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Summer Recess

E-215 - Thursday, August 1, 2019

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  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath and Carlsbad City Councilmember and 3x Women’s World Longboard Surfing Champion, Cori Schumacher, discuss equal pay for equal play, and why gender pay inequity is still an issue in the world of sports (2019-07-23] [Look West | iTunes | Google Podcasts]
  • Force of Law Podcast (Laurel Rosenhall @ CalMatters): episode four - "at the risks officers face on the job and why many in law enforcement say the final version of a bill to curb police shootings no longer puts them in greater danger" (2019-07-20)
  • KQED'S Political Breakdown Podcast (Marisa Lagos and Guy Marzorati): Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) (2019-07-18)
  • Gimme Shelter Podcast (CalMatters's Matt Levin and LAT's Liam Dillon): earthquakes and housing (2019-07-18)
  • SacTownTalks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis (D) (2019-07-17) [YouTubeSimplecast | iTunes


  • CA36 (Coachella Valley): added entrepreneur Erin Cruz (R) - likely Dem - challenge to Raul Ruiz (D)


  • beJUULed
  • Campaign semi-annual reports
  • Cadiz Water Project
  • Cakeday   

It's Thursday and it's August already. That means you have eleven days before the Legislature returns for its final month and one day before the weekend begins!

I'll be all campaign finance today, with a Cadiz spritzer.

SacTown Talks by The Nooner

BEJUULED: You may think I spend too much time talking about JUUL and that I feel passionately about the issue of vaping. I really don't. I write about it because it's a story of policy, politics, and money, with much happening behind closed doors. To me, it's more like figuring out a Thursday NYT crossword puzzle.

I wish I could say that political Visine has made things crystal clear this morning, but it is now following lots of research and phone calls yesterday. Let's just say that many of us are puzzled and can't get several of the clues. Let's go back to what we know.

JUUL Labs, Inc. reported contributing $100,000 (last item) to the California Voter Project, and listed EIN 46-1518000. I errantly said this has been amended--it has not. That employer identification number (equivalent of an SSN for an organization) traces to the CVP I wrote about yesterday.

It sort of made sense, as the contribution was to an nonprofit organization to conduct voter registration and information efforts outside of "campaigns," thus the usual rules of large contributions to committees did not apply.

That is, except that EIN 46-1518000 is a defunct organization, according to former president Robert Kaplan and treasurer Rebecca Olson. I am told that the account has been closed and there has been no activity recently. That would be consistent with IRS data searches for that EIN.

However, there is another California Voter Project registered with the FPPC that has as its treasurer David Gould, a well-known campaign treasurer based Long Beach. That committee has not filed any reports in recent years, which could be because it is instead operating in the nonprofit world.

Since Nooner Premium went out, Gould has responded that he knows nothing about it and neither he nor the principal of that PAC knows of it...

It appears that whoever filled out JUUL's Major Donor report listed the wrong EIN. The officer who signed the report is JP Scholtes. Scholtes has been legislative and compliance officer for JUUL since March, before which he was senior counsel for Altria (parent of Philip Morris, now 35% owner of JUUL) for five-and-a-half years. He's based in Washington, DC and I've tried to reach him through several channels.

The questions are:

  • Where was the contribution deposited? Was it to a committee that did not require a June 30 
  • Was the California Democratic Party convention sponsorship in consideration of a third party contribution?
  • What is the nature of activity of the organization that received the contribution?
  • Is it a nonprofit operating outside of campaign reporting?
  • Was it returned?

I have talked to lots of folks and have reached out to far more via email and phone (what's that?) but am not getting answers except for those people explicitly NOT involved.

As I said yesterday, I have seen nothing illegal in this mystery but I'm all Scooby Doo on this one and it certainly feels like one of those van rides.

Meanwhile, as if perfect timing for these kinds of issues, Laura Davison reports for Bloomberg that a federal judge has overturned an IRS rule that allowed political 501(c)(4) organizations to keep their donors secret.

Like the Census citizenship question, the judge's ruling is not on substance, not rather procedural grounds. Montana-based U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled that the Administrative Procedure Act, which allows interested parties to weigh in on administrative determinations, was not followed.

CAMPAIGN SEMI-ANNUAL REPORTS: Last night was the deadline for the semi-annual campaign finance reports. I provided a spreadsheet of select races to Nooner Premium this morning. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but the work with the reports was truly late night/early morning work only possible because of Premium subscribers.

I have, however, added links to many of the candidates listed on the district pages directly to the Secretary of State page of each candidate, and will continue to add them. It's a laborious process, as even the Secretary of State's page of candidates doesn't have links (likely because the candidate didn't file an SOI) and thus require manual searches.

In the five Assembly seats that flipped from Republican to Democrat in 2018 (AD16, AD38, AD40, AD74, AD76), the new incumbents are doing very well, averaging $466,696 net cash-on-hand. In AD77, where Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) switched from Republican to Democrat in January, the money has followed in Sacramento where Democrats have a chokehold fundraising advantage over Republicans. Here are the numbers for that district:




Unpaid Bills

Net cash as of June 30


June Yang Cutter (R)





Sunday Gover (D)





*Brian Maienschein (D)




 In the most competitive Senate races, we have:

SD13 (San Mateo) Josh Becker (D) $532,074 $19,847 $512,227
SD13 (San Mateo) Michael Brownrigg (D) $264,583 $35,520 $229,063
SD13 (San Mateo) Sally Lieber (D) $180,679 $250 $180,429
SD13 (San Mateo) Shelly Masur (D) $154,125 $17,056 $137,069
SD13 (San Mateo) Annie Oliva (D) $186,879 $43,760 $143,119

SD29 (Fullerton-Diamond Bar) *Ling Ling Chang (R) $337,683 $70,443 $267,240
SD29 (Fullerton-Diamond Bar) Joseph Cho (D) $2,015 $0 $2,015
SD29 (Fullerton-Diamond Bar) Josh Newman (D) $233,909 $26,200 $207,709

SD15 (San Jose) Nora Campos (D) $188,482 $11,141 $177,341
SD15 (San Jose) Dave Cortese (D) $592,864 $0 $592,864
SD15 (San Jose) Tim Gildersleeve (NPP)     $0
SD15 (San Jose) Johnny Khamis (NPP) $258,152 $0 $258,152
SD15 (San Jose) Ann Ravel (D) $159,622 $12,039 $147,583

SD37 (Irvine) Katrina Foley (D) $181,986 $5,084 $176,902
SD37 (Irvine) Dave Min (D) $245,092 $6,933 $238,159
SD37 (Irvine) *John M.W. Moorlach (R) $233,925 $0 $233,925

In SD21, another competitive race, incumbent Scott Wilk (R) ended June 30 with $445,212, while his three competitors did not have reports.

Because of special elections, the parties have newer reports closing July 13. They reported net cash of:

Here are some interesting balances in "parking lot" accounts. These are generally when legislators leave office or move to Congress and can't take their $$$ with them. As long as there a future race that they "could" run for, they can establish an account for that and pay for political expenses reasonably related to a possible future run (i.e. travel to a state party convention) or make charitable contributions. In theory, they can return the funds to donors, but it's exceedingly difficult to do so in a large campaign committee.

Make sure these folks are on your #CAKEDAY card list!

Mason Herron, president of Edgewater Strategies, has put together a spreadsheet of congressional, state, and local data for the San Diego region.

Obviously, there's likely other interesting issues that I'll find and bring to you over the next few days. With 100 state races next year, it's a beast!

Let me know if you see any errors. This involves a lot of staring at reports and spreadsheet work, meaning there will invariably be some. I've caught a few and update them as soon as I find them on the Nooner Premium spreadsheet that's hosted in the subscriber section.

CADIZ WATER PROJECT: Yesterday, Governor Newsom signed SB 307 (Roth), which requires the State Lands Commission to review the natural and cultural impact of the Cadiz Water Project conveyance of water via pipeline from underground reserves to the Colorado River Aqueduct, which is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Newsom issued a rare signing message with the bill showing the controversial nature of it.

I need not rehash what I've written on May 17 but if you'd like more background, you can find it there. This is another of the big conflicts between California's political leadership and the Trump Administration. While the Obama Administration was seeking additional environmental impact study since it passed over federal lands, the Trump Administration maintains that since the 31-mile pipeline path it along an existing railroad right-of-way, not additional scrutiny is necessary.

CAKEDAY after the jump...

Probolsky Research

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Andy Kelley, and Chris Wilson!


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Planned Parenthood; President & CEO (Sacramento)
The President and CEO is responsible for directing the statewide public policy efforts in partnership with the seven Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout California. Develops, implements and manages state and federal legislative, lobbying, advocacy, fundraising, organizing and electoral strategies and programs that advance the mission of California Affiliates. Requirements: BA/BS in public policy/government relations or related area and 7 years demonstrated leadership experience in public policy environment. Master’s Degree in law or public health desired. Frequent travel required. Email resume to
Steve Hansen for City Council 2020

Looking for a passionate, strategic and creative staffer for our 2020 re-election campaign. Must be detail-oriented and possess research and writing skills. Part-time to start. Wages DOE. Please send cover letter and resume to Open until filled. No Phone Calls.

California Democratic Party Director of IT - Job Opening

The Director of IT will oversee technology operations, such as network security with established goals. The success candidate will also direct effective delivery of networks, development of policies, purchasing, work with voter file vendors, and plan for disaster recovery. The full job description is available at

To apply, email

The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees to both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and regulatory processes critical to governance. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol: or

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: