Around The Capitol

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AroundTheCapitol Headlines | California Legislative Directory | Classifieds
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  • On the What a Week: On the SacTownTalks by The Nooner podcast, Gibran and I talk about Kamala Harris, the California-Trump war, the choo-choo, soda taxes, the criminal justice ballot measure and CCPOA contract, and much more. I listened to us last night and my thought was "who were those guys?" I think it's a pretty good chat for a listen. Thank you to Probolsky Research for the episode's sponsorship!

    Segments are vailable on the STT Facebook page if you, like me, have a short attention span. Great work by co-host Gibran Maciel!
  • On KQED's Political Breakdown pod, Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos chat with San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo. about housing, high-speed rail, and, of course, The Google. Sam is wearing a back brace after a bike accident, which is far more sexy than the one I wore for about a year after high-dose corticosteroids for my crappy lungs during my teen years. To this day without a brace, I blame my lack of dancing abilities on that brace when I was thirteen years old in a hospital in Denver. 
  • On the new California Sun podcast, the team sits down with amazing California historian Kevin Starr, who could be a Sofa Degree list himself. I haven't had my aural pleasure yet this morning, but can't wait to listen! 

Probolsky Research

Capitol at Night

Happy Friday! We made it! Happy bill introduction deadline day! Thanks for the feedback. I will add a list of the classified headlines midway through The Nooner and at the top of the web page. Good thoughts...thanks!

Before content, I want to be fair to everyone since I've sent out a targeted message. Anyone who has a March 1, 2020 Premium expiration date is being extended to April 1, 2020 since the California primary elect in March 4. It just seems cruel to cancel folks on March 1.

As noted above, the podcast space is getting a bit more crowded with the launch of the California Sun podcast. For those of us who love podcasts, it's great news. Whether you are listening in your car, while gardening, or during those walks to close the rings on you watch, you are likely in the same boat as me in running out of aural pleasure. Thank you for all the great feedback for the podcast Gibran and I dropped yesterday. We have great upcoming guests, and send us questions for the interview shows and topics we should cover for the What a Week episodes.

Thanks for all the great feedback about the new classifieds. They have been a popular feature that I acknowledge I have neglected for too long. 

OM-G-SPOT... As usual, I have Colbert on as I start writing before the sun comes up. Stephen is respondig to President Trump's tweet yesterday "I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on........."

Stephen goes on to say that POTUS is searching for the G spot and notes that there is no such thing as 6G yet.

Yo, POTUS, if and when you find it and tweet it, you're getting a lot of XY and queer XX voters.

The word on the street is that the OMG 6G-spot is going to need a much bigger font.

NEWSPAPER RANT: Of course, like many of you focused on statewide issues, I don't like the current status of the newspaper industry. I love papers and writers, but can't get a physical paper to arrive at my doorstep. That was true at my house in Davis that was on the street and even more so now in SacTown where I'm through an unlocked gate and through a courtyard. The nearest NYT is exactly one mile from me at Starbucks at 10th and L. I bought one there on Wednesday before a meeting.

I wrote the scripts on headlines in 2003, shortly after law school. At that time, we had a dozen or so major California newspapers covering state issues. The papers wanted clicks and I was happy to provide them. 

Fast forward to 2019 and we are in an era of paywalls. For those of us who pay, we're still inundated with ads and receive promotional emails that are redic. Some mornings (okay, today), even as a logged in paid subscriber, you see no content at the Sacramento Bee but only ads. It's like Thanksgiving, with the ad-filled pre-Black Friday paper wrapped in a big advertising plastic condom when the sun is shining outside. 

I don't mean to pick on The Bee as the Digital First Properties (OC Register, San Jose MercNews, LA Daily News, etc.) are worse, but the Bee is where my brain is on my first cup of coffee on a Viernes morning.

Let's make it simpler and just look at California's big McClatchy properties. To read stories regularly, here is what I'm looking at:

  • Sacramento Bee: $12.99 per month
  • Fresno Bee: $12.99 per month
  • Merced Sun-Star: $8.99 per month
  • Modesto Bee: $12.99 per month
  • San Luis Obispo Tribune: $12.99 per month

That is $60.95 per month to read largely the same content and that's just the "Bee" properties. I love to complain about the cost of cable/satellite content, but newspapers are far worse. In California, obviously I work with the McClatchy properties above, the Times properties (LA Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, etc.), and the absolute crap Digital First private equity publications that have many great reporters (MercNews, LA Daily News, OCR, Riverside PE, SB Sun, etc.).

In total, we are talking over $500 a month for about 15 minutes of our day. I love supporting local media. I work hard to link to stories by local reporters on stories in regions when possible. I write for 6 hours a day and write election analysis and code the rest of the day.

As most of you do, I complain when I see my cable bill each month. I would cut the cable, bit I like recording on my box and watching Kings games. Yes, I know there are alternatives, but you know that my mind is already in the demilitarized zone near exploding. Anyway, a handful of "newspapers" want to charge triple than what we pay for hundreds of teevee channels.

I've suggested it before to silent ears. If our papers want content, they need to create a uniform option. Lots of people will pay $9.99 a month for universal access to California papers. We're not going to subscribe to the Merced Sun-Star to read a once a quarter story about high-speed rail or water. We will try "incognito" browsing or clearing caches, but we don't feel good about it. For those of us who link, we don't want to link to paywall properties.

You all belong to an association--the California Newspaper Publishers Association. I'm sure Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong who is now the majority owner of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and many others can afford for a nice retreat among you in Carmel. Work out a statewide subscription model with a uniform login. Your tech folks are more than capable to implement it, but they need leadership. Meanwhile, I'm reading crap from the original source repurposed to other papers with a new headline across ownership groups. And, my bank account states that I'm paying for the same damn story several times.

I believe in papers and the reporters behind them. I bought a physical copy of the NYT on Wednesday for the first time in years, as the independent contractor delivery SacBee/NYT drivers can't find my place. They couldn't find my on-street address in Davis either and preferred the middle of the street or gutter to the driveway. 

Let's do this. Let's charge $12.99 per month for an individual user for access all of the major properties. You can still have advertising like I get on my teevee channels.

For now, I can't pay for the McClatchy properties, San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, "Digital First" including Orange County Register and MercNews, San Francisco Chronicle, and dozens more on an individual basis anymore. Beyond the cost, you have different password requirements and, while I save passwords, I'm on a new laptop and have to try all again.

I think I'm going to stop linking to stories behind a paywall until this crap is sorted out. It breaks my heart as I believe in great journalism and many of my friends now earn a living behing paywalls, but I don't want to be in the business of linking to stories that require incognito/cache-clearing/stealing before reading. 

There's a solution if the ownership groups put on their big boy pants. Newspaper ownership groups, evolve. Your new model is not working and I really don't want to see you in a museum of days gone by.

Until a solution is found, should I link to stories statewide that are behind a paywall? After all, I get up each morning for you.

2020 and #CAKEDAY after the jump... 


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KHANNA AND SANDERS: I'll admit that I voted for Bernie in 2016 because it was a message vote and didn't matter at the time from the standpoint of delegates in my congressional district in California. Yeah, I think too much. Yesterday, it was announced that California congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) was going to be a national co-chair for Bernie Sanders's 2020 campaign for president. 

I have nothing against Khanna. But, let's think about how he arrived in office in 2016. While he didn't specifically call liberal Democrat Mike Honda old, there was a clear social media campaign doing so. I worked with Honda in the State Assembly on education issues. The whisper campaign against Honda was huge including a video of him asleep on the floor.

Longtime California budget lobbyists including yours truly would have videos against them for sleeping in Room 4202 during those overnight sessions. That was also before these nose stick-ems were marketed to reduce snoring. Honda's crime was being in the C-SPAN shot that became part of the whisper campaign.

Japanese-Americans are often quiet by nature. This hurt them in an internment, which while has never been held unconstitutional, most legal scholars believe was acknowleged when Congress and President Reagan with reparations in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Honda, born in Walnut Grove south of Sacramento, was sent to internment in 1942 as a one-year-old to Camp Amache in Colorado. In 1953, his family returned to California to grow strawberries. Honda was part of the quintessential Japanese-American experience. Being soft-spoken is part of the culture, which a very diverse crowd at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento works to observe each week. I know I should talk less, and most of you likely agree that I should. For newbies, the "church" in Sacramento was founded in 1899 as a "temple" as the second locale of what would become the Buddhist Churches of America.

The name "church" replaced "temple" during internment because that's how Japanese-Americans rolled. They wanted to assimilate even amid their own internal inclinations and most regret that decision. Most, I believe, would rather say that they are going to "temple" as it has a different connotation. For many, "church" is where you go to learn a gospel, while "temple" is where you go to observe your inherent tenents. 

That is a very important distinction to understand. One of the Eightfold Path elements to find comfort in your human experience is "right communication/speech," which Mike Honda was a model. For the Buddhists in The Nooner reach out there, you know that element three in the Eightfold Path is how we find enlightenment in our path to the Noble Truths. I am not a religious man, but I will always strive to be better.

Political hacks saw being soft-spoken as a weakness for Honda, but it was really just an example of the California experience. Other Japanese-Americans with the internment tie like Congressmember Doris Matsui and former assemblymember Mariko Yamada are included in that experience personally or that of their parents.

Back to CA17 because that is what I am supposed to be talking about. Ro Khanna went against Honda in 2014 and prevailed in 2018. Khanna ran as a more moderate to union-backed Mike Honda. Khanna won in 2016. He's now endorsing Bernie Sanders, to the left of a Democratic field that leaves nothing desired for Democratic primary voters across issues and personas.

Rohit Khanna is the child of Punjabi immigrant parents, although they were well off and he received an outstanding education pedigree (UChicago/Yale) compared to Honda's SJSU BA. He has an impressive pedigree and will be safe in CA17 for a long time. Honda was a teacher in a district that creates entrepreneurs. I get that.

That said, I don't get why Khanna is getting under the covers with Bernie Sanders. There is a panoply of candidates within the Democratic field. There is no big movement in CA17 for Sanders that I know of. The absolute divorcing by Khanna with Honda's personal legacy is a shame.

Anyway, I don't endorse in elections because I work for you all. That said, with all things considered, the Ro Khanna role as a national co-chair for Bernie Sanders ia a negative to me, and I won't be casting a charity vote in 2020 for Sanders to send a message. He ran as an outsider newbie Californian in 2016 against a Californian with a big part of our history. From my reading list, you know that I take that ish history.

History matters as much as today.

I'm personally neutral on the presidential primary, but don't for a moment think that Khanna helps Sanders in this one-person household.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Ashley Johnson!


Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, with a headline, paragraph of up to 100 words, and what you'd like the end date to be.

The UC Office of the President is seeking a Legislative Director for Business Operations.
Primary responsibility for expertise, political strategy and lobbying in business and finance issues, operations, labor relations, non-collective bargaining employee issues, economic development, and energy and utilities. Key UC advocate in Sacramento, develops relationships with members and staff of the Legislature, executive branch, and external organizations on business operations, labor relations, and research matters. Job requires knowledge of UC, executive and legislative branches of California government and state higher education. Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of experience in legislative affairs in large academic/governmental organization preferred. Apply online at
The UC Office of the President is seeking a Legislative Director for Health Services and Sciences.
Primary responsibility for subject knowledge, political strategy and lobbying in health matters, including: hospital administration; patient care and staff issues; health professions education; and health-related research. Key UC advocate in Sacramento, develops relationships with members and staff of Legislature, executive branch, and external organizations on UC and UC Health. Job requires knowledge of UC, executive and legislative branches of California government, state higher education, and health sciences public policy. Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of experience in health-related legislative affairs preferred. Apply online at
The Attorney General's Office is seeking an Executive Speechwriter
with experience in researching a wide variety of public policy and legal issues, who will draft speeches, talking points and statements for the Attorney General. The Executive Speechwriter will also, write and edit press releases, op-eds and other departmental publications, as well as, advise the Attorney General and other Department of Justice staff on communications with the media and the public. The job can be viewed at the following:  LinkedIn and Indeed.
Sheehy Strategy Group -- Launches New Lobby Firm
Longtime capitol insider Tom Sheehy announces the launch of Sheehy Strategy Group. SSG specializes in legislative & regulatory lobbying & fiscal strategy pertaining to the state budget. Contact Tom Sheehy (916) 213-8998 or for more info or see
The Attorney General's Office is seeking an External Affairs Associate
with experience in community outreach and public relations, who will act as the representative for the Attorney General by attending events and meetings on his behalf. The External Affairs Associate will also, identify community and business partners and build lasting partnerships to promote the work and mission of the Attorney General's office. The job can be viewed here.

The job is in San Francisco and the final filing day is February 26th.
American Wild Horse Campaign
We are the leading wild horse advocacy in the US and are seeking a talented development/ communications professional to join our dynamic team! If you have at least 4-6 years experience in development / communications or as a political analyst, legislative assistant, public relations specialist, lobbying consultant, and/or journalist covering politics, public policy or legislative issues on at least a regional level and also have a passion for wild horses, animals, and/or environment - we’d love to chat with you.

Learn More & Apply:

SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles)
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 (San Francisco)
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
Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week:

Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing with a headline, paragraph of up to 100 words, and what you'd like the end date to be.