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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: 45 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 16 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 49.3, Trump: 43.1 (9/3-9/17): Biden+6.2
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+5.7 (8/1-9/17)

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 Saturday, September 19, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • RBG
  • Money matters
  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Bill signings
  • Employment
  • LA-LA Land
  • SacTown Homekey
  • Seen on Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

Well, I was prepared for a quiet evening of candles, Instant Pot Thai Beef Curry Stew, and campaign finance reports with the Giants @ A's game on.

And then the breaking news of the death of Supreme Court of the United States Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg came.

Fortunately, I did make the curry, which over rice was the comfort I needed as I absorbed the news throughout the evening.

I'm not going to spend time in this space fawning over her liberal record as that's not the purpose of The Nooner and I appreciate the broad spectrum of readers. However, like her close friend yet philosophical opposite Antonin Scalia, she was a titan on the nation's high Court. Unlike the "my good friend" characterizations so often heard on the floors of Congress or our State Capitol, the Ginsburg-Scalia friendship was true and beyond opera.

In law school, I was a research assistant for a constitutional law professor, the late Gary Goodpaster. We had lots of time to talk about the Court and I developed a deep respect for the institution. I saw RBG on the bench only once as Kara and I saw a couple of boring arguments on administrative law. Still, there is something about being in that chamber.

Of course, the question now is how this affects the November 3 election. From a California perspective, I don't think they change anything. I don't think that the competitive congressional, State Senate, or State Assembly seats will turn on Trump's nominee. I don't think President Trump's result in California will change much one way or another based on who he nominates for the SCOTUS vacancy.

In the PPIC poll released Wednesday night, President Trump had 31% of the vote among likely voters. The final result in the 2016 general election? 31.8%. Republican Party registration in California? 23.99%, which is down 2.02% from the October 24, 2016 report.

What it could do is encourage youth turnout, particularly young women who lean left.

RBG became a popular figure among a generation far disconnected from the battles the late Justice fought for in her early legal career. This generation turned out to see On the Basis of Sex, the biographical drama based on the early years of Ginsburg's legal career. Ginsburg's career became a discussion in many college courses among people who weren't voting age in 2016.

Does that change any California elections? I don't know. It could affect some true toss-ups, but I don't see it fermenting a wave.

At this time, Nooner love to those close to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from her family to her former clerks and all those whose lives she touched through her illustrious legal career.

There is a candlelight walk around the Capitol tonight beginning at 9:18pm near the West Steps.

If you want to listen to then-Professor Ginsburg's first oral argument before the all-male court in 1973, it is Frontiero v. Richardson 411 U.S. 677, and the audio and transcript are available here. The case resulted in gender discrimination to be subject to the highest test of strict scrutiny for the first time, the same test as race. This paved the way for lots of cases, including same-sex marriage in United States v. Windsor 570 U.S. 744 (2013) and the employment discrimination prohibition against LGBTQ individuals this term in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia.

Anyway, I'll likely be writing more on social media (Facebook | Twitter). The CNN documentary "RBG" will be shown at 7pm PDT.

MONEY MATTERS: highlights of filings from yesterday's daily reports. These do not include regular contributions to candidates or significant in-kind expenditures from the political parties, which are primarily for mail.

Ballot measures

  • Yes on 15 (split roll): $2,125,170 from six donors, including $2,054,171 from SEIU Local 2015 (health care givers)
  • No on 15 (split roll): $4,927,700 from 19 donors, including $4,300,000 from California Business Roundtable, $400,000 from Columbia Property Trust, $100,000 from Watson Land Company, and $100,000 from Craig Realty Group Citadel
  • Yes on 16 (affirmative action): $500,000 each from Steve and Connie Ballmer
  • Yes on 23 (dialysis): $35,000 from Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers West
  • No on 21 (rent control): $84,840 from 34 donors
  • Yes on 22 (transportation network companies): $693,000 from Uber Technologies and $62,456 from MapleBear, Inc. DBA Instacart (non-monetary)
  • No on 25 (bail reform referendum - "no" repeals SB 10): $245,086 from 18 donors, including $131,000 from All Pro Bail Bonds (Solano Beach, CA)

Legislative races - independent expenditures

  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): $52,143 for mail IE in SUPPORT of Ling Ling Chang (R) by California Alliance for Progress and Education, an alliance of business organizations (Cumulative total: $285,804)
  • AD55 (Diamond Bar-Yorba Linda): $44,881 for polling, mail IE in SUPPORT of Phillip Chen (R) by California Dental Association Independent Expenditure PAC
  • AD60 (Corona): $112,500 for digital ads IE in SUPPORT of Sabrina Cervantes (D) by California Labor and Business Alliance (CLAB), sponsored by building trades, correctional peace officers and apartment rental organizations, and energy providers
  • AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Orange-Tustin-Irvine): $33,702 for polling, mail IE in SUPPORT of Steven Choi (R) by California Association of Realtors

Doing the laundry - spending that passes through party committees, which can then be distributed above campaign limits per donor, per candidate.

  • The California State Council of Service Employees sent $38,800 each to the San Diego CountyNapa County, and Tehama Democratic central committees.
  • The Democratic Party of Mendocino County sent $50,000 to Dawn Addis (AD35 - San Luis Obispo County), $50,000 to Reggie Jones-Sawyer (AD59 - Los Angeles County), and $30,000 to Melissa Fox (AD68 - Orange County).
  • The California Republican Party sent $100,000 to Phillip Chen (AD55) and $31,300 to John M.W. Moorlach (SD37).


-The numbers: 100 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 14,910. The latest 14-day statewide testing positivity rate is 3.4%.

-Reopening: For the Press-Enterprise, Jeff Horseman reports that Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt has placed an item on Tuesday's Board of Supervisors agenda to reopen businesses with no capacity limits in defiance of Sacramento.

Currently, the county is in the purple, or most restrictive, tier. But as early as Tuesday, improving metrics could move the county into the red tier, which would allow shopping malls, restaurants, and other businesses to resume indoor operations with limits on how many people can be inside.

Before the four-tier system took shape, Riverside County, in a letter to state officials, proposed a phased reopening of businesses starting after Labor Day. Supervisors have openly expressed frustration with Sacramento’s changing COVID-19 rules, which they see as stifling the county’s earnest efforts to revive a pandemic-battered economy.

A Libertarian elected in 2018, Hewitt has been especially critical of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Technically speaking, the state provides only guidance. However, federal funds for COVID-19 relief appropriate through the state Budget Act can be with withheld for counties that don't issue public health orders following the guidance. In neighboring Orange County, Supervisor and former Assembly member Don Wagner has called on the federal government to appropriate funds directly to counties rather than states if another relief package currently being discussed comes together. While Orange County is the more relaxed red tier, many businesses are unhappy with the capacity limits (gyms at 10%) and businesses such as bars and concert venues remain closed.


-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): 832,891 acres, with 30% containment as of 7:55am
    - 51 structures destroyed

  2. SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus counties): 396,624 acres, with 98% containment as of 8:42
    - 222 structures destroyed

  3. LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano counties): 363,220 acres, with 98% containment as of 8:38
    - 5 deaths; 1,491 structures destroyed

  4. North Complex (Plumas, Butte, Yuba counties): 289,951 acres with 58% containment as of 7:52am
    - 15 deaths; 1,147 structures destroyed

  5. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 248,256 acres, with 22% containment as of 8:30am
    - 842 structures destroyed

-Bobcat Fire: A team at the Times reports that the fire in Los Angeles County "exploded Friday amid intense winds, burning homes in the Antelope Valley and spreading in several directions."

As of Saturday morning, the fire had burned more than 91,000 acres and was threatening some desert communities along Highway 138. Several homes in the remote Juniper Hills area were lost Friday.

Valyermo, another small community, was also under threat.

The fire spread rapidly onto the desert floor Friday as winds arrived. Some residents had to flee as the fire jumped around, hitting some homes but sparing others.

The fire is now 15% contained, but fire officials said they have a tough weekend ahead with hot conditions and more winds forecast.

BILL SIGNINGS: Governor Newsom yesterday signed 27 bills (release one | two), including:

  • SB 970 (Umberg): returns the primary election to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June in years in which there is no presidential election, such as 2022
  • AB 1869 (Committee on Budget): budget trailer bill that eliminates the ability for local courts to levy several administrative fees on court criminal judgments and backfills the lost revenue through 2025-26
  • AB 1876 (Committee on Budget): budget trailer bill that removes the prohibition of using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) for eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC)
  • AB 2152 (Gloria): bans the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits while allowing for retail stores to host adoption events under specified circumstances

EMPLOYMENT: In the Times, Margot Roosevelt reports on the latest employment data for California and it's not unexpectedly blah:

California’s job market improved slightly in August, but the state has regained just a third of the jobs it lost since the COVID-19 pandemic forced thousands of businesses to close.

The state added 101,900 positions last month, mostly due to the temporary hiring of federal census takers, boosting state payrolls to about 15.87 million, state officials reported.

In July, employers had hired 83,500 workers after Gov. Gavin Newsom and county officials allowed many workplaces to reopen.

Compared with August of last year, California payrolls shrank 9.1%. About 2.6 million jobs were lost in March and April because of the coronavirus.

LA DA: The LAT's James Queally reports that the theme of reform dominating the runoff for Los Angeles County District Attorney between incumbent Jackie Lacey and former SF DA George Gascón is bringing up heightened scrutiny to Gascón's time as a Los Angeles Police Department cop.

At a time when police violence is under scrutiny and many are calling for an overhaul of the criminal justice system, Gascón’s image as a reform-minded law enforcement veteran has given life to his bid to unseat Jackie Lacey as Los Angeles County’s district attorney this November.

But the attention also has led some to spotlight decisions Gascón made as a police officer that critics contend belie his progressive rhetoric.

Gascón’s policing career spans three decades. After joining the Los Angeles Police Department in 1978, he rose through the ranks and became an assistant chief in 2003 before leaving to serve as chief of police in Mesa, Ariz., in 2006. He was hired as San Francisco’s top cop in 2009 before being appointed as district attorney.

Public records and interviews with those who worked closest with Gascón in each city suggest that while he was able to achieve his progressive agenda and make public safety gains as a police chief in Arizona and the Bay Area, instances from his LAPD days have lent ammunition to those who question his vow to hold police accountable.

LA SHERIFF: In the Times, Leila Miller writes that as the criticisms of Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva mount, the first term sheriff insists he's not concerned.

While Villanueva, an elected official, has refused to step down, experts emphasized how a new level of public animosity among the sheriff, the oversight commission and the Board of Supervisors may prove difficult to diffuse.

In the background is rising friction between the Sheriff’s Department and some communities that accuse the department of police brutality and unwarranted shootings, which have spawned ongoing protests.

Supervisors have long complained that Villanueva’s department lacks transparency and clashed over policing reform measures. Since taking office in 2018, Villanueva has fought repeatedly with the civilian oversight panel and board members, who have accused him of rehiring officials with tainted backgrounds and unraveling policing reforms instituted after a massive corruption scandal that brought criminal convictions against former Sheriff Lee Baca and other commanders.

“Both sides are doubling down and the political rhetoric is taking over,” said Frank Zerunyan, a professor on the practice of governance at USC. “The sheriff feels very strongly about his mandate and what he’s doing, and the Board of Supervisors and those who have called for his resignation feel strongly about his lack of leadership.

In an interview, Villanueva told The Times that he is “obviously not” concerned about the expression of no confidence in his leadership, holding that the Board of Supervisors wants “a sheriff on the leash.”

SACTOWN HOMEKEY: In the Bee, Theresa Clift writes that while not on the first list of local government recipients, Sacramento still expects to receive money for the state Homekey program for permanent supportive housing for homeless.

“We expect to get about $30 million in Homekey funds from the state to create more than 210 units of permanent supportive housing,” [Mayor Darrell] Steinberg, co-chair of Newsom’s homeless task force, said in a statement. “These converted motels and manufactured homes are a key piece of the $62-million plan we are executing to get people indoors and keep them indoors.”

The hotels include the Hawthorn Suites on Bercut Drive, just north of downtown, and the WoodSpring Suites near the intersection of Mack Road and La Mancha Way, in south Sacramento’s Parkway neighborhood. Both hotels would serve about 100 people in permanent housing for 55 years, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency officials said last month. The Hawthorn would serve as interim housing for the first three years.

SEEN ON REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER: California Secretary of Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot's interaction on Monday with President Trump ("It’ll start getting cooler") got the attention of the show. Also, the news about Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing came out during the taping and it completely changed the mood.


cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Dorian Almarez and Jon Katz!


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]

Communications Director

The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission, is seeking applications for a Communications Director with at least 7 years’ experience ($11,500-$13,600/mo.). The Communication Director provides executive leadership over the design, development, and execution of the Commission’s strategic communications and public relations strategy. The ideal candidate will have experience doing outreach and building relations with diverse racial and ethnic communities and stakeholder groups and familiarity with the specialized media sources related to these communities. The Commission is charged with drawing the State’s legislative, Congressional, and Board of Equalization electoral lines.

Job Bulletin:

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.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

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