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): Recall and Larry Elder with Carla Marinucci and Katie Orr. (2021-08-19)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): California and Kabul (2021-08-19) 
  • Capitol Weekly (John Howard and Tim Foster): Paul Mitchell on the new Census data. (2021-08-16)
  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): CA recall rules and riling up voters with Garry South, Rob Stutzman, and Sac State professor Kim Nalder. (2021-08-06)


  • CCST Expert Briefing: Toward a Disaster Resilient California: Building Grid Resilience
  • Sacramento Superior Court invites applications for Chief Administrative Officer
  • California Lawyers Association Executive Director (Sacramento)
  • CalTax Seeks a Research Analyst
  • Children’s Council of San Francisco is seeking an experienced Public Policy Communications Associate
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law


  • CA06 (Sacramento): added small business owner Chris Bish (R)
  • CA07 (East Sac County): added Citrus Heights councilmember Bret Daniels (R)
  • AD32 (Bakersfield): added Kern County supervisor Leticia Perez (D)


  • AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): updated analysis (campaign finance 2nd pre-election deadline yesterday) 

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

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The Nooner for Friday, August 20, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

¡Feliz viernes! You made it! As we approach another "Unhealthy" AQI (201) day here in Sac, my lungs are not happy, seriously hindering sleep. And that's with doors and windows closed.


  • Recall election key dates:
    • September 2: Second pre-election campaign finance statement
    • September 14: Election Day
    • October 22: Statement of vote*

Fundraising and cash through 08/19/21

Semi-annual or first preelection report plus $1,000+ contributions since



Kevin Faulconer***



Caitlyn Jenner

Kevin Kiley

Kevin Paffrath



















Contributions reported yesterday*

$18,200  $89,850 $21,500      $4,500


07/31 Net Cash on Hand**










*Net cash on hand is reported cash on hand with non-candidate, nonforgiveable debt subtracted.

**24-hour reports are delayed when they fall on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday to the next business day, unless received the weekend before the election.

***Elder and Faulconer also have ballot measure committees supporting the recall that are not included in this table. Ballot measure committees have no limit, while successor candidate limits in a recall are unclear. Regular gubernatorial primary limits or something else? Totally unclear.

Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom

  • Cash on Hand 07/31: $26,029,522
  • $1,000+ contributions since: $9,933,229

Famed architect Frank Gehry gave the committee $50,000 on Wednesday, which was reported yesterday.

BALLOTS: Paul Mitchell emails:

We’re headed for another recall election, the first in nearly 20 years. A lot of things have changed, including the amount of voters who will be casting their ballots by mail. To make sure you’re getting the latest from the PDI Absentee Ballot Tracker, signup here.

Looking back at 2003, there were only 3 million voters who received their ballots in the mail. This cycle, all 22 million voters are getting their ballots in the mail, and we’re likely to see the vast majority of those cast by mail prior to Election Day.

Who is voting early is really an open question. For decades, California’s vote by mail universe has skewed older, suburban, white and more Republican. Only in the last few election cycles has this changed. Over the last decade counties have been promoting vote by mail, and more than a dozen converting to the state’s Voters Choice Act system with ballots mailed to all voters.

Through this time there have developed patterns. The more consistent, older, more Republican households mail their ballots early while Democrats, minorities, and renters all return their ballots late or get pushed to the polls by extensive field operations that have defined many progressive and Democratic campaigns.

But 2020 threw this all on its head. With Republicans concerned about voter fraud, and the attacks on vote by mail coming from the White House and FOX News, Republicans shifted. Suddenly they were largely untrusting of voting by mail, and we saw their votes come in at the end, especially on Election Day itself.

THE FRAME: In the LAT, John Myers frames the recall election 25 days out.

DEBATE: Last night's debate lacked major attacks among the three participating candidates. Faulconer staked out the moderate Republican lane, Kiley rattled off the most policy proposals, and Cox touted his tax cut proposal. Cox is in Monterey today promoting the proposal. Unfortunately, the debate moderators didn't follow up to ask him how he'll do that since the rates are in the state Constitution. Article IV, Section 36 provides:

(3) For any taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2012, and before January 1, 2031, with respect to the tax imposed pursuant to Section 17041 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the income tax bracket and the rate of 9.3 percent set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 17041 of the Revenue and Taxation Code shall be modified by each of the following: 

(A) (i) For that portion of taxable income that is over three hundred forty thousand dollars ($340,000) but not over four hundred eight thousand dollars ($408,000), the tax rate is 10.3 percent of the excess over three hundred forty thousand dollars ($340,000). 

(ii) For that portion of taxable income that is over four hundred eight thousand dollars ($408,000) but not over six hundred eighty thousand dollars ($680,000), the tax rate is 11.3 percent of the excess over four hundred eight thousand dollars ($408,000).

(iii) For that portion of taxable income that is over six hundred eighty thousand dollars ($680,000), the tax rate is 12.3 percent of the excess over six hundred eighty thousand dollars ($680,000).

ELDER: If you were on Twitter yesterday, you know it wasn't a particularly good day for talk show host Larry Elder. Carla Marinucci writes for Politico:

Alexandra Datig, the former fiancee and longtime radio producer for California GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder, says she broke off an 18-month engagement with the conservative talk show host in 2015 after he waved a gun at her while high on marijuana.

Datig’s claim, which she regards as the culmination of a series of humiliating disputes that made her fearful for her safety and her ability to maintain her sobriety, comes as Elder has gained momentum in the recall to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, with many observers counting him as the likeliest GOP alternative should voters decide to replace the incumbent.

Marinucci reports Elder also denied the allegations, although skipped a planned interview with KQED at the last minute yesterday for the second time.

Further, Dustin Gardiner reports for the Chron that Elder once said that women should tolerate harrassment in the worplace.

Conservative radio host Larry Elder, the Republican front-runner to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom if he is defeated in the Sept. 14 recall election, once said women should tolerate some crude language and behavior from men in the workplace and that sexual harassment doesn’t hold women back in their careers.

Elder outlined his views on workplace conduct in his 2000 book, “The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America,” in which he said “hypersensitivity” can harm camaraderie and productivity among employees.

“Smart women simply overlook some boorish behavior by men,” he wrote. “Off-color jokes and stupid remarks may be irritating, but a smart woman deals with this.”

Elder’s campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The Chronicle on Thursday, though he released a statement challenging Newsom to a one-on-one debate. 

Politico's Jeremy B. White reports that fellow candidates steered clear of the issue during last night's debate, which Elder did not attend. 

Republicans vying to become California's next governor lowered the temperature by declining to attack frontrunner Larry Elder in a Thursday night debate after a day of explosive revelations.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assemblymember Kevin Kiley and business owner John Cox eschewed chances Thursday to go after Elder, even after Elder's former fiancee and producer Alexandra Datig detailed allegations to POLITICO that he had brandished a gun during a heated conversation with her. Elder subsequently denied that accusation on Twitter after ignoring earlier opportunities to address Datig's comments.

Elder also yesterday alleged voting fraud in the recall election. Of course he just doesn't understand how ballot order in determined for statewide races. It rotates the randomized alphabet, changing at every Assembly district.

For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks more into who Elder is:

“The Sage from South Central.” “Even more extreme than Trump.” The recall candidate to beat.

Larry Elder goes by a lot of labels these days. If he’s tough to pin down, that’s because he’s such an unlikely character: A Black man who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, went to an Ivy League college and became a conservative provocateur. 

In a state dominated by Democrats for 15 years, he’d make an even more unlikely governor. As millions of Californains suss out what they’re supposed to think about him as they vote in the Sept. 14 recall election, Elder sat down with CalMatters reporters and editors for an hour-long interview.

This conversation took place before Politico reported Thursday on allegations from Elder’s ex-fiancee that he brandished a gun at her while high on marijuana. Elder denied that he waved a weapon, but did not respond to other allegations: “I am not going to dignify this with a response — it’s beneath me.”

KAMALA: VP Kamala Harris will stump for Newsom in the Bay Area on August 27 after her Asia trip.

COVID and fires after the jump...


  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 22,008,262 (64.8% of 12+) - 16th among U.S. states, 13.5% above national average
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,493,016 (10.3% of 12+) - 10th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 24.99% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,457,814 (68 days of inventory, does not account for doses reserved for current appointments)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • Positivity rate: The 7-day statewide positivity rate is 6.1%, a 0.1% decrease from seven days ago. In Sacramento, it is 10.2%, a 0.7% increase from 7 days ago.
  • Hospitalizations: Hospitalizations continue to increase in California with the 14-day average nearing last summer's pre-vaccination numbers and hasn't been this high since December. The good news is that, with more treatments, deaths are not rising similarly.

    COVID hospitalizations by day
  • Workplaces: In the Chron, Chase DiFeliciantonio writes that California is unlikely to update workplace requirements until December.

    With on-the-job outbreaks of the coronavirus on the rise across California, state workplace safety regulators once again find themselves racing to update rules on vaccines, masking and a host of other virus prevention measures.

    During a meeting of the Cal/OSHA Standards Board Thursday, members said the soonest they are likely to vote on new rules potentially designed to tamp down outbreaks is December, after the surge in cases driven by the highly infectious delta variant are expected to spike.

  • School daze: In the LAT, Melissa Gomez and Howard Blume reports that the California Supreme Court has denied hearing the Orange County Board of Education's suit challenging the statewide mast mandate for teachers, staff, and students.

The California Supreme Court declined on Wednesday to hear the Orange County Board of Education’s petition seeking to overturn Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide mask mandate for K-12 students.

Earlier this month, board members voted 4 to 0 to pursue the legal challenge, saying they believed the mandate “compounds the harm to California’s children previously caused by prior school closures and unwarranted masking requirements.”

  • SF: The vaccine requirement in San Francisco with mandatory proof for restaurants, bars, and gyms takes effect today. Aidin Vaziri and Trisha Thadani have details in the Chron.

    San Francisco has become the first major city in the United States to require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for a variety of high-risk indoor activities that involve eating, drinking or exercising.

    With nearly 80% of the city’s eligible population vaccinated, officials hope the new rule, which took effect Friday , will encourage holdouts to get their shots — especially as the highly infectious delta variant brings another spike of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

    “This is an important step towards our recovery,” Mayor London Breed said during a press briefing. “We all have to do our part. We need to get vaccinated.”

  • Sac County: Michael McGough reports that hospitalizations in Sacramento County are nearing a pandemic high. 

    Hospitals in the capital region are growing increasingly crowded with COVID-19 patients, approaching or surpassing records set in late 2020 or early 2021 — even as more than half of residents in the four-county region are now fully vaccinated. A vast majority of COVID-19 hospital admissions aren’t fully vaccinated.

    Sacramento County hospitals as of Wednesday were treating 428 patients with confirmed coronavirus cases, according to county health officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye, including 100 in intensive care units.


Largest Active Fires
  County Cause Acres Consumed Containment Structures Destroyed Fatalities Personnel On Scene Updated
Dixie Fire Butte, Plumas, Lassen,
power lines suspected 700,830 35% 1,217 0 5,982 08/20
Caldor Fire El Dorado under investigation 73,415 0% 104    1,118 08/20
McFarland Fire Shasta under investigation 115,996 52% 31    631  08/20
Monument Fire Trinity under investigation 142,250 10% 32    1,583  08/20
French Fire Kern under investigation 3,223 0%       08/20

Caldor: In the LAT, Lila Seidman reports on the growth of the Caldor Fire and other large blazes.

Before California has even entered peak fire season, the state has already passed a grim milestone: more than 1 million acres burned.

A dozen large wildfires — including the monstrous Dixie fire and the destructive Caldor fire — as well as numerous smaller ones continue to char the landscape and turn thousands of residents into refugees.

Several fires remain at minimal containment days and even weeks after igniting, spurred by hot, dry conditions that have parched vegetation and primed it to burn — often at rapid speed. After igniting more than a month ago, the massive, multicounty Dixie fire was only 35% contained Thursday morning.

In The Bee, Sullivan, Stanton, and Morrar tell the stories of the victims of the Caldor Fire:

Hazy smoke obscured the sun Wednesday as ash rained from an orange sky over evacuees who took refuge throughout western El Dorado County. The devastating Caldor Fire raged to the east, displacing tens of thousands.

The evacuees sat with their children and pets. They gathered in parking lots and outside emergency shelters, telling stories of narrow escapes along crowded highways and the homes they lost. Some said they would likely never rebuild in a state where rural towns are under constant threat from wildfires.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

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Hopefully this customary ad slot will be filled again soon!

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine EastinSherri Loveland, Danny Martinez, and Alex Vassar!


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: Building Grid Resilience

Join the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) on 0Wednesday, August 25th, 11:00am-12:00pm for our latest Virtual CCST Expert Briefing: Building Grid Resilience. A panel of experts including from Sandia National Laboratories, SLAC National Accelerator Lab, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will discuss pathways for improving the resilience of the electrical grid to disasters, such as extreme weather events and other security threats. Moderated by Assemblymember Chris Holden, representative of California’s 41st Assembly district. RSVP here.

Sacramento Superior Court invites applications for Chief Administrative Officer

Under general direction of the Court Executive Officer, the Chief Administrative Officer oversees and directs essential administrative functions and services within the Court, including facilities, finance, human resources, and information technology. Candidates must have significant knowledge and experience in budgeting, accounting, human resources, information technology and facilities management. Additionally, candidates must possess leadership and managerial attributes which lend themselves to working in a collaborative and collegial environment with staff at all levels, including Judicial Officers.

[full description]

California Lawyers Association Executive Director (Sacramento)

California Lawyers Association (CLA) is soliciting applications for the position of Executive Director.

The Executive Director, based at CLA headquarters in Sacramento, is responsible to, advises and assists the CLA Board of Representatives which is responsible for Association policy, strategy, and oversight, as well as the CLA President. The Executive Director oversees CLA staff operations and is responsible for leading, managing and executing the affairs of the Association as directed by CLA’s leadership and implementing its policies to the overall benefit of the organization, its constituent entities and members.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A J.D. degree;
  • Admitted to the State Bar of California or the bar of any state or the District of Columbia; and
  • At least seven years of experience in positions of increasing managerial and leadership responsibility;
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 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: