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The Nooner for Monday, November 9, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Election 2020
  • COVID-19
  • Double-X factor
  • Affirmative action
  • SacTown
  • Cakeday, corrections, and classifieds's a chilly but beautiful morning here at Nooner Global HQ. Actually, I welcome the chill because it encourages me to get away from election convenience eating and back into the kitchen. After a healthy farmers market haul yesterday, I got away from cable news and the 'puter and into the kitchen for meal prep for the week. Then I baked a beautiful sturgeon filet from Passmore Ranch in Sloughhouse in the Delta and paired it with vegetables I roasted earlier and greens braised with smoked ham, both from Riverdog Farm in Guinda in the Capay Valley northwest of Sacramento.

Speaking of the year-round Sacramento Central Farmers Market. There is truth to the rumor that they will be displaced by the Caltrans work on the W-X freeway above. However, I'm told be a vendor this morning that the plan is not to close for a couple of months as rumored but rather relocated, but details aren't yet available.

Anyway, it was great to get away from talk of the Magic Wall and Steve Kornacki's pants. Refreshed and back to it!

-Tallied turnout: 66%

-Possible turnout: Around 80%, depending on validity of provisionals and conditional voter registration provisionals

-What's left? From the unprocessed ballots report, updated at 8:47am Friday (~575,000 would be subtracted from counts reported over the weekend):

  • Vote-by-mail: 3,149,199
  • Provisional: 71,587
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 284,075
  • Other (damaged, write-ins, etc): 64,303
  • Total: 3,569,164

Orange County reports that it has only 33,076 ballots left, although of course additional ones postmarked by Tuesday but yet to be received could add to that number. Of those, 71.6% are conditional voter registration provisionals. Overall, the numbers are likely not good news for Democratic Party incumbents in CA39 and CA48. Orange County ballots spread across seven congressional districts, with CA45 (Katie Porter's seat) having the most registered voters in the county.

-Ballot count: Yesterday, only four counties provided updates. They are Alameda, Lassen, San Diego, and Santa Clara and totaled 221,621 ballots. Thus far, 14,622,236 ballots have been counted. I will provide an update to the ATCpro spreadsheet tonight as more counties report today. Los Angeles plans to update on Tuesday and Friday this week.

-Candidates: Here is the update on our closely watched races. I screwed up yesterday and listed AD42 (Cathedral City, Twenty-Nine Palms, Yucaipa). Chad Mayes (NPP) easily defeated San Jacinto councilmember Andrew Kotyuk (R) with a margin of 15.2%.

None of the updates yesterday affected these results.

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 66,383; *TJ Cox (D): 61,813 (Diff: 3.6% ⬇️) 0.6%)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 148,916, Christy Smith (D): 148,484 (Diff: 0.2%)
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 159,571, *Gil Cisneros (D): 156,476 (Diff: 1.0% ⬆️  0.2%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 196,591, *Harley Rouda (D): 189,235 (Diff: 1.8% ⬆️  0.2%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 160,724, Kipp Mueller (D): 157,317 (Diff: 1.0%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 141,067, Abigail Medina (D): 136,829 (Diff: 1.6% ⬆️  0.2%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 200,453, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 188,935 (Diff: 3.0% ⬇️  0.2%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 264,411, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 251,620 (Diff: 2.4% ⬇️. 0.4%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Kathy Miller (D): 45,050 Carlos Villapudua (D): 41,151 (Diff: 4.6%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 130,606, Diane Dixon (R): 127,327 (Diff: 1.2% ⬇️  0.4%) 

As it currently stands:

  • California congressional delegation: 42 Democrats, 11 Republicans (R+4 from 2018 -- CA21, CA25CA39, and CA48, while filling the CA50 vacancy).
  • The State Senate: 31 Democrats, 9 Republicans (D+2 -- SD29, SD37).
  • The State Assembly: 60 Democrats, 19 Republicans (R+1 -- AD38), and one NPP (AD42).

Obviously, we're far from complete and we have a little over two weeks of updates ahead.

-House Democrats: For the Chron, John Wildermuth looks at the election results that finds Democrats losing grounds in the House of Representatives even while reclaiming The White House.

Three Democrats who flipped GOP-held seats in the blue wave, Reps. Gil Cisneros and Harley Rouda of Orange County and TJ Cox of Fresno, were all behind on election day and have seen the gap grow, not shrink, since then. Another Democrat in a closely watched race, Assembly member Christy Smith of Santa Clarita (Los Angeles County), held an election night lead, only to quickly lose it to GOP Rep. Mike Garcia.

All the races remain close with tens of thousands of ballots still uncounted. Garcia, for example, held only a 432-vote edge over Smith on Sunday.

But there’s still plenty of concern from Democrats, not only from party leaders but also from the candidates themselves.

We won't know until we get the Supplement to the Statement of Vote in the new year in which we will see the presidential vote by congressional district. Currently, Biden has received 792,966 votes in the county while Democratic Party candidates have received a combined 774,198 Orange County votes in the seven districts in the county (partially/wholly).

-Walkaway: Gibran Maciel explains why he has walked away from the Democratic Party and why he voted the way he did.

COVID-19: Yesterday, 10 deaths were added in California for a total of 17,975 since the beginning of the pandemic. The usual weekend reporting caveat applies. The numbers are likely lower and the numbers of the next couple of days are likely higher, which is the importance of looking at a 7- or 14-day trend rather than one day.

-Vaccine: This morning, American pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that preliminary results of its two-dose vaccine to prevent infection from SARS-CoV2, the novel coronavirus that causes the infection COVID-19, has demonstrated 90% effectiveness. The CEO stated that, if approved by the FDA, they anticipated globally to have 50 million doses available by the end of the year and up to 1.3 billion doses available in 2021. (Each patient requires two doses, so cut those number in half for the number of people covered.)

There are 44,000 participants in the current Phase 3 trial, with 42% coming from diverse backgrounds. Diversity of some of the trials had been criticized initially, but Pfizer's participant pool is considered strong. (A further breakdown is not available.) One thing that is not known is the longevity of effectiveness of the vaccine, particularly with a mutating virus. The Pfizer study will follow participants for two years to try to determine that.

Pfizer insists that the timing of the announcement nearly a week after the presidential election was not political. A team at the NYT reports:

The news comes just days after Joseph R. Biden Jr. clinched a victory over President Trump in the presidential election. Mr. Trump had repeatedly hinted a vaccine would be ready before Election Day, Nov. 3. This fall, Pfizer’s chief executive, Dr. Albert Bourla, frequently claimed that the company could have a “readout” by October, something that did not come to pass.

Operation Warp Speed, the federal effort to rush a vaccine to market, has promised Pfizer $1.95 billion to deliver 100 million doses to the federal government, which will be given to Americans free of charge. But [Pfizer senior VP for vaccine research and development Dr. Kathrin] Jansen sought to distance the company from Operation Warp Speed and presidential politics, noting that the company — unlike the other vaccine front-runners — did not take any federal money to help pay for research and development.

“We were never part of the Warp Speed,” she said. “We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.”

She said she learned of the results from the outside panel of experts shortly after 1 p.m. on Sunday, and that the timing was not influenced by the election. “We have always said that science is driving how we conduct ourselves — no politics,” she said.

The data released by Pfizer Monday was delivered in a news release, not a peer-reviewed medical journal. It is not conclusive evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective, and the initial finding of more than 90 percent efficacy could change as the trial goes on. “We need to see the actual data, and we’re going to need longer-term results,” said Jesse Goodman, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Georgetown University.

Still, scientists were stunned by the data so far.

“This is really a spectacular number,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University. “I wasn’t expecting it to be this high. I was preparing myself for something like 55 percent.”

While Pfizer was not part of Operation Warp Speed, the Pfizer CEO Bourla told Dr. Sanjay Gupta this morning that it was anticipated to be made available for free in the United States with the federal government committing to purchase at least 100 million doses.

On the news, the stock market jumped. Futures were up significantly on the presidential election news and divided government, but the Pfizer news essentially doubled them.

-Third wave: A team at the Times reports that experts believe there is still time to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 in California, but it requires staying a course and adherence to public health guidelines.

There are clear warning signs, including a troubling increase in daily cases in Los Angeles County. But statewide, the uptick — for the moment — is proceeding at a pace considered relatively slow, and health officials say there’s no conclusive sign of the kind of surge that roiled California this summer.

“We are fortunate in the sense that we have a much more muted uptick that’s beginning to occur,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, epidemiologist and infectious diseases expert at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “And I think it’s because we are still adhering, for the most part, to this tiered approach of gradual opening of the economy and schools.”

California’s slow reopening process has prompted criticism from some businesses, including executives of the state’s largest theme parks, which remain ordered shut. Indoor bars that don’t offer meals remain largely closed statewide. And in the hardest-hit counties, including Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino, indoor dining rooms are ordered closed, as are indoor gyms and houses of worship.

Although the slow-moving reopening strategy may be frustrating to some, health experts and officials are crediting the framework with keeping California’s hospitals from being overwhelmed by a surge of new COVID-19 cases.

-Los Angeles: As we await an effective vaccine and distribution thereof, Kiera Feldman reports that Los Angeles County cases continue to increase bringing concern to public health officials.

Coronavirus infections continued to rise in Los Angeles County on Sunday at levels seen during the summer surge, and public health officials warned that the street celebrations that greeted the election news over the weekend could easily increase the spread.

Officials on Sunday announced more than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases, marking the fourth consecutive day with more than 2,000 confirmed infections. Officials also confirmed two more deaths from the disease, a number that was probably lowered by weekend reporting delays.


On Saturday, county health officials warned that crowds and street celebrations following the results of the presidential election “are places where it is very easy and very likely for COVID-19 to spread.”

“Let us remember that no matter how we feel, we all have an obligation to protect each other from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. “Gathering with people outside of your household, especially in settings where people are shouting, chanting or singing and not distancing, can easily lead to increased cases of COVID-19.”

-Senate vacancy: Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce CEO Pat Fong Kushida pens an op-ed for CalMatters calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint an Asian Pacific Islander to the vacancy created by Kamala Harris's ascendance to the vice presidency.

California can boast of an impressive list of respected Asian American Pacific Islander political leaders, such as Controller Betty Yee and Treasurer Fiona Ma. In fact, 13% of the state Legislature is AAPI. Representation gains have been made at every level. In 1980 there were at least 160 Asian American Pacific Islander elected officials in California, and by 2016 that number had grown 289% to 463.

Here is a short list of capable and tested leaders who deserve the governor’s consideration:

She lists:

  • Controller Betty Yee
  • Treasurer Fiona Ma
  • Assembly member Evan Low
  • Assembly member Todd Gloria
  • Congressman Ted Lieu
  • Congresswoman Judy Chu
  • Congressman Ro Khanna

California would be well represented if any one of these accomplished elected officials were named by the governor to replace Harris. Newsom needs to meet this moment by selecting an Asian American Pacific Islander leader to continue representing the great state of California in the U.S. Senate.

So, who is not on the list? Lots of folks don't make Fong Kushida's list...

Meanwhile, Gavin has pressure from primarily advocates for an appointment among three demographics: Latino, API, Black, and LGBTQ.

I don't see it happening, but Todd Gloria is the box-checker, with Filipino, Puerto Rican, Native American heritage who is also gay.

DOUBLE-X FACTOR: For CalMatters, Laurel Rosenhall writes that while women are smashing glass ceilings in Washington, it's not as much the case in Sacramento.

When it comes to women leading in state politics, California lags other parts of the nation. More than half the states have had a woman governor, but California never has. The Golden State elected Eleni Kounalakis its first female lieutenant governor just two years ago — something Vermont did in 1955. Harris, the Democrat who will serve as Joe Biden’s vice president, became California’s first woman elected attorney general in 2010. But Rhode Island elected the nation’s first female attorney general in 1985.

Similarly, though women have been prominent in California’s legislative leadership in the last dozen years, other states blazed that trail long ago. California Senate leader Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, became the state’s first woman to hold the post in 2018, and is one of three women to have served as Assembly speaker. Women also lead both Republican caucuses. But the first state legislature to choose a woman speaker? North Dakota’s, in 1933. 

Even though women are poised to hold more seats in the California Legislature than ever before when votes from this month’s election are all tallied, the number is likely to comprise roughly one-third of state lawmakers. At the start of the Legislature’s last session, California tied Georgia for 20th place in female representation. Next door in Nevada, women made up more than half the state legislature. 

“There is a great tradition of California women leading at the federal level,” said Susannah Delano, executive director of Close the Gap California, which recruits Democratic women to run for elected office. “We are sort of middling on our statehouse’s gender balance.” 

Women currently hold 38 of the Legislature’s 120 seats — the most ever, in part because voters chose women to fill seats vacated by a handful of men who resigned during the #MeToo movement. Between one and five more women will join them next year, depending on the outcome of several close races. That will bring women to the highest numbers they’ve ever had in the California Legislature, comprising a little more or less than a third of the body.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: After the failure of Proposition 16, The Bee's Kim Bojórquez looks at the future of efforts to maintain/increase diversity on the state's public higher education campuses.

In a statement, the UC system said it will continue to find other approaches to improve the diversity of its student body through “outreach to underserved groups, schools and communities; support for college preparation; and efforts to close equity gaps.”


University of California and California State University campuses are trying to connect with diverse applicants by visiting students as young as 13 or 14.

That’s critical, said Loren J. Blanchard, CSU executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, and Lande Ajose, the governor’s senior policy adviser for higher education, to help young people imagine themselves as potential college students.

“That’s the authentic kind of pipeline programming that works effectively, especially when we’re talking about those populations of students that are underserved,” Blanchard said at a panel on Friday.

SACTOWN: With another "strong mayor" ballot measure failing in California's capital city, Dan Walters writes for CalMatters that Sacramento is the city that refuses to grow up.

[Sacramento Mayor Darrell] Steinberg’s Measure A . . . was caught in a cross-fire of opposition from city council members unwilling to cede authority to a mayor and from leftist activists who consider Steinberg, a liberal Democrat by most standards, insufficiently militant and too eager to compromise.

It’s a repeat of what happened to Steinberg’s predecessor, former basketball star Kevin Johnson, when he tried to install a strong mayor system. Sacramento will continue to limp along with an unfocused, unimaginative city manager system more suited to a much smaller city.

What happened, or didn’t happen, last week was unsurprising to anyone familiar with Sacramento’s history.


Having muffed so many chances to become the major American city Steinberg and others envision, Sacramento seems destined to remain what I termed it 35 years ago in a book about California megatrends, a “gangly adolescent” stranded somewhere between childhood and adulthood and unwilling to mature.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Stephanie Mcgann-Jantzen!


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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.

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