Around The Capitol

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  • POLITICALish (David Quintana): Los Angeles city councilmember and former Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León YouTube (2020-10-30)
  • California State of Mind (Chris Nichols @ PolitiFact): TMI: On Social Media Disinformation And 2020’s Ballot Battles (2020-10-30) 
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Senator Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park)  Apple Podcasts | YouTube (2020-10-14) (2020-10-29)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): The U.S. Supreme Court and competitive California congressional races. (2020-10-29) 
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster) Ten days left with Paul Mitchell (2020-10-25)
  • 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)


  • Election Day: 1 day
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 50.9, Trump: 44.4 (10/23 - 11/1): Biden+6.5 (Biden is +7.2 at 50.4 when Jorgensen (L) and Hawkins (G) are included) -- updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+8.0 (9/18-10/31)

The Nooner for Monday, November 2, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • The vote
  • Ballot bonanza
  • COVID-19
  • CA22 (Clovis-Visalia-Tulare)
  • Kamala
  • SCOTUS with the mostus
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

 One Day More

¡Buenos dias mis amigos! It's a beautiful fall chilly early morning here at the HQ. Off coffee (but not all caffeine) for six months, I'm enjoying a delicious almond vanilla black tea from Allspicery. Other favorites right now are the peach oolong, roasted apple green tea, walnut green tea, and gingerbread (herbal) tea. For winding down doing the NYT crossword before bed, it's the sweet dream herbal tea. The store at 11th/L is not open to patrons, but they take phone and online orders for storefront pickup, as well as delivery and shipping options. Despite the surreal atmosphere, 2020 has been a good year of discovery.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good coffee, although sitting at the desk for seven hours pre-Nooner and many more after it goes out during a pandemic resulted in far too much consumption so I had to temper down the caffeine.

Some folks wondered why I stopped providing the daily campaign finance highlights. At this point, it's basically just in-kind contributions, which I wasn't including anyway. Although, there are interesting (and huge) ones by the tech companies behind Prop. 22. Sam Harnett reports for KQED on one Uber engineer who quit over the pressure to actively support the measure, including handing out swag to riders. I read way too many campaign finance reports, but rarely do you see in-kind reports exceeding $1 million.


  • 21,896,569 ballots were mailed and 11,236,035 (51%) have been returned, according to the PDI tracker.  The breakdown:
    • Dem: 5,818,369 (57% of those mailed)
    • Rep: 2,668,672 (50% of those mailed)
    • NPP/Other: 2,748,994 (42% of those mailed)
  • By age:
    • 65+: 3,543,164 (70% of those mailed)
    • 50-64: 3,205,752 (56% of those mailed)
    • 35-49: 3,328,646 (45% of those mailed)
    • 18-34: 2,248,743 (36% of those mailed)

For comparison purposes, there were 8,443,594 vote-by-mail voters in the 2016 presidential election, which would include ballots dropped of at polling places ("vote centers" this year). In November 2016, there were 14,610,509 ballots counted, so we are already at 77% of the previous presidential and will soar past that.

This election night could be like a hall of mirrors – Democratic gains seemingly larger than they really are in California and other states reporting lopsided early numbers, and Republican votes out-sized in other states with different vote counting practices.

And none of this is process going to feel good for partisans on either side of the aisle as we all try to determine what is real, and what is not, in what is assuredly the strangest election of our lifetimes.

-The count: From a 2018 Nooner:

Simply put, the ordering of ballot counting is as such:

  1. Vote-by-mail received before Election Day
  2. Polling place (VBMs already crossed off the rolls, a VBM voter who shows up at a polling place is given a provisional ballot to ensure a second ballot isn't counted)
  3. Vote-by-mail received on Election Day or postmarked thereon and received by Friday, November 9
  4. Damaged (can't be machine read and have to be re-created by elections staff with supervision), although early VBMs that are damaged are re-created before Election Day and processed as regular
  5. Provisional (after ensuring voter has not voted via an above method)
  6. Conditional provisional (after 1. validating new/re-registration and 2. ensuring voter has not voted via an above method)

Be patient and learn the above process that elections officials around the state will be following, with monitors from both parties witnessing the process. It's never been a process that ends on Election Day and shouldn't be. To ensure there is no fraud and that every legally cast ballot is counted, counties have 30 days to complete the count, which also includes the mandatory contact of voters who have a signature mismatch to give them a chance to cure the problem.

And, when your friends and family or social media complain about why it takes so long to finalize the counts, help set the record straight.

-The Viet-American vote: For the Times, Anh Do looks at the generational split in the Vietnamese-American community.

Although most of their parents and grandparents have stayed faithful to the Republican Party — largely because of staunch anti-communist feelings dating to the Vietnam War — many of the younger set say they’re focused on domestic issues, not homeland ones. What motivates many of them are concerns over income inequality, keeping the Affordable Care Act, climate change and humane immigration laws, as well as solidarity with Black Lives Matter over racial justice issues.

-Temecula: The Trump caravans yesterday that shut down the Mario Cuomo (Tappan Zee) Bridge, New Jersey Parkway, and the Washington Beltway did not leave California untouched. There was one in Sacramento, but I don't think there were any major interruptions of traffic flow. However, Matt Stiles reports for the LAT that one such caravan temporarily impacted a vote center in the Ronald Reagan Sports Park in Temecula.

A massive caravan of supporters of President Trump paraded for 60 miles through Riverside County on Sunday afternoon before converging on a large Temecula sports park, blocking access to the site, which included a vote center, snarling traffic and upsetting some voters, officials there said.

“Law enforcement was contacted to ensure that access to the parking lot and voter assistance center were clear,” Brooke Federico, a spokeswoman for Riverside County, said in an email. “The Sheriff’s Department responded and cleared access to the parking lot and voter assistance center.” 

BALLOT BONANZA: A team at the LAT looks at the huge amount of money being spent on ballot measures in California this year.

The Times compared their fundraising to the historical record and found that four of the 10 most expensive campaigns ever are happening now.

This year's spending blitz is led by Proposition 22 — the most expensive proposition campaign in the state's history. In addition, fights over property taxes, rent control and dialysis each have more than $100 million behind them. They join past struggles over energy policy, prescription drug prices and tribal casinos on the list of the state's most expensive measures.

Here are the top 10 ballot measure battles since the state started digitally tracking campaign finances two decades ago.


  • Yesterday, California recorded 5 deaths for a total of 17,670 since the pandemic began. Of course, the weekend reporting caveat applies, although the trends on deaths look good, partially because the health care system has become more accustomed to treating, and prepared for, COVID-19. Testing has increased, although the 14-day average of positivity has increased 0.7% to 3.2% over the last 14 days, which is not what health experts want to see amidst increasing testing. That said, California is having far less positivity than many states, where the number is above 10%, with a national 7-day average of 6.6%.

COVID cases by day

Credit: California Department of Public Health

-School daze: At the Times, a team reports on the pandemic-era struggles of students in LA Unified, the largest school district in the United States. Meanwhile, Howard Blume of the Times looks at LA Unified's plan to address struggling student performance, particularly those with special needs.

In the meantime, the district is expanding attempts to reach more students in person, providing instruction for groups of up to three students at a time. All participants, including teachers, will have to take a coronavirus test, even if they’ve had one recently. This gradual growth of in-person services is expected to reach several thousand of the district’s 460,000 K-12 students.

The district also will be speeding up the in-person assessment of students with special needs and will allow sports teams to begin conditioning work — outside with physical distancing and no team drills.

The next two months need to be spent in an all-out effort to get ready for a hoped-for January opening, Beutner said in an interview with The Times and in his broadcast remarks. As part of that effort, Beutner said that L.A. Unified is part of a coalition of seven California school districts calling for “a common standard of health, education and employee practices so schools have a clear path to open in the safest way.”

Some state legislators expressed overlapping concerns in a legislative hearing last week, directing their comments to the governor’s office and state agencies, including the state Department of Public Health.

“Guidelines are great, but protocols are better,” said Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) in an interview.

State officials last week could not tell the Assembly education committee which California schools have reopened or have had outbreaks of COVID-19 — let alone factors that would have contributed to an infection in a school community.

CA22 (Clovis-Visalia-Tulare): Alexan Balekian reports for YourCentral Valley/KSEE/CBS47 on a new poll that shows Democrat Phil Arballo within 5 points of incumbent Devin Nunes (R), one of the most polarizing members of the California congressional delegation. However, the poll was conducted by Democratic multipurpose firm Strategies 360, which is rated B/C by FiveThirtyEight. Last Tuesday, Strategies 360 showed Ammar Campa-Najjar tied with Darrell Issa in CA50 (East San Diego County). On the same day, SurveyUSA (rated A by FiveThirtyEight) found Issa with an 11-point lead. Cook Political has that race as leans Republican, Sabato's Crystal Ball at UVA has it as likely Republican, and I have it as leans Republican. In fact, when I talked Saturday to Kyle Kondik at Sabato's Crystal Ball to share notes (leading to those race changes yesterday), CA50 didn't even come up.

Anyway, there is a lot of polling noise out there. That's why geeks like Kondik, Dave Wasserman at Cook Political, and me spend so many hours looking behind the headlines. We seek polling questions and crosstabs, neither of which were provided in the Strategies 360 polls. That's why I'm not changing my likely Republican rating on CA22, with Nunes strongly favored to win a tenth term in the 117th Congress.

KAMALA: At the LAT, George Skelton looks at the possibilities for Newsom's pick of a United States Senator should the Biden/Harris ticket be successful tomorrow. If that happens, we have lots of time to play parlor games as Harris is unlikely to resign until swearing-in on January 20.

Joe Mathews jumps in the game and offers five out-of-the-box options.

SCOTUS WITH THE MOSTUS: Lost in the election news this week is the Supreme Court's oral arguments hearing on Wednesday in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The case challenges the city's requirement that entities participating in the foster-home program to allow same-sex couples to be eligible for placement. Catholic Social Services ("CSS") filed the case in alleging that the policy violated the Free Exercise, Establishment, and Speech clauses of the First Amendment and sought injunctive relief blocking the city's policy. In 2018, the court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania refused to grant a preliminary injunction and CSS appealed that denial to the Third Circuit. The Third Circuit upheld that denial and CSS appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Trump Administration is siding with the appellant CSS and an attorney for the Solicitor Journal was granted the ability to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae.

The issue could go well beyond foster care and include adoption, employment, and reproductive rights to contraception under employer health care plans. With a new 6-3 majority that could go around Chief Justice John Roberts and still have a 5-4 majority, this will be one of the biggest tests of this term. CJ Roberts, Associate Justices Thomas, Alito, Sotomayor, Kavanaugh, and Barrett are all Catholic (Gorsuch is Aglican/Catholic). Assuming Sotomayor stays with the liberals and Roberts does not go with the majority, there are still five Catholic justices who could form a 5-4 majority if Gorsuch went with them. 

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Glen Schaller, Paco Torres, and Nadir Vissanjy!


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 - 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: