Around The Capitol

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  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): former Assembly member Mike Gatto on end-of-session fallout, parenting in office and prison realignment (2020-09-11)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Lobbyist Jennifer Fearing (2020-09-11)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Assembly member Buffy Wicks on showing up to vote with her newborn (2020-09-03)
  • If I Could Change One Thing: (Gary Rotto @ San Diego State): Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) on the work of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (2020-09-03)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): The end of the legislative session and the presidential (2020-09-03)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Republican political strategist Jon Fleischman (2020-09-01)
  • California Nation: (Gil Duran @ SacBee): The impact of COVID-19 on California's economy. (2020-08-29)
  • Nooner Conversations (Scott Lay): State Senator Holly J. Mitchell (2020-08-17) [Apple Podcasts | Simplecast]


  • Election Day: 50 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 21 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 50.5, Trump: 43.0% (8/28-9/12): Biden+7.5
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+6.1 (8/1-9/12)


  • Yes on 22 (transportation network companies): $560,524 from Uber Technologies
  • AD25 (Fremont-Santa Clara): You don't often see a non-incumbent Assembly candidate max out to the state party with $38,800, but that's what Alex Lee has done for the California Democratic Party, earning early cred before joining the house in December. The former staffer for Evan Low (D-Campbell) will enter the Assembly as its youngest member, LGBTQ, and likely one to watch as a future leader.

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]

The Nooner for Monday, September 14, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Weekends at The Nooner
  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Public safety
  • Oh, Devin
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

¡Buenos dias! I hope you had a great weekend, regardless of everything going on and even if you are a Niners and/or Giants fan. It seems a bit less orange this morning and I didn't see any Sacramento "snow" when I was watering this morning.

This Thursday, Capitol Weekly is hosting an online conference on Zoom: California in Conference: COVID-19. There are three panels from 9am-12:45pm, including ones on health care infrastructure, health equity, and telehealth. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required, and is available for each individual panel. [more info and registration]

WEEKENDS AT THE NOONER: I know that you may avoid the news over the weekend, but I'm still trying to keep up for you.

Saturday, September 12

  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Split roll
  • Stem cell bond
  • Plastics
  • SacTown schools
  • San Diego tourism

Sunday, September 13

  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Ballots
  • Public safety
  • CEQA


-The numbers: 52 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 14,384. The usual caveat of low reporting over the weekend and correspondingly higher reports early in the week applies. Fewer tests are coming back positive, although there are some concerns that the quantity of tests have dropped as people have gotten more complacent and outdoor testing sites have been shuttered because of the smoke-related air quality issue. The daily number of tests has dropped from a peak of 187,926 on August 10 to 133,049 on Saturday.

Below are the charts. As usual, the bars are the daily numbers, while the lines are 14-day averages. Click through to see the charts larger on the state's dashboard.

COVID testing 2020-09-14

Source: (accessed 2020-09-14 06:10am)

-Restaurants: In the Chron, Janelle Bitker and Justin Phillips report that with PPP money loan running out, federal inaction, and no certainty when restaurants may return to full capacity indoor dining, it may be extinction time for many (more) restaurants.

Restaurateurs and industry advocates say that businesses will likely close this fall until there’s more government funding or the pandemic ends. Some closures will be temporary, but other restaurants will likely never reopen.

“Nothing has gotten better,” said restaurateur Laurie Thomas of Golden Gate Restaurant Association, an organization advocating for restaurants in San Francisco. “Honestly, it’s about to get worse.”

Most local restaurants that applied for PPP right away received their loans at the end of April, meaning they’ll run out by November.

The vast majority of those were small loans — $150,000 or less. Stipulations for the money were that it would primarily be used for payroll and various other expenses within 24 weeks, if restaurants wanted to have 100% of the loan forgiven. The program began with $670 billion in March, and when it stopped accepting new applications on Aug. 8, what remained was roughly $130 million in leftover funding, which has yet to be repurposed.


-The numbers: 19 fatalities have been tallied and 4,936 structures destroyed or damaged in the Caliifornia fires. Five of the state's 20 largest fires in California history have occurred in 2020, with 3,154,107 acres burned. (Note: the cumulative acres burned has not been updated in several days, while individual fires have certainly grown. There's just no easy way to get a total as the data is not downloadable.)

Here are the five biggest currently burning:

  1. August Complex (Mendocino, Humboldt counties): 877,477 acres, with 28% containment as of 09/12/20 9:33pm (no update as of 09/13/20 11:15am)
    - 26 structures destroyed

  2. SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus counties): 396,624 acres, with 98% containment as of 6:56am
    - 136 structures destroyed

  3. LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano counties): 363,220 acres, with 96% containment as of 9:39
    - 5 deaths; 1,491 structures destroyed

  4. North Complex (Plumas, Butte, Yuba counties): 261,488 acres. with 26% containment as of 7:52am
    - 14 deaths; 536 structures destroyed

  5. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 212,744 acres, with 10% containment as of 8:09am
    - 369 structures destroyed

-The cause: Here is an outstanding Twitter thread by Erin Ross, on why fires in the West have gotten so much more intense. Ross is a science, environment, and outdoors reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting. The thread is fascinating and reflects what I've heard about fires from a college friend who now is a wildlife biologist for the US Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest.

-Trump visit: Ahead of this morning's visit by President Trump to McClellan Park in Sacramento, Laura King writes for the Times that it will spotlight the divide between California and the Trump Administration over climate change and COVID-19, but that's not all...

Ahead of President Trump’s visit to wildfire-ravaged California on Monday, Democrats charged over the weekend that his disregard for basic science had contributed to the worsening annual conflagrations, as well as to the still-uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.

Trump, meanwhile, seized on the shooting Saturday night of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to try to portray Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden as weak on law-and-order issues, even as Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, sharply rejected the notion that such violence should go unpunished.

Trump is scheduled to arrive at 10:40am to receive a briefing and then for a ceremony to honor the California National Guard. Carla Marinucci reports for Politico that Governor Gavin Newsom will attend the briefing and then meet privately with the President. Newsom did not meet the President at Air Force One, tweets Laurel Rosenhall. Trump is scheduled to be wheels up for Phoenix at 12:40pm. Marinucci reports:

Newsom will then depart separately for his own tour of active fire areas of the state, the governor's team said Sunday. Trump is expected to appear at a press event later at McClellan Park, a former air base that serves as a home for state firefighting planes. That itinerary suggests the two leaders will not appear together in public Monday.


Trump, speaking at campaign rallies this weekend in Nevada, criticized California's fire management practices. He told a Minden, Nev. rally on Saturday that "California has already implemented this extreme agenda. And they're experiencing massive blackouts."

On the Western wildfires, he said, “Please remember the words, very simple, forest management. Please remember. It’s about forest management.’’

Joel Fox writes:

President Trump visits California today to be briefed on the fires. He could also bring immediate help of federal resources to help the firefighters and the victims of the fires that are happening now. He should also take the opportunity to offer federal cooperation in a comprehensive plan to advance different solutions to solve the fire and climate crisis now and also into the future.

Yes, that means measures dealing with climate change. It also means returning to traditional forest management methods.

Gov. Newsom said he was “exhausted that we have to continue to debate this issue.” He was referring to climate change, but that is only part of the conversation. A comprehensive plan is needed and that requires both new —and old—thinking about how to reduce fire storm conditions.

-The smoky air: Before I called my mom in Portland yesterday, I checked the air quality index for the Rose City and Sacramento. If you thought it was bad here yesterday, Sacramento was 188 (Unhealthy -- the third worst) while Portland was 338 (Hazardous -- the worst).  If Santa Clara was above 200 (Very Unhealthy) yesterday at game time, the Niners game would have been called off, which I guess wouldn't have been a bad thing.

It does seeem noticebly better in Sacramento today, even though Sacramento is still at 178 this morning in the unhealthy range. AQI measures both particulate matter and CO3 (ozone). The former is visible while the latter is not.

More after the jumpity jump...


-The officers: A Times team reports that the two officers shot in an apparent "ambush" are expected to survive while there is an intense search for the shooter who was caught on video.

Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shot in what authorities described as an ambush attack are expected to survive amid an intense manhunt for the gunman captured on video firing inside their patrol car and as the violence became a new flashpoint in the political debate about policing and crime.

Both deputies were shot in the head near the Compton Metro station but went through surgery and are now listed in stable condition. The attack sparked widespread outrage, from the presidential campaign to the streets of Compton, where residents fear it would heighten already deep tensions between police and the community, after several high-profile deputy shootings and uses of force.

-The journalist: After getting some sleep following her release around 2am with a charge of obstruction of justice, KPCC and LAist-reporter Josie Huang posted her recollection of the Saturday night events where she was tackled and arrested. She also shared a video from in which you can see her press pass and repeatedly yelling "I'm with KPCC," which contradicts the version tweeted out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office. Department leaders now say that they are investigating what happened.

-The encampment: Early Sunday, the protest encampment in Los Angeles's Grand Park was cleared, write James Queally and Leila Miller in the Times.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shut down a months-old protest encampment in downtown L.A.'s Grand Park early Sunday in a move that activists criticized as retaliation for recent protests of a deputy-involved shooting.

The encampment first appeared in Grand Park across from City Hall in June amid protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It was cleared out around 3 a.m. after deputies declared an unlawful assembly in the area, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Authorities said the action was taken because of “deteriorating conditions” in the park. They denied it was connected to the shooting of two deputies in Compton late Saturday or recent demonstrations against the department in South L.A. after deputies shot and killed bicyclist Dijon Kizzee. On Friday, deputies in riot gear surrounded a peaceful news conference held by some of the same demonstrators.

-The "tinderbox" moment: In the Times, Kevin Rector writes that the interactions between the police and community have reached a "tinderbox moment."

The video showed a shooting that shocked the conscience: a cold-blooded attempt to kill two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies at close range in Compton. Immediately, unequivocal condemnations flooded in from law enforcement officials, city leaders and the nation’s most prominent politicians.

President Trump called for the unknown shooter to receive the death penalty. Trump’s opponent in the November presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden, called for the gunman to face “the full brunt of the law.”

Najee Ali, a longtime South L.A. activist, understood the anger and joined in condemning the shooting. But he also questioned why such swift calls for justice don’t come when it is the police who cause the injuries.


Erin Kerrison, an assistant professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare who has studied police officers’ feelings about the job and their perception in the communities they serve, said there is a correlation between officers’ perceptions and how they operate in the street.

The less they feel like the community respects their authority, the more likely they are to use force and to buck department policies, according to her research. And because of that, she worries the shooting of the deputies, in a “tinderbox moment” of growing distrust in institutions, will make officers feel as if they have a “green light” to use more deadly force to protect themselves.

“It’s the precursor to the very behaviors that we as a collective want to put a stop to, which is police violence,” she said. “I foresee some real tensions between on-the-ground officers and on-the-ground folks who question them.”

-The Legislature: George Skelton looks at how the strongest bills to hold "bad" cops accountable died at the end of the legislative session.

It wasn’t good government. But it was probably good politics.

A major police reform bill was quietly killed by the Assembly speaker without a house vote on the last night of the legislative session. He used an ages-old tactic aimed at sparing politically vulnerable lawmakers from casting a perilous vote.

Call it incumbent protection.

The bill would have assured that when a bad cop’s badge is yanked by a police department, he can’t hook on with another law enforcement agency anywhere in California. The measure also would have made it easier for citizens to file civil lawsuits against rogue officers.

There was broad public support for the measure — but heavy opposition from officers’ unions, police chiefs and sheriffs.

So, it wound up the way these things often do: The legislative leader punted.

OH, DEVIN: The Bee's Kate Irby reports on the piling up of lawsuits filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) against his critics.

Altogether, Nunes has filed seven lawsuits against media organizations, anonymous online critics, and other political actors. The only case that has concluded is one his campaign filed and dropped against a retired farmer in Nunes’ congressional district who challenged the congressman’s description of himself as a farmer in materials sent to voters.

Aside from [GOP consultant Liz] Mair, judges have dismissed or greatly diminished three of the cases. Each time, Nunes appealed the decision or attempted to file an amended complaint to restart the case.

Irby proceeds to discuss the pending lawsuits.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to David Balla-Hawkins, Omega Brewer-Gonzalez, Dustin Corcoran, Bernice Creager, Martha Guerrero, Gordon Hinkle, Katerina Ioannides, Matt Klopfenstein, and Ray LeBov, Erin Norwood, and Don Singer!

Yes, several of these were displayed yesterday because of the stupid way the new Facebook displays birthdays by not splitting up future days and since I wrote Sunday's cakedays Saturday night, they all ran together.


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]

Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA): Legislative Advocate

Represent and advocate for the interests of Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) members and policyholders before the Legislature, Administration, state agencies, industry and trade associations, and related forums. Based in Sacramento. Excellent salary and benefits.

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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