Around The Capitol

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AroundTheCapitol Headlines | California Legislative Directory | Classifieds
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  • On SacTown Talks by The Nooner, Gibran and I sit down with GOP consultant Mike Madrid about the future of the Republican Party in California. Yes, I call him Mikey during the pod that goes back to community college days.
  • On Pod Save America, ther team talks about the confrontation Dianne Feinstein had on Friday with youth advocates who pushed the Senator to support the Green New Deal. Feinstein tweeted about the "spirited discussion" and her intention to introduce a resolution on climate change. Now she is getting pushback from activists who don't want a watered down mod Dem version competing with the Green New Deal. 
  • On a special sad bonus KQED Political Breakdown pod, Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos talk about the legacy of San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi, who died suddenly on Friday night at age 59. It includes a discussion last month with Adachi talking about his background and bail reform. He walked away from SB 10 at the end. His position was that he wanted to see the reforms in the bill but didn't think the system had enough safeguards for the accused yet.
  • On Thursday at 6:30 on KQED, Scott and Marisa will host South Bend mayor and Dem presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. He's 37, openly gay, a lieutenant in the Naval Reserves, and graduated from Harvard magna cum laude before getting a master's at Oxford. It'll also be a pod after the live recording.


  • Senator Kamala Harris sits down with The Root to talk reparations (sort of), decriminalization of sex work, and whether she thinks President Trump is a racist (she does).
  • Tomorrow, Newsom chief of staff Ann O'Leary will be speaking at a Public Policy Institute of California luncheon. You can register to watch the free webcast. The talk starts at noon.

COMING TO THE TEEVEE: On April 24 on ABC there will be a Queen documentary with more Adam Lambert as frontman, reports Rolling Stone.

Happy Tuesday! Busy morning in the Capitol. Assembly Labor and Employment had an informational hearing on "Dynamex and Beyond: Understanding the Legal and Policy: Landscape of Worker Classification in CA" this morning. Simultaneously, Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy had an informational hearing on "2019 Current and Emerging Issues." Not a good morning to be a lobbyist on the topics.

Lots of rain last night, nearing 2 inches through most of the region over the last 24 hours. Several streams are approaching flood stage. The news is also great at the Tahoe ski resorts, reports Bill Rozak in the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

"February has been a record-breaking month for some Lake Tahoe ski resorts.

“We broke our February snowfall record on Feb. 15,” Jaclyn Ream, Diamond Peak’s marketing coordinator said Thursday. “Our previous record was during the ‘Snowmageddon’ 2016-17 season.”

Diamond Peak’s previous record of 134 inches has been destroyed this year with the resort recording 172 inches as of Thursday morning. More snow was falling into the afternoon."

OAKTOWN: While talks have been reportedly progressing, Oakland teachers will be on strike today for fourth day. State schools superintendent Tony Thurmond, who previously represented the district in the Assembly, joined negotiations yesterday.

SD33 (Long Beach): Things are getting ugly in the March 26 special for Ricardo Lara's seat. Candidate Ali Saleh sent out a mailer with the Los Angeles County Democratic Party logo on it, which may appear like an endorsement. Party chair Mark Gonzalez sent out an email with a strong rebuke:

"The LA County Democratic Party has not endorsed in the upcoming special Senate 33 district election. Mr. Ali Saleh has NOT been endorsed by the LACDP and should NOT have included in any communication the image of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party's logo to imply endorsement. In 2011, to clarify he was one of 54 Men and Women "Democrats of the Year" that were honored by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party for their volunteerism."

SPEAKING OF LA-LA LAND: School board president Monica Garcia has jumped into the race for the 14th city council seat which Kevin de León is running for. Jose Huizar is termed out. While de León recently moved to the district, Monica's school board seat overlaps the council seat. That said, Garcia, who served as Huizar's chief of staff when he was on the school board, is part of the pro-charter school board majority so labor will be very active in the council race. Garcia is termed out next year. It's a March 4, 2020 election with a November general if no candidate exceeds 50%.

THE OTHER CAPITAL: In the LA Times, Phil Willon reports on Gavin's trip to Washington:

"Gov. Gavin Newsom’s only encounter with President Trump during a two-day trip to Washington this week for the National Governors Assn. convention amounted to a quick handshake and brief chat. Instead, the Democratic governor invested time with top administration officials, hoping to smooth tense relations with the White House that could obstruct federal assistance in addressing critical issues facing California.

Newsom’s closed-door meetings on Monday with acting U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency focused in great part on billions of dollars in promised federal disaster relief, funds being counted on following the state’s deadly 2018 wildfires."

Gavin tweeted a picture yesterday from the Speaker's balcony with Nancy.

CAGOP: For CALmatters, Ben Christopher looks at the weekend's election of Jessica Patterson as chair of the California Republican Party.

"That hissing emanating from Sacramento is the sound of the entire California Republican Party establishment breathing a sigh of relief.

At the party’s weekend convention, state GOP delegates selected Jessica Patterson, a millennial Latina with a lengthy resume as a behind-the-scenes party operator, as their new chair.

Depending on whom you ask, Patterson’s election offers a ray of hope for a struggling party, marks the continuation of a failed strategy, or is bound to make absolutely no difference for a party tethered to an unpopular president."


Both [Travis] Allen and [Steve] Frank argued that the party’s core problem was not its association with President Trump, whose approval numbers hover around one-third, but its failure to adequately fund voter registration efforts.

After winning, Patterson invited Allen and Frank to lead a newly created “voter registration task force.”

In the OC Register, Jeff Horseman asks exactly where Patterson plans to take the party.

"The former chief executive of California Trailblazers, which recruits and trains Republican candidates, Patterson takes over a state party that has slipped badly in recent years and took a particularly tough loss in the 2018 midterms. Republicans lost half of their 14 House seats from California in November and lost enough state Assembly and Senate seats to give Democrats supermajority status in Sacramento.

The GOP brand also has lost ground. With just 24 percent of voters in California now registering as Republicans, the party is No. 3 in the state, trailing Democrats and No Party Preference."

HARRIS 2020: Following up on her endorsement by Governor Newsom, Kamala is out with several other statewide endorsements for her presidential bid:

  • Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis
  • Secretary of State Alex Padilla
  • Treasurer Fiona Ma
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond
  • Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara

PRIVACY: The AP's Don Thompson reports on SB 561 (Jackson), which expands the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. The bill is sponsored by Attorney General Xavier Becerra and would expand civil actions available when consumer data is used misproperly by a business.

More and #CAKEDAY after the jump... 

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CHOO-CHOO: The New York Times asks whether if California can't make high-speed rail work, anything big be built in the United States?

LAW AND DISORDER: Jeremy B. White looks at the legisllative discussion on use of force by law enforcement. 

As the pendulum has swung toward criminal justice reform, the ACLU has found a sponsor and finds itself contending with a police-backed use-of-force bill that looks poised to split Democrats.


It is fundamentally a question of standards. The bill sponsored by the ACLU, CA AB392 (19R), would say peace officers can use lethal force only when necessary — meaning it is “objectively reasonable” to conclude that no alternative exists, which is more stringent than the current rule that officers must reasonably believe they’re at risk.

Officers whose “criminal negligence” led them to use force, including pursuit of the wrong suspect, would not be shielded under the bill by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). If enacted, the change could expose law enforcement to criminal or civil penalties and cost wayward officers their jobs.

“Our [current] law is very permissive when it comes to police use of deadly force — the police are able to kill people even when they don’t pose a threat and even when they have other options,” said Lizzie Buchen, a lobbyist for the ACLU’s California branches.

BIG BANG THEORY: For the AP, John Antcjak writes up a new study on California's volcanic threats. "Nearly 200,000 people live, work or pass through California’s volcanic hazard zones on a daily basis, researchers said Monday in a report broadly assessing what could be at risk from an eruption."

LA-LA LAND: Los Angeles is considering a 20-cent tax on Uber and Lyft rides, reports Laura J. Nelson in the Times.

"Transportation officials are considering a tax on Uber and Lyft rides in Los Angeles County, saying the Bay Area tech companies don’t pay their fair share to maintain public streets and exacerbate congestion in a traffic-choked region.

The ride-hailing fee is in the early stages of discussion at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, along with more than a dozen other strategies to manage congestion and fund transportation projects before the 2028 Olympic Games.

Metro’s board of directors are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve a study of the ride-hailing tax. The directors also will consider approving a study on congestion pricing, which would analyze the effects of converting more carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers on the number of miles they travel, or charging a fee for motorists to enter certain neighborhoods.

Once heralded as possible partners for transit agencies, Uber and Lyft have instead become fierce competition. A study of travel patterns in major U.S. cities last year found that 60% of customers would have gone by foot, bike or transit — or just stayed home — if the ride-hailing services had not been available."

SAC UNIFIED: For Capitol Weekly, Lisa Renner looks at the dire financial situation of the Sacramento City Unified School District:

"As the Sacramento City Unified School District faces a $35 million budget shortfall and a possible takeover by the state, the teachers’ union is pointing fingers of blame at district administration.

The Sacramento City Teachers Association wrote a lengthy letter earlier this month to newly elected state Superintendent Tony Thurmond asking for the California Department of Education to investigate potential misuse of public dollars and a potential conflict of interest involving Superintendent Jorge Aguilar."

SANDY EGGO: The San Diego City Council has given approval for Mayor Kevin Faulconer to begin discussions with other public agencies to establish a joint powers authority to serve residents currently served by San Diego Gas and Electric, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy. The goal would be to have the government-run community choice aggregator up-and-running by 2021. David Garrick reports in the SDUT:

A study commissioned by the city found in 2017 that community choice has the potential to deliver cheaper rates than SDG&E, while providing 50 percent renewable energy by 2023 and 80 percent green power by 2027.

San Diego’s legally binding climate action plan requires the city to operate with 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2035.

SDG&E currently offers about 43 percent renewable energy and under state law must get to 50 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045 – 10 years later than the city’s goal.

SDG&E would continue to operate the electrical grid but the JPA would source the electricity and serve the customers. There's a similar movement in San Francisco to cut electrical ties with PG&E, which would mean the PG&E headquarters would be served by the public agency. The move is opposed by the electrical workers who like negotiating with the now-bankrupt investor-owned utility and fear that a public contract wouldn't be as lucrative.

In San Diego, the Sierra Club and local IBEW have joined to call for a project labor and community benefits agreements for the new JPA.

ECOVOTE: The California League of Conservation Voters is out with its 2018 legislative scorecard on Governor Brown and legislators.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Allison Gallagher and Josh Richman!


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
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.
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.