Around The Capitol

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Happy Saturday! The federal shutdown continues and nobody is in Washington. Well, nobody except the President and First Lady, who will not be attending the famous New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago. This shutdown is nothing like on TV. Meanwhile, the ish really hits the fan on January 2, when the Smithsonian says it'll run out of funds and close it's musums and the National Zoo. Not to worry, you can still watch Bei Bei play in the snow. They may not know how to reproduce, but they sure can play.

Meanwhile, President Trump threatened yesterday via tweet to close the entire southern border if Democrats don't fund the wall. That would be a huge blow to the California economy, affecting the largest border crossing in the world at San Ysidro, and the smaller yet still economically significant crossing in Calexico. Deeply hurt would be the San Diego economy, which relies on international traffic for people employed yet reside on both sides of the border.

The other issue is promised market adjustment payments from the trade war with China, which have a January 15 application deadline. The applications are processed by regional farm service agency (FSA) offices, which are shuttered.

The hardest hit would be the Midwest for corn, soybeans, and wheat. I have a childhood friend who works as a director of an IRS taxpayer assistance office whose husband works for an FSA office in South Dakota, where those crops are huge. Both are furloughed.

For California, the effect is primarily on farmers who grow tree nuts including almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. However, wine exports to China are also significant and subject to the retaliatory tariffs. And, it's not like it's easy to replace an orchard of tree nuts or vineyards for an alternative crop.

To make things more complicated, there are many reports of 15,000 Guatemalan refugees heading north, although there are also conflicting reports of destinations being either Chiapas, MX or the U.S.

CADEM: Orange County attorney Lenore Albert has announced that she is a candidate for chair of the California Democratic Party. Also in the running is Kimberly Ellis, former executive director of Emerge California, who narrowly lost in 2017 to Eric Bauman in a highly contentious race. Albert ran in 2017 but was eclipsed by Ellis for the "Berniecrat" wing and received only a handful of votes. I hear that another major candidate is expected to emerge in the next few days.

PG&E: Could Pacific Gas & Electric be liable for murder or manslaughter in the wildfires over the last couple of years? Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in a court filing related to the 2010 San Bruno natural gas explosion thinks so, reports Dale Kasler in the Bee. The filing is only advisory as criminal prosecutions would need to be by local district attorneys.

The issue would come down to the mental state of the company's board and executives and level of knowledge of alleged negligence.

TRANSITION: Treasurer-elect Fiona Ma sits down with Bloomberg to discuss priorities including accountability for bond sales, local government financial stability, housing, and marijuana sales banking. As Treasurer, Ma now becomes a member of the CalPERS board of administration. While the state is in relatively good shape on pension contributions, most local governments are not. It will be interesting to watch Ma's response to this challenge facing local governments. Even with CalPERS's optimistic actuarial valuations, locals are in bad shape and that's without discussing unfunded retiree health liabilities. 

It gets ugly as somebody has to pay for it. Whether it's increased employer or employee contributions, it's essentially the same pot and solutions are problematic for labor. Labor hopes that split roll property tax could bring in needed revenues for locals, but that's a 50-50 bet at best. And, even if it passes, current employees may be asked to give up on increased compensation to pay for the costs of benefits for folks who are already retired, or young workers will be asked to give more or forfeit their wage increases for the benefit those soon retiring.

I don't envy the position my friend Fiona is in. Treasurer John Chiang has walked a careful line, but that also didn't help him much in his gubernatorial campaign. The same is true for fellow candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, who found himself estranged by longtime backers over several issues, including how he handled tightening the Los Angeles Budget.

And, of course, Gavin is now in the driver's seat and if you think high-speed rail is the most challenging issue, local government finance may actually be. The only question just might be when.

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)
  • Job: Aaron Reed and Associates: Administrative Assistant
  • Job: Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation: full-time program manager (Los Angeles)
  • Job: California Hospital Association: 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: SEIU-UHW: Regional Political Organizer (Fresno)
  • Job: SEIU-UHW: Regional Political Organizer (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Job: The University of California Office of the President: Associate Director of Strategy, Planning & Operations in its (Sacramento). 
  • Office Space: Class A Office Space Available on L Street, across from Capitol
  • 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 

2020: The NYT's Alex Burns tweets on the warm-up for the 2020 presidential trail:

  • @KamalaHarris eyeing Baltimore/Atlanta HQ
  • She & @SenWarren have done serious self-oppo projects
  • @CoryBooker close to tapping Iowa chief
  • All 3 + @SenGillibrand have nearly picked managers

Here's his full article with Lisa Lerer.

LET THERE BE LIGHT: The LAT's education reporter Teresa Watanabe gets a Q&A with UC Merced chancellor Dorothy Leland about the growing campus.

The experience in Merced will certainly be a matter of discussion in the Legislature this session with significant calls for the addition of a California State University in Stockton, backed by a proposed UC and CSU bond in a bill by Assemblymembers Eggman (D-Stockton), Grayson (D-Concord), and Weber (D-San Diego). Each of them are looking for full-service CSUs in their district.

LA-LA LAND: Cindy Chang reports in the Times that crime has gone down in the City of Angels for the first time in five years.

Probolsky Research




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

  • Aaron Reed and Associates: Administrative Assistant
    Experience working in governmental affairs office, working knowledge of the legislative process, calendaring, arranging travel, proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word, outstanding communication skills. Salary BOE. Please send your resume to Joelle (1/15)a

  • Voices for Progress (V4P) -- Advocacy Assistant (Santa Monica, CA)
    V4P is looking for a passionate individual with an interest in progressive advocacy and public policy to join the V4P team in Santa Monica. V4P is a community of hundreds of business owners, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and other prominent leaders who are dedicated to advocating to protect our climate; ensure equality and expand opportunity; and strengthen representative democracy. This full time position will work to engage V4P members in advocacy with CA state and federal elected officials and assist in enlisting new members and raising needed funds. More details/can apply here.

  • 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 12/31/2018.

  • 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
  • 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.

    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:
Four Key Senators Shift 2020 Presidential Planning Into High Gear

Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand are finalizing the outlines of presidential bids that may start within weeks.

House Republicans Close Their Investigation Into 2016 Candidates' Probes - Politico

Two senior House Republicans on Friday said they are closing their investigation into the FBI's handling of its probes into both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, issuing few new revelations but urging the continuation of their work when Democrats take the majority in January.

Politico Playbook: Did Trump Blow The Shutdown? - Politico

Some of President Donald Trump's closest allies on Capitol Hill and in D.C. are wondering why he didn't instruct GOP leadership to keep Congress in town until they secured a government funding deal. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Returns To 'presidential Harassment' Claim Amid Shutdown Stalemate - Politico

President Donald Trump also appeared to seek to calm financial markets in a tweet Saturday. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Trump retreats from public view as government shutdown continues over border wall fight

The president has relied on his Twitter account to blame Democrats for the closure and cast illegal immigration as a threat to the country.

Liberal Groups Push Dem Leaders To Take Harder Line In Shutdown Talks - Politico

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi have held firm on their bid not to give any new money to the president beyond current funding levels. | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images


Hs approach stands in stark contrast to the historical behavior of modern presidents, who moved at least briefly toward the political center after being humbled at the ballot box.

Big Moments From President Trump's 2018 - Politico

A Week Into Government Shutdown, Ire Turns to Fear for Federal Workers

Government workers at first thought they were looking at the kind of ho-hum political brinkmanship they’ve become used to. Things look a lot more worrisome now.

Building Political Power, With Michelle Obama and Stacey Abrams as Models

Sit down with black women in Atlanta as the year ends, and two names dominate political conversations: Mrs. Obama and Ms. Abrams, and what they revealed in 2018 about how power is gained and thwarted.

Hoyer says House will not seat a North Carolina Republican amid questions about integrity of election

The statement came after North Carolina dissolved its elections board Friday without certifying the results of the election, leaving the fate of the seat in doubt days ahead of the start of the new Congress.

Interactions Between White House And Press That Defined 2018 - Politico

President Donald Trump kicked off his presidency by referring to many in the news media as the "enemy of the American people," and things didn't get any better between the White House and its press corps in 2018.

Government to furloughed workers: Ask landlords about doing chores to cover rent

The suggestion, which specifies carpentry and painting, was included in a sample letter to workers provided by the Office of Personnel Management.

McConnell at center of shutdown impasse â
signing up you agree to our @

The sidelines is an unusual place to find the Senate leader and veteran dealmaker with Washington in the throes of a budget breakdown — one he may have difficulty resolving next week with his Republicans fearful of crossing Trump.

Departing House Republicans Try to Keep Investigation Into F.B.I. Alive

The chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees urged Senate Republicans to pick up their inquiry into the F.B.I.’s investigations of the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s emails.

David M. Oâ

His legal knowledge was extensive, but he never lost sight of the role played by politics in shaping the court’s decisions and, ultimately, the law.

John Culver, Liberal Congressman From Iowa, Is Dead at 86

Mr. Culver, who served five terms in the House and one in the Senate, won praise across the political spectrum for his independence.

Mueller Appears To Respond Early In Subpoena Fight At Supreme Court - Politico

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump orders pay freeze for federal workers

Congress still could vote in favor of providing a raise, but it would take effect only if Trump approves it.

Deciphering the Patterns in Trumpâ

We review how President Trump bent the truth this year by repeating and inflating falsehoods, shifting his statements, embellishing or omitting details, and offering misleading attacks.

Trump is staying in Washington during the shutdown. Where are the congressional leaders?

Congressional leaders gave up on funding the government this year and left town.

Barack Obamaâ

The former president shared the works he found particularly thought-provoking or inspiring this year in a lengthy Facebook post.

Politico Magazineâ

Here are 18 of our biggest stories of the year.

Fema Revives Flood Insurance Sales After Backlash - Politico

FEMA Administrator Brock Long, left, listens as Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation Roy Wright speaks about flood insurance after Hurricane Harvey. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

2018: A very Wuerker year

A look back at 2018's political cartoons from the desk of Matt Wuerker.