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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: 43 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 14 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 49.5, Trump: 43.0 (9/7-9/20): Biden+6.5 -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+6.0 (8/1-9/20) -- 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 Monday, September 21, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Money matters
  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Ballot bonanza
  • Employment
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

Thursday is the deadline for state candidate committees to turn in their first pre-election report. I am short today because the CDC has a guidance but it's now been yanked. I never thought that I'd be writing on wildfires and a virus, but it is 2020 after all.

I'll be low in word cound today, but you understand why... The Giants continue to find the bat in blowout games while none In tough games. Lo se!

As the August Complex Fire creates new records for largest state wildfires by nearly doubling down on the second highest, report Ruben Vives and Alex Wigglesworth of the Times.

The Bobcat fire has grown to more than 103,000 acres, making it one of the largest wildfires in Los Angeles County history. The blaze continued to threaten some desert communities as well as the Mt. Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains on Sunday.

The fire was no longer bearing down on foothill communities such as Arcadia and Monrovia to the south, but it continued to move into some remote areas in the Antelope Valley to the north, destroying homes and prompting numerous evacuations, officials said.

“We’re still in the thick of a good firefight,” Andrew Mitchell, public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service, said Sunday.

 I am exhausted along wit law professors, fellow students, and so many more. To understand, deaths on the Court helps th heart of us all and goes far beyond politics that the media focuses on.

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.

Legislative races - independent expenditures

  • AD42 (Cathedral City, Twenty-Nine Palms, Yucaipa): $52,180 in mail IE by Keep California Golden (Cumulative total: $180,130) - recent donors are the California Association of Realtors ($200,000) and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association ($50,000).

Doing the Laundry: while individual contributors are limited to $4,700 to each candidate, if it passes through a party committee without specified destination, the money is washed...

  • Like many other many other county Democratic parties, the Orange County Democratic Party reports a max contribution of $38,800 from the California State Council of Service Employees (SEIU).


-The numbers: 30 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 15,016. The usual caveat about weekend reporting applies, with lower numbers reported over the weekend and higher numbers midweek. The 14-day average positivity rate statewide is 3.1%, although testing rates have gone down amid smokey skies and warnings about social distancing. Frankly, nobody knows at this point, which creates a huge public policy quandary.

COVID September 20

Source: State of California


-The numbers: 26 fatalities have been tallied and 6,546 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. (The acreage number is updated occasionally and not daily like the individual fires.

Here are the five biggest currently burning:

  1. August Complex (Mendocino, Humboldt counties): 837,241 acres, with 34% containment as of 7:21am
    - 1 death, 86 structures destroyed

  2. SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus counties): 396,624 acres, with 98% containment as of 09/19 8:42
    - 222 structures destroyed

  3. LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano counties): 363,220 acres, with 98% containment as of 09/19 8:38
    - 5 deaths; 1,491 structures destroyed

  4. North Complex (Plumas, Butte, Yuba counties): 292,200 acres with 62% containment as of 8:15am
    - 15 deaths; 1,393 structures destroyed

  5. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 278,368 acres, with 25% containment as of 8:50am
    - 846 structures destroyed

-From the Desk of the Dean: George Skelton writes that California leaders need to look south to the other California to understand how to manage forests and minimize fire risk.

The Sierra de San Pedro Mártir is similar to the Sierra Nevada: dominated by Jeffrey pine and mixed conifer forests, winter snow, granite base and rainbow trout. The peaks aren’t nearly as high as in the Sierra Nevada, but they’re up there. The tallest is 10,157 feet.

The pristine Baja range “can be used as a reference to what the drier portions of … forests in the Sierra Nevada may have looked like without a history of extensive logging and fire suppression,” reads a research paper published in April by the California Fire Science Consortium at UC Berkeley.


But unlike the Sierra Nevada, the UC paper continues, “the structure of this [Baja] forest creates an ecosystem that is resistant and resilient to drought, high-severity fire, insects and disease.”

It “can help guide management decisions in … the western U.S./California that wish to return forests to historical conditions or prepare them for a changing climate and an uncertain future.”

What did Mexico do differently than us? For a long time, it did nothing. Nature handled it.

As I've written before, this is what a friend (yes, we dated in college) who works in the Pac Northwest and is a wildlife biologist for the US Forest Service says exactly these issues. Fires are natural, critters thrive because of them, and only humans get upset because of their encroachment on the wild. After all, most of the big fires right now are caused by lightning -- a quintessential natural force.

EMPLOYMENT: In The Bee, Jeong Park and David Lightman look at what happens to individuals as the federal supplement to unemployment benefits disappears.

Losing the $300 often means incomes dip below what is regarded as low or very low income, according to a new study by the independent California Policy Lab.

It found that a California family with two parents collecting the maximum weekly benefit of $450 per person while supporting one child would be considered by the state “very low income” if they had no other income.

Of course, Washington has moved on from this crisis to filling the Supreme Court vacancy...

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Brian Brokaw, John Casey, Assembly members Devon Mathis and Randy Voepel, former Assembly member John Longville!, and Kevin Trommer!


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.

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