Around The Capitol

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  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Paul Mitchell on the Redistricting Commission (2020-07-06)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Los Angeles County supe Hilda Solis (2020-07-09)
  • Gimme Shelter (LAT's Liam Dillon and CalMatters's Matt Levin): Why California’s housing market isn’t tanking (2020-07-06)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Newsom, Trump, Roberts: Politics and Policy (2020-07-02)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Assembly member Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles) on the budget and the governor's response to COVID-19 (2020-07-02)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): WHO would Gavin Newsom pick for California’s open Senate seat if Kamala Harris does become Vice President? - Half a dozen political players from across the state, including Garry South, former state senator Fran Pavley, Roger Salazar, Adama Iwu, Karen Skelton and Joel Fox (2020-07-01)

The Nooner for Tuesday, July 14, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
  • School daze
  • Family matters
  • CA12 (San Francisco)
  • Affirmative action
  • Smokin'!
  • cakeday, farewell, and new classifieds


Happy Taco Tuesday! What a Monday of news we had.

This will definitely be one of those weeks. Tomorrow is the deadline for federal candidates to report second-quarter fundraising and spending, the first real measure of fundraising since the March 3 primary. And, obviously, the second quarter was a very strange time for fundraising.

Specifically, I'll plan to focus tomorrow on CA10, CA21, CA22, CA25, CA39, CA45, CA48, CA49, and CA53. I generally don't report on pre-announcement press releases because the balance sheet (unpaid bills) is important.

I'll try to turn-around a spreadsheet for ATCpro subscribers by Thursday night reflecting the totals for the eight-or-so most competitive races.

Filings for state candidates are due July 31.

COVID-19: Obviously, the big news yesterday was Governor Newsom's broadening of restrictions as the state saw record hospitalizations over the weekend and a positivity rate of 7.4% over the the last 14 days and 7.7% over the last 7 daysLA County is 9% and Arizona is at 26.5% and Florida is at 17.8%, although California has tested more of the state's population.

In theory, with much broader testing, the positivity rate should be going down. [video of Newsom's presser]


  • The mask order remains in effect.
  • Restaurants are prohibited from accommodating dine-in customers. Take-out and delivery remain permissible.
  • Bars, breweries, wineries and tasting rooms are closed. If patrons are being served meals outdoors, they may be treated as restaurants (note that this was tightened up since the early days -- a bag of popcorn is not a "meal."
  • Movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms are closed for indoor activities.

Counties on the state monitoring list because of metrics:

  • Must follow the statewide limitations.
  • Must close indoor:
    • Fitness centers
    • Worship services
    • Protests
    • Offices for non-essential sectors
    • Personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
    • Hair salons and barbershops
    • Malls

The current state monotoring list contains 29 counties, which is over 75% of the state population:

Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Yolo, Yuba, Ventura

SCHOOL DAZE: In between the time I wrote on school reopenings yesterday, so much has happened. After I wrote, Los Angeles Unified, San Diego Unified, San Bernardino City Unified, West Contra Costa County, East Side Union in San Jose, the Oakland Unified School District, and districts in Stanislaus County have joined Santa Clara Unified in announcing that they were not planning to return to in-person instruction when school returns next month.

LA Unified and San Diego Unified are the state's two largest districts, accounting for nearly 720,000 of the state's 6.16 million public K-12 students. Sacramento City Unified is expected to take up the issue on Thursday. In the LAT, Howard Blume reports that Los Angeles Unified superintendent Austin Beutner is asking for more direction from officials on when it's safe to reopen in-person instruction:

The superintendent also pointedly called for county, state and federal officials to provide leadership and funding for regular coronavirus testing and contact tracing. He said that school districts also needed clearer guidance on when and how to reopen. Beutner estimated it would cost $300 a year per person to test all students and staff members once a week.

“The dollars pale in comparison to the importance schools will play in reopening what was the fifth-largest economy in the world,” he said.

For the other school districts in Los Angeles County, the Department of Public Health yesterday issued guidance for reopening. Colleen Shalby reports for the Times:

Officials said Monday that children in L.A. County’s 80 school districts would be required to wear face coverings, with such exceptions as during nap time, and the use of hand sanitizer will be encouraged, especially among younger students. Social distancing practices will be maintained, and team sports that don’t allow for physical distancing will not be permitted.

“I want to assure you that we are committed to working closely with the school districts,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

In strong contrast, last night the Orange County Board of Education adopted a plan to return to in-person without mask or social distancing requirements. Roxana Kopetman reports for the Register:

The lone dissenting vote was Trustee Beckie Gomez, also the only board member to wear a mask during the meeting.

The board has no power to direct any of Orange County’s 27 school districts to follow its guidelines, which are in direct opposition to those issued by the Orange County Department of Education, state public health officials and others.

Monday night’s meeting struck a similar note to a forum called by the board last month, when most of the health and public policy experts represented one side: against masks and social distancing. During the board meeting in Costa Mesa on Monday night, most of the 22 speakers allowed to address the board said they want schools to return to normal.

Beyond nearly all maskless during last night's meeting, board members were not socially distanced. 

Both the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association have urged state leaders to delay reopening until the schools have shown that the environment is safe for children, teachers, and staff. Much of the public debate has been about the low symptomatic rates of children or the likelihood of them spreading to relatives and community, although there is significant concern over the well-being of staff, particularly those at high risk.

The AP's Jocelyn Gecker reports on the passionate views over school reopening.

FAMILY MATTERS: In the Press-Telegram, Hunter Lee reports that Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia's mother and stepfather are on ventilators after testing positive for COVID19.

While they are on ventilators — a forced breathing apparatus inserted down the airways while the patient is unconscious — Garcia said his mother and stepfather are in stable condition and receiving “heroic care” from hospital staff. “Stable condition” is a term typically, but not always, used to describe that the patient’s current state has not significantly changed or in flux.

“My mom is a healthcare worker,” Garcia said in a statement. “She’s worked in the same clinic for over 25 years and is incredibly careful and understands the seriousness of this virus.

“Thankfully, both are in stable condition and we hope for a full recovery,” he added. “They are both receiving heroic care from amazing doctors and nurses.”

Garcia and his husband, Matt, have not had any in-person interaction with them in weeks, the mayor said. Garcia and his husband both tested negative for the virus following a recent test.

CA12 (San Francisco): Yesterday, we had the Politico article of the challenge from the left of Senator Scott Wiener. In the overlapping CA12, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing a similar challenge, writes Joe Garofoli for the Chron.

In November, for the first time in her 33-year congressional career, Pelosi will be challenged for her San Francisco seat in a general election by a fellow Democrat, who calls her insufficiently progressive. If she’s worried, she doesn’t show it — she won’t even respond to his calls for a debate.

Pelosi has not debated an opponent since her first race for Congress in 1987, and she has demonstrated no interest in sharing a stage with Shahid Buttar, the child of Pakistani immigrants, attorney and democratic socialist who is running against her in November.

She’s not impressed that Buttar believes he could be another Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Bronx democratic socialist who unseated one of Pelosi’s lieutenants in 2018. Buttar, 45, has been frustrated in trying to get Pelosi’s attention and went so far Saturday as to hold a debate with an empty chair. An online petition, “Tell Nancy Pelosi: Stop Dodging Debates,” had attracted 6,200 supporters by Monday.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: For Capitol Weekly, Joaquin Romero writes up Proposition 16 (ACA 5) on the November ballot, which would repeal Proposition 209 (1996).

When Proposition 209, or the California Civil Rights Initiative, was originally passed in November 1996 with 54.6% of the vote, it was the first piece of legislation of its kind in the United States. It was viewed as a means of dismantling affirmative action, which allowed racial and other preferences in public hiring and admissions in order to make up for a history of discrimination.

The initiative was notably supported by former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson and its campaign led by University of California Regent Ward Connerly, who largely drafted the measure.  

Connerly, 81, is against the repeal and has joined with some Asian American groups in their opposition.

SMOKIN'! For FairWarning and in Capitol Weekly, Eli Wolfe looks into who owns Puff Bar, an e-cigarette company that sells many flavors popular with kids.

The company, Puff Bar, has even reveled in the mystery, saying on its website, “But who makes Puff Bar? Everyone wants to know the mastermind team behind the latest craze in the world of electronic cigarettes.” Indeed, lawmakers and numerous public health advocates have sought answers to this question with no luck.

But last week, a corporate filing in California has provided a glimpse of those involved with the company.

In a document filed with the California Secretary of State, Nick Minas and Patrick Beltran listed themselves as CEO and CFO of Puff Bar, a leading marketer of disposable vape products. Minas and Beltran, friends from high school, are both in their 20s, but despite their youth have had checkered careers as entrepreneurs — including being targeted by regulators and, by their own admission, banned by online retailers over dubious e-cigarette sales.


In a phone interview, Minas and Beltran said despite their lofty titles, they merely operate the Puff Bar website, and refused to say who hired them to do it. They also claimed they didn’t know who was behind another company that owns trademarks for Puff Bar products.

SB 793, Senator Jerry Hill's (D-San Mateo) bill to ban all flavors of combustible and non-combustible tobacco and nicotine products except hookah, has been referred to Assembly Health, getting around the hurdle of the past in Assembly Governmental Organization. Assembly Health is chaired by Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), a principal coauthor of the measure. The hearing date has not yet been set.

cakeday, farewell, and new classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Anna AlvaradoTina Andolina, Damon Conklin, Monica Aleman Gibbs, Shawn Lewis, and Caity Maple

CAKEDAYS GONE BY: Happy belated to Terry Sandoval (yesterday)!

FAREWELL: Former California Hospital Association president and CEO C. Duane Dauner (1940-2020)


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]

Between 1-3 unfurnished offices are available for sublease in the Wells Fargo office building, 400 Capital Mall Sacramento, CA 95814. The offices are approximately 12’X10’ each. Internet, gym. 24/7/365 key card access; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Tricia Horan at or 415-919-7990 with questions.
Offices available for sublease: Meridian Plaza

Between 1-3 offices are available for sublease in the Meridian Plaza office building, 1415 L Street, two blocks from the Capitol. The offices are approximately 150 SF each. Internet, gym, partially furnished (desk, chair, bookcases) are included. 24/7/365 key card access; floor-ceiling windows facing Sierras; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Jane at or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

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