Around The Capitol

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  • Nooner Conversations (Scott Lay): Lobbyist and legislative process law professor Chris Micheli (2021-03-19) - recorded February 23, first technical and then shoulder problems; hope to add the intro once Quicktime is fixed (Big Sur update broke it) - Simplecast | Apple Podcasts | Amazon Podcasts | YouTube
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Political consultant Garry South on the recall effot (2021-03-19)
  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): California Considers World’s First Guidelines on Microplastics in Drinking Water (2021-03-19)
  • This Week in California Politics (KQED): Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) (2021-03-19)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) on building Los Angeles's labor movement (2021-03-18)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): With political analyst Bill Schneider, the filibuster and the recall (2021-03-18)


  • Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco
  • Capitol Seminars Zoom workshop - April 1
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law


  • AD49 (Monterey Park): added LACCD trustee Mike Fong (D) (only if Ed Chau (D) does not run for reelection and, assumedly, in case Fong's Arcadia and Chau's Monterey Park end up in different districts)

The Nooner for Monday, March 22, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Monday! It's a busy week in the Capitol as several policy committees undertake their first significant bill hearings of the year. Of course, with the Senate using two "committee" rooms including the chamber and the Assembly using three (4202, 437, and chamber) and most testimony being provided telephonically, the legislative process will continue to be unusual. 

Lots to get to today, but first, the two GoFundMe's for elderly Asian Americans attacked in San Francisco have now reached a combined total of $1.15 million (Xiao Zhen Xie | Ngoc Pham). Hopefully, the money in excess of direct need is distributed to worthy local charities.

The need isn't new but ongoing and it's not always strangers that are the source of violence. In Sacramento, one definitely worthy of such support is My Sister's House, and I encourage support for the organization that provides housing and services for AAPI women and children experiencing domestic violence. Here's how you can help provide a safe haven.

WEEKENDS AT THE NOONER: It was a beautiful weekend throughout California, so I certainly don't blame you if you stepped away from electronic devices. Here is what was covered in this space.

Saturday, March 20

  • Money Matters
  • Do you recall?
  • Voter reg
  • COVID-19
    -data dive
    -tiers for fears
    -school daze
  • Sick leave
  • Taxing matters
  • Housing

Sunday, March 21

  • #Metoo
  • COVID-19
    -data dive
    -tiers for fears
  • Homeless
  • AAPI violence
  • Great read

Nooner - Probolsky webinar

New California Statewide Poll Results Webinar - Newsom Recall - Presented by The Nooner
Tuesday, March 23 - 12pm (30 minutes incl. Q&A)

Join Scott Lay and Adam Probolsky as we release new Probolsky Research statewide poll results on the Newsom Recall.



  • question #2: The LAT's Seema Mehta looks at whether a prominent Democrat will be on the ballot on Question #2 in a fall recall election.
    Democrats “won’t have any choice,” said Dan Schnur, who teaches political communication at USC and UC Berkeley. “It’s important to present a unified front, but it’s even more important for them to protect themselves.”

    Darry Sragow, a veteran Democratic strategist, said the party must consider the worst-case scenario. “The fundamental point is Democrats really have to think long and hard about not having a good alternative to Gavin on the ballot if he is recalled,” he said. “That’s just the reality.”

    Democratic contenders could come from a handful of categories: an impatient progressive frustrated by the logjam for top statewide seats, a candidate with nothing to lose, a rich neophyte or a party pick if Democratic leaders ultimately decide it’s too risky not to have a backup plan.

    Rumors are swirling about potential candidates quietly talking to donors and allies. They include former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who ran against Newsom for governor in 2018 but quickly endorsed him after he lost in the primary. He pivoted to the COVID-19 crisis when asked whether he would enter the race.

    “At a time when we’ve lost 50,000 Californians in the middle of a pandemic, politics is the last thing we should be talking about,” Villaraigosa said.


    Other Democrats have shot down speculation about entering the race or have publicly demonstrated their allegiance to Newsom.

    Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a wealthy former ambassador, has said she would not run. Rep. Ro Khanna of Fremont, a darling of the progressive left, reached out to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to get him to publicly state his disapproval of the recall and is among the leaders of the anti-recall campaign.

    Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León, who challenged fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2018 and is widely believed to be running for mayor in 2022, has been speaking out against the recall on Spanish-language television. Treasurer Fiona Ma and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon have donated $10,000 from their campaign coffers to anti-recall efforts.

    Still, some said privately that much depends on what happens in the coming months.

    “I’d be crazy not to look at it,” said one well-known California Democrat who would speak candidly only if given anonymity.
  • the $$$ rules: In The Bee, Sophia Bollag reviews the fundraising rules for a recall election:

    Under the campaign finance rules that govern recall elections, Newsom can raise unlimited amounts of money to defend himself, a perk that could help the embattled governor and will provide an avenue for interest groups to pour money into his defense.

    It also opens the door to unlimited spending on negative ads against him.

    But individual candidates who want to tout their own credentials to become governor will face the ordinary limits.


    Rose Kapolczynski, a veteran Democratic political consultant, said politicians facing a recall are in a unique situation and need to be able to make their case to voters on a short timetable. For Newsom, the recall will likely come just before he would run for reelection anyway.

    “He can both argue against the recall and make the case that he’s done a good job and deserves to stay in office, and then he can roll right into a reelection campaign, where he will again argue he deserves to stay in office,” she said. “The unlimited contributions mean his best friends and strongest allies can write large checks like we see in ballot measure campaigns.”


    Marty Wilson, who oversaw finances on Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign to replace Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and now works for the California Chamber of Commerce, said the rules favor Newsom.

    “Assuming this thing qualifies, Gov. Newsom will have a huge cash advantage to fight the recall because there are no contribution limits for the recall question,” Wilson said.

  • China rhetoric: The Chron's Dustin Gardiner writes that the campaign for the recall has at times used rhetoric that some believe has contributed to anti-Asian violence. 

    Organizers of the campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom have repeatedly called the coronavirus a “Chinese” virus over the past year, echoing rhetoric that Asian American leaders say has fueled racist attitudes and violence.

    On its website, the recall campaign referred to the virus as the “Communist Chinese Party (CCP) Virus,” and some political operatives who have worked on the effort have used similar language.

    The language appeared among a list of reasons to recall Newsom, along with an apparent reference to immigrant-owned businesses that have received stimulus money during the pandemic.

    “Funding Illegal Alien owned businesses in the amount of $50 Million because CA received federal funding for the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) Virus [Covid-19/Corona],” the website said.

    Recall organizers said Sunday night that they planned to remove the reference. Randy Economy, a spokesperson for the recall committee, said the campaign apologizes “if anybody was offended” by it.


    Courtni Pugh, political director for Newsom’s campaign to oppose the recall, said the recall group’s “vile and racist attacks endanger AAPI Californians.”

    Orrin Heatlie, the retired Yolo County sheriff’s sergeant who initiated the recall drive, said he understands why the reference triggered concerns.

    “In light of those attacks and that violence, we’re just as concerned as they are,” Heatlie said of Asian Americans.

AGstakes: For the LAT, George Skelton looks at the short list for appointment by Governor Newsom to the Attorney General vacancy and writes.

The Democrat Newsom selects will land in a prime position to run for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in 2024, assuming she doesn’t seek reelection at age 91. Or the appointee could run for governor in 2026, when Newsom’s second term expires, assuming he beats this year’s recall effort and is reelected in 2022. All these assumptions are pretty good bets.

This stepping-stone scenario especially applies to one or two of the contenders: Certainly high-profile U.S. Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank, and probably also Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, a former state Senate leader.

Four attorneys general in modern times have used the job as a springboard to the governor’s office: Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, Pat Brown and Earl Warren. And as attorney general, Becerra caught the eye of President Biden, who pulled him into his Cabinet.

Newsom probably decided weeks ago who he favored to replace Becerra, but close aides swear he kept mum.


Speaking of watching the clock...

DiFi: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at the pressure for (and hopes of some) Senator Dianne Feinstein to step down before her term is up in 2024.

The new year has brought new flareups of speculation that Feinstein might give up her seat and thus allow Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill one of the nation’s most influential political offices.

Newsom fed the flames when, in response to an interviewer’s question, he pledged to name a Black woman to the Senate should Feinstein resign. Politically, it was clearly an effort by Newsom to shore up support as he faces a recall election because he had been criticized for not naming a Black woman to the Senate after Kamala Harris became vice president.

However, to some, Newsom was joining the chorus of those seeking Feinstein’s early retirement.

...or he may have been providing cover to appoint a white guy to the Attorney General vacancy.

Christine Pelosi, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter and chair of the state Democratic Party’s Women’s Caucus, snapped: “I would hope that (the Newsom campaign) remember(s) there are a lot of women who vote in the recall, and it’s not a very good look to pit women together to save the job of a man. … If you don’t respect us, don’t expect us.”

Gil Duran, the Sacramento Bee’s editorial page editor and Newsom’s sharpest media critic, opined that “Gavin Newsom just threw Dianne Feinstein under the bus to save his own skin.”

Newsom quickly insisted that he had not meant to undermine Feinstein, saying she “should absolutely fill out the rest of her term” and referring to her as a friend and a mentor.


Polls indicate that Feinstein’s popularity has waned, the Democratic left and would-be successors want her gone, and her position on maintaining the Senate’s filibuster rule will likely be the next flareup.

Feinstein has a target pinned to her back.

COVID-19: California reported an additional 113 deaths yesterday for a total of 57,033 since the pandemic began. The usual weekend reporting delays caveat applies.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is now 1.8%, the lowest point of the pandemic and far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.

-vaccines: Remember that in many cases, vaccines are being reserved for second doses (of Moderna and Pfizer). The following data may be delayed by reporting.

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 14,520,575 (7-day change: +2,734,825)
  • vaccine doses delivered to administering entities in California: 18,234,500 (7-day change: +1,872,525)
  • AstraZeneca: This morning, British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca released interim safety and efficacy results of a US trial on its vaccine developed in collaboration with Oxford University, reporting that it was 79% effective in preventing any COVID symptoms and 100% effective in preventing severe disease. Henry Choi reports for the Los Angeles Times:

    The results of the trials involving 32,449 people pave the way for AstraZeneca to apply for emergency-use authorization in the United States. The vaccine is already being administered widely in other countries around the world, such as Britain, on the strength of testing conducted outside the U.S.

    Notably, the company said the U.S. results showed the vaccine to be 80% effective in people 65 and older. Its efficacy was also consistent across ethnicities.

    “These findings re-confirm previous results observed in ... trials across all adult populations, but it’s exciting to see similar efficacy results in people over 65 for the first time,” said Ann Falsey, a professor at the University of Rochester medical school in upstate New York and one of the principal investigators for the trial. “This analysis validates the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a much-needed additional vaccination option.”

    In the trials, 21,583 participants received two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart. The rest of the test volunteers were injected with a placebo. Out of the entire pool of participants, 141 people developed COVID-19 symptoms, the company said.

    The new data come after several countries, including Germany and France, halted use of the shots earlier this month because of reports of fatal blood clots in a very small number of recipients on the European mainland. The company said that, with the help of an independent neurologist, it specifically examined the U.S. trial data for information regarding blood clots, or thrombosis, and found no safety concerns.


    The European Union’s drugs regulator said last week that there was no evidence linking the vaccine with an overall increased risk of blood clots, although it could not definitively rule out an association between the shot and the reported incidents. Blood clots were reported in at least 37 people among the 17 million EU residents who have received one or more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Four of those cases turned out to be fatal, but the European Medicines Agency said the benefits of getting inoculated far outweighed any potential risks.

    Unlike the novel mRNA vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer to block the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, AstroZeneca uses a viral vector approach to create antibodies.

-variants: Yesterday, I shared a CDC map of cases caused by variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by state. What's important to note is that the number of cases includes only variant cases from among those sampled. As of Friday, in California 26,574 cases had undergone DNA sequencing. Out of 3,547,278 total cases, that's a sampling rate of 0.75%.

-tiers for fears: As a reminder, any county must remain at a tier for three weeks before progressing to a less-restrictive tier, even if the metrics continue to improve. After the changes yesterday, here's where the counties stand.

  • 11 counties in the Purple (widespread) Tier (10.3% of population): Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Nevada, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Yuba
  • 42 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (87.7% of population): Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo
  • 4 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (2.0% of population): Mariposa, Plumas, San Mateo, Sierra
  • 1 county in Yellow (minimal) Tier (0.0% of population): Alpine
  • Watch list for changes: Orange, San Francisco likely to move to orange on Tuesday

-school daze:

  • Oakland: In the Chron, Tatiana Sanchez writes that Oakland teachers union members have voted to agree to the reopening plan agreed to by the district and union leaders.

    Under the deal, preschool through second-grade students would return to school on March 30, with all elementary and at least one middle or high school grade back in schools by April 19. High-needs students across all grades, including homeless students, foster youth, English learners, disengaged students and those with special needs, among others, would also be able to return by mid-April.

    Students will return part time, splitting the week between time in the classroom and virtual instruction.

    The agreement still requires the approval of the school board.

    “It is clear that we need to offer more in-person instruction for those students and families who want and need it while also continuing to offer robust distance learning opportunities,” said Oakland Unified Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell in a letter posted to the district’s website Saturday. “This pandemic has stripped away many of the tools that we use to support our students and community. A return to in-person learning will allow us to give students new, more robust ways to continue learning.”

  • special needs: For CalMatters, Ricardo Cano and Elizabeth Aguilera look into how students with special needs have fared over the last year.

    Many of those students — whose disabilities can range from autism to deafness, and most of whom have gone more than a year without in-person services such as speech therapy — appear to have regressed physically and academically.

    “No one is publicly saying, ‘Hey guys, all hands on deck, we need to rally around these kids, we can’t let them fail,’” said Lisa Mosko, director of advocacy for special education and education for Speak Up, a Los Angeles-based parent advocacy group.

    “No one is publicly sticking their neck out for these kids.”

    Some parents have paid for private services. Others said their special-needs children have thrived in an online environment. Most, however, described to CalMatters an overwhelming year of crisis. The critical in-person services their children need remain elusive, even as COVID-19 case rates dramatically decline and more schools move to reopen.

-child care: The Bee's Kim Bojórquez looks at why child care challenges are hitting Latino families more than most during the pandemic.

The pandemic has disrupted the lives and routines of millions of California parents. But child care and poverty experts say it especially strained low-income Latino workers with young children.

Latinos, who are “less likely than other workers to have jobs that can be done remotely,” account for 38% of the state’s workforce, according to a Legislative Analyst’s Office report.

More than 3 million children in California under age 12 are Latino, according to a California Budget & Policy Center analysis. That’s about half of the state’s population in that age group.

“Many families are forced between paying the bills and caring for the children right now, which is a horrible place that no parent should ever have to be,” said Kristin Schumacher, a senior policy analyst at the budget center.

-children: In The Chron, Annie Vaintschein looks at the risks of traveling with unvaccinated children as the virus continues to circulate.

[C]hildren will not be eligible for vaccinations until at least the end of the year because no vaccine has yet been approved for those under 16. So among the Bay Area residents making cautious plans to travel in the next few months, many are wondering: Should their children come, too?

The answer depends, Bay Area experts say, on a variety of things: age, who the family will be visiting, where the family will be going, and how they’re getting there.

“It really depends on how old the children are,” said George Rutherford, an expert in pediatrics and epidemiology at UCSF. “If you’re talking about 20-year-old fraternity boys from Cal, it’s probably not a great idea, but if you’re talking about young children that are unlikely to be infected and infectious, I think that’s one consideration.”

Coronavirus data so far has shown that children under 12 have a substantially lower risk of infection than older people, said Dr. Robert Wachter, UCSF medicine department chair. “This was the one happy surprise of COVID-19 — all of the other surprises were unhappy,” he said. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 have a higher risk of getting infected with the virus.

Experts say the chances for both groups of getting severely sick and dying are very low. But they’re not zero, and some children have suffered “long-haul” COVID-19 health problems.

Vaintschein proceeds to write that the other factor is timing -- the later in the year likely the better as more adults are vaccinated.

plastics!, farmworkers, tsunamis, missing shipping, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

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PLASTICS! Last night on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver dove into the misconceptions of plastics recycling. You don't need HBO to watch it. Oliver says about recycling plastics:

While it might be 90% more pointless than you assumed, it can still have modest environmental benefits although we should absolutely do it more mindfully. You should check with your local municipalities to see what types of plastics they accept and then only recycle those, otherwise remember you could end up contaminating usable materials.

Californians are likely to see a plastics reduction and recycling measure on the November 2022 ballot after similar efforts have stalled out in the Legislature amidst strong opposition principally from Dart Container Corp. and labor. Dart spent $660,995 in political contributions in California last year, including $25,000 each to the California Democratic Party and California Republican Party. The two main plastics reduction bills, SB 54 and AB 1080, with SB 54 only receiving 37 votes on the Assembly floor and 18 Democrats sitting on their hands.

Of course, that meant that campaign money continued to flow. Of the 2020 political spending, $308,576 was made after the end of session, including all of the money to the California Democratic Party and $10,000 to the California African American PAC. Dart spent $10,000 on a mailer for Asm. Mike Gipson, who was fighting off a challenge by Fatima Iqbal-Zubair (D), and didn't vote on SB 54. The African American PAC spent heavily to successfully defend Reggie Jones-Sawyer against a same-party challenge by Efren Martinez. Jones-Sawyer was an "aye" vote on SB 54.

After session, Dart sent contributions to lots of members, particularly Assembly Democrats that didn't cast a vote on SB 54 and the seven who voted no. In contrast to the Assembly, two Senate Democrats didn't cast a vote and none voted against the bill.

And yes, I patronized Dart as recent as yesterday. My street tacos from Our Lady of Guadalupe for lunch came in one of the company's polystyrene containers as did my dinner menudo. It has been nice to see lots of restaurants switch to more recyclable and compostable materials over the last year, but they're the exceptions.

It doesn't appear that a version of SB 54/AB 1080 (they were identical at the end of session) has been introduced this year. However, Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica, who authored SB 54, has introduced SB 343. That bill would require the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to approve a list of forms of products and packaging that are recyclable and prohibit the sale of products displaying the "chasing arrows" symbol unless that form of plastic is on the state-approved list.

So, for example, on the bottom of my menudo container produced by Dart, there is the chasing arrows "recyclable" symbol with the number 6 in the middle and "PS" beneath. PS stands for polystyrene. While lots of restaurants and other food providers have moved to more sustainable packaging during the pandemic, I'm guessing we've all dealt with more polystyrene than we would like, most likely made by Dart. I'm not blaming the food providers as it's the most affordable during a very difficult time and they are already struggling.

Now to confuse you.

This is from the City of Sacramento's recycling guidance:

  • All CRV containers accepted
  • Containers 1 - 7
  • Soda bottles, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, etc.
  • Buckets, pails and crates
  • Laundry baskets

Oh, my menudo vessel is a container and is number 6! I guess I can recycle...

But, there's a footnote:

Please NO: Styrofoam or packing peanuts, clam shell trays, deli food containers, plastic bags.

"Styrofoam" may be commonly known, but is actually the name for polystyrene trademarked by the Dow Chemical Company.

However, Dart's SOLO red plastic "beer pong" cups, also a #6, may be recyclable. Yes, totally confusing, and I'm someone that reads up before deciding whether trash or recycle.

Meanwhile, "deli food containers" is ambiguous. What about the waxed-lined cardboard ones that come from some grocery stores and restaurants?  I honestly still don't know the answer to this one and have erred on the side of recycling. As John Oliver covered last night, this may be "wishcycling," causing clutter in the recycling system that renders other legit recyclables unusable.

In addition to Senator Allen's SB 343, Dart will likely be fighting AB 1276 (Carrillo and Gonzalez) this year. This bill would, in most circumstances, prohibit full-service restaurants and third-party delivery platforms from providing single-use service ware unless requested, similar to the "straw law."

Service ware is defined as:

(h) “Single-use food service ware” means all types of single-use items provided alongside ready-to-eat food served or delivered in single-use bags, plates, containers, or cups, including, but not limited to, utensils, chopsticks, napkins, condiment cups and packets, straws, stirrers, splash sticks, and cocktail sticks, which are designed for a single use for ready-to-eat foods.

The exceptions are if:

(1) The full-service restaurant has limited dishwashing capacity.
(2) The single-use food service ware is necessary to accommodate a consumer with a disability.
(3) The single-use food service ware is provided to a consumer upon request to carry out leftover ready-to-eat food after dining at the restaurant.
(4) A public health state of emergency has been declared.
(5) If the single-use food service ware is a disposable paper food wrapper, foil wrapper, paper napkin, straw, or paper tray- and plate-liner that is of the type and form accepted by local municipal recycling and composting programs.

It's unclear whether the "opt-out" button on services like GrubHub to say "I don't want napkins and service ware" would comply with these provisions if enacted, although making it opt in would clearly be simple. Not so simple is getting the restaurants to go along as, more often than not, when I opt out, I still end up with a bunch of plastic and napkins that I do not need. Same thing at Our Lady of Guadalupe. They seemed surprised when I said that I didn't need napkins and a spoon for my menudo. Of course, I live a block-and-a-half away.

AB 1276 is scheduled to be heard Wednesday at 9am by Assembly Natural Resources.

This "Plastic by the Numbers" page by is quite interesting.

FARMWORKERS: This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid in which farms are challenging a regulation by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board allowing union organizers to enter farm property without permission of the owner. The farms contend that the regulation creates an easement without compensation in violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment and/or an unlawful seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

The fantastic SCOTUS lawyer-blogger Amy Howe provides a background:

The regulation at the center of the dispute was enacted in 1975 by California’s Agricultural Relations Board. It allows union organizers to enter the grounds of an agricultural employer to speak with employees about supporting a union for three hours each day over a 30-day period, for a total of 120 days each year. The organizers don’t need to obtain permission from the employer; they just have to notify the board and the employer that they intend to enter the property.

The lawsuit before the Supreme Court next week began in February 2016, when two California growers filed a lawsuit in federal district court in California. Cedar Point Nursery, located near the state’s border with Oregon, produces strawberry plants. It has approximately 100 full-time workers and more than 400 seasonal workers, who are housed in hotels across the state line in Oregon. Fowler Packing Company, based in Fresno, California, ships grapes and citrus fruit. It employs up to 2,500 workers in its field operations and 500 people at its packing facility. Its workers do not live on company property.

The two companies contended that, by giving the union organizers access to their property, the regulation created easements across their property. Because they did not consent to the easements, the companies argued, or receive compensation for them, the regulation created a “taking” in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

The district court threw out the case, and a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld that ruling, allowing the regulation to stand. The growers then went to the Supreme Court, which last November agreed to weigh in

TSUNAMIS: For Tsunami Preparedness Week, the Times's Doug Smith and Casey Miller look at how coastal Southern California cities are preparing residents for tsunamis.

When state geologists went looking for the hypothetical origin of the worst tsunami that could strike Southern California in 1,000 years, they found it in the Aleutian Trench off the Alaskan coastline.

A magnitude 9.3 underwater earthquake there could generate a wave that would hit Southern California several hours later and inundate portions of Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Long Beach and the two busiest ports in the nation.


In some ways, that 1,000-year quake in Alaska would be the easy one to respond to: there would be hours to evacuate after an official warning was issued.

But there would be little to no time between an official warning and massive flooding in the smaller offshore quakes, said engineering geologist Nick Graehl, who helps local agencies plan evacuation strategies.

“You’re going to feel that strong ground shaking,” Graehl said of the closer quakes. “You don’t wait for that official warning. You feel that earthquake, you go. And you go to a safe area, and you stay there until there’s an official all-clear.”

In the case of tsunamis, the recommended mode of evacuation is by foot, not automobile, according to senior engineering geologist Rick Wilson.

“We’ve done some studies with U.S. Geological Survey and found if people get in their cars and try to drive out of areas like Marina del Rey and Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, they’ll be stuck in traffic, and they won’t get out in time,” Wilson said. “So the recommendation is for people to evacuate on foot. If they do that, almost everybody can get out of the zone in this critical worst-case scenario that we’re looking at.”

As if the 405 moves in normal times...

MISSING SHIPPING: Speaking of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, they've had far fewer containers to process than expected over the last several months and it's likely not why you think as demand for imported goods continues to increase. Aarian Marshall reports for Wired:

Since the end of November, this is some of what has sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean: vacuum cleaners; Kate Spade accessories; at least $150,000 of frozen shrimp; and three shipping containers full of children’s clothes. “If anybody has investments in deep-sea salvage, there's some beautiful product down there,” Richard Westenberger, chief financial officer of the children’s clothing brand Carter’s told a conference recently.

You can blame the weather, a surge in US imports tied to the pandemic, or a phenomenon known as parametric rolling.

All told, at least 2,980 containers have fallen off cargo ships in the Pacific since November, in at least six separate incidents. That’s more than twice the number of containers lost annually between 2008 and 2019, according to the World Shipping Council.

It's a truly fascinating article.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Steve Baker, former state senator Anthony Cannella, and United States Senator Alex Padilla!


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Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco

CleanSweep Campaigns is a full-service consulting firm that provides top-notch service, years of campaign expertise, cutting-edge creative, advanced data and analytics and much more. Our team specializes in general consulting, persuasion direct mail, land use outreach campaigns, digital media and successful fundraising direct mail programs.

The Associate is responsible for client service and support to the client services team. Associates assist in keeping projects on track, meeting deadlines and preparing materials. Associates work with the graphic design team to create client deliverables, craft initial messaging documents, collaborate with the production department to ensure deadlines are met, manage timelines to meet project deadlines and perform other tasks as needed.

Applicants must be able to work in a fast-paced, high pressure environment that can demand long hours, possess a sense of initiative and personal accountability, have strong writing skills and problem-solving abilities and have a minimum of one year of prior work experience or comparable work history.

CleanSweep Campaigns is an equal-opportunity employer.

For more information and to apply:


Taught by 46-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov. Provides comprehensive coverage of California’s Legislative process, along with touch points and best practices you need to know for effective Legislative advocacy. Send your new lobbyists, support staff, legislative committee members, executives who hire and manage lobbyists. Capitol Seminars is the No.1 training resource for nonprofits and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, trade associations, state and local government entities. Next Zoom session is Thursday, April 1st, 8:30am-1:30pm.$295 and seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208.

Further information:

The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and skills in public policy making and implementation. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol:

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

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: