Around The Capitol

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  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): California Supreme Court justice Goodwin Liu on the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2020-09-24)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer 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: 37 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 8 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 49.8, Trump: 42.8 (9/19-9/253): Biden+7.0 -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+5.4 (9/19-9/25) 

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 Sunday, September 27, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Dearth of public polling
  • Money matters
  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Bills, bills, bills
  • Housing
  • Affirmative action
  • Housing
  • SF homeless
  • The OC
  • Sandy Eggo
  • CA11 (Contra Costa)
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

Well, happy Sunday to you! It's 4am and is already 72 outside in SacTown on its way to 96 today.

It's another tough day of high winds and dry conditions. With increased fire risk, PG&E may turn off power in parts of 16 counties affecting a total of 89,000 customers, including 15,000 in Butte, Plumas, Shasta, and Tehama who are waking up wiith no electricity this morning. Here is the live PG&E outage map.

Today is the final day of the Major League Baseball regular season, with playoffs starting Tuesday The Giants are on the bubble for a wild card spot. They need to win against the Padres today and the Milwaukee Brewers to face the Dodgers midweek. All games today are at 12:10pm PDT.

Let's get to the news after the jump!

DEARTH OF PUBLIC POLLING: In 2018, we had several public polls on the competitive congressional races in California, including the NYT/Siena College series. There is essentially nothing this year and it's quite frustrating. What we do have is the generic congressional ballot. On this date in 2018, Democrats had a 7.4 generic edge. As you saw above, it is currently 5.4.

Meanwhile, we have no idea about the impact of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and nomination of Amy Coney Barrett over the last ten days.


  • YES ON 15, 16, and 17: $176,000 IE for field program from Altamed Health Services Corporation 
  • CORRECTED: AD59 (South Los Angeles): $50,181 for mail in opposition of Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D) from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (Cumulative total: $150,542)
  • DOING THE LAUNDRY: $30,000 to Reggie Jones-Sawyer in AD59 (South Los Angeles) by the Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee and $80,000 from the Los Angeles Democratic Cental Committee
  • DOING THE LAUNDRY: $50,000 to Cottie Petrie-Norris in AD74 (Orange County beach cities) and $30,000 to Melissa Fox in AD68 (Anaheim Hills, Tustin, Irvine): $30,000 from the Democratic Central Committee of Marin
  • National Republican Congressional Committee is in CA21 (Fresno, Kings, Tulare) to oppose TJ Cox and in to oppose Christy Smith in CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale) for $271,572, reports the California Target Book's Rob Pyers. 


-The numbers: 51 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 15,587. The usual caveat on uneven weekend reporting applies.

-School daze: For CalMatters, Ricardo Cano reports that few public elementary schools are seeking pandemic waivers to reopen in-person instruction unlike private and parochial schools.

[N]early two months since the waivers’ debut, a disparate picture has emerged: California’s private schools make up an overwhelming share of approved applications.

More than 500 private schools have had waivers approved, according to a running list published by the California Department of Public Health, compared with roughly four dozen public school districts and charters comprising more than 120 campuses.

When student enrollment data factored, the private-public disparity appears starker. The private schools that have so far been granted waivers account for at least 25% of the state’s K-6 private-school enrollment, based on a CalMatters analysis. The public schools that have been granted waiver as of Tuesday account for about 1.6% of the state’s total K-6 public-school enrollment.

-The OC: A team in the Times reports on the brutal toll COVID-19 is taking on Orange County Latinos.

As the coronavirus swept through Orange County this summer, Huntington Beach became a national flashpoint because many residents and visitors refused to wear masks, and its streets saw several big protests opposing California’s stay-at-home order.

But data show COVID-19 has delivered its most brutal blow not along Orange County’s upscale coast but in the densely populated, heavily Latino communities.

Santa Ana and Anaheim — the two largest cities in the county — have had positive coronavirus test rates more than double that of the overall rate in Orange County.

While Orange County recently reported a seven-day positive coronavirus test rate of 3.1%, the rate in Santa Ana was more than double that, at 8.5%. Anaheim had a positive test rate of 4.8%, a figure that’s more than 50% higher than the countywide rate.

OC school daze: In the Register, Dan Albano reports on negotiations between teachers unions and school district officials ahead of expected reopenings.

Capistrano Unified is planning to launch in-person learning on Sept. 28, while Newport-Mesa follows on Sept. 29.

“It’s beyond crunch time,” said Tamara Fairbanks, president of the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers, a union that represents 1,200 teachers, nurses, librarians, counselors, social workers and therapists.

Fairbanks said the union and district negotiated for about five hours on Thursday, Sept. 24, and planned to meet again.

“We still have some ways to go, but we’re making progress and we’re having good conversations,” she said. “Unfortunately, our district prematurely set a date, but everything is not quite in a place yet.”

School computers: In the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Teri Sforza reports on the critical importance the issuance of school computers for distance learning.

As this weird fall of distance learning unfolds, new data show that the great majority of schoolchildren in Southern California’s major metro areas are staring at computer screens issued by their school districts — not at devices belonging to their families.

And while “internet deserts” persist, the vast majority of adults in households with children — some 90 percent or more, depending on how you calculate it — said they had internet access paid for by their families, according to the latest Household Pulse Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. Only a fraction said their Internet access was provided by school districts.

Perhaps disturbingly, though, 6 percent in the Los Angeles area and 8 percent in the Riverside area did not report anything regarding internet access. A similar sliver — 5 percent in L.A. and 4 percent in Riverside — reported nothing for computer access.

Higher ed: Cal State Long Beach has put students under quarantine and suspended in-person classes, reports Nathaniel Percy in the Press Telegram. Five students attended an off-campus gathering and four of the five have tested positive. Classes are suspended for two weeks for contact tracing.


-The numbers: 26 fatalities have been tallied and 7,535 structures destroyed or damaged in the Caliifornia fires. Five of the state's 20 largest fires in California history have occurred in 2020, with 3,627,020 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): 873,082 acres, with 43% containment as of 9/25 7:58am
    - 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): 305,881 acres with 78% containment as of 10:20am
    - 15 deaths; 2,342 structures destroyed

  5. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 302,870 acres, with 39% containment as of 10:33am
    - 855 structures destroyed

-Glass Fire (Napa): Already, there is a new, rapidly expanding fire north of St. Helena in Napa County of Silverado Canyon Road.

-The human cost: In the Desert Sun, Laura Ulrich looks at the disruption in daily life caused by the wildfires during the pandemic.

With 25 major wildfires currently burning in California, entire communities and towns across the state have been forced to flee, sometimes for weeks at a time. Many are still waiting for evacuation orders to lift so they can begin to rebuild destroyed houses, or get back to intact ones. Since Aug. 15, fires have destroyed 6,900 structures in the state.

In the age of coronavirus, finding emergency shelter during a wildfire is a changed process. The American Red Cross, for one, has started to prioritize using individual hotel rooms, and sometimes "dormitory-style" rooms for wildfire evacuees. Temporary evacuation points are often open during the day in certain areas. On Wednesday night alone, the Red Cross provided hotel accommodations to more than 180 people evacuating from the Bobcat Fire.

TOURISM: In The Bee, Darrell Smith looks at the triple threat of wildfires, climate, and the virus have on California's tourism and wine industries.

In San Diego, tourism industry watchers are bracing for a bleak fall after a shut-in summer that has crushed that city’s businesses. Up the coast in Monterey County, once-optimistic wine growers now must contend with the smoky fallout of nearby wildfires and its effect on that county’s multi-million dollar industry.

And in the desert resorts of Southern California’s Coachella Valley, researchers say climate change will devastate that region’s lucrative tourist industry in the decades to come.

Across California, two of the state’s signature industries — tourism and wine — are weathering the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, catastrophic wildfires and climate change.

Hopes were high for a good harvest in Monterey’s wine region rich with chardonnay and pinot noir, Kim Stemler, executive director of Monterey County Vintners and Growers, told the Monterey Herald. That was before the triple blows of the Carmel, Dolan and River fires. The result: “smoke taint” now endangering Monterey’s $190 million wine industry.

“This was lining up to be an excellent season,” Stemler said. With a mild winter and enough water, “this was going to be a good harvest.”

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: Governor Newsom signed three bills yesterday:

  • AB 2218 (Santiago) establishes the Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund
  • SB 132 (Wiener) requires CDCR to house transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people with a focus on health and safety.
  • SB 1255 (Committee on Insurance) ends the practice of insurance companies discriminating against HIV-positive individuals

LGBTQ AND COVID: The Chron's Dustin Gardener looks at the bill signed by Governor Newsom to require tracking of COVID-19 cases in the LGBTQ community.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a measure Saturday requiring health providers to track COVID-19 and all other communicable diseases in the LGBTQ community, a step that advocates called crucial for catching outbreaks early and combating stigma in the public-health system.

SB932 by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will mandate that health workers ask patients infected with the coronavirus and about 90 other diseases about their sexual orientation and gender identity. Patients could decline to answer.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: In the SDUT, John Wilkens looks at Prop. 16 and the effort to restore affirmative action in California.

Now’s the time, state legislators decided. They put a measure on the Nov. 3 ballot, Proposition 16, that would again allow affirmative action in government decision-making.

“The ongoing pandemic as well as recent tragedies of police violence are forcing Californians to acknowledge the deep-seated inequality and far-reaching institutional failures that show that your race and gender still matter,” said San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, the lead author of the bill authorizing the ballot measure, earlier this year.

But if two recent polls are any indication, there’s a difference between Californians acknowledging a problem and voting to fix it.

Proposition 16 is favored by 31 percent of the voters, with 47 percent opposed and 22 percent undecided, according to a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank based in San Francisco.

Similar numbers surfaced in a poll at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, the oldest public policy research center in the state. The measure was backed by 33 percent of the respondents, with 41 percent opposed and 26 percent undecided.

Among Latino likely voters, 41% supported it and 41% opposed it in the PPIC poll.

CA11 (CONTRA COSTA): In the Chron, Tal Kopan writes up the experience with COVID-19 of three-term Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D).

The last thing Concord Rep. Mark DeSaulnier remembers is a voice telling the ambulance driver to turn on the sirens. He spent the next month unconscious.

It was March 13. The Democrat was being rushed to a hospital in the nation’s capital, where he would be put on a ventilator as he battled pneumonia and a virulent infection. He suffered a mild heart attack and faced multiple organ failure. Doctors at one point gave him a 10% chance of surviving.

But survive he did. Now he’s back to work, back to hopes of someday finishing another marathon, and back in the East Bay district he has represented at the local, state and federal level for decades.

HOUSING: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at why housing bills stalled in the Legislature this year.

SF HOMELESS: In the Chron, Trisha Thadani reports on the wind down of the San Francisco program of housing homeless in hotels during the pandemic.

San Francisco’s program to house the homeless in hotels is stretching its already strapped budget, with monthly costs topping $18 million, although the federal government is expected to pay for 75% of it.

On Friday, Abigail Stewart-Kahn, interim director of the homeless services department, said people will gradually start transitioning out of rooms immediately, and some hotels will stop accepting new guests at some point in November. She said all the hotel residents will move to other places by June. While some might end up in permanent supportive housing, others might go to temporary shelter beds or sanctioned tent encampments.

The hotel program, which began in April in response to the pandemic, was always meant to be temporary.

SANDY EGGO: In the SDUT, David Garrick looks at the fundraising momentum of Assembly member Todd Gloria in the San Diego mayoral race.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria has shifted the fundraising momentum in the race for San Diego mayor, significantly outraising rival Barbara Bry in recent weeks and amassing a much larger war chest heading into the campaign’s final swing.

On top of that, independent committees supporting Gloria have raised more than $1 million to boost his candidacy with TV ads and mailers touting his credentials and attacking Bry. Committees supporting Bry have raised far less.

Bry had more than doubled Gloria in campaign contributions between February and June. But between July 1 and Sept. 19, Gloria raised $457,000 compared to $359,000 for Bry.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Therese Twomey! Google is 22 years old today.


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.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week: