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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: 38 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 9 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 49.6, Trump: 42.8 (9/19-9/23): Biden+6.7 -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+5.4 (9/3-9/23) -- 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 Saturday, September 26, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Money matters
  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Ballots
  • Bills, bills, bills
  • Unemployment
  • PG&E
  • Alice in not-so Wonderland
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

Well, hello there and happy Saturday to you!


  • Yes on 14 (stem cell bond): $450,000 from Ann Tsukomoto of Stanford, CA
  • Yes on 15 (split roll): $75,000 from the San Francisco Foundation to PICO California Committee
  • No on 15 (split roll): $403,800 from 21 donors, including $250,000 from Omar Palacios
  • Yes on 16 (affirmative action): $233,600 from four donors. including $200,000 from The San Francisco Foundation
  • Yes on 17 (youth vote in primary elections): $100,000 from Heising-Simons Foundation
  • No on 21 (rent control): $216,500 from five donors, including $200,000 from Prime Administration, LLC  
  • Yes on 22 (transportation network companies): $756,000 from Uber Technologies
  • Republican Party of San Diego County from Yes on 22 (transportation network companies)
  • No on 22 (transportation network companies): $1,000,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers , $874,467 from SEIU Local 1021, and $100,000 from the California School Employees Association 
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley):  $39,582 IE for mail in support of Scott Wilk (R) in from Keeping Californians Working, A Coalition of Housing Providers, Energy and Insurance Agents (Cumulative total: $104,650)
  • SD23 (Redlands):  $46,333 IE for mail in support of Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R) in from Keeping Californians Working, A Coalition of Housing Providers, Energy and Insurance Agents (Cumulative total: $309,139)
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita): IE for digital ads and mail in support of Suzette Martinez Valadares (R) from the California Correctional Officers Association (Cumulative total: $178,986)
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles): $39,099 for mail in support of Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D) from California African-America PAC
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles): $50,181 for mail in support of Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D) from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (Cumulative total: $150,542)
  • AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Tustin-Irvine): $15,930 IE for mail in support of Steven Choi (R) from the California Association of Realtors


-The numbers: 136 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 15,539 one of the most brutal days of the pandemic. The state positivity rate is 3% over the last 14 days. Sacramento County has dropped (Excel) to 6.6% as of September 21, which if it stays below 7% for 14 days, restaurants could reopen for in-room dining. Latino Californians account for 48.6% of the state's deaths. Here is the chart from the California Department of Public Health, which doesn't reflect yesterday's spike.

COVID deaths 09/26/20

-THE OC: In the Register, Ian Wheeler reports that Orange County is approaching the less-restrictive orange tier and what that means.

The county’s second descent through the color-coded, four-tier system would be another mark of progress as two crucial pandemic measures – rates of new COVID-19 cases and shares of swab tests returning positive – continue to fall.

A drop to the orange tier, for “moderate” coronavirus risk, also means that previously closed bars and breweries – the ones not serving food – can open outdoors. Bowling alleys, wineries, card rooms and indoor climbing walls will be able to open at 25% capacity.

A host of other sectors – dine-in restaurants, movie theaters and places of worship – could boost their indoor capacities from one-quarter to half or 200 people, whichever is fewer.


-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): 867,335 acres, with 43% containment as of 9/25 8:08am
    - 1 death, 51 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 09/22 8:38
    - 5 deaths; 1,491 structures destroyed

  4. North Complex (Plumas, Butte, Yuba counties): 304,881 acres with 78% containment as of 7:28am
    - 15 deaths; 2,248 structures destroyed

  5. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 292,172 acres, with 39% containment as of 6:51am
    - 855 structures destroyed

BALLOTS: In Capitol Weekly, Paul Mitchell reports on which counties have mailed out ballots ahead of the state deadline of October 5.

Vote-by-mail ballots have been sent to all registered voters in Amador County, with Solano reporting they will be mailing ballots today, while Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego counties — and maybe others – will be mailing next week. These counties are getting ahead of the Oct. 5 deadline for California counties to mail ballots. In other states, meanwhile, voting has been taking place for weeks.

With all 21 million California voters being mailed ballots for November, it’s a great time to check in on the health of our transition to Vote By Mail in California, and how it relates to the systems in the rest of the country.

Election Attorney Marc Elias has been working nonstop since the pandemic hit, seeking to advance vote-by-mail laws throughout the country in order to ensure a fair election in the middle of a pandemic. He has come up with what he calls the“four pillars” for safe and effective mail-in voting: All ballots should be postage paid, ballots postmarked on or before Election Day must be counted, signature-matching laws need to be reformed to protect voters, and community organizations should be able to collect and return sealed ballots.


  • AB 713 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.
  • AB 2068 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) – Voluntary tax contributions: California Firefighters’ Memorial Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund: California Peace Officer Memorial Foundation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.
  • AB 2196 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Pilot Program for Increased Access to Responsible Small Dollar Loans.
  • AB 3139 by Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) – Alcoholic beverages: licensees.
  • AB 3175 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) – Entertainment industry: age-eligible minors: training.
  • SB 146 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Regional transportation plans: sustainable communities strategies: procedural requirements.
  • SB 432 by Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Red Bluff) – Alcoholic beverages: distilled spirits: instruction.
  • SB 1030 by the Committee on Housing – Housing.
  • SB 1441 by Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) – Local Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Collection Act.

The Governor also announced that he has vetoed the following bills:

  • AB 2004 by Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) – Medical test results: verification credentials. A veto message can be found here.
  • AB 2164 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) – Telehealth. A veto message can be found here.
  • AB 2360 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) – Telehealth: mental health. A veto message can be found here.
  • AB 2387 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – In-home supportive services: needs assessment. A veto message can be found here.
  • SB 179 by Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Red Bluff) – Excluded employees: arbitration. A veto message can be found here.
  • SB 980 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Privacy: genetic testing companies. A veto message can be found here.
  • SB 1207 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) – Skilled nursing facilities: backup power system. A veto message can be found here.

UNEMPLOYMENT: In The Bee, David Lightman looks at why there hasn't federal action on an unemployment extension.

The $300 a week unemployment benefit has expired. States and cities can’t get the federal funds they say they desperately need to help pay for police, schools and other services. A lot of small businesses say they’re slowly dying and need help.

And Congress went home Thursday without doing anything to provide relief. It’ll return late Tuesday.

The parties blamed each other for the ongoing impasse.

PG&E: Many Northern Californians are again facing power shutoffs this weekend reports Luke Money in the Times.

Pacific Gas & Electric may cut power to nearly 97,000 customers in 15 counties this weekend as dry, unseasonably hot conditions and strong winds are expected to greatly increase fire danger across much of Northern California.

Utility officials said that a “public safety power shut-off” could be necessary as “hot and dry conditions, combined with expected high wind gusts, pose an increased risk for damage to the electric system that has the potential to ignite fires in areas with dry vegetation.”

The “potentially strong and dry offshore wind event” is expected to start early Sunday and last through Monday, according to PG&E.

As a result, the utility said outages may become necessary in parts of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama and Yuba counties.

CONSUMER FINANCE: In the Chron, Alexei Koseff reports on the new California personal finance protection agency.

California will create a state consumer financial protection agency to fill a void left by federal regulators, who have pulled back on oversight during the Trump administration.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Friday establishing the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, a restructured Department of Business Oversight that will expand its focus to credit reporting agencies, debt collectors and financial technology companies that have not previously been subject to state regulation.

The new state department, Newsom said at an online signing ceremony, will “create conditions for innovation to flourish in a way where we can steward that and we can just work against its excesses. So we support risk-taking, not recklessness.”

ALICE IN NOT-SO WONDERLAND: For CalMatters, Laurel Rosenhall looks at the political consulting business of Alice Huffman, president of the California-Hawaii chapter of the NAACP.

What the [voter] guide doesn’t tell voters is that Huffman’s political consulting firm has been paid more than $1.2 million so far this year by ballot measure campaigns that she or the California NAACP has endorsed. She’s been paid by campaigns funded by commercial property owners fighting the tax increase, corporate landlords opposed to expanding rent control and bail bondsmen who want to keep the cash bail system.

Huffman’s dual roles as both a paid campaign consultant and leader of a vaunted civil rights group amount to an unusual — but legal — arrangement. Though she has held both positions for many years, Huffman was especially sought after this year, as political campaigns respond to the national reckoning over race and frame many of their messages with themes of justice and equity. The small firm Huffman runs with her sister is being paid by five ballot measure campaigns this year, public records show — more than it has taken on in previous elections. Many of them are funded by corporate interests at war with labor unions.

While it’s common for political campaigns to hire strategists to help them communicate with specific constituencies, those consultants usually do not come with a brand as well-known as the NAACP is for its work fighting discrimination over the last century. Huffman’s approach — making money from the campaigns that also wind up with an NAACP seal of approval — is stirring controversy in some Black communities. Critics say it appears the endorsement of the renowned civil rights organization is essentially up for sale.


cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Kathy Dressler, Moira Topp, and Jordan Wright!


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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