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  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafter and Marisa Lagos): California Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot on confronting President Trump over climate change (2020-09-17)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Trump and Newsom, Strange Political Bedfellows and a Strange Political World (2020-09-17)
  • 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)


  • Election Day: 46 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 17 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 49.3, Trump: 43.1 (9/3-9/17): Biden+6.2 -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+5.7 (8/1-9/17) -- updated today

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 Friday, September 18, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Money matters
  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Bill signings
  • Postal matters
  • Ballots
  • CA50 (East San Diego County)
  • CCPOA "targets" Jones-Sawyer
  • Policing
  • LA-LA land school daze
  • Election crossword
  • Cakeday and NEW classifieds 

It's Friday and we can actually do deep yoga breaths in the Sacramento region. Inhale 1-2-3....Exhale 1-2-3... It sure feels good along with a slight breeze coming through open windows. It should stay moderate today. Of course, that's just the Sacramento region and there are certainly unhealthy spots around the state.

I'm not expanding on yesterday's polling item just yet as I'm just covering too many issues but I am working on what the results mean. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out Prop. 15's (split roll) chances polling at 51%. As a past initiative proponent, I would say that I'd be very concerned as the "no" onslaught begins.

Proposition 16, to repeal Proposition 209 and allow affirmative action in public hiring, contracting, and state university admissions, is clearly going down. If all respondents that volunteered "don't know" (22%) were added to those responding that they were "yes" votes, that hits 53%. That's just not going to happen.

Most surprisingly? Among likely Latino voters, 41% responded that they will vote "yes," while 41% said they were "no" votes.

Anyway, more thoughts on the poll over the weekend.

MONEY MATTERS: highlights of filings from the yesterday's daily reports.

Ballot measures

  • Yes on 15 (split roll): $1,048,430 from 3 donors, including $1,000,000 from SEIU California (three committees)
  • No on 15 (split roll): $727,000 from 13 donors, including $700,000 from the California Business Properties Association
  • Yes on 18 (primary vote for 17-year-olds): $50,000 from Kevin Mullin for Assembly
  • Yes on 21 (rent control): $6,000,000 from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation
  • No on 21 (rent control): $1,712,794 from 63 donors, including $505,800 from Jackson Square Properties (San Francisco), $300,000 from Tilden Properties Asset Management (Walnut Creek), and $217,302 from United Development Group (San Diego)
  • Yes on 22 (transportation network companies): $621,000 from Postmates, Inc. (non-monetary)
  • No on 22 (transportation network companies): $478,935 from Teamsters Joint Executive Council No. 7
  • No on 25 (bail reform referendum - "no" overturns SB 10): $312,162 from 36 donors

Legislative races

  • SD15 (San José): $549,923 for online advertising IE in SUPPORT of Dave Cortese (D) by Valley Neighborhoods United for Dave Cortese for State Senate 2020 (I previously wrote that this money came from the California Association of Realtors
  • AD35 (San Luis Obispo): $29,542 for mail IE in SUPPORT of Jordan Cunningham (R) by California Alliance for Progress and Education, an alliance of business organizations

Doing the laundry

  • California State Council of Service Employees (SEIU) sent $38,800 to the Fresno County and San Mateo Democratic central committees. As I wrote Tuesday, as long as SEIU didn't direct the contributions, this money has now been "washed" and passed along to vulnerable candidates in excess of the $4,700 contribution limit since it is coming from a party committee. All in the game, yo'.
  • Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee sent $80,000 to Cottie Petrie-Norris in AD74 (Orange County), $50,000 to Tasha Boerner Horvath in AD76 (San Diego County), and $40,000 to Andrew Rodriguez in AD55 (Orange/LA counties).


-The numbers: 82 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 14,810. The latest statewide testing positivity rate is 3.5%.

-Reopenings: More Los Angeles County reopenings could come in October if indicators continue to fall, writes Maura Dolan in the Times.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the county’s Department of Public Health, said during an online news conference that the daily average of new cases was still preventing the county from moving to a less restrictive tier for reopening. The county has a daily average of 8.1 cases for each 100,000 residents. That number needs to be under 7.0 for L.A. County to move up from the most restricted tier, Ferrer said.

“If we don’t see a surge in cases and hospitalizations associated with activities over Labor Day, and we continue to reduce our rate of community transmission over the weeks ahead, we could enter Tier 2, which is less restrictive, some time in October,” she said.

The state has set up a color-coded tier system for reopening. Los Angeles County is currently in the most restrictive purple tier, which indicates the virus is widespread. One step up, the red tier indicates substantial spread, while the orange tier shows moderate spread, and the yellow tier suggests minimal spread.

While LA County's adjusted case rate for tier assignment is 8.1, Sacramento County's is 9.0.

-Ag workers: Santa Barbara County has a new public health order specifically aimed at minimizing the spread among guest agricultural workers in the strawberry-producing region, reports Jackie Botts for CalMatters.

The public health order, which was announced last Friday and went into effect Monday evening, requires agricultural guest workers to be screened daily for coronavirus symptoms and isolated immediately if they exhibit symptoms, and that the housing operator notify the county as soon as a positive case is detected — or face a $1,000 penalty. The rule applies to homeless shelters as well. 

“These health officer orders ensures that the measures outlined can be applied uniformly,” said Santa Barbara Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso in a statement, adding that early notification “will allow our disease containment team to mitigate the spread of COVID 19.” 

The order also “strongly recommends” that residents of H-2A housing and homeless shelters be separated into stable groups of no more than 14 people who do all of their activities together — such as transportation, meals, work, and personal shopping — to prevent mixing of too many people.

-The Emmys: While you might not expect the awards show as a subheader under COVID-19, the LAT's Meredith Blake looks at the impact of the mostly virtual Emmy Awards this Sunday on people who usually work to support the show from drivers to building trades to catering staff.

While research on the show’s economic impact is scant, a study by the consulting firm Micronomics found that the 2012 Emmys provided $43 million in immediate benefits to Los Angeles County, including $2 million in spending by out-of-town visitors, $9 million from limousine rentals, wardrobe and event tickets, and $2 million from receptions and parties. With networks and streaming services now investing even more money in the Emmys, these numbers have almost certainly grown.

The Emmys are a perfect microcosm of the challenges facing the region, says Jay Tucker, executive director of UCLA‘s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports. “The entertainment industry really is the heart of the city. When we talk about L.A. — and really Southern California — so much rides on this ability for us to connect and create things in person. One can only hope this is not the new normal.”

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has made these large in-person gatherings unsafe for the foreseeable future, this Sunday’s virtual Emmys will be different for viewers at home as well as the many people who work behind the scenes to make the event happen. As part of our coverage of how this year’s awards are adapting to coronavirus health and safety constraints, we’ve profiled two of them.

-Do UC what I see? The University of California's chief health officer has told system officials to prepare for online instruction and limited access to campus beyond fall, writes Teresa Watanabe in the Times.

The University of California’s top health executive has told UC officials to prepare to continue online learning and limited access to campus beyond the fall as the COVID-19 pandemic will probably cause at least another year of disruption to university operations.

“This is not something that will go away quickly,” Dr. Carrie L. Byington, who heads UC Health, told regents during their two-day online meeting this week. The university’s $13-billion health enterprise includes 19 health professional schools and six health systems, five of them academic medical centers.

So far, UC campuses have not announced plans for winter and spring — unlike the California State University system, which said this month that campuses will stay primarily online through the rest of the academic year.

-San Diego: In the SDUT, Kristen Taketa looks at what the possibility of slipping from the red to most restrictive purple tier means for San Diego school districts planning to reopen schools for in-person instruction.

California public health officials said Thursday that if a county falls to the lowest tier of its state reopening system, schools in the county that have not reopened will lose their chance to reopen.

“If a school did not open while the county was in the red tier, and the county subsequently moves to the purple tier, that school will not be able to open for in person instruction, until the county has returned to the red tier and been in the red tier for two weeks,” the California Department of Public Health said in an email to the Union-Tribune Thursday.

That news is likely to devastate parents and schools in San Diego County, where a surge in COVID-19 cases among San Diego State University students is pushing the county closer to dropping from the state’s red tier to the lowest, purple tier.

In the purple tier, schools are not allowed to reopen, but elementary schools can apply for a reopening waiver.


-The numbers: 25 fatalities have been tallied and 6,315 structures destroyed or damaged in the Caliifornia fires. Five of the state's 20 largest fires in California history have occurred in 2020, with 3,472,947 acres burned.

Here are the five biggest currently burning:

  1. August Complex (Mendocino, Humboldt counties): 809,135 acres, with 30% containment as of 7:35am
    - 1 death; 28 structures destroyed

  2. SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus counties): 396,624 acres, with 98% containment as of 09/16/20 11:07am -- not updated today
    - 222 structures destroyed

  3. LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano counties): 363,220 acres, with 97% containment as of 09/16/20 8:55pm -- not updated today
    - 5 deaths; 1,491 structures destroyed

  4. North Complex (Plumas, Butte, Yuba counties): 287,181 acres with 41% containment as of 8:27am
    - 15 deaths; 1,147 structures destroyed

  5. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 248,256 acres, with 28% containment as of 8:49am
    - 804 structures destroyed

-Firefighter death: The first firefighter death has occurred in the dozens of wildfires and it happened in the El Dorado Fire, which is the one in San Bernardino County caused by a pyrotechnic device at the gender reveal party, report Hayley Smith and James Queally in the Times. "Few details were immediately available about the death."

-North Complex: In the LAT, Luke Money and Anita Chabria look at what happened in the deadliest fire thus far, the Bear Fire, which is now part of the North Complex.

As a rapidly growing wildfire barreled toward Lake Oroville, residents of the small mountain communities lying in its path had to decide what to do.

Two told their families they planned to seek shelter at a nearby pond. Another said he would leave only when he could see the fire from his home.

Three others were ready to evacuate, only to hold off based on incorrect information about how much the blaze was contained.

All of those people, along with nine others, ultimately fell victim to the North Complex fire, a massive blaze that exploded last week into one of the deadliest and most expansive conflagrations California has seen.

With fifteen deaths, the North Complex Fire is tied with 1953 and 2003 fires as the fifth deadliest wildfire in California history.

-Bear Fire: Dale Kasler and Sam Stanton also look at how the Bear Fire exploded and largely leveled the town of Berry Creek.

It had been burning for three weeks in the Plumas National Forest, the result of a mid-August lightning strike, but hadn’t done any lethal damage. It was part of a complex of fires that was about 50% contained. Even a significant windstorm that threatened to push the fire across the the middle fork of the Feather River didn’t seem like a major cause for alarm.

And we know what happened next...

-Yosemite: After closing earlier this year for COVID-19 and after a limited reopening, Yosemite National Park is closing again because of smoke and hazardous air, reports Carmen George for The Bee.

Yosemite National Park will close at 5 p.m. Thursday due to smoke and hazardous air quality caused by California wildfires, officials announced.

Kings Canyon National Park to the south also announced it will close at the same time.

Sequoia National Park, which shares a border with Sequoia, closed to visitors Tuesday in response to the Castle Fire on the SQF Complex.

BILL SIGNINGS: Yesterday, Governor Newsom signed two bills addressing COVID-19 and the workplace. SB 1159 (Hill) creates a disputable presumption for certain essential workers that contract COVID-19 that the illness was acquired at work for the purpose of workers compensation insurance. AB 685 (Reyes) requires employers to provide written notice and instructions to employees who may have been exposed at the workplace to a confirmed case of COVID-19, among other provisions.

The governor also signed SB 1383 (Jackson), the bill to expand the California Paid Family Leave program, one of the hardest fought employer-labor/social justice fights of the legislative session.

POSTAL MATTERS: Also yesterday, a federal judge for the Eastern District of Washington issued an preliminary injunction blocking changes at the United States Postal Service that he found "politically motivated." June Williams reports for Courthouse News Service:

A federal judge has temporarily stopped U.S. Postal Service changes that may affect the upcoming 2020 elections, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” ahead of a presidential election that will be largely by mail.

The changes made by the Postal Service including policies requiring carriers and trucks to leave mail behind to stay on a set schedule and ending a long-standing policy treating election mail as the equivalent of first class mail.

Chief U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian of the Eastern District of Washington issued a temporary injunction Thursday from the

bench after hearing arguments by a group of 14 states suing over the service cuts they say are intentional and meant to use the Postal Service for political purposes.

BALLOTS: For CapRadio, Chris Nichols reports on a study that found that young voters had mail-in ballots rejected at three times the overall rate in three counties reviewed.

The study, Improving California’s Vote-by-Mail Process by Reducing Ballot Rejection: A Three-County Study, was conducted by the California Voter Foundation, which advocates for improving the election process.

In Sacramento County, 2.3% of voters ages 18 to 24 had their vote-by-mail ballots rejected, compared to an overall county rejection rate of 0.8%, the report found. In San Mateo County, 3.5% of young voters had their ballots disqualified compared to the overall rejection rate of 1%. And in Santa Clara County, 2.5% had their ballots rejected compared to an overall 0.7% rejection rate. 

Kim Alexander, president of CVF, said several factors work against younger voters when they cast vote-by-mail ballots.

“They’re new to voting. They’re less familiar with using the post office. And they are not used to using a signature to sign checks or to do other secure transactions,” Alexander said. “We need to do extra outreach to young people and make sure they get it right when they vote-by-mail.”

The study says the most common reasons mail-in ballots get rejected for all voters include: returning them too late, forgetting to sign the ballot envelope and signatures that don’t match the one on file.

I for one can't sign my name consistently. I guess that makes me "young." At farmers market, particularly during COVID-19, vendors often ask "Do you want me just to draw a line?"

Works for me.

CA50 (East San Diego County): In the SDUT, Michael Smolens writes about the unexpected competiveness of the congressional seat left vacant following the resignation of Duncan Hunter (R).

Union-Tribune/10News poll earlier this month had the race as a toss-up. So did a couple of other polls over the summer, one commissioned by Campa-Najjar’s campaign and another by a law enforcement group.

Some of those campaign rankings list the 50th as “likely Republican,” but that actually signals a tighter race than their earlier assessments.

Still, Issa has plenty going for him, not the least of which is his personal wealth that has allowed him to pour millions of dollars into his campaigns over the years, including the March primary.


[Darrell] Issa’s strong support of President Donald Trump, and the president’s endorsement of him, should be unqualified advantages in the 50th District, but the Union-Tribune/10News poll raises doubt about that.

The poll had voters there favoring Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by 3 points over Trump. In 2016, Trump won the district by 15 points over Hillary Clinton. On Thursday, [Ammar] Campa-Najjar announced he has been endorsed by Biden.


In 2018, Campa-Najjar didn’t get the major Democratic Party resources that went to other California congressional candidates, including Levin.

Whether he does this fall remains to be seen, but party leaders are showing more interest. Late last month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Campa-Najjar to its “Red to Blue” program, which includes candidates most likely to flip Republican districts.

The Democratic Party still has higher priorities, such as protecting the seven first-term incumbents who won Republican districts in California two years ago. [CA49 Rep. Mike] Levin is one of them.

CCPOA "TARGETS" JONES-SAWYER: Marisa Lagos reports for KQED on a video posted online by the president of the state's prison guards union that shows a finder putting a bullseye over the face of South Los Angeles Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-AD59).

The union representing prison correctional officers in California is under fire after briefly posting a video online showing crosshairs taped over a photo of a Black lawmaker who is up for reelection this year and who the union has spent more than $100,000 to defeat.

The president of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), Glen Stailey, posted the 2 1/2-minute video on his Facebook page before quickly taking it down amid criticism that it could incite violence against the targeted lawmaker, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles.

Jones-Sawyer is chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and has been an outspoken advocate for  police and criminal justice reform.

The video, which implores supporters of law enforcement to register to vote this year, paints California as unsafe and says that law enforcement has been framed as the “enemy.”

Jones-Sawyer faces fellow Democrat Efren Martinez, a policy consultant and former executive director of the Florence-Firestone Chamber of Commerce in a district that has moved from historically black to predominantly Latino.

POLICING: In the Times, Alene Tchekmedyian writes that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office has provided additional information on the events that led to the shooting death of Dijon Kizzee in South LA, which triggered significant protest and may have played a role in the shooting of two Sheriff's Office deputies last Saturday night.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Dijon Kizzee was riding his bike on the wrong side of the street when he was stopped by two South L.A. deputies in an incident that ended with the pair firing 19 shots at him.

At a news briefing, sheriff’s officials offered yet another version of events of what led up to the fatal shooting on Aug. 31 that has generated national attention and triggered days of protests.

Capt. Kent Wegener said Kizzee made a U-turn in front of deputies, dropped his bike on the sidewalk and ran.

As one deputy caught up to Kizzee, Wegener said, Kizzee lifted his arms, clothes in each hand, struck a deputy in the face, and his pistol dropped to the ground.

“He bends over, reaches, picks up the gun and is shot as he stands with the gun in hand,” Wegener said. “You will see that the deputy struggling with Kizzee does not arm himself until Kizzee bends down to pick up the gun he dropped.”

Much of the altercation is caught on video that the Sheriff’s Department provided Thursday. But parts of the struggle with deputies right before the shooting, including the moment that Wegener said Kizzee picked up the gun, are partially obstructed by a wall and difficult to make out.

The new narrative conflicts in some ways with prior versions of events.

Tchekmedyian proceeds to look at the conflicts from previous accounts, including from the deputies on the scene. However, I can't include the whole article. This is good journalism that should be paid for.

LA-LA LAND: The LAT's Howard Blume reports on the proposal before the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education to significantly reduce the police presence on district campuses.

Two months after a divided Los Angeles Unified school board slashed funding for its police department by more than a third, the contours of a dramatically diminished force emerged this week.

Under a plan presented to the board on Tuesday, police officers would be removed from school campuses and weekend patrols meant to protect schools from vandalism would be eliminated, among other cuts.

The debate over the proposed cuts, set for later this month, marks a wide split on the board over the role that armed, uniformed officers should play in providing security to hundreds of thousands of students enrolled at more than 900 campuses.

With some on the seven-member board calling for the complete elimination of the police department and others opposed to cuts, the sharply opposing views played out in the streets outside the district’s downtown headquarters this week, where protesters in favor of police reforms sparred verbally with police supporters.

election crossword, cakeday and NEW classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

ELECTION CROSSWORD: CalMatters's Ben Christopher crafts a crossword focused on the November ballot. How did Ben know that I wind down nightly with the New York Times Crossword but can never get far on Fridays. I'm game for tonight!  

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Sandy Goldfarb!


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]

California School Boards Association - Legislative Director

CSBA is seeking a Legislative Director to lead our Governmental Relations team to shape legislative and political strategy for CSBA’s statewide agenda. You will act as a liaison between legislative, educational, and public communities. If you are interested in leading a team of legislative advocates to influence opinion in favor of public education, please apply through our website. Position is located in West Sacramento. Learn more and apply here:

Steinberg Institute is Expanding Our Team

Leading mental health advocacy organization seeks articulate, strategic, and passionate full time advocate. 3+ years' legislative/budget experience required. Knowledge of mental health/substance use issues strongly preferred. Sacramento-based. $75,000 - $90,000, depending on experience, with excellent benefits. Deadline: October 2, 2020. Details.

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.

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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