Around The Capitol

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  • SD33 (Long Beach): added Long Beach councilman Roberto Uranga (D) - 2019 special (Ricardo Lara's seat)

Happy Saturday! The UC Davis Aggies face Eastern Washington in the third round of the FCS playoffs at 1pm in Cheney, WA. One of UCD's two lossed was to the host, with the other to Stanford. It should be dry but a chilly 31 at kickoff. You can watch it on ESPN3, which is streaming and available through cable connected to the Internet. 

For those looking for a couple of quick PowerPoint slides on the election results in Congress and the Legislature, here is what I've prepared. Just quick and simple.

If you recently changed houses or left the Legislature and didn't unsubscribe, let me know so I can clean up the list. Too many failed delivers starts blocking would-be recipients.

CAGOP: I don't know how I left former Assemblymember David Hadley off the list of possible candidates for GOP chair since I wrote about him on Thursday. He has declared and is currently a party vice-chair. 

MONEY MATTERS: With all the talk of "ballot harvesting," Emily Cadei writes for the Bee that Democrat congressional challengers really just overwhelmed their Republican counterparts in fundraising:

"In the contests for seven GOP-held congressional seats that Democrats won in November, the party’s candidates raised and spent more than $50 million, roughly $30 million more than the Republicans running in those races. And in all but one contest, the victorious Democratic candidate outraised his or her Republican opponent by at least $2 million over the course of the campaign."

The one exception: Rep. David Valadao, who raised about $900,000 more than his Democratic challenger, T.J. Cox. Valadao still lost, albeit by the slimmest of margins in a race that was resolved just this week."

Money certainly isn't everything but provides a remarkable advantage. Two things the Dem challengers had going for them was that none of them were incumbent legislators and could spend more time fundraising and campaigning. I don't know of many state lawmakers who could have done what the newcomers did, frequently over a two-year campaign, while not facing the accusation of neglecting their state legislative offices.

While there are plenty of good GOP fundraisers, candidates are usually deceived, as raising money as a Sacramento lawmaker is completely different from raising money for a House bid. Money can't be transferred from state committees or "legally laundered" from other state lawmakers, the limits are far lower, and corporations can't donate. These multi-million-dollar campaigns rely on vast amount of donors, frequently courted from a national base. We could see it coming, but the number is still a shock.

WILL HARRIS'S BIG CHALLENGE STICK? The Bee's team reports that the subject of a $400,000 harassment payout by the state was a close confidant of Senator Kamala Harris., though there's no evidence Harris had knowledge of thee allegations. It could be a point of criticism by others if she jumps into the presidential race, but she didn't have an affair with a porn star and pay her off to keep her quiet. That said, it could keep her out of the 2020 race, while not hurting her eventual career.

ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? Some have asked why Governor Jerry Brown hasn't called special elections in SD01 (Northeast) and SD33 (Long Beach). Senators Ted Gaines (R) and Ricardo Lara (D) aren't sworn in to their new offices, BOE1 and Insurance Commissioner respectively until January 7 and it is customary to continue serving constituents until then. Cynics would say that it's to stay on payroll since their won't be legislative activity until then. That said, they still have living expenses in SacTown and receive state-paid health benefits until then, like other state employees.

So, they'll file their resignation after being sworn in and Gavin Newsom will call the specials within 12 days. Technically, the governor calls the special general for 120 to 140 days from that date, although the special is seven Tuesdays prior to that. For geeks following campaign fundraising for would-be successors, you have to look at committees identified for 2020, as there is no official 2019 election until the specials are called.

GOV-ELECT: For the Times, Phil Willon reports on Governor-elect Gavin Newsom's visit yesterday to Fresno:

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom spent Friday in Fresno reassuring business, agricultural and labor leaders of his commitment to the Central Valley, and dropped a few hints that his first budget will set aside more money for young children and to address contaminated drinking water in the region.


"Newsom spent most of his time Friday focused on issues crucial to the Central Valley. He made no promises about the fate of the state’s high-speed rail system, but promised to conduct a detailed assessment of the management and cost of the project. But he praised the Central Valley-to-Silicon Valley leg of the rail line, saying it could prove to be a major economic benefit to both areas."

THE TALLY: Michael Finnegan and Ryan Menezes report that there are discussions about how to use better official terminology on vote count pages to explain why it takes so long to count the state's ballot. There are some cool charts in the article, including the vote shift by county from election day to the current count.

As I've written here before, there's a specific order to ensure that no voters cast more than one ballot. Each step must be concluded in order.

  1. Election Day results and vote-by-mail ballots received before election day (usually in election night returns)
  2. Vote-by-mail ballots received on Election Day or postmarked on Election Day and received within three business thereafter
  3. Provisional ballots
  4. Conditional registration ("same day") provisional ballots. In some counties, these ballots are moved to Step 3 after the registration is determined as valid.

It's not a technology issue and is quite laborious as election workers compare the signatures on the ballots not cast in person. Frequently, this requires the review of more than one worker because we don't know how to sign our names anymore. If it's determined not to be a match, a postcard is sent to the voter who submit an affidavit to correct it up to 2 days prior to the certification of the election by the county, which was yesterday. Ballots are not opened until there is a signature validation.

Basically, it's written in to law that the vote count may not be final until 2 days before the certification, and that may mean that the ballot may not be counted for up to the following two days.

I don't know what the solution on signature validation is, but it's worth noting that your credit card signature is meaningless these days. When we sign on that iPhone at farmers market, it's often something more resembling a straight line.

My grandmother has macular degeneration and my mom has signed her name for her for years. Even my mom's handwriting has changed. They are in Oregon, but this is a personal issue. Oregon does all-mail elections.

Unlike the North Carolina situation, the signature authorizing another person to deliver the ballot is on the outside of the envelope, presumably which has been sealed. While North Carolina admirably has "no excuse needed" vote-by-mail, it doesn't have permanent VBMs and requires a form to be filed with the county office of elections. This morning, the link to the county office of education list was resulting in a server can't be reached error.

BALLOT COST: For the Times, John Myers looks at what it will cost to qualify ballot measures for 2020, as the 2018 gubernatorial election was a significant increase (+5m) than ballots cast for governor in 2014.

CANNABIS: Yesterday the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) issued draft regulations that include statewide delivery, including in municipalities that have not issued the retail permits. The League of California Cities is opposed, as are the California Police Chiefs Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers. Additionally, many businesses that have gotten permits are opposed, as they fear competition from big players outside of their existing stores. The regulation package is to replace existing temporary regulations. The regulations draft is now with the state's Office of Administrative Law, whose job is to review whether BCC followed the state's administrative rulemaking procedure, not the substantive content of the regulations. 

ROBOCALLS: Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday announced that he was joining AGs from 39 other states for a crackdown on illegal robocalls, which frequently spoof local numbers. I don't about you, but I regularly get calls to my cell with the same 214- prefix as my number. The attorneys are currently reviewing legal options, although it's believed that many of the calls originate outside the United States.

FIRES: For Capitol Weekly, Scott Soriano looks at the ways President Trump could punish California financially over the state's wildfire preparation.

LA-LA LAND: As expected former Assembly Speaker and LA City Council president Herb Wesson has launched his campaign for Mark Ridley-Thomas's Board of Supervisors in 2020, when Ridley-Thomas is termed out. It sets Wesson up for a free ride for mayor in 2022, which could also include Kevin de León. Former councilwoman Jan Perry, who ran for mayor in 2013, may also run for the supe seat.

NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: Under new leadership, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has pulled the plug on the program of stops ostensibly to search drugs and other contraband on the 5 over the Grapevine that critics argued targeted Latino drivers. The LAT's Joel Rubin and Ben Poston report:

"The move comes amid accusations of racial profiling after a Times investigation in October found that 69% of drivers stopped by the team were Latino and that two-thirds of them had their vehicles searched — a rate far higher than motorists of other racial and ethnic groups. Cars belonging to all other drivers were searched less than half the time, according to the newspaper’s analysis of Sheriff’s Department data."


Responding to an inquiry from The Times, department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said Friday that sheriff’s officials were gathering data on the Domestic Highway Enforcement team’s activities and would evaluate whether to resume operations some time in the future. The decision to shut down the unit was made Nov. 16, before newly elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva was sworn in this week, she said."

Villanueva beat incumbent Jim McDonald largely on a campaign against the Sheriff's Department's immigration enforcement policies. 

MIGRANTS: Political consultant Dan Newman and two friends went to Tijuana to document the refugee crisis. "What they found was more than 6,000 migrants, including more than 1,000 children, living in the open-air Benito Juarez sports stadium, often referred to as a shelter."

WEEKEND EYE CANDY: Two great videos on the SacBee's site: waterfowl currently taking over the Sacramento Valley's rice fields during their winter migration and the beauty of Yosemite after the first now.


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: Equality California: legislative manageer
  • Job: NorCal Cannabis: Legislative and Regulatory Strategist to Public Policy Strategist
  • Job: Pruitt Consulting LLC: fundraising associate
  • 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 


Probolsky Research

Come to the Political Collectibles & Pop Culture Show and Sale in Sacramento on Sunday, December 9.

New button collectors, political junkies, armchair historians, and curiosity seekers will be flocking to Sacramento for the political memorabilia and pop culture collectibles show hosted by the Northern California American Political Items Collectors (APIC).
Look for CURTIS HALL at the Sierra 2 Center (2791 24th Street) in Sacramento
Buy, sell, and trade campaign buttons, political posters, advertising pinbacks, and other pop culture memorabilia.


Sunday, December 9
10 AM-2 PM

Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street, Curtis Hall, Sacramento

Admission: $3; children and students are admitted for free.

  • Hundreds of political buttons, badges, posters for sale
  • Great exhibits of vintage political campaign buttons.
  • FREE appraisals of your memorabilia
  • FREE admission to kids and students

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Tod Burnett, Elizabeth Huber, Hans JohnsonLance Lewis, John Lovell, Michael ShawGary Smith!



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

  • Pruitt Consulting LLC, seeks a part-time Fundraising Associate in Sacramento.
    Pruitt Consulting is a consulting firm that specializes in fundraising for Democratic members of the California State Legislature, Constitutional officers, nonprofits, and political action committees.The Political Fundraising Associate assists the Political Fundraising Director and Chief Executive Officers in identifying donors, planning and attending fundraising events, and other business operations. This position requires analyzing political contributions, improving fundraising database, and assisting in various office duties.
    Email your resume to Gabriel Castellanos Jr, or call at 916-400-4044.
  • Equality California, California's statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, is seeking a full-time Legislative Manager. The Legislative Manager will have the opportunity to spearhead Equality California’s legislative advocacy both substantively and administratively, as well as participate in electoral work for pro-LGBTQ candidates and community engagement throughout California. For more information and to apply, visit
  • CCST Expert Briefing on California’s Pathways to Carbon Neutrality: Monday, December 17th, Noon-1:00pm in Capitol Room 126. Join us for a briefing with experts from NASA Ames, DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “Pathways to Carbon Neutrality: Perspectives from California’s Federal Laboratories.” Panelists will discuss emissions monitoring, biomass, and soil carbon capture. To receive a to-go lunch box following the briefing, RSVP by Noon on December 14 to Puneet Bhullar at 
  • 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:
The legal battle that could undermine law at center of Mueller probe

A political consultant is challenging the decades-old federal law barring foreign involvement in U.S. elections.

Trump Claims 'no Collusion' After Court Filings Detail Campaign's Contacts With Russia - Politico

President Donald Trump began tweeting just after 7:30 a.m. Saturday, also swatting at President Emmanuel Macron of France. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Trump Will Nominate William Barr as Attorney General

William Barr, a skeptic of the Russia investigation, was attorney general in the first Bush administration. His nomination comes at a turbulent time for the president.

The Invisible Primary Becomes Visible - Politico

Attorney Michael Avenatti said earlier this week that he would not run in 2020, despite previously visiting key early states and chatting with advisers about a potential campaign. | POLITICO Illustration / Getty

Trump Calls Tillerson 'dumb As A Rock' And 'lazy As Hell' - Politico

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump had a rocky relationship from the beginning, culminating in the president abruptly firing the secretary of state via tweet. | Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

Congress will have to â

The comments from John Dean, who was convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal, come in the wake of court filings Friday that implicated President Trump in hush-money payments facilitated by his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Sen. Tim Scott tells fellow Republicans: Do better on judicial nominees
signing up you agree to our @

“We should stop bringing candidates with questionable track records on race before the full Senate for a vote,” Scott writes in response to Wall Street Journal editorial on Thomas A. Farr’s nomination to the federal bench.

Trump Blasts Tillerson as â

Former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said that President Trump regularly pressed for action that would violate the law. Mr. Trump fired back on Twitter.

The government implicates Trump and the Trump campaign in federal campaign finance violations

A new filing related to Michael Cohen demonstrates how it happened.

Michael Cohen Should Receive A 'substantial' Prison Sentence, Prosecutors Say - Politico

In a separate Friday filing from special counsel Robert Mueller, Michael Cohen was described as "credible" and having provided "useful" information to authorities. | Richard Drew/AP Photo

Man Who Drove Into Charlottesville Counterprotesters Is Convicted Of First-degree Murder - Politico

A memorial to Heather Heyer and the other victims of last year's hit and run is seen a few blocks away the first day of jury selection for James Fields's murder trial at the Charlottesville Circuit Court, November 26, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly will leave by year’s end, Trump tells reporters

At the South Lawn on Saturday, President Trump said he’ll announce Kelly’s replacement in the next day or so. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, has been the president’s top aide since late July 2017 and has had a rocky tenure. Trump has chafed at Kelly’s management style and resisted some of his moves […]

John Kelly, Trumpâ

The departure of John F. Kelly leaves the president with an ever-shrinking team of close advisers as he begins to navigate the new power structure on Capitol Hill.

Huawei executive skirted sanctions on Iran, court told

She faces multiple charges, each with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and so is a flight risk, a Canadian lawyer said.

Heather Nauertâ

President Trump said Ms. Nauert “has done a great job” at the State Department. But she would bring less experience in government or international affairs to her new job than almost anyone who has had it.

White House Memo: Eric Trump Weighs In on Kellyanne Conwayâ

The Trump family has tightened its embrace of Ms. Conway as her husband, George, a prominent conservative lawyer, has attacked the president.

Mueller says Manafort told â

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team informed a judge last week that they believed former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had breached a plea agreement by lying to them. Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud charges in federal court in Virginia in August and pleaded guilty in September to additional charges in […]


Heather Nauert, President Trump’s nominee to replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is the latest Fox News personality to catch the attention of the White House.

Federal prosecutors recommend â

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to tax evasion, making a false statement to a bank, and campaign finance violations, admitting that he helped buy the silence of two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump. Last month, Cohen added a guilty plea to one count of making a false statement to Congress, admitting that […]

Tillerson Calls Trump â

In an interview, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unloaded about his time serving in the Trump administration. President Trump fired back at Tillerson in a tweet, calling him “dumb as a rock.”

Trump stumps for wall funding, criminal justice overhaul. But the wall is what captivates him most.

One reason for the light focus on the criminal justice bill during Trump’s speech Friday could be that the legislation has split the law enforcement community.

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.

U.S. Will Charge Chinese Hackers With Widespread Attacks On Tech Service Providers - Politico

The charges are the latest example of a broad pressure campaign against Beijing over its theft of U.S. trade secrets. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

N.C. GOP candidate says he â

Mark Harris said in a video statement that he and his campaign are “cooperating fully” with investigators, a shift from last week, when he insisted voting irregularities could not have changed the outcome in N.C.’s 9th District.

Trump Announces Army Chief Mark Milley As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman - Politico

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo