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The Nooner for Monday, October 19, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • The vote
  • Money matters
  • Congressional dough
  • The Porter juggernaut and the Senate
  • COVID-19
  • Travel and leisure
  • Fires
  • From the Desk of the Dean
  • Prop. 19
  • Prop. 22
  • L.A. Supe
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

FREE VERSION READERS: Thank you to those who have already chipped in! If I haven't emailed you thanks yet, it should be coming later todayThese are long days (14-16 hours is not exaggerating with all these campaign finance reports). Advertising revenue (particularly classifieds) is still down, currently about $1,400/month -- almost my rent.

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Well, hello there. Traditional and online voter registration ends today. Paper registrations must be postmarked or turned in to county elections offices by today and online registrations must be completed by midnight. After this, potential voters will be able to conditionally register and vote at Vote Centers as they open leading up to Election Day.

Dodgers come back from a 3-1 NLCS deficit to advance to the World Series, the 49ers beat the Rams, and I got my clean sheets on before bedtime including the fitted sheet on the first try. That last feat usually requires eight Tetris-style moves.

Game One of the World Series betweent the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays is tomorrow at 5:09pm at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX. Oddly, lots of Californians are rooting for Florida in the series out of the enemy-of-my-enemy is my friend construct. Rooting for Florida in an election year. 2020 really is an alternate universe.

On to the numbers and news...

THE VOTE: Here is the latest from Political Data's ballot tracker. Topline is 21,508,716 ballots were mailed, with a breakdown of Dem: 43.4%, Rep: 24.2%, and NPP/other: 29.4%. Thus far, 3,037,970 have been returned (14%).

Partisan breakdown of returned ballots is:

  • Democratic: 1,772,272 (17% of mailed)
  • Republican: 635,577 (12% of mailed)
  • NPP/other: 680,121 (11% of mailed)

The PDI site has breakdowns by congressional and state legislative districts (click "Select for Filters") and a list of the top 25 districts searched.

MONEY MATTERS: Sundays are generally a quiet reporting day and yesterday reflected that.

Independent expenditures

  • SD13 (San Francisco): $160,763 for TV to OPPOSE Scott Wiener (D-D race) by California Indians Supporting Jackie Fielder for Senate 2020, sponsored by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
  • AD55 (Diamond Bar-Yorba Linda): $36,938 for mail, web to OPPOSE Andrew Rodriguez (D) by California Alliance for Progress and Education, an alliance of business organizations (Cumulative total: $38,733)
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles): $7,575 for web to SUPPORT Efren Martinez (D-D race) by Padres y familias por Efren Martinez para Assembly 2020 patrocinado por EdVoice (Cumulative total: $76,722)

CONGRESSIONAL DOUGH: Here are the bottom lines on the nine most watched congressional races from the spreadsheet I provided ATCpro subscribers over the weekend:

District Candidate 9/30 Net cash on hand**
CA10 *Josh Harder (D) $4,567,882
CA10 Ted Howze (R)  $92,396
CA21 *TJ Cox (D) $1,104,613
CA21 David Valadao (R)  $1,584,628
CA25 *Mike Garcia (R)  $1,722,601
CA25 Christy Smith (D) $533,407
CA39 *Gil Cisneros (D) $800,772
CA39 Young Kim (R)  $920,972
CA45 *Katie Porter (D) $8,924,633
CA45 Greg Raths (R)  $327,397
CA48 *Harley Rouda $2,368,991
CA48 Michelle Steel (R)  $1,698,122
CA49 *Mike Levin (D) $1,835,266
CA49 Brian Maryott (R)  $78,122
CA50 Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) $500,022
CA50 Darrell Issa (R)  $1,270,343
CA53 Georgette Gomez (D) $6,105
CA53 Sara Jacobs (D) $376,830
**net cash on hand is cash on hand subtracting non-candidate debt

THE PORTER JUGGERNAUT AND THE SENATE: What's striking about the above numbers is first-term Rep. Katie Porter's (D-CA45) fundraising prowess. In the third quarter, she had $5,215,296 in contributions and $2,989,885 in expenses for a net of $2,225,411. As reflected above, she had a 9/30 net cash on hand of $8,924,633.

In comparison, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had $4,095,149 in contributions, $3,074,599 in expenditures, and ended with $4,011,806.

I haven't had time for a full analysis, but Porter is among the top first-term fundraisers, if not the top.

The question of course is what's next for Porter as being an assertive member on House Financial Services is unlikely her goal. Jumping to House Democratic leadership seems unlikely for a few more terms, particularly with a bit of California fatigue among members.

Most mentioned is the United States Senate as she is well positioned financially second only to Adam Schiff (COH: $12,093,749) for a run. Remember, funds raised at the state level cannot be transferred to federal accounts because corporate cash is intermingled at the state level and prohibited at the federal level and contribution limits are higher at the state level.

So, let's talk Senate.

With the Biden-Harris ticket favored to win even after reassessing in light of the 2016 Democratic debacle, aspirants to an open Senate seat salivating and sending Governor Gavin Newsom virtual flowers (for the early web users, you remember when that was a thing).

The first open seat, presumably that currently occupied by Harris, is very likely to be filled by Governor Newsom by a Latino. Secretary of State Alex Padilla has the most overt ambition for the seat, while Attorney General Xavier Becerra has expressed interest. Becerra, who was appointed AG to fill Harris's seat by Governor Jerry Brown and took the office in January 2017, has a few advantages.

First, Becerra has familiarity with the people around the D.C. Capitol. He was chair of the Democratic Caucus for four years before his AG appointment, the fifth-highest Dem leadership post. He passed on joining the 2016 primary and likely gained favor with Harris. For those who remember, Harris and Newsom had a common campaign consulting team and there was essentially an agreement that Kamala would run for Senate and Newsom, with executive experience from San Francisco and the title of Lt. Governor, would run for the corner office. Becerra staying out of that Senate race helped facilitate the Harris-Newsom vision.

Finally, as I mentioned above, state campaign funds can't be transferred to federal races. Becerra had $1.4 million on hand in his congressional campaign account as of September 30.

Whomever Governor Newsom would appoint to a potential vacancy in Harris's seat, the person would have to run in 2022, so money is important even though Becerra's $1.4 million is a pittance for a statewide run.

Padilla, however, has a compelling case to make to Newsom. While Becerra can run for reelection to AG in 2022, Padilla is termed-out as Secretary of State with nowhere to go unless he wants to run for state Controller. The only open statewide offices in 2022 are Controller and Secretary of State and those are likely to be crowded primaries with plenty of legislators facing term limits. If Republican Mike Garcia wins reelection to a full term in November, Padilla would be a strong recruit to take him on in 2022. Demotion from SOS? Yes, but he would be beloved by party leaders for taking on the challenge.

If Governor Newsom seeks to address both those calling for a Latino Senator as well as another woman, former Secretary of Labor and Member of Congress and current Fifth District L.A. Supervisor Hilda Solis is the most often mentioned choice. That would pave the way for appointment of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to the supe seat. Rendon faces term limits in 2024, and supervisors are paid $214,601/year to $132,107 + per diem for the Speaker.

If Becerra or Padilla were to be appointed as Senator, a second seat vacancy appointment would almost certainly go to a woman. While a retirement by Speaker Nancy Pelosi is widely speculated to occur before 2022 when she has promised to give up the gavel, senior Senator Dianne Feinstein has not sent any signals. If Democrats take over the Senate next month and she gets the Judiciary Committee chairmanship, she might stay. If Democrats fall short, she may not. Regardless, the seat is expected to be open in 2024, when Feinstein will be 91.

With a vacancy in Feinstein's seat before 2024, Porter would be on the short list for appointment. If it is an open seat in 2024, look for several strong candidates including Porter and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and perhaps whoever drew wasn't chosen for Harris seat if it is open next year.

If you thought 2021 was an "off year," there will very likely be plenty to be talking about.

COVID-19: California added 36 deaths yesterday for a total of 16,968. The usual caution of the weekend lull in reporting applies, although the trend continues to look good.

TRAVEL AND LEISURE: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at the cases of Anaheim and Sacramento, both of which have borrowed significant money for expansion of entertainment venues that have been closed for most of the year because of the pandemic. In Anaheim, it was bonds for improvements to the convention center and area around Disneyland California Adventure and in Sacramento it was for the city's share of the Golden 1 Center arena and expansion and remodel of the convention and community centers. Anaheim's debt service counted on hotel tax revenues and money gained from the opening of Disney's second park. In Sacramento, the debt is supposed to be paid by hotel taxes and downtown parking revenues associated with arena events.

Hotels are closed or have super low occupancies, there are no events at the arena or convention centers, and theme parks continue to be closed. That means that the general funds for both cities are on the hook. These examples play out across the state, particularly on cities that welcome large conventions, such as the big ones San Francisco, San José, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego (yes, my mind works north to south). The dollar total is smaller in small to mid-size cities that are popular for conferences -- Monterey, Palm Springs/Indian Wells, Ontario -- but the financial impact is equally dire.

Additionally, there's no flipping the switch either on theme parks or conferences. Places of gathering -- theme parks and movies -- are prepared for a long haul of assuring patrons that the environment is safe to return to. For conventions and conferences, it's even more problematic. Already, some major tech conferences that are regulars in San Francisco and San José have gone completely virtual, relocated, or cancelled through 2022 at the earliest.

For Nooner newbies, I used to be CEO of a higher education association that had several large conferences. I don't follow the day-to-day activities in that world anymore, but scrambling to put together a conference in early 2021 is a longshot even if allowed by health orders. That's for two reasons -- logistics and willingness of would-be attendees to return to conference-type events.


  • August Fire (Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake, Colusa counties) 1,032,264 acres, 86% contained as of 9:02am
    • 54 structures destroyed
  • Creek Fire (Fresno, Madera counties) 346,477 acres, 60% contained as of 9:03am
    • 983 structures destroyed
  • SQF Complex (Tulare County) 168,095 acres, 72% contained as of 10/16 18:58 
    • 228 structures destroyed
  • Glass Fire (Napa, Sonoma counties) 67,484 acres, 97% contained as of 10/16 09:45
    • 1,555 structures destroyed

more after the jump...

FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: The LAT's George Skelton looks at the three criminal justice-related measures on the November ballot -- Proposition 17, Proposition 20, and Proposition 25.

Proposition 20 on the Nov. 3 ballot would tweak Propositions 47 and 57, passed in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and correct what 20’s law enforcement and prosecutor backers consider flaws. Supporters claim that too many potentially violent criminals are being set free.

Opponents, including Gov. Gavin Newsom and his predecessor, Jerry Brown, contend that Proposition 20 represents a step backward in forward-looking criminal justice reform.


Proposition 25 would eliminate the old, unfair bail system that jails criminal defendants while they await trial if they’re too poor to pay for freedom. Rich guys go home. Poor people languish in cells.

Two years ago, the Legislature passed a bill to end money bail, and Brown signed it.

That should have finished off the lucrative bail bond industry in California. It issued about $6 billion in bail bonds that year, collecting $560 million in fees from jailed defendants. The industry immediately filed a ballot measure to repeal the legislation.


Proposition 17 would return voting rights to citizen felons who have served their prison sentences but are still on state parole. Now, they can’t vote until they’re off parole.

Seventeen states allow parolees to vote. It should be their right as Americans. And it helps them integrate back into society.

PROP. 19 (property tax base transfer): In the Times, Liam Dillon looks and who wins and who loses under Proposition 19, the property tax base transfer measure for seniors and wildfire victims.

The measure is the product of more than two years of work by the California Assn. of Realtors to give a larger tax incentive to homeowners 55 and older to move into new homes. The Realtors also were behind Proposition 5, a failed 2018 initiative that would have done the same thing. But Proposition 19 adds many other elements — notably a tax increase for the heirs of some homeowners — in an effort to make it more fiscally sound and palatable to voters.

Here’s a breakdown of how Proposition 19 works, including who benefits from the measure and who doesn’t.

PROP. 22 (transportation network companies): The LAT's Suhauna Hussain looks at the impact of users of "gig" transportation network companies if Proposition 22 fails.

Uber and Lyft have issued a series of contradictory threats about the consequences. Company representatives and the “yes” campaign have said drivers would probably lose flexibility in scheduling as well as the ability to work for multiple platforms. Confusingly, Uber and Lyft have also threatened to leave California altogether if Proposition 22 fails.

 Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi detailed what he called “the high cost” of making drivers employees in a recent blog post. He said that if Uber employed drivers, the company would be able to hire only 260,000 people full time, out of the nearly 1.2 million drivers in the U.S. before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically in California, Uber projects the number of active drivers the platform could accommodate would fall by 75% if it was forced to treat drivers as employees. Increased labor costs would cause fares to rise 25% to 111%, the company says.

It’s unlikely the companies will follow through on their threat to leave California, one of their biggest markets, said Michael Reich, a labor economist at UC Berkeley who has studied Proposition 22’s effect on drivers extensively and whose work informed ride-hailing regulation adopted in New York. California accounts for about 16% of Lyft’s business and 9% of Uber’s global rides and Uber Eats gross bookings. However, the state represents a negligible fraction of adjusted earnings, Uber has said, according to Reuters.

Instead, the companies will probably continue to challenge AB 5 in the courts, including at the appellate and state Supreme Court levels in California, and then appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Reich said. That process would take one to two years.

L.A. SUPE: The LAT's Jaclyn Cosgrove looks at how policing reform has reshaped the race for the second district on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson was early into his bid for a seat on the Board of Supervisors when the endorsements and donations from law enforcement started flowing in. The biggest prize: $500,000 from the union that represents a majority of county sheriff’s deputies.

But that was all before the police killing of George Floyd in late May and a spate of local police shootings that prompted protests and renewed calls for increased police oversight.

The law enforcement endorsements, initially celebrated by Wesson, have now put him on the defensive as his opponent, state Sen. Holly Mitchell, tries to gain ground in a close race that has the two veteran politicians scrambling for a powerful seat long held by Black politicians.

In March, Wesson garnered 90,597 votes with Mitchell placing second with 87,914. However, 124,417 votes were spread among five other candidates including Jan Perry, the former Los Angeles city councilmember, who placed third with 36,099. This is a wild race.

For those not keeping track, Holly "Just Sippin' My Tea" Mitchell isn't term-limited until 2022 and is still chair of Senate Budget.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Bethany Daniels, former Assembly member Mike Gatto, Mehran Khodabandeh, and state Controller Betty Yee!


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]

CCST Report Release: The Cost of Wildfires in California

How do you put a price on the devastating impacts of wildfire in California? As California endures its most destructive wildfire season to date, a new study from the California Council on Science and Technology assesses what we do and do not know about the societal costs of wildfire impacts. The study’s steering committee chair Michael Wara of Stanford and the lead authors will discuss the report’s findings and recommendations to help the state meet this challenge. Thurs, Oct 29, 12:30-1:30pm REGISTER.

Legislative Analyst – The City of Ontario

The City of Ontario is seeking a Legislative Analyst to play a critical role in navigating the City through the legislative process. This position will keep City officials up to date on pending and proposed legislation and any related issues that may impact City operations. In addition, the Legislative Analyst may assist the Assistant City Manager through attendance at meetings of federal, state, and local agencies, associations, organizations, committees, or other forums. Duties also include preparing statements of support or objection for proposed legislation and working with the City's state and federal lobbyists to craft successful strategies for legislative advocacy. Learn more and apply here:

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: