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 Saturday, February 22, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Write-ins
  • Prop 13 redux
  • Cakeday and Classifieds


  • Ballots mailed: 16,101,316
  • Ballots returned: 1,838,066 (11.4% of mailed)
  • Democrats: 732,296 (10% of mailed)
  • NPP/Other: 381,409 (8%)
  • Republicans: 724,361 (18%)

If you haven't played with PDI's tracker, you can dive down by districts and geography. Again, expect Dem/NPP return rates to be slower than the GOP for the three reasons I've previously written about. Particularly this year, mail-in ballots will be disproportionately GOP, white, and older. That's not unusual, but also punctuated because of the growth of Voters Choice Act counties.

I'm still adjusting to being back in the USA and getting ready to watch the Nevada caucuses. There is so much going on that I feel like I'm treading water among a firehose of news/info, but at least I can drink the water. That said, while I'm normally a fan of my special dork roast (once a typo by the purveyor and now a standing joke) from Davis, I am drinking a mild roast sourced from Veracruz that I picked up on my Colonia Roma food tour last Saturday. It is outstanding!

I have so much work to do, including how much Bloomberg reports spending of his $400+ million in California and to whom. Let's just say that I'll have no siesta time this weekend. Here is the 2 megabyte CSV file of his disbursements.

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

WRITE-INS: The Secretary of State yesterday released the qualified write-in candidates for the March 3 California ballot. Under the top-two primary, interested individuals can bypass the normal costly filing process and gather 20-40 valid signatures to be "qualified." Also released was the ten-year party preference history of the write-in candidates, which was previously published for otherwise qualified candidates. Of course, as we saw in AD57, this is attested to by the candidate and is not verified by the Secretary of State. I can check on current voter registrations, but have no idea about the overall history.

Under the top-two primary, write-ins are not counted in the November general election.

The districts with eligible write-in candidates are:

  • CA01 (Northeast Cal)
  • CA08 (San Bernardino High Desert)
  • CA09 (San Joaquin)
  • CA31 (San Bernardino)
  • CA36 (Coachella Valley)
  • CA41 (Riverside)
  • SD03 (Napa/Yolano)
  • SD09 (Oakland)
  • SD25 (Pasadena)
  • SD31 (Riverside)
  • SD33 (Long Beach)
  • SD39 (San Diego)
  • AD07 (Sacramento)
  • AD11 (Fairfield-Delta)
  • AD13 (Stockton)
  • AD17 (East San Francisco)
  • AD21 (Merced) 
  • AD34 (Bakersfield)
  • AD45 (West San Fernando Valley)
  • AD52 (Ontario)

Damn, my write-in vote for Paul Mitchell against Assembly member Kevin McCarty (D) in SacTown won't count. Of course, I jest as we're all old friends, and Paul doesn't live in the district these days. In seriousness, none of the write-in candidates in the twenty districts listed above have a chance. Even if we had situation like The California 47th on The West Wing, voters don't actually know how to sign their names these days, let alone write in a candidate's name. 

I've written about it before but the club of Noonerites are always changing. Among the above districts, there were several in which only the incumbent filed. It costs >$1500 for filing fees if you don't have signatures in lieu. But, after filing has closed, it takes 20-40 valid signatures to be a qualified write-in. After you're a qualified write-in, all it takes is your own vote to appear on the November ballot next to the incumbent. Even if the incumbent goes all West Wing California 47th on us, the write-in will likely lose. From my judgment after looking at these twenty districts, there will be no write-in surprises.

more after the jump...

PROP 13 REDUX: Yesterday, Joel Fox wrote on the $15 billion preK-University bond on the March 3 ballot, which showed bare support in the PPIC poll released Thursday. Among likely voters, PPIC found 51% supporting and 42% opposing. The poll included the ballot number in the question, which was "Proposition 13 is called the 'Authorizes Bonds for Facility Repair, Construction, and Modernization at Public Preschools, Kto-12 Schools, Community Colleges, and Universities.' If election were held today, would you vote yes or no?"

Obviously, if I was still doing what I did for 20 years for community colleges, I'd be raising money and hitting the trail for the measure. I saw that the organization I was CEO of gave $25,000 to Governor Newsom's committee to support the measure.

Aside from the 30% opposition to any school bond, there is additional opposition because of a provision in the bill (AB 48 by Patrick O'Donnell of Long Beach) that forwarded the borrowing question to voters. That opposition is because the Education Code governing the spending for K-12 projects includes the language:

(2) Within each of the priorities identified pursuant to paragraph (1), the department shall further prioritize projects that include the use of a project labor agreement.

Obviously, contractors who generally are not working with unions and those that don't like the PLA construct are pissed and appropriately so. But, labor has won in the Legislature and thus, you get that language. That said, O'Donnell is the chair of Senate Education and while chaptered bills always cite one member, the bill was titled as introduced by O'Donnell and Steve Glazer (D-Orinda).

Glazer was the higher education champion in the bill and one of the reasons it jumped to a record $15 billion when most of us thought it was going to be $12 billion. Glazer is a mod and being challenged from the left in SD07 by Marisol Rubio (D), who is the beneficiary of major labor independent expenditures.

From my sources, he agreed to the K-12 PLA prioritization language in exchange for a bigger chunk of the bond for higher ed as he eyes a full California State University campus in the Tri-Valley area (likely Livermore) to the east of the Bay Area. Currently, the area is served by Cal State East Bay, which was formerly known as Hayward, but as you know can be a brutal commute. He was competing with my friend and my Assembly member Kevin McCarty, who wanted an earmark for preK. It was a difficult fight and unclear whether it would come together at the end of the legislative session.

In the end, the PLA language was included in the bill, as was $2 billion each for UC, CSU, and community colleges. You know how I feel about that, but I'm no longer a lobbyist and have to step back to consider the overall policy picture. UC has huge fundraising and building-naming abilities and community colleges have local voter-approved bond authority, and there are several local community college bonds on the ballot. CSU, the only system I've not been enrolled in unless you count CSUF's Titan Youth Sports Camp that I attended each summer for many years, actually was the most disproportionately treated in the bond bill.

From what I know, while not getting an earmark, McCarty, who chairs the education budget-writing committee in the Assembly got an administrative commitment for pre-K construction prioritization.

Anyway, for proponents of the bond, I would say not to worry about the PPIC 51-42 number. Those of use among the 1 million who have already voted were already decided. The campaign supporting the measure started this week to influence those less decisive and the opposition is trivial. I saw the first pro ad last night with a "firefighter" talking about school safety. Great ad. The only negative spending is online from what I can tell, and it's trivial.

I fully expect that Californians will borrow to build more school and higher education facilities and rehab the existing ones. The policy nuances that insiders know (and are legitimate issues including the increase in debt limit for K-12 districts) will not be a factor, let alone the unfortunate number as Prop. 13.

cakeday and classifieds after the jumpity jump jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Ashley Nicole Johnson and Andrew Rodriguez!



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.

The Alliance’s Policy Program is based in Sacramento and works with Alliance program staff to identify and track child welfare practices that adversely impact our clients and helps to establish and implement responses to those practices which include legislative and regulatory advocacy, impact litigation and other reform efforts. A Bachelor of Arts is required, or a Master of Public Policy Administration or J.D. is preferred. For additional information on responsibilities, required experience, abilities, qualifications and application process, please visit our website:

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In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. 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

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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: