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.

  • California State of Mind (Nicole Nixon @ CapRadio): Investigation: How Some Law Enforcement Are Mysteriously Clearing Sexual Assault Cases (2021-08-20)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Former Assembly member Mike Gatto (D) on the end of session hijinks (2021-08-20)
  • 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)


  • 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


  • AD42 (Cathedral City, Twenty-Nine Palms, Yucaipa): added Palm Springs mayor Christy Holstege (D)

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


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The Nooner for Saturday, August 21, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Saturday! Lungs actually cooperated last night for a decent night of sleep after going to bed before the Giants @ A's game was over. Up early, have gone through the campaign finance reports and most of the gnus. i am now doing the daily waiting game for wildfire and COVID statistics. Meanwhile, I already have a load of laundry in the dryer. It's a good start to the weekend and Giants/A's is at 1:07 today.

PROP. 22 (transportation network companies): In The Bee, Jeong Park reports on the Alameda County trial court ruling late yesterday finding that Proposition 22, the amendment to AB 5, is unconstitutional because of the provision requiring a 7/8ths vote of the Legislature to amend the November 2020 ballot measure.

A California judge on Friday ruled that a 2020 ballot measure exempting rideshare and food delivery drivers from a state labor law is unconstitutional because it infringes on the Legislature’s power to set workplace standards.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch wrote Proposition 22 is unconstitutional because “it limits the power of a future Legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation law.” That makes the entire ballot measure unenforceable, Roesch said.

Roesch further wrote that a provision in the initiative that prevents the Legislature from granting collective-bargaining rights to drivers is unconstitutional because it “appears only to protect the economic interests of the network companies in having a divided, ununionized workforce.”

The provision applies unless a seven-eighths majority in the Legislature votes to grant collective bargaining rights to drivers.

The initiative, which Californians approved with 58% of votes in November, exempts drivers for companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash from the 2019 labor law known as Assembly Bill 5, which requires companies to give benefits to more workers.


  • 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 08/20/21

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



Kevin Faulconer***



Caitlyn Jenner

Kevin Kiley

Kevin Paffrath



















Contributions reported yesterday**

$1,000 $128,900 $2,000 $1,000     


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.

Not reported above since it came in this morning and I want to be consistent, but with lagging fundraising (largely because she was filming a reality show in Australia), Caitlyn Jenner dipped in to her pocket for the first time for $25,000. Further, the report includes $2,500 from Dr. Drew, who downplayed COVID-19 before contracting it. He subsequently said that it felt like Leukemia.

Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom

  • Cash on Hand 07/31: $26,029,522
  • $1,000+ contributions since: $10,396,405

Black Americans Making America First Supporting Newsom Recall: An independent expenditure backed by a federal PAC reports spending $46,400 this week (today was the second report on radio ads supporting the recall.

From the website of the PAC:

Black Americans Making America First is a political action committee dedicated to making America First by promoting the Trump policy initiatives.

Cutting taxes and regulation to create jobs

Expanding educational opportunity with School Choice

Securing the border and stopping illegal immigration

Saving black babies from abortion and promoting crisis pregnancy centers

Defending Biblical Marriage and preventing transgendered males from competing in women's sports

Defending families and limited constitutional government with the 2nd Amendment

Pursuing criminal justice reform and avoiding the fringe effort to change the presumption of innocence to that of guilt

The biggest individual contributor is Bobby Cox, a restaurateur and quarterhorse racer in Fort Worth, TX, who gave $10,000. Here is the full list of itemized donors, but it's worth noting that itemized are only 18% of receipts meaning that it is primarily a small donor PAC.


  • "Don't let the door hit you": In Politico, Jeremy B. White writes that candidates Caitlyn Jenner and Kevin Faulconer have called for Elder to get out of the race following disclosures this week.

    Two prominent California recall candidates and the Sacramento Bee editorial board called Friday for GOP frontrunner Larry Elder to drop out of the race after his past comments about women and allegations made by his ex-fiancee surfaced this week.

    Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner exhorted Elder to exit the contest, further roiling the race as millions of Californians begin to vote.

    "Elder's backwards positions harm women's rights and the livelihoods of California families," Faulconer said in a late Friday afternoon statement. "Elder’s lack of judgement and character flaws threaten the success and credibility of this historic recall movement — Californians will not vote to recall one dysfunctional Governor if it means replacing him with another."

    Faulconer suggested that Elder has become a liability that could cost Republicans a chance to unseat Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Both Faulconer and Jenner weighed in after POLITICO reported that Elder's ex-fiancee Alexandra Datig had alleged he emotionally abused her and threatened her with a gun. Datig is a conservative commentator and blogger.

    Stories by multiple outlets this week pointed to Elder's past statements that: Employers should know if their female employees plan to have children"Smart women" overlook "boorish behavior by men"Women know less about political issues than men; and that "women exaggerate the problem of sexism." Elder made the comments over his decades-long career as a conservative talk radio host who had a reputation for saying what was on his mind, no matter how controversial.

  • The N-word: In the Times, Julia Wick and Erika D. Smith report on a comedy club recording in which Larry Elder repeatedly uses the N-word which he later replayed on his talk show.

    Talk radio host and gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder is drawing fire for a decades-old clip, recorded at a comedy club, in which he repeatedly uses the N-word, in an apparent impression of O.J. Simpson defense attorney F. Lee Bailey. Elder is the front-runner for governor in the event that Gov. Gavin Newsom is recalled.

    The clip, recorded in the mid-1990s at Igby’s comedy club in Los Angeles, was aired by Elder on his KABC show shortly thereafter. The recording now in circulation appears to be from Elder’s KABC show, during which he played the original comedy-club recording.

    It was uncovered by KBLA morning host Dominique DiPrima, who first re-aired the KABC clip during her show July 29. It was re-aired last week by KBLA host Tavis Smiley, who said that “many of our listeners found the Elder comedy skit to be shameful and disgraceful” after it aired on DiPrima’s show.

  • Will allegations hurt Elder? For AP, Michael R. Blood and Kathleen Ronayne look at whether the allegations will hurt with the voters already casting ballots.

    A day after facing allegations that he emotionally mistreated a former fiancee, Republican Larry Elder scheduled two weekend rallies and showed no outward signs of altering the course of his campaign in the California recall election that could remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office.

    The longtime talk radio host who could be the state’s first Black governor is scheduled to gather with supporters in Newport Beach on Saturday and Clovis, in the Central Valley, on Sunday. Both are places receptive to his conservative message; Newport Beach is a longtime Republican stronghold, and Clovis is in the district of Republican U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes.

    Elder tweeted Thursday that he was “more energized than ever to fix this state” and described claims of improper behavior in his former relationship with Alexandra Datig as “salacious allegations.”

    Datig’s allegations surfaced at a time when there seem to be few hard rules about personal conduct and consequence for politicians and public officials. How Elder maneuvers through the wave of unwelcome headlines will test his front-runner status.It wasn’t immediately clear what impact the Datig’s assertions might have on the contest. On Thursday night, hours after the story broke, three of Elder’s Republican rivals debated and the issue never came up. Newsom hasn’t mentioned it, though his campaign has called Datig’s statements “serious allegations.”

The candidates: In the Times, Julia Wick looks at how the slate of replacement candidates is led by folks who voted for President Trump's reelection when most Californians are widely known to not be fans.

Despite no longer being in office, former President Trump has loomed large over the race. Newsom has fought to tie the effort to Trump, who is widely unpopular in the state, while the Republican candidates have had to navigate a party remade by the specter of the former president.

California prided itself as being the center of the “resistance” to Trump, but Trump also received more votes in California in November than in any other state.

It’s a quirk of California’s hulking size that such a Democratic stronghold — President Biden overwhelmingly won the state with 63.5% of the vote — could also be home to more Trump voters than anywhere else.

COVID, fires, and other stories after the jump...


  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 22,108,565 (65.1%% of 12+) - 16th among U.S. states, 13.5% above national average
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,504,374 (10.3% of 12+) - 10th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 24.6% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,479,163 (65 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% increase from seven days ago. In Sacramento County, it is 9.9%, a 0.5% increase from 7 days ago. In Los Angeles County, it is 3.7%, a 0.2% decrease from a week ago.

    Some have asked why LA County is doing "so much better" than Sacramento. It may be that the high case rates in LA last year led to a larger percentage of active immunity (antibodies from infection) among the population. 
  • 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. For CalMatters, Kristen Hwang reports that hospitalizations in six rural counties have set pandemic records.

    Hospitals in six rural California counties — all in remote, northern parts of the state  — are now treating more COVID-19 patients than ever, breaking records by exceeding their winter surges.

    Driven by sharp spikes in infections and low vaccination rates, COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Del Norte, Tuolumne, Lake, Humboldt, Nevada and Mendocino counties have more than tripled in the past five weeks, according to a CalMatters analysis of state data.

    All six are experiencing record highs — more hospitalizations than at any other time since the pandemic began. Another three counties — Amador, Placer and Shasta — have similar numbers of hospitalized COVID patients compared to their winter surge.

    These sparsely populated counties have limited hospital beds and staffing for intensive care units. Del Norte and Lake counties had zero ICU beds available as of Wednesday, according to the state data. State public health officials on Monday issued an order requiring hospitals statewide to accept transfer patients from facilities with limited ICU capacity. 

    Adventist Health Sonora, the only hospital serving Tuolumne County’s 54,000 residents, has already run out of room for its most severely sick patients.

  • Prisons: Most state prison employees will be required to get a vaccine under a new state mandate, reports Wes Venteicher for The Bee.

    Correctional officers and other employees at California state prisons with health care facilities must get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 14, according to a new order from the Public Health Department.

    The new order, dated Thursday, tightens vaccination rules in prisons and in local jails by elimination an option them to choose regular testing and masking instead of a vaccine.

    The order applies to health care employees and also to people who work in areas where health care is provided, including correctional officers, janitors, maintenance workers, administrators and others, according to the order.


Largest Active Fires
  County Cause Acres Consumed Containment Structures Destroyed Fatalities Personnel On Scene Updated
Dixie Fire Butte, Plumas, Lassen,
power lines suspected 714,219 35% 1,230 0 5,670 08/21
Caldor Fire El Dorado under investigation 82,444 0% 245    1,558 08/21
McFarland Fire Shasta under investigation 116,423 64% 31    825  08/21
Monument Fire Trinity under investigation 145,357 16% 32    1,429  08/21
French Fire Kern under investigation 10,061 5%       08/21

Caldor: In the LAT, Lila Seidman and Alex Wigglesworth report on the small towns under threat by the Caldor Fire.

The growing Caldor fire in El Dorado County has leveled 104 structures, many of them in the decimated community of Grizzly Flats, and nearly 7,000 others are still threatened, authorities said Friday.

The blaze, which ignited Saturday, has surged past 70,000 acres, and firefighters have yet to contain any of the spreading flames.

Roughly 24,965 residents have been evacuated, as winds threaten to push the fire north near the communities of Kyburz and Whitehall, fire officials said.

Of top concern Friday was keeping the blaze — now at 73,415 acres — south of Highway 50, where homes dot the long, remote stretch of road, said Capt. Keith Wade, a public information officer for the fire.

By late afternoon, a 46-mile stretch of Highway 50 were closed, cutting off the primary access to the south shore of Lake Tahoe. As of the 07:00 report this morning, the roadway was still closed in both directions.

Forest management: In the Times, Hayley Smith and Alex Wigglesworth write that some ecologists believe that it's time to rethink forest management

As he stood amid the rubble of the town of Greenville, Gov. Gavin Newsom this month vowed to take proactive steps to protect California’s residents from increasingly devastating wildfires.

“We recognize that we’ve got to do more in active forest management, vegetation management,” Newsom said, noting that the region’s extreme heat and drought are leading to “wildfire challenges the likes of which we’ve never seen in our history.”

Yet despite a universal desire to avoid more destruction, experts aren’t always in agreement about what should be done before a blaze ignites. Forest management has long been touted as essential to fighting wildfires, with one new set of studies led by the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Forest Service concluding that there is strong scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of thinning dense forests and reducing fuels through prescribed burns.

But some ecologists say that logging, thinning and other tactics that may have worked in the past are no longer useful in an era of ever hotter, larger and more frequent wildfires.

“The fact is that forest management is not stopping weather- and climate-driven fires,” said Chad Hanson, a forest and fire ecologist and the president of the John Muir Project.

AFGHANS IN CALIFORNIA: In the Times, Anita Chabria and Sarah Parvini have a fantastic story on the experience of Afghani refugees living in Sacramento, with fantastic photography by Carolyn Cole.

Here in Arden Arcade, a Sacramento neighborhood known for low rents in run-down apartments, Afghan refugees stressed that the United States’ obligations to help those who furthered the U.S. mission should not end when migrants land on American soil — as many felt it had for them.

From there begins a long journey often filled with hardship, from the red tape of receiving a Social Security number, signing up for social services and finding housing, to the disillusionment for many educated professionals of suddenly finding themselves at the bottom of the economic and social ladder, isolated by language and culture and often surrounded by crime, prejudice and need.

Even before the current crisis, some felt abandoned by a government that they believe delivered less than expected.

Regardless of their status in Afghanistan, refugees often arrive saddled with debt — required to pay the government back for the price of their airline tickets — and have few choices beyond minimum-wage jobs because they lack U.S. experience, though many have advanced degrees or held senior jobs in their homeland.

“People might say we are happy to be out of Afghanistan. It is completely the wrong statement. No one is happy to leave their home country behind,” said Lal Mohammad, sitting on a silver car shade used as a makeshift blanket in the park.

Mohammad managed guesthouses for expats in Afghanistan, handling a staff of 60. Like many around him, he said his hopes for America quickly turned into a “sad reality” that left him stuck working a warehouse job and scraping to pay for basics for his wife and five kids. Little aid came after their first few months in the state — he landed an apartment only after a fellow refugee agreed to cosign the lease and worked his way up to being an accountant (he has a finance degree) by taking part-time gigs.

Articles like these justify an LAT subscription.

Last night, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) posted to Facebook:

The Sacramento region is home to nearly 12,000 Afghan people—one of the largest populations in the United States. I’m proud to represent these Afghans who’ve given so much and have found a strong community in Northern California.

However, the developments of the past year have reopened many old wounds and left countless family members in an extremely dangerous and volatile situation in Afghanistan. This evacuation has disproportionately impacted the residents and families of Sacramento — many with family members still in Afghanistan.

This is why I wrote to U.S. Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Lloyd Austin urging them to immediately provide accurate, up-to-date travel and security information to Afghan allies attempting to access Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) and secure safe passage out of the country. I also urged the Administration to enforce a safe travel corridor beyond the airport to ensure Afghans can safely reach the airport

JANITORS: The Bee's Jeong Park reports that a large union representing janitors has authorized a strike.

A union representing more than 20,000 janitors across California voted Friday to authorize a strike in as soon as September, as its contracts with janitorial contracting companies are set to expire by the end of August.

The vote doesn’t necessarily mean those janitors who clean many professional office buildings in California — including spaces for companies such as Apple and Visa — will go on strike right away. SEIU United Service Workers West can still reach a deal with the companies, which would go to the union’s members for approval.

But dozens of janitors gathered Friday morning at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Sacramento, where they said the vote was necessary to pressure the companies to come to terms on a new contract that will give the workers higher wages and healthcare protection. The union is also demanding older workers get help with their retirement.

GARMENT MANUFACTURERS: For CalMatters, Nigel Duara writes that garment manufacturers fear that a bill shelved for the legislative year threatened attempts to keep jobs in California.

A bill that would have fundamentally changed how garment workers are paid had enough votes to pass during last year’s legislative session, its supporters say, but ran out of time during the session’s frenzied final hours. 

This year, the Garment Worker Protection Act is back as Senate Bill 62, and Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, a Los Angeles Democrat and its sponsor, is on a barnstorming tour across Southern California to gin up support ahead of this year’s session. 

“I’m proud to be a Californian,” she told an audience in Venice. “One thing I’m not proud of is the exploitation and the wage theft that’s taking place in Los Angeles day after day after day.”

But garment manufacturers say the pandemic provided an unexpected boon to their business in the U.S., a nascent success story amid economic calamity that is threatened by the bill, which creates new liabilities across California’s clothing supply chain from factory subcontractors to retailers. 


cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research


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Sorry for the nags and I know it's irritating, but I also know you're seeing them from newspapers and other media properties in your email inbox during the advertising void.

With little new hiring or live events taking place, classifieds are down $200/week, or half my rent.

Help with rent, health insurance, the server, and newspaper subscriptions by subscribing or donating.

Hopefully this customary ad slot will be filled again soon!

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to former state senator Elaine Alquist, Bryan Miller, and Supt of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond!


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: