Around The Capitol

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  • Capitol Weekly PodcastReporter Scott Soriano joins John Howard and Tim foster to talk about his detailed, three-part series in Capitol Weekly on California’s rape crisis centers. (2020-01-09)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer at KQED): Inside the Political Mind of Jerry Brown -first of an eight-part series (2019-01-09)
  • SacTown Talks (Gibran Maciel): Jeremiah Ramirez on sports betting (2019-01-06)
    SacTown Talks (Gibran Maciel): Best of 2019 (2019-01-03)
  • Look West (Assembly Democrats): Assemblymember Chau and special guest Alastair Mactaggart cover the new rights under the CCPA. [Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube] (2020-01-03)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Guy Marzorati at KQED): Senator Steve Glazer on working for Jerry Brown and his work to achieve bipartisanship (2020-01-02)
  • Nooner Conversations: 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)


The Nooner for Friday, January 10, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners 

  • Voter reg
  • AB 5 (Gonzalez)
  • Isn't that special?
  • All politics is local
  • Farm workers and sexual assault
  • VAXX
  • Pharma
  • Not a fluke
  • If I was President...
  • Are you down with NPP?
  • Cakeday and new classifieds 

Happy Budget Day! I doubt I'll have much by Nooner publication time as the release usually doesn't occur until part-way through (or even after) Governor Newsom's press conference scheduled for 10:30am. Anyway, you now know about my hot date tonight with the documents.

There are lots of budget preview articles today on Rough & Tumble.

VOTER REG: In the Bee, Bryan Anderson reports on the claim made yesterday on Twitter by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) that there was a "flood" of SD28 Republican voters who have their voter registrations changed to No Party Preference. Melendez is running in the special election to succeed fellow Republican Jeff Stone, who resigned in late 2019. Anderson writes:

Voters who are listed with “no party preference” have received postcards over the last month informing them that they can request a ballot for the Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent Party, leading some Republicans to spread theories that they are intentionally being taken off the GOP voter rolls.

While it’s true hundreds of Californians, including some lifelong Republicans, have been unknowingly switched to no party preference, Secretary of State Alex Padilla is largely not to blame for the problem.

There are several ways a California voter may have accidentally switched parties. They could have done it on their own and forgotten, mistakenly filled out a complex government form or had an election worker improperly enter their voter data. None of these errors would come from the Secretary of State’s Office, as Melendez suggested.

Additionally, postcard recipients concerned they’ve been wrongly registered can still change their party affiliation and cast a ballot before Election Day, or even on Election Day.

Paul Mitchell wrote on the voter confusion on Tuesday for Capitol Weekly, which I think I missed.

AB 5 (Gonzalez): For Salon, Nicole Karlis reports on the changes to Uber's app this week as the company tries to stave off a crackdown in California classifying its drivers as "independent contractors rather than employees. Karlis writes:

The changes that Uber made as a result of AB5 give drivers more control over their rides — a change which on the surface may seem benign. Yet the sinister purpose of such a change is to let drivers skirt the law and be more clearly defined as contractors. (A full-time employee, presumably, would not have a choice as to which riders they do and do not take.)

This is Uber’s attempt to keep their workers classified as independent contractors, and avoid paying them benefits or salaries.

ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? Last night was the filing deadline for the March 3 special elections in CA25 (Palmdale-Santa Clarita) and SD28 (Temecula-Blythe). CA25 also has a regular March 3 election, although that filing deadline was on December 11. SD28 is not up for a full term until 2022.

Here's what the lists look like:

CA25 special election (March 3/May 12):

  • Robert Cooper (D): University Professor
  • Getro F. Elize (D): Patient Resource Worker
  • Mike Garcia (R): Small Businessman/Father
  • Kenneth Jenks (R): Telecommunications Executive
  • Steve Knight (R): Small Business Owner
  • Courtney Lackey (R): Mother/Businesswoman
  • David Lozano (R): Attorney/Business Owner
  • Christin Noel Powers (NPP): None
  • F. David Rudnick (D): Business Owner
  • Christopher C. Smith (D): None
  • Christy Smith (D): California Assemblywoman/Mother
  • Cenk Uyger (D): Progressive Journalist
  • Aníbal Valdéz-Ortega (D): Attorney/Community Organizer

CA25 regular election (March 3/November 3):

  • Otis Lee Cooper (NPP): Legal Defense Investigator
  • Robert Cooper (D): University Professor
  • Getro F. Elize (D): Patient Resource Worker
  • Mike Garcia (R): Small Businessman/Father
  • Steve Knight (R): Small Business Owner
  • David Lozano (R): Attorney/Business Owner
  • Daniel Mercuri (R): CEO
  • George Papdopoulos (R): Businessman/Author/Speaker
  • Christopher C. Smith (D): Documentary Filmmaker
  • Christy Smith (D): California Assemblywoman/Mother
  • Cenk Uyger (D): Progressive Journalist
  • Aníbal Valdéz-Ortega (D): Attorney/Community Organizer

SD28 special election (March 3/May 12):

  • Melissa Melendez (R): Assemblywoman / Small Businesswoman
  • Anna Nevenic (D): Nurse / Author
  • Elizabeth Romero (D)
  • John Schwab (R): Small Business Owner
  • Joy Silver (D): Businesswoman / Housing Advisor

In the special elections, if no candidate receives 50%+1 on March 3, there will be a special general on May 12. In CA25 with thirteen candidates, there will almost certainly be a special general. SD28 was Trump+1.8% in 2016 so while Melendez is a favorite, it too likely will go to a special general with Silver likely to face Melendez.

ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL: Joel Fox writes on the impact on March 3 races due to the energized Democratic presidential primary and splits among the GOP.

FARM WORKERS: For Capitol Weekly, Scott Soriano writes on the issue of sexual assault of the state's farm workers.

Farm worker survivors of sexual assault and those who are there to help them, California’s rape crisis centers, face many obstacles: Survivors’ lack of English proficiency, immigration status, nature of employment, fear of employer retaliation, and distrust of authorities.

These problems are further complicated by a failure to prosecute those accused of sexually assaulting or raping farm workers, criminal networks engaged in human trafficking and extortion, and a lack of reliable data on these crimes.

VAXX: In the Times, Anita Chabria reports that the anti-vaccination protestor who through a menstrual cup on to the Senate Floor on the last night of the legislative session in September has now been charged with two felonies.

Rebecca Dalelio, 43, has been charged with one felony count of assault on a public official and one felony count of vandalism. If convicted, she could face up to three years in county jail.

The charges stem from a September incident in which Dalelio allegedly threw blood contained in a feminine hygiene device off the balcony of the Senate chamber’s visitors gallery and on to senators sitting below. The incident occurred on the final day of the 2019 legislative session and was suspected to be in protest of legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that week that limited exemptions for childhood vaccinations.

PHARMA: For the LAT, Soumya Karlamangla provides a Q&A on Governor Newsom's proposal for the state to enter the generic pharmaceutical biz.

NOT A FLUKE: Yesterday, the national progressive advocacy organization Voices for Progress announced that it has named Sandra Fluke as President. From a release:

Voices for Progress members have been making an impact at the federal level for a decade, advocating against tax cuts for themselves (the wealthiest Americans) and for campaign finance reform to reduce their own personal influence. They recently helped to secure historic increases in federal childcare funding and adequate funding for the Census. At the California State level, Voices for Progress members were instrumental in passing the nation’s strongest net neutrality legislation, enacting model climate legislation to prevent offshore drilling, expand renewable energy, increase energy efficiency, and more.

Last cycle, the recently expanded Voices for Progress political program engaged in House races for the first time, assessing over 85 congressional candidates to be featured on candidate menus. The California State political program had a nearly 70 percent win rate for its endorsed candidates, 92 percent of whom were women, people of color, or members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Voices for Progress intends to further expand its political program in advance of the 2020 election.

If the name sounds familiar, attorney Fluke was a candidate for the crowded SD26 race in 2012, losing to Ben Allen (D). She previously gained national notoriety when Republicans refused to allow her to testify in favor of contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act in the House Oversight Committee.

IF I WAS PRESIDENT... Yesterday, Paul Mitchell tweeted the latest CA_120 poll for the collaboration with Capitol Weekly. Here are the crosstabs.

CA120 poll

Also yesterday, new polls were released for the Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary. They are qualifying early state polls for the debates sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, including the one Tuesday, jointly with the Des Moines Register and CNN in Des Moines. The two polls vaulted California businessman/activist Tom Steyer onto stage after exceeding 5%.

That brings the number to 6 and, while today is the qualification deadline, no further polls are expected.

  • Joe Biden
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Tom Steyer
  • Elizabeth Warren

From RealClearPolitics, the polls break down as follows:

  • Nevada: Biden 23, Sanders 17, Warren 12, Buttigieg 6, Steyer 12, Yang 4, Klobuchar 2, Booker 3, Bloomberg 2, Gabbard 2, Williamson 1
  • South Carolina: Biden 36, Sanders 14, Warren 10, Steyer 15, Buttigieg 4, Booker 2, Yang 2, Bloomberg 2, Gabbard 1, Klobuchar 1, Williamson 0, Patrick 0

BLOOMBERG: Kathleen Ronayne reports on some big California hires just announced by the Bloomberg campaign:

Courtni Pugh, who led Harris’ strategy in the senator’s home state, is joining Bloomberg’s team as a senior adviser focused on paid media targeting constituency groups such as Latino and black voters, the campaign announced Friday. Bloomberg also has hired Crystal Strait, the former head of the state’s Planned Parenthood chapter, as political director, and Alex Gallardo Rooker, a vice chair of the state Democratic party, as a senior adviser.

ARE YOU DOWN WITH NPP? For the AP, Kathleen Ronayne writes that independent voters may decide the March 3 Democratic primary in California.

While they are eligible to vote in the Democratic primary, independents must take steps to do so. Those who show up at a polling place will be given an option to get a ballot for the Democratic primary. But the roughly 4 million independents who are expected to vote by mail must affirmatively ask for a ballot, either by returning a form in the mail, calling or emailing county elections officials.

As of last week, just 8% of independents who vote by mail had asked for a ballot in the presidential primary, according to data collection by Paul Mitchell, who runs the nonpartisan Political Data Inc., which collects and sells voter data to campaigns. Not all counties had reported data.

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Ann Ransford and Denise Tugade!



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]

California Special Districts Association

Central Coast Public Affairs Field Coordinator. Serve as key liaison to hundreds of local government agencies from Ventura to Santa Cruz. Promote grassroots legislative advocacy, public affairs, and other association activities. Regularly meet with and present to local agency executives and elected officials. Work from home w/frequent in-state travel. Salary range $68,336 - $102,503. Benefits include CalPERS pension. Send Resume and Cover Letter to

[full position description]

A bill's journey through the legislature is rarely simple or easy.
Ray LeBov, a 45 year Capitol veteran, has been teaching how to successfully navigate the legislative terrain for more than a decade. Ray’s Lobbying 101 and 201 are a must-attend for anyone looking to learn the complex issues that are involved in legislative advocacy. Capitol Seminar's next sessions are February 6 and 7th. Those interested in learning how to prosper in the complex legislative environment won’t want to miss attending! Click here for further details (including registration and pricing) OR feel free to call (916) 442-5009.
Paid Internship with Meridian Pacific, Inc.

This internship provides the opportunity to work on Republican political campaigns for local, state and federal candidates, statewide initiatives, issue advocacy, local and statewide ballot measures, grassroots activation, corporate public affairs, as well as event planning. We offer diverse opportunities for the interns that work with us.

Interns will help write press releases and other supporting 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 communications skills, preferred. Compensation is $15.00 per hour. Job hours are 24-40 hours per week. Email cover letter & resume to

Fiona Hutton & Associates: Account Supervisor or Director (Los Angeles)

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

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.

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: