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  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assemblymember Ash Kalra - Apple Podcasts | YouTube (2020-10-02)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Tori Verber Salazar: The Central Valley District Attorney Pushing for Criminal Justice Reform (2020-10-01)
  • 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)


  • Election Day: 31 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 2 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 50.1 Trump: 43.1 (9/22 - 10/1): Biden+7.0 -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+6.2 (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 Saturday, October 3, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Money matters
  • Health policy
  • SD40 (S. San Diego)
  • Cakeday, farewell, and classifieds 

The Final Month

Good morning and happy bad air Saturday. The AQI in Sacramento is 166 and unhealthy at 6am. I was hoping to open the balcony door and fan in some fresh air, but no go.

What a long year this week was. The Coney Barrett appointment seems a long time ago, as does the debate. Yesterday, at the exact same time President Trump was being choppered to Walter Reed, my ex-wife Kara was being sworn in as the newest judge on the Sacramento Superior Court. Only immediate family was in the courtroom, but about thirty of us were happily watching via Zoom. After all, it is 2020.

Long-timers will know her as a former Senate Associate in an all-star class, including former Assemblymember Kristin Olsen. Kara's going to be outstanding on the bench and I appreciate her kind words about me during her comments.

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

- Ballot measures

  • Yes on 14 (stem cell bond): $401,250, including a $300,227 loan and $99,773 in-kind from Robert N. Klein II And Affiliated Entity Klein Financial Corporation
  • Yes on 15 (split roll): $318,151 from 8 donors, including $250,000 from the California Community Foundation
  • No on 15 (split roll): $3,483,500 from 25 donors, including $2.5 million from California Business Roundtable and $500,000 from Bay Meadows Land Company
  • No on 21 (rent control): $112,200 from 10 donors
  • No on 23 (dialysis): $400,000 from Satellite Healthcare, Inc.

-Independent expenditures

  • SD15 (San José): $27,790 for mail, digital ads to SUPPORT Ann Ravel (D) by Silicon Valley JobsPAC, Sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce
  • SD15 (San José): $27,790 for mail to OPPOSE Dave Cortese (D) by Silicon Valley JobsPAC, Sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce
  • SD15 (San José): $21,108 for mail to OPPOSE Ann Ravel (D) by Opportunity PAC (labor)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): $9,094 for online ("WEB") in SUPPORT of Ling Ling Chang (R) by California Alliance for Progress and Education, an alliance of business organizations (Cumulative total: $527,340)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine OC Beach Cities): $910,707 for cable,mail to OPPOSE John M.W. Moorlach (R) by California Correctional Peace Officers Association
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles): $9,600 for online ("WEB") in SUPPORT of Efren Martinez (D) by Padres y familias por Efren Martinez para Assembly 2020 patrocinado por EdVoice
  • AD68 (Irvine): $11,262 for mail to OPPOSE Melissa Fox (D) by California Association of Realtors (Cumulative total: $12,708)

-Doing the laundry: Large contributions sent to county political parties, which in turn can be donated to candidates over the $4,700 limit as long as the donor doesn't "direct" the contributions even though the targeted races are well known and I list them for ATCpro subscribers. Full explanation in the 09/15 Nooner.


-The numbers: 83 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 16,073.

WILDFIRES: There's good news as three more of the massive fire "complexes" have moved to the finished category, but today is a critical day in the Glass Fire as winds may pick up this afternoon amid hot temperatures and low humidity. The good news is that firefighters have had time to create large breaks around the developed areas. Reportedly, enough lines have been created to stretch from San Francisco to New York City.

-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 biggest currently burning and under Cal Fire management, followed by those finalized.

  1. August Complex (Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake, Colusa counties): 979,386 acres, with 51% containment as of 7:30am
    - 51 structures destroyed

  2. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 312,063 acres, with 49% containment as of 7:18am
    - 855 structures destroyed

  3. Glass Fire (Napa, Sonoma counties): 62,360 acres, with 10% containment as of 7:00am
    - 799 structures destroyed (293 single-family homes; 4 multi-family units; 272 commercial; multi-use res/comm: 2; outbuildings: 27; infrastructure: 1; other minor structures: 227)

    A team at the Chron reports on the outlook:

    Firefighters pushed to gain the upper hand Friday on the devastating Glass Fire, with active battles in northeastern Napa County, where towns including Calistoga and St. Helena remained threatened.

    Things looked better on the western side of the blaze, with mop-up operations starting in Sonoma County. But despite making headway, the struggle is far from over. Saturday’s temperatures in the North Bay are expected to hit the mid-90s, well above normal.

    The fire consumed 61,150 acres by Friday evening and was only 8% contained. It destroyed 293 homes in Napa and Sonoma counties and was threatening 29,000 structures. On the fire lines were 2,611 personnel from a dozen fire agencies employing everything from bulldozers to helicopters to tamp down the spread.


    “It was a pretty fair day of progress,” Mark Brunton, the Cal Fire incident section chief, said Friday evening. A big reason was that the strong gusts forecast by meteorologists stayed modest. “The winds have not materialized as predicted, and that helped keep things under control.”


    “We have a long way to go,” said Shana Jones, a Cal Fire unit chief. “We still have a lot of active fire.”

    Before temperatures decrease next week — at least according to meteorologists — powerful gusts of wind were expected into Saturday.

    “Our fuels are extremely receptive to any ignition source whatsover,” Brunton said. “It won’t take much for any ignition source to ... get the vegetation burning.”

  4. Zogg Fire (Shasta County): 56,305 acres, with 57% containment as of 7:00am
    - 4 deaths; 179 structures destroyed

    - In the Times, Luke Money writes that firefighters fear that the Zogg and August Complex wildfires could merge, which I wrote yesterday.

    The potential stems from two fires — the historically mammoth August Complex and the far smaller but still devastating Zogg fire — that have burned to within roughly nine miles of each other in an area southwest of Redding.

    While crews have increased containment of both blazes recently, particularly on the Zogg fire, officials this week acknowledged some concern that the two could eventually meet.

    “Nobody wants them to merge. We have every plan in place for them not to merge. But it’s 2020, and time will tell,” said Kale Casey, public information officer for the Alaska Incident Management Team that’s assigned to the north zone of the August Complex.


  • SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus counties): 396,624 acres
     - 222 structures destroyed
  • LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano counties): 363,220 acres
    - 5 deaths; 1,491 structures destroyed

  • North Complex (Plumas, Butte, Yuba counties): 316,685 acres
    - 15 deaths; 2,342 structures destroyed

  • SQF Complex (Tulare County): 153,226 acres
    - 232 structures destroyed

-Glass Fire (Napa, Sonoma counties): As of 7:00am, the fire had burned 62,360 acres and was 10% contained. There are currently 799 reported destroyed structures, including 293 single-family homes, 4 multi-family units, and 272 commercial buildings destroyed. The remaining are multi-use res/comm: 2, outbuildings 27, infrastructure: 1, and other minor structures: 227.

-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.

HEALTH POLICY: For California Healthline, Samantha Young and Angela Hart write that, despite an austere budget and abbreviated legislative session necessitated by the pandemic, California still advanced major changes to health policy this year.

When Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom concluded the chaotic legislative year Wednesday — his deadline to sign or veto bills — what emerged wasn’t the sweeping platform he and state lawmakers had outlined at the beginning of the year. But the dozens of health care measures they approved included first-in-the-nation policies to require more comprehensive coverage of mental health and addiction, and thrusting the state into the generic drug-making business.

“We had less time, less money and less focus, but COVID makes the causes of expanding coverage and trying to control health care costs that much more important,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a Sacramento-based consumer advocacy group.

The governor also signed into law a raft of COVID-related bills intended to address the biggest public health emergency in a century, such as measures to stockpile protective gear for health care workers.


Among the most controversial changes Newsom signed into law was the largest expansion of the state’s family leave program since it was enacted in 2014, an upgrade opposed by the state’s business interests. The tobacco industry also took a hit when Newsom approved a measure banning retail sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol, with exceptions made for flavored hookah products. And Newsom bucked the powerful doctors’ lobby by granting nurse practitioners the ability to practice without physician supervision.

But several contentious health bills stalled in the legislature and never made it to Newsom’s desk, including measures that would have given the state attorney general more authority to reject hospital consolidations, expanded the state’s Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal, to unauthorized immigrants ages 65 and up, and capped consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for insulin.

SD40 (S. San Diego): In the SDUT, Gustavo Solis reports that Chula Vista councilmember Steve Padilla (D) is considering a run for SD40 when Sen. Ben Hueso is term-limited in 2022 -- or sooner.

Hueso is currently running for county supervisor against Nora Vargas. Should Hueso win, his Senate seat would become available.

Padilla’s opponent in the City Council election, Henry Martinez, criticized the incumbent for not being truly focused on Chula Vista.

“He will be an absent representative of our District 3 during his campaign for State Senate and the residents of Chula Vista District 3 do not deserve the lack of full representation,” he said in a statement.

Martinez is now trying to pitch himself to voters as the candidate who will stick around four years.

 “If I am elected as your Chula Vista City Council District 3 representative, I will not leave you halfway through my term and I put all my focus on my current term and not be your typical politician who is looking for the next political office and ignoring my fellow neighbors,” Martinez said.

Padilla was in the news earlier this year as he was public about his battle with COVID-19, which led to time on a ventilator.

cakeday, farewell, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Al Austin and Rep. Karen Bass!

FAREWELL: Former Assemblymember Bruce Bronzan (1943-2020)


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]

The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and skills in public policy making and implementation. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol:

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:

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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