Around The Capitol

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  • SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Former Assemblymember Mike Gatto (2020-04-09)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): soon-to-be-retired Metropolitan Water District of Southern California head honcho Jeff Kightlinger  (2021-04-04)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Political consutant Rose Kapolczynski on Newsom's Rising Fortunes and Her Love of the Underdog (2021-04-01)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) (2021-03-26)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada-Flintridge) on hate crimes, COVID-19, and post-pandemic priorities (2021-03-26)


  • Exclusive Downtown Penthouse Near Capitol Building
  • Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law

RECALL WATCH: The final signature reports are due from counties next Monday. As of March 11, 1,188,073 signatures had been validated. Proponents need 1,495,709 to qualify the recall, a total that they are fully expected to meet.

  • Rescue California-Recall Gavin Newsom reports receiving $100,000 from Stan Boyett & Son Inc. DBA Boyett Petroleum (Modesto)

    Boyett Petroleum also maxed out to gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer with $32,400 last week.

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The Nooner for Sunday, April 11, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners


¡Feliz domingo! Fortunately, my left shoulder is much better this morning. I have no clue why, although I really didn't use it much yesterday and have been doing mobility exercises. Hopefully, it'll hold up, as my left hand is finally able to do its share of typing this morning.

Of course, I will extend subscriptions for the missed days. Thank you to all who have sent supportive messages, including many tips from thosze of you have gone through the pain of a frozen shoulder before.

I'm back to reading email, although there is a huge backlog. Send me a message if you sent one of importance.

2022 ELECTION: For CalMatters, Ben Christopher writes that, with the delay in Census data, California is running out of time to hold a June 7, 2022 election as scheduled.

Let’s work backwards through the process: 

  • Before the state holds its primary election in 2022, it has to give candidates the opportunity to file to run;
  • Before that, it has to create district maps so that those candidates know who and what they’ll actually be running to represent;
  • And before those maps can be finalized, the public has to be given an opportunity to weigh in;
  • But first the state has to get population data from the most recent Census count.

And there’s the rub: California’s next primary election is set for June 7, 2022 and the 2020 Census data — that first step — is reallyreally late, partly due to the pandemic.

California can expect some preliminary information to trickle in later this month. That will let us know, for example, whether we as a state are due to lose at least one of 53 congressional seats, as is widely expected

But the more granular data needed to start mapmaking won’t arrive until around August. The data wizards hired by the state will need another month to clean it up and, among other details, figure out where to place the prison inmates

That means the state’s independent commission tasked with drawing California’s congressional and legislative maps won’t get the information they need until September — at the earliest. Nor will local elections officials, who carve up the turf for city council and water district races.

  • Matt Rexroad, a political consultant: Based on the current schedule “there’s no way they can do a June primary.”
  • Fredy Ceja, California Citizens Redistricting Commission: “If we’re still looking at a December deadline for candidate filing, that’s not going to happen.”


  • Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation: “It is a perfect storm…Just about every election official in the state is freaking out about this.“
  • Cathy Darling-Allen, Shasta County registrar: “I think I need an election fairy.”

AD79 (East San Diego): SDUT columnist Michael Smolens writes up the late spending by law enforcement groups opposing Dr. Akilah Weber in last week's special election. She won the race outright with 51.79% of the vote, avoiding a runoff.

A statewide political action committee financed by law enforcement associations engaged in curious and controversial tactics in the 79th Assembly District race.

The PAC took a page from former President Donald Trump’s campaign playbook to help one Democratic candidate and, if not defeat another, force her into a runoff.

The move was curious because sending the disputed mailer in question had a low percentage chance of succeeding, and it didn’t. It was controversial because the imagery used was, literally, so inflammatory that the head of the San Diego County Democratic Party called it racist.

The target of the hit piece in the final days of the campaign was Dr. Akilah Weber, a La Mesa council member who had been the frontrunner from the start and won the seat outright by receiving a majority of votes in Tuesday’s special election, thereby avoiding a runoff.

COVID-19, wildfires, Huntington Beach, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

COVID-19: California reported an additional 105 deaths yesterday for a total of 60,060 since the pandemic began. As usual, weekend reporting often has a lag.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is now 1.7%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.

-vaccines: Yesterday, a daily record number of doses of around 4.6 million were reported administered nationwide. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweets that 60% of adults 65+ have been fully vaccinated.

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 22,501,294 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 28,121,700
  • In the Chron, Jessica Flores looks at how churches and community-based organizations are stepping up to vaccinate communities of color.
    Iglesia Fuente de Salvacion is one of many Bay Area churches that have opened vaccination clinics to serve communities that have been hard hit by the coronavirus. These include Black, Latino and Pacific Islander neighborhoods where people may have limited access to arrange vaccinations elsewhere.

    Churches are a valuable link in California’s coronavirus vaccination campaign, health equity experts say. Vaccination rates in the Bay Area are lower in Black and brown communities, even though data shows these residents are not generally reluctant to get the shots.

    The stature and deep roots of churches in these local communities make them wellsuited for the outreach needed to ensure all are inoculated as the region, state and nation work to stem the coronavirus’ spread, the experts say.

-variants: From the California Department of Public Health:

  • "UK strain": B.1.1.7 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission, and likely with increased disease severity and risk of death. Appears to have minimal impact on the effectiveness of treatments with antibodies.
  • "South Africa strain" B.1.351 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission. May have moderately decreased response to antibody treatments.
  • "Brazil strain": P.1 variants may have moderately decreased response to some antibody treatments.
  • "West Coast strain"": B.1.427 and B.1.429 are associated with approximately 20% increased transmission. There is significantly reduced efficacy of some antibody treatments.

Here are the variants of concern in California. Remember that this is just from 33,481 samples of the 3.5+ million cases in California.

Known Variants of Concern in California
As of April 7, 2021

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7    980
B.1.351    14
P.1    37
B.1.427   3,999
B.1.429   8,430

You can view a US map by strain prevalence on the CDC site.

-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. Here's where the counties stand.

  • 2 counties in the Purple (widespread) Tier (0.8% of population): Inyo and Merced.
  • 22 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (18.7% of population): Amador, Calaveras, Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba.
  • 32 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (80.5% of population): Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Lassen, Marin, Napa, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Orange, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.
  • 2 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier (0.0% of population): Alpine and Sierra.

Tier table

-home worship services: On Friday night near midnight, the Supreme Court of the United States held in a 5-4 unsigned opinion that the Ninth Circuit panel that heard Tandon v. Newsom challenging California's limitations on Bible study and worship gatherings erred by not granting injunctive relief pending appeal, sending it back to the Ninth Circuit. The majority shows its discontent with the Ninth Circuit in the ruling:

This is the fifth time the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California's COVID restrictions on religious exercise.

SCOTUS legal eagle Amy Howe has a post on the ruling.

-school daze: Ahead of the return of several school districts to in-person instruction for the youngest grades tomorrow including Los Angeles Unified,  CalMatters's Dan Walters looks at the impact on school children of the prolonged distance learning.

A comprehensive history of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on California would surely conclude that the state’s school children have been treated shamefully.

The incessant political squabbling over closing and reopening schools, and the sporadic efforts at in-home learning, have once again demonstrated that the supposed adults who manage and operate public education in California are more focused on their own interests than on the wellbeing of students.

Indeed, one could easily describe what has happened and not happened in the schools as child neglect on a massive scale.

-restaurants and theaters: Dr. Fauci says that, even though he's been fully vaccinated, he has no plans to eat indoors at a restaurant or go to the movies any time soon.

WILDFIRES: For the Chron, J.D. Morris looks at what could be another bad wildfire season in California.

The chamise plants that blanket California’s shrubby chaparral should have grown new sprouts by now, flowering after winter rains before baking in the arid summer heat.

They are highly flammable and abundant in wildland areas — and, for that reason, a bellwether to wildfire researchers. This month, a San Jose State University team analyzing moisture levels was shocked at what it found at study sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

At two locations researchers found no new growth to cut from the shrubs. It’s an ominous sign of just how dry the vegetation is around California, where boundless numbers of plants and trees have been starved of life-sustaining water thanks to an entire winter of paltry precipitation. Those dry plants are fuel for wildfires, and they’re primed to burn explosively.

Last week, Governor Newsom was touting the $536 million wildfire protection and response plan that has been agreed to be legislative leaders. Last year saw the largest number of acres burn on record.

Looking at the ten-day forecast, I don't think that the saying "April showers bring May flowers" applies in 2021.

SONOMA COUNTY: While Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is dominating the news cycles in stories relating to sexual activity with minors, cities in Sonoma County have their own problems:

  • Windsor Mayor Dominic Fappoli has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women, reports Rachel Swan in the Chron. A sixth woman, a Sonoma County prosecutor came forward this morning

    Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli denied accusations of sexual assault documented in a Chronicle investigation, saying in a statement released Saturday night that the allegations were “unfounded” and driven by politics, and making clear he would fight growing calls to resign.

    “Despite the clear political and social machinations that are outwardly and obviously driving the effort to put my head on a spike, I never imagined I would be pursued as a trophy to warn those who dare to have a positive impact in public service regardless of ideology,” Foppoli wrote.

    Foppoli had previously provided only a brief statement through his attorney denying the allegations. The Chronicle published the accounts of four women on Thursday, and the account of a fifth woman on Saturday.

  • Former Sebastopol mayor Robert Jacob was arrested Saturday for allegations of sexual crimes against minors, writes Martin Espinoza for the Press Democrat:

    Cannabis entrepreneur and former Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of lewd acts and forcible penetration of a child aged 14 or 15, as well as a range of other sexual crimes involving a minor or minors.

    Sebastopol Police Chief Kevin Kilgore confirmed the arrest of the former mayor by phone Saturday afternoon and released a statement with initial information about the allegations.

    Kilgore said that on March 30 police received information of potential sexual assaults that occurred in the city between December 2019 and March 2021.

    “Right now, that investigation is ongoing for a determination as to the number of victims,” Kilgore said.

HUNTINGTON BEACH: In a city that has seen some of the most consistent opposition to restrictions, there is a White Lives Matter rally today. For the LAT, Deepa Bharath reports:

Huntington Beach police are preparing for a rally Sunday, April 11, that’s among others promoted on social media across the nation to “unify White people against white hate.”

In Southern California, the rally, publicized with the hashtags #whitelivesmatter and #whitelivesmattermarch, is expected to take place at the Huntington Beach pier. The local chapter of Black Lives Matter has already said it will assemble for a counterprotest at the same location a couple of hours earlier, potentially escalating tensions.

Though no one group has claimed to be behind the “white lives matter” rally, Huntington Beach police won’t be taking any chances and will be prepared for crowds Sunday, according to interim police Chief Julian Harvey.

“Like any demonstration in the city, we are preparing and will continue to prepare until the day,” he said. “We do have a plan to ensure public safety — not just the safety of the participants and the attendees, but also residents, businesses and motorists.”

Things could get heated, however. The local Black Lives Matter chapter has announced on social media that it will hold a counterprotest at 11 a.m. Sunday at the pier. The “white lives matter” rally is advertised for 1 p.m. Sunday at the pier.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump... 

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