Around The Capitol

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  • SD33 (Long Beach): added Long Beach councilmember Lena Gonzalez (D) - with Lara's endorsement, 2019 special election to be called

Happy Friday! You made it! It's a nice chilly morning at the HQ, I have my holiday lights around on around my desk, and over the last couple of nights, I finally broke the bout of insomnia I had since the election. Yes, it involves reading and herbal tea before bed and not sleeping with devices. Who woulda thunk? ;-)

On the issue of the entering and exiting approval ratings of prior governors, let's just say that it's complicated. PPIC uses binary approve/disapprove, with  "don't know" as a third option. This is also generally used with most polls on the national level. However, old Field Polls generally used Excellent-Good-Fair-Poor-Very Poor.  In short, we won't get an easy comparison between Brown and those before Wilson.

That said, I am having a ball going through these old Field Polls. It's like time in the gov docs section of the UC Davis library when I transferred there. If Alex Vassar is our resident legislative historian, I was his wannabe apprentice. I ate that crap up. I also consumed plenty in "the stacks" of the UC Davis Law Library. Yeah, I spent plenty of time in libraries in undergrad and law school, mostly doing NYT crosswords and reading material that had little to do with my current coursework.

For example, the July 1960 Field Poll asked whether alcohol sales should be banned on Election Day. 79.8% said yes, it should be banned. Of course it wasn't. That explains a offense to my California friends. I'm talking about Paul Tsongas '92. He was robbed by drunkenness!

Mexíco does have such a ban, except in certain zonas turísticas.

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES: I wrote about this before and the reality is setting in.

On Wednesday from the Nooner branch office at Chicory, I saw several new staffers carrying their boxes across L Street to move into their new offices. Of course, in many case, that means someone has exited the building with such a box. Yes, it appears around 60-80 Republican legislative staff to members between Capitol and district offices also lost on Election Day (or, to make it even more painful, Election Month). And, it's not like other new GOP members are around to accept résumés.

But the bloodshed doesn't end there. In the Bee, Bryan Anderson reports that the Republican Caucus has eliminated 19 positions as well. The caucus's budget is tied to a percentage of seats held, which also determines the share of committee seats. Many of these positions are more senior career folks that aren't tied to a particular member and not necessarily to make the jump "across the street."

Anderson writes:

"Assembly GOP leadership determined who got laid off, [Assembly Republican caucus spokesman Jim] Stanley said. Among the losses were a few responsible for minority outreach and social media management."

“The cuts were spread across the caucus,” he added. “There were some in our policy shop, some in member services, some in communications. It was a decision made by leadership. It was a very hard decision.”

Republican consultant Mike Madrid called the cuts “demoralizing” and said the state’s Republican Party is “not really relevant.” He said he spoke with about 15 people working in the Capitol who have recently faced struggles, either personally or professionally.

“The morale piece is the most personally heartbreaking piece,” Madrid said. “A lot of people want to give back through public service, and these options have become increasingly eliminated.”

Stanley said the cuts do not reflect job performance.

“Nobody on either side of the aisle wanted to do this,” Stanley said. “This is not the Democrats spiking the football. This is just an unfortunate reality. It’s not a reflection on the people that we lost.”

Joining this large number of out-of-work GOP legislative staffers are the staff laid off by the California Democratic Party earlier this week. The good news is that the job market is very good. There are some new positions below in the classifieds, and I know the Morning Report has some as well. Trust me, we all have setbacks and life does not go as planned. Nooner thoughts are with each and every one of you.

ANOTHER DEPARTURE: Supreme Court of California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has left the Republican Party, re-registering as No Party Preference, reports Dan Morain for CALmatters. 

"In a phone interview with CALmatters, Cantil-Sakauye—who was a prosecutor before becoming a judge 28 years ago and California Supreme Court chief justice in 2011—said she made the final decision to change her registration after watching the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“You can draw your own conclusions,” she said."

POLL POSITION: I'll be at a lunch briefing today on PPIC's statewide poll, and not just for a free salad and cookie. I have lots of take-aways from the poll, but I always like to hear the expert take. Meanwhile, let's look at some more numbers.

As with yesterday, you should be able to click on the images to see them larger. Here are all the charts I have done on the poll thus far.

This series of issues follow the introduction "Next, there are several policy choices that the governor and legislature could make in the next few years. Each of them would require a significant amount of new state funding."

High-speed rail: Even though the state is in a much better financial position than it was when voters approved $9.95 billion in general obligation bond funds to commence construction on a high-speed rail system, the mood has soured on the project particularly among likely voters. Of course, it's important to remember the measure championed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger won with only 52.7% of the vote--it was never overwhelmingly popular.

High speed rail voter preferences 

The numbers among likely voters are ugly across all regions. Oddly, it is least popular in the Central Valley, even though it was largely championed by civic and business leaders here/there as providing a better connection to the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Areas. 

The Central Valley, which in PPIC's definition stretches from Shasta to Kern County, has some of the state's deepest poverty and highest unemployment rates. It has major needs, from education to health care to water that, when put in the context of priorities, ferry much more weight.

The Central Valley also just happens to be the only place you'll currently see actual construction on the project.

In fairness to the project and backers, this is in context of a question about what do prioritize with state budget funds. While the first $9.95 billion approved ($9 billion for the high-speed project) were general obligation bonds with 30-year debt service paid from the General Fund, the remaining funds were expected from a variety of other sources including federal funds and a portion of the state's "cap-and-trade" revenues. After operations begin, the law provides that it is not to have a public subsidy. For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes up the State Auditor's November report on the project's status, which does not look good.  

High speed rail by regions

Wildfire prevention and utility liability may be the most pressing issue in the next legislative session, but this is a big ugly mess on the desk of Governor-elect Newsom--or will he just treat it at arm's length? After all, it's an authority created by the people at the urging of a previous governor.

Tuition-free Community College

Tuition and fee increases have never been popular among voters, although now the concept of "tuition-free" community college is being put on the table and it is highly popular. Of course, it's not completely on the table for all students. The proposal is for the first two-years for students who complete the federal FAFSA or state DREAM Act financial aid application. The reality is if both of those criteria are met, something like 90% of those will qualify for free student enrollment fees under existing law. Thus, the price tag is likely under $50 million of a $6.2 billion state spending (including local property taxes) on community colleges.

So small cost out of what will already be going to community colleges under Proposition 98, so no pain to other parts of the budget. Budget dust. It's an easily political win that's very popular and will give the community colleges something to market on an incent students to attend full-time.

Tuition-free community college


Universal health coverage

Both all adults and likely voters would like state policymakers address universal health care coverage. Of course, that's just a top-line question and not about specifics. Between private insurance, Covered California (exchange under the Affordable Care Act), and Medi-Cal, California does pretty well in availability of coverage.

The major policy issue on the table is whether to extend Medi-Cal to otherwise eligible individuals who can't be served because of their immigration status. Children are already covered under Healthy Families. Let's just say the below results would be different if that was specified in the question. 

Universal health coverage

The poll was in the field the week following the election and the two biggest issues in the seven House seats that flipped from Republican to Democrat were the cap on the state and local tax deduction included in the tax bill and threats to health coverage, particularly that of pre-existing and contraceptive care. So, let's look at a couple of more charts on the heath care question.


By party . . . 

Universal health coverage - by party

By gender . . .

Universal health coverage by gender

By ethnicity...

Universal health coverage by race/ethnicity

While this is a question about state priorities, most voters don't differentiate between state and federal on Election Day. Looking at these charts, anything but universal health care was an absolutely lethal issue for GOP members in swing districts (with a broad definition) on 11/6/18. Yes, they each voted to repeal "ObamaCare" and separately restore the pre-existing coverage mandate, but we know how that plays.

Finally, one more chart and then I need to hop in the shower to not offend anyone at the PPIC briefing. More on the poll tomorrow! 

Universal preschool

Universal preschool is a top priority of Governor-elect Newsom and many legislators. They also have the support of voters and, most importantly, money to do so. Lots of lawmakers have visions of programmatic sugar plums dancing in their heads, but expect this one to be delivered down the chimney in 2019. 






PPIC Universal preschool


PG&E needs some Benjamins and #CAKEDAY after jumping through the snow...

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 manager
  • Job: NorCal Cannabis: Legislative and Regulatory Strategist to Public Policy Strategist
  • Job: Pruitt Consulting LLC: fundraising associate
  • 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: February 7-8, April 4-5
  • Training: PDI (Political Data Inc.): weekly online trainings of various skill levels 


PG&E $$$: Pacific Gas & Electric asked the Public Utilities Commission for a $1.1 billion rate increase yesterday, reports Dale Kasler in the Bee. "The embattled utility, under investigation for its possible role in the Camp Fire last month, told the Public Utilities Commission that the rate hike would increase household electric bills an average of $8.73 a month. Natural gas customers would pay an additional $1.84 a month if the PUC approves the increase."

Kasler continues:

"In a statement posted on its website, PG&E said none of the dollars from the proposed rate hike would cover “potential claims resulting from the devastating 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires.” In September Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, SB 901, that could allow PG&E to bill customers for some of its wildfire liabilities, depending on the company’s financial state. That protection, however, only applies to the 2017 fires.

The $1.1 billion in higher rates would begin in 2020, if approved by the PUC."

That means that PG&E will likely still come back to the PUC and ask for a rate hike to securitize borrowing for liability arising out of the 2017 fires. The company's lobbyists and allies, particularly in labor, are already back in the Capitol asking to extend SB 901 to include the 2018 fires. They weren't included in SB 901 because the book hadn't closed on the year yet. It will by the time the Legislature returns January 7. The stock of parent company PCG is down 45% since the Camp Fire broke out in November, a loss of about $12 billion in market cap.

Literally as I typed that previous graf, there was a law firm ad recruiting people who might have claims against PG&E on the teevee.

PG&E spent over $8.6 million lobbying the Legislature and PUC in the first six months of the year and its unions spent large amounts in this years elections, particularly on the Democratic side. 

The folks I talk say they have no idea how this conversation will play out this year. While the stock market would like a quick solution, that is unlikely to happen. The issue smells like I-5 near Coalinga. 

SB 901 was approved on the final day of session under immense political pressure. I'm not necessarily suggesting causation from the $1 million given to the California Democratic Party two weeks before the election from the largest union of electrical workers whose members, but it's on the chalkboard. (Kids, think dry erase boards with clouds of dust and professors with white powder, no not that kind, all over them. King Hall alums, I'm talking Tom Joo in Contracts.)



Probolsky Research



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Alex Hilke and Patrick McCallum!



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

  • SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Fresno, CA)
    The Political/Community Regional Organizer is responsible for a broad range of program objectives to build and strengthen our infrastructure and engage our members to be a powerful force at their worksites, in the legislative process, in the community and at the ballot box. Proven track record is a must. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at
  • SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Phoenix, AZ)
    This position is a 6-month assignment to start and is responsible for a broad range of program objectives to build and strengthen our infrastructure, engage our members and workers to be a powerful force at their worksites while participating in the legislative process, in the community and at the ballot box. Proven track record and experience with Arizona politics/legislation is a must. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at
  • Class A Office Space Available on L Street, across from Capitol.  One well-furnished executive office & assistant station.  Great views of Capitol.  Use of in-suite 10-person conference room, kitchen, closet, & color printer/copier.  $1,250/mo.  Contact Michael Daft @ 916.448.3075 or
  • 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. Book now for February 7-8 or April 4-5 dates (December 13-14 are sold out). 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
  • 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:
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For Arizona governor, McSallyâ
signing up you agree to our @

Gov. Doug Ducey has made no firm decision as he awaits word from appointed Sen. Jon Kyl, but the McSally campaign’s post-election memo undercut her standing.

Trump Claims He's In 'no Hurry' To Reach North Korea Nukes Deal - Politico

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Trump Crows As China Buys Another 300k Tons Of U.S. Soybeans - Politico

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