Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS: Obviously, there are lots of pods these days. I try to select a few those most relavant to California's politics and policy, rather than every episode from the pods I follow.

  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): California Governor's Office of Emergency Services chief Mark Ghilarducci (2021-07-02)
  • 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)


  • Miller & Olson LLP Seeks Political Reports Specialist
  • Aaron Read & Associates Office Space for Rent
  • Veloz Seeks Program Director
  • California Council on Science and Technology (jobs)
  • SFBay Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist (job)
  • Capitol Seminars’ Invaluable Lobbying 101 Course Offered Via Zoom (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 


  • GOV: added Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R)


RECALL WATCH: interesting reports from yesterday's campaign finance filings, excluding standard contributions to candidates within limits

  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports receiving:
    • $250,000 from Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
    • $200,000 from Marissa Mayer (CE), Sunshine Contacts, Palo Alto) - former Yahoo! CEO
    • $125,000 from AFSCME Council 57
    • $75,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers
    • $25,000 from Ted Lieu for Congress
    • $10,000 from Mayer Brown LLP
    • $10,000 from John Felser (investor, Mill Valley)
    • $5,000 from Cynthia A. Miscikowski (real estate asset management, The Ring Group, Los Angeles)
    • $2,000 from Beverly Barber (not employed, Ashland, OR)
    • $1,150 from Charles Eaddy (entrepreneur, Barstow)
    • $1,000 from Roland Ortgies (not employed, Greenbrae)
    • $1,000 from Richard Miner (executive, Google, Cambridge, MA)
    • $1,000 from Carrie Rolfes (accountant, Corona del Mar)
    • $1,000 from Lisa Lindelef (not employed, San Francisco)
    • $1,000 from Will Ray (portfolio manager, Palo Alto)

The Nooner for Wednesday, July 7, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Well, hello there! I hope you're having a great week, or at least a better week than the Giants and Dodgers are having. Alas, I was having a great, relaxed summer evening after making blackened salmon with a mango-avocado salsa along with a caprese salad. Working on those COVID pounds.

By 9:30, I was yelling at the teevee. Anyway, I look forward to walking over to farmers market on Capitol Mall today. It should be about 76 at 11:30 this morning, which will be a perfect time to restock my fridge before the 1:30pm Assembly Budget informational hearing. Senate Budget and Fiscal Review is meeting to hear the two budget-related bills upon adjournment of Senate Health. Health, which begins at 9am, has 12 bills up, so Budget will be either late this morning or this afternoon. So, my ear buds may be playing either a podcast, 80s hip hop, or Senate Budget as I walk to forage produce.

Once again, the two budget trailer bills that Senate Budget and Fiscal Review will act on today and Assembly Budget will review but not vote on are:

Both bills are expected to be voted on by the full houses tomorrow. While Senate Budget and Fiscal Review will vote to send AB 130 and AB 161 to the floor, Assembly Budget is not doing the same with the identical Senate versions of the bills in their possession. If there is some glitch with the bills coming over from the Senate, the SBs are available to be withdrawn from committee to the Assembly floor.

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  • Positivity rate: With the relaxing of restricting in California, the emergence of the now-dominant Delta variant, and the Fourth of July holiday, public health officials are watching data very carefully. Here is the "leading indicator" to watch. 

    The share of tests returning a positive result for SARS-CoV-2 has increased by 0.5% (or more than one-third) in one week. 

    I wouldn't draw any immediate conclusions about that. After all, testing has declined. A question to be asked is whether the blend between symptomatic and asymptomatic persons being tested has changed. If the decline in testing is among asymptomatic people who have been vaccinated, that would lead to an increase in the positivity rate. Of course, that could be countered with lots of employers returning in the office and asking employees to be tested, such as in the state Legislature.

    Anyway, positivity rate and new cases are data points to be watching carefully, particularly over the next couple of weeks.. 

COVID testing and positivity

  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 20,240,207 (59.6% of 12+) - 18th among U.S. states
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,242,477 (9.6% of 12+) - 12th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 30.8% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,076,241 (75 days of inventory)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • The Capitol: After nine Assembly employees -- including four fully vaccinated -- tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in testing last week, masks are now required again for all legislators and employees regardless of vaccination status. Hannah Wiley reports for The Bee:

    The California state Capitol has reinstated its mask mandate for all legislators and staff regardless of vaccination status after an outbreak of nine new COVID-19 cases was reported among employees last week.

    Effective immediately, masks will have to be worn in the Capitol, Legislative Office Building and district offices, Secretary of the Senate Erika Contreras and Assembly Chief Administrative Officer Debra Gravert wrote in Tuesday memos.

    Unvaccinated members and employees will also be required to get tested for the virus twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, beginning July 8. The rapid antigen testing will be conducted in the Capitol from 7 to 9 a.m.


  • Recall election key dates:
    • July 16 5pm: Candidate filing deadline
    • July 19: Randomized alphabet drawing for ballot order
    • July 21: Certified list of candidates and ballot order rotation (by county) 
    • July 31: Ballot mailing to military and overseas voters
    • August 5: First pre-election campaign finance statement
    • August 16: Ballot mailing begins to all registered voters
    • September 2: Second pre-election campaign finance statement
    • September 14: Election Day
  • The GOP: Carla Marinucci reports for Politico on the divide in the California Republican Party over the party's direction ahead of the recall election.

    Conservative activists charge that party leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and state GOP chair Jessica Millan Patterson, are maneuvering to direct party support toward former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconerwho leads in polls and outside fundraising.

    Never mind that Democrats love to circulate an Oval Office photo of Faulconer and former President Donald Trump. Conservatives say Faulconer is too moderate — and that party insiders are trying to co-opt the recall energy stemming from the base. Putting the party's weight behind Faulconer, they argue, would dampen Republican turnout and help Newsom survive the recall.

    “The only difference between Gavin Newsom and Kevin Faulconer is that Faulconer doesn’t use gel on his hair," said Steve Frank, a longtime California conservative leader who unsuccessfully challenged Millan Patterson to lead the party last year.


    With more than 80 candidates expressing interest — 35 of them Republicans — a coveted endorsement from the party could be a major boost, particularly for one of the leading contenders. Faulconer, businessman John Cox, former Rep. Doug Ose and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner have been trying to gain traction for months, and they were joined Monday by state Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), a vocal Newsom critic.

    The state party’s executive committee is preparing to meet July 24 to vote on the bylaws and process that would pave the way for an endorsement, which all California Republican delegates likely would vote on sometime in August.

    "Chairwoman Patterson remains committed to a fair endorsement process that actively engages candidates and campaigns and allows all delegates to participate and offer a potential endorsement from the California Republican Party," Ellie Hockenbury, a CRP spokesperson, said in a statement.

    But grassroots activists whose support was crucial for qualifying the recall say they will fight any California Republican Party move on that front — aiming to deny Faulconer the 60 percent of delegate support he’d need to snag such an endorsement.

  • Trashy: Candidate John Cox is taking his "8-foot trash ball that symbolizes the mess created by homelessness and the failures of career politicians to fix it" to Fresno's Eaton Plaza this morning. Tomorrow, Cox takes the "Meet the Beast Bus" and ball of trash (carried on a trailer by a separate pick-up) to Bakersfield and then San Diego on Friday.

    Cox's ball of trash

    Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom shows the benefit of being the incumbent in good budget times. This morning, he launched "Clean California" in Contra Costa County with a day of action, with the presser live on YouTube. From the advisory:
    Clean California is a $1.1 billion effort to massively expand state and local litter abatement efforts and provide thousands of jobs, including for people exiting homelessness, at-risk youth, veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, local artists and students. It is complemented by Governor Newsom’s comprehensive $12 billion homelessness plan to provide safer housing and shelter alternatives to people living in encampments.
    The video of the event should be available here.
  • Dan Walters's take: For CalMatters, Dan Walters weighs in on whether Gavin Newsom should and could be recalled.

CA48 (Orange County beach cities-Costa Mesa-Fountain Valley): In the Register, Brooke Staggs reports that former Rep. Harley Rouda (D) failed to report stock trades by his wife last year in violation of federal disclosure requirements.

Former U.S. House Rep. Harley Rouda missed federally mandated deadlines for reporting that his wife traded six shares of Amazon and Tesla stocks while he was in office last year.

The Democrat from Laguna Beach, who hopes to reclaim the 48th District seat from Rep. Michelle Steel in 2022, said through a spokesperson that he didn’t learn about the trades until after he’d left office. Rouda included the missed transactions — which were valued at less than $45,000 total and didn’t appear to generate much profit for the Rouda family — in a 23-page financial disclosure report he filed in May.

But the reporting error comes at a time when more attention is being paid to stock dealings by members of Congress, particularly after some members were accused of profiting on information about the pandemic that was not initially shared with the public. There also is a growing push for Congress members to divest themselves of all individual stocks while in office.

“They are supposed to know the rules,” said Craig Holman, a campaign finance reform lobbyist for the think tank Public Citizen who helped write the stock trading transparency law.

AD18 (Alameda-San Pablo-West Oakland): Alameda Unified School District board member Mia Bonta captured the California Democratic Party endorsement in a district caucus Monday night. Candidate Janani Ramachandran has filed a complaint with the CDP about the hastily announced endorsement caucus on a holiday and the lack of investigation into an alleged forged signature before the vote.


  • Rural counties: For Capitol Weekly, Jessica Hice writes that rural counties are asking for additional help ahead of what is expected to be the worst of fire season. 

    Representatives of California’s counties are urging improved measures to cut wildfire risks in the state’s less populated areas, but questioned plans to impose widespread building restrictions.

    This action, led by the rural counties, comes within days of Gov. Gavin Newsom retreating on $1 billion of wildfire prevention efforts, cutting the figure by more than half. 

    The Rural County Representatives of California, the California State Association of Counties, and the Urban Counties of California urged the Board of Forestry and Forest Protection to include rural representatives in significant decisions and update current rules set forth for wildfire rebuilds in fire-prone areas.

    Tracy Rhine, senior legislative advocate for Rural County Representatives of California, says some regulations established by the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection negatively affect rural communities wishing to rebuild after fire damages and create extra expenses. 

    “The ostensible exemptions of wildfire rebuilds and accessory dwelling units from these requirements are fatally unclear. Rebuilding an existing home or business creates no new impact, no heightened fire risk, and no increased fire serve a need. There is no nexus to require upgrades to existing public roads as a condition of rebuilding these structures,” the letter stated. 

Largest Active Fires
  County Cause Acres Consumed Containment Structures Destroyed* Fatalities* Personnel Onscene
Lava Fire Siskiyou Lightning 25,002  72%   990
Salt Fire Shasta Faulty vehicle 12,546  25%  27 homes
14 outbuildings
Tennant Fire Siskiyou u/i* 10,614 71%  2 homes
3 outbuildings
u/i = under investigation

both "structures" destroyed and those reported are only from official reports and may not be comprehensive during active fire, particularly because the fires are in rural areas

GUN VIOLENCE: In the Times, Richard Winton and Priscilla Vega report on the alarming rise in gun violence in Los Angeles.

A bloody Fourth of July weekend that left a dozen people dead across Los Angeles accelerated an already troubling increase in homicides and shootings in 2021, with some of the city’s poorest communities suffering the heaviest toll.

Homicides are up 25% so far this year across Los Angeles, although the brunt of the increase has been felt in South Los Angeles, where killings have jumped 50% over the same time last year.

Shootings citywide, meanwhile, have spiked by half this year. Police and community activists are bracing for tough months ahead as the summer traditionally brings with it a rise in bloodshed.

Like with the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in violence has not been spread evenly in Los Angeles. Watts, Westmont, downtown Los Angeles, Westlake and other largely poor neighborhoods have endured much of the upheaval, though there have been some exceptions. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire division had recorded no homicides this time last year. It now has at least 10.


The worrisome trend is playing out in cities other than Los Angeles. After experiencing decades of historic declines in homicides, many big cities nationwide saw that crucial bellwether sharply reverse course in 2020 and have been helpless to stop the surge in killings in 2021. Last weekend, at least 189 people were killed in violent incidents across the U.S., according to gun violence archives that gather data from police and media reports.

Los Angeles police officials say guns are fueling the rise here.

The percentage of homicides that involved a firearm has climbed from 66% in 2019, to 70% last year and currently is running at about 75%, said Los Angeles Police Capt. Paul Vernon, who is soon to retire from his job tracking crime trends as head of the LAPD’s CompStat program.

“There too many guns in too many hands,” said Capt. Stacy Spell, the department’s main spokesman who once oversaw its South Bureau Homicide Division.

Officers are finding guns at significantly higher rates as well. As of last month, the department had seized 661 ghost guns — unregistered weapons that cannot be traced to an owner — compared to 813 in all of 2020. “At that rate, we could collect 1,500 ghost guns in a year,” Spell said.

FIREWORKS AND WILDLIFE: In the Register, Martin Wisckol writes on the impact on wildlife of illegal fireworks launched over the weekend.

A gray fox that dashed into an oncoming car is among several wildlife casualties attributed to Fourth of July fireworks, with Orange County’s Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center reporting that the 120 animals taken in over the holiday weekend is twice the normal amount.

The driver saw the 4-pound fox in a Portola Hills roadway but was unaware it had been hit until he arrived home, when he found the vixen alive and caught in the grill of his car. He called OC Animal Care, which collected the injured animal and delivered it to the wildlife center the next day.

Debbie McGuire, the center’s executive director, blamed this and similar incidents on the loud, banned explosives like mortars, not on public fireworks or the “safe-and-sane” variety sold legally.

“The illegal fireworks don’t just scare pets and veterans,” she said. “They flush out the wildlife. The animals are terrified.”

Other animals taken in by the Huntington Beach center because of fireworks include a peregrine falcon that became disoriented and crashed into the window of a Newport Coast home, a black-crowned night heron chick that was frightened from its Sunset Beach nest, and mallard ducklings in Fullerton and Tustin that were separated from their families.

The OC, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

THE OC: In the Times, Hannah Fry writes up the small but perhaps significant transportation breakthrough in Orange County.

San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego and even the North Bay constructed rail lines, adding to bigger systems in the Bay Area and Los Angeles County. But Orange County stuck by the car, constructing an extensive network of toll roads through the booming east and south county areas. Proposals for urban rail systems came and went, failing to generate much support and demonized by critics as a waste of taxpayer money.

But with traffic worsening and rail gaining traction — particularly among young people — the county is finally about to take a ride, albeit a short one.

The OC Streetcar system, a $423-million project slated for completion in 2023, will comprise only six light-rail vehicles and will cover a bit more than four miles, linking the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center to strip-mall-lined streets near Little Saigon.

While OC Streetcar’s development is a milestone, the public’s acceptance of it is largely due to its small footprint, experts say. The track is significantly shorter than those of previously proposed light-rail projects. And it’s being built in a largely dense and working-class area, away from the county’s upscale neighborhoods.

In short, the trains will offer transit options without entering most of the county’s suburban enclaves. Yet the project does indicate a change in attitude that comes at a time when the county is under pressure to embrace denser development to address California’s shortage of housing.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Ryan Arba, Rep. Judy Chu, Devin Lavelle, Ann O'Leary, and, most importantly, my sister Lisa Ortega!


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]

Miller & Olson LLP Seeks Political Reports Specialist

Miller & Olson LLP is seeking a Political Reports Specialist for its downtown Sacramento office. The Specialist position is responsible for administering the books for candidates, political action committees, as well as non-profit organizations. Specifically, the position requires bookkeeping and administering client bank accounts, preparing and filing campaign finance reports and communicating timely financial information to clients. For more information and to apply, click here:


Since some of us at ARA like partial remote working and less office time, we have some additional Office Space for rent.

Stunningly beautiful offices on the 11th Floor of the Meridian at 1415 L St, full of original art work. Beautifully furnished with cherry desks and credenzas.

Floor-to-ceiling widows, great views, access to two conference rooms, including one very large with a panoramic view of the Capitol.

Access to a large kitchen and work room. 1-3 offices could be available. Parking is also available, but additional.

Aaron Read & Associates, call Aaron 916-425-2260

Veloz Seeks Program Director

Veloz plays a unique and important role in the electric vehicle landscape in California. In this expanded position, the Veloz Program Director is part of a passionate and collaborative organization that is changing the conversation about electric vehicles in California and sparking a virtuous cycle of consumer awareness and demand. Reporting to the Executive Director and partnering with the small and mighty Veloz team, the Program Director develops and executes a comprehensive programmatic strategy to raise awareness of Veloz, to deliver high quality and high-value programming to Veloz members and to build a stronger electric vehicle movement in California (and beyond). For more information, read on.

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: