Around The Capitol

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  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San José) (2021-05-02)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assemblymember Mike Gipson (2021-04-30)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Supervisor Katrina Foley on Her Historic Victory in Orange County (2021-04-29)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Rodney King To George Floyd: Can Reform Save The Day? (2021-04-25)


  • The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)
  • Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy
  • New Sacramento-based thriller
  • Golden State Opportunity: Director of Operations, Director of Development and a Northern CA Coordinator
  • 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

The Nooner for Monday, May 3, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

¡Feliz lunes mis amigos! Yeah, the shoulder continues to keep me at about 50% productivity (arguably much less). More CBD cream should arrive this afternoon. Thank you for your advice and continued understanding.

DO YOU RECALL? In The Bee, Wes Venteicher reports on big dough from a major state union to oppose the recall of Governor Newsom.

A California state union’s big donation to defend Gov. Gavin Newsom from recall likely heralds a coming show of support from organized labor, according to union representatives and experts.

The Professional Engineers in California Government, which represents about 11,000 state engineers, recently contributed $250,000 to the main campaign committee supporting Newsom.


Planning is underway to fire up a campaign machine that has lain largely dormant amid the pandemic, said Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation.

The federation represents about 1,200 unions around the state with about 2.1 million members. Smith said the group’s executive council will decide at an upcoming meeting, likely in the second week of May, whether and to what extent to support the governor.

METOO/CASINO CASH: In the Times, Seema Mehta and Maloy Moore report on the quiet return of Steve Wynn among big-dollar campaign contributors.

When billionaire casino mogul and top GOP donor Steve Wynn was accused of a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct in the midst of the #MeToo movement, elected officials across the country quickly distanced themselves from him.

The news broke in January 2018, and some Republicans immediately called on their colleagues to return donations from Wynn, who was accused of pressuring employees to perform sex acts.

Sen. Susan Collins told CNN, “I don’t even think it’s a close call to return the money.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham also chimed in: “We should do of ourselves what we ask of the Democratic Party. So I don’t think we should have a double standard for ourselves.”

Within months, Wynn started to donate again, and by 2020, he was once again a major GOP donor, giving millions of dollars to conservative super PACs, President Trump’s reelection campaign, candidates and state Republican parties across the nation.

This year, Winn gave more than three-quarters of a million dollars to a joint fundraising committee aimed at helping Republicans retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and that group gave donations to dozens of incumbents across the country, including nearly every member of California’s Republican delegation to Congress.

The recipients include Reps. Mike Garcia of Santa Clarita and David Valadao of Hanford, whose seats will be hotly contested in next year’s midterm elections because they are key to GOP hopes to retake control of the House.

HOUSING AND CENSUS: The LAT's George Skelton looks at the slowing of California population growth, which has led to a loss of a congressional seat in reapportionment.

California’s population mix is being reshuffled. People are leaving and fewer are arriving from other states. But who are they?
You might be surprised.

We’re not losing high-income people fleeing exorbitant California taxes. Some, yes. But more affluent people have been moving here than departing.

They can afford our escalating costs of living.

Political spin about wealthy people abandoning California is fake news.

The state is mostly losing low- to middle-income people who can’t hack the living costs, especially the expensive housing.

Moreover, recently arrived foreign immigrants are not mainly from Latin America. They’re more likely highly educated tech engineers or healthcare workers from Asia.

One common perception is true: Our business climate is widely seen as unfriendly, discouraging economic investment. There’s too much red tape in stifling government regulation with mountains of fees. And those taxes.

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

COVID-19: California reported 49 deaths yesterday for a total of 61,556 since the pandemic began.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.2%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 30,412,414 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 38,560,120

-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 41,134 samples of the 3.6+ million cases in California.

Known Variants of Concern in California
As of April 28, 2021

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7   3,478
B.1.351    67
P.1    389
B.1.427   5,064
B.1.429   9,862

You can view a US map by strain prevalence on the CDC site. Note that, like the numbers above, this map is case numbers of a sample, and not a case rate. Obviously, California will have higher counts, but that doesn't translate into a higher case rate of the variant.

-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. The most recent changes are bolded and italicized.

Here's where the counties stand after today's changes bolded and italicized.

  • No county in the Purple (widespread) Tier.
  • 21 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier: Amador, Del Norte, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Lake, Madera, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba.
  • 33 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier: Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Marin, Mono, Napa, Mariposa, Modoc, Monterey, Orange, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.
  • 4 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier: Alpine, Lassen, Mendocino, and Sierra.

Statewide tiers map

more issues, cakedays, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

UC: In the LAT, Teresa Watanabe looks at what the University of California campuses are telling students on very long waitlist.

Anika Madan, a senior at Sunny Hills High in Fullerton, had a loaded school resume when she applied to six University of California campuses for admission this fall: a 4.6 GPA, 11 college-level courses, student leadership positions and community service building robotic hands for people with disabilities.

She was accepted to UC campuses at Irvine, Riverside and Santa Barbara — but wait-listed at Berkeley, Davis and San Diego.

Once again she is on edge — along with tens of thousands of others — as yet another nail-biting phase of a record-breaking UC admission season begins this week. Campuses are diving into their massive waitlists, selecting students to fill the seats of those who turned down UC offers by the May 1 college decision day. For the waitlisted, this next round is sparking more anxiety, frustration and even defiance as they try to decide whether to hold out for an offer from a favored campus or just move on.


Last year, UC undergraduate campuses extended more than 112,000 offers to be placed on a waitlist and students accepted more than half of them. UC ultimately offered about 34,000 seats to waitlisted students — more than double the number in 2019. Admission rates of waitlisted students rose at UCLA to 19% in 2020 from 13% in 2019. They increased during that same period at San Diego to 27% from 22%; Irvine to 24% from 19%; Riverside to 67% from 34%; and Santa Cruz to 86% from 62%. Berkeley and Davis also substantially increased their offers to 1,667 and 4,282, respectively, last year over 2019, but their admission rates were not immediately available.


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Amy Blumberg James, Bill Postmus, Lauren Sanchez, and Marty Wilson!


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]


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 Tuesday, May 25th, 8:30am-1:30pm. Seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208. Further information:

Join the California Manufacturers & Technology Association Team!

Are you a legislative advocate? Know someone passionate about improving policies for manufacturers? Do they have 4+ years of government affairs experience with emphasis on legislative, regulatory and/or commercial environment? CMTA’s exciting and fast-paced State Government Relations team is searching for a Policy Director. Subject-matter expertise in energy, environment and/or workforce issues preferred. Apply here!

The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)

Are you a savvy communications professional with ecomodernist ideals? Are you an effective communicator and strong writer with a passion for solving humanity’s biggest challenges? The Breakthrough Institute, a Berkeley-based research center, is looking for a new Press Secretary to expand our reach in the media and build connections with journalists, reporters, and newsroom editors. The Press Secretary will develop, implement, and assist in guiding media and digital strategies rooted in climate, energy, food, and agriculture with an ecomodernist emphasis. Please visit our website for a detailed job description and application instructions.

The position is in Berkeley, although remote until later in 2021.

Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy

Join us for an informative update on California’s Housing Crisis. For years, the Golden State has had the highest home prices in the US, one of the lowest rates of home-ownership, and the most people living on the streets – now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even worse. Three panels of experts, insiders and elected officials will discuss the status of the state’s Housing Crisis and the policy solutions being proposed to help solve it.

This event will be hosted on ZOOM from 9AM – 1:45PM, Wednesday, May 26. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Attend one panel, or the whole day!


SET IN SACRAMENTO, ALL THAT FALL is "a white-knuckled, character-driven thriller, at once twisty and full of heart." In this first in a new series from award-winning author KRIS CALVIN, Investigator Emma Lawson has just 48-hours to stop a killer whose plans for revenge include upending California's government. "The story reads as if it happened. Emma and the rest of the cast will hook you." ORDER NOW from Amazon or your favorite bookstore at Available in hardback, ebook & audiobook.

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: