Around The Capitol

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  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): The media's challenge: Reporting the pandemic election. (2020-08-06)
  • The Axe Files (David Axelrod @ CNN/UChicago): Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) on her background and the veepstakes (2020-08-06)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Dr. Barbara O’Connor, Professor Emeritus at CSU Sacramento (2020-08-02)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Joe Trippi on the Veepstakes, Pioneering Netroots and the Real Story of Doug Jones' Victory (2020-07-30)
  • Cap•Impact Podcast (Chris Micheli): How Proxy Voting Could Work in the California Assembly (2020-07-30)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Asian Americans join Latinos as targets of Tump (2020-07-30)
  • California Nation (SacBee): Governor Gavin Newsom and COVID-19 with Elizabeth Ashford, former advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Jerry Brown, Steven Maviglio, former press secretary to Gov. Gray Davis and Joe Rodota, former cabinet secretary to Gov. Pete Wilson (2020-07-25)

The Nooner for Thursday, August 13, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
    • The numbers
    • Hospitalizations
    • The new hot spots
    • SNF testing
    • Latinos in Marin
    • Prisons
    • Unemployment
    • Rent
    • Tolls
  • Policing/AB 1506
  • Mail-in voting
  • AB 5
  • cakeday and classifieds


ATCpro SUBSCRIBER UPDATES[A full list of recent election analysis is on the subscribers home page. If you have forgotten or haven't set a password, use the forgot password tool]

*=today's updates

  • 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)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): updated anaysis (Toss-up)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine): updated anaysis (Leans Dem)
  • AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Orange-Tustin-Irvine): updated anaysis (Toss-up)
  • AD55 (Diamond Bar-Yorba Linda): updated analysis (Toss-up)
  • AD77 (North San Diego): updated analysis (Safe Democratic)
  • SD15 (San José): updated analysis (Safe Democratic)
  • *SD11 (San Francisco): updated analysis (Safe Dem - Dem v. Dem) - money update
  • *SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): updated analysis (Toss-up) - money update
  • *AD16 (Walnut Creek-Pleasanton-Livermore): updated analysis (Safe Dem) - money update
  • *AD38 (Santa Clarita): updated analysis (Safe Rep - Rep v. Rep) - money update
  • *AD65 (Buena Park-Fullerton): updated analysis (Safe Dem) - money update
  • *AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): updated analysis (Leans Dem) - money update
  • *AD76 (North San Diego Coast): updated analysis (Safe Dem) - money update

MONEY MATTERS (highlights from daily campaign finance reports):

I am generally only including main committees. There are some, like agriculture against Prop 15, but I don't include it as it may be a feeder committee that ends up in the main committee, which would lead to duplication.

  • Yes on 15 (split roll): The $4.5 million reported Tuesday (and I included yesterday) that the Chan/Zuckerberg Initiative moved into its segregated Yes on 15 account was moved to the main Yes on 15 committee yesterday. This is why I'm careful about the secondary committees as noted above to avoid duplication.

Happy Thursday, although with hearings tomorrow and Saturday, it's not a normal get-away Thursday. The heat wave hits Sacramento today, with 9 consecutive days forecast to be 100+, with even more troubling lows of 70+. I haven't used my a/c for a couple of months, but I will certainly be yelling out "MERCY" shortly.

As you are likely read this, the Kings are playing the Lakers. It's not worth watching as the Kings will be the ones in the fetal position under the basket. D'Aaron Fox is out with a sore shoulder. Meanwhile, here are two other items to watch:

Top 100: The full video of the Capitol Weekly Virtual Top 100 is available (26 minutes)

Atkins: The video from the conversation between Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and PPIC president/CEO Mark Baldassare from last Friday is now available. (1 hour)

Let's get to it after the jump!


- Numbers: The state added 155 new deaths yesterday for a total of 10,813. These include 54 in Los Angeles County, 29 in Riverside County, and 11 in Orange County. Meanwhile, the 7-day average positivity rate in testing as of yesterday was 6.9%. 

- Hospitalizations: In the Times, Luke Money reports that hospitalizations continue to go down. While deaths are a lagging indicator and positivity and testing rates may be a leading indicator, hospitalizations are the best current indicator of serious cases.

With hospitalizations of coronavirus patients dropping in California, officials expressed some cautious optimism Wednesday that the state is making progress in its fight against the pandemic, even as a significant backlog in test results continues to distort the actual number of infections confirmed throughout the state.

Among the promising trends is the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide. That figure has fallen roughly 19% in the past two weeks, from 6,753 on July 29 to 5,442 as of Tuesday, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Over that same time period, the state has seen a slide of about 16% in the number of patients in intensive care, from 2,029 to 1,699.

- The new hot spots: The LAT's Rong-Gong Lin II and Iris Lee report on the virus's growth in suburban and rural areas. Beyond the growth in the Inland Empire and Orange County, they write about the growth in the Central Valley, considered one of the biggest hot spots across the country.

The worsening death toll comes as the coronavirus has spread rapidly among low-wage essential workers in jobs such as agriculture and food processing. Major outbreaks have been reported at a Foster Farms poultry processing plant in Merced County; Central Valley Meat Co., a meatpacking facility in Kings County; and Ruiz Foods, a frozen-food packager in Tulare County.

It’s clear why the San Joaquin Valley is being adversely affected, said Edward Flores, a sociology professor with UC Merced’s Community and Labor Center: The region has an extraordinary number of residents who work as low-income, frontline workers, people with precarious job security in a region notorious for violating workplace safety rules.

“All of these issues ... existed before the COVID pandemic. And just like any other inequality, it’s just gotten bigger now,” Flores said. “It was there before — people were dying on the job; people were losing limbs. ... Now that there’s a pandemic, those agencies are probably going to be even more overwhelmed.

- SNF testing: Kate Irby reports for The Bee that while President Trump promised rapid tests for nursing homes in hot spots around the country, California's federally identified hot spot, the Central Valley, has yet to see them.

...Stanislaus County officials say nursing homes still haven’t received any machines. Two nursing homes in the county, Central Valley Post Acute and Hy-Lond Health Care Center, are on the list to receive them, according to documents Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Royjindar “Raj” Singh provided to McClatchy.

“From what I have been told, nobody in our county has received any machines yet, but two facilities are on the list to receive one,” Singh said, adding he hadn’t been told anything about when they might be coming.

Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, wrote a letter Wednesday to Director of Health and Human Services Alex Azar demanding answers on the status of the rapid testing machines.

- Latinos in Marin: For KQED, Rachel Scheier reports on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among Latinos in health-conscious Marin County.

Low-income communities of color — especially Latinos — are increasingly bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in California, where spreading infections among poor service workers living in crowded conditions has highlighted widening racial and economic inequities. These disparities are particularly stark in idyllic Marin, where a surge of new COVID-19 cases concentrated in one crowded neighborhood has helped land the county on the state’s pandemic watchlist.

Latinos, who comprise 16% of the county’s population, account for 75% of coronavirus infections — closer to 90% since mid-June, according to Dr. Matt Willis, the public health officer for Marin County. After recording only a handful of coronavirus cases in the early months of the pandemic, the county now has the highest per-capita rate in the Bay Area.

“This is our essential workforce,” said Willis. “This isn’t the result of casual socializing at happy hour.”

- Prisons: For CalMatters, Robert Lewis looks at the aftermath of the early prison releases in California during the COVID-19 crisis.

From the start of the pandemic through the end of this month, California will release more than 11,000 prisoners early — largely nonviolent offenders with less than a year to serve —  reducing the prison population to a 30-year low.

Overwhelmed by the volume, California’s patchwork reentry system is scrambling to find transportation, housing, food and other services for released prisoners, many of whom were exposed to the virus.

As of this week, the state had released more than 300 inmates known to be infected

- Unemployment: Now that President Trump has backed off his proposed requirement that states come up with $100/week for recipients of unemployment insurance to access $300/week in federal funds, Governor Newsom is now ready to accept it, reports Andrew Sheeler in The Bee.

[H]e said he won’t “look a gift horse in the mouth” now that Trump has said states do not have to come up with another $100 a week on their own. The Democratic governor said he’s working on how California can process the $300 in the president’s proposal “as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The $600 in weekly additional federal unemployment benefits expired at the end of July, and Congress and the White House have been deadlocked in negotiations to extend some or all of that amount.

- Health officers: In the Register, Scott Schwebke reports on the state and local health officers who have left their jobs during COVID-19.

Nearly a dozen state and local health leaders, including a pair in Orange and San Bernardino counties, have retired or resigned since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic under the crushing responsibility of serving as the often vilified public face in the fight against the virus.

The departures in California mirror a nationwide trend in which dozens of top health officers have left formerly low-key positions after they were thrust into the white-hot, polarizing spotlight of the coronavirus pandemic. Although some of the officials simply retired, others became casualties of burnout, death threats, social media ugliness and lack of political support.

“There are different motivations in each case, and some may even have been planned retirements,” Kat DeBurgh, executive director of the Health Officers Association of California, said of the officials in California. “But I can say that burnout has been a factor in most, if not all, of the resignations.”

- Rent: The LAT's Jaclyn Cosgrove reports on a Los Angeles program to financially assist renters at risk of eviction because of COVID-19-related financial distress.

The application period for the income-based L.A. County COVID-19 Rent Relief program opens Monday and will remain open until Aug. 31. Up to $10,000 will be given to households that meet the program’s income guidelines.

The emergency rent relief is financed through $100 million in federal CARES Act money. Its goal is to help about 9,000 households.

Half of the available money will be directed to residents who live in specific ZIP Codes the county identified where residents are at higher risk of eviction. More information on those ZIP Codes is available online at The other half of the money will be available by lottery to residents who meet the program’s criteria for income and other factors.

The emergency rental assistance is open to L.A. County residents — who do not live in the city of L.A. — who have experienced a loss of income because their workplace closed or reduced hours; their child’s daycare or school is closed and they’ve had to spend more money on childcare; a household member is ill with COVID-19 and their family has had to pay medical costs; or, more broadly, a loss of income because of the government-ordered emergency measures put into place after March 13, according to the Los Angeles County Development Authority.

- Tolls: In the Chron, Phil Matier writes that there are plenty of scofflaws in the pandemic-triggered cashless toll collection on the Bay's bridges.

Scofflaws crossing the seven state Bay Area bridges have racked up $16 million in unpaid tolls since the coronavirus pandemic forced toll takers out of their booths and prompted an overnight switch to all-electronic toll collection.

And the problem keeps growing.

“Unpaid tolls are increasing at a rate of about $4 million a month,” Bay Area Toll Authority spokesman Randy Rentschler said.

But despite the losses, the Toll Authority has pretty much let the culprits slide.


In pre-pandemic times, drivers who evaded tolls on bridges would first get a warning, then a late fee of $25, which would rise to $70 if left unpaid.

If they still refused to pay, the Toll Authority would put a hold on the offending vehicle’s re-registration until the tolls were paid. The Toll Authority still has the option of adding late charges or issuing a registration hold, but for now, if an owner tosses the bill in the trash, that’s pretty much it.

POLICING: There was a fascinating hearing on AB 1506 (McCarty) yesterday in Senate Public Safety in which it was hard to follow the bouncing ball. Here is the video if you'd like to watch it.

The bill addresses when and how the state provides an independent review of fatal encounters between police and the public. As I understand it, police departments and district attorneys may request the Attorney General to conduct an independent investigation under such circumstances, and the AG has the discretion to accept or reject such request. Additionally, the AG has the legal ability to step in and investigate, but rarely does so.

Originally scheduled to be heard by the committee last week, the bill was postponed until yesterday as several issues were hammered out. Amendments were then described in committee. Apparently, some committee members had language, but John M.W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said he hadn't seen them and were then handed to him by committee staff.

The bill to be amended as described on its way to Approps would:

  • Require "state prosecutor" to investigate deaths caused by police use of force of unarmed individuals
  • Require the state prosecutor to investigate other deaths caused by police use of foce if a law enforcement agency, district attorney, or local governing body (city or board of supervisors in unincorporated areas) request an independent investigation
  • The default state prosecutor is the California Department of Justice (AG), but the budget could create an independent prosecutor

There seemed to be three categories of positions on the bill:

  1. Supporters who were okay with it as described above, although it's unclear if they knew of all of each of the amendments as they were described in more detail after support testimony
  2. Support if amended/oppose unless amended (from defense attorneys and reformers) - only support if the "state prosecutor" was independent of the AG's office
  3. Oppose unless amended (law enforcement) - okay with the mandatory review of unarmed deaths and review upon request for other deaths, but opposed to a state prosecutor independent of the AG's office

I think I have that right, although if you watch the hearing you'll understand why it is so confusing.

Even after the amendments were described and the testimony was complete, it was evident members weren't clear on what the bill did. Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said she was happy to be a coauthor of the bill but said she was unclear of the amendments and seemed to want the independent prosecutor to be definite and not subject to the budget.

Reading between the lines, I think a majority of the committee would agree with Mitchell, but author McCarty -- and committee chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) -- don't want the bill to get locked up in Senate Appropriations or vetoed by the governor for creating something without funding or including funding in the bill, which would make it a two-thirds vote bill including an appropriation.

McCarty said that he and other backers were in active discussions with the Governor's Office to make this a priority in next year's budget, even in austere times, because of the significance of recent events and polling showing overwhelming public support for making it easier to prosecute police officers who wrongfully cause the death of a member of the public.

The final vote was 6-0, with Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) not present.

That exasperating and confusing hearing is how committee chair Nancy Skinner "celebrated" her birthday.

inJUSTICE: The AP reports "A California man who spent 25 years in prison for a 1994 killing had his murder conviction dismissed Wednesday because the court said he didn’t receive a fair trial." The article continues:

Arturo Jimenez, 44, had his case dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled, although the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office already had moved to dismiss the charges, Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen said in his decision.

Jimenez was convicted of first-degree murder. Prosecutors said he shot a rival gang member, 14-year-old Hugo Colmenarez, during a confrontation involving 15 to 20 people at a Los Angeles gas station.

“Jimenez has always maintained that he was nearby when he heard the shots, drove his blue Blazer to see if anyone needed help, and when he got to the gas station, people jumped in his car through the open back window and told him to leave,” said a statement from the nonprofit Northern California Innocence Project, which helped represent him.

Jimenez was convicted based on his identification by a young woman “in the backseat of a car who saw the shooter for only a moment” and who later said she made an identification under police pressure, the statement said.

MAIL-IN VOTING: The Bee's Kate Irby writes that California Democrats have two fears ahead of a mostly mail-in general election -- "changes to the U.S. Postal Service and President Donald Trump’s rhetoric."

So far, California election officials aren’t seeing the kind of postal delays that could result in voting delays even with the crush on the Postal Service in the coronavirus outbreak.

But California Secretary of State Alex Padilla wrote in a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that he is “gravely concerned” about national reports of USPS slowdowns so close to Election Day and changes in delivery protocol DeJoy has implemented to cut costs.

“I oppose your proposed changes to postal service and pricing as they create unnecessary risk so close to the election and undermine the ability of state and local election officials to administer free and fair elections,” Padilla said in the letter on Monday.

Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly cast doubt on California’s voting policies since Gov. Gavin Newsom in May issued a coronavirus emergency order directing election officials to send mail-in ballots to registered voters this fall.

Trump has mischaracterized the direction, falsely contending the state plans to send ballots to all residents regardless of registration.

AB 5: In the LAT, Johana Bhuiyan looks at how a temporary shutdown of California operations by Uber and Lyft could help the companies' effort to pass Proposition 22 on the November ballot. Prop. 22 would exempt transportation network companies including Uber, Lyft, and the food delivery services from AB 5 while providing limited benefits to drivers.

A brief closure might seem like a drastic move, but it’s not exactly surprising. In fact, such a shutdown could prove to be a means for Uber and Lyft to appeal to voters — both riders and drivers alike — in the run-up to a crucial vote on the November ballot.

Proposition 22, a ballot measure backed by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other gig economy companies, aims to exempt the companies from Assembly Bill 5, a state law that took effect this year and sets stricter standards for companies that seek to treat workers as contractors.

Dan Walters looks at the ballot fight over Prop. 22.

The battle that pits the gig worker companies against unions and Democratic politicians began when the state’s economy was booming. In the throes of deep recession, Proposition 22’s fate may hinge on whether voters perceive gig work as a lifeline for the unemployed or see gig companies as part of the economic problem.

Meanwhile, Joel Fox asks whether Prop. 22 will be supported by all AB 5 critics or if those other than transportation network companies are frustrated for being left out of exemptions.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Adam Keigwin, Jonathan Yang, and Richard Zeiger! (Yes, I errantly listed these yesterday, but really, today is their day!)


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]

Voices for Progress: Membership Associate

Voices for Progress (V4P) galvanizes the advocacy of business leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and other prominent individuals who unite to protect our climate, strengthen our democracy, and ensure economic and social justice for all. The Membership Associate will support the Membership team with activation of members for participation in public policy advocacy and other programmatic activities; ongoing member maintenance; maintaining data integrity within the membership and activities database; and assisting with the smooth functioning of the team. This position reports directly to the Membership Engagement Manager. The Membership Associate is a Non-Exempt position. Non-exempt employees are paid an hourly rate for hours worked and are eligible for overtime pay.

Full description and application info

Research Analyst, Full-Time (remote)

Probolsky Research is a market and opinion research company based in Newport Beach, California. We are woman and Latina-owned. We are non-partisan, independent researchers passionate about accuracy, data security, and using storytelling to make data usable.

The Research Analyst is responsible for facilitating market and opinion research projects from instrument design to project fulfillment, final research deliverables and presentation to client.


  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience
  • Company-funded medical insurance
  • Paid vacation

Location: We are a virtual company – work from anywhere

California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (LA North/Ventura)
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. Remote position based in the following location: LA North/Ventura. Salary based on experience. Please apply at:
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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