lee will be joining the House Democratic leadership team, filling a key void for the caucus after its elections earlier this week left the group without a woman of color in the top ranks. Lee is expected to fill a new position being created by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to oversee the Steering and Policy Committee, the panel that determines committee assignments for Democrats. Pelosi’s decision expands leadership of the panel from two co-chairs to three."

Probolsky Research

WILD: CHP: Drunk driver slept while Tesla appeared to drive Hwy 101 on autopilot [SFChron]

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Logan Kemp!



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

  • Disability Rights California
    We are seeking a Senior or Experienced Legislative Advocate for an aggressive disability rights organization. Join a lobbying team to advocate on issues that impact Californians with disabilities. Experience in special education and housing accessibility issues a plus. Salary based on experience. Apply here. Deadline is 12/7/2018.

  • 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)

  • 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:
Ed Pastor, Arizonaâ

A son of a miner, he served 23 years in the House, championing immigration and education reforms as well as universal health care.

How do resource-constrained countries commit to universal health care?

What some countries have achieved on health coverage and AIDS treatment is quite remarkable.

North Carolina state elections board chairman resigns, saying he does not want his partisan views to hurt election fraud investigation

Andy Penry’s decision came a day after the state board voted to continue investigating possible fraud in the 9th Congressional District election.

Incoming Mexican president faces immediate border test

A populist leader, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has proposed solutions to President Donald Trump that come with costs.

North Carolina Election That Looked to Be Republican Victory Now in Limbo

The state elections board said it would not certify the results in the Ninth Congressional District and instead would hold a December hearing to explore claims of fraudulent absentee ballots.

Trump Spoke With Putin At G-20 Dinner, Huckabee Sanders Confirms - Politico

President Donald Trump walks past Russian President Vladimir Putin as they gather for the group photo at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Friday. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Trump Cancels G-20 Press Conference - Politico

President Donald Trump has a strained relationship with the Bush family. | Andres Martinez Casares/Pool via AP

Trump to name Dec. 5 a national day of mourning for former president George H.W. Bush

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump and the first lady would attend the funeral, which will be held at Washington National Cathedral. “President Trump is scheduled to speak with President George W. Bush this morning and offer his condolences on behalf of himself, the First Lady, and the entire country,” Sanders said […]

Trump To Attend George H.w. Bush Funeral - Politico

President Donald Trump is scheduled to talk to George W. Bush by phone on Saturday to offer his condolences. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

The most quotable man in the Senate agonizes over leaving

The blunt-talking John Kennedy weighs a run for governor of Louisiana.

George H.w. Bush's Remarks At Son's Presidential Library Opening - Politico

The Many Times Trump Denied Ties to Russia

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly denied having business ties to Russia. Now that the president’s former lawyer has confessed to lying to Congress about a plan to build a tower in Russia, Trump’s story has changed.

News Analysis: Mueller Exposes the Culture of Lying That Surrounds Trump

As a businessman, candidate and president, Mr. Trump has demanded loyalty of advisers, including an embrace of his habitual boasts, misstatements and outright falsehoods.

Cohen claims 'regular contact' with Trump legal team when crafting false statement to Congress

The president's former personal lawyer seeks leniency in a new court filing amid cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Triumphant Democrats offer a primer on how to beat Trump in Pennsylvania
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Gov. Wolf and Sen. Casey won handily in the midterms with an election strategy that will be key for whomever the Democratic Party nominates for president in 2020.


President Trump did not rule out a pardon for his former campaign chairman, while prosecutors say he violated a plea agreement and could face additional charges.

A president with a poetâ

With a pen and paper, the 41st president showed a depth greater than what his public persona suggested.

Politico Playbook: R.i.p. George H.w. Bush - Politico

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush died Friday. He was 94. | John Duricka/AP Photo

On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

It’s been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the stories you might have missed.

George H.W. Bush dies at 94. The 41st president of the United States helped guide the world out of a four-decade Cold War.
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Bush was a steadfast force on the international stage for decades, from his stint as an envoy to Beijing to his eight years as vice president and his one term as commander in chief from 1989 to 1993. The last veteran of World War II to serve as president, Bush came to be seen as […]

Rand Paul Under Fire For Blocking Israel Bills - Politico

John Shinkle/POLITICO

Trump Statement: Bush ‘always Found A Way To Set The Bar Higher’ - Politico

"Our hearts ache with his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41," President Donald Trump said in a statement with first lady Melania Trump. | Christian Hartman/AFP/Getty Images

Progressive Leader Rep. Jayapal Joins 'caravan' For Border Crossing - Politico

Rep. Pramila Jayapal's visit comes amid a tense standoff at the border. | Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

George H.w. Bush Remembered By Presidential Peers, Family - Politico

Marcy Nighswander/AP Photo

Pelosi Creates Leadership Position For Barbara Lee - Politico

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi created a new position for fellow California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee after many of their colleagues were disappointed that Lee fell just short in her run for caucus chair. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo