Around The Capitol

If you don't see images in this message, click "Display Images" or the equivalent.
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Get the Nooner in your e-mail box.
To be removed from The Nooner list, click here.

Become a Nooner Premium subscriber (or below buttons for Square) to access enhanced legislative profiles, exclusive election analysis, and downloadable back-end data. | Follow @scottlay

Advertise in The Nooner to reach over 8,000 readers


  • SacTown Talks: Assembly member Cristina Garcia (2020-12-18)
  • If I Couid Change One Thing (SDSU): Dr. David "Davey" Smith on Operation Warp Speed" and vaccinations (2020-12-02)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Becerra: Another Bright Spot For California And The Rest of The Country (2020-12-10)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, the new Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, talks about public policy, health, and social justice priorities for our Latinx communities in 2021. (2020-12-09)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Vaccines are coming with Dr. Dean Blumberg, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine and Acting Chief, Pediatric Infectious Disease Section, UC Davis Medical Center. (2020-12-07)
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Introduction to new Assembly Democrats (2020-12-07)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Dr. Anthony Fauci on California's New COVID Restrictions and Lessons from the HIV/AIDS Epidemic (2020-12-04)

The Nooner for Saturday, December 26, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Pol position
  • Oh, Duncan
  • COVID-19
    -the numbers
    -the charts
    -the stay-at-home regions
    -tiers for fears
    -herd immunity
    -the new strain
    -the disproportionate LatinX impact
    -LA County
  • Cakeday and classifieds

¡Feliz lunes and happy Boxing Day! I'm sticking with the delayed Nooner because we usually get the ICU availability for each region around noon but I am back from my holiday week off between my birthday and Christmas and am happy to be back at it, even though it was a very different Christmas.

POL POSITION: As you likely know, Governor Newsom last week appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla to Senator Kamala Harris's seat, which was widely expected. What wasn't was expected was his appointment of Assembly member Dr. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) to the Secretary of State position that Padilla leaves behind. Dr. Weber is chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and before election to the Assembly, she was a professor of Africana Studies Department at San Diego State University.

The choice of Dr. Weber keeps Newsom from picking between two of her Assembly colleagues who have filed Statements of Intent for the office in 2022 -- Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Evan Low (D-Campbell). If confirmed for SOS by majorities in the State Senate and State Assembly, Dr. Weber would become the first African-American to hold the office. Additionally he was under a lot of pressure to choose an African-American woman for Senate but Padilla was seen the most likely choice and, after Speaker Pelosi expressed concerns about any more House Dem appointments because of her slim majority (which may be under ten votes following the appointment of Marcia Fudge (D-OH) foer HUD and Deb Haaland (D-NM) for Interior. Even it were either Reps Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) or Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), if either of them were tapped for Senate, it'd likely mean a vacant Dem seat for six months.

Both Padilla and Dr. Weber have expressed that they intend to run for full terms in 2022. Former Assembly Speaker and SF mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. writes in the Chron that the appointment of Padilla is a reward for the "oldest rule in politics" -- "Reward loyalty."

Meanwhile, Newsom will likely have a third high-level appointment if Attorney General Xavier Becerra is confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the Department of Health and Human Services. That process will likely be in February after President Biden is sworn in on January 20.

OH, DUNCAN: Politico's Carla Marinucci reports that not all Republicans were happy with the pardon granted to Duncan Hunter by President Trump which gets the disgraced east San Diego County former congressman out of an 11-month federal prison sentence for misuse of campaign funds for personal use.

Jon Fleischman, publisher of the influential Flash Report and a former state GOP vice chair, is among a crowd of conservative Californians who excoriated the decision on Wednesday.

"If the President is going to pardon lawbreakers like Duncan Hunter he may as well pardon the Tiger King. If the bar is that low,'' Fleischman said on Twitter.


Other loyal Republicans who have supported the president went public with their anger. Former state GOP Chair Ron Nehring lambasted the Duncan Hunter decision.

“Our elected officials should be held to a higher, not lower, standard than the average citizen, who would never have been pardoned for similar crimes,'' he said.

"We have so many great, honorable Republicans who wish to serve for all the best reasons. We don’t have to put up with any crooks in our own party," Nehring also said on Twitter. "Toss the bums out. Make room for the honest and honorable ones. Strong party. Stronger country."

Republican Carl DeMaio, who unsuccessfully ran for Duncan Hunter's 50th congressional district seat, issued a statement saying Trump's action "sends absolutely the wrong message that politicians can break the law, but can easily avoid any punishment when they do."

DeMaio said that the decision "will simply reinforce the clear impression that ordinary citizens have that Washington DC Swamp Creatures protect themselves, receive special exemptions, and enjoy double standards."

COVID-19, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...


COVID-19: With a statewide positivity rate of 12.1% (14-day average) and 0.0% ICU beds available as of yesterday's data, California added 36 deaths yesterday for a total of 23,983 since the pandemic began. However, only 9 counties were included in the daily tally by the Los Angeles Times because of the holiday. LA County, where we've seen the highest numbers recently was planning to report, but couldn't because of downed internet connection. The county plans to add yesterday's numbers to reporting today. From yesterday's release:

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is experiencing a service interruption caused by an outage with Spectrum Service in the Los Angeles area. While Spectrum construction crews are currently working to restore services at the fiber break, we anticipate that daily reports will be severely delayed. Therefore, daily cases and deaths will not be reported today and instead will be reported with tomorrow’s numbers.

There are currently 6,708 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and 20% of these people are in the ICU.

Many of the other delayed reports likely won't come in until early in the week, so the usual reporting shifts over the weekend may cause a deceptive spike early net week.

-the charts:

 COVID tests and positivity
COVID hospitalizations by day
COVID cases by day
Source: California Department of Public Health, State Dashboard

--Stay-at-home documents:

--Update on 12/03 with Governor Newsom and HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly:

--Update on 12/07:

--Dr. Ghaly update on 12/08:

--Governor Newsom update on 12/18:

-the regions: Here are the regions with the latest ICU capacity (availability). The benchmark for avoiding hfalling under the stay-at-home order is 15% capacity.

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
    ICU capacity as of 12/26: 33.9%
  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
    ICU capacity as of 12/26: 13.3%

  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
    ICU capacity as of 12/26: 16.9%
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
    ICU capacity as of 12/26: 0.0%

  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
    ICU capacity as of 12/26: 0.0%

-tiers for fears: There are no changes to the tiers that counties in theory will return to after regional stay-at-home orders are lifted.

  • Purple/Widespread=55 counties
  • Red/Substantial=2 (Alpine, Mariposa)
  • Orange/Moderate=1 (Sierra)

-herd immunity: For the LAT, Emily Baumgaertner looks at the prospects for herd immunity with the vaccines in the field and those under development.

In the early days of the pandemic, epidemiologists estimated that would require inoculating about two-thirds of the U.S. population.

Now many of those same experts say that figure is almost certainly too low.

“If you really want true herd immunity, where you get a blanket of protection over the country … you want about 75 to 85% of the country to get vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease official, told a reporter last week. “I would say even closer to 85%.”

The shift reflects a deeper understanding of how the virus spreads — that it jumps from one person to another more easily than once thought.

-the new strain: In the LAT, Soumya Karlamangla and Rong-Gong Lin II report that Los Angeles health officials are testing COVID-positive persons to surveil whether or not the new SARS-CoV-12 virus strain discovered in the UK in September has arrived here.

The variant is a concern because it may make the virus easier to be transmitted from one person to another, officials said. But once a person has the virus, the variant doesn’t appear to make the person more likely to die.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said a public health laboratory has begun to do gene sequencing to test virus samples collected in L.A. County, but it will take about a week to finish the process.

While the strain is more virulent than previous ones, most public health experts believe that the new technology of mRNA used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would be effective against this strain and the many other mutations that have been sequenced.

-churches: While several churches defied the public health orders banning indoor services over the Christmas holiday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the ban in a 2-1 vote in the case filed by Harvest Rock Church. The case had been returned to the Southern District of California by the Supreme Court of the United States for further review following its decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo. On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit denied a motion for injunctive relief pending appeal in a similar case, South Bay United Pentacostal Church v. Newsom. On December, the Ninth Circuit sent that case back to the Southern District for futher review following Diocese v. Cuomo.

-the LatinX impact: While California's Hispanic/Latino population estimated at 39.4%, the disproportionate impact on the community is devastating. Latinos account for 55% of the state's positive cases and 47.5% of the deaths. The Black community is modestly above population, while the numbers for whites and Asian communities are significantly below population.

The disproportionate impact on the LatinX community is believed to be mostly attributed to essential workers who can't work from home and more high-density living.

Andrew J. Campa reports in the LAT that many Asian-Americans wore masks earlier in the pandemic and more consistently since donning masks is commonplace in some Asian countries.

For Asian immigrants in the San Gabriel Valley and elsewhere, the pandemic has become a moment of reckoning, exposing the weaknesses of their adopted country.

Raised on an ethic that elevates family and community above the individual, as well as a strong belief in science, many find it difficult to fathom why anyone would view masks as an infringement on personal freedom — let alone why President Trump would encourage that attitude.

In January and February, Asian immigrants attracted puzzled glances for covering their faces. Later, they became targets of racism, as Trump and others played up the virus’s Chinese origins.


Masks have long been customary in South Korea and other parts of Asia — to protect others when the wearer is sick, or as a shield against pollution. Not everyone engages in the practice. But even before the pandemic, it was common to see masked people on the subway or in the streets.

-LA County: Yesterday, a team at the LAT reported on the dire situation in LA County's hospitals.

There are now so many patients that some hospitals are running dangerously low on oxygen and other supplies critical to treating those with COVID-19.

Patients are waiting as many as eight hours in ambulances before they can enter the emergency room. With intensive care units at 0% available capacity, health officials are urging that people avoid emergency rooms or dialing 911 for assistance unless absolutely necessary.

And in a grim reminder that the worst is still likely to come, one L.A. County health official has asked providers to reach out to patients who have serious illnesses or are medically frail to review their advanced-care directives and ensure forms are on file detailing their end-of-life care.

Cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Governor Gray Davis, Kerstyn Olson, and Gary Patton!

Whoops, in this space yesterday I had the December 18 birthdays still but thanks for the additional birthday greetings!


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]

Grants Program Director – California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council Division

Monthly salary: $8,173.00- $9,280.00

Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 22, 2020.

Expert in grant management directs all operations of grant programs, including developing and delivering public facing interactions with eligible grantees to provide technical guidance and evaluating data related to grant programs for the purpose of reporting and influencing statewide policy.

For more information about this position and to apply online please visit:

For questions contact:

Debbie Gutman
CPS HR Consulting

McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Built on the foundation of nationally ranked and world class programs, McGeorge School of Law offers an online master (MSL) degree for individuals seeking in depth knowledge of law and policy, but who do not require a traditional law degree. Our MSL’s two concentrations in Government Law & Policy and in Water & Environmental Law offer students the flexibility to work while they learn and still engage in a highly interactive master’s program. To learn more and to sign up for our monthly webinars, please visit our website,, or contact us at

Statewide Coalition Manager – Preschool Development Grant

Are you a relationship builder? Do you love policy analysis? Do you have a background in public policy, public administration, child development, or a similar field? Do you want to work somewhere that makes a difference in the lives of children across the state? Then YOU’RE the person we’re looking for! Come join us at Child Care Resource Center as our new Statewide Coalition Manager!

You will work in partnership with regional Resource and Referral (R&R) hub agencies throughout the state of CA to nurture and build out the partnerships of Regional Hubs and their local R&R partners. This position will focus on expanding regional and local relationships and building regional strategies for the delivery of early childhood services, including Parent Café and Early Childhood Café programs, throughout California, and will also coordinate the development of other regional partners including California Quality Consortia, California County Offices of Education and Tribal partners appropriate to each region. Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer, this position utilizes a high level of collaboration and relationship building to create effective internal and external relationships, communicate the CCRC Mission, Values and Vision to external stakeholders, and work in collaboration with other CCRC Departments and organizational partners.

Full announcement

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: