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


  • Look West California (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Get to know Speaker Anthony Rendon like never before. Join us as he shares how a son of Mexican immigrants came to be the Speaker of the CA State Assembly. (2021-01-29)
  • California State of Mind (Rodd, Nichols, and Romero @ CapRadio): Has Gavin Newsom Made the Grade as Governor of the Golden State? (2021-01-29)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Congresswoman Michelle Steel on Emigrating to America, Her Mother's Small Business, and Why She Voted Against Impeachment (2021-01-28)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Vax mess! Latest on the rocky rollout of the Covid vaccine and its impact on California's governor and President Biden (2021-01-28)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Lenny Medonca with a California economic forecast (2021-01-24)

The Nooner for Sunday, January 31, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
    -the numbers
    -testing and positivity
    -stay-at-home results
  • LA County anti-vaxxers
  • LA County spread
  • LA County disparate impact
  • COVID in The Nooner a year ago today
  • Recall and pandemic politics
  • Newsom's safety
  • SacTown homeless
  • Cakeday and classifieds  

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you! I was able to sleep much better last night. (If you don't know what I am referring to, see yesterday's top comments.)

Tonight is the year-end filing deadline for federal committees that file electronically. For state committees, FPPC carries forward the deadline to tomorrow since it falls on a Sunday.

I don't want to provide too much commentary on federal issues in this space, but from what I remember from law school, if your entire legal team quits a week before a trial that the judge is not going to move, that's not a good sign. That's what happened to former President Trump yesterday and I really don't think America wants him to defend himself pro per. That said, it could be a high-rated sequel to The Greatest Showman.

Reportedly, the fallout was over strategy, with the lawyers wanting to focus on the constitutionality and propriety of impeachment after an official has left office, while the the President wants election fraud to be the focus.

Meanwhile, I was trying yesterday to find a pathway for my dad (who turns 76 tomorrow) to get a vaccine after he told me about the problems with the Orange County appointment booking website with cancellations, appointment drops, etc., and he's a savvy guy and still working as a tax accountant.

I have seen lots of similar posts on social media from folks engaging in multi-hour searches for pathways for parents and grandparents to get a vaccine in the often byzantine and unpredictable process. I'm not placing blame on either the health care system or political leaders for this. I honestly don't know if a rationed system could have been administered better from production to distribution to vaccine administration, but the frustration is great -- particularly when people read articles about people jumping the line. (SDUT | SFChron)

It sort of feels like obtaining bread in a falling Eastern bloc country.

My connections on social media are generally more well-informed and connected than those demographically most susceptible to severe illness and death from COVID-19. Except for friends from Mexíco, they largely speak English as a first language. And, they have time to spend on the computer finding answers (and posting about them on social media). Meanwhile, the most vulnerable are in kitchens, hotel housekeeping, retail, public transit and other essential service jobs. They disproportionately don't speak English as a first language and may have elders at home who speak very little English.

We can keep shuffling the vaccine prioritization deck, but how to we address this huge health inequity?

For context to the case and death data chart, PPIC writes (data from the Census Bureau's 2018 ACS):

No race or ethnic group constitutes a majority of California’s population: 39% of state residents are Latino, 37% are white, 15% are Asian American, 6% are African American, 3% are multiracial, and fewer than 1% are American Indian or Pacific Islander, according to the 2018 American Community Survey. Latinos surpassed whites as the state’s single largest ethnic group in 2014.

COVID cases and deaths by ethnicitySource: California Department of Public Health, state dashboard

COVID disparitiesSource: California Department of Public Health, equity

More on this in Los Angeles County under the "LA County disparate impact" item below.

On a similar note, for CalMatters, Dan Walters writes up the new PPIC commentary on an equitable recovery.

COVID-19: California added 469 deaths yesterday for a total of 40,700 since the pandemic began.

-testing and positivity: On Friday, the 14-day rolling average positivity rate dropped below 8% for the first time since December 5, and stands at 7.8%. The 14-day rolling average of test results has dropped 41,024 from the highest point yet of 339,457 on January 20 to 298,433 on Friday. It's unclear why testing has dropped, although people may have gone in for testing a couple of weeks after the holidays. [state dashboard]

-vaccines: On Meet The Press this morning, Dr. Michael Osterholm, infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota and member of the transition group that advised President Biden on COVID-19 response until formal appointees were in place, changed his tune on second doses given the emerging new variants. Here is the interaction:


-- you and I spoke about this current race against these mutant strains and about the vaccine distribution, and you seemed to -- you said something that really stuck with me. So I want to show this screen of this is the efficacy rate of the first doses of the three -- of the vaccines. Moderna at 80%, Johnson and Johnson, 72% and Pfizer at 52%. Again, all the first dose efficacy rates. Do you believe we are now at a point where we may have to call an audible here on how we distribute the vaccine?


Well, first of all, let me just say that I have been one of those saying that we need to make sure that we have both first and second doses of that and follow the FDA approval process. But let me say right now, we do have to call an audible. I think it's no doubt about it. The fact is that the surge that is likely to occur with this new variant from England is going to happen in the next six to 14 weeks. And if we see that happen, which my 45 years in the trenches tells we will, we are going to see something like we have not seen yet in this country. England, for example, is hospitalizing twice as many people as we ever hospitalized at our highest number. And so we do know that if we look at these first doses, that, in fact, we can even get higher numbers than you just laid out by the time of the third week after vaccination. So we still want to get two doses in everyone--

[full transcript]

-variants: The Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health release yesterday reports that a second case of the more transmissible but not necessarily more virulent U.K. variant (B.1.1.7) has been identified in the county.

Public Health believes the B.1.1.7 and other variants are already spreading in the county, and Public Health is continuing to test samples.


Presence of the B.1.1.7 variant in Los Angeles County means virus transmission can happen more easily, and residents and businesses must more diligently implement and follow all of the personal protective actions and safety measures put in place to prevent additional cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. This includes wearing a face covering properly over your nose and mouth, physically distancing, and not gathering with people from outside your household. With community transmission still at a very high level, staying home as much as possible is the best protection. These strategies will only be effective in slowing the spread of any variant strain of COVID-19 if they are used by everyone all of the time.

Sounds like a great time to return to outdoor dining particularly with bars serving modest meals yet not following the guidance of only serving booze with food, as evident by the photos from happy hour in L.A. Friday evening.

This is why L.A. County added the provision to its order providing that televisions and other screens providing broadcast programming are not allowed as part of outdoor dining. The LAT team obtained a more specific explanation:

Outdoor seating also will be limited to no more than six people per table — and everyone sitting together must be from the same household, the health order mandates.

But perhaps the most noticeable of the rules is a ban on watching TV during outdoor dining.

Officials said this is a precaution designed to make eating in outdoor restaurants as safe as possible — especially with the Super Bowl coming up.

“We really do need to be cautious as we move forward, given we have a major sporting event” coming up, and it’s not uncommon for people to be “yelling, shouting, screaming during the excitement of a game,” said L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis.

“There is no such thing as no risk at a restaurant or any other setting where people from different households are together,” he added during a briefing Friday.

Officials believe that COVID-19 spread at gatherings after the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series and the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship this fall.

“It will be tragic if the Super Bowl becomes a super-spreader of coronavirus,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said this week.

Sports fans should “play it safe,” Ferrer said. “Don’t organize a party at home. Don’t go to a Super Bowl party.”

Good luck with that. The ban on televisions at outdoor dining is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. The media coverage about it may get people to second-guess hosting or attending a party. Then again, it will push others who might have watched the game outdoors to do so inside, in an environment much more susceptible to contagion.

-stay-at-home results: Now the regional stay-at-home orders have been lifted, Lyndsay Winkley and Lori Weisberg look at data to evaluate the impact for the SDUT.

Outbreaks at restaurants and retail spaces fell drastically during the most recent stay-at-home order, according to new San Diego County public health data — a finding that suggests COVID-19 regulations, as painful as they may be, are effective at slowing the spread of the virus.

In the wake of California’s regional stay-at-home order, which required the closure of many business operations, outbreaks in community settings fell by just over 25 percent, from 347 to 258. A significant decrease in outbreaks at restaurants and retail spaces accounted for most of that drop.

In the six weeks leading up to the Dec. 3 order, 72 outbreaks were reported at restaurants and 40 were noted at retail locations, the data show. In the six weeks after the order went into effect, there were only four outbreaks at restaurants and three at retail spaces.

Outbreaks at grocery stores also dropped sharply — from 21 to three.

Epidemiologists say this steep decrease isn’t a reflection of a greater risk of infection at these locations — a lot more data and analysis would be required to sort that out — but it does suggest that people heeded the stay-at-home order, and limited trips to these locations.

That shift in behavior is especially reflected in the drop in outbreaks at retail and grocery stores.

Unlike restaurants, which were relegated to take-out only during the stay-at-home order, operations at retail locations and supermarkets changed very little under the order. People could still go to these businesses, but fewer outbreaks suggest they may have chosen to go less.

-Governor Newsom update on 01/25:

-HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly update on 01/26:

LA COUNTY ANTI-VAXXERS: Yesterday, a group of around 50 protestors temporarily shut down the huge vaccination site at Dodger Stadium, report Marisa Gerber and Irfan Khan for the Times.

The Los Angeles Fire Department closed the entrance to the stadium — one of the largest vaccination sites in the country — for about an hour starting just before 2 p.m. as a precaution, officials said. Several LAPD officers also responded to the scene; a spokeswoman for the department said no arrests were made.

Andrea Garcia, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, said that despite the 55-minute interruption, no appointments were canceled.

“We remain committed to vaccinating Angelenos as quickly and safely as possible,” she said.

The demonstrators included members of anti-vaccine and far-right groups. While some carried signs decrying the COVID-19 vaccine and shouting for people not to get the shots, there were no incidents of violence.


A post on social media described the demonstration as the “Scamdemic Protest/March.” It advised participants to “please refrain from wearing Trump/MAGA attire as we want our statement to resonate with the sheeple. No flags but informational signs only.

“This is a sharing information protest and march against everything COVID, Vaccine, PCR Tests, Lockdowns, Masks, Fauci, Gates, Newsom, China, digital tracking, etc.”

Protesters carried signs that read “Save Your Soul TURN BACK NOW,” “CNN IS LYING TO YOU,” “RECALL GAVIN NEWSOM” and “TAKE OFF YOUR MASK.” Some handed out pamphlets to motorists who had their windows down. Some cars blared their horns as they drove by.

After seeing the "Save Your Soul" sign yesterday, I haven't been able to get Jewel out of my head.

LA COUNTY SPREAD: One year later, the LAT's Sean Greene and Andrea Roberson offer an outstanding look at how the virus arrived in Los Angeles County and spread to be among the hardest hit in the nation.

LA COUNTY DISPARATE IMPACT: For the NYT, Jill Cowan and Matthew Block look at cases by city/neighborhood in Los Angeles County finding huge socioeconomic disparities between who falls ill.

In Los Angeles County, the impacts of the pandemic have been relatively diffuse, with millions of residents suffering and grieving in isolation across a famously vast sprawl. Lockdowns — some of the nation’s most stringent, credited with saving thousands of lives — have kept Angelenos apart for months on end.

But recently, as Los Angeles County has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, the astonishing surge has reinforced the virus’s unequal toll, pummeling poorer communities of color. Experts say that deeply rooted inequality is both a symptom and a critical cause of Covid-19’s overwhelming spread through the nation’s most populous county.

“The challenge is that even before the surge, we had unevenness in Los Angeles County and in the state of California — we had smoldering embers in parts of our community all the time,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, the vice dean for population health and health equity at the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “Our interconnectedness is part of the story.”

County officials recently estimated that one in three of Los Angeles County’s roughly 10 million people have been infected with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. But even amid an uncontrolled outbreak, some Angelenos have faced higher risk than others. County data shows that Pacoima, a predominantly Latino neighborhood that has one of the highest case rates in the nation, has roughly five times the rate of Covid-19 cases as much richer and whiter Santa Monica.

Experts point to a combination of factors that have made the uneven impacts of the virus tragically predictable across the country, an imbalance that is often magnified in California.

The essential workers who risk getting sick on the job are more likely to be Latino and more likely to live in overcrowded houses and apartments without space to isolate, experts have said throughout the pandemic.


CORONAVIRUS: For the Chron, Carolyn Said and Anna Bauman report on the impact of coronavirus is having on SFO.

United Airlines, which already had canceled eight round-trip flights between SFO and Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai from Saturday to Feb. 8, said Thursday that the reductions would last until March 28.

“United’s announcement is a big deal,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst with Atmosphere Research in San Francisco. “They clearly believe it will be six or more weeks until travel will start to return.”

Oh, what we know now. The virus was already here.

more stories after the jump...

Probolsky Research

RECALL AND PANDEMIC POLITICS: In the Times, Taryn Luna and Phil Willon look at the increasing criticism from fellow Democrats Governor Newsom is facing as a recall effort looks increasingly likely.

There’s an unspoken rule in politics: Don’t publicly criticize your party’s leader.

But more California Democratic lawmakers and allies of Gov. Gavin Newsom are beginning to break it as frustration grows nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s like he’s putting us out to die,” said Sandra Díaz, vice president and political director of SEIU United Services Workers West, which represents janitors, security personnel and other essential workers who were recently removed from the state’s vaccine priority tiers by the Newsom administration. “It’s more important for us as a union to see this get better, no matter who that upsets.”


The presence of a campaign gathering signatures to force a special election in the fall has placed enormous pressure on Newsom and left his frustrated allies in a no-win situation. They can continue to privately voice frustrations over COVID-19 response to an administration they say doesn’t listen, or publicly call out Newsom and run the risk of adding fuel to the recall campaign.

Some like Díaz feel the governor’s changing positions on his vaccine plan, which has de-prioritized many groups of essential workers who would have otherwise been toward the front of the line, have life and death consequences for their members.

Others are repeating many of the same concerns they’ve voiced throughout the pandemic and during Newsom’s first year in office — that the governor and his inner circle often make far-reaching decisions without taking into account the concerns of affected parties. Several lawmakers publicly criticized Newsom on Twitter last week for again giving them little notice before rescinding the regional stay-at-home orders Monday, rules put in place in December to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

I fully expect they'll come around by the time there is a recall election, if qualified. I still also think that it is more likely than not that a recall will fail. This is not a rolling blackouts situation, the electorate has changed significantly since 2003, and there is no Arnold Schwarzenegger waiting in the wings.

It's also months away from a recall election and people may not remember early hiccups or variations of the stay-at-home orders by then. It's like evaluating a general's performance at the darkest days of a war that is won.

That said, considering the amount of angst expressed on a Facebook thread I started this morning by lots of connected, informed folks, something has got to be done on a clear statewide administration strategy. Different counties have wildly different rules (residence v. employment, priority, etc.). Yes, Blue Shield of California is coming aboard to address distribution, but that's only 50% of the problem.

Among the participants of that discussion were lots of supporters of Governor Newsom.

NEWSOM'S SAFETY: The Bee's Sophia Bollag reports that threats against Governor Gavin Newsom and his family have become prevalent at the businesses that he founded, leading the businesses to hire armed guards. The businesses are all in a blind trust.

Newsom is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of PlumpJack Group, the hospitality company he founded in the ‘90s, which operates a dozen shops, wineries, restaurants and one hotel.


But a representative for PlumpJack said that hasn’t stopped people angry with the governor from targeting the businesses with “hundreds” of hateful messages, including death threats. Misinformation about whether the wineries were subject to the same shutdown orders the governor issued for other businesses likely contributed to the venom, he said.

“The tone and the verbiage of some of these death threats are shocking,” said the representative, who asked for anonymity due to security concerns. “They are very black-and-white death threats to our employees, to Gavin, his children, his wife.”

Threats come in through social media, phone calls and emails, the representative said.

A voicemail and excerpts of emails provided to The Sacramento Bee contain graphic abusive language about Newsom and his family, including violent sexual threats against his wife. One of the communications reviewed by The Bee included a reference to Newsom’s children. Another included a threat to burn down one of the wineries with patrons inside.

SacTown homeless, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

If you like The Nooner and don't already, consider a subscription, advertising, or otherwise support the work using Square, PayPal, or check (address listed there). only 10.6% of the 8,334 readers (adjusted for work/home dupes) are currently paid subscribers. even a $5 or $10 quick "tip" via Square or Venmo to "Scott-Lay" helps during this low-advertising 2020 and likely depressed first quarter with limited legislative action. (For Venmo, the last 4 of my phone is 5801 if asked.)

Sorry for the nags and I know it's irritating, but I also know you're seeing them across media properties and in your email inbox. At least I do every day including all the ones that take money from my account monthly...

Hopefully this customary ad slot will be filled soon!

SACTOWN HOMELESS: In The Bee, Theresa Clift looks at the failure of Sacramento city and county officials to act to save homeless lives overnight Tuesday with a storm of a decade.

The storm was not a surprise. The vicious winds and torrential rain had been forecast for days. And yet city and county leaders chose not to open emergency warming shelters for the region’s most vulnerable residents. City Manager Howard Chan declined to open a warming center at a downtown library that had sheltered homeless just the night before – despite inquiries from Mayor Darrell Steinberg and at least four City Council members about doing so, The Sacramento Bee has learned.


Thousands of homeless men, women and children in Sacramento spent a night of terror Tuesday as the powerful storm battered the region. Hunter’s death, the death of three others and the widespread suffering provided a stark reminder of just how dire Sacramento’s homeless crisis has become – and how local officials have failed to solve it.


City Manager Howard Chan told The Sacramento Bee it was his decision not to open the downtown warming center Tuesday night.

That morning, Steinberg’s staff asked Chan if the center could open that night and Chan declined, citing county guidelines on when the facilities should open, Chan said.

Council members Katie Valenzuela, Mai Vang and Eric Guerra told The Bee they all asked Chan on Tuesday morning and afternoon if the city could open the downtown warming center that night. Councilwoman Angelique Ashby also asked Chan Tuesday if a center anywhere in the city could open quickly, she said. Chan told them all no, citing county guidelines and public health orders, they each told The Bee.

“The last thing we want to do is bring a bunch of people in and have a COVID outbreak,” Chan told The Bee.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Amy Braden, Kelly Calkin, Andrea Jones, Louise Larsen, and Josh Walters!


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]

Director of Government Affairs, California Psychological Association

The California Psychological Association (CPA) is seeking a Director of Government Affairs. The Director of Government Affairs will report to the Chief Executive Officer and will be responsible for planning and managing the government affairs and advocacy efforts of CPA. This will include providing the primary analysis of proposed legislation to assess its impact on psychology, psychologists, and patients; serving as the primary contact for CPA with the California legislature and relevant government agencies; working with state regulators on policy issues; serving as CPA’s primary contact for health care provider advocacy groups , coalitions and stakeholders, and community providers; providing advocacy expertise and recommendations to the CPA Board of Directors , Local Advocacy Network, and CPA members, and the CPA PAC.

Link to full job description and to apply:

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: