Around The Capitol

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  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Thomas Wong, president of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District on water and politics (2021-05-27)
  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): U.S. Senator Alex Padilla on immigration and clean energy (2021-05-24) 
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Gloria Sandoval, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for State Parks (2021-05-23)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Political consultant Bill Wong on anti-Asian violence (2021-05-21)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): GOP consultant Liz Mair on the Newsom and Walker Recalls and Why Devin Nunes is Suing Her (2021-05-20)


  • Solano County Board of Education Seeks Experienced Consulting Firm for Redistricting Services
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law


  •  Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports (1 | 2):
    • $300,000 from Northern California District Council of Laborers PAC Small Contributor Committee
    • $200,000 from Ronald C. Conway (angel investor; San Francisco)
    • $40,000 from Paramount Pictures
    • $25,000 from David Bohnett (investor, Baroda Ventures, LLC; Beverly Hills)
    • $10,000 from Mark Arabo (CEO, San Diego)
    • $10,000 from Charles Ward (architect, Los Angeles)
    • $5,000 from Khairi Mansour (owner, Newport Taft; Lakeside)
    • $5,000 from Terry Nafso (owner, Alpine Twister; El Cajon)
    • $5,000 from Mousa Rahib (executive, Downtown Deals; San Diego)

The Nooner for Friday, May 28, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Of course, I am deeply saddened by the workplace murder yesterday in San José. No "Happy Friday" from me and I'm blessed to never encountered a situation in my eight years as an organization CEO with 17 employees.

Well, we made it and with just over 50% of California adults fully vaccinated (happily including me). Of course, in Sacramento, we're prepared for a hot Memorial Day weekend when nobody will want to go outside to mingle. Yeah, 108 on Monday. Normally, that's only cool when it's temporarily felt passing between casinos in Vegas.

The few legislative staff dutied to the Capitol don't see it as a Friday, since it's a "Per Diem Friday," with the rare Friday sessions in both houses at 9 a.m. to keep the checks flowing over the long weekend. Demin Day was in April, but I'mm guessing nobody is patrolling on a per diem Friday.

After skipping a planned LA vaccination event (rescheduled to today) to appear in San José after the shooting, Governor Newsom was in the "audience" of Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, talking about efforts to increase vaccinations. I'm still flummoxed by California (and other states) handing out gift cards and other incentives for those getting vaccinated. It was really hard for me to walk to Rite Aid twice to get the free shots. Seriously, would this have gotten rid of the hoards of anti-vaxx folks in the Capitol in 2019 during the debate on SB 276? Guessing lots of folks could be bought off.

The only cost I beared were some Ricola throat lozenges for spring allergies so I wouldn't cough leading people to think I was sick.

Anyway, Newsom was very much not Gray Davis circa 2003 last night on Kimmel.

VAXX FOR CASH: If you have been stupid enough to eschew the free COVID-19 vaccine, Ben Christopher writes about the state's sweeteners for CalMatters:

[Thursday] afternoon, Newsom announced a $116.5 million “Vax for the Win” program, the largest inoculation lottery program in the country. The money will be split among dozens of lucky Californians: $1.5 million to each of 10 “grand cash prize” winners who will be picked by random draw on June 15, and $50,000 each to 30 “Fridays for 30” winners to be selected by random draw on June 4 and June 11. 

The new state vaccine lottery gets even more idiotic.

The remaining $100 million will be divided up in $50 retail gift cards among the next 2 million Californians to complete their vaccine regimen. 

“These are real incentives,” the governor said at a press conference. “And these are an opportunity to say thank you to those not only seeking to get vaccinated, as we move forward, but also those that have been vaccinated.”

According to the most recent state vaccine data, a little more than half of all Californians over age 12 have been fully vaccinated. Another 13% have received one of two shots. 

That still leaves more than 12 million Californians unvaccinated.

Seriously, I walked 1 mile to Rite Aid twice to be fully vaccinated for free and be a good human. Now we are paying people for a free shot? (as are other states)

Can't California spend $116.5 million in American Rescue Act funding more wisely? Asking for an overworked vaccinated nurse down the street...

GUNS: In the MercNews, a team reports that the Valley Transportation Authority shooter yesterday had 32 illegal high-capacity magazines.

The gunman in the Bay Area’s deadliest mass shooting, identified as 57-year-old Samuel James Cassidy of San Jose, opened fire upon co-workers in two buildings at about 6:34 a.m. Wednesday, and took his own life as law enforcement officers closed in, authorities said. A fire erupted at his San Jose home around the same time.

The gunman fired 39 times, apparently selecting his targets, Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis said, telling at least one person at the rail yard, “I’m not going to shoot you,” during his rampage.

The Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement Thursday afternoon that its investigators are still determining Cassidy’s motive for the shooting, but have so far confirmed that he was “a highly disgruntled VTA employee for many years, which may have contributed to why he targeted VTA employees.”


The three handguns Cassidy used in the shooting were all legally obtained, FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair said in an interview Thursday.

But the magazines he carried with him and used violated California law.

The Sheriff’s Office previously said the gunman had 11 pistol magazines that held 12 rounds each, making them illegal high-capacity magazines in California, which mandates 10-round limits under a state law that is being challenged in court. On Thursday afternoon, they updated that total to 32 high-capacity magazines.

Fair said investigators also found expended 15-round magazines at the shooting scene, which is made up of five separate locations within the Guadalupe Yard complex where Cassidy traveled.

Cassidy also “had numerous other firearms legally registered to him, including shotguns and long rifles,” Fair said, though only the three handguns were found at the scene.

I've written here before that I'm not against personal ownership of firearms although don't own any myself and have an originalist view of the Second Amendment. My father has one passed down in the family from the Civil War and, yes, it was the wrong side. Fun historical fact: weapons were returned to prisoners of war upon a cease of hostilities in those days.

Last week, I missed out on the family trip to our late grandfather's Texas ranch, which was once part of the Tex-Americana author J. Frank Dobie's ranch and then purchased by my grandfather and several business colleagues. Fortunately, for the deer, turkeys, and plentiful wild hogs, I'm a really bad shot. I think I shot a dove on one trip. Now I couldn't do that because they bring me joy each morning on my balcony as I write.

Yes, the maintenance worker was known to have mental health troubles:

Indications that Mr. Cassidy held anger toward his workplace had been discovered by federal officials years earlier, after Customs and Border Protection stopped him as he returned from a trip to the Philippines in 2016. When officers searched his bags, they found books about terrorism, manifestoes and a notebook detailing how he detested the transportation authority, known as the V.T.A., according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the contents of an internal message sent around the agency after the shooting.

The Homeland Security Department, which includes Customs and Border Protection, declined to comment, citing an investigation into the shooting in San Jose. The 2016 incident was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“Based on recent developments in the investigation we can say that the suspect has been a highly disgruntled V.T.A. employee for many years, which may have contributed to why he targeted V.T.A. employees,” Deputy Russell Davis of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Ya think?

Anyway, how did this shooter acquire so many illegal large-capacity magazines or were they all acquired before 2000 when made illegal in California (off and on by federal court cases)? I still don't understand why we don't track/limit ammunition purchases. On the ranch, even when shooting at a range with AR15-style rifles, we were limited to the number of shots because of the cost (one was usually enough for my shoulder).

I think the only time I've been in a Walmart was to buy ammo in Texas. I also have never needed a large magazine while hunting. If you are taking aim at game, they'll be long gone after the 10-ammo magazine limit in California.

The Merc News's John Woolfork writes:

But the massacre of nine workers at Valley Transportation Authority’s maintenance yard also unfolded in a state that has enacted the most extensive restrictions on firearm ownership in the country, prompting gun-rights advocates to declare them not only ineffective but counterproductive.

“California’s ‘no gun’ policies were completely ignored by the killer,” said Aidan Johnston, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America. “Did that stop the mass murderer? No. Did it leave law-abiding citizens defenseless? Yes.”

Uh, those laws are constantly sued over by Gun Owners of America and the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which are the now-disgraced NRA in California.

What we really need is to have the 9 innocents armed and engaged in a firefight in a transportation facility. Show me how that plays out.

A team at the WaPo looks at the victims:

They made the trains run on time, got their neighbors to work and, during long shifts and in friendships that deepened over decades, they took care of one another. Nine of them died Wednesday, victims of a mass shooting at the hands of one of their own.

Relatives and co-workers of the victims of the latest mass shooting to shock a community and dull the senses of the nation said the cliche about workmates being a family was really true this time. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority workers at the San Jose rail yard on West Younger Avenue felt a bond born of odd hours and difficult jobs, a bond now transformed by grief, anger and outrage.

They were drivers and repairmen, expert engineers and office supervisors. They made a decent living and they made things work. They bought houses, which rose in value in one of the country’s most enduring boom regions, and they sent children to college.

They lived, their relatives said, an American dream. But the country that lifted them up the economic ladder is also one where too many people get the worst of all calls — the alert that a loved one is missing and then the news that he has been shot to death, for no reason other than that he had gone to work that day.

If you want to cry with me, there is this NYT article.

I weep today as way too often. And we cry in fear about our neighbors.

COVID-19: California reported 161 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,852 since the pandemic began.


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 36,904,212
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 45,651,260 
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 17,011,490 (50.1% of 16+)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 4,389,619 (12.9% of 16+)

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Chris Fadeff and Aracely Campa De Ramirez!


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]

Solano County Board of Education Seeks Experienced Consulting Firm for Redistricting Services

Visit for requirements, deadline, and contact 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

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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: