Around The Capitol

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  • Gimme Shelter: California Housing Crisis Podcast (Liam Dillon @ LAT and Matt Levin @ CalMatters): The aftermath of the death of SB 50 (2020-02-03) 
  • SacTown Talks (Gibran Maciel): Assembly member Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) [YouTube | iTunes | Simplecast] (2020-02-03)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer @ KQED): episode three of the eight-part series on Jerry Brown (2020-02-01)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Chris Micheli on Lobbying 101 (2020-01-31)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Maris Lagos @KQED): update on Iowa caucus and political attorney Robin Johansen (2020-01-30)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) on SB 54, which seeks to reduce single-use plastic consumption. (2020-01-28)
  • Gimme Housing (Jakob Lazzarro and Matt Levin for CalMatters): The Oakland housing moms (2020-01-27)
  • Nooner Conversations (Scott Lay): Political data geek Paul Mitchell and GOP consultant Mike Madrid on the March 3 primary in California [Simplecast | iTunes] (2020-01-24)



ATCpro UPDATES (formerly Nooner Premium):

  • All of these are now on the ATCpro subscriber home page:
    • downloadable spreadsheet voter registration for each state legislative and congressional district
    • downloadable spreadsheet of 2016 presidential and 2018 gubernatorial results for each state legislative and congressional district
    • final downloadable candidate list for March 3 primary
    • 2020 ATCpro update

The Nooner for Wednesday, February 5, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Gavin @ PPIC video
  • Independent expenditures flow
  • Water
  • California's presidential
  • Voting bills
  • CSU
  • Cakeday and classifieds

GAVIN: The video of last week's luncheon conversation between PPIC president/CEO Mark Baldassare and Governor Gavin Newsom has now been posted.

Ah, it's the gift-giving season (independent expenditures)...

SD05 (San Joaquin): In the million-dollar labor-backed independent expenditure effort to oppose Modesto councilmember Mani Grewal (D) in the race to succeed Cathleen Galgiani (D), the committee reports spending $91,325 on polling, mail, and research. A barrage of cable ads is likely to follow. Labor backs Assembly member Susan Talamentes Eggman (D) for the seat.

SD15 (San José): The committee sponsored by California's Independent Petroleum producers has spent another $63,135 on TV ads in support of former Assembly member Nora Campos (D) in the tight race to succeed Jim Beall (D). Also in that race, the MercNews endorsed attorney Ann Ravel (D) yesterday.

AD09 (South Sacramento): Keep California Golden reports independently spending $77,060 on field efforts in support of Assembly member Jim Cooper (D), a moderate former county sheriff's deputy who faces a challenge from the left. The recent contributions to the multi-purpose committee are from the California Association of Realtors ($250,000), California Building Industry Association ($250,000), and the California New Car Dealers Association ($10,000) and this is the only race the committee has played in this year, so there's likely lots more to come.

AD57 (Whittier): SEIU-UHW sends $50,000 to the independent expenditure effort supporting Lisa Calderon (D) in her campaign to succeed stepson Ian Calderon (D). In a broad field, Lisa is seen to mostly be wrestling with Sylvia Rubio (D), the sister of Senator Susan Rubio and Assembly member Blanca Rubio.

LA-LA LAND: The LA county police officers association reports independent expenditures on behalf of the reelection of LA district attorney Jackie Lacey ($185,000) and for the election of councilman Herb Wesson ($165,000) for his county supervisor campaign. Also jumping in with $400,000 for Wesson is the SEIU local representing county workers, which was reported this morning.

WATER: For AP, Adam Beam reports that Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced a plan for managing the state's water "keep more water in the fragile San Joaquin River Delta while restoring 60,000 acres of habitat for endangered species and generating more than $5 billion in new funding for environmental improvements."

Instead of issuing rules that are often challenged by water agencies and agricultural interests in court, the plan was developed through negotiated agreements with the interests.

California's presidential and more after the jump...

UNCLOCK THE VOTE: Marisa Lagos writes for KQED that while California is unlikely to have vote counting problems like have plagued the Iowa caucuses, don't expect a quick final count.

I wrote why this is yesterday and why it is methodically so, but here is what it looks like in numbers with dates:

  Votes for governor Share
Election night (11/6)          7,721,410 61.9%
Additional through canvas period (E+30=12/06)          4,742,825 38.1%
Total votes for governor        12,464,235  

Many other states that have allowed large-scale vote-by-mail operations, like Oregon where everyone like Mom and Gram will vote in an all-mail election, have similar post-election day counts. It's simply impossible for county election offices to verify signatures in advance of counting the ballots on election night. Of course, with the nation's largest state pending on Super Tuesday with 416 pledged delegates (272 congressional district-level, 90 at-large, and 54 PLEOs) at stake, people's heads will be exploding.

The congressional district-level, at-large, and PLEOs (state and local electeds and party leaders who have committed to a candidate) all have something in common with Iowa--a 15% viability threshold. Candidate Eeyore can get 1% statewide, but only 15.1% in CA46. Eeyore would not be awarded a statewide delegate (either at-large or PLEO), but would win 1 congressional-level delegate for CA46.

The Secretary of State's Office will have the presidential results by congressional district in its results feed. I'm hoping to write the code to look at this through the long tail of California results, but it's not simple. Here are the delegates and alternates that will be awarded by California congressional district based on the March 3 election. Under party rules, they are weighted based on Democratic registration and by the performance of the Democratic presidential general election candidates in 2012 and 2016 and range from 4 to 7 delegates per districts, with 26 of the districts receiving one alternate spot.

We may have a good idea (but may not) on election night about the distribution of the 34.6% of the statewide delegates who are at-large or PLEO, but the 65.4% of those awarded at the congressional level could take weeks.

I need not tell you that the results from congressional district-level performance of candidates will be wildly different than Iowa because of the state's diversity. Sure, Iowa has college towns (which is why Sanders has a greater share of Iowa's popular vote than statewide delegates), but the political and demographic differences are far greater.

Thus, we'll be watching results from 8pm election night (March 3) until the deadline for counties to complete the canvass, which is April 3 (E+30). After Super Tuesday when California votes and before the end of the canvassing period, thirteen other states and five territories will vote.

If you think the last 48 hours has been wild in Iowa, you ain't seen nothing yet. Joe Mathews also writes about how all eyes will be on us.

The polls are moving around and will between now and March 3. The two New Hampshire trackers out today showed Buttigieg tied or above Biden and above Warren. Nevada and South Carolina will further mix things up. Meanwhile, roughly 70% of California's voters received their ballot yesterday or today (where's mine?!?), but as Paul Mitchell has written, predicting exactly when such ballots will return is impossible. For super-political folks, they will likely vote either immediately for a passionate choice, or hold off to vote more strategically.

Let's look at our collection of recent California polls.

 KQED/Change Research
CA120/Capitol Weekly
Bernie Sanders 30% 26% 27% 24%
Elizabeth Warren 16% 20% 23% 21%
Joe Biden 15% 15% 24% 20%
Pete Buttigieg 8% 7% 6% 11%
Michael Bloomberg 4% 6% 1% (VOL.) 6%
Amy Klobuchar 3%   4% 5%
Andrew Yang 5%   3% (VOL.) 7%
Tulsi Gabbard 4%     2%
Tom Steyer 2%     2%
Others (total)   6% 5%  
Undecided 13% 12% 7%  

It's a fair question to ask whether Biden will still be in the race on March 3. He is running out of money and doesn't have the small-donor infrastructure or Sanders or Warren (same problem that Kamala had). Biden will be hurt further in the states, like California, where Bloomberg is likely edging up in the polls and where he's doubling-down on television.

New Hampshire is a big state for Warren, and she is below viability now in The Granite State. Will she step aside and pass the baton to Bernie? If so, how many of her supporters would follow as many are looking for the first female candidate more than the issues? Of course, Klobuchar is not likely to be in the campaign much longer with her hopes of neighboring state Iowa propelling her largely unmet and with Gabbard receiving 0% in Iowa and well below viability in New Hampshire, she likely won't either.

I don't expect Yang to bow out quickly despite below-viability performance in Iowa that will likely continue in NH, NV, and SC. He seems to be having the time of his life. However, his support in California may move if he doesn't accrue any delegates, but where? In Iowa, where we could literally see people "take the walk" through the caucus process, most seemed to go to Biden and Buttigieg. Of course, he'll be one of twenty choices for Democrats (and NPP requesting Dem ballots) to consider in California.

This is my eighth presidential election and the Democratic Party primary is the most unpredictable yet. Do I love it? Yes. Do I love it even more because all eyes will be on California? Hell yes.

VOTING: In the Chron, Alexei Koseff writes that Assembly member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) has introduced AB 2070 to make voting in California mandatory, although how to enforce it would be left up to the Secretary of State.

Levine said California has done everything it can to make it easier to vote — including automating voter registration through visits to the Department of Motor Vehicles and eliminating the need to mail in ballots with a stamp — but turnout could still be better. About 64% of registered voters participated in the 2018 election, the highest midterm turnout in nearly four decades.

“We’re missing a huge swath of voters who are affected by what we do,” Levine said. “Too many Californians are opting out and having decisions made for them and to them that are not in their best interest.”

VOTING: As expected, Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) has introduced a bill to require voter registrations to be positively agreed to at the DMV. Currently, folks who show up need to affirmatively decline it. When they don't, they are registered as NPP, accelerating the rapid growth in that share of voters. The bill is AB 2072.

CSU: For Capitol Weekly, Lisa Renner reports on the collective bargaining woes that continue at the California State University, even in relatively good budget times.

Cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Bob Hartnagel!



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California School Boards Association - Legislative Director

CSBA is seeking a Legislative Director to lead our Governmental Relations team to shape legislative and political strategy for CSBA’s statewide agenda. You will act as a liaison between governmental, educational, and public communities. If you are interested in leading a team of policy advocates to influence opinion in favor of public education, please apply through our website. Position is located in West Sacramento. =Learn more and apply HERE.

Capitol Weekly's Conference on Housing: Feb 18
Don't miss Capitol Weekly's Conference on Housing, Feb 18 in Sacramento. Panels on the Homeless Crisis, Legislative Actions and New Ideas. Keynote from Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). Register here.

CA Democratic Party - Executive Director

The California Democratic Party is seeking a self-driven and highly competent Executive Director to lead our organization who will design and implement strategies that support and enhance our organizational and political operations. Duties for the Executive Director will include providing leadership to all staff, establishing and executing strategic electoral and financial goals, overseeing and streamlining daily operations, improving staff performance, ensuring fiscal compliance, and maintaining positive relationships with internal and external partners. More Info here. Please respond to

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

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