Around The Capitol

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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)


** I'm not updating this digit because of a fringe registered voters result from NBC/WSJ (respected) that had Biden +14 that skews the number. Including it has a number of Biden+8.3.

The fundraiser Trump had at his golf course last Thursday in Bedminster had a buffet indoors with the biggest donors. What could go wrong there? He knew he was exposed and possibly knew he was positive.

I (along with political folks on both sides) are completely flummoxed.

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The Nooner for Monday, October 5, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Ballot bonanza
  • Redrawing
  • School cops
  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Ahhh...the air quality is "good" right now with an AQI of 41! I can finally blow fresh air into my place.

Ballots begin to be mailed to all California voters today. Several counties started last week. It's not fraud. Today is the "on or before" date. Today is when counties must start mailing ballots to registered voters and must finish that process by +5, or Saturday. It's totally sensical, despite what we see on social media. What we have to worry about is matching our signatures from several years ago.

I'm totally effed. Signature? I tell vendors at farmers market to draw a line. Anyway, we'll fix that after this year and I'm tracking my ballot to make sure it is counted this year. If you presume how I vote because I'm a super liberal, you really have no idea.

Between the time I started writing this and "print" time, we have another totally predictable positive in White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Patient zero appears to be Marine One and the debate prep room.

Anyway, this is going to be a long period of ballot counting. That is a VERY GOOD thing. My near-blind 100-year-old grandmother in Oregon is trying to vote with her fingerprint and can't remember if it was the right hand or left hand for the imprint. I can't sign anything the same on two given days.

That's not bad. It's democracy. I've won and lost elections. Of course to me, the count of the ballots is all that matters. This year will take longer but I have full confidence of our nonpartisan election officials.

BALLOT BONANZA: For Politico, Jeremy B. White looks at what's in our mailboxes and on our ballots.

The next week could supplant the days before Election Day as the most critical messaging window for those looking to influence the results of the 12 ballot initiatives up this year in California. Some have been spending for nearly a month already.

“There’s no Election Day anymore,” said Republican campaign consultant Dave Gilliard. “There’s 30 or 40 election days,” which means “if you’re not campaigning in September, you’re going to miss out.”

The expanded, pandemic-era voting season has given a huge advantage to the most deep-pocketed campaigns, forcing lower-profile efforts to make decisions to burn through all their cash way before their opponents. With a seemingly bottomless war chest, gig companies like Uber and Lyft were able to start an all-out blitz by Labor Day in trying to win an exemption from California's strict new labor law. But efforts with a fraction of gig funds had to make calculations about how early to join the fray — if they could still find airtime.

After all, the longer this goes on, the longer our hair grows. White and I have similar hair that goes all wild.

REDRAWING: Today the California Citizens Redistricting Commission announced that Daniel Claypool is the new executive director.

“The Commission received a talented pool of candidates eager to serve as the 2020 Commission’s Executive Director,” said Commission rotating Chair Isra Ahmad, who held the Chair position when the hire was made. “As a group, we took great care in considering all of the highly qualified applicants in the pool, and we did not take the decision lightly. We are excited to make this first step in building out our team to support our work moving forward.” 

Claypool brings deep experience in redistricting including his role with the California State Auditor’s Office (formerly known as the Bureau of State Audits) where he assisted in the transition of the Voters FIRST Act, following its passage in 2008, to an administrative process and then served as the project manager for the selection of the 2010 Citizens Redistricting Commission.  Claypool then went on to serve as the 2010 Commission’s Executive Director. 

“I am honored to have been selected by the 2020 Commission to serve as its Executive Director,” said Claypool. “The next year is going to be an exciting but demanding time for the Commissioners who are tasked with large-scale outreach, safe public meetings, data analysis, map drawing, and much more. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to oversee the Commission’s operations and keep them running smoothly so that commissioners can focus on doing the important work of redrawing California’s district lines.”

SCHOOL COPS: I normally provide daily campaign finances in this space and weekend are routinely quiet. However, we have a (?new?) kid on the block as "Public and Safety for All" has come aboard as an IE committee. There is $224,00 in the new committee of "Public Safety & Justice For All."

The sponsors are mainly the Riverside and San Berdoo cops with $100k each. Are we overpaying public employees that much one must ask.


-The numbers: 28 more Californians reportedly lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 16,148. The weekend reporting caveat applies as the number are likely lower and early week numbers are likely higher than actual.


-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): 1,002,097 acres, with 51% containment as of 7:27am
    - 52 structures destroyed

  2. Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties): 315,413 acres, with 62% containment as of 7:37am
    - 856 structures destroyed

  3. Glass Fire (Napa, Sonoma counties): 63,885 acres, with 17% containment as of 7:21am
    - 826 structures destroyed 

  4. Zogg Fire (Shasta County): 56,305 acres, with 68% containment as of 6:37am
    - 4 deaths; 196 structures destroyed


  • 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

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Pedro Ramirez!


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

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: