Around The Capitol

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  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) talks about wildfire and climate change on the 2nd anniversary of the disasterous Woolsey Fire (2020-10-20)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): UFCW Western States Council legislative and political adviser Caitlin Vega (2020-10-19)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Maris Lagos @ KQED): The political fight over voting with Dan Schnur (2020-10-15)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Bob Stern joins to talk about the GOP ballot box issue and some of the ballot measures on the November ballot (2020-10-15)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assembly member Lisa Calderon Apple Podcasts | YouTube (2020-10-14)


The Nooner for Wednesday, October 21, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • The vote
  • Ballot boxes
  • Money matters
  • COVID-19
  • PG&E
  • Prop 18
  • Prop 23
  • CHiPs
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

¡Feliz miercoles, mis amigos! ¡Solo quedan 13 días para el día de las elecciones!

Yesterday, I walked over to the Kaiser offices downtown across from the Sawyer Hotel to get a flu shot and some labs ordered by my doc a couple of months ago during my virtual "physical." I actually asked for the bloodwork because I haven't seen my cholesterol and other numbers for a few years. All was good and I can't thank enough those of you who have chipped in during this advertising downturn to pay my rent and health insurance. (There are some UC Davis Law/King Hall alums who read The Nooner who may remember the law school band "Pay My Rent," who played Davis gigs. Unfortunately, they were 3Ls in our 1L year.)

Anyway, the more important thing for Nooner readers is that Kaiser Downtown is not doing flu shots this year because there is no parking lot to do drive-throughs. The nearest is Point West out in Arden. However, I learned yesterday that those with Kaiser can get a flu shot at Costco, CVS, Rite Aid, Safeway, Walgreens, or Walmart (not necessarily at all locations). All you need is your Kaiser card and a photo ID and it's free. They do the billing and Kaiser updates your medical record. I'll be heading to the Rite Aid on Kay Street either today or tomorrow and will let you know if they are doing it.

More bad news on the local business front. The Capitol Morning Report includes an item that Ambrosia Cafe in the US Bank Building at 621 Capitol Mall is closing next week, which follows the closing of the 11th/K location a couple of months ago. Working at home is having a huge cost on area businesses and it's likely permanent with Governor Newsom's goal of having 75% of the state's workforce working from home for good. Also already gone are Comics and Coffee and the Starbucks at Downtown Commons (apparently -- stll boarded up), and several restaurants.

On to the numbers and news...

THE VOTE: Here is the latest from Political Data's ballot tracker. Top-line is 21,508,716 ballots were mailed, with a breakdown of Dem: 43.4%, Rep: 24.2%, and NPP/other: 29.4%. Thus far, 4,521,142 have been returned (21%).

Partisan breakdown of returned ballots is:

  • Democratic: 2,543,256 (25% of mailed)
  • Republican: 946,316 (18% of mailed)
  • NPP/other: 1,031,570 (16% 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.

BALLOT BOXES: For the Times, John Myers reports that Attorney General Xavier Becerra went to court yesterday to seek information about the California Republican Party's private ballot box program, including the names of voters who used them.

California election law allows voters to “designate a person” to collect and return a ballot, but it only mentions drop boxes operated by county elections officials. Social media postings earlier this month showed some receptacles with the label “official drop box,” prompting state elections officials to send a cease-and-desist letter to Republicans demanding the removal of the signs.

The complaint filed in Sacramento County Superior Court alleges several examples of the drop boxes being promoted as either “authorized” or “official.” It says the GOP effort “caused confusion among voters, prompted complaints from county elections officials alarmed about their use, and raised serious concerns about whether the appropriate chain of custody was being observed for ballots deposited” in the boxes.

“Here in California, we’re doing everything in our power to protect the integrity of our elections,” Becerra said in a written statement. “As part of that and pursuant to our statutory authority, we issued subpoenas and interrogatories to determine the extent to which the deployment of unauthorized ballot drop boxes may have impacted Californians.”

State GOP officials said last week that the labels were the work of “overzealous” local volunteers and that they were quickly replaced. And they have insisted that without those erroneous signs, there is nothing else about their effort to cause concern.

Becerra’s complaint said that the California Republican Party and local party officials in Los Angeles, Orange and Fresno counties have not complied with a subpoena to turn over the names and addresses of the voters whose ballots were collected or information about how many boxes were distributed by the GOP.


Independent expenditures

  • SD05 (San Joaquin): $30,239 for mail to SUPPORT Susan Eggman (D) by LGBT Caucus Leadership Fund
  • SD05 (San Joaquin): $9,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Susan Eggman (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy
  • SD11 (San Francisco): $31,572 for mail to SUPPORT Scott Wiener (D-D race) by California Association of Realtors (Cumulative total: $281,700) 
  • SD15 (San José): $58,136 for mail to SUPPORT Dave Cortese (D-D race) by Opportunity PAC (labor) (Cumulative total: $1,031,039)
  • SD15 (San José): $165,296 for mail to SUPPORT Dave Cortese (D-D race) by Valley Neighborhoods United for Dave Cortese for State Senate 2020 (Cumulative total: $739,763)
  • SD15 (San José): $19,239 for mail to OPPOSE Ann Ravel (D-D race) by Opportunity PAC (labor) (Cumulative total: $1,029,531)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): $37,500 for digital ads to SUPPORT Kipp Mueller (D) by the California School Employees Association
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): $37,500 for digital ads to OPPOSE Scott Wilk (R) by the California School Employees Association
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): $32,216 for mail to OPPOSE Kipp Mueller (D) by California Alliance for Progress and Education (Cumulative total: $297,648)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): $34,595 for mail to SUPPORT Scott Wilk (D) by Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes (Cumulative total: $682,190)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): $8,649 for mail to OPPOSE Kipp Mueller (D) by Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes (Cumulative total: $27,045)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): $31,583 for mail to SUPPORT Abigail Medina (D) by Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cumulative total $45,341)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): $15,631 for mail to SUPPORT Abigail Medina (D) by LGBT Caucus Leadership Fund
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): $79,920 for polling, mail, web to OPPOSE Abigail Medina (D) by California Alliance for Progress and Education (Cumlative total: $80,210)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): $37,420 for mail to SUPPORT Abigail Medina (D) by Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes (Cumulative total: $678,586)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): $37,420 for mail to OPPOSE Abigail Medina (D) by Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes (Cumulative total: $333,567)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): $9,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Josh Newman (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): $29,344 for mail to SUPPORT Ling Ling Chang (R) by California Alliance for Progress and Education (Cumulative total: $656,891)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): $24,121 for mail to OPPOSE Ling Ling Chang (R) by Opportunity PAC (labor) (Cumulative total: $342,735)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton: $61,211 for mail to SUPPORT Ling Ling Chang (R) by Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes (Cumulative total: $718,726)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton: $61,211 for mail to OPPOSE Josh Newman (D) by Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes (Cumulative total: $1,850,838)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): $6,880 for mail to SUPPORT Dave Min (D) by California Professional Firefighters (Cumulative total: $34,400)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): $11,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Dave Min (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): $81,536 for mail to OPPOSE John M.W. Moorlach (R) by Opportunity PAC (labor) (Cumulative total: $759,785)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): $162,876 for mail to OPPOSE John M.W. Moorlach by California Correctional Peace Officers Association (Cumulative total: $162,876)
  • AD13 (Stockton): $9,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Kathy Miller (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy
  • AD35 (San Luis Obispo): $31,197 for polling, mail to SUPPORT Jordan Cunningham (R) by California Dental Association
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita): $20,653 for mail to SUPPORT Suzette Martinez Valladeres (R) by Cooperative of American Physicians 
  • AD55 (Diamond Bar-Yorba Linda): $9,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Andrew Rodriguez (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles): $14,400 for digital ads to SUPPORT Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) by Communidades Con Reggie Jones-Sawyer for State Assembly 2020, Sponsored by Laborers' International Union (Cumulative total: $43,368)
  • AD59 (South Los Angeles): $39,114 for mail to SUPPORT Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) by Firefighters, Realtors, and Neighbors for a Stronger California (Cumulative total: $112,353) 
  • AD68 (Irvine): $11,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Melissa Fox (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy
  • AD68 (Irvine): $52,781 for mail, digital to OPPOSE Melissa Fox (D) by Keeping Californians Working, a Coalition of Housing Providers, Energy, and Insurance Agents (Cumulative total: $258,691)
  • AD72 (Garden Grove-Westminster): $11,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy
  • AD74 (OC beach cities): $11,000 for online ads to SUPPORT Cottie Petrie-Norris (D) by National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy

Large ballot measure contributions - cash only excluding in-kind contributions

Doing the Laundry 
If you're new to this game, this is how special interests can far exceed the $4,700 contribution limit for the November general. I explained the process on 9/15. After passing max $38,800 contributions through party committees, those committees can pass the money along far in excess of the $4,700. It's "washed" as long as the original donor doesn't "direct" the money. Of course, we all know the competitive races. I list them for ATCpro subscribers.


  • California Teachers Association sent $38,300 to the Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee
  • California Teachers Association sent $38,300 to the Democratic Party of Mendocino County
  • California Teachers Association sent $37,300 to the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee
  • California School Employees Association sent $25,000 to the San Mateo Democratic Central Committee
  • California Faculty Association sent $25,000 to the Tehama County Democratic Party


  • Democratic Party of Mendocino County: $30,000 to Melissa Fox (AD68 - Orange County)
  • San Diego County Democratic Party: $24,230 to Abigail Medina (SD23 - San Bernardino County)
  • San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee: $25,000 to Josh Newman (SD29 - LA/Orange counties)
  • San Mateo Democratic Central Committee: $10,000 to Dave Min (SD37 - Orange County)

These don't include state party money. It's just "fun" to watch the flow if you like reading hundreds of campaign finance reports each day. The Republican Party doesn't have much of this activity which would be a good panel discussion to explore why. I have my thoughts. Of course, California's GOP has far less money to go around these days, although there's lots of business-side money found in independent expenditures.

All in the game, yo'.

COVID-19: California added 77 deaths yesterday for a total of 17,066.

-School daze: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at the debate about when to reopen schools:

There are no fail-safe options here. Bringing kids back into the classroom carries a certain risk. But continuing to leave them more or less on their own indefinitely — especially children from poor families — is also a very risky business whose downside could damage them and the state for decades.

-Theme parks: In the Register, Brady MacDonald reports on the state guidance issued yesterday for theme park reopening.

California has cleared theme parks to reopen after more than seven months of coronavirus closures provided they follow newly issued COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, but Disney, Universal and other large parks may not be able to return until next summer.

That is a huge blow to the economy and city budgets for the municipalities around Disneyland/California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm. Anaheim has a double whammy as the Anaheim Convention Center and large convention facilities in the Marriott and Hilton likely will be empty next year.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly announced during a news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 20 that reopening guidelines for amusement parks have been added to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Note that Governor Newsom used his presser on Monday to announce scrutiny of vaccine trials while the good doc had the privilege of making the announcement yesterday that pissed off a lot of people.

Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, SeaWorld San Diego, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California and other California theme parks can reopen under newly issued protocols that require mandatory masks, social distancing, increased sanitization, reduced attraction capacity and employee training.

California officials issued separate reopening guidelines for smaller and larger theme parks in the state. Small theme parks can reopen in the “moderate” tier while large theme parks must wait to return in the “minimal” tier.

Smaller theme parks can reopen open at 25% capacity or 500 in-county visitors, whichever is fewer, with admission by reservation only in the “moderate” tier. Larger theme parks can reopen at 25% capacity with reservations in the “minimal” tier.

Small theme parks include locations such as the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Even if a county reaches the "minimal" tier, it is unclear whether it makes business sense for the large parks to open at 25%.

PG&E: As 19 counties face power shutoffs beginning tonight to prevent electrical equipment-caused wildfires, the Chron's J.D. Morris reports that the federal court monitor overseeing PG&E's efforts to reduce wildfire risk has reported that PG&E hasn't been focused on the goal of the requirements.

The federal monitor overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has questioned whether the company’s execution of court-supervised tree-trimming was more focused on meeting numerical targets than maximizing safety.

When PG&E trimmed trees around power lines last year, it often did not focus on the equipment most likely to start wildfires, according to a new letter the monitor submitted to a federal judge. The utility performed most of its 2019 enhanced vegetation management program in “relatively low-risk portions” of high fire-threat areas, the monitor wrote.


The monitor’s letter further states that, as of Aug. 31, PG&E had still not climbed nearly 1,000 high-voltage electric towers to check for equipment that could break and start major fires — another way that the company has been responsible for fires before.

more after the jump...

CHiPs: The Bee's Wes Venteicher writes up yesterday's appointment by Governor Newsom of the first woman commissioner of the California Highway Patrol.

A woman will lead the California Highway Patrol for the first time in the department’s history following the retirement of Commissioner Warren Stanley, according to a Tuesday news release.

Amanda Ray, 54, of Sacramento, will become commissioner on Nov. 17, according to the release from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. Newsom appointed Ray, who is currently a deputy commissioner with the department, to the leadership post.

Ray will be the second African American to lead the agency, after Stanley, according to the release.

On that note, I need to watch me some CHiPs. And Emergency! Ah, the days before reality television...

PROP 18: Probolsky has a poll out on the under-the-radar Proposition 18, the legislative constitutional amendment which would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the date of the general election. It was an add-on question and Probolsky doesn't have a client for the poll. After the title and fiscal impact were read, the response was:

  • Yes: 42.6%
  • No: 52%
  • Don't know: 3.4%

[n=900 likely voters; 10/12-10/15/20; phone/online; English/Spanish MOE 3.3%]

PROP 23: For CalMatters, Laurel Rosenhall looks at SEIU-UHW's use of the ballot to advance its organizing goals.

The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) sponsored Proposition 23 on the November ballot, which would add new regulations for dialysis clinics. It put a similar measure before voters in 2018, which they rejected. In the last two elections, it’s also sponsored a measure to tax hospitals in the Los Angeles County city of Lynwood, and to cap prices at Stanford hospitals and clinics in several Bay Area cities.

And that doesn’t count the many initiatives it began working on by collecting signatures but withdrew before they reached the ballot — including a minimum wage initiative in 2016, a pair of measures to limit hospital fees and executive pay in 2014, and two other initiatives to curb hospital bills and expand charity care in 2012.

All told, these campaigns have cost the union at least $43 million, and resulted in no wins on the ballot in California — though union president Dave Regan says they’ve helped make progress in other ways. The practice has earned him a reputation as an aggressive labor leader who uses the initiative process to needle adversaries in the health care profession as he tries to expand membership in his union.

“Dave Regan has made this into a strategy,” said Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, which researches unions.

He praised Regan for attempts to organize workers that also cast the public’s attention on problems in the health care system.

“He’s fond of ballot initiatives as a tool for both moving policy and gaining leverage in an industry.”

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Diana Coronado, Lisa Gasperoni, Mike Jacob, Monica Madrid, and Ryan Trabuco!


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: