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  • Added second pre-election campaign finance reports for SD01/SD33 specials


  • CONTROLLER (Statewide): added attorney Tom Hallinan (D)
  • CA45 (Irvine): added Laguna Hills Councilmember Don Sedgwick (R)

    • Gimme Shelter Podcast, CALmatters Matt Levin and the LAT's Liam Dillon sit down with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to talk about how became a YIMBY (yes, in my backyard).
    • KQED's Political Breakdown, Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos sit down with Governor Newsom's chief of staff Ann O'Leary.
    • California Sun Podcast, Jeff Schechtman interviews historian Mike Davis, who many of us read in undergrad with his great books City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear.

    Nooner MugHappy Friday! You made it, but beware of the Ides of March. As I start delivering mugs (slowly, it will take weeks), know that they are union printed by Alliance Graphics in Berkeley. I just didn't include their bug in my art since I did the art before choosing a vendor. For those for whom it matters, you can print it from their website and tape it on.

    Yes, I did choose a dark inside because I'm guessing many of your white mugs look like mine, particularly those of you in the Capitol with a sink down the hall. ;-) There are only 144 (right now) as they are not cheap since I bought local and union, so I'm trying to get them to Nooner Premium first, but even that I can't do with the current supply. Maybe your co-worker will share a kiss with you. The chocolate kind.

    For those in the Capitol who handle gift reporting, the total cost including chocolate is $8, so we're well under the $50 reporting requirement.

    First the tweet of the year, in response to a meme where people are sharing their pathways to their current jobs following the shameful behavior of the wealthy buying access to "premier" institutions.

    Lots of members of the broader Capitol community have also shared their stories, including former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who tweeted "Santa Monica College. I went to learn English and a counselor convinced me to take math and business classes. That counselor is one of many reasons I don’t call myself self-made." Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo tweeted "Proud @EastLACollege Huskie! 🐺 Now serving #AD51 in the State Assembly." CA50 candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar weighed in with "I went to Southwestern Community College, I took what I learned there and worked at the White House, started a business, and now I’m running for the United States Congress." There are so many that I don't have time to curate them all. Truly heartwarming.

    For Nooner newbies, I am a high-school dropout who went to Orange Coast College, before transferring to UC Davis for my BA and then on to UC Davis Law. I spent twenty years as a community college advocate, from intern to President/CEO. Thank you, community colleges.

    DEATH PENALTY: In the LA Times, John Myers writes that Gavin Newsom didn't try to win over hearts and minds immediately with his announcement of the death penalty moratorium on Wednesday, but the effort is just beginning.

    Newsom will be hitting the Sunday shows, although lineups haven't been announced yet. Obviously, with yesterday's massacre at mosques in New Zealand, things are in flux. Politico's Carla Marinucci reports:

    "The Democratic governor will make his case Friday to a national audience on “CBS Morning News” and then sit down with the women of “The View." Over the weekend, Newsom will hit national radio and cable shows and may also appear on the Sunday news show circuit before returning home Monday, his office said."

    There's lots of debate as to whether Newsom and legislative leaders actually wants to see the death penalty constitutional "protection" on the ballot for removal from the California Constitution in 2020 as proposed in ACA12 (Levine).

    If so, there's a debate of whether March or November. While initiative measures are only on November ballots now, the Legislature retained its right to place measures on primary ballots. It only has to be done 131 days in advance of the election, which is October 24. That's well after the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on September 13, so that's not a problem.

    But, would Kamala Harris want it on the ballot that she is seeking a cache of California delegates in the Democratic primary? Does it help, hurt, or is it neutral. Kamala stated on Wednesday support for Gavin's action, saying that she has been against the death penalty throughout her career. However, critics have already argued that she was passive in her DA and AG roles when the penalty was sought.

    A repeal vote in November could draw out Democrats for the presidential election. However, there are 15 state legislative districts on the ballot considered at least somewhat competitive. I looked at the vote in these districts in November 2016 on Proposition 62, which would have repealed the death penalty. The average of the 15 was NO+21.16. 

    Before a measure gets to the ballot, it needs a two-thirds vote in both houses. Of these 15 districts, 7 have an incumbent Democrat running--AD16, AD38, AD60, AD65, AD74, AD76, and AD77. They average Prop. 62 NO+17.1.

    There are 7 GOP seats that Democrats have their eyes on for possible pick-up: SD21, SD29, SD37, AD36, AD55, AD68, and AD72. They average Prop. 62 NO+24.1.

    The last one is SD05 (San Joaquin), which was Prop. 62 NO+29.6, the second largest "no" percentage of the fifteen districts. 

    In SD05, Cathleen Galgiani is termed out. Assemblymember Susan Talamentes Eggman has filed intent for both re-election to AD13 and for SD05. She also has signed on as a coauthor to ACA 12, the repeal proposal. I've been told that she is "definitely" in for SD05, but now I have my doubts. AD13 was NO+18.4 on Prop. 62. That's a big difference from the vote in SD05, which includes more conservative parts of Sacramento and Stanislaus counties. 

    Two-thirds vote in the Senate is 27 and in the Assembly is 54. The Senate will have 29 Democrats after the March 26/June 4 specials, and the Assembly currently has 60 Democrats with Joaquin Arambula on a leave of absence.

    Thus, 2 "passes" can be given in the Senate and 6 can be given in the Assembly. Legislative leaders have personal agendas, but the first-and-foremost role is protection of the members of their caucus. Fortunately for Democrats, the 2020 State Senate landscape is even better than 2018. Fourteen of the 20 seats up are currently held by Democrats, and SD05 is the only remotely competitive district, and that's only if something really goes wrong. The other two open seats are SD13 (San Mateo) and SD15 (San José), which are safe. One might look at SD31 (Riverside) where Richard Roth is up for re-election, but Riverside has been trending Democrat through the decade.

    Democrats are looking for pick-ups in SD21, SD29, and SD37. They average Prop. 62 NO+24.5.

    Democrat Tom Umberg, who won the most narrow pick-up in 2018 against Janet Nguyen (R), has already come out against Newsom's moratorium. That means that only one more Democrat in the Senate can be given a pass, putting newly elected Democrats Anna Caballero (SD12) and Melissa Hurtado (SD14) on the spot. Neither are up until after redistricting in 2022, but they can be tough mid-term districts and Caballero is carrying the police organizations' water on the fight over use-of-force with her SB 230.

    In the Assembly, though, everybody is up for re-election. That includes the pick-ups in AD16, AD38, AD74, and AD76, as well as the recent party change to the Democrats by north San Diego's Brian Maienschein in AD77. Of these, AD16 actually had the lowest "no" on Prop. 62 share of the vote in 2016 at NO+3.2, reflecting the Bay Area fiscally moderate but socially liberal district make-up. The remainders are perennial battlegrounds like AD60 and AD65. Taking out AD16 as an outlier, the remaining average Prop. 62 NO+19.4.

    The pick-up hopes for Democrats are AD36, AD55, AD68, and AD72. They average Prop. 62 NO+23.75.

    In short, this is the analysis that's being done in leadership offices and their outside political consultants. Nobody knows how a "I voted for it to give the voters a choice, which doesn't change the sentencing laws in statute" will go over with voters. It sounds too much like "I voted for it before I voted against it," or was it vice-versa? I don't remember, but that doesn't matter in politics.

    Polling had showed falling support for the death penalty nationally among adults, although it ticked up in 2018, according to the Pew Research Center. Last year's poll found support for the death penalty at 54% (+15), down from 78% (+60), but has it fallen enough?

    Add in to the mix that November 2020 already has two criminal justice proposals--a referendum to overturn the SB 10 elimination of money bail and an initiative to undo many of the Proposition 47 criminal justice reforms that reduced sentences. Both are already major items of discussion this year as Democrats would love to get them off the ballot and now we have a debate over whether to try to take the death penalty out of the state's Constitution.

    Strategically, there is no rush. Newsom has provided reprieve to the 737 who are currently on death row and likely will continue to do so with any new sentences. No governor has lost re-election in California since Culbert Olson in 1942. Yes, Gray Davis won re-election in 2002 and was only recalled after in 2003. Before Olson, Frank Merriam also lost re-election in 1938 after his first term, but he was never elected governor. He was lieutenant governor when James Rolph died. 

    In short, Gavin is the clear favorite to win re-election in 2022, so critics of a death penalty vote in 2020 argue that wait for that polling trend to get a little bit better and don't risk the Democratic supermajorities next year.

    Altogether, a calculated decision will be made whether ACA 12 ever sees floor votes, but if so, it would be the most politically difficult even if personally desirable for seven Assembly Democrats in particular.

    Oh, that number seven brings something else to mind. It's not just a state legislative issue, but Nancy Pelosi likely has thoughts on the matter to ensure she keeps the seven Democrats that flipped GOP seats last year. She is expected to retire in 2021 and wants to do so as Speaker of the House and does not want to hand the gavel to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). A devout Catholic, she likely would be happy chairing the fundraising effort for the death penalty repeal after she retires.

    Joel Fox also writes on this issue today. He concludes:

    "Then again, the first voters Levine and his Democratic co-authors of ACA 12 have to persuade is their fellow Democrats in the legislature to put it on the ballot. Political reality and voters’ repeated preference to keep the death penalty may be too big an obstacle to secure the necessary legislative votes."

    The above took a lot of work last night beyond just summarizing news stories. I wanted to share it with all of you instead of putting it behind the paywall. If you like this kind of work, I hope you'll become a Nooner Premium subscriber or advertiser.

    DROUGHT: California is drought-free for the first time since December 2011, reports the National Drought Monitor Center!

    THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH: Democratic lawmakers yesterday announced a package of bills to stem the increasing rents that are pricing out many residents in parts of the state, reports Kathleen Ronayne for AP. This follows last year's trouncing of Proposition 10, a rent control measure sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its polarizing executive director Michael Weinstein. The foundation, which is more entrepreneurial than philanthropic mostly through an online pharmacies, spent $23.3 million on the measure. Weinstein made over $400,000 as of 2016.

    The main committee against spent nearly $50 million. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association also had a committee against Prop. 10, spending $581,777. PhRMA previously tangled with Weinstein over an AIDS Healthcare Foundation pharmaceutical price cap initiative.

    Yesterday, the lobbyist for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation told the LAT's Liam Dillon that it's eyeing another initiative for 2020.


    More and CAKEDAY after the jump . . .

    Probolsky Research


    THE GREEN ECONOMY: For Capitol Weekly, Julia Lindbloom reports on the latest effort to create a banking system for the legal cannabis industry, which is still hamstrung by federal banking regulations:

    "The new bill, SB 51, is authored by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, who also authored last year’s measure, SB 930.

    “The bill itself this year is probably going to be extremely similar to last year, but a few outside aspects have changed” said Katie Hanzlik, Hertzberg spokeswoman.

    “We guessed that there wasn’t quite as much of an appetite in the previous administration, so the good thing on that front is that we have a new administration, and it’s our understanding that Gov. Newsom is really open to this whole field of cannabis and making this industry work in the state.”

    SB 930 had a mysterious death on Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, with no opposition registered. The speculation is that then-Governor Brown didn't want to see it on his desk. Gavin Newsom is perceived to be much more open to the legal cannabis industry.

    A GOLDEN-GREEN NEW DEAL? For Capital Public Radio, Ezra David Romero asks whether California, which takes pride at being on the forefront of climate issues, needs a "Green New Deal" of its own:

    "Democratic state Sen. Nancy Skinner says California already has a Green New Deal. Think of cap-and-trade, the state’s system where pollution credits are bought and sold, and the goal of 100 percent clean electric power by 2045.

    "It's a good green deal, but it needs to be even stronger within that window that science is telling us is a must,” Skinner announced at a January press conference calling for a Green New Deal in California.

    The federal Green New Deal isn't specific, but instead aspirational, alluding to a total reworking of the energy, transportation and manufacturing sectors."

    #CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Susanna Schlendorf!



    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.

    Future of California Elections Conference on April 11, 2019
    Join us on April 11 in Sacramento for the Future of California Elections (FoCE) 2019 Conference “Leading the Way: What Lies Ahead for California's Elections.” FoCE brings together election administrators, reform advocates, civic engagement groups and civil rights organizations each year at its annual conference to discuss and share strategies for modernizing elections and expanding voter participation. Participants at this year’s conference can expect to hear about what happens after election day and updates on California’s voter centric reforms, such as Voter's Choice Act implementation and Same Day Registration. For more information visit
    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.
    Press Release / Op Ed Writing Professional
    Santa Ana City Councilman and former State Assemblymember Jose Solorio is looking for a professional writer to assist him in preparing press releases, Op Eds, e-newsletters and fact sheets on local government and public policy issues and activities. Applicants can work remotely, but if based in Orange or Los Angeles County that would be a plus. Applicants should email: 1) resume, 2) 2-3 writing samples, and 3) hourly, per project, or monthly retainer rates to

    Are you an enthusiastic and reliable administrative professional who enjoys a fast-paced environment? The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is hiring a receptionist to be the face of an innovative government agency that works closely with local elected officials and staff from across the six-county region.

    This position will be part of SACOG's Administrative Support Team, providing entry-level support for a staff of approximately 60. In this position you will provide a range of duties, including greeting visitors, reserving and setting up meeting rooms, scheduling meetings, screening phone calls, sorting mail, and directing inquiries to the appropriate staff.

    Interested? For more information and to apply, please go to:

    Digital/Social Media Professional
    Office of Senate President pro Tem Toni G. Atkins is looking for a digital/social media professional to lead all aspects of the Senator’s presence online – including website, social, SEM and channel strategy. Candidate must be digitally fluent with an understanding of the complex and fragmented digital media landscape and have strong communications skills. Candidate should be able to bring together a cohesive digital strategy that delivers results. Salary starts at $5,910 per month.
    Full announcement
    Submit Cover Letter, Resume, Writing Sample and Senate Employment Application to:
    Conducted by 45-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov, Capitol Seminars offers unique and valuable training for California advocates that cannot be found anywhere else. That's why numerous nonprofits and for-profits, state and local government agencies, lobbying and public affairs firms and trade / professional associations from all over the state send us their new lobbyists, support staff, and anyone else who manages or collaborates in the process of advocacy, knowing they'll come back with information and inside insights they can put to immediate use. Our seminars cover the processes, points of influence and best practices for success across these key areas of advocacy: Legislative, Budget, Regulatory, Lobbying the Administration, and Media Strategies. Next dates: April 4-5, June 6-7, August 1-2. Curriculum information and registration: or 916-442-5009.
    City of Sacramento: Council Representative
    The Office of a Sacramento City Councilmember is seeking a Council Representative. The Council Representative will perform administrative, community relations, communications and constituency services.
    To apply:
    The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) seeks an Executive Director located in Sacramento.
    The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) seeks an Executive Director located in Sacramento. The Executive Director develops programs and services to provide science, engineering, and biomedical advice to the State of California's government and is the chief executive responsible for CCST's administration, fundraising, budgeting, and directing the CCST Science Fellows Program. Review of applications will begin immediately and preference is given to applications received by March 25th. Click here for more information.
    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.