Around The Capitol

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  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Susan Talamentes Eggman (D-Stockton) (2021-05-05)
  • 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
  • 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


  • AD54 (Baldwin Hills-Culver City-Westwood): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 PAC reports contributing $130,592 to Bryan for Assembly 2021 Sponsored by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299; UCLA Custodians, Cooks, Groundskeepers, and Nurse Assistants Supporting Isaac (staff time and phone calls)


  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports:
  • Rescue California-Recall Gavin Newsom reports $7,500 from Steven Craig (Developer, Newport Beach)

The Nooner for Thursday, May 6, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Thursday! Yesterday, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed a trial judge's ruling limiting Governor Newsom's use of emergency powers during the pandemic. Don Thompson reports for AP:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s use of emergency powers to make far-reaching policies during the pandemic was upheld Wednesday by state appellate judges who rejected a lower court finding that the Democrat had done too much unilaterally.

Three judges from the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled unanimously that the prior judge “erred in interpreting the Emergency Services Act to prohibit the Governor from issuing quasi-legislative orders in an emergency.”

“We conclude the issuance of such orders did not constitute an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power,” Presiding Justice Vance Raye wrote in ruling on a lawsuit brought by Republican state legislators.

The court already had stayed the earlier ruling by Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman that Newsom unconstitutionally usurped the Legislature’s power.

The case filed by Assemblymembers James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin).

DO YOU RECALL? In the Times, Phil Willon looks at the other issues Governor Newsom will face in the recall election as the pandemic wanes.

With the spread of COVID-19 plummeting in California, triggering reopenings across the state after a devastating year of lockdowns, the campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom from office could lose one of its strongest selling points by the time voters are asked whether to remove him this fall.

Recall organizers remain confident that animosity will continue to linger over past school closures, job losses and the billions of dollars the state paid out to fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic, along with Newsom’s missteps, such as attending a lobbyist’s birthday party at Napa Valley’s French Laundry restaurant after asking Californians to refrain from similar gatherings.

But other Newsom critics say the recall campaign must tap into discontent over homelessness, sky-high housing costs and other central issues beyond the pandemic if the effort hopes to succeed.

“People want to get out and do things they haven’t done for a year and a half, so I think the challenge is getting their attention on issues that are not related to the pandemic,” said Republican political consultant Tim Rosales, who is not affiliated with the recall campaign. “The question is: Will people be thinking about that stuff again or will they say, ‘Hey look, I just want to get back to my life.’?”

CAITLYN: The AP's Michael W. Blood reports on Caitlyn Jenner's interview with Sean Hannity.

Caitlyn Jenner, a Republican whose campaign for California governor has elicited angry reaction from some members of the LGBTQ community, said Wednesday that “I move on” when it comes to her critics.

Her comment came during a one-on-one interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, which marked some of her first words in public since announcing her candidacy for the expected recall election that could remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In their wide-ranging chat, Jenner used the friendly platform of Hannity’s stage to stake out positions on issues from immigration to forest management. She said she would reopen the state immediately after more than a year of pandemic restrictions, opposed efforts to defund police departments and suggested that funds from the state’s troubled high-speed rail project should be channeled into desalination plants to provide more water in the drought-prone state.

AG BONTA: For Politico, White, Nieves, and Tzul look at how newly appointed Attorney General Rob Bonta's passion for criminal justice reform will be received by voters.

Becoming California's top cop may have been the easy part. Keeping the job is another story.

Rob Bonta was Gov. Gavin Newsom's choice for state attorney general after eight years as a liberal Democratic state lawmaker. He was celebrated in March by police reformers and Asian American organizations as a groundbreaking pick at a time of social upheaval.

But Bonta has routinely been at odds with law enforcement, who remain powerful in California and could very well back a credible challenger. Whether Bonta survives next year in his first statewide election will be the ultimate test of whether this once tough-on-crime state has truly changed.

Bonta enters as one of the nation's most liberal attorneys general and has repeatedly spoken about a lack of trust between law enforcement and the communities they police. His ascension comes as reform-minded prosecutors have come to power around California and the country and ignited a fierce battle with from law enforcement. Bonta is allied with those prosecutors.

EDD: In The Bee, David Lightman and Lara Korte look at why Governor Newsom's promise to address the unemployment insurance backlog has not been realized.

A year ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom stood before the people of California and proclaimed he’d take bold steps to fix the state’s overwhelmed unemployment claim system.

“Our top priority has been on processing these claims,” he declared at an April 10, 2020 news conference.

Today, thousands still can’t get through every day on the Economic Development Department’s phone line. (link here?) Billions of dollars have been paid in fraudulent claims. Improving the technology remains a work in progress.

NEWSOM'S OIL PLANS: In the LAT, George Skelton looks at Governor Newsom's plan to phase out oil production in California.

One, it’s in Newsom’s DNA to be the first to do things, such as issuing a statewide stay-at-home order at the start of the pandemic. Now he’s the first governor planning to ban oil production.

It also reasserts California’s governor — whether it’s Newsom, Jerry Brown or Arnold Schwarzenegger — as the nation’s leading state executive in fighting climate change. Newsom seems to sincerely believe fossil fuel is crippling the planet, as did his predecessors.

Two, it’s a political show. Newsom is protecting his left flank, trying to keep progressive Democratic voters in line as he fights the Republican-led recall attempt. He doesn’t want another viable Democrat with gubernatorial ambition to sense an opening and enter the recall race. His aim is to close that door.

Three, regardless of the governor’s motive, closing down oil production would be a historic game-changer. California’s economy in the 20th century, particularly before World War II, was largely built on oil.

HIGH-SPEED CHOO-CHOO: The LAT's Ralph Vartabedian reports that California's high-speed rail project has not been the job creator promised.

Atop massive viaducts and bridges under construction for the bullet train in the San Joaquin Valley, the state has hung banners proudly proclaiming “5,000 workers and counting.”

The slogan is catchy, but misleading. The state rail authority has never had anywhere near 5,000 construction workers on the high-speed rail project at any one time. A review by The Times also found other transportation programs generally employ more workers for every $1 million in spending.

The banners are an important part of a campaign that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has waged to maintain political support, calling attention to the hourly jobs it has funded in the depressed economy of California’s heartland.

As the Legislature girds for a battle over a $4.2-billion appropriation needed this year for the bullet train, the jobs issue and the crucial political support of labor unions will play an outsize role in keeping the project rolling along.

TOP DOC: The LAT's Marissa Evans talks to state surgeon general Nadine Burke Harris about her work during the pandemic.

When Dr. Nadine Burke Harris received her COVID-19 vaccine in Oakland last month, she internally rejoiced.

As California’s surgeon general, the state’s top physician, she was glad to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to show others it was safe. But one of the most critical parts of the pandemic’s vaccine rollout — reassuring Black and brown communities that the vaccines available are safe — is an ongoing task.

“I think that I myself probably didn’t realize how ... just that level of tension that I was holding, you know, around it,” Burke Harris said in a recent interview. “The fear of exposure, the fear of getting sick, it wasn’t even conscious for me. It was that awareness, that idea of being protected. ... I would, of course, want everyone to feel that feeling.”

Burke Harris, 45, a Jamaican American pediatrician born in Canada and now based in San Francisco, has so far spent half of her tenure as one of the nation’s most influential public health figures guiding California’s efforts during the pandemic.

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

COVID-19: California reported 67 deaths yesterday for a total of 61,740 since the pandemic began.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.2% (+0.1), far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30, and the lowest positivity rate we have seen yet.


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 31,027,617 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 39,615,330 

-"breakthrough" cases: California has had 3,100 COVID-19 cases among people fully vaccinated, reports Ken Carlson in The Bee.

Between Jan. 1 and April 28, California public health officials recorded 3,084 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in people who were fully vaccinated. That’s out of 12.9 million people who were fully vaccinated.

“As more time passes and more people are fully vaccinated, it is likely that additional post-vaccination cases will occur,” the California Department of Public Health said in a statement. “The number of post-vaccination cases remains small.”

The California Department of Public Health said it’s trying to find COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people by reviewing case and vaccine records.

-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.

Sacramento County is just waiting for all restrictions to be restricted, as we are among the suckiest.

Here's where the counties stand after Tuesday's changes, which are bolded and italicized.

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

Statewide tiers map

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Sheila DeBlonk, John Kabateck, and Maclen Zilber! And, of course, Willie Mays, who turns 90 today!


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: