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  • California Nation (Gil Duran @ SacBee): Is Newsom’s gas-powered car ban enough to fight climate change? (2020-09-28)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): California Supreme Court justice Goodwin Liu on the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2020-09-24)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order to phase out the sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars and passenger trucks in California by 2035. (2020-09-23)
  • 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: 32 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 3 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 50.1 Trump: 42.9 (9/18 - 10/1): Biden+7.2 -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+6.6 (9/13 - 9/30)  -- 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, October 2, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Money matters
  • Legislative session by the numbers
  • Bay Area rent
  • Prop. 21
  • Ethnic studies
  • Prison employees
  • Cost of policing
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

So, I logged off around 9:45pm to get ready for bed. At 10:15pm, my mom texts me with "Have you heard that Trump and Melania are positive for COVID?"

Since I had been following the Hope Hicks news all evening, I responded saying that it was a close aide and POTUS and Melania were in precautionary quarantine.

And then my phone blew up. So much for bed. Shortly, I was back at my desk and when I turned on the teevee, there was Don Lemon, still anchoring after 1am EDT when the Brits often have taken over hosting.

I wish the best for all COVID victims.

Of course, my job is to think about impact on California elections and policy. Ballots will be mailed to over 21,240,236 voters on Monday, if they haven't already gotten them as some counties got a jump on it.

I don't have a take on what it means to the overall electorate. I'll be reading every possible perspective before making any judgment. There are fringe folks or campaign folks that have made a determination in the last twelve hours, but no unaffiliated political person or expert knows just yet. We may not know for a week as it may depend on the severity of the President (and others' cases) and how The White House and campaign handles things.

One thing that may be likely is that California voters, particularly independents who lean conservative, sit on their ballots a bit longer to see how this plays out.


-The numbers: 90 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 15,990.

-UC: For EdSource, Michael Burke reports that seven of the nine UC campuses are welcoming undergraduate students back and looks at what they are doing to address COVID-19.

Seven of the university system’s nine undergraduate campuses are on the quarter system and resumed classes this week. Each campus is taking a different approach to the start of the quarter. Some, including UCLA, are bringing virtually no students back to campus except for those who rely on campus housing for a safe place to live. 

On the other end of the spectrum is UC San Diego. About 11,000 students, including about 7,500 undergraduates, are expected to live on campus — more than any other campus in the system. Before the coronavirus pandemic, up to 16,000 students would live on campus. UC San Diego’s strategy to mitigate the spread of coronavirus includes mass Covid-19 testing, contact tracing, wastewater testing and Bluetooth technology that will alert students if they have been exposed to the virus. 

UC Irvine and UC Davis are also welcoming back thousands of students to their campuses and have their own plans that include frequent Covid-19 testing of all students. Those campuses and UC San Diego each have access to their own hospitals and healthcare networks, giving them a major resource advantage.


UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside are also starting classes this week but have opted against bringing many students back to campus, saying it is not safe to do so. Those universities are limiting on-campus housing only to students with special circumstances. That could include students who don’t have alternative housing options or students whose home residences don’t have the infrastructure to support remote learning. 

-Alameda County: The county announced yesterday that it meets the new equity metric and, after moving into the less-restrictive Red tier on September 22, elementary schools may reopen in-person instruction if they have submitted and posted a COVID-19 health and safety plan. The county also announced that several business sectors will be allowed to reopen with modifications beginning October 9. However, while eligible on the state guidance, indoor dining and movie theaters with modification (25% capacity or 100, whichever is fewer, for both will be phased in over the next 4-6 weeks, depending on data trends.

-Sacramento County: Here is the "red tier" public health order for Sacramento County.

-Theme parks: In the Register, Brady MacDonald reports that theme park operators want more time to provide input in reopening protocols being developed by state health officials and are about to be released.

California plans to issue reopening guidelines this week that will allow theme parks in the state to resume operations after more than six months of coronavirus closures, according to state officials.


-The numbers: Currently, 29 fatalities have been tallied and 7,776 structures destroyed or damaged in the Caliifornia fires. Five of the state's 20 largest fires in California history have occurred in 2020, with 3,754,729 acres burned statewide. (The statewide structures and acreage numbers are updated occasionally and not necessarily daily like the individual fires.)

Here are the five biggest currently burning, although SCU and LCU are pretty much contained so the updates are more sparse. The largest August Fire will likely cross 1 million acres soon and will more than double the previous largest fire in California history, the July 2018 Mendocino Complex.

  1. August Complex (Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake, Colusa counties): 970,563 acres, with 51% containment as of 7:33am
    - 51 structures destroyed

  2. LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano counties): 363,220 acres, with 100% containment as of 10:32am
    - 5 deaths; 1,491 structures destroyed

  3. North Complex (Plumas, Butte, Yuba counties): 316,685 acres with 79% containment as of 10/01 6:54pm
    - 15 deaths; 2,342 structures destroyed

  4. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 311,703 acres, with 45% containment as of 7:41am
    - 855 structures destroyed

  5. SQF Complex (Tulare County): 153,226 acres, with 61% containment as of 10/01 6:55pm
    - 232 structures destroyed

-Finalized: SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus counties): 396,624 acres, with 100% containment as of 10:29am
                  - 222 structures destroyed

-Glass Fire (Napa, Sonoma counties): As of 7:00am, the fire had burned 60,148 acres and was 6% contained. There are currently 587 reported destroyed structures, including 220 single-family homes, 3 multi-family units, and 6 commercial buildings destroyed. The remaining are multi-use res/comm: 1, outbuildings 27, and other minor structures: 142.

Today, is another Red Flag day, and it's not expected to get better over the weekend.

A team at the Chron reports that while progress has been made, this weekend could provide a significant challenge for firefighters.

Thick smoke hampered efforts to slow the spread of the Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties Thursday even as more than 2,500 firefighters braced for strong, dry winds this weekend that could overwhelm the containment lines established so far.

The smoke grounded much of the air attack yesterday as the wind largely paused before forecast to increase again.

The threat is especially fierce in Napa County, where Calistoga and a number of smaller communities are under evacuation orders. The fire that began Sunday night grew to 58,880 acres as of Thursday evening — consuming an additional 7,500 acres in just 24 hours.

“The fuel conditions are so dry, it’s very receptive and the spread of fire is almost imminent,” Cal Fire Chief Mark Brunton said Thursday. “It’s going to be a big firefight for us for the next 36 hours.”

-Zogg Fire (Shasta County): As of 7:33am, the fire has burned 56,018 acres and was 46% contained. There are currently 159 reported destroyed structures and 4 deaths.

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) tweets that her parents at one time owned the Ono Store, a casualty of the Zogg Fire. She writes in a series of tweets

(complete with wonderful wonderful and one sad photos):

In the 70s, my parents - Bruce & Sherry Wicks - owned a gem of a general store in Ono, CA.

It was a restaurant, bar, grocery, weather reporting service, & library during that time.

The Ono Store's legacy came to an end this week when the #ZoggFire burned it to the ground.

The Ono Store was famous for its burgers – the best in town – & my mom made the buns from scratch. My parents loved hosting the community there, & often threw holiday events. Here's an appearance by my brother at one in 1972, sitting on Santa’s lap in Aisle 2.

The “main event” was a monthly Country Western party that put all others to shame. Folks would dance late into the night, & when the jukebox went out (it always did), the repairman would come from Redding to fix it. When finished, he’d stay & get down w/ the locals until close.

It’s been almost 50 years since my parents carved their names into the ceiling of the Ono Store, a business that supported their growing family and fostered countless memories. I’m devastated for its current owners, & that this piece of my family history had to end this way.

Above all, I'm heartbroken for so many other Californians who are going through this devastation – losing their homes, businesses, & livelihoods. We can’t wait any longer to act on this – our wildfires are not going to magically improve as time goes on.

We need better climate policies & forest management to right the course, & we need leaders who will act on this imperative. I commit to being one of them. It’s not enough for climate change action to be on legislators’ minds – it needs to be on our desks.

-Protection: In the Chron, J.D. Morris writes that the solutions to California's wildfire challenge are known, but it's the politics get in the way of tackling them.

Politicians and policy experts broadly agree, though disagreement persists about the best next steps. On the climate front, Newsom’s most ambitious measure was a recent executive order prohibiting the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

He has also called for a ban on new permits for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of extracting oil and gas from the ground. Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and two other lawmakers have said they will introduce such a bill this year.

Much more is needed to prevent catastrophic fires, including more aggressive measures to thin overgrown forests through measures such as controlled burns. California is trying to achieve that through a new partnership with the federal government that aims to reduce fire risks across 1 million acres of forest annually.

MONEY MATTERS - selected filings from yesterday's campaign finance reports:

- Ballot measures

  • Yes on 14 (stem cell bond): $480,000 from Brook Byers (Menlo Park, CA)
  • No on 15 (split roll): $200,500 from 9 donors, including $165,000 from the California State Club Association
  • Yes on 16 (affirmative action): $110,000 from 2 donors, including $100,000 from the Chan Zuckerberg Advocacy Initiative
  • No on 20 (criminal justice): $100,000 from the SSP Universe Trust, a Trust for Susan Pritzker's Benefit
  • No on 21 (rent control): $1,088,750 from 24 donors, including $559,100 from Acacia Capital Corp. and $450,000 from the California Association of Realtors
  • Yes on 22 (transportation network companies): $729,000 from Postmates (non-monetary)
  • No on 22 (transportation network companies): $254,500 from three donors, including $125,000 from UFCW and $100,000 from the California Nurses Association

-Independent expenditures

  • SD13 (San Francisco): $113,375 for polling, mail in SUPPORT of Scott Wiener (D) by Equality California
  • SD15 (San José): $74,786 for mail to OPPOSE Dave Cortese (D) by Silicon Valley JobsPAC, Sponsored by The California Chamber of Commerce (Cumulative total: $96,530)
  • SD29 (Diamond Fullerton-Diamond Bar): $126,511 for polling, mail to OPPOSE Ling Ling Chang (R) by Opportunity PAC (labor)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC Coast): $152,647 for polling, mail to OPPOSE John M.W. Moorlach (R) by Opportunity PAC (labor)
  • AD35 (San Luis Obispo): $26,593 for mail in SUPPORT of Jordan Cunningham (R) by California Dental Association (Cumulative total: $58,206)
  • AD42 (Cathedral City, Twenty-Nine Palms, Yucaipa): $19,966 for mail in SUPPORT of Chad Mayes (NPP) by California Dental Association (Cumulative total: $142,777) and $41,617 for polling, mail by the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
  • AD67 (Murrieta): $21,452 for mail in SUPPORT of Kelly Seyarto (R) by California Association of Realtors
  • AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Tustin-Irvine): $27,526 for mail to OPPOSE Melissa Fox (D) by Keeping Californians Working, a Coalition of Housing Providers, Energy and Insurance Agents (Cumulative total: $160,443)

LEGISLATIVE SESSION BY THE NUMBERS: Chris Micheli writes in Capitol Weekly on the numbers related to legislation behind the just-concluded session. I was going to make nice charts out of these, but there's been some other news that gobbled up my evening time last night -- and that was before the tweet by POTUS.

BAY AREA RENT: In the Chron, Kellie Hwang writes that Bay Area rents continue to drop.

PROP. 21: The Bee's Hannah Wiley asks whether the pandemic and other factors have changed the polity enough to get them to embrace a rent control measure that is very similar to the one rejected 40.6 - 59.4% in 2018.

Advocates behind the new measure, Proposition 21, argue economic devastation caused by COVID-19 strengthens their argument that California is overdue for rent control.

More than 900,000 renter households in California experienced a pandemic-induced job loss from February to June, an August UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation report found. Additionally, up to 5.4 million Californians have reported slight or no confidence in being able to pay rent, according to an analysis by the D.C.-based nonprofit Aspen Institute.

“It’s the crisis that’s pushing people over the edge,” Proposition 21 campaign director René Christian Moya said. “(Proposition 21) was absolutely necessary before COVID-19, and it’s an urgent necessity during the crisis.”

But landlords counter that rent control is the wrong kind of remedy, especially when rents are falling in big cities. They argue both the 2018 and 2020 campaigns for rent control fail to address evictions, homelessness or the construction of affordable units.

“Rents are DROPPING during COVID,” Steven Maviglio, spokesman for the No on 21 Campaign, said in an email, referencing records of housing prices decreasing in major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

ETHNIC STUDIES: In the Chron, Dustin Gardiner writes that a major factor beyond Governor Newsom's veto of AB 331, which would have established an ethnic studies requirement for high school graduation, was opposition from Jewish groups who felt that the experience of Jewish Americans. Gardiner writes:

Tyler Gregory, executive director of the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council, said concerns about the bill were reignited in recent weeks after Jewish leaders learned the draft curriculum had been updated to add lessons about Arab Americans and Pacific Islanders, but not Jews.

Gregory said Jewish groups and synagogues across the state sent dozens of letters to Newsom’s office urging him to intervene. Gregory said he wanted Newsom to direct an overhaul of the curriculum or veto the bill — Newsom did both.

“We think it’s imperative that education around anti-Semitism and Jewish identity be included in the context of ethnic studies,” Gregory said. “The Jewish community is more than a conversation about the Holocaust.”

However, the bill also had significant supporters in the Jewish community: Every member of the Legislative Jewish Caucus voted for it, and it was endorsed by the Anti-Defamation League.

PRISON EMPLOYEES: In The Bee, Wes Venteicher reports that the planned closure of "Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy could set off a domino-like chain of job changes at other state prisons under California’s complex layoff process for public employees."

Venteicher continues:

The corrections department must submit a layoff plan to the state Human Resources Department as part of the closure. A plan hasn’t yet been submitted, a CalHR spokesman said Wednesday.

The corrections department is in the first stages of an involved process. When performing layoffs, the state gives workers “bumping” privileges that allow senior employees at an institution targeted for reductions to take the positions of less tenured employees with similar jobs at other institutions within a given geographical area. Those less senior workers, in turn, may bump out even newer employees.

COST OF POLICING: Amid campaigns of "defund the police" or "reprioritize funding for the police," PPIC's Brandon Martin and Alexandria Gumbs have a post looking at how much cities spend on law enforcement.

Various agencies provide law enforcement services: police departments operate in cities, sheriff’s offices serve non-incorporated parts of counties (while sometimes providing policing services to cities), and the California Highway Patrol is responsible for state and federal highways. California cities spent more than $12.4 billion on policing in the 2017–18 fiscal year. Counties spent $6.2 billion, and the state spent $2.5 billion on the California Highway Patrol.

Here, we focus on police spending in the 482 cities that reported expenditure data for the 2017–18 fiscal year (the most recent data available). More than 80% of the state’s population live in these cities.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jim Araby, Brandon CastilloKimberly Chen, Gina Frisby, Ryan McElhinney, Brad Pomerance, and Andrea York!


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 - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representatives

Serve as CSBA’s liaison to local schools and county boards of education, key decision makers, and the community-at-large. Execute grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. Remote positions based in the following locations: Southeast L.A. and North L.A./Ventura. Salary based on experience. Please apply at:

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: