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California Legislative Directory| Classifieds | Sofa Degree


E-135 - Tuesday, October 22, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners

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  • I've been making lots of updates to the online legislative directory of members, committees, and staff as they come in and undoubtedly have more. For those in and around the Capitol, please keep sending your updates. I created a monster for myself. I do know I haven't re-written all the code to ensure Lena Gonzalez's photo appears and I apologize to the senator! I think the other duplicate surnames are working right.

    I have written tens of thousands of lines of code (without much elegance or structure and then forget where all the changes need to be made when you have something like two "lgonzalez" members. I think I have the Rubio sisters right, but if you catch something, let me know!


  • SD19 (Santa Barbara-Oxnard): added Anastasia Stone (NPP) - safe Dem - open seat (Jackson (D))
  • SD28 (Redlands): added Temecula councilmember Matt Rahn (R) - leans Rep - open seat (Morrell (R))
  • AD14 (Concord): added Christine Smith (PF) - safe Dem - challenge to Grayson (D)
  • AD33 (San Berdoo High Desert): added Alex Walton (R) - safe Rep - open seat (Obernolte (R) running for CA08)
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita): added small business owner Lucie Volotzky (R) - leans Dem - challenge to Smith (D) 



  • Electricity
  • State pay
  • Gassy matters
  • Cannabis $$$
  • Is Newsom to the far left?
  • Redistricting
  • Cakeday and Classifieds

¡Buenos días!

ELECTRICITY: I started the day by checking in with PG&E's website to find out if power could still be off in 15 identified counties starting tomorrow. I was greeted with "Error establishing a database connection" on the main page, which wass trying to redirect to Apparently, the redirect started yesterday to prepare for the public safety power shutoff and didn't work as envisioned. Anyway, as of 8:30am, the side was back up and the warnings continue. Chris Hagan reports for CapRadio "The shut off is expected to affect more than 200,000 customers. It comes two weeks after the utility cut power to more than 700,000 customers — around 2 million people — across 34 counties in one of its largest preventative outages."

As of the 6am report this morning, the decision to "de-energize" is scheduled for tomorrow at 10:00am, with actual power shutoffs beginning in four geographic phases at 1:00pm tomorrow through 1am Thursday with "re-energization" following beginning at noon on Thursday. If the shutoff occurs, the time for full re-energization can't be projected until the extent of the wind event can be evaluated and lines inspected.

I'm no PG&E apologist, but the information that they are getting out, which goes to lawmakers, county emergency officers, and other key decision makers, is very specific and impressive--under the current grid situation. If you see a PG&E worker in a blue truck this week, buy them lunch--they're not the execs or board members and are working hard to keep people safe, including those who have had my street torn up for months to replace a gas line.

Meanwhile, Southern California Edison is no longer considering a public power safety shutoff that was the subject of a warning beginning tomorrow night.

STATE PAY: For the Bee, Wes Venteicher tallies up the cost of the newly negotiated state employee contracts:

"Nearly two-thirds of California state workers will receive raises in the coming months based on new contracts their unions negotiated with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration this year.

The state is boosting pay for about 147,000 of its 235,000 employees through the contracts, giving raises of about 3 percent per year to most while increasing salaries for some hard-to-fill jobs by as much as 25 percent.

Pay, benefit and health care changes in their contracts, which have terms of one to three years, will cost the state about $5.6 billion, according to the California Department of Human Resources."

Let's hope the widely discussed upcoming economic slowdown is akin to Saturday soccer among 5-year-olds and not akin to the soon-to-be major League Sacramento Republic FC. BTW, congratulations to all who worked on what came to be announced yesterday.

GASSY MATTERS: Governor Newsom wants an investigation into California's high gas prices, suggesting that industry could be manipulating pricing and planned refinery shutdowns to push up prices with the cover of the SB 1 gas tax hike. Adam Beam reports for the AP:

"California's governor has asked the attorney general to investigate why the state’s gas prices are so high, pointing to a new report suggesting big oil companies are 'misleading and overcharging customers' by as much as $1 per gallon.

Name brand retailers — including 76, Chevron and Shell — often charge more because they say their gasoline is of higher quality. But a new analysis from the California Energy Commission could not explain the price difference, concluding “there is no apparent difference in the quality of gasoline at retail outlets in the state."

CANNABIS $$$: The Sacramento Bee has been providing great coverage of the Russian-tied figure who is a major investor in Sacramento's licensed cannabis shops and was also arrested in connection with federal campaign finance violations. Meanwhile, the Governor Gavin Newsom reported $31,000 from Cameron Forni of Las Vegas, who is CEO of Cura Partners based in Portland, OR. Cura is a major producer of cannabis and CBD oils for vaping sold under the Select Cannabis brand.

The current investigation into pulminary illnesses relating to vaping have largely been attributed to cannabis oil vaping, particularly among youth. Let's go to the radical group the Centers for Disease Control on the matter:

  • As of October 15, 2019, 1,479* lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory.
  • Thirty-three deaths have been confirmed in 24 states.
  • All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  • We do know that THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.
  • The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.
  • As such, we recommend that you should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.
  • Since the specific causes or causes of lung injury are not yet known, the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products
  • The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, products is unsafe for all ages, including youth and young adults. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.

The California Democratic Party earlier this year refused a contribution from JUUL (although the money really just went elsewhere), stating that the vaping company is included in the party's policy against taking tobacco money as the medical evidence has developed. Will the party's policy extend to Governor Newsom for a contribution from the CEO of a leading provider of cannabis oils, which are specifically called out by the CDC?

The contribution from Forni appears to be the second one in California following $2500 to Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) in 2017. In March of this year, Cura CS (Cura Cannabis Services also known as Cura Partners) gave $4,700 to Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell).

To be clear, I have no problem with adult use cannabis or the use of vaping for short-term smoking cessation, as was discussed in last week's hearing. I'm just following the money tied to public policy.

IS NEWSOM TO THE FAR LEFT? Who is more liberal--Democrats in the Legislature or Governor Gavin Newsom? We've got an app for the form of Ben Christopher at CalMatters. He writes:

"In what may come as a surprise to both California Republicans and the governor himself, Gavin Newsom might just be one of the most moderate Democrats in the Capitol.

Based on an analysis of the 1,042 bills that the governor signed or vetoed this year, Newsom is more conservative than any other Democratic state senator and sits to the left of only two Democrats in the Assembly."

I forgot who or where I mentioned it as I talk and write on too many mediums. In short, governors should never give everything in the first year. I believe he'll sign many of the bills vetoed through last weekend's deadline. Some are trading pieces for budget deliberations and others will be kept in the vault for future trades yet unknown.

REDISTRICTING: For Capitol Weekly, Paul Mitchell looks at the transparency of redistricting processes, with varies among different local governments, often in sharp contrast to the process for the state adopted by the voters and generally seen as solid with the work of the 2011 Citizens Commission.

"The redistricting methods followed by local governments have varied around the state.

Some local governments do redistricting in a fully-public process, holding outreach meetings, having all mapping options presented in a public setting, engaging the community and working to prevent gerrymanders.

Others have made this process more opaque, and have even put the needs of incumbents or political considerations ahead of the public interest. With little oversight and unclear rules, some redistricting has been a farce that produced little more than a patently political outcome.

There are even examples we’ve seen of agencies that haven’t fulfilled this requirement at all, sometimes for decades."

In one of the most nonsensical vetoes, Governor Newsom used his red pen on SB 139 (Allen), writing:

"This bill requires a county with more than 400,000 residents to establish an independent redistricting commission tasked with adopting the county's supervisorial districts following each federal decennial census.

While I agree these commissions can be an important tool in preventing gerrymandering, local jurisdictions are already authorized to establish independent, advisory or hybrid redistricting commissions. Moreover, this measure constitutes a clear mandate for which the state may be required to reimburse counties pursuant to the California Constitution and should therefore be considered in the annual budget process."

If transparency and independence over redistrict of state legislative, BOE, and congressional districts was the will of 61.2% the voters in 2010, then certainly voters would have liked to see SB 139 become law.

Disclosure: Paul did redistricting for dozens of community college districts after the 2010 Census in a program run by my team at the Community College League of California. While I go way back with Paul, the process of selecting a redistricting vendor was done by a panel of chief business officers and I played no role. Our boards agreed that it was a good area for the League to move into to provide districts with political cover for moving to district elections as required by the California Voting Rights Act, and I'm proud that community college districts were among the first to tackle something that many local governments have delayed a decade. Since our theme was student equity, it would have been nonsensical to ignore equitable voting rights.

MONEY MATTERS, CAKEDAY, CLASSIFIEDS after the jumpity jump...

Probolsky Research

SANDY EGGO: For Times of San Diego, Christine Huard reports that the San Diego City Council has asked the City Attorney to draft two measures for the March 3, 2020 ballot. Huard writes:

"The San Diego City Council voted Monday to direct the city attorney’s office to draft two ballot measures to go before voters next March, including a hotel tax hike that would fund a convention center expansion, homeless services and infrastructure improvements.

The tax increase proposed by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer would raise the city’s transient occupancy tax from 10.5 % to as high as 15.75% in certain areas of the city, which would reap an estimated $5.9 billion over 42 years.

The funding would allow the city to purchase a parcel of land adjacent to the convention center that is currently owned by Fifth Avenue Landing. Once it purchases the land, the city would expand the convention center by roughly 400,000 square feet, from roughly 800,000 square feet to about 1.2 million square feet."

The council would have to approve the measure following the draft from the City Attorney. The vote was 5-4, notably with mayoral candidate Barbara Bry and Assembly candidate Chris Ward voting against. Huard further writes:

"The council unanimously voted for the city attorney to draft a measure authored by City Councilman Scott Sherman that would shift the responsibility for the city auditor appointment process from the mayor's office to the council’s Audit Committee. Currently, the mayor appoints a city auditor candidate to serve a 10-year term."

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Josh Donner, Gil Gonzales, Karen Jones, and Mike Shimpock!


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Receptionist Position Open - Office of Senator Monning
Senator Monning is accepting applications for a receptionist in his Capitol Office. The ideal candidate will be able to work in a fast-paced, professional environment; be self- motivated to work as part of a team on behalf of Senator Monning; and be able to work extended hours when necessary. Strong oral and written communication skills are essential. Specific duties include, but are not limited to, answering office telephones; greeting visitors; providing basic legislative information; managing mail, office supplies and equipment; using the LCMS system; and tracking and managing FPPC reports for the Senator. Please submit a cover letter and resume to Senator Monning at: with the subject line: Attn: Chief of Staff.
Executive Director, Cal State Student Association (Long Beach)

The Cal State Student Association is seeking an Executive Director. This position combines senior management of a not-for-profit organization, executive administration of student affairs functions in a higher education institution, and strategic leadership within an advocacy and policy development environment where students and professional staff work closely together. This position requires a Master's degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience. Priority consideration will be given to candidates who apply by November 8, 2019. To apply for this posting, visit

Paid Internship with Meridian Pacific, Inc.

Internship re: campaigns for Republican candidates, statewide initiatives and issue advocacy. At Meridian Pacific, Inc. we have diverse opportunities for the interns that work with us. This internship has the opportunity to work with Republican candidates, statewide initiatives, issue advocacy, local and statewide ballot measures, grassroots activation, public affairs campaigns, political campaigns for local, state and federal candidates, as well as event planning.

Interns will write press releases and other materials, assist with mailings and print production, complete research projects, perform data entry, learn the basics of office functions, work on surveys, compile contact lists, attend/work political functions, etc.

Applicants who have previously held a job/internship and exemplify strong writing, research and communication skills, preferred. Compensation is $12.00 per hour. The days for this position are Tuesday and Thursday plus an additional day during the week. Email cover letter & resume to:

Production Coordinator

Meridian is a full-service, strategic political consulting and public affairs firm. We are searching for a highly organized full-time Production Manager. Currently, this position is 6-12 months in duration but may extend longer.

This position requires strong computer, internet and communication skills. It also calls for flexibility, excellent interpersonal skills, project coordination experience, and the ability to work well with all levels of internal management and staff, as well as outside clients and vendors.


  • Oversees, coordinates, and calendars the production process and makes sure products are produced correctly and on time.
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  • Works with the Account Representative and Creative Manager on job development and product creation
  • Logs and audits jobs on SalesForce and job folders
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  • Knowledge of the print production process is a plus


  • Highly organized with excellent attention to detail
  • Positive attitude
  • Enthusiastic team member that is deadline-driven
  • Ability to work well with people in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • MacBook, Adobe Suite, Word, Excel, and SalesForce experience preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred

At Meridian Pacific our most important asset is our people. We offer a competitive wage, excellent benefits package, 401(k), fitness bonus plan and many company perks. Salary DOE. Please send a resume to

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: