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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.

  • The San Francisco Experience The California Recall State of Play: In conversation with Laurel Rosenhall political reporter with CalMatters (2021-07-21)
  • 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)


  • Overland Strategies: Account Executive
  • 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


  • AD49 (West San Gabriel Valley): added Probation Officer/Commissioner Hans Liang (D) - open seat


  • AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): Educators and Healthcare Professionals for Mia Bonta for State Assembly 2021 sponsored by education, school employee and dentist organizations reports receiving $100,000 from California Dental Association IE PAC 

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

Rescue California-To Support the Recall of Gavin Newsom reports receiving:
  • $10,000 from Chris Rufer (Agriculturalist, The Morning Star Company, Woodland)
  • $5,000 from Munger Bros, LLC (Delano)
  • $5,000 from Wawona Frozen Foods (Clovis)
  • $3,000 from Thomas Fry (Freedom Farms LLC, Los Angeles)
  • $2,500 from SBS AG (Tulare)
  • $2,000 from Francine Cinto (Orange County Associates, Santa Ana)
  • $1,000 from James Enstrom (retired, Los Angeles)
  • $1,000 from Kostina Hanessian (owner, KMS, Newport Beach)
  • $1,000 from John Saunders (Saunders Properties, Newport Beach)
  • $1,000 from Newport Coast Law Group, PC (Newport Beach)
  • $1,000 from Miguel Ferrer (owner, All American National, Post Falls, ID)
Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports receiving:
  • $1,000,000 from George M. Marcus (chairman, Marcus & Millichap Co., Palo Alto)
  • $300,000 from Morongo Band of Mission Indians
  • $250,000 from Professional Engineers in California Government PECG-PAC Small Contributor Committee
  • $110,000 from Yin McDonalds
  • $20,000 from Evan Goldberg (cloud executive, Redwood City) 
  • $2,500 from Daniel Becker (attorney, Los Altos Hills)
  • $1,000 from Gloria Page (not employed, Los Altos)
  • $1,000 from Kelton Gibson (attorney, Ojai)

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The Nooner for Thursday, July 22, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Thursday! Sorry about the flurry of delayed Nooners that arrived late yesterday and in the early hours today. Here is what happened. As I wrote last week, including on social media, Gmail changed its spam algorithm late last week, which again required changes to various network settings. So, 2,766 emails per day were stuck and accruing in the server's queue. This backed up other messages and, by yesterday, there were over 17,000 messages in the queue including many non-Gmail ones.

Well, I broke the logjam by tweaking lots of settings while watching court hearings yesterday. As of this morning, there are only 4 messages in the queue, which are all to one email address whose mail quota has been exceeded!

In celebration of breaking the email queue logjam, I relaxed last night to watch a great Giants/Dodgers game. After the Dodgers had a three-run walk off in the bottom of the 9th to win on Tuesday night, the Giants and a three-run home run in the top of the 9th last night and Giants side-armer Tyler Rogers (who allowed Dodgers runs on Tuesday night) got the three outs in the bottom of the 9th. 

Crossing my fingers for today's Nooner...


  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 20,927,113 (61.7% of 12+) - 17th among U.S. states
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,133,478 (9.2% of 12+) - 10th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 29.1% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,299,380 (86 days of inventory)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • Positivity rate: The positivity rate increased yet again today to 4.9% (+0.4% from yesterday), which is 1.7% higher than 7 days ago. Here's today's graph:

    COVID positivity by day
  • LA County: In the Times, Luke Money writes up the concerns reflected in yesterday's LA County Dept of Public Health press release:

    Los Angeles County reported its largest single-day total of new coronavirus cases in months as the region races to wrap its arms around what officials now say is a new surge of the virus.

    Public health officials reported 2,551 new infections Wednesday — the highest figure since early March, when the county was shaking off the last vestiges of the fall-and-winter wave.

    Wednesday’s report continues a troubling pattern of increased transmission that emerged after the state’s June 15 reopening and coincided with increased circulation of the hypercontagious Delta variant.

    “Because of the more infectious Delta variant and the intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown, unfortunately, we are seeing a surge in cases in L.A. County that looks somewhat similar to last summer,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “An important difference this summer is that, with millions of people vaccinated, we are hopeful we will avoid similar increases in deaths.”


  • 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
  • Law and disorder: Yesterday was there were several Zoom hearings in Sacramento Superior Court pertaining to candidates for the recall election. In Elder v. Weber, the court held that tax return disclosure for gubernatorial recall elections under Elections Code §8902 (SB 27). I predicted this yesterday. The holding in Elder means that the talk show host and two other candidates -- Joe Symmon and Kevin Kaul -- will appear on the ballot. Additionally, in another case, Rhonda Furin was ordered onto the ballot.

    While four candidates were added to the ballot by court action yesterday, not all candidates were winners in the courtrooms. Kevin Faulconer, who initially filed as "Former San Diego Mayor" and was denied and then tried "Retired San Diego Mayor" lost his bid and will appear as "Businessman/Educator." I also predicted this yesterday as you can only use "Retired" if you are fully retired and don't have a current occupation. 

    In probably the most entertaining hearing of the afternoon, YouTube sensation Kevin Paffrath failed in his appeal of the Secretary of State's determination that he couldn't you Kevin "Meet Kevin" Paffrath as his ballot name. He argued that "Meet Kevin" was his nickname, which would be allowed, but the judge found that it was more of a brand name. While he had an attorney on the Zoom, he represented himself, presenting things like Twitter polls in his favor, and cited Fox News using "Meet Kevin." After the judge's decision, he nearly broke down, saying that his campaign is essentially "destroyed" because nobody knows his last name. I wish I was allowed to share a video with you, but recording the Zoom hearings is strictly prohibited.
  • Candidate list: Following the flurry of court hearings yesterday, the final candidate list is now available and has 46 candidates. This includes 9 Democratic, 24 Republican, 2 Green, 1 Libertarian, and 10 No Party Preference candidates.

    Note that this is not the ballot order, but rather by party. As I wrote Tuesday, in each district, the random alphabet moves sequentially. In Assembly District 2, the letter X moves to last and K is first, which is moot, as there are no candidates whose last name start with X. But it certainly makes big changes as we move on to other districts. This is the standard required process for all statewide races. The Secretary of State's Office emails the rotation list to each county elections office. 

    Recall ballot order 
  • Buzzless: The Chron's Joe Garafoli writes that the lack of buzz for this recall could be bad news for Governor Newsom.

    Now that the list of certified candidates seeking to replace Gavin Newsom in a recall election is nearly final, we can safely report that one thing is missing that was in abundance the last time Californians were asked if they wanted to boot their governor in 2003:


    “Where’s the buzz? There’s not much buzz,” said Larry Gerston, a San Jose State University political science professor emeritus who wrote a book about the successful 2003 recall and is planning another about the current one.

    Low buzz, Gerston said, could portend low turnout — and that could slow Gov. Gavin Newsom’s thus-far gilded path toward surviving the Sept. 14 recall. While polls show that a majority of likely voters oppose the recall, they also show that Republicans are twice as enthused about voting as Newsom’s fellow Democrats.

    Many blame the blahs on the lack of sizzle in the lineup of candidates that Secretary of State Shirley Weber was set to officially certify on Wednesday.


Largest Active Fires
  County Cause Acres Consumed Containment Structures Destroyed Fatalities Personnel On Scene Updated
Dixie Fire Butte, Plumas power lines suspected 103,910 17% unknown 0 3,345 07/22
Tamarack Fire Alpine u/i 50,129 4% unknown 0 1,213 07/22

u/i= under investigation  

PG&E:  Yesterday, Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it plans to bury 10,000 miles of power lines in fire-prone areas underground in the coming years, which it has long resisted because of the cost of the initial project as well as ongoing maintenance. J.D. Morris reports for the Chron:

Patti Poppe, CEO of the PG&E Corp. parent company, announced the plan at a news conference in Chico, the largest city in fire-weary Butte County, where residents are anxiously tracking the stubborn Dixie Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada.

PG&E’s equipment may be responsible for that blaze, though officials are still investigating the cause. The company said Sunday that one of its employees found two blown fuses and what appeared to be a healthy tree that had fallen on a power line near where the 85,000-acre fire started last week.

If state investigators conclude PG&E was indeed responsible, it would add to a long list of major fires blamed on the company’s electric equipment, which has caused catastrophes that over the past several years have killed dozens of people, incinerated thousands of homes, pushed the company into bankruptcy and led it to plead guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Poppe said PG&E leaders had originally planned to announce the undergrounding goal “in a couple months, when we had a little more meat on the bones.” But executives decided “we couldn’t wait, particularly given the proximity to the Dixie Fire, and the emotional toll it has on all of us.”

Ken Duval reports for CapRadio:

Poppe acknowledged the enormity of the challenge of burying power lines on a large scale and described the project as one of the largest infrastructure undertakings in California history.  

She said new technology and experience will enable the company to accomplish the work and that replacing a larger number of lines at once will reduce costs. She did not provide an estimate as to how long it might take to complete the project. Poppe also did not directly answer a question about the costs of the project or who would pay for it.

PG&E equipment has been found at fault for a number of California's largest and most destructive wildfires, including the Kincaid Fire in 2017 and the 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and devastated the town of Paradise.  

Paradise Mayor Steve Crowder said he’s relieved PG&E is committing to burying more lines but wishes it would have happened sooner. 

“Personally I don’t care what it costs," Crowder said. "I think it’s something that needs to be done and I don’t want to see other communities go through what we’ve gone through.” 

CRIME: The Bee's Andrew Sheeler writes up Governor Newsom's event yesterday on crime enforcement.

Speaking at a Los Angeles press conference where he was flanked by law enforcement leaders, Newsom also acknowledged recent crime trends showing a surge in homicides over the past year. The number of homicides in California climbed by 31% from 2019 to 2020, according to the attorney general’s office.

California recorded 2,202 homicides last year, up from 1,679 in 2019, according to the state agency.

Newsom said that he and other policymakers are working to address the rise in violence.

“The bottom line at the end of the day, as members of the public, you expect us to resolve, to address these issues,” Newsom said.

To that end, Newsom signed a law that temporarily makes organized retail theft a crime and empowers the California Highway Patrol to target theft rings with a special task force.

Overall, crime is down substantially from the 1990s, and the prison population likewise has fallen. The recent increase in homicides mirrors a nationwide trend.

It also coincides with a dramatic increase in California gun sales, according to the attorney general’s office. Handgun sales in 2020 also surged a record 65.5%, and long gun sales increased 45.9%, an increase second only to 2016. In total, 686,435 hand gun sales and 480,401 long gun sales were documented last year.

“We’re up against a gun epidemic,” Newsom said.

PRISONS: For Capitol Weekly, Grady Thomson looks at the closure of state prisons amid dwindling state prisoner population.

California authorities have ordered the closure of state prisons for the first time in nearly two decades: Four are destined to be shut down, and three more are being discussed for possible closure.

“The significant decrease in the state’s incarcerated population over the past year is allowing CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) to move forward with these prison closures in a thoughtful manner that does not impact public safety,”  Kathleen Allison, head of the state correctional system, said recently in a written statement.

Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy is slated to be deactivated by Sept. 30. The California Correctional Center, or CCC, built 58 years ago in Susanville, will be closed by June 2022. The Susanville prison — one of two in the area — has about 2,100 inmates and 1,100 staff members; Deuel about the same.


In addition, the California Correctional Institution (CCI) in Tehachapi and the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) in Soledad will close by June 2022.

Three more institutions apparently are being considered for closure, although there has been no official confirmation.

The steady population decline has stemmed in part from courts ordering the overcrowded prisons — at one point they were holding twice the number they were designed to hold — to shed inmates, as well as sentencing changes approved by voters and in the Legislature.

FILM CREDITS: The Bee's Katherine Swartz looks at the bill signed yesterday to increase tax credits for film production yesterday and whether it will keep filming projects from moving to other locales.

California is upping the amount of money it offers to the entertainment industry in annual tax credits designed to encourage producers to film TV shows in the Golden State.

Gov. Gavin Newsom late Wednesday signed a law offering another $124 million in annual tax credits to the industry over the next four years. It comes on top of the $330 million a year California already provides to the film and television industry in tax credits.

Supporters say the credits nurture entertainment jobs and encourage filmmakers to keep shows here rather than chase tax breaks offered in states like Georgia.

“The current tax credit has been so successful that demand for bringing more productions back to California has exceeded the amount we previously budgeted,” the bill’s author Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank, said Thursday. “By meeting that demand, we’re going to increase California’s economic vitality and health and welfare of our state as we come out of this pandemic.”

For the first time, the state is requiring all filmmakers and television producers to include diversity requirements to receive the tax breaks.


But researchers remain skeptical that the tax breaks have any clear benefit to California’s economy.

University of Southern California associate professor Michael Thom called that “a Hollywood (and Sacramento) fiction.”

“The incentives have little to no effect across the board. Film office employees, lobbyists, and politicians credit the incentives with employment and wage gains,” Thom said in an email to The Bee. “But they fail to realize that most of those gains would have happened anyway — without costing taxpayers a dime.”

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office in 2019 determined that about one-third of all film and television projects that received a tax credit would have been made in California regardless of the incentive. The office also found that while the number of industry jobs increased in states with active incentive programs, so did the number of jobs in states without tax breaks.

FOOT MEET MOUTH: In The Bee, Ryan Sabalow reports on another unfortunate clash in far Northern California.

In May, a Northern California sheriff’s office asked on Facebook for volunteers to help bulldoze the marijuana greenhouses that have recently popped up by the hundreds on private property in one small area of the remote county.

Less than a week later, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office got an unlikely volunteer: The local congressman.

On Wednesday, the office of U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa released a series of YouTube videos that feature the Richvale Republican touring the grow sites, speaking with local officials and climbing into the cab of a yellow bulldozer before he tears down greenhouses during a sheriff’s office operation as part of a court-ordered abatement.

Okay, these were illegal grow operations, so there was nothing wrong with LaMalfa's action. It was his words.

“I love the smell of diesel power in the afternoon. It smells like victory,” LaMalfa says in one video clip, riffing on the line from the Vietnam War epic, “Apocalypse Now,” before breaking into a grin.

The target of the enforcement actions were not Mexican cartels with big grow operations on public lands and intense security. Instead, they were largely Hmong small farmers who have spent their life savings to buy parcels and establish their growing operations but haven't been able to get through the red tape of licensing and have had open confrontations with law enforcement and the Board of Supervisors. If you're unaware of the Hmong, they are from the mountains of Laos, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian countries who aided the CIA and other U.S. operations during the wars in Southeast Asia. In return, they were given priority admission to the United States.

Sabalow continues:

“It sounds like a divisive message that’s likely to inflame the tensions instead of making them better,” said J. Raza Lawrence, one of the attorneys for the Hmong growers, many of whom are descendants of those who fought on America’s behalf during the Vietnam War.

Local authorities have passed ordinances that prohibit water trucks delivering to the grow sites, many of which lack running water or sewage service. The sheriff has warned those who deliver soil and other supplies to the grow sites that they could be charged with “aiding and abetting” a criminal enterprise.

The growers also have accused firefighters of refusing to fight the Lava Fire after it burned into the area, torching several of their properties in the Big Springs area. Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue said the firefighters held back because the growers blocked roads, threw rocks at firefighters and threatened them, forcing Cal Fire to retreat from the area.

 Here's a good 2017 Times article about the Hmong farmers in Siskiyou County.

Baghdad by the Bay, cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: The Chron's Heather Knight looks at the poisonous politics in the efforts to recall San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and members of the city's school board.

In the May 30 incident, public school dad Kit Lam was collecting signatures at the Clement Street Farmers’ Market to qualify a recall of school board members Gabriela LópezAlison Collins and Faauuga Moliga for the ballot.

Lam said a man in red glasses approached his table and signed the petition, though it’s unclear if the man signed his real name. Lam turned his back for a moment and then turned around to see his clipboard with the petitions gone — and the man tossing it under a nearby car. A woman began filming the angry encounter, and the man in red glasses appeared to acknowledge on camera that he took the petitions before returning them.

“You caught me!” the man says.

Police identified a suspect in their presentation of the case to prosecutors, but The Chronicle does not name crime suspects if they haven’t been arrested or charged. Jewish Vocational Service in San Francisco last month announced that it had fired an employee after determining he interfered with school board recall petition-gathering. The organization would not name the employee.

Lam called the developments “good news.” As of Tuesday, the campaign to recall the school board members had gathered 33,000 signatures. It needs to turn in 51,325 valid signatures of San Francisco registered voters by Sept. 7.

In another incident June 26, police responded to West Portal, where a woman collecting signatures to qualify a recall of Boudin for the ballot said another woman asked to sign the petition, but then defaced it and threw the pen in the signature gatherer’s face. A photo of the petition shows blue ink scrawled through four other people’s signatures and the words in large letters, “Eat s— and die.”

Police cited the suspect, identified as Lisabeth Maria Consuelo Collins, for battery at the scene and released her, according to Officer Robert Rueca, another spokesperson for the Police Department. After her release, she confronted the signature gatherer again and threatened her with violence, but officers could not locate her again, police said.

Because DA Chesa Boudin is the subject of a recall effort himself, he has asked the state Attorney General's office to investigate the alleged thefts of petitions and assaults targeting petition gatherers.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Frank Bigelow, Jennifer Rindahl, and Angie Tate!



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]


Overland Strategies is a Democratic political consulting firm. We create high quality direct mail and digital ads and provide strategic advice and general consulting services to Democratic candidates and progressive causes.

About the Job:
Overland is looking to hire an Account Executive to help support clients with strategic communications and general consulting services. The Account Executive will work directly with Overland’s Partners to write press releases and political communications, and generally support candidate campaigns. There will be opportunities to learn and practice all elements of political consulting. This is a full-time employee position. Overland will provide reimbursement for health insurance, cell phone costs, and work-related expenses. Work will be usually be remote, with the exception of occasional in-person meetings and campaign events. This is a job for someone who loves persuasive writing and progressive campaigns. To apply, send a resume and three writing samples to


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

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: