Around The Capitol

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California Legislative Directory| Classifieds | Sofa Degree


E-130 - Friday, October 25, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners

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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE: Have a new pod episode related to California politics and policy that you'd like listed? Email Scott.

  • Political Breakdown (KQED's Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) on utility reform, leaving the GOP, and his high school cover band (2019-10-24) 
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) talks with Reverand Shane B. Scott about predatory lending in California and her AB 539, which was recently signed into law. (2019-10-24)
  • Nooner Quickie (Scott Lay): Media, CalChannel, and history bits with Capitol Weekly editor John Howard and Open California executive director Tim Foster (2019-10-22)
  • SacTownTalks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): What a Week (2019-10-18) [YouTube | Simplecast | iTunes
  • Gimme Shelter Podcast (Matt Levin/Liam Dillon @ CalMatters/LA Times): The case for local control over housing with Susan Kirsch, a slow-growth activist from Marin County and Juan Garza, mayor pro tem of the Southern California city of Bellflower (2019-10-18)
  • Political Breakdown (KQED's Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Representative Katie Porter (D-Irvine) (2019-10-17) 
  • SacTownTalks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): Lobbyist Chris Micheli on the 2019 Legislative Year, AB 5 (2019-10-14) [YouTube | Simplecast | iTunes


  • 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! 


  •  CA36 (Coachella Valley): added community organizer Gina Chapa (D)


  • Awards
  • Electricity and fires
  • Cap-and-trade lawsuit
  • Ballot measure bonanza
  • Dialysis
  • Ranked-choice voting
  • AB 5/Dynamex
  • Muni matters
  • Cakeday, Farewell, and Classifieds

Happy Friday! You made it! Just a few items as I have a Public Policy Institute of California policy lunch on education with Linda Darling-Hammond, president, California State Board of Education and Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor, California Community Colleges. The program starts at 12:15pm and you can watch it here, and likely on PPIC's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Following the luncheon, I'll be sitting down for an audio-only podcast with Mike Madrid to talk about the crazy week it was, with a bit more Washington, DC content than normal for the pod. While I'm not writing about it today, I'll ask Mike whether the trickle of news about Katie Hill, my sister's great new congresswoman, will be fatal in 2020.

It's a fair question from some Nooner readers -- why am I not covering the Katie Hill story in the same manner I have Rep. Duncan Hunter's alleged transgressions. I've thought about it a lot because it's good click-bait for me to post salacious photos in this space.

Three reasons, though. Katie ran openly as a married woman who is bisexual. It was well known and talked about in the district, who decided they could care less. Secondly, the apparent discloser of the private photos appear to be from the man she is currently divorcing and who was a participant in the "throuple," making it revenge porn (he appears to be the photographer). Finally, Hill has not been accused of any state or federal crime. Yes, there is a House Ethics Committee investigation into whether she broke House Rules about a relationship with a congressional staffer in her office. If true, that violates recently adopted House Rules, which are not federal law. The House judges the qualifications of its own members.

Hunter ran as a traditional values family guy and continues to do so, while federal prosecutors have indicted him on violating campaign finance laws that tie into multiple affairs, including with a staff member. I hope you see the difference as other than semantics and that I'm not being biased on a partisan basis.

For those who remember "Shrimp Boy," you know I come down on Dems as well. For those who don't recall that, welcome to California politics.

Of course I think it's relevant for next year's CA25 election and anybody who says they know definitively is not in the major leagues. I'll be talking about it with Madrid today and writing about it in forthcoming Nooner Premium analysis on the race.

The pod listenership has been fantastic--even the one I recorded Tuesday with Capitol Weekly editor John Howard and Open California executive director Tim Foster. There are four options for recording with this fancy mic of Gibran's that I've been carrying around this week. I chose the wrong one for our sit-down on Tuesday, but I think I have it figured out now.

There were a couple of female guests in the mix for this week but for scheduling reasons, they didn't happen but will in the future. Trust me, we know it's been male-heavy lately and it has not been for lack of trying. We have several ahead, but as you know, lots of folks are out of town, including 119 of our collective closest friends.

Those of you in the know understand why after the week we've had particularly in DC, Madrid is perfect. I should be able to turn it around by this evening for your feeds. If you're not subscribed via iTunes or your favorite pod catcher, do so now, and catch up with old episodes.

Meanwhile, if you like the burgers at Burger Inn on Kay Street, today is the outlet's last day according to a flyer on the door yesterday.

AWARDS: While I have seriously thought about pulling the plug on the awards because of personal attacks against me, I still plan to announce the winners on a podcast next week.

The complaints have all come from people who did not participate in the nominations process, which I announced in two special emails and in this space. In two categories where there were ties for fifth, I asked around for editorial discretion and you would understand why the nominations ended up how they did. Other than that, there was NO editorial discretion in the nominations. I don't control the gender balance in categories. And, you can understand that if I doubled the number of categories into male/female, that would only raise the issues of other breakdowns and lead to a ballot of more than 100 categories, meaning fewer people who would take the time to vote.

It may sound like this is all for fun, but I take it seriously. I've spent more than 20 hours already on this between reading nominations, programming, and ensuring that new readers get their codes. I have more hours ahead putting together the slides for the podcast announcing winners. 

Also, amid the criticisms of my efforts on social media, it's important to note that I disqualified my work and the podcast, even though there were enough nominations to be on the "ballot." I bust my ass to not put my thumb on the scale, which the critics don't bother to acknowledge.

So, while I have threatened to pull the plug, I still plan to go forward. However, it's likely the last time, as it just creates an opportunity for venting on all kinds of grievances, and a chance to aim them at me. I should have spent more time delivering more exclusive content for the Nooner Premium subscribers who literally pay my rent.

Sorry for venting, but I can't explain it in 280 characters.

As of 10:45 as I hop in the shower, 516 readers have cast a total of 7,134 votes, or an average of 13.8 votes among the 21 categories. That's great folks! As a reminder, you can change your votes through midnight with your personalized link I sent out this morning.

FIRES: Governor Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Sonoma and Los Angeles counties because of the fires. The governor is touring the affected Sonoma County areas today.

PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC: First, 93% of the 178,000 customers who had their power shut off this week have been restored, with rural Sierra Foothills and some Kern County customers still waiting for re-energization. However, for many customers, this is a momentary respite before an anticipated public safety power shutoff (PSPS) beginning tomorrow afternoon before high winds return. Power is expected to off until the weather subsides Monday afternoon before inspections and re-energization can occur.

The investigation into the 16,000 acre Kincade Fire in Sonoma County yesterday took an odd turn yesterday when PG&E notified the Public Utilities Commission that it was aware of a mechanical failure on a high-voltage transmission line near the reported start of the fire, which occurred after power had been shutoff for customers. The company stated yesterday that while the "distribution" lines that ferry electricity to customers had been shut off, the higher-voltage "transmission" lines were not, as they have a higher wind-speed tolerance and are more frequently above trees.

As of last report, 49 structures had been damaged or destroyed in the Kincade Fire, although the types and extent of damage are not yet known.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON: At the last report, SCE reports 13,009 customers subject to a PSPS. Another 132,697 customers are under consideration from de-energization, which appears to be for the current event rather than the one starting in Northern California tomorrow leading to the PG&E warnings.

TICK FIRE: North of Los Angeles, the Tick Fire that broke out at 1:24pm yesterday had consumed 4,300 acres and was 5% contained as of the last report. There isn't a reported number of structures damaged or destroyed but you likely have seen the images of homes burning and the destruction is significant. 10,000 structures are currently reported as "threatened."

The cause is unknown.

SAN DIEGO GAS & ELECTRIC: Currently, SDGE reports 16,000 East San Diego County customers subject to a PSPS, with others under consideration. No weekend warnings appear to have been issued.

CAP-AND-TRADE LAWSUIT: For CalMatters, Rachel Becker reports on the federal government's legal attack on California's cap-and-trade program and concerns by key industry players that the federal intervention to block California's program could actually reduce their costs of emissions reductions:

"That's the warning from a carbon-trading advocacy group called the International Emissions Trading Association, or IETA, which counts major oil companies and manufacturers among its members.

In a statement issued Thursday in response to questions from CalMatters, the group condemned the U.S. Department of Justice’s new lawsuit that takes aim at California’s signature program tackling climate change: cap and trade.

The Justice Department’s complaint, filed Wednesday, contends that California strayed into the federal realm of foreign policy when it linked its cap-and-trade program with Québec’s.

'The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement,' Jeffrey Bossert Clark, an assistant attorney general with the Department of Justice, said in a news release. 'The power to enter into such agreements is reserved to the federal government, which must be able to speak with one voice in the area of U.S. foreign policy.'"

The similarity of the fight between California and the feds over auto emissions standards can't be ignored. Similar to cap-and-trade, major automakers actually support California's higher standards -- to the extent the feds are threatening them with antitrust violations.

BALLOT MEASURE BONANZA: There are currently 12 initiatives, 2 referenda (SB 276/SB 714), and 3 recalls (2 Newsom, 1 Pan) in circulation, and 10 more initiatives are pending title and summary at the Office of the Attorney General.

DIALYSIS: If you haven't had enough fun on the fights over private dialysis clinics in the last legislative session, last November's ballot, and this year's legislative activity that culminated in Governor Newsom signing AB 290 (Wood), we've got more fun ahead! Yesterday, an initiative was filed with the Office of the Attorney General by SEIU-UHW for the November 2020 ballot.

I haven't had time to fully analyze the language, but it appears to focus on staffing and process for closure of clinics, rather than the profits cap that was in Prop. 8 last November.

RANKED CHOICE VOTING: Yesterday, the initiative to provide for ranked-choice voting in state and federal elections was cleared for circulation with the title "Requires Ranked-Choice Voting System for Federal and State Elections. Restructures State Senate to Multi-Member Districts. Initiative Constitutional Amendment." It will require 997,039 by 04/21/2019 to qualify, a very hurdle given the high number of votes in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

AB 5/DYNAMEX: For Fox & Hounds, Chris Micheli writes on the complexity of the Dynamex decision and AB 5 (Gonzalez), which will clearly be a major topic of the Legislature next year.

By the way, no initiative has been filed yet by DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber while their $30 million each sit in bank accounts accruing token interest while the banks make out like bandits. California Bank & Trust has $60 million (Lyft, Uber), while Bank of Marin has DoorDash's $30m.

Since we talked about it last Monday with Chris on the employer side, I have been working on a labor side person and just trying to figure out scheduling. Hopefully we can land one of the key players next week.

MUNI MATTERS, CAKEDAY, FAREWELL, and CLASSIFIEDS after the jumpity jump...

Probolsky Research

MUNI MATTERS: For CalMatters, Judy Lin and Elizabeth Castillo look at the State Auditor's list of fiscally distressed California cities. They write:

"The state auditor’s office began examining local governments for signs of fiscal shakiness in the wake of a financial scandal in the city of Bell. Then-Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, whose district includes the tiny Los Angeles County city, authored Assembly Bill 187 in 2011 authorizing the auditor to determine whether local agencies are at risk of fraud, waste or mismanagement.

The top 18 high-risk cities comprise a mix of size and geographic areas, but regional pockets were apparent in the East Bay and inland Los Angeles County."

Hey, Vern! You're in the news again even though John A. Pérez has moved on to bigger, bluer, and golder things.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Angelica Gonzalez!

FAREWELL: Former Assemblymember Paul Bannai (R-Gardena) (July 4, 1920-September 14, 2019) - Bannai was the first Japanese-American to serve in the California State Legislature. The Nichi Bei newspaper reports:

"During World War II, Bannai and his family were incarcerated in the Manzanar concentration camp in California. Bannai would go on to join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, traveling to New Guinea and other places overseas. According to a biography, he trained with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, before being assigned to the U.S. Army Intelligence Service.

He would eventually get married to Hideko Bannai, where they would resettle in Gardena, Calif.

After establishing his own insurance company, the Bannai Realty and Insurance Company, he would run for the Gardena City Council in 1972, and in 1973, was elected to the California State Legislature, serving four terms from 1973 to 1980 as a Republican representing the 67th and 53rd Districts."

Because I went to grade school in Orange County, I didn't learn about World War II internment until I took California History at UC Davis. One of the books we read was "Farewell to Manzanar," and it's nice to know that the 1973 book has a new edition. While the internment of Japanese-Americans is certainly included in a few of the books on our Sofa Degree list, I really should add one distinctly on internment. If you have a fave, let me know.


Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]

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.
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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: