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California Legislative Directory| Classifieds | Sofa Degree


E-120 - Sunday, November 3, 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.

  • Cap●Impact (McGeorge School of Law): Chris Micheli on the shortcomings of the California Administrative Procedure Act (2019-11-02) [transcript]
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): CA25 and Stanford professor Michael Ware on wildfires and electricity (2019-11-01)
  • Look West (Assembly Democratic Caucus): "Celebrating 100 years of Women's Right to Vote" (2019-11-01)  [Apple Podcasts | Spotify]
  • SacTownTalks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): Russell Lowery on California's electrical system, as well as his time as a top GOP legislative staffer, lobbyist for PG&E, association management exect, and now running his own firm to help clients tell their message and affect public policy. (2019-10-30) [YouTube | Simplecast | iTunes
  • Gimme Shelter (CalMatters's Matt Levin and LAT's Liam Dillon): Opposites Beverly Hills mayor John Mirisch and Senator Scott Wiener on solving California's housing crisis (2019-10-30)
  • This is California: The Battle of 187 (Gustavo Arellano @ LAT and Futuro Studios): A podcast series on the 25th anniversary of Proposition 187
  • Nooner Bonus (Scott Lay): Former Assemblymember Lloyd Levine, who chaired Asm Utilies and Commerce, on the electricity situation. (2019-10-29)
  • SacTownTalks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): What a Week: CA25, fires, and electricity (2019-10-28) [YouTube | Simplecast | iTunes ]


  • Fires and electricity
  • Vaccinations
  • Santa Anita
  • Cakeday and Classifieds

Happy Sunday! It's one year before the 2020 general election.

This morning and full of testosterone after attending the Ultimate Fighting Championships in NYC last night, President Trump took to Twitter to go after California.

"The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management. I told him from the first day we met that he must "clean" his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers.....

..Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing-and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor. You don’t see close to the level of burn in other states...But our teams are working well together in.....

....putting these massive, and many, fires out. Great firefighters! Also, open up the ridiculously closed water lanes coming down from the North. Don’t pour it out into the Pacific Ocean. Should be done immediately. California desperately needs water, and you can have it now!"

"Water lanes." Huh. Those water lanes ferry salmon to Native Americans and maintain the Delta ecosystem for the birds on the Pacific Flyway between Canada and Mexico. Both long pre-existed people who look like me.

I know water is very complicated, which is why I'm going to learn from experts on Tuesday at PPIC's event. I do everything I can to absorb the information up like a sponge, but I know it's not as simple as portrayable in 280-character tweets.

Meanwhile, according to the LAO, the federal government manages 57% of the forest land in Caliifornia.

Gavin responded to President Trump's tweet, saying simply "You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation."


Major Fire Status
FireCountyAcresContainmentStructures DestroyedSuspected
Easy Ventura 1,806   100% unknown  SCE electric equip 11/2 0700
Getty Los Angeles   745 74%  10  LADWP electric equip 11/1 1900
Hillside San Bernardino 200 70% 6 unknown 11/1 1059
Kincade Sonoma  77,758  76%  372 PG&E electric equip 11/3 0700
Maria Ventura  9.412 50% 3 SCE electric equip 11/3 0700
Tick Los Angeles  4,615  100% 29 unknown/suspicious 10/31 0739
*Suspected cause: If identified, the agency has reported an electrical incident contemporaneous with the believed point of fire origin. No official cause will be identified immediately and will likely take months or more than a year.

Full list of incidents via CalFire.

HUMAN COST: Amid all the likely appropriate criticism of the utilities, it's important to keep something in perspective. No deaths caused by the wildfires have been announced this year.

Death Toll: 2017-2018 Wildfires
FireCountiesYearElectricity Related?Deaths
Tubbs Napa/Sonoma 2017 Yes 22
Redwood Valley Mendocino 2017 Yes 9
Atlas Napa/Solano 2017 Yes 6
Nuns Sonoma 2017 Yes 3
Thomas Ventura/Santa Barbara 2017 Yes 2
Camp Butte 2018 Yes 85
Carr Shasta/Trinity 2018 No 8
Woolsey Ventura 2018 Unknown 3
Source: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

While the season is likely not over, thank you to the first responders and the workers for our public utilities for keeping Californians safe in a situation that could have been much worse. 

Yes, I know there was a reported death from the early October power shutoff, although that was in doubt after an autopsy. To put it crassly, people die all the time. When over a million people lose power, deaths may not be caused by but are rather coincidental to a power shutoff.

SONOMA: In a beautifully written piece in the Los Angeles Times, Maria L. La Ganga reports on the impact of the Kincade Fire on Sonoma County's wine and tourism industry:

"The fire’s impact — which is considerable — was mostly felt by wine industry workers who were unemployed while their job sites and homes were under evacuation orders. And by small, family wineries that sell most of their wares from tasting rooms, which have been closed during this, the end of the high season. And possibly by the 2019 vintage itself."

DAMNED IF YOU DO, DAMNED IF YOU DON'T: After news that the Maria Fire in Ventura County may have started when Southern California Edison re-energerzed power lines darkened in a public safety power shutoff, the LAT's Doug Smith writes on the dilemma faced by utility providers dealing with angered customers whose power has been turned off:

"California utilities were already in a bind, between intense criticism when they shut off power and financial peril when they don’t during high fire hazard episodes.

Now an announcement by Southern California Edison has introduced a third dimension to the dilemma: the risk of turning that power back on too soon.

In an incident report filed with the Public Utilities Commission on Friday, Edison said it had shut down a 16,000-volt power line near Santa Paula last week following its fire-safety protocol but then re-energized the line approximately 13 minutes before the estimated ignition of the Maria fire."

PG&E: Meanwhile the LAT's editorial board steps closer to calling for a public takeover  of Pacific Gas & Electric:

"Public takeover is not the right approach for all private utilities. The state’s two other large for-profit power providers, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, have been fairly decent managers of their systems so far. But PG&E’s management has demonstrated that it’s time for a change, and the public option needs to be on the table."

more after the jump...

VACCINATIONS: For Politico, Mackenzie Mays looks at how parents can avoid the state's tightening vaccination requirements while using hybrid publicly-funded charter schools in which instruction is primarily provided at home. Mays writes:

"California doesn't have a clear interpretation of whether home-based charter schools qualify for the exemption, and some charter programs have relied on that ambiguity to skirt vaccination requirements.

Different home school charters have different rules. Some host classes through third party vendors like the YMCA, which don’t have to operate under the same laws that schools do. Meanwhile, state education and public health officials regurgitate the bill language when pressed for clarification about whether these types of programs are exempt from the law."

SANTA ANITA: Well, this weekend was the Breeder's Cup at the Arcadia race track that has seen 36 horses die since the spring meet began on December 26 and, you guessed it, another one died. For the LAT, John Cherwa reports:

"It appeared that Santa Anita had a safe Breeders’ Cup, but in the last race, at the top of the stretch, Mongolian Groom was pulled up in distress. He suffered a life-ending injury to his left-hind leg and was euthanized on Saturday. It was the 37th death at Santa Anita since Dec. 30 and will raise the temperature even higher on the track with one day remaining in the meeting.

It was the seventh death in the abbreviated fall meeting. Last year, there were four in the same time span."

We need to update our Nooner Santa Anita Horsie Graveyard:


Hopefully, Santa Anita works out the kinks before next year, as John Cherwa is a stringer for the Los Angeles Times and will be limited to 35 submissions next year under AB 5. Or, perhaps they are content knowing that horses will die in the dark.

The LAT's editorial board opines:

"The troubling thing is that even experts such as [Santa Anita chief vet Dionne] Benson are stumped by what is causing the recent deaths at Santa Anita and elsewhere. It would help if Benson had the necropsies of all the horses. The L.A. district attorney’s office set up a task force to investigate the deaths six months ago and the results are still not public nor does the office have a time frame for when they will be released.

Benson says her goal is “safe horse racing with zero fatalities,” but she acknowledges how difficult it will be to get to that.

Hopefully, even more changes at the park will get Santa Anita closer. If it can’t, and if no racing park in the United States can, then the inescapable question for elected officials and the public in California and across the nation is: Do we want to continue a sport — even a historic and beloved sport — in which horses’ lives are routinely sacrificed so that people can be entertained?"

No humans have died in 2018 from wildfires, yet 37 horses have died at Santa Anita in the last eleven months.

CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after the jumpity jump...

Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Anna Ferrera!


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]

SEIU-UHW – Government Relations Advocate/Organizer (Sacramento, CA)

The Government Relations Organizer in the Political Department reports to the Assistant Director for Government Relations and is responsible for a broad range of program objectives to advance SEIU-UHW’s strategic goals through legislative advocacy, coalition building, and regulatory advocacy.

SEIU-UHW offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, and a generous benefit package. For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at

Account Supervisor/Director (Los Angeles) – Fiona Hutton and Associates

Fiona Hutton & Associates is looking for a highly-driven communications pro to join our Los Angeles-based agency as an Account Supervisor or Director (depending on experience).

The position requires a minimum 5-7 years of experience in public affairs, public relations or politics, with agency experience required. Responsible for managing integrated communications and advocacy programs, creative content, media relations & coalitions. Will oversee operational performance of accounts, serve as day-to-day contact with clients and mentor junior staff.

For full qualifications and responsibilities, read the job description at

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to

Deputy Finance Director/Call Time Manager - Julia Brownley for Congress (Ventura)

Seeking a full-time Deputy Finance Director/Call Time Manager to manage and facilitate fundraising efforts, with a specific focus on call time and individual fundraising. This position will also serve as a political liaison for Congresswoman Julia Brownley at local and state political events. This is a great position for someone ready to step up from Call Time Manager to Finance Director, and beyond. Learn all the nuts and bolts of a top tier Congressional campaign. We’re seeking candidates who excel in relationship-building, are results oriented, a self-starter, highly detail oriented, have strong project management skills, and a deep commitment to Democratic politics and values. The position is based in Ventura County.

Review the responsibilities here, and if qualified and interested, email your resume to

Deadline: November 3, 2019

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.
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:

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: