Around The Capitol

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  • Nooner Conversations (Scott Lay): Lobbyist David Quintana on the 2020 Back-to-Session Bash: Looking at the past and getting ready for 2020 with tunes! Scott promises not to sing. [Apple Podcasts | Simplecast] (2019-12-27)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): SF Chron's Joe Garofoli and KQED's Guy Marzorati join Scott and Marisa for a wrap on the year in California political news (2019-12-19)
  • Gimme Shelter (Matt Levin and Liam Dillon): Housing storylines to watch in 2020, with former state housing head Ben Metcalf (2019-12-17)



  • Da Bash
  • Water
  • Money Matters: It really does in "America's finest city"
  • The Grapevine
  • Cakeday and new classifieds


The Nooner for Saturday, December 28, 2019, presented by SYASL Partners 

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Saturday! This is the first day that I expect to be at home for the entire day in two weeks, and it's glorious. Well, except that I really need to do some cleaning as I left for Portland with my place a bit disheveled--like my hair.

On the way back from recording the podcast with David Quintana about the upcoming Back to Session Bash, I stopped by the Capitol menorah to snap the above pic. Since I was a guest to the Kings game Thursday night (ugh, double OT loss), I knew that Thursday night was the fifth. Yesterday, however, there were only four branches lit on the Capitol menorah along with the shamash. I reached out to my authorities on Judaism other than Wikipedia and, indeed, the Capitol was a night behind. Maybe I'll go back tonight to see if they've caught up.

Sorry for saying "Alexa play 90s hip-hop" during the pod. That was unintentional and, yes, if you are listening to it out loud, it does trigger the device. Or at least it did when I was editing it in Final Cut Pro near my Echo. But, if it happens and you're shaking your hips later, you can thank me.

On the Bash, we're getting clues about the "masked singer" who is slated to perform at the Bash on January 16. It's a male rapper from east of the Mississippi south of the Mason-Dixon line. I think I might have it and my guess is that it's a guy my age who was born roughly a month from me.

It's not MC Hammer as some guessed, but that brings up one of the best political videos evah. "Newsom left and he's in charge...fear the mustache."

Follow the guest guessing game @TheBash2020.

The Bash has a classified ad starting January 6 for a couple of weeks so I may be biased. But, I'm really biased toward past guests like Coolio, Warren G, Digital Underground, and Naughty by Nature, all of whom have been at the event previously.

From the pod, Quintana gave two baller hints--arrive early (doors open at 5pm I believe) to ensure that you find a space near the stage with the guest performance at 7pm. And, grab a hotel room early. Quintana said on the pod that there will be lots of after parties and gave the additional baller tip that the unnamed guest and crew are staying at the Kimpton Sawyer at DOCO. It is invite only, although every legislative office is getting at least two tickets and others around town have the others of the 2,000 tickets printed. The entire Cafeteria 15L is the site, including the Ultra Lounge and Park patio. Like most of you, I need to ask around to get my admission.

With that many people convening at 15th and L on a Thursday night, it's wise to use alternative transportation. I'll use my usual two feet because that's how I roll, I mean walk.

Also on my way back, I listened to a Pod Save America episode from December 12 that I hadn't yet caught. On it, Dan Pfeiffer talks to Mike Isaac of the New York Times about several issues, including AB 5 and it's a pretty good and fair to all sides discussion. We have a real problem that begins at midnight next Wednesday/Thursday and nobody has any idea how it will play out. As I think I wrote before, I took an Uber to the airport for my PDX trip and a taxi back. My mom doesn't drive and now relies on Lyft to go see my grandmother in her care home. In the West Hills of Portland, taxis have never been a good option.

I don't want to take sides because that's my job, but Dynamex/AB 5/initiative has created a huge disruption and I have no idea how this will play out. I just want my mom to be able to visit my 99-year-old grandmother. Fortunately in Oregon, they don't have the disarray that we have in California on January 1. Also, after a few rides with her, I can say that my mom is the nicest Lyft rider ever and a good tipper. She knows not to say "Merry Christmas" to the Sikh driver on the way to dinner on Christmas Eve, which I can't say for the people at the PDX airport on Christmas Day telling the clerk where I was getting my NYT "I'm so sorry you have to work on Christmas." Uh, the clerk is wearing a hijab. Do you really think she's angry about working?

MONEY MATTERS, PARTICULARLY IN AMERICA'S FINEST CITY: Yesterday, the San Diego Democratic Party reported $31,479 in independent expenditures for the San Diego mayoral race where Assembly member Todd Gloria is the favorite. In district 7, Raul Campillo is the chosen one.

Gloria faces SD councilmembers Barbara Bry (D) and Scott Sherman (R) in the March 3 race and likely a November runoff. One of the most under-covered stories in California has been a dramatic takeover of "America's Finest City" by Democrats to suppress the traditional military, mod-Republican region. We saw this in AD77 earlier this year when Assembly member Brian Maienschein swithed from the Republican to Democratic Party to "better align" with his district values.

That seems like a dick move, but if you're falling the bouncing ball, he's right with the district. Is that a dick move? I'll leave that to you. But, it ain't up to us--it's up to the 296,260 voters in AD77. Take that from a former constituent of Bill Dannemeyer and Mickey Conroy in the OC.

While the limits in Sandy Eggo are $1,150 for mayor and $600 for council, these are independent expenditure exempt from those limits. Nevertheless, it suggests that we should look at the top ten donors to the San Diego Democratic Party. The election of Gloria to be mayor is of statewide interest.

SARA JACOBS $15,000.00
LAWRENCE E. HESS $10,225.00

If you're a new reader, you know I call out things that are illegal or "extra-legal" as we like to say. In this case, all in the game, yo'. You've gotta be a baller to play--even in America's Finest City.

WATER: In the LAT, Louis Sahagun writes that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is looking to "recharge" a reservoir under an Owens Valley lake dried out long ago to meet the desert metropolis's insatiable quench for water. The water rights were bought up in the early 1900s through a series of some less-than-savory acts that we remember from the movie Chinatown (free on Prime through 12/31!). Of course, it's not without controversy as we approach 2020. Sahagun writes:

[A] new concern is unfolding about 50 miles to the south in the high desert community of Ridgecrest. There, the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority holds the distinction of managing one of the most critically overdrawn groundwater basins in California — and of further depleting the aquifer by yielding to the demands of clients, including local pistachio growers.

Now, the authority is trying to prevent a potential takeover by state water officials, who say the groundwater authority must devise a long-term strategy of sustaining the aquifer in order to comply with state law. To meet that goal, it has proposed that the DWP build a 10-mile spur to divert aqueduct water into its troubled aquifer.

By way of payment for the water banking service, the authority would keep a small portion of the city’s water. In previous interviews, authority officials said a major obstacle standing in the way of such an agreement with the DWP would be the predictable public outcry over the unprecedented giveaway of city water conveyed by its legendary aqueduct.

More stories, Cakeday and new Classifieds after the jump... 


Probolsky Research

THE GRAPEVINE: If you're bi-California, you find it acceptable to like both the Dodgers and the Giants, and of course know The Grapevine well. If you've tried to pass over the I-5 transection of the Tehachepis in the last couple of days, you were in a snowstorm hell. In the LA Times, Paul Duginski looks at the history of the pass that is the bane of holiday existance for SoCal kids who go to college in NorCal and vice versa.

THE OC: Brady McDonald reports for the OCR (or SCNG or whatever their name is today) that Disneyland faced crowds leading to the closure of the entrance gates yesterday. McDonald writes:

Disneyland temporarily shut its gates Friday, Dec. 27 as crowds filled the Anaheim theme park and new visitors were directed to Disney California Adventure across the esplanade until attendance levels declined.

“We have temporarily stopped selling tickets to Disneyland Park,” the official Disneyland Today Twitter account said. “As of 11:40 am, Disney California Adventure Park tickets remain available. Updates to follow.”

Disneyland closed its gates at 11:40 a.m., less than 4 hours after the park opened. Disneyland diverted visitors to Disney California Adventure until later in the day when crowds were expected to diminish.

I'm delighted that I'm going to Knott's Merry Farm this week and not Dismalland. Don't get me wrong, but that's what the locals called it when I grew up and they did away with the ticket books. I think there were still A and B tickets (choo-choo!) in the Placentia house when I left. I just want to walk around a park with decorations to close out my holidays and Disney ain't it. Well, I've got 99 problems and the Disney lines it is.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Kelly Burns, Garen Corbett, Laura Fink, Steve Frank, Ann Garten, Kerri Hammerstom, Danny Leserman, Taylor Strand, and Michael Trujillo!


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]

Jobs with Expanding Statewide Non-Profit to #EndPoverty

Golden State Opportunity is hiring multiple positions including Field Director, Field Organizers, Operations Assistant, Program Manager, Social Video Producer and part-time mobile organizers.

GSO is a ground breaking non-profit that uses the tools and strategies of political campaigns to reach low-income workers and families to build financial resiliency and security.

Join our growing team and be a part of the most effective anti-poverty organization in the country. Please go to our website for more details.

UDW/AFSCME Local 3930: Communications Consultant

UDW/AFSCME Local 3930, representing 116,000 In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers around the state, seeks proposals from an experienced consultant to assist with external communications efforts around our 2020 statewide legislative and local collective bargaining campaigns.

The consultant will work closely with UDW’s Communications Director and staff, and may also work with the Legislative Director and Internal Operations Director.

Consultants may respond to one or both sections of the RFP.

Click here for the full position description and qualifications sought.

CTBA Back to Session Bash XV - 5 p.m. - 1:00 a.m

The biggest political event of the year, The Back to Session Bash, returns on Thursday 1/16 to celebrate its 15th year anniversary. Invitees will enjoy cigars, bourbon, Moscow Mule, Whiteclaws, rosé and cupcake bars; food by Cafeteria 15L; and more. You won't want to miss our live musical guests. By invitation only. Questions: Monique Vieira Huestis at

UCOP State Govt. Relations: Executive Assistant

The University of California Office of the President is seeking an Executive Assistant in its State Government Relations (SGR) office in Sacramento. Primary responsibility for managing SGR AVP/Director’s calendar, scheduling legislative visits, making staff travel arrangements, and writing/editing sensitive materials. Job requires demonstrated experience planning and coordinating logistics, strong organizational skills, and excellent written/editorial skills. Bachelor’s degree and 3-4 years of experience (or equivalent combination of education and experience) in executive assistant role in either the Capitol or in large academic or governmental organization preferred. Salary commensurate with experience. Apply HERE.

California Council on Science and Technology: Senior Program Associate

CCST is seeking a Senior Program Associate to focus on partner engagement and enhance long-lasting, meaningful impact in the California academic and research communities by building and deepening the relationships and strategic partnerships necessary to bring important research and ideas directly from the scientific community to California decision makers. The CCST Senior Program Associate will also manage the performance of key CCST programs and projects including but not limited to updating the CCST Federal Labs Impact Report, coordinating CCST’s annual site visit, and developing and engaging with the CCST Advisory Panel. Full job description can be found on our website.

California Council on Science and Technology: Science Fellows Program Manager

CCST is seeking a Science Fellows Program Manager to manage all aspects of the CCST Policy Fellowship Program by establishing program goals and processes; researching, interpreting and applying program and contract guidelines and requirements; formulating strategies; administrating resources; and continually innovating all aspects of the program. The Program Manager will need to use advanced concepts and organization objectives to resolve complex issues and/or rapidly unfolding events and issues in a constantly changing environment. This position reports directly to the Deputy Director of CCST. Full job description can be found on our website.

Sacramento City Unified School District: Chief Communications Officer

The Sacramento City Unified School District is seeking candidates for the position of Chief Communications Officer. The responsibilities include:

  • Provide leadership and direction for the district’s public relations and marketing programs, cable television operation, media relations, employee communications, and corporate and governmental relations on a local, state, and national basis. Serve as public relations counsel to the Superintendent, Superintendent’s Cabinet, and Executive Staff, and serve as a liaison between the press/media and the district. Communicate the district’s vision, mission, goals, objectives, results, and challenges to parents and the community.
  • Plan, develop, and maintain effective processes and channels of communication with internal and external audiences. Lead the development and delivery of news to broadcast, print, and online media to create media coverage of the school district on a daily basis. Develop and maintain brand image, positioning, and messaging for SCUSD.

Full description, qualifications, compensation range, and application information:

Deadline: January 5, 2020

OPEN POSITION: Public Affairs & Community Engagement Rep – California School Boards Association

4 New positions: Serve as CSBA’s liaison to local schools and county boards of education, key decision makers, and the community-at-large. Execute grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events.
Openings in the following locations: North LA/Ventura, South San Joaquin, SF Bay Area, and North Coast. Salary based on experience.
To apply, please visit:

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: