Around The Capitol

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  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, on Prop. 20 (repeal of criminal justice reforms) on the November ballot (2020-07-16)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): California Teachers Association president E. Toby Boyd (2020-07-16)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): COVID-19 and the response of school district and political leaders (2020-07-16)
  • SDSU Health Policy Podcast (Gary Rotto and Carolina López Rivera): Richard Barrera, VP of the Board of Education for the San Diego Unified School District on the district's response to COVID-19 (2020-07-16)
  • 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)

The Nooner for Thursday, July 23, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • The Legislature schedule
  • COVID-19
    • The numbers
    • Federal aid
    • Restaurants
    • Ferry building
  • Parking fines
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda)
  • AD72 (Westminster-Garden Grove)
  • cakeday and classifieds


ATCpro SUBSCRIBER UPDATES: [if you have forgotten or haven't set a password, use the forgot password tool]

  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): updated analysis (Leans Dem)
  • CA53 (SD Balboa Park-La Mesa-El Cajon): updated analysis (Safe Dem - Dem-Dem general)

¡Feliz mediodia mis amigos! It's Opening Day for Major League Baseball! It'll be a "season" like no other featuring regional games. The first game is Yankees at Nats with Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing out the first pitch. In other words, the nation's top infectious disease doc is throwing the double-middle finger to The White House who didn't invite him to yesterday's briefing. (4:08 PDT)

The only other game today is, oh why not, Giants at the Dodgers at 7:08 PDT with a face-off between and Cueto and Kershaw now that Bumgarner headed southeast. We need not play the normal guess of when the Chavez Ravine audience will show up and leave, as cardboard cutouts do neither. When the series of rivalries is flipped, I keep wondering whether "Beat LA" will be piped into the stadium along with fake crowd noise that we have been seeing, I mean hearing, so far.

In February after I returned from Mexico City after my first vacation in five years, I wrote that the situation with COVID-19 was "surreal." I had no idea how surreal it would become with overlays of police use-of-force protests. On February 26, a week after I returned from CDMX and my mom's birthday, the President cited "fifteen cases that will soon be zero." Of course, we now have 421,462 cases and 8,060 deaths -- just in California.

I'm not blaming President Trump for getting the numbers wrong. He was repeating what he was told. That said, it's a good reminder that statements among uncertainty can haunt candidates of all political parties. Meanwhile, the criticism of China's handling of Hong Kong also doesn't fit well with the federal intervention that is not welcomed by local elected leaders in Portland (where I was born and lots of my family lives). Alas, 2020.

Meanwhile, it is 2020 and we have an abbreviated legislative session to finish. We now have a better idea on the winnowed-down policy committee hearings in the Assembly next week, while the Senate is still anybody's guess.


Monday, July 27:

  • 10:00am: Revenue and Taxation, Room 4202 (7 bills)
  • 10:30am: Business and Professions, Assembly Chamber (9 bills)
  • 1:30pm: Banking and Finance, Assembly Chamber (2 bills)
  • 2:00pm: Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Room 4202 (4 bills)
  • 2:30pm: Elections and Redistricting, Room 437 (5 bills)

Tuesday, July 28:

  • 9:30am: Privacy and Consumer Protection, Room 4202 (1 bill)
  • 10:00am: Communications and Conveyance, Assembly Chamber (2 bills)
  • 1:30pm: Public Employment and Retirement, Room 437 (1 bill)
  • 2:00pm: Housing and Community Development, Room 4202 (10 bills)
  • 2:30pm: Transportation, Assembly Chamber (8 bills)

Wednesday, July 29:

  • 10:00am: Utilities and Energy, Assembly Chamber (3 bills)
  • 1:30pm: Labor and Employment, Room 437 (9 bills)
  • 2:00pm: Natural Resources, Room 4202 (13 bills)
  • 2:30pm: Insurance, Assembly Chamber (4 bills)

Thursday, July 30:

  • Call of the Chair: Judiciary, Room 4202 (14 bills)

It's going to be a wild week. Let's take a breath before moving on to the gnus.

COVID-19: The numbers: There were an additional 157 reported deaths in California yesterday and 12,063 new confirmed cases. As I cautioned with the very low numbers over the weekend, the spike over the last couple of days is likely due to weekend reporting lags. Regardless, things are **itty if you know what I mean. We can adjust for per capita, reporting days, and everything else, but it sucks no matter how you look at it. LA County reports:

From January to June of last year, coronary heart disease was the top cause of death, with nearly 6,000 deaths attributed to it. It appears that COVID-19, with over 3,400 deaths during the same time period, is on track to claim more lives in Los Angeles County than any disease except coronary heart disease —killing more people than Alzheimer’s Disease, other kinds of heart disease, stroke and COPD.

For additional comparison, influenza killed 1,521 people during the 2019 flu season from October to May.


New cases continue to be driven by people under the age of 41 years old with 57% of the new cases reported by Public Health today (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena). On June 22, the seven-day average of new cases was 1,763, now the county is averaging 2,952 new cases a day - almost twice as many cases reported just a month ago. This is higher than at any point this entire pandemic. There are 2,207 confirmed cases currently hospitalized, 27% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU and 19% are confirmed cases on ventilators. This is the fourth consecutive day of over 2,200 hospitalizations.

While we don't have the Beatles' "getting beter all the time," we can take solace in Howard Jones's "things can only get better."

Federal aid: As the state and individuals sit on the edge of their non-existent baseball seats, the situation is Washington is anything but clear. The White House wants a payroll tax cut to be part of the package which is a low priority of Senate Republicans. While it would be a big win for business, the retail effect would be felt before the November election and obviously not by the 16.2 million Americans on unemployment reported this morning and the growing number of others (e.g. "gig workers") not eligible for the insurance program. Senate Republicans have reportedly killed the idea over the fight of extending the supplemental unemployment benefit. We're now the prospects of no deal on the package, which would lead to huge triggered cuts in California based on the budget approved last month.

Restaurants: For the Chron, Janelle Bitker writes that restaurants have seen mixed results since being given permission to offer outdoor dining amidst the closure if indoor dining.

Weeks after the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order, San Francisco restaurant owners began lobbying city officials hard to allow restaurants to open their patios and create makeshift ones on sidewalks and parking spots. They argued these allowances could save the restaurant industry.

Now, the city’s restaurants have been serving diners outside for about a month — and owners are generally grateful. But the results are mixed, with some restaurants not seeing new customers despite efforts. And San Francisco’s often chilly, windy weather doesn’t inspire alfresco dining.

“I was hoping when we did outdoor seating we’d see an uptick in overall revenue, but the majority of the people who were getting to-go are now sitting there,” said Paul Einbund, owner of the Morris, a wine bar in the Mission District. “There’s no additional business.”

It's not really a surprise. My best dining experiences in SF were at the culinary hands of Gary Danko and Michael Mina. Neither are paired well with scents of asphalt, exhaust, and vomit. I feel awful for several restaurateurs right now in SF, here, and around the state. I would add the street vendors I adore (and have written about several times). While 2020 sucks for all of us, the restaurant industry has been particularly devastated.

Ferry Building: San Francisco's boutique food spot in the historic Ferry Building is now mostly closed after being deemed a "mall" under the public health order. Like other malls including the large Westfield on Market Street, stores with an outside entrance can remain open with precautions.

The San Francisco Ferry Building has gone through its share of ups and downs over the course of this pandemic, losing a handful of prominent food stalls while other businesses — and the iconic farmers market — have chugged along as best as they could.

But the historic food hall is facing what might be its biggest challenge of the coronavirus crisis this week: As the SF Chronicle first reported, the city has ruled that the Ferry Building should be classified as an indoor mall — a category of business that isn’t currently allowed to be open in San Francisco, as a result of the city having been placed on a state watch list due to its recent COVID-19 spike.

As a result, the Ferry Building abruptly closed indoor service at 26 shops on Wednesday morning, including many of its most prominent food businesses: Humphry Slocombe, Dandelion Chocolate, Cowgirl Creamery, Miette Patisserie, Recchiuti Confections, and Golden Gate Meat Co. were among the retail shops forced to cease indoor service temporarily. So were several popular restaurants —Delica, the Japanese deli; bagel kiosk Daily Driver; and empanada specialist El Porteño, for instance. The Ferry Building’s statement notes, however, that “interior shops can offer curbside pick-up” for orders placed online or by phone. You can see the full list of closures here.

The great Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday farmers market adjacent to the building is still taking place.

PARKING FINES: The Ninth Circuit had an interesting case relating to the fines for overstaying a parking meter. The court held that while the $63 fine was not in itself unreasonable, the doubling of it as a late payment penalty after more than 21 days may be in violation of the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. The appellate court thus remanded the late payment issue back to the district court.

As the Supreme Court recently reminded us, the Excessive Fine Clause is “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty, with deep roots in our history and tradition.”


This right to be free from excessive governmental fines is not a relic relegated to the period of parchments and parliaments, but rather it remains a crucial bulwark against government abuse. The government cannot overstep its authority and impose fines on its citizens without paying heed to the limits posed by the Eighth Amendment. Yet in its brief to this court, the City of Los Angeles did not even bother addressing the constitutionality of its late fee. Based on the record, we do not know the City’s justification for setting the late fee at one hundred percent of the initial fine.

Good for Jesse Pimentel and the other members of the class for taking on the man!

CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is giving a speech on "communist China and the future of the free world" at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, just down Yorba Linda Boulevard from where I grew up. Why is the Trump Administration spending time in California? Of course, for the first time in a generation, the congressional seat there is held by Democrats. In November, Rep. Gil Cisneros (D) faces a rematch from 2018 with former Assembly member Young Kim (R). From my take, of the 7 seats flipped to Democrats in 2018, CA39 is second only to CA21 (Kern-Kings-Fresno) in competitiveness for the GOP in November. CA10 would have been up there, but Republicans have abandoned Howze after racist social media posts surfaced.

Meanwhile, the anti-China theme as it pertains to Hong Kong is somewhat ironic, as Portlanders feel that the unwanted federal presence there is analogous to China's treatment of the HK protestors. There is a difference, but it's about perception. From the presidential election standpoint, it helps the President in the deep South where he has unexpected troubles and it's not like Oregon (or Washington or California) was ever in play.

Anyway, back to CA39. As noted up top, I've updated the analysis for subscribers with the latest campaign finance and general election landscape information. I conclude the analysis with:

As of the date of this writing, the generic congressional ballot has Dems+8.5%. On this date [07/21/20] in 2018, it was Dems+7.4%. Given the overall political landscape, the generic congressional advantage for Democrats, and the fact that Cisneros gained election in a midterm, he must be considered with an edge at this point. Nevertheless, it is a district to watch particularly as Republican-aligned groups pick their battles in a challenging effort to retake the House and hold the U.S. Senate.

AD72 (Westminster-Garden Grove): In the Nguyen-Nguyen race, the California Medical Association has sided with Republican former state senator Janet Nguyen (R). Obviously, the top priority for the CMA PAC is medical malpractice and there will be a measure on the 2022 ballot to lift the MICRA caps set in 1975. Janet faces Garden Grove council member and scientist Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen in November.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Joe Barr and David Ryu!


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.

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