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 


  • CA50 (East San Diego County): added healthcare records specialist Stephen Houlihan (D)
  • AD36 (Palmdale): added Andrea Rosenthal (D)


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: 
    • $5,000 from Charles Rivkin (CEO, Motion Picture Association, Washington, DC)
    • $2,000 from San Diego Democratic Party
    • $1,000 from Democratic Women of the Desert
    • $1,000 from Jana Pringle (not employed, El Dorado Hills)
    • $1,000 from John Cole (engineer, GTRI, San Diego)
    • $1,000 from Babette Markus (professor, USC, Los Angeles)

The Nooner for Thursday, July 8, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

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BUDGET: During the Assembly Budget informational hearing yesterday on budget trailer bills, three issues dominated.

  • UC capital projects: There is a family feud within labor over language to require UC to attest to not contracting out any jobs in facilities retrofitted or built new and funded in whole or in part with public funds. The language is supported by AFSCME, which represents classified (non-academic, non-administrative) employees. Opposing the language are building trades and the California Nurses Association. The building trades fear that the language will slow projects and thus jobs. The nurses fear that it will slow seismic retrofitting projects of the UC hospitals required to be completed in the next seven years. The language is found in Section 67 of SB 132 / AB 132.

Both mirrored versions of the higher education trailer bill containing the language are still in committee and won't be heard until next week.

  • Wildfire prevention: While not disputing the amount of overall funding proposed over the next two fiscal years for wildfire prevention projects, Assembly Republicans want a continuous appropriation so that money currently planned for the 2022-23 fiscal year can be spent in 2021-22 if agencies are prepared to move forward with the projects. This is an issue in the Budget Bill Jr. II -- SB 161 / AB 161.
  • Independent study: Parents who traditionally home school their kids through independent study via charter schools are concerned about changes to law as part of the changes to expand it post-pandemic, which would extend the moratorium on new online charter schools through January 1, 2025 and require new documentation for independent study. -- SB 130 / AB 130. For KQED, Guy Marzorati looks at the changes being made to expand independent study. 

The State Senate approved AB 130 and AB 161 (38-0, with Limón and Wiener absent) this morning, sending them to the Assembly. Senate Republicans voted for the Budget Bill Jr. II because it has the $500 million for wildfire prevention in it. While the issue of a continuous appropriation for wildfire prevention funds brought up by Assembly Republicans in yesterday's Assembly Budget hearing, Senate Budget Vice Chair Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) expressed concerns about the discretion of the Department of Finance in timing and allocation of the funds, which is a similar issue.

While the Budget Bill Jr. II was simple, the TK-12 education trailer was not, because of the online charter school moratorium extension. It was approved by the State Senate 33-2, with Dahle and Melendez voting no.

In the Assembly, AB 161 was approved 74-0. Assembly Republicans expressed the same concerns about the process of allocating the wildfire prevention funds as Senate Republicans and as expressed in Assembly Budget yesterday. On the TK-12 education trailer bill AB 161, the Assembly vote was 57-10.

My apologies that this item is a bit discombobulated and more of a tick-tock, but that's what happens when events play out through my writing time. It's like stream of consciousness, although it's not my consciousness, but rather that emitted from the video on the screen.


  • Cases: The LAT's Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money report that cases in California are on the rise for the first time in months. 

    After months of steady declines, coronavirus infections are once again on the rise in California as the state struggles with slowing daily vaccination rates and the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.

    While it’s too soon to say whether the upticks are a trend or a blip, health experts and state officials expressed confidence that California’s reopening and the return of something resembling normality were not in jeopardy.

    “This is the call to anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated: Get vaccinated,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a briefing Wednesday. “What more evidence do you need?”

    There is widespread scientific consensus that fully vaccinated people have an excellent chance of being protected from severe illness or death from any coronavirus strain, including Delta. In both Los Angeles and San Diego counties over the past half-year, 99.8% of people who died from COVID-19 had not been inoculated.

    Overall levels of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations remain at historically low levels, and California has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, in a country that has one of the fastest vaccination rates in the world. The number of COVID-19 deaths reported daily in California remain among the lowest over the past 15 months — it’s down to 18 deaths a day, down from a peak of 537 deaths a day for the seven-day period ending Jan. 27.


    California averaged about 1,143 new daily coronavirus cases over the seven-day period that ended Tuesday, a 30% increase from mid-June. It’s part of an uptick that began shortly after the state fully reopened its economy on June 15. The lowest average number of cases since March 2020 occurred during the seven-day period ending June 24, when there were 881 a day reported. Still, the latest numbers are more than 97% lower than the peak of the pandemic in the winter, when California was averaging more than 45,000 cases a day.

  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 20,296,653 (59.8% of 12+) - 18th among U.S. states
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,224,054 (9.5% of 12+) - 12th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 30.7% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 4,967,749 (78 days of inventory)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • Orange County: For the Daily Pilot, Sara Cardine writes that while vaccination numbers of adults in Orange County are impressive, they still aren't close to herd immunity.

    Orange County has hit what both public health officials and experts describe as a significant milestone: 70% of residents 18 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of last week.

    The county has been working to get to some level of so-called herd immunity by the beginning of July. That’s gaining more urgency as the new, highly infectious Delta variant is spreading. Delta is now the dominant variant in California, and is blamed for a rise in new cases in L.A. County.

    Orange County has nearly 700,000 minors countywide — 65% of whom are under 12 and, consequently, have not been approved to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. So does the level of vaccination approach actual herd immunity?

    To achieve a 70% threshold among the population at large, considered the low end of herd immunity, nearly 82% of Orange County residents over age 12 would have to be vaccinated or still have sufficient levels of coronavirus antibodies in their systems after recovering from an infection.

  • San Diego: The City News Service reports that illness and deaths in San Diego County are nearly exclusively among unvaccinated residents:

    Almost all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths reported in San Diego County in 2021 occurred among residents who are not fully vaccinated, it was announced Wednesday.

    Data released Wednesday from the county Health and Human Services Agency shows that since Jan. 1, COVID-19 has nearly exclusively occurred among residents who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. They represent 99.8% of deaths, 99.88% of hospitalizations and 99.1% of cases.

    The data also shows a total of 54 delta variant cases in San Diego County, which the Center for Disease Control recently said has become the dominant strain in the U.S.

    "The data shows what we've known all along. The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness and deaths," said Dr. Seema Shah, medical director of HHSA's epidemiology and immunization services branch. "If you have not gotten vaccinated or are missing a second shot of your COVID-19 vaccine, do be safe and limit the spread of this virus."


  • 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
  • SEIU: In the Politico California Playbook, Carla Marinucci and Jeremy B. White report that SEIU California plans to send $5 million to the anti-recall campaign today.
  • Skelton on Faulconer: In the Times, George Skelton writes up former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer's strategy and assesses his campaign.

    It’s likely that more than a few Californians aren’t particularly fond of Gov. Gavin Newsom but don’t see an acceptable replacement running in the recall election.

    After all, this is a heavily Democratic state, and all the major replacement candidates are Republicans — and past supporters of former President Trump to boot. That’s Newsom’s greatest asset as he attempts to fend off the GOP-led recall attempt.

    But for what it’s worth — which should be a lot — the candidate most qualified by experience to replace Newsom is a throwback Republican: Kevin Faulconer.

    He’s a guy who has actually governed, not just gabbed about it. And he’s the kind of Republican who used to get elected to high office in California — like Govs. Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian.

    Faulconer, 54, was twice elected San Diego mayor — a job Wilson held — and before that served eight years on the City Council in an increasingly Democratic stronghold.

    He also mirrors much of California in being a fiscal conservative and a social liberal — maybe even more conservative on taxes than past Republican governors who were flexible and pragmatic.

    After reviewing some of Faulconer's proposals, Skelton continues:

    “My campaign is about offering real solutions,” Faulconer says. “It’s not about gimmicks.

    “This is a serious time in this state — a time for serious discussion.”


    A little serious repentance on Trump would help too.

  • Cox's ball o' trash: Gubernatorial candidate John Cox takes his ball o' trash to Bakersfield today after yesterday's event in Fresno. The bus tour, meant to highlight the unhoused and trash littering public areas, continues to Sandy Eggo tomorrow. Contrary to popular belief, the ball does not get bigger with each stop -- it is still 8 feet in diameter. 

BUDGET: In the LAT, Taryn Luna writes on how Governor Newsom is touting the budget largesse to push back on the recall effort.

With an election on the horizon, the approach raises a type of political chicken-and-egg question that has dogged Newsom throughout his career and fed his critics: Did the policy or the campaign come first?

“His method of governing is joined intimately with electioneering,” said David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University who has followed Newsom’s political career. “Running for office is always at the forefront of how he runs the office.”

That characteristic, political consultants say, is what has made him a successful politician.

The governor’s use of the bully pulpit also demonstrates the powerful advantage incumbents wield over their opponents in positive economic times.

Instead of telling voters what he plans to do to improve their lives if elected, Newsom hit the road months ago to trumpet his work in the governor’s office. Newsom’s defense against the recall has been to tell voters everything he’s trying to do for them right now.

“It’s precisely what I would be advising the governor to do,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican political consultant. “There’s core constituencies that you need to placate in order to move forward with your objective, which is to get reelected.”

Newsom’s role as an elected official and his campaign against the recall have become interchangeable this year, in large part because the governor has relied on his high-profile public post to get the attention of voters.

SCHOOL DAZE: A new poll by USC and the Policy Analysis for California Education finds that supermajorities of parents both want a return to five days of in-person instruction per week and an online option. Meanwhile, their kids want both Fruit Loops and Cocoa Krispies for breakfast.

Melissa Gomez writes for the Times:

The survey found that more than 80% of Californian parents and voters support an in-person return five days a week for K-12 students for the 2021-22 school year. And 71% of parents agreed that online learning should remain an option.

In late May, USC and PACE researchers surveyed 2,000 registered California voters, including an oversample of 500 parents with children under the age of 18 at home. The survey covered a range of issues and gauged voter worries about the pandemic’s toll on the state’s 6 million students, opinions on teaching about racism and how to best support students who have fallen behind academically.

Those surveyed expressed worry over the pandemic’s impact on learning for K-12 students.

Voter said they are most concerned about K-12 students who have fallen behind academically. Respondents also expressed concern for students with special needs, those who are English learners and those in need of emotional and mental health support. Nearly 90% said they favor extra help for students through summer school, intensive tutoring and after-school activities.

Whether all students return to school campuses in large numbers in the fall remains to be seen. Some California parents reported that their children’s education improved with online learning, and some students thrived. California legislators are moving forward with a bill that will require school districts to offer online independent study for students whose health may be put at risk by in-person instruction. It was previously offered by districts on a voluntary basis before the pandemic, but legislators are aiming to make it a requirement for the next school year.

PROJECT HOMEKEY: For the Fresno Bee and republished by CalMatters, Melissa Montalvo looks at how Fresno is trying to create permanent housing for the unhoused through Project HomeKey.

State-funding efforts to shelter unhoused residents in converted motels could be a game-changer for Motel Drive, an area of Fresno that city leaders say has long been overrun by drugs, human trafficking, and prostitution.

Local city leaders say Project Homekey has been a success in Fresno, providing shelter for about 1,500 people over the past 18 months. Not only have the funds helped shelter the city’s unhoused residents, but they also provided the opportunity to invest in the transformation of Motel Drive, said Councilmember Miguel Arias in an interview with The Bee.

“I’ve always had a plan since 2019 to clean up this whole corridor, but we’ve never had the resources,” said Arias, who in May of 2019 initiated an ordinance to require inspection of the neglected motels.

“Then, the pandemic hit, and we found ourselves with no shelter beds,” said Arias, adding that Fresno historically only had 10 beds a year to shelter the city’s unhoused population.

That’s when the city decided to use a majority of the $35 million in Project Homekey funds to acquire four motels along Motel Drive, a stretch of motels on Parkway Drive along Highway 99 that city leaders have described as hotbeds for prostitution, drug, and sex trafficking.


Each community has 24-hour on-site security, laundry facilities, community rooms, and private offices for on-site staff and residents to hold meetings. Case managers and social workers support residents that need mental health and drug rehabilitation services, and Fresno Unified educators provide homeless student services. Swimming pools have been converted into dog parks for residents with pets.

The fifth Homekey project is located at The Crossroads Village shelter on Blackstone Avenue, managed by RH Community Builders, and is home to 165 households.

As a next step, the city will convert the renovated motels into affordable housing and operate the sites for the next five years. Due to the lack of affordable housing for residents, there’s no limit on the amount of time people can stay at the Homekey sites.

Both Arias and the Fresno Housing Authority confirmed that the available Project Homekey shelters at or near 100% capacity.

CALIFORNIA EXODUS? A new study from UCSD finds that recent reports forecasting an exodus of taxpayers from California is not likely, reports Deborah Sullivan Brennan for the SDUT.

The exodus of Californians forecast in recent news headlines isn’t likely to happen soon, UC San Diego researchers reported in a survey released Wednesday.

The UC San Diego survey queried more than 3,000 Californians, including 295 who completed the questions in Spanish. It found that nearly two-thirds of residents still believe in the “California Dream” of opportunity and prosperity.

“Over the winter there was an increasing narrative we kept seeing in the news media about people leaving California — focused primarily on wealthier Californians, the Elon Musks of the world,” said Thad Kousser, professor of political science at the University of California San Diego and co-author of the study. “But what we were seeing was individual stories. We wanted to look at whether there was data behind those stories.”

Thad, Senate fellow-turned-professor!

Despite the impending loss of a congressional seat and a handful of billionaires, the researchers found no unusual surge in Californians planning to move out of state.

SIN AGUA: Jeremiah Ramirez, who works as a CalPERS analyst during the day, has a great essay for Zocalo Public Square about the water situation in the northern Sacramento Valley, where he is from.

Here’s the key question our leaders are running away from: How much more profit-driven stress can the state’s water supply be subjected to before the ecologies of whole regions—the California Delta, the Sacramento Valley—collapse? There’s only one right answer to that question: We don’t want to find out.

If we stop diverting so much water to agriculture, especially in the hot and drier southern parts of the San Joaquin Valley, then the Sacramento Valley and the Delta stand a better chance of enduring through climate change. This doesn’t mean the end of agriculture. Rather, the goal is to preemptively and collaboratively adapt this thirsty industry by downsizing it to match a diminished water supply.

Migrating agriculture north to the Sacramento Valley can’t be a one-to-one trade where every venture survives. The Sacramento Valley is approximately one-half the size of the San Joaquin Valley, and at most, 15 to 20 percent of the land could host relocated agriculture. The majority of San Joaquin agricultural businesses won’t survive in their current form—but some could find new life by converting their fallowed fields into solar farms to help the state achieve its goal of fossil fuel-free electricity by 2045. Or we can allow the San Joaquin Valley to revert to the desert it was before our forefathers planted a garden in it.

Our leading export crops, almonds and pistachios, are the most obvious candidates for downsizing, along with cattle ranching and the thirsty alfalfa grown for cattle feed. To ensure new water-hogging almond orchards aren’t planted in the North Valley, the state can incentivize a transition to low water usage crops.

None of this is easy—it requires our elected leaders to find new wisdom, wean themselves from big agriculture campaign donations and influence, and make holistic and geographic decisions for the state’s long-term health. But things will get even harder if we wait until nature gives us no more choices.

LAW AND DISORDER: California has joined a multi-state lawsuit alleging that Google has built an unlawful monopoly on the mobile app market through its Google Play app store, reports Lauren Hernández in the Chron.

The 144-page complaint, filed on Wednesday, alleges Google entered “into agreements” with cell phone manufacturers to guarantee Android phones offer customers Google Play as the “primary (and often only)” mobile app store to purchase and download applications; and “illegally tied its in-app payment services to its app distribution services by requiring any app distributed through the Google Play Store” to use Google Play Billing for in-app purchases.

Representatives with Google — which is headquartered in Mountain View — could not be reached on Wednesday evening.

Bonta said people who own Androids are given limited options and are “effectively stuck using” the Google Play app store for mobile applications, where [Attorney General Rob] Bonta said they “pay a premium.”

California joins thirteen politically diverse states and the District of Columbia in the suit.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

 In the Bee, Dale Kasler writes that the City of Sacramento has invoked its contingency plan to reduce water usage.

City Manager Howard Chan moved the city into Stage 1 of its contingency plan, which mandates a 10% cut by city government and a voluntary call to residents and businesses to do the same, according to spokesman Carlos Eliason.

If additional measures need to be taken, they would require action by the City Council.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Zohra Fahim, Melanie Perron, Bethany Renfree, and Lee-Ann Tratten!


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: