Around The Capitol

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

  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien):Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton) (2021-07-19)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Foster): Assembly member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) (2021-07-19)
  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): Nigel Duara talks with CalMatters's Rachel Becker about the draught situation. (2021-07-19)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): The 'burbs with political scientest and journalist Bill Schneider (2021-07-16)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Anna Caballeros (D-Salinas)
  • Against the Grain (National Journal): Hoover Institution fellow and candidate for State Controller Lanhee Chen (2021-07-09) 


  • CCST Expert Briefing: Toward a Disaster Resilient California: Technologies for Renewable Energy Storage - 07/20
  • Capitol Seminars’ Advanced Courses: Budget Advocacy & "So You Think You Want to Sponsor a Bill" Offered Via Zoom -07/29
  • 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)
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law


  • CA07 (East Sac County) added pilot/father author Buzz Patterson (R)


  • Medical malpratice caps: The Doctors Company, a major medical malpractice insurance provider reports giving $5 million for the campaign opposing the 2022 initiative to raise the cap. 

RECALL WATCH - non-candidate contributions in support of and opposing the recall

California Patriot Coalition to Support the Recall 
Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom
Million Voter Project Action Fund Committee to Oppose Newsom Recall reports $100,000 from Eva Grove (not employed,  Los Altos)

The Nooner for Tuesday, July 20, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Taco Tuesday! After dropping two games in Los Angeles in June, the Giants beat the Dodgers 7-2 last night. Tonight's game is at 7:10pm, as are the games tomorrow and Thursday. The rivalry then continues next week a three-game stand Tuesday-Thursday in San Francisco. Speaking of sports, an OC basketball phenom is out of the Olympics after testing positive for the virus that can cause COVID-19. Doug Feinberg reports for The AP.

Katie Lou Samuelson is out of 3-on-3 basketball at the Olympics after contracting COVID-19 while training in Las Vegas.

“I will not be able to go and compete in Tokyo,” Samuelson said in a statement. “Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I hope someday soon I can come back to realize that dream. I am especially heartbroken as I am fully vaccinated and took every precaution, but I know everything will work itself out in the way it’s supposed to. I wish nothing but the best to my USAB teammates as they go out there and crush it. I’ll be cheering you in every step of the way.”

Samuelson, a Mater Dei High graduate who plays for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, flew home to get vaccinated during her European season so that she would be ready to help the U.S. qualify for the Olympics in May.

Meanwhile, lots of issues to get today after the jump... 

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  • Vaxx stats: Vaccination data has not been updated today.
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 20,802,987 (61.3% of 12+) - 18th among U.S. states
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,130,735 (9.2% of 12+) - 12th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 29.5% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 4,282,444 (71 days of inventory)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • Positivity rate: Today's positivity rate is 4.2%, which is nearing the troubling rates in February and 1.4% higher than 7 days ago. New cases per 100k have tripled since mid-June to 7.6/100k.
  • Masks: In the Times, Phil Willon and Taryn Luna look at the political risk to Governor Newsom if he implements a new statewide masking requirement in light of the Delta variant wave.

    With the spread of COVID-19 on the rise, Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a delicate decision over whether to again impose statewide mask requirements in all indoor public places and risk upsetting Californians just weeks before they decide if he should be recalled from office.

    In Los Angeles County, home to one out of every four Californians, residents are required to wear masks in those settings whether they are vaccinated or not. Seven San Francisco Bay Area counties last week recommended the use of masks, as did Sacramento and Yolo counties, to help stem the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

    Though the Newsom administration has thus far deferred to counties, that could change if California continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

    “There have been so many points during the pandemic where it was hard to know what I would do,” said Dr. Karen Smith, a communicable disease physician and former director of the California Department of Public Health. “This is actually kind of the hardest one.”

    Governor Newsom needs an assist from Joe Biden on this one with every state seeing a rise in cases over the last week.  

  • Bay Area: For the Chron, Erin Allday reports that four Bay Area counties have joined the seven counties that on Friday issued orders requiring masking while indoors regardless of vaccination status.

    Four more counties in the greater Bay Area on Monday joined their neighbors in recommending all residents, regardless of vaccination status, resume wearing masks indoors.

    Health officers from Napa, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties issued a joint statement advising people use masks in public indoor spaces “out of an abundance of caution,” as cases climb and the highly infectious delta variant begins to dominate.

    On Friday, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties issued similar recommendations.

  • LA: The LAT's Luke Money looks at whether the renewed mask requirements will be enforced.

    Los Angeles County’s indoor mask mandate is now the law of the land.

    But how — or whether — it will be enforced remains an open question.

    Technically, those who violate the new mask rules, or any other provisions included in the county’s latest health officer order, can be cited or fined.

    But practically speaking, many health and law enforcement officials throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have favored educating residents about the rules and urging adherence rather than writing a flurry of tickets.


  •  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 5 years of candidate tax returns and candidate political registration for the last ten years are now on the Secretary of State's web site.

    One more candidate was added this morning and it wasn't Larry Elder but rather Armando "Mando" Perez-Serrato (D), who has no ballot designation. The 45-year-old from Orange was not registered until February of this year.
  • Alphabet: Yesterday, the Secretary of State conducted the randomized alphabet drawing for candidate order on the recall election ballot. Of course, as a statewide race, the order is not fixed and rotates by Assembly district starting with AD01. Then AD01 moves to the end and AD02 moves the top.  

    1. X 2. K 3. T 4. V 5. F 6. N 7. R 8. G 9. J 10. Y 11. Z 12. L 13. M 14. B 15. A 16. Q 17. H 18. D 19. I 20. E 21. P 22. W 23. S 24. 25. O 26. U

  • Taxing matters: For CalMatters, Laurel Rosenhall and Semeea Kamal provide six things to know about the tax returns disclosed by the candidates for governor.

    A dispute has arisen over tax returns submitted by conservative talk show host Larry Elder. Secretary of State Shirley Weber said his documents were not submitted properly and so she left him off the ballot. Elder announced Monday that he’s suing to get on the ballot. 

    “I will not stand for these shenanigans, and I know you won’t either,” he tweeted, asking for campaign donations.  

  1. Not a lot to Uncle Sam (Cox)
  2. Public servants boring returns
  3. Caitlyn Jenner, international brand
  4. California caricatures
  5. Slammed by COVID recession
  6. Taxes go beyond politics

Caitlyn Jenner’s earnings have fallen precipitously in the last several years from a high of $2.5 million in 2016 when she had her own reality TV show to $550,000, tax filings show.

Jenner is among those running in California’s upcoming recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. All candidates were required to release their tax returns for the past five years by last Friday, though Jenner and many of the other hopefuls only submitted four years because they haven’t yet filed their 2020 returns.

  • Rep. Mike Levin's (D-San Juan Capistrano) leadership PAC "Elect More Democrats" has been sending out regular emails trying to raise money allegedly against the recall. Since January 1 and through June 30, it has raised $87,694 and spent $61,544, mostly on administrative expenses. Only $6,000 was given to other committees -- $2,500 to Alex Padilla for Senate, $2,500 to the Democratic Party of Orange County, and $1,000 to Melanie Stansbury in a New Mexico special.


In the Times, Faith E. Pinho looks at where firefighters made progress and where they struggled to yesterday.

As hot weather continued to bake the state Monday, multiple fires in Northern California increased in size and threatened communities, with the worst two being the Dixie and Tamarack fires.

The Tamarack is growing unabated at the California-Nevada state line and has burned more than 23,000 acres since lightning sparked it on July 4. Mandatory evacuations remain in place for several areas in Alpine County, including the small town of Markleeville. It is 0% contained.

The Dixie fire in Butte County has scorched more than 30,000 acres and is 15% contained. In a report filed over the weekend with the California Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said that company equipment may have set the fire, which has been burning since last Tuesday.

But there was better news on other blazes, including the biggest one this year.

Largest Active Fires
  County Cause Acres Consumed Containment Structures Destroyed Fatalities Personnel On Scene Updated
Dixie Fire Butte, Plumas power lines suspected 59,984 15% unknown 0 2,409 07/20
Tamarack Fire Alpine u/i 39,045 0% unknown 0 796 07/19

u/i= under investigation  

UNEMPLOYMENT: For CalMatters, Emily Hoeven looks at the state's unemployment rate and why "roaring back" may not be an appropriate label.

Looking at California’s latest unemployment numbers, you’d be forgiven for thinking the state is still under lockdown. 

That’s because the jobless rate didn’t budge from May to June: It remained at 7.7%, just slightly down from April’s revised rate of 8%, according to figures released late last week by the Employment Development Department. Although employers added 73,500 jobs in June, total civilian employment only increased by 24,500 people — meaning thousands of open positions are going unfilled. At the same time, the number of jobless Californians grew by 11,000 people as unemployment ticked up significantly in some areas — San Diego, for example, saw its jobless rate skyrocket from 6.3% in May to 7% in June.

Meanwhile, California’s struggling tourism industry received a one-time infusion of $95 million to boost travel in the Golden State. Yet the marketing campaign comes at a confusing time: As tourism officials pronounce the state open for business, Los Angeles County is again requiring masks indoors and a growing number of Bay Area and Sacramento-area countiesare recommending them to ward off the rapidly spreading Delta variant. The statewide coronavirus positivity rate was 4.1% on Monday, a figure not seen since February; if California still had its tiered reopening system, at least 12 counties would be in the most restrictive purple tier.

Fears about the Delta variant’s economic impact were also reflected in the stock market. The Dow Jones, for example, fell by more than 700 points on Monday, notching its biggest one-day loss this year

RANSOMWARE: For CalMatters, Zayna Syed looks at what California schools and colleges are doing to protect their computer networks from ransomware attacks.

Schools aren’t exactly known for their expansive budgets. Many struggle to pay for basic operations such as functioning air conditioning and employee salaries. 

But this past year, cybercriminals have attacked a growing number of schools across California and the country. A handful of California schools, colleges and universities have experienced ransomware attacks, often with harsh consequences: Sierra College had some systems shut down during finals week, Newhall School District’s 10 elementary schools went a week without online school during the pandemic, and UC San Francisco paid a $1.14 million ransom

While hospitals and oil pipelines might seem lucrative, schools hardly scream “Jackpot!”

The average ransom paid by mid-sized organizations across the world in 2021 is about $170,000, according to a survey by London-based software company Sophos. Still, cybercriminals try to make their ransoms affordable. UC Berkeley cybersecurity researcher Nick Merrill said he thinks would-be thieves will charge as much as schools are willing to pay.

“At the end of the day, (the criminals) don’t want this to drag out for a long time, that increases their liability,” he said. “I’m guessing they’ll pick the highest number that they think you’ll pay quickly.”

HIGHER ED: Yesterday, it was announced that California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley is heading to Washington on a paid sabbatical to assist the Biden Administration on higher education policy through the fall. He will be interim Deputy Secretary to Secretary Education under Miguel Cardona.  Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis tweets:

The Biden admin is lucky to have @EloyOakley’s unparalleled expertise as he takes a leave of absence to advise @teachcardona. The future of public higher ed across our nation will be brighter w/his leadership! Meanwhile, @CalCommColleges is in capable hands w/Dr. @DaisyGonzalez!…

POT AND WATER: For CalMatters, Julie Cart reports on the problem of illegal marijuana farms diverting water during the drought.

As drought grips most of California, water thefts have increased to record levels. Thieves tap into hydrants, pump water from rivers and break into remote water stations and tanks.

FOOD SECURITY: In The Bee, Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks and Benjy Egel look at food security in Sacramento, which has gotten worse during the pandemic.

“The face of hunger, I think, would surprise most people who have never reached out in need of a food program,” said Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services President and CEO Blake Young.

“It’s just amazing how many people have children or have worked their whole life. They and their spouse have jobs, it’s just that their expenses on a monthly basis exceed what they can afford.”

About one in eight Sacramento County residents struggles with food insecurity, according to The Bee’s analysis of recent data from the Chicago-based nonprofit Feeding America.

Under-resourced and low-income neighborhoods like North Highlands, south Sacramento, west Arden Arcade and North Vineyard have significantly higher rates of food insecurity compared to the rest of the county. In some parts of Oak Park, Old North Sacramento and Hagginwood, more than 95% of students receive free or reduced lunch.

And that was before the pandemic.

Families and workers who never visited a food bank prior to COVID-19 lined up multiple times a week to get free groceries, advocates said. Some had family members get sick or couldn’t afford or find childcare while schools held remote classes. For many, money was already tight, and food was the first and easiest place to skimp.

Before COVID-19, the local food bank and its partner agencies served about 150,000 people per month. Now, they serve 300,000 people monthly

SPORTS AGENTS: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden reports on a legal tussle between sports agents and attorneys.

Attorneys could potentially play an even larger role in business negotiations because of a recent series of legal skirmishes rooted in Hollywood deal making. The agents are not happy.

Here’s the background:

In a one-sentence edict, the California Supreme Court on June 30 refused to review an appellate court ruling that a non-lawyer agent dealing with attorneys on proposed contracts and redlining agreements was practicing law without a license.

That decision from the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld a previous trial court decision in a case called Bacall vs. Shumway.

In that case, an attorney who was also an artist’s manager changed his status with the state bar to “inactive” without telling his client and continued to do deals.  The client eventually found out and sought to terminate the contract on grounds of fraud, among other things. 

Although the dispute was rooted in the degree of involvement lawyers should or shouldn’t have in negotiations between performers’ agents and producers, it could  evolve into broader issues.

HARASSMENT: A former employee has sued State Treasurer Fiona Ma for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Alexei Koseff reports for the Chron.

A former senior employee in the California State Treasurer’s Office has sued Treasurer Fiona Ma for sexual harassment and wrongful termination, alleging that she was fired earlier this year after resisting unwanted sexual advances from Ma.

Judith Blackwell, who worked under Ma for about 16 months as executive director of the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, filed the lawsuit last week in Sacramento County Superior Court.

“Plaintiff felt the work environment to be hostile as she felt her employment was contingent on her accepting Defendant Ma’s sexual advances,” Blackwell’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, wrote in the complaint. “As a result of Plaintiff denying Defendant Ma’s advances, she was terminated from her employment.”

“I am saddened and disappointed by these baseless claims. I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support I’ve received today,” [Ma] said. “We look forward to bringing the truth to light in court.”

LIVING DAVITA LOCA: For CalMatters, Barbara Feder Ostrov looks at whether dialysis company DaVita will reduce its California political spending now that it is facing anti-trust indictments.

Federal conspiracy charges against dialysis giant DaVita and its former CEO have cast one of Sacramento’s biggest political spenders in an unflattering light.

The Denver-based company spent $68 million last year to defeat a union-backed California ballot measure to more strictly regulate dialysis centers — and $67 million more to defeat a similar measure in 2018.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see some politicians give DaVita money back,” California political consultant Steve Maviglio, a leading Democratic strategist, told CalMatters. “Taking contributions from an indicted CEO is the perfect script for an attack ad. Any donation would be considered radioactive.”

The two-count federal indictment announced Thursday is unrelated to treatment of DaVita’s more than 200,000 patients at its 2,800 dialysis centers, including 320 centers in California. The U.S. Justice Department alleges that DaVita and its previous CEO, Kent Thiry, colluded with another healthcare company by agreeing not to poach the others’ employees.

PLASTICS! Yesterday, the Secretary of State's Office announced that the plastics reduction measure has qualified for the November 2022 ballot. Simillar measures have repeatedly failed in the Legislature with support from environmental groups but opposed by industry and some labor groups.

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

Probolsky Research

THE OC: While 105 candidates filed for appointment to MMA fighter-turned-councilmember Tito Ortiz, the Huntington Beach City Council failed to agree on a single candidate which may lead to a costly special election. The Register's Susan Christian Goulding reports:

More than a month after Tito Oriz stepped away from his job on the Huntington Beach City Council, and a week after more than 100 people applied for his old job, Ortiz’ former co-workers couldn’t agree on his successor Monday, June 19.

Several times in a span of about an hour, the council deadlocked on plans to name a replacement for Ortiz, who quit June 1 after a whirlwind six months in office.

The council adjourned Monday evening without reaching a decision. If they don’t name a replacement by July 31, the city charter requires a special election sometime in November. City officials estimated the cost of that election could run $1 million.

The scene was both convoluted and animated, with audience members booing and cheering throughout.

Like an MMA fight...

OC HOUSE RACES: The Register's Brooke Staggs looks at the semi-annual fundraising reports for Orange County House races.

The 25 candidates running for the seven House seats that touch Orange County have raised nearly $11.5 million this election cycle, according to the latest campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

The big early numbers suggest Orange County is on track to once again be home to some of the priciest House races in the nation when election season fully kicks in.

Individually, the reports also show Rep. Young Kim of La Habra is the leading freshmen Republican in terms of fundraising, even as she faces a viable challenger from her own party, and that a new GOP candidate is picking up steam in the race for the 49th District seat now held by Democratic Rep. Mike Levin.

The data also shows that Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, of the 45th District, continues to be one of the most prolific fundraisers in the U.S. House of Representatives.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Senator Sydney Kamlager, Sedalia King, and David Ruff!



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]

CCST Expert Briefing: Toward a Disaster Resilient California: Technologies for Renewable Energy Storage

Join the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) on Tuesday, July 20th from 10:00-11:00am for our latest Virtual CCST Expert Briefing: Technologies for Renewable Energy Storage. A panel of experts from Foothill College, Berkeley Lab, UC Merced, and Columbia will discuss energy storage technologies that can help meet California’s climate goals. Moderated by Janea Scott, Senior Counselor at US DOI. RSVP


Taught by 46-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov. Capitol Seminars is your No.1 lobbying advocacy training resource. Advanced courses focusing on the fundamentals of budget advocacy and the detailed aspects of sponsoring a bill. Next Zoom session is Thursday, July 29th. “So You Think…”: 9am–12pm ($225). Budget: 12:30pm – 2:30pm ($175). *$50 Off when you register for both sessions. Seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208. Further information:

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:

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: