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RECENT PODS:

  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): The progression of the Transgender community with Human Rights Activist Ebony Ava Harper and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) (2020-11-13)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assembly member Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) Apple Podcasts | YouTube (2020-11-13)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast: A Post-Mortem on the 2020 Election (5 subject area panel discussions) (2020-11-12)
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The Nooner for Monday, November 16, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • This weekend at The Nooner
  • Election 2020
    • The numbers
    • Topline notes
    • Closely watched races
  • COVID-19
    • LA County
  • Senate vacancy
  • Cakeday and classifieds

This weekend at The Nooner:

  • Saturday, November 14
    • Election 2020
      • The numbers
      • Topline notes
      • Closely watched races
      • Oakland
    • COVID-19
      • Holidays
      • Bay Area
      • Placer County
    • Prison guards
    • CA25 (Simi Valley-Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley)
    • KoreaAm double-x factor
    • Farm labor
  • Sunday, November 15
    • Election 2020
      • The numbers
      • Topline notes
      • Closely watched races
    • COVID-19
      • Vaccine
      • Trends
      • Higher ed
    • Taxing matters

Just another Manic Monday, wish it were Sunday. That's my food day...

Hello there! For those who tuned out this weekend, I applaud you and welcome back. Even though I was up at 5:30, I can't even say I have read all the papers today. There is just way too much going on. If I run across anything significant, I'll send out a Nooner Nightcap, and there is always tomorrow.

Governor Gavin is doing a NewsomAtNoon today and members of the press are salivating at the chance to probe him on why he went to Kinney's birthday party outdoors at The French Laundry on November 6. This will be exacerbated because lots of local news stations are for the first time paying attention to Sacramento during the pandemic, with many unfamiliar folks crowding out the Capitol press corps during the conference call Q&A. The questions, both of Newsom and HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly are often a lot more, shall we say, slanted than the usual faces and names ask.

Hopefully Newsom dispenses of the issue in his opening comments by saying in his own words that he screwed up and people should not follow his example and instead follow the guidance of state health officials before the Q&A and moves on to talk about the real issues, including Placer County blowing off the state's guidance under the red tier it returned to last week among increasing cases and hospitalizations, as well as the very troubling numbers in Los Angeles County ahead of the holidays that I include below.

Get the apology and regrets out of the way first and "I think I've covered that" would be the response to any other question about the Yountville restaurant issue.

ELECTION 2020: San Diego was the only county with updated results yesterday, reporting an additional 2,296  ballots bringing the statewide total to 17,145,101 voters.

-Tallied turnout: 77% of registered voters

-Possible turnout: Around 79% of registered voters, depending on validity of provisionals and conditional voter registration provisionals and any ballots postmarked by Election Day and received after the last report.

-What's left? From the unprocessed ballots report, updated at 5:00pm Friday, estimates:

  • Vote-by-mail: 470,999
  • Provisional: 58,778
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 176,750
  • Other (damaged, write-ins, etc): 39,891
  • Total: 746,418

-Topline notes: 

  • There were no lead changes yesterday.
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Senator John M.W. Moorlach (R) has conceded to UC Irvine law professor Dave Min (D). Moorlach will be running for the Orange County Board of Supervisors vacancy created by Michelle Steel's election to CA48.
  • Sandy Eggo: Former state senator Joel Anderson has a 38-vote lead over Poway mayor Steve Vaus out of 289,186 ballots cast.

-Closely watched races:

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 81,157; *TJ Cox (D): 79,920 (Diff: 1.2% ⬇️ 0.2%)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 166,617, Christy Smith (D): 166,513 (Diff: 0.03%)
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 172,406, *Gil Cisneros (D): 168,245 (Diff: 1.2%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 201,152, *Harley Rouda (D): 192,954 (Diff: 2.0%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 193,741, Kipp Mueller (D): 187,655 (Diff: 1.6% ⬆️ 0.2%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 207,561, Abigail Medina (D): 187,729 (Diff: 4.6%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 212,910, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 202,240 (Diff: 2.6%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 299,906, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 257,711 (Diff: 2.4% ⬆️ 0.2%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Carlos Villapudua (D): 63,975, Kathy Miller (D): 63,771 (Diff: 0.2%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 133,309, Diane Dixon (R): 130,657 (Diff: 1.0%) 

As it currently stands (this changes with lead changes):

  • California congressional delegation: 42 Democrats, 11 Republicans (R+4 from 2018 -- CA21, CA25CA39, and CA48, while retaining 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)

Here are the current ballot measure results, which will likely reflect the final results. All ballot measures have been called by the Associated Press.

Proposition 14 (stem cell bond) 51.0%
Proposition 15 (split roll property tax) 48.0%
Proposition 16 (affirmative action ban repeal) 42.9%
Proposition 17 (voting: parole) 58.6%
Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) 44.0%
Proposition 19 (property tax base transfer) 51.1%
Proposition 20 (criminal justice) 38.2%
Proposition 21 (rent control) 40.2%
Proposition 22 (transportation network AB 5 exemption) 58.6%
Proposition 23 (dialysis) 36.4%
Proposition 24 (consumer privacy) 56.1%
Proposition 25 (bail referendum - yes upholds SB 10) 43.7%


COVID-19:
 Yesterday, 11 deaths were added in California for a total of 18,263 since the beginning of the pandemic and 6,771 cases were added for a total of 1,030,589. The usual weekend reporting caveat applies, with lower reported numbers that are pushed forward to the workweek.

-Vaccine: As you've undoubtedly heard this morning, pharmaceutical company Moderna Therapeutics released the first results from its SARS-CoV2-19 phase 3 trial. The independent review panel reports an effectiveness rate of 94.5% using its messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidate, the same biotechnology used in the Pfizer vaccine candidate for which the first results of 95% effectiveness were announced last Monday.

The effectiveness of the first two vaccine candidates are far beyond hopes of 70-80%, compared to 40-60% effectiveness for the annual flu vaccine. Of course, there are far more strains of viruses that cause influenza, which is why the vaccine changes each year based on forecasted spread. While SARS-CoV-19 has been evolving and multiple strains have been identified, it is believed that the mRNA approach will cover most if not all strains.

The good news about the Moderna vaccine is that it is reportedly much more stable at higher temperatures than the current iteration of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate under trial. While Pfizer requires a shipping and long-term storage temperature of -75°C (-103°F) with a refrigerated longevity of 5 days, the Moderna vaccine candidate can be shipped and held for long-term storage at a temperature of -20°C (-4°F) and refrigerated at 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for up to 30 days. The Pfizer candidate can't be stored in most medical offices at its current stability and they continue to be working on a more stable version, while Moderna can be distributed stored much more widely. Both vaccines require two doses weeks apart.

At 11:20, Pfizer stock was down 3.55% while markets are up across the board, while Moderna is up 10.6%.

Like Pfizer, Moderna hopes to get emergency use authorization and have availability of the vaccine candidate by late December and begin to have doses available for health care workers and other high risk groups with broad availability beginning around next April.

-The spread and the restrictions: As Oregon and Washington issue statewide bans on indoor social gatherings, indoor service at restaurants, bars, and gyms as well as work-at-home unless necessary this week, a team at the LAT looks at what's happening and ahead in California.

The most immediate concern is the Thanksgiving holiday, which officials fear could spread the illness further if people take part in gatherings. But beyond that, officials are trying to balance the necessity of combating this latest spike with their desire to minimize further closures of businesses — already devastated by the pandemic — or to slow their reopening.

Here is a look at what officials are doing, and what’s coming:

They include:

  • statewide advisory against non-essential travel with 14-day quarantine for any travel from out of state
  • curfew under consideration by Los Angeles County (New York is at 10pm for restaurants and bars)
  • in Los Angeles County, further reduced occupancy levels and mandates to work from home (LA is already purple with no indoor dining and closed bars and gyms)

Meanwhile, Placer County appears to continue to ignore state guidance under its red status with a recalcitrant Board of Supervisors willing to overturn any public health order issued by the health officer who assumed the role after the previous one quit after that exact action by the board.

-LA County: In yesterday's LA County Department of Public Health release, a recap of the data from the last seven days is provided, and the positivity and hospitalizations numbers are certainly troubling as the holidays near. Thus, the increase in number of cases is not just a factor of more widespread testing of positive yet asymptomatic individuals and creates a real concern about hospital capacity, particularly entering the flu season.

Deaths are lower and I wrote yesterday about the reason and why public health professionals are deeply concerned about the lingering effects of those who "recover."

Los Angeles County SARS-CoV2-19 and COVID-19 Data
  New cases Deaths Positivity rate Hospitalizations
Monday, 11/9 1,431 5 5.2% 855
Tuesday, 11/10 2,318 25 5.3% 888
Wednesday, 11/11 2,152 22 5.5% 903
Thursday, 11/12 2,533 7 5.8% 953
Friday, 11/13 2,481 28 6.0% 942
Saturday, 11/14 3,780 20 5.9% 966
Sunday, 11/15 3,061 3 5.8% 1,014
Source: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

SENATE VACANCY: Following separate calls for Governor Newsom to appoint a Black woman, an Asian Pacific Islander, and an LGBTQ individual to the United States Senate seat that will be left vacant upon the resignation of VP-elect Kamala Harris, Latino elected officials will be pressing for a "Latino or Latina" be appointed in pressers today in Sacramento and Wednesday in Fresno, reports the Capitol Morning Report.

The Latino/a names most frequently mentioned, in roughly the order of frequency I hear them are:

  • Secretary of State Alex Padilla
  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra 
  • Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia
  • LA County supe Hilda Solis
  • LA councilmember Kevin de León
  • State Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles)
  • Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego)

With four different communities calling for an appointee of a specific background, Governor Newsom is caught in a dilemma between the opportunity to make history and a potential political landmine. Here are his options:

  • Pick the next United States Senator.
  • Call a special election in the spring.
  • Appoint a caretaker until the seat is scheduled to be up for a regular election in 2022.

-Pick one: By picking one, Governor Newsom could make a historical appointment with either the first Latino or first openly LGBTQ United States Senator from California. Of course, doing so will leave the other communities disappointed, and a 2022 challenge is possible. Remember that former Rep. Loretta Sanchez ran against party favorite Kamala Harris for Barbara Boxer's open seat in 2016 and Kevin de León challenged Dianne Feinstein in 2018.

-Special election: Newsom could call a special election in the spring and avoid the political landmine of the competing factions, although that would leave the seat vacant during key votes early in President-elect Biden's first 100 days. I believe that he would not be able to appoint a caretaker who is sworn in and call a special election concurrently, as that wouldn't be a "vacancy" to be filled if someone has been sworn in to the seat.

There will be special elections in the spring, including one for SD30, the Los Angeles State Senate seat held by Holly J. Mitchell, who was elected to the LA County Board of Supervisors and for the Orange County Board of Supervisors seat discussed above after Michelle Steel's election to CA48. I'm sure there are other local special elections that need to be called and could be done in sync with a statewide one. There also are possible vacancies created by appointments to the Biden administration for which specials would need to be called.

The problem with a special election is that it would be expensive for the candidates and federal money is much more difficult to come by quickly for those whose fundraising has been primarily focused in California. The limits are lower (currently $2,800 from individuals per election for federal races) compared to $4,700 per election for state legislature and $7,800 for constitutional offices other than governor). More importantly and often overlooked by state legislators looks at a bid for Congress is that federal law prohibits contributions from corporations. If you think your "friends" in your Sacramento races will be with you for DC ambitions, it is often a wrong assumption.

A special election would favor AG Xavier Becerra, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), or Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), who have $1.4 million, $9.5 million, and $13 million respective federal cash on hand. That would give them an instant leg up for a spring to a spring special. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) has $1.3 million on hand, although an appointment to the Biden Administration is more likely.

-Appoint a caretaker: Governor Newsom could appoint a caretaker and let the floodgates open in 2022. I can see Padilla, Porter, Schiff, and possibly Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) jumping in the race, among others for an open race.

There have been several "caretaker" names floated for this option, but the most sensible choice from my perspective is former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. Boxer retired in 2016 (leading to Kamala's election) after four six-year terms but has remained active in politics. Her PAC for a Change gave $124,500 to federal candidates this year and spent $227,900 on independent expenditures this year. She was frequently on teevee this cycle and a frequent tweeter on current events. She's been vetted by the voters, knows Capitol Hill well, and could quickly assemble a staff. Most importantly, she wouldn't be giving up an elected office for the temp job.

While the Latino community would prefer a Becerra or Padilla appointment, either would be giving up a state elected position to take a caretaker position. While Becerra can run for another term as AG, Padilla is termed-out in 2022, so I don't see him serving as a caretaker.

One long shot parlor game possibility would be the appointment of Becerra to the U.S. Senate seat as a caretaker and stepping down as AG, while running for AG in 2022. Just a Monday musing for the helluva it...

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Steve Dunwoody, Darrow Sprague, and Rep. Eric Swalwell!

Classifieds

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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: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers

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 admin@stoneadvocacy.com or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

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