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ON SUNDAY TEEVEE: House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) was on CBS's Face the Nation with Margaret and ABC's This Week with Mr. Snuffleupagus.

AURAL disPLEASURE: On NPR's Planet Money podcast, they talk to former Irwindale police chief Tony Miranda who was hired 2013 to reform a widely known bad department. I remember the stories of the bedroom community while growing up in SoCal. His unlikely ally in the reform efforts when facing the relatively small institution? Insurance companies that basically said the department was uninsurable because of the claims.

He of course only lasted in Irwindale for four years and is now chief in nearby Vernon. He was replaced by the former police chief of Bell. Why do folks move around like that? Oh, State Controller Betty Yee (led by predecessor John Chiang) has an app for that.

  • Bell (population 35,864): $159,733 wages + $41,785 retirement and health, but one officer makes $192k
  • Irwindale (population 1,432): $179,373 wages + $53,801 retirement and health, but one officer makes $198k
  • Vernon (population 113, yes you read that right, three digits): $291,522 wages + $65,465 retirement and health

Sacramento's police chief makes $250k and has a population to serve of over 500,000. Amidst the turmoil in our town over use of deadly force, he wrote in the Bee:

"Raised in Oak Park, I joined the Sacramento Police Department at age 19. I love and cherish this community and this police department. To me, they are family.

The challenges of 2018 give us an opportunity to learn and build, and I believe we can accomplish greatness in 2019 if we come together as one community with many different needs."

The kids would say WTF.

It is a public shame that the 113 voters of Vernon pay a police chief far above what Sacramento does. And, when the chief is homegrown like Hahn in Sacramento who comes from our neediest area of Oak Park, the disgrace goes on steroids.

From a compensation standpoint, Vernon is the gold standard in the group of cities known for corruption. Bell has stayed out of the news while I think the media has kept their magnifying glasses out. These tiny cities live off commercial/industrial property tax. There are few public services to provide, but a tax base for relatively outsized salaries. As the pod discusses, they are also some of the most corrupt, close-knit departments. People move between these small departments to maximize compensation and in particular their 3% at 50 pensions, but it's generally the same community. And, the code of silence follows between these cities.

They are essentially unaccountable to voters. Vernon's billing is "Vernon Means Business." Not kids, families, health, get the pic. This is from the HTML source for its website right now -- "City of Vernon - Vernon Means Business."

According to the State Controller's office, Vernon has 288 employees, which is 2.5x the estimated population of 113. So, who cares if you have outsized salaries? There are no voters. We all focused on Bell before, but the Controller's website says that the City Attorney of Vernon makes $279,400. Vernon should not have a full-time city attorney. That should be a contract for around 1/4 time, or around $75,000 with overhead. I'm not saying $279k is inappropiate for an attorney, but rather commenting on the workload. For a city attorney, you want a named one and more affordable juniors that bill the bulk of the hours.

Forty-six people voted for president in Vernon in 2016--I ish you not. I liked the interview with chief Miranda but--oh, boy--did that open a huge old can of worms.

I'm sorry to pick on these cities and I am sure there are more up here that are whiter and wealthier. I'll look...I just got on this tangeant because of my aural displeasure this morning and my hours are limited. That said population of 113 and a $292k+ salary is likely unrivaled.

TAXING MATTERS: For CALmatters, Dan Walters is back on his "the taxes are coming" meme that we know and love, largely pointing his finger at Governor Gavin Newsom. I've talked about them before, with the biggest being split roll for education and local government. Newsom said at his budget unveiling that while he has supported split roll in the past, he want's to see a deal among proponents and foes. The opponents have little reason to negotiate given current polling. Labor backers say that their polling is solidly in favor once the campaign to explain the use of the tax revenue takes place.

The other ones, like the soda tax, aren't going anywhere. Democrats like their supermajorities and don't want to put moderate Dems on the spot. They are good headline bills, but will die in Approps or won't be brought up on the floor. Oil and gas severance is the biggest one, but I would bet that it never sees a floor vote. It hasn't even been referred to a policy committee yet, and the question is whether Eric Swalwell is running for president and Bob Wieckowski, the bill's author, would thus run for the congressional seat. CD15 is a lot different from SD10 when you go over the Altamont pass in to the San Ramon Valley.

ADACHI: The coroner's report on the death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi came out and it's sad. His death was a mix of alcohol, cocaine, and heart disease. At the tables of both sides of counsel in criminal law, it's very vulnerable space for those with a predilection.


Probolsky Research





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A nonprofit leader on why she attended Capitol Seminars:
"I had read all the generic, glossed-over descriptions of the Calfornia legislative process. I wanted to learn about the nuances or the 'behind-the-scenes' way the legislature actually works, from folks who are real practitioners." -- Amy Vierra, Nonprofit / Environmental Policy and Communications Consultant. "Real practitioners" make Capitol Seminars California's No.1 advocacy training resource. Moderator Ray LeBov, a 45-year Capitol veteran, and all our guest subject matter experts are presently active in governmental advocacy or California state government. Anyone tasked with advocacy in a nonprofit, for-profit, trade / professional association, lobbying / public affairs firm, state or local government agency, will benefit immediately from the unique and valuable training we provide. For complete curriculum information, or to register for our April 4-5 seminars or future dates, visit or call (916) 442-5009.
Children's Institute
Director of Government Relations and Advocacy Develop, coordinate implement strategies and activities that advance CII’s mission of transforming lives of children and families exposed to adversity. 3+ years policy, advocacy, public administration, or public affairs experience. Competitive salary. Contact: Arnold Bok, (End Date: 3/26/2019)
McKinley + Pillows Fundraising: Administrative Assistant
McKinley + Pillows Fundraising seeks a full time, entry-level administrative assistant /scheduler/receptionist, for our fast-paced office. Must be detail-oriented and possess solid computer and phone skills. Wages DOE. Please send cover-letter and resume to
This annual event is co-sponsored by major California veterans’ organizations. Last year over 65 Assemblymembers attended the event with their veteran honoree. This year the event is open to both the Assembly and Senate to participate. This event will be held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.


Contact Pete Conaty at 916-768-8940 or, or Dana Nichol at 916-558-1926 or
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.
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:
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:

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