Around The Capitol

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  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer and Paul Mitchell on the primary election (2020-02-13)
  • Look West (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assembly member Buffy Wicks and her husband, Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler, as they discuss their efforts to prevent gun violence in California and nationwide, and how this work brought them together. (2020-02-13)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (2020-02-11)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer @ KQED): episode five of the eight-part series on Jerry Brown (2020-02-09)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): New Hampshire primary and data guru Paul Mitchell on the California primary (2020-02-06)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Granite State native Steve Maviglio on the New Hampshire primary (2020-02-06)



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 updates

The Nooner for Thursday, February 20, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Deadline day
  • AB 5 (Gonzalez)
  • Heavy LYFTing
  • de León IE: whoopsie
  • Cakeday and Classifieds


  • Ballots mailed: 16,065,956
  • Ballots returned: 1,404,192 (8.7%)
  • Democrats: 547,724 (8% of mailed)
  • NPP/Other: 293,935 (6%)
  • Republlicans: 562,533 (14%)

If you haven't played with PDI's tracker, you can dive down by districts and geography.

Well, hello there. We are eleven months from Inauguration Day. Half the country will be in a really crappy mood. As I'll explain when I finish my Mexico write-up, if you're on that side of the November battle, let me tell you that February is a fantastic time to visit Mexico City.

I'm back at The Nooner Global Headquarters in Southside Park. There are no churros, tamales, or atol de elote across the street, but at least I am drinking some great coffee sourced from Veracruz that I picked up on my Colonia Roma food tour. It was a long flight back last night through a rainy Dallas-Fort Worth. There was the strangest delay in boarding as we stood in the jetway for 20 minutes. Two service dogs, one a German Shepard and the other a Labrador, got into a flight on the plane and so the crew had to scramble to reseat the passengers on opposite ends of the plane. In baggage claim in Sacramento, the Shepard (accompanying a visually impaired passenger) was still loudly barking at the Lab, which was in training and seemingly had consumed plentiful CBD on the flight and was quite sedate. I thought I had seen everything during my many years of traveling while representing community colleges.

The timing of my flight was near-perfect. By near, I mean that I watched the first hour of the Democratic catfight, which made the last part of the flight quickly pass. I just wish I didn't have to wait for the second half until I got home. Anyway, I take back the bad things I've said about American Airlines. Great crew and television service. I'm guessing I was the only person watching the debate on the large Aerbus.

We're going to do a two-fer Nooner today to make up for my technology challenges at the end of last week before Adam Probolsky came to my rescue with the power cord delivery in Mexico City. That and frankly there are so many campaign reports to get through that I have far more than six hours worth of work to do to contextualize things for you.

The big item I'm working on and hope to have for you this afternoon or tonight is another surge of spending by the David Crane-organized "Govern for California" network that is walking a very narrow legal tightrope of spending for Democrats and a couple of Republicans. Tell me there is no coordination when the same donors give to separate committees that in turn contribute to the same candidates on the same day. I just need more whiteboards at HQ.

Following reader feedback, I changed how I display the ballot update above. No matter how I display it, it will be open to criticism -- all of which is fair. I tried to explain that yesterday in the opening paragraphs, but I should have put the partisan ballot numbers with the totals instead of listing them after I wrote the narrative. The important thing is that the partisan return statewide really isn't important given the 70% of non-Bernie Democrats that are moving around and are likely holding on to their ballots. Also, as I have written, because of the fourteen complete and one partial (Los Angeles) Voters Choice Act counties where ballots are being mailed to voters, the Democratic Party and NPP return rates will be lower than Republicans, and particularly lower than previous cycles. I do expect the gap to close mid-next week but frankly this is new to all of us.

Reader feedback also criticized my language about the five candidates who are likely competing for delegates in California because I stated that all five were within the "margin of error" of the 15% viability required to capture statewide and district-level delegates. Of course, Bernie is well above the margin of error, but I think most people understand what I was saying. If not, I offer sincere apologies. All I was trying to say is that Bernie is a sure bet on delegates from California and the question is whether or not he will be sharing them with the other four (Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Warren).

And all that said, I wouldn't be surprised if Amy Klobuchar picks up delegates in California as well with her strong performance in the debates. While no poll suggests she will land statewide delegates, I could see her capturing district-level delegates. To my knowledge, though, she doesn't have a ground presence in California. You are my contributing editors. Let me know what you are seeing out there.

Let's get to it after the jump...

DEADLINE DAY: Today is the last reporting deadline for state candidates and committees spending in connection with the March 3 primary election, meaning that the already insufferable job of going through campaign reports will be that much worse tonight. The reports cover the period from 1/19-2/15, but more importantly will also show cash on hand and debt. Of course, any contributions of over $1,000 will still be required to be reported withing 24 hours through the election, as are any independent expenditures over that amount.

If you're not familiar to the geekdom that consumes my life these days, this is where you'll see the firehose of reports throughout the day. At least I don't have to drink bottled water at Nooner Global HQ.

AB 5 (Gonzalez): Lobbyist, professor, and friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli shares the latest list of bills introduced to follow-up on AB 5, relating to independent contractors. Tomorrow is the deadline to introduce bills.

Assembly (9)

  • AB 1850 (Gonzalez) – recasts Labor Code Sec. 2750.3
  • AB 1925 (Obernolte) – creates small business exemption to ABC Test
  • AB 1928 (Kiley) – repeals ABC Test and requires determination using Borello test
  • AB 2457 (Melendez) – exempts individuals who are licensed pharmacists
  • AB 2458 (Melendez) - exempts individuals working as physical therapists
  • AB 2465 (Gonzalez) - recasts and reorganizes the exemptions for a person licensed as an esthetician, electrologist, manicurist, barber, or cosmetologist
  • AB 2489 (Choi) - prohibits franchisees from being deemed employees of a franchisor
  • AB 2497 (Bigelow) – spot bill (but refers to transportation network companies)
  • ACA 19 (Kiley) – requires determination based upon Borello test

Senate (12)

  • SB 806 (Grove) – spot bill
  • SB 867 (Bates) – makes permanent newspaper carriers exemption
  • SB 868 (Bates) – exempts all freelance journalists
  • SB 875 (Grove) -- exempts court interpreters and translators
  • SB 881 (Jones) – exempts musicians
  • SB 963 (Morrell) – exempts referees and umpires for youth sports
  • SB 965 (Nielsen) – exempts companies that employ health care providers who provide services to patients at those facilities
  • SB 966 (Nielsen) – exempts licensed pharmacists
  • SB 967 (Borgeas) – prohibits franchisees from being deemed employees of a franchisor
  • SB 975 (Dahle) – exempts licensed timber operators and registered professional foresters
  • SB 990 (Moorlach) – exempts transportation network companies
  • SB 1039 (Galgiani) – states intent of the Legislature to develop a modern policy framework that facilitates independent work for those who voluntarily choose it by creating a third classification of workers

Of the 21 bills Chris lists, 18 are by Republicans, and while important by providing examples of problems with AB 5 as approved last year for the discussion, are unlikely to go anywhere. I talked about Cathleen Galgiani's bill yesterday and, while I think that's the best approach, she's on the outs with labor and Democratic leadership. The main bill is Lorena Gonzalez's (D-San Diego) AB 1850. Gonzalez's AB 2465 may also move separately, but beyond that narrow exemption, it is totally unclear what will happen this year.

My law school classmate Ben Ebbink, an employer-side attorney/lobbyist, has an updated document on what's happening with AB 5. Ben is the former chief consultant of Assembly Labor and even Lorena Gonzalez says that he's one of the nicest guys in town. If you don't know him, you should.

more after the jump...

HEAVY LYFTing: App-based transportation network Lyft yesterday reported the first independent expenditure from the committee it opened last Thursday with $2,000,000. The new committee, "Californians for Independent Work, Sponsored by Lyft, Inc." is in addition to the the $30 million the company has put in the joint committee with Uber and DoorDash for a November initiative to exempt the companies from AB 5.

The committee's first target is Assembly member Tyler Diep (R) in AD72 (Garden Grove-Westminster). Yesterday, it reported $45,854 for polling, consulting, and a mailer against the Assembly member, who voted for AB 5 and is being challenged from the right by former state senator and fellow Vietnamese-American Janet Nguyen (R). Whichever Republican wins, they are almost certain to face Garden Grove council member Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen (D). No, I won't play the name game and suggest that we're either in Diep or a Nguyen-Nguyen situation, but it's anybody's guess.

Now, of the $2 million from Lyft, $1 million is a "loan" to the committee. However as the sponsor and sole contributor, they can actually take all of the unused dough back. It's unclear whether the company is walking to the craps table with a huge buy-in for chips only to play the pass line before cashing out or if they are going all in. The next 12 days are going to be fascinating.

Whatever happens, the big winner is the Bank of Marin. That's where Politicom Law, the committee's treasurer and compliance firm, puts money. The treasurer is our friend Darrin Lim, a graduate of McGeorge School of Law (a frequent Nooner advertiser). While UCD's King Hall and UOP's McGeorge love to exchange barbs, it is all in good nature. Our affiliated Inns of Court judges-lawyers-law profs-students organizations had joint meetings and while we had very different cultures, it's all the same community.

Often, the law firm a committee hires (or a group of folks hire to form a committee) has a bank they work with regularly. They handle all the reporting, deposits, checks, etc. In this case, Bank of Marin is sitting on $2 million and paying piddling interest. The same bank was the recipient of the $100+ million for the initiative effort, although that money is going out the door fast for a signature-gathering effort that is reportedly paying $5-6 per signature.

more after the jump...

DE LEÓN IE WHOOPSIE: The LAT's Emily Alpert Reyes tweeted a picture of an IE mailer supporting former Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D) paid for by Angelenos for Safe Transportation PAC, which is sponsored by the taxi industry. Obviously, they are concerned with the growth of the app-based transportation industry such as Uber and Lyft, and last month held a strike after LAX moved them from curbside pick-up to a remote location that is shared with the app-based companies, requiring customers to take a shuttle. In the strike, they demanded to return to curbside pick-up.

The problem with the mailer? It said "Vote March 8" -- five days after the election. On another spot on the mailer, it lists the correct March 3 date.

A similar issue happened recently in AD01, where a mailer from Assembly member Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) listed her husband State Senator Brian Dahle (R) as the "paid for by." The campaign manager for both took the blame and said it was indeed paid for by Megan's campaign. This is the time of year when tons of mail is going out (which is why I voted early) and tons of mistakes are being made.

Speaking of that, I mailed in my ballot before I left and it was reported received by Sac County on February 12. (full disclosure: I voted for Pete) What's the over/under of the number of mail pieces are in my suspended mail package arriving this afternoon.

That's why smart campaigns rely on our friends at PDI.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: In unison "We have no cakedays today..."



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]

CA Federation of Teachers - Field Representative

The California Federation of Teachers is seeking an experienced Field Representative with a strong commitment to improving education and to the labor movement, a willingness to work long and irregular hours, an ability to communicate effectively with diverse staff and membership, and an organizing approach to the job. A field representative's responsibilities may include work with certificated and classified employees ranging from preschool through post-graduate. ">More information here.

Department of Water Resources – State Water Project Chief Financial Manager

The State Water Project (SWP) Chief Financial Manager (CFM) works under the direction of the Deputy Director, SWP and provides high-level policy advice to the Department of Water Resources' (DWR) Directorate and SWP senior management on matters affecting the investment of resources to improve and sustain SWP operations. Please visit the CalCareers website for instructions on how to apply:

California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Rep (4 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. Positions based in the following locations: North LA/Ventura, South San Joaquin, SF Bay Area, and North Coast. Salary based on experience. Please apply at:

Senior Policy Associate (Los Angeles)

The Alliance for Children’s Rights is seeking a Senior Policy Associate to support the organization in the areas of local government advocacy, strategic planning, public education, communications, and media relations. The Senior Policy Associate will be focused primarily on systemic change relevant to children living in foster care and in poverty in Los Angeles County. The Senior Policy Associate engages in legislative and regulatory advocacy, litigation, and communication efforts ensuring successful implementation of statewide reforms in Los Angeles County and assisting in the development and implementation of systemic solutions specific to Los Angeles County. This position is housed in our main office, located in the City of Los Angeles.

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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: