Around The Capitol

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  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Assembly member David Chiu on rent control, San Francisco politics, and electric violining (04/25/19)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Bill Monning and epidemiologist Dr. Flojuane Cofer re: SB 347 on sugar-sweetened beverages (04/24/19)
  • SacTownTalks: (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): What a Week! Simplecast | iTunes (04/22/19)
  • Lovett or Leave It: (Jon Lovett/Crooked Media): House Intel Chair congress member Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) (04/20/19)
  • Gimme Shelter: (Matt Levin @ CALmatters and Liam Dillon @ LAT): Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) and advocate Michelle Pariset (04/19/19)

Well, it's Friday and I discovered why The Nooner didn't go out the last couple of days. I'm including yesterday's below. Basically, it was a large server outage and the "cron job" file got replaced by an old one that for some reason was set to send only on Mondays. Cron jobs basically are where scripts are schedule, such as the ones that send out The Nooner. If you're a tech geek, 00 12 * * * was replaced with 00 12 * * 1. Yeah, I really am that geeky.

I think we're all set today and I'll be here virtually watching the server before recording the pod with Gibran this afternoon. And, I don't know if there is a better week than this to proclaim "What a Week!" Ads will be extended as I always do with hiccups.

No, I am not going to write about my friend Eric Bauman. Yes, there was a new lawsuit filed. I learned in law school to leave that to the courts. I also know addiction. That is all and I send my heart to everyone involved. Nobody is winning here.

ANTI-VAXX: So, UCLA and Cal State LA have quarantines because of measles. I'll just leave it at that. If you were in the Capitol for Wednesday's Senate Health hearing, please bathe in isopropyl alcohol before appearing in the Capitol again. I feel all germy even from watching from The Nooner Global Headaquarters a mile away. Thank you mom and dad for believing what the pediatrician advised you and not listening to Dr. Jenny McCarthy.

Speaking of SB 276 (Pan), the "West Virginians for Health Freedom" were listed as opponents. West Virginia and Freedom in the same organizational name. Great historical connection, but my freedom to not get measles when I see Avengers: Endgame is far more important. 

MONEY MATTERS: Through yesterday, personal income tax collections continued at $2.5 billion above projections for April, erasing the January deficit. We should be out of the budget-cutting fears for the May Revision. 

HOUSING: Governor Gavin Newsom's office put out a statement yesterday praising the Assembly Housing and Development Committee for approving a package of bills to address housing affordability. I noted on Twitter that, while I'm a fanboy of Gavin, he's a voter in Marin County, which got a carve out in Senator Scott Wiener's transit-oriented housing bill in Senate Governance and Finance Committee this week.

Of course, the Legislature is moving on housing affordability legislation that is staying away from allowing new communities to pass rent control ordinances. If you're a newbie, the Costa-Hawkins Act froze rent control ordinances at the 1995 enactment. That's before we had rules in the Legislature to prohibit naming yourself in legislation. For CALmatters, Elijah Chiland had a great explainer in 2018 when the repeal sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was on the ballot as Proposition 10.

Costa is now in Congress representing the north part of Fresno. Phil Hawkins (R) was an Assembly member from Cerritos, the swing district of Hawkins, Epple, and Havice. Yes, I walked precincts there back in the day with Paul Mitchell at the request of Jay Hansen, who then worked for Speaker Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. Tomorrow, I'm delighted to be going to an engagement party for Jay and Jesse hosted by CDP Acting Chair Alex Rooker. The evite response list is totally who's who, or at least who is in town in Sacramento on a Saturday. To think I've known Jay for twenty-five years, twenty of which came before he was legally allowed to get married, is something remarkable and look forward to celebrating with him and Jesse.

And, yes, I dated a Phil Hawkins staffer who was my ideological and religious opposite. Wonderful woman who to my knowledge isn't in politics anymore.

PG&E: So, the Public Utilities Commission approved a $373 million per year rate increase for Pacific Gas & Electric as the utility clings to survival as lawmakers look at a public takeover that the governor seems open to. As Gibran and I have talked about on the pod, the PUC and PG&E share a bed.

I've tried figuring out whether it is on electricity, natural gas, or both customers. If you live in Sac like many of us, that's important. In Sac, our electricity is from the publicly owned Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District (SMUD). Our gas is from PG&E. Electricity was at fault in the 2018 disasterous Butte County Camp fire. My PG&E bill for nat gas should not go up because of clear electric system negligence by a for-profit investor-owned utility.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Matthew Cunningham, Soyla Fernandez, John Frietas, Nikki Johnson, Assembly member Marc Levine, and De'shawn Woolridge!



Happy Thursday! You're almost there! I don't know what happened with the hamsters yesterday. I wrote, it was saved, and everything looked fine on the server. I guess it's just that kind of week.

Hmph...I pay bigly for an IBM server housed in San Jose. I've been through three different companies as I have been doing this endeavor. Anyway, I'm now with Softlayer/IBM. 

There was a large unexpected outage yesterday that affected lots of servers in the hosting server farm in the 408. I was out for a lunch and didn't see the email to realize that everything was down. That's why there's no Nooner in your inbox or online for yesterday. As I normally do for missteps, I'll extend current ads a day.

HUGZ: Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and League of California Cities API executive director Annie Lam (Lam Consulting Group) are expecting a child in October! As you know, I love these two.

MONEY: The state is doing well on personal income tax revenues through yesterday. We're on track to meet the January budget estimates, erasing the $2.2 billion shortfall, and if the above-projected corporate tax payments continue, we're likely $500 million above the budget protections. Neither of these are related to state tax policy changes, but rather the federal withholding schedules that were just wrong this year. It's good for taxpayers who kept money in their accounts, although bad if they didn't plan accordingly and scrambled around April 15.

With January falling short, June is the second largest month because of quarterly sales, corporation, and personal income tax payments. Of course, we won't know those revenues until after the state budget is completed by June 15. Thus, if it continues, the additional revenue is a nice buffer if Governor Newsom can keep the Legislature from spending more than proposed in January. Because of the withholding problems challenging the best economic projectors, this is probably more important this year than in most of our political/policy lifetimes. And yes, I spent most of my 20 years as a higher education advocate trying to spend more money than the state had.

POLL POSITION: PPIC is out with a new poll today on education. Likely voters generally approve (54%) of Governor Gavin Newsom's education approach, although I believe few understand how the CalSTRS unfunded liability benefits districts. The Legislature gets 45%, but the Legislature hasn't really done anything yet this year. The poll was conducted April 5-15 and, as all staffers and advocates know, this is the week for all the big bills. No criticism of PPIC as you know I love the organization.

Gavin gets a 54% approve/42% disapprove among likelies on K-12 issues. You know I like Gavin, but the numbers are completely meaningless. The poll, though, is very meaningful as it dives in to charter education.

I wanted to get to today's briefing, but What a Week! I'm exhausted.

SB 50 (Wiener): The housing density bill was approved by Senate Governance and Finance yesterday, although it was amended to exempt counties with fewer than 600,000 people. Matt Levin reports for CALmatters:

"While the bill still faces fierce political opposition and a long road ahead in the state Legislature, the vote marks a significant victory for Wiener’s move to promote more dense housing around transit—an approach he says is necessary to help alleviate the state’s housing shortage and curb greenhouse gas emissions from commuters.


The original provision would still apply to the 15 most populous California counties, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Joaquin counties. “Jobs-rich” communities not within a half-mile of public transportation would also have to change local zoning laws to allow for taller buildings.

But under the new compromise, smaller counties—including those with expensive real estate markets such as Marin, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo—would be treated differently.

Most cities in those smaller counties would be forced to allow housing near public transit that's slightly more dense than what’s currently allowed, but not 4-5 stories. They also would also be required to approve duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes "by right" in almost all neighborhoods, allowing developers to bypass the often lengthy and costly process of getting small housing projects approved by local planning commissions and city councils."

NIMBY is alive and well in two counties with big state university campuses and very little affordable housing. We'll see what the amendments are when they are in print. And Marin County is just Marin. It is beautiful but is a huge NIMBY county in California and is among the wealthiest and whitest.

Palo Alto, though, was also a target of SB 50 and worth of criticism since we pay for CalTrain to have two stops there to shephard tech workers who often live in San Francisco but work for tech companies near Stanford. Palo Alto is also very white and wealthy, living off commuters.

On a side note, consultant Anton Favorini-Csorba with Senate Governance and Housing gets the "thumbs up" for perhaps the best committee analysis of the session.

VAXX: As if yesterday wasn't crazy enough in the Capitol already, Senate Health had the bill by Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) up yesterday to more tightly control doctor exemptions from vaccination requirements. Don Thompson reports for AP "The Senate Health Committee approved the proposal to give state public health officials instead of local doctors the power to decide which children can skip their shots before attending school. The push coincides with this year’s national measles tally reaching the highest it’s been since 1994, according to an Associated Press count."

The bill provides that medical exemptions must be approved by the state's Department of Public Health and must be based on an actual medical contraindication. The vote was 7-2, with the committee's two Republicans voting no.

People asked me if I was in the Capitol yesterday. No, if there is a VAXX bill up, I stay the hell away from those strollers. I respect your legitimate medical exemptions, but I'll watch you on teevee. Thank you mom and dad.

And, a friend from undergrad (not naming here on purpose) posted a picture yesterday of a full diaper in the Capitol's stairwell. Seriously? We've literally gone into the shitter.



ARAMBULA: The story has changed in the alleged child cruelty case facing Assembly member Joaquin Arambula. The Fresno Bee's Rory Appleton reports that while Arambula initially said it was a spanking, his attorneys explain the incident as a slap and his daughter having a bruise on her face from his ring. He is on a leave of absence from the Assembly.

"The attorney's summary is part of a motion to dismiss the case.

According to the summary, Arambula’s daughter described several other instances of cruelty, including punches and kicks by her father and spankings with a stick by her mother. The summary says both parents told police they would never hurt their children.

The 7-year-old also admitted to police that she sometimes hurts herself, and she originally told her teacher she had fallen the night the alleged crime occurred."

Not only is Arambula's political career in doubt, but also his medical license. Before being elected to the Assembly, Arambula was an emergency room physician. His father previously served in the Assembly. I will leave it up to the court and Medical Board. You can be a convicted criminal in the Legislature--eviction like in the House of Representatives that Duncan Hunter knows well--is the body's responsibility. 



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Crystal Araujo and Board of Equalization member Ted Gaines!


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Announcing the Barbara, Victoria & Javier Mother’s Day Donation Drive presented by Assemblymember McCarty & Vice Mayor Guerra in partnership with the Legislative Women’s Caucus benefitting Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

Greatest needs: strollers, children’s hygiene items, maternity clothes, children’s clothes and shoes, toys. Drop-off locations: Capitol Rm 2136, LOB Rm 153, 915 L Street, Suite 110. Donate now through May 7th. No donation is too big or too small!

For questions, other drop-off locations, or to request a pick up, please call (916) 324-4676 or email

Headline: Barbara, Victoria & Javier Mother’s Day Donation Drive
Announcing the Barbara, Victoria & Javier Mother’s Day Donation Drive presented by Assemblymember McCarty & Vice Mayor Guerra in partnership with the Legislative Women’s Caucus benefitting Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Greatest needs: strollers, children’s hygiene items, maternity clothes, children’s clothes and shoes, toys.

Drop-off locations: Capitol Rm 2136, LOB Rm 153, 915 L Street, Suite 110. Donate now through May 7th. No donation is too big or too small!

For questions, other drop-off locations, or to request a pick up, please call (916) 324-4676 or email

CCTA Annual Spring Legislative Reception, Tuesday, April 30th
April 29-May 3 is Cable Week in the Capitol!

Join CCTA in celebrating cable’s contributions in California at our Spring Legislative Reception on Tuesday, April 30th from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at the Social Club, 1000 K Street, Upstairs.

RSVP at or (916) 446-7732.
Advancement Project CA- Sacramento office
Manager of Government Relations: Serves as one of APCA’s advocates in Sacramento. Supports statewide advocacy work, such as, coordinate and manage communication with the legislature, analyze and develop legislative proposals, political strategy and other related work. Salary based on experience. For details, please see below for the link:
Join Capitol Weekly for TAX REFORM

This day-long conference will be held on May 22, 2019 in Sacramento and will be filmed for broadcast by the California Channel. Keynote speaker: Senator Robert Hertzberg swipe left to see our Panels or click the link in our bio to get more details! Hope to see you all there!

Burton and the Brains has moved!
Burton & the Brains has moved offices to the Cathedral Building - 1020 12th Street, Suite 202. The firm includes the iconic John Burton, Partner Angie Tate and Associate Monique Vieira and provides full service political consulting and event management. For more information, please contact Angie at or Monique at Please visit us at
Associate Director, Government Relations

Take on a high-profile role in an award-winning health organization. Become a strategic advocate for the healing mission of one of the world’s most respected health systems. Take your professional expertise to the next level. UCan do all this and more at UCLA Health.

As the Associate Director of Government Relations, you will be a key member of the team that is driving strategies designed to influence public policy, promote advocacy and build relationships at the federal, state and local government levels. You will be responsible for evaluating complex issues and implementing initiatives and programs in health policy and advocacy by interacting with elected officials, legislative staff, public agency representatives as well as campus administrators, leadership and faculty. This involves collaborating closely with the UCLA Health Marketing & Communications leadership, the University of California, and relevant trade associations. The position is based on the UCLA Health campus in Los Angeles.

Full description and application information

Policy and Government Affairs Associate/Counsel (Oakland)

The Center for Responsible Lending is seeking a Policy and Government Affairs Associate/Counsel to join our team in Oakland, CA. As part of CRL’s State Policy Team, supporting stakeholders throughout the 50 states, the Policy and Government Affairs Associate/Counsel will work with stakeholders in California and other Western states to develop and advance strategies for legislative and regulatory reform at the state level to prevent predatory lending practices.


This position will have a significant focus on California, with responsibilities in supporting other Western states as well.

Full job description and application

SEIU-UHW – Political Coordinator (Oakland or Sacramento, CA)
This position is responsible for directing the work of multiple staff, contractors and member leaders in support of objectives. The Political Coordinator is responsible for strategic planning, developing programs to build and strengthen our infrastructure, and leading on issue and electoral campaigns within the union that empower our members to be a strong force at their worksites, in the legislative process, in their communities and at the ballot box. Under the supervision of the Director, the coordinator collaborates in the overall development and implementation of the department’s strategic organizational plan. For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at
SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles and San Francisco, 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
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: