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.

  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED: Gubernatorial candidate Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) (2021-07-29)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) on SB 464, her "Comida Para Todos" (Food For All) legislation (2021-07-27)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Randall Hagar, Policy Consultant and Legislative Advocate for the Psychiatric Physicians Alliance of California on the Lanterman Act, Laura's Law, and Britney Spears (2021-07-26)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Labor Law Regulation Panel with Tom Sheehy, Ashley Hoffman, and John Kabateck (2021-07-23)
  • Nooner Conversations (Scott Lay): Lobbyist, lawyer, and adjunct law faculty Chris Micheli and I talk about the first 7 months of the legislative year and what to expect in the final month. Additionally, we talk about his two new casebooks on California's Direct Democracy and Legislative Process. (2021-07-23) [YouTube | Apple Podcasts | Amazon PodcastsSimplecast]


  • CalTax Seeks a Research Analyst
  • Children’s Council of San Francisco is seeking an experienced Public Policy Communications Associate
  • Miller & Olson LLP Seeks Political Reports Specialist
  • Aaron Read & Associates Office Space for Rent
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law


  • Rescue California-To Support the Recall of Gavin Newsom reports receiving:
    • $10,000 from Richard Spencer (developer, Fresno)
    • $2,500 from Andrew Pandol (Bakersfield)
    • $2,500 from Frank Delena (farmer, Madera)
    • $2,500 from Patrick Ricchiuti (Fresno)
    • $2,500 from Janice Lowder (Madera)
    • $1,000 from Katie Mickey (vocational school owner, Santa Barbara)
    • $1,000 from James Pardini (Fresno)
    • $1,000 from Claire Ragge (self, Los Angeles)

The Gualco Group AJW KBH Advocacy
Bill Quirk | Cathy Unger | Dave Walrath

More information on Nooner Sustainers.

The Nooner for Sunday, August 1, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

 15 days

Buenos dias mis amigos. After we thought 2020 was crappy, my father fell last night and fractured his femur. I'm not a "thoughts and prayers" kind of guy, but keep him in mind as he undergoes surgery later today. 

I'm dogsitting again this weekend for a tiny furball. Despite her small size, she manages to take up a great deal of bed space. Fortunately, she is tolerant of a gentle shove. While we were out for a morning walk, I saw that this "immigration door" appeared overnight in Southside Park.

Immigration door

DO YOU RECALL? Candidates are required to file their routine campaign statements by August 2. There is also an August 5 recall election deadline, although the timeframe is the same (receipts and expenditures through 07/31/21).

In The Bee, Sophia Bollag looks at the path that triggered the recall election.

Newsom’s Democratic allies have heaped praise on the governor for his handling of COVID-19, pointing out he’s been dealt perhaps the toughest hand of any governor in history. He’s led the state through a pandemic, economic turmoil, drought and record-breaking fires.

Yet [bar owner TJ] Bruce’s dissatisfaction reflects a sentiment shared by many recall proponents — that Newsom has fallen short in governing the state — and illustrates how the pandemic has affected the governor’s political fortunes.

“It really took off due to frustration with the handling of the pandemic,” said Rose Kapolczynski, a Democratic political strategist, who sees the recall as an attempt by the GOP to challenge the governor in a special election where turnout will be low and Republicans more likely to vote.

Still, she said some of Newsom’s actions propelled it.

“There were some missteps, the French Laundry being the most obvious one, and the missteps were fuel on a tiny campfire that turned into a wildfire.”

The result has turned a recall election once considered a long shot into a major political challenge for Newsom. He’s on the ballot on Sept. 14, more than a year before he was supposed to face reelection. Mail ballots will start going out on Aug. 16.

Newsom is still a Democratic governor in a very blue state, yet polling that supporters acknowledge is a little too close for comfort affirms that he does need to make the case to voters to ensure that he survives. A lineup of Republicans are vying to replace him, led by conservative radio talk-show host Larry Elder, a Donald Trump supporter with nearly 1 million Twitter followers who opposes mask and vaccine mandates.

  • 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
  • Cox: The Bee's Sophia Bollag looks at the different stance John Cox is taking in the recall election compared to his 2018 bid.

    When he ran for California governor in 2018, Republican John Cox received the endorsement of then-President Donald Trump.

    Today, he says it’s obnoxious that Democrats, and some members of the media, are trying to make the gubernatorial recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom about the former president.

    “You’re going to try to get the whole partisan battle of 2020 reinstituted into this election,” Cox said in an interview with McClatchy’s California editorial boards on Friday. “And frankly, it’s obnoxious that that’s what Mr. Newsom wants to do.”

    Asked whether Trump is a liar, Cox said, “I’m not going to go there.”

    “I know that I’m not a liar, I tell the truth. I know that I have the integrity,” he said.

On Friday, Cox added $500,000 in personal funds to his campaign account bringing his total to nearly $5.6 million.

Fundraising through 07/31/21

includes only contributions $1,000 or more required to be reported withing 24 hours



Kevin Faulconer



Caitlyn Jenner

Kevin Kiley

Kevin Paffrath




















Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom

Cash contributions 01/01-03/31/21  $3,153,040
Cash contributions >=$1,000 after 03/31  $36,581,117
Total $39,734,157

For whatever it's worth, 37% of the donations to Larry Elder are retired. and 127 are from outside California.

For Kaiser Health News, Samantha Young looks at the support of health care allies supporting Gavin Newsom in the recall. 

Californians upset with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic rules — which shuttered businesses, kept schoolkids at home and mandated masks — helped fuel the September recall election that could spell the end of his political career.

But among the allies rushing to Newsom’s defense are doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care interests who credit those pandemic measures for protecting them as front-line workers and saving the lives of countless Californians.

Their unions and trade associations have written checks totaling more than $4.8 million as of 10 a.m. Friday to keep the first-term Democrat in office, according to a KHN analysis of campaign finance filings with the California secretary of state’s office.

Even before covid-19, Newsom had been a steadfast health care advocate and ally, adopting policies that expanded health benefits and coverage to hundreds of thousands of Californians — and lined the pockets of the industry in the process.

“He’s done so much so broadly within the health care sector in California to the benefit of patients and providers of all sorts,” said Andrew Kelly, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at California State University-East Bay. “That is good for the health care business, as well as our community — improving access to care and outcomes.”

Meanwhile, the Chron's Yoohyun Jung reports that millenials are driving the COVID surge in San Francisco.

Coronavirus cases are surging in San Francisco and infections among adults aged 25 to 39 are the main driver of the increase.

In May, 25- to 39-year-olds accounted for just over 35% of monthly new cases, but in July, they’re up to 50%. This surge is part of a general spike in the number of coronavirus cases in San Francisco, which has outpaced the statewide infection rate.

“It’s a perfect storm,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine specializing in infectious diseases at the University of California San Francisco.

That storm, he said, is a mix of the relatively lower rate of vaccination among those age groups and their general tendency to be social, combined with the proliferation of a the extra-contagious delta variant.

The delta variant began spreading like wildfire in the state soon after the state reopened June 15, eliminating or relaxing virus-related restrictions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending once again that all people wear masks indoors.

With this variant, the same old precautions don’t work as well, Chin-Hong said. “This is a less forgiving virus.”


  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 21,293,940 (62.7% of 12+) - 17th among U.S. states
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,207,846 (9.5% of 12+) - 12th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 28.5% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,233,995 (77 days of inventory)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • Positivity rate: The 7-day positivity rate is 6.4%, a 1.0% increase from seven days ago and hasn't been at that rate since February 9. Of course, this has to be considered in light of fewer tests, with vaccinated folks not actively seeking regular tests unless required for travel or work. 

EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE: In the LAT, Anita Chabria and Alex Wigglesworth report that California fire experts are frustrated over the federal government's stance of "let it burn" for wildfires that start on their land.

Who decides whether a blaze is crushed or allowed to burn is determined by jurisdiction — the federal government owns about 45% of California, more than 45 million acres, which includes the Plumas National Forest, where the Sugar fire began July 2. Federal authorities have command over fires that ignite on their property, even when they later cross off of those boundaries into populated areas.

But the U.S. Forest Service has a different philosophy on fire suppression than many state and local agencies. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which manages fires started on state and some private and local lands, aggressively works to stomp blazes out early — focused on protecting infrastructure and structures in areas that are often close to populated places.

“In my jurisdiction, I have been super aggressive in trying to put [fires] out small,” said Scott Packwood, Cal Fire’s unit chief for the Lassen-Modoc area, where the Sugar fire eventually crossed from federal to state land. “The Forest Service has different rules they work by.”

Chris Dicus, professor of fire and fuels at Cal Poly, said those different rules can lead to “significant disagreements,” though lives and the safety of firefighters are always priorities.

Largest Active Fires with Least Containment
  County Cause Acres Consumed Containment Structures Destroyed Fatalities Personnel On Scene Updated
Dixie Fire Butte, Plumas power lines suspected 244,888 32% 67 0 5,563 08/01
Tamarack Fire Alpine, NV lightning 68,696 82% unknown 0 582 07/31

u/i= under investigation 

DIXIE: After slow growth of the Dixie Fire over the last few days, the outlook is not good. Danielle Echeverria reports for the Chron.

Growth of the Dixie Fire — the 13th largest wildfire in California’s history — has slowed over the last few days, though Cal Fire warned that a weather forecast calling for hot, dry conditions could quickly change that.

As of Saturday morning, the 240,795-acre fire scorching Butte and Plumas counties was 24% contained, but only grew about 200 acres overnight. Cal Fire officials were not expecting more uncontrolled growth in the next few days.

Officials expected fire activity to increase Saturday because of dry weather conditions and low humidity, but did not expect the fire to grow beyond existing containment lines.

WINE COUNTRY: In the NYT, Eric Asimov writes on the struggle for California's wine country to recover from wildfires last year and the challenges that lie ahead.

Crumbling foundations with teetering brick chimneys are all that remain of houses. Hundreds of tree stumps stud the blackened hillsides, the dead trunks having been bundled away in giant logging trucks in an effort to remove fire hazards.

Erosion is a real threat here. The hope is that the stumps, with their intact networks of roots, will help keep the hillsides in place once the fall rains begin.

But not all of the damage of the 2020 fires in the northern Napa Valley and the adjacent Sonoma County is so visible and obvious. The consequences for vineyards that survived direct encounters with the fires remain to be determined, as wine producers affected by the blazes try to navigate the 2021 growing season, not exactly sure what they are confronting.

Wineries can be rebuilt, interim facilities found, new vintages made, though the financial cost is steep. But for a winery to lose its vines — sometimes entire vineyards — is to be drained of its lifeblood.

For the most serious producers, whose aim is to document the distinctive character of a place through the medium of wine, vines are nurtured like children through their infancy and their gangly, angular youth, with the hope that they will produce balanced, expressive wines for decades. To lose them is to grieve.

FEATHER RIVER CAMP: In the Chron, Annie Vainsthtein reports on the wildfire threat to Oakland's foothills camp and the economic hit of being closed yet again.

After a year fraught with uncertainty and disappointment, the Feather River Camp community was eager to return to the mountains.

With the worst of the pandemic seemingly behind them, they were ready even if it meant fewer and smaller sessions, social distancing, no indoor activities and no camp songs at Feather River. The family camp has operated in Quincy (Plumas County) since 1924.

But as raging wildfires threatening the region started getting closer, it seemed like the parade of disruptive disasters would never end.

Last week, Oakland’s Feather River Camp had to close again — this time in a frenzy.

The family camp was forced to evacuate its campers, staff, and horses as the Fly Fire, which later merged with the Dixie Fire, inched closer to the camp’s borders late last month. Now, the potential for yet another missed year is already looming.

“This is a camp director’s biggest fear,” said the camp’s executive director Mark Olson. “This is such a special place to hundreds of thousands of families and Oaklanders.”

Now, another year of lost revenue is financially threatening the future of the camp, which was founded by the city to give residents a low-cost opportunity to enjoy the Sierra mountains. Oakland’s park department ran the camp until 2003, when it was handed over to a nonprofit group in the face of budget constraints.

The camp is funded largely by registration fees and contributions. In 2019, they served 2,700 campers — an increase of 38% over the prior year.

SCHOOL DAZE: The Chron's Jill Tucker writes that while schools will be back to in-person instruction, it will look very different.

Bay Area schools are expected to fully reopen this month to in-person learning — throwing open their doors to excited students eager to end months of social distancing and academic isolation and get back to friends, football games, science fairs and rites of passage like prom.

But that long-awaited return won’t be what many experts, education officials and families had hoped it would be: normal.

In addition to an ongoing indoor mask mandate for schools, the return to classrooms this fall will also come with a sense of uncertainty about whether they remain open as the proliferation of the delta variant sparks new worries. After fits and starts related to reopening last year, families want nothing more than predictability this year.

Yet this year is different from last year in at least one way. There’s nearly universal agreement from the governor’s office to the principal’s office to family dinner tables that the impact of distance learning was devastating mentally, emotionally and academically for too many, with increases in obesity, depression, anxiety and more. Getting students back into classrooms is critical, health and education officials say, and it would take an unexpected and devastating development to stop students from going back to class or to return them to distance learning later in the year.

So far, all signs point to a full reopening despite the delta surge, said Dr. Jeanne Noble, director of the UCSF emergency department’s COVID-19 response.

HOUSING: NPR's Planet Money podcast had a great episode this week on three reasons why America's housing stock is insufficient. They are:

  1. Less churn as people stay in houses until later in life.
  3. Lack of qualified workforce for construction.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Adam Ashton, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Rep. Josh HarderAndy Kelley, and Lara Korte!


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]

CalTax Seeks a Research Analyst

The California Taxpayers Association (CalTax), the state's oldest and largest association representing California taxpayers, is seeking a Research Analyst to join our policy team. The ideal candidate is a self-starter, and should have a background in public policy analysis, strong written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to produce objective and thoughtful research and analysis. For details and information on how to apply, please go to

Children’s Council of San Francisco is seeking an experienced Public Policy Communications Associate

The Public Policy & Advocacy Team works on early care and education issues at the local, state and federal
levels, whether legislative or budgetary. The position is based in San Francisco, three days in office and two days remote.


  • In collaboration with our Public Policy Communications Director, you will advocate for the organization’s
    local, state, and federal priorities—engaging in multiple simultaneous advocacy campaigns.
  • Track notable legislation, assist with developing public comment and ensure we send notifications out to community
    members to ensure the community has an opportunity to respond.
  • Engage staff in advocacy via advocacy trainings and preparing bi-weekly staff advocacy updates
  • Meet with advocacy community organizations about our advocacy work, priorities &
    opportunities to collaborate
  • See full job description linked below for full responsibilities

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Two to four years of experience in public affairs, public policy, advocacy, community organizing, digital
  • advocacy or similar roles
  • Demonstrated ability to execute legislative and administrative advocacy and/or advocacy campaigns
  • Expected to attend evening and weekend meetings and travel to meetings and conferences (approximately
  • 15 – 25% of time, depending on the time of year)
  • Experience drafting policy update documents and emails
  • Ability to read, understand, and succinctly summarize policy or legislation to different audiences

Qualified candidates should apply here:

The Office of Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley is seeking an experienced Communications Director

The Office of Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley is seeking an experienced Communications Director. The ideal candidate is a self-starter with excellent written and communication skills with the ability to deliver high quality work under tight deadlines. Knowledge of Orange County & 3-5 years of political experience is preferred.


  • Managing press requests
  • Staffing the Supervisor at interviews and media events
  • Drafting content for social media and website
  • Preparing written materials including press releases, speeches, op-eds, talking points, newsletters and e-blasts
  • Determining creative ways to expand the Supervisor’s coverage on key initiatives
  • Working collaboratively with staff to maximize press coverage and visibility at events


  • BA in a related field (e.g., English or media production), or equivalent work experience
  • Demonstrated track record of managing professional social media accounts
  • Familiar with graphic and video programs, (e.g., Canva and iMovie)
  • Ability to create and turn around content in a short time
  • Experience in working with print, digital, radio, TV bookers and producers

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, two writing samples, video sample, and professional references to Debbie Lumpkin at with the title “Communications Director” in the subject line. No calls or walk-ins.

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 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: