Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS: Obviously, there are lots of pods these days. I try to select for your few those most important to hear for California's politics and policy.

  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Author Mark Arax on how the draught might affect California water politics. (2021-07-01) 
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) and others on the impact of fireworks on veterans, particularly with the increase in illegal fireworks in neighborhoods. (2021-07-01)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Homelessness and the recall election. (2021-07-01)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association. (2021-06-28)


  • California Council on Science and Technology (jobs)
  • SFBay Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist
  • Capitol Seminars’ Invaluable Lobbying 101 Course Offered Via Zoombs)bs (July 9)
  • 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: interesting reports over the last couple of days (not including regular contributions at or below the limits)

  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports receiving
    • $50,000 from Phoenix Enterprises, Inc.
    • $25,000 from U.A. Local 38 Cope Fund
    • $25,000 from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union No. 398 Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $75,000 from Steamfitters & Refrigeration U.A. Local 250 Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $15,000 from Plumbers And Pipefitters Local 364 Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $13,000 from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 460 Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $26,000 from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union No. 761 Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $40,000 from Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 Statewide Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $35,000 from Plumbers, Steamfitters & Refrigeration Fitters Local 393 Political Action Fund Small Contributor Committee
    • $25,000 from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union No. 230 Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $15,000 from Coalition For A Better Los Angeles, Sponsored By The Plumbers Local Union No. 78
    • $10,000 from Coalition For A Better Los Angeles, Sponsored By The Plumbers Local Union No. 78
    • $333,334 from California State Pipe Trades Council Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $109,834 from Southern California Pipe Trades District Council #16 Pac Small Contributor Committee
    • $25,000 from Road Sprinkler Fitters Local Union No. 669, U.A.
    • $25,000 from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local No. 467 State Political Action Fund Small Contributor Committee
    • $25,000 from United Association Of The Journeymen And Apprentices Of The Plumbing And Pipefitting Industry, Local #343 Pac
    • $25,000 from United Association No. 159 Consumer Protection Fund Sponsored By Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 159
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The Nooner for Friday, July 2, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

¡Feliz viernes! It is a beautiful day. I slept pretty well last night after the illegal aerial fireworks that has sounded like artillery in my bedroom for many nights the last two weeks and lit up the neighborhood stopped around midnight. After some good sleep, I was at my desk at 5:30 with a load of laundry spinning and a cup of tea in my hand.

The one downside was that this morning the new computer rebooted mid-writing, losing three hours of work. I should know better and save more often (have to manually click an icon in the WYSIWYG editor I use) as it's happened before with previous computers. Fortunately, the lost content isn't time-sensitive and can fill in over the holiday weekend, which I expect to be a news void. Anyway, my setup is getting back to normal.

I know, I know... "Scott, you had both a relatively new laptop and an iPhone die in the last two weeks. Why are still using Apple products?" Fair question, although my iPhone was five years old and the audio input going out can somewhat be expected. The MacBook was completely my fault. I had it in bed with me to watch the Giants game, waiting for the AD18 results to come in. I fell asleep and managed to knock it off my bed, breaking the display and bending the case. Replacing both would have cost more than a new one.

Fortunately, because of renewals, new subscriptions, and a better advertising environment in June, I was able to pay rent, the server, health insurance and replace the broken computer. Thank you!


  • Delta: In the LAT, Luke Money and Rong-Gong Lin II write that Los Angeles County health officials are growing increasingly concerned with the spread of the Delta variant.

Los Angeles County’s top public health official expressed growing alarm about increasing circulation of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, particularly as the region grapples with an uptick in new infections.

While the situation in the nation’s most populous county is nowhere near as dire as over the fall and winter, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the increases seen recently are nevertheless concerning — and are at the heart of this week’s recommendation that even residents vaccinated for COVID-19 should resume wearing face coverings in public indoor settings as a precaution.

“We have enough risk and enough unvaccinated people for Delta to pose a threat to our recovery,” she told reporters Thursday. “And masking up now could help prevent a resurgence in transmission.”

Statewide, sequencing has discovered 634 cases of the Delta variant of the 63,447 samples have been discovered through June 30, a rate about 1%. The Delta variant was first discovered in India and is now the dominant stage in the UK. The effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines and J&J appears to be very effective against illness, but could still lead to transmission, particularly to vulnerable individuals.

  • School daze: In The Bee, Isabella Bloom reports on Lorena Gonzalez's AB 104, which will give parents and school kids more options for dealing with pandemic learning loss.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed a law to help alleviate the pandemic’s effect on grades and graduation credits by giving California students an opportunity to redo a grade level.

    Assembly Bill 104, now law, creates a range of grading options to accommodate K-12 students who struggled during the 2020-21 academic year, when distance learning disrupted classroom routines.

    These include allowing students to retake their grade level and change letter grades to “pass” or “no pass.” High school juniors and seniors may also be exempt from certain graduation requirements or have the option to complete their coursework in a fifth year of high school.


  • Ballot timeline: With the September 14 election date set and with provisions requiring ballots to be mailed to all voters in 2021 as they were last November because of the pandemic, that means that ballots will be in the mail on August 16 -- 45 days from today.
  • Filing deadline: Friday, July 16 is the final day for candidates in the recall election to file their candidacy forms, tweets Politico's Jeremy B. White. This morning, the Secretary of State's Office sent out the Gubernatorial Replacement Candidate Statement Package.
  • Voter enthusiasm: PPIC president and CEO Mark Baldassare has a blog post today that looks at the nonprofit's independent polling and writes that the outcome of the recall election largely will depend on voter enthusiasm.

    The decision to recall Governor Newsom is now officially in the hands of California’s voters. California’s lieutenant governor has declared that the recall election will be held on Tuesday, September 14. This sets the stage for a mad scramble by the campaigns to get out the vote and ensure that their political base will participate in this statewide special election. A key question in this effort: how enthusiastic is the electorate?

    The March and the May PPIC surveys both found that 40% of California likely voters would vote yes on the recall of Governor Newsom—falling short of the majority needed to remove him from office. But elections are ultimately determined by the voters who actually cast their ballots. In those same March and May surveys, the likely voters who wanted to remove Governor Newsom were much more interested in the recall than those who wanted to keep him in office. If the governor’s supporters remain less engaged in the upcoming election, then the recall could end up being closer than the polls to date have indicated.

    Our initial read on voter engagement is based on this PPIC survey question: “How closely are you following the news about the effort to recall Governor Newsom from office—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely?” The results for California likely voters were similar in our March (20% very, 43% fairly) and May (21% very, 41% fairly) surveys. In total, about two in ten are “very closely” and four in ten are “fairly closely” watching the news about the governor’s recall. Notably, we did not see growing interest in the news about the recall election during the spring.

    When we combine these nearly identical results from the March and May surveys, we see early and consistent signs of an enthusiasm gap that could help shape the outcome of this special election. First, we find a 15-point gap between those who want to remove Governor Newsom (27% very, 46% fairly) and those who want to keep him (17% very, 41% fairly) among the share of likely voters who are closely following the news about the recall effort. Second, given the role of partisanship in the recall effort, it is not surprising that there is a similar 15-point gap between Republican likely voters (26% very, 47% fairly) and Democratic likely voters (17% very, 41% fairly) when it comes to closely following the news about the recall.

  • Homelessness: In The Bee, Lara Korte looks at the proposals by some of the major candidates on addressing the crisis of unhoused residents in California. 

GASSY MATTERS: For The Bee, David Lightman reports on the inflation-driven gas tax increase drivers in California are seeing as they hit the road this summer.

California motorists will find their taxes for a gallon of gasoline — already the nation’s highest — went up Thursday because of inflation.

And that’s on top of what AAA says are the highest average per gallon gasoline prices in the country.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the state Thursday was $4.28, the group said. Sacramento’s average was $4.22, according to the GasBuddy website. Only one other state, Hawaii, has an average over $4 at $4.02.

“The West Coast typically has the most expensive gas prices. Most of it comes down to taxes,” said Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokeswoman..

California motorists will now pay 51.1 cents a gallon in state tax for gasoline starting Thursday, up from 50.5 cents, thanks to an increase for inflation. That tax climbs almost every summer to account for inflation.

 SCOTUS WITH THE MOSTUS: SCOTUS guru and former SCOTUS practitioner Amy Howe looks at yesterday's 6-3 ruling striking down California's 2014 law the require disclosure of top donors to nonprofit organizations.

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down California’s requirement that charities and nonprofits operating in the state provide the state attorney general’s office with the names and addresses of their largest donors. The 6-3 ruling in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta was a major victory for the two nonprofit challengers, which had argued that the rule violates the First Amendment by deterring their donors from making contributions. In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested that the ruling could have an effect beyond the nonprofit and charitable spheres, including on campaign contributions, writing that the ruling “marks reporting and disclosure requirements with a bull’s-eye.”

The dispute before the court began in 2014, when two conservative advocacy groups – the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian public-interest law firm whose founders include Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a nonprofit group linked to the influential conservative billionaire Charles Koch – went to federal court to challenge the disclosure requirement. A federal district court agreed with the groups that the requirement violates the First Amendment, but a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed. It concluded that the policy, which requires charities to provide the state with the same information that they already give to the IRS, was related to an important state interest in policing charitable fraud. The court of appeals acknowledged the groups’ concern that their donors might face “substantial harassment” if their contributions became public – but, the court of appeals stressed, the state collects the information only for its own uses. After the full 9th Circuit refused to reconsider the panel’s ruling, the groups went to the Supreme Court, which agreed in January to take up the case.

In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit. Roberts began by addressing a threshold issue: What constitutional test should courts use to review a First Amendment challenge to a compelled-disclosure requirement? In a part of his opinion joined only by Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, Roberts rejected the challengers’ argument that the most stringent constitutional test, known as strict scrutiny, should apply. Instead, Roberts wrote, courts should use “exacting scrutiny,” which looks for a “substantial relation between the disclosure requirement and a sufficiently important government interest.” But, he continued, although exacting scrutiny does not require a disclosure requirement to be the least restrictive way for a state to achieve its goals, it does require the disclosure rules to be narrowly tailored – that is, closely drawn to target only the problem or interest at issue.

BILL-SIGNING STATS: Friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli gives us a bill-signing update:

  • Through June 30, Governor Newsom has signed 40 bills, 20 ABs and 20 SBs.
  • Of the 20 ABs signed, 11 were authored by Democrats and 2 were authored by Republicans.
  • Of the 20 SBs signed, 6 were authored by Democrats and 1 was authored by a Republican.
  • [The remaining bills are committee authored.]

THE TRADES (correction from yesterday): On Wednesday, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California tweeted that its political powerhouse president Robbie Hunter will be retiring after ten years in the role.

Cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Richard Harris, Genevieve Villafranca Jopanda, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, Minnie Santillan, Michael Soto, and Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber!


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]

The California Council on Science and Technology

The California Council on Science and Technology works with a range of government, research, and philanthropic partners to provide objective advice on science & tech policy issues and our team is growing! Join us in Sacramento as a Campaign Project Manager (70-105K), Science Officer (50-75K) or Program Assistant (40-60K). Full job descriptions and application instructions located at

Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist

San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA): The Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist assists with all activities of the Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager including federal compliance programs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Title VI and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)), the agency’s emergency response program, and state and federal legislative programs. The position plays a key part in coordinating advocacy efforts to ensure a supportive policy and regulatory environment to advance the capital project and policy priorities of the agency. This is a specialist class position that reports to the Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager. Most work will occur in an office environment, with some occasional field work on the ferries and in the community. This is an exciting opportunity with WETA, the agency that operates San Francisco Bay Ferry, one of the most treasured public transit agencies in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.

More info:


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 Friday, July 9th, 8:30am-1:30pm. 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: