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 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 (8/25)
  • 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 

DISTRICT UPDATES: Note that while candidates are declaring for certain districts to start fundraising, the specific districts

  • BOE4 (Southern California): added public affairs advisor Randy Economy (R) - challenge to Schaefer (D)
  • BOE4 (Southern California): added former Assembly member Matther Harper (R) - challenge to Schaefer (D)
  • BOE4 (Southern California): added Huntington Beach councilmember Erik Peterson (R) - challenge to Schaefer (D)
  • SD04 (Roseville-Yuba-Tehama): added businessman (former Mathis COS) Sam Cannon (R) - open seat (Nielsen)
  • SD18 (West San Fernando Valley): added Mayor Garcetti field representative Caroline Menjivar (D) - open seat (Hertzberg)
  • AD20 (Fremont-Hayward): added Fremont councilmember Teresa Keng (D) - she could end up in a different district than Quirk, who is running for reelection

The Nooner for Monday, August 23, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

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¡Feliz lunes! There are three business weeks until the end of the legislative session and 23 days until the recall election. This is a crazy legislative week with the fiscal committee deadline, meaning it's do-or-die for many bills of significance. Thursday is "End the Suspense" day, when the fate of hundreds of bills will be determined. Of course, for those that make across the toll bridge, they still will face floor votes and many will have to return to their house of origin for a concurrence in amendments vote.

All this means that lengthy floor sessions begin next week. 

It was so pleasant outside that I ate my tacos at the tables at Our Lady of Guadalupe for the first time since before the pandemic. While outside, everybody was masked unless eating and I was there before the noon mass let out, so I was socially distanced while eating. Yeah, while fully vaccinated, I'm still being careful and am glad to see that almost everybody is considering the breakthrough infections of the Delta variant we are seeing.

Anyway, yesterday's tacos were buche, cabeza, y carnitas, paired with horchata. Here is an IG photo of the deliciousness - these aren't the widely advertised Jack in the Box tacos.

After that delicious meal, I returned to Nooner Global HQ for the Giants-A's game and some back-end coding. Some folks think that my work ends when The Nooner goes out each day or just switches to tweeting all afternoon/evening. That said, there is more than 10,000 lines of PHP, JavaScript, and shell script code behind The Nooner and Around The Capitol written over the last 15 years. My to do list is always lengthy. Yesterday, I was working on backend subscription management. I know that some of you have duplicates for a variety of reasons. That's what I'm working on fixing and cleaning up.

So, this is what my screen looked like during yesterday's game, with the game on the right and coding on the left.

Desktop 2021-08-22

Of course, the work and game-watching were interrupted during the 6th inning (3:10pm) with the A's up 1-0 by a power outage and while I was in the middle of trying to solve an AJAX coding glitch. After flipping breakers to no avail, I went outside to find the neighborhood gathered to find that, indeed, we were all out. It was a nearly 1,600-customer unexpected outage on the south side of downtown.

The outage only lasted 50 minutes, with SMUD restoring electricity ahead of the estimated restoration time (how often does that happen?). Fortunately, I didn't lose any work as my laptop was charged.

With power restored at the top of the 9th inning, the Giants were up 2-1, and went on to hold on to the lead to take the Bay Bridge Series. 

This morning's split screen is of course The Nooner editor window on the left and Senate Appropriations on the right. Much less exciting, but at least the power is on.

WEEKENDS AT THE NOONER: In Sacramento, it was a glorious weekend as the smoke dissipated with a shift to onshore winds and fall-like temperatures. Smoke may return I'm guessing that many of you wisely stepped away from your 'puters and enjoyed the outside. Here's what was covered in this space.

Saturday, August 21

Sunday, August 22

CA22 (Clovis-Visalia-Tulare): Some folks have complained about the daily "just $3" emails from the Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom campaign. I understand that strategy, and they'll be over soon. However, there is someone else sending out daily messages -- Phil Arballo (D) running again in CA22. He lost to Devin Nunes (R) in 2020 by 8.4%, underperforming Joe Biden by 0.4%. Granted, who knows what happens with redistricting. Anyway, I won't be doing district analysis until after we know what the district lines are, so that's not the purpose of this message.

Here's part of yesterday's message from Arballo:

Arballo 2021-08-22

You have to imagine that Democratic leaders in California and across the country worried about the recall election are not happy with these tactics 23 days before the September election when Arballo has 288 days before his primary election.

The last thing Democratic Party leadership and Governor Newsom want California Dems to be thinking about right now is a threatened lawsuit by Devin Nunes against Rachel Maddow. Has Nunes won any lawsuit against a media source? Even so, the money is simply going into Arballo's campaign account.


  • Recall election key dates:
    • September 2: Second pre-election campaign finance statement
    • September 14: Election Day
    • October 22: Statement of vote
  • Ballot update from PDI/@paulmitche11577,916 ballots returned (3%)
    • Democratic: 334,389 (57.9%)
    • NPP/other: 128,372 (22.2%)
    • Republican: 115,430 (20%)

From my perspective, while Republicans generally outperform Democrats in early vote-by-mail returns, that may not be the case in this election because of the number of "top tier" GOP candidates running on question #2. While some may already be wearing the silks for one horse, many could be sitting on the sidelines. This may be particularly true after Larry Elder's not-so-great week in the first week of balloting with several negative stories. Lots of GOP voters may be interested in him, but don't want to complete their ballots until all is known.

Fundraising and cash through 08/22/21

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



Kevin Faulconer***



Caitlyn Jenner

Kevin Kiley

Kevin Paffrath



















Contributions reported yesterday**



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. These are included in the candidate and non-candidate totals above.

***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: $10,396,405


  • Campaign shake-up: Politico's Carla Marinucci reports on the shake-up of the leadership of Larry Elder's campaign:

    Amid increasing scrutiny over his treatment of women and calls for his withdrawal from the race, California Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder is shaking up his campaign team and hired a new campaign manager, POLITICO has learned.

    Campaign manager Louis Barnett, whose appointment was announced when Elder entered the gubernatorial race in July, confirmed Sunday he no longer holds that position.

    In his place, Elder has hired Jeffrey Corless, a GOP consultant who once served as political director to U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina. Corless confirmed to POLITICO he had taken on the role as of Friday.

    “I can confirm Mr. Elder has asked me to take over a key role in the management of his campaign,’’ he said in a text message. He said he his “focused on advising Mr. Elder on the management of his campaign as we look to bring this effort home to victory,’’ and referred all other statements to Ying Ma, the campaign spokesperson. Ma did not return requests for comment.

    Barnett is moving over to run the ballot measure committee run by Elder. That committee has raised at least $1,300,040, mostly from the $1 million provided by controversial Los Angeles luxury multi-family developer Geoff Palmer. Palmer's companies recently sued the City of Los Angeles over its eviction moratorium.

  • FPPC investigation: In the Times, Adam Elmahrek writes that the FPPC has opened an investigation into the statement of economic interests filed by Elder, which was subsequently amended.

    California regulators have launched an investigation into whether recall election gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder failed to properly disclose his income sources, a spokesman with the Fair Political Practices Commission confirmed on Sunday.

    Elder, like all candidates for public office, was required to file a public statement of economic interests that discloses some aspects of his personal finances, including stocks, gifts, real estate that he owns and sources of income. The document is supposed to show the public whether a candidate for office would have conflicts of interest in his or her decisions.

    Elder’s initial filing was only two pages long and only showed income from Laurence A. Elder and Associates Inc. A Times article earlier this month first reported that Elder likely failed to properly disclose his finances because he appeared to own the company, meaning he was also required to report ownership in the business as well as income sources to the company above certain amounts.

    After the Times story, the California Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission alleging that Elder failed to properly disclose the business and its sources of income. Elder, a conservative radio show host, amended the document to show that Elder owned 100% of the company and that it is worth between $100,000 and $1 million. His exact wealth is difficult to determine because the state requires disclosure in broad dollar ranges.

Skelton on Newsom's "likabilty factor": In the Times, George Skelton writes that Gavin Newsom's biggest problem heading in to the recall election is likability. 

Few politicians possess the natural gifts needed to inspire voters. And Gov. Gavin Newsom certainly is not one of them.

If the 53-year-old Democrat were blessed with the ability to attract throngs of devoted followers, he wouldn’t be sweating a Republican-led effort to oust him.

It’s not that California’s governor is disliked by hordes of voters. His job performance ratings have remained decent — 50% approval and 42% disapproval among registered voters in a July poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.

But there isn’t much endearment — most crucially among Democratic voters. That is evidenced in the apathy of Democrats toward the Sept. 14 recall election. They aren’t rushing to rescue the governor.

Let's be clear. Newsom is far more likable than the Gray Davis of 2003. Davis has become far more likable since that recall election, including doing events with the person whose groundswell recalled him, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Skelton continues:

One-on-one, Newsom is plenty likable. He’s pleasant, puts people at ease and is impressive in his knowledge of public policy.

But that chemistry doesn’t often come through in large groups or on TV.

That’s probably because his public rhetoric — especially when ad-libbed — is frequently repetitive and long-winded. There’s also not much modulation, just high-frequency monotone. And he doesn’t know when to shut up.

“Based on what I’ve picked up listening to people talk about Newsom,” [Darry] Sragow says, “he doesn’t connect with voters. More importantly, voters don’t connect with him.”

The "no" campaign: The Chron's Alexei Koseff looks at the ground efforts of the campaign to defeat the recall.

The people who answered their doors knew about the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, but only with the vague awareness that comes from scrolling past a post on social media or spotting an advertisement on TV.

Even though they leaned toward keeping him, their feelings about the first-term Democrat didn’t seem strong, and most had no idea that their ballots would be arriving imminently, with less than a month to return them before the Sept. 14 election.


As county elections officials finish sending out mail ballots to every registered voter in California, the campaign to prevent Newsom from being removed from office before the end of his term is increasingly driven by a strategy of instilling fear — fear that he could lose, fear of the consequences if he does, fear that voters aren’t engaged enough to care.


Those themes are reflected even in an independent effort like the statewide canvassing operation coordinated by the California Labor Federation. Focus groups that the organization conducted this summer with union members, a reliable and crucial voter base for Democrats in the state, found that participants were not particularly concerned about Newsom’s chances of surviving the recall; consequently, they did not feel a strong motivation to vote.

Timing: In The Bee, Kim Bojórquez writes that, despite the acceleration of the recall election by Democrats to avoid fall disasters, they are happening anyway.

Once the recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom qualified for the ballot, Democrats who control statewide offices had a choice.

They could delay the vote or speed it along. They chose to set an early recall election date, and changed state law in order to do so in late June, reasoning that things were looking up as the state re-opened and COVID-19 rates declined.

Setting the date on Sept. 14 at the time appeared likely to coincide with the reopening of schools while avoiding the peak of California’s wildfire season.


Less than a month before California’s gubernatorial recall election, Newsom faces multiple crises.

Wildfires burn. Utilities warn against too much electricity use. Drought devastates California farms. Hospital ICUS hold largely unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. Even those who got vaccines now contemplate the prospect of a third shot.

And Democratic voters preoccupied with other issues are just waking up to the possibility that their party’s governor could be replaced by October.

“It’s hard to pick one (crisis),” said Jessica A. Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Marymount University located in Los Angeles. “There’s just this perfect storm of low turnout, a special election, a lot of enthusiasm to recall him and virus numbers that we’re not really thrilled about.”

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

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


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  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 22,175,252 (65.3%% of 12+) - 16th among U.S. states, 13.5% above national average
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,508,903 (10.3% of 12+) - 10th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 24.4% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,500,948 (63 days of inventory, does not account for doses reserved for current appointments)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • Vaccine approval: This morning, the FDA gave full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for persons 16 years and older. Many were disappointed that 12-15-year-olds were excluded and remain under emergency use authorization as it affects some plans for mandatory vaccinations of middle-school students.  (CDPH had an incorrect press release saying that it was 12+, but it's 16+, which was subsequently corrected.)
  • Positivity rate: The 7-day statewide positivity rate is 5.4% (-0.5% day-over-day), a 0.5% decrease from seven days ago.

    In Sacramento County, it is 8.5% (-0.9% day-over-day), a 1.2% decrease from 7 days ago.

    In Los Angeles County, it is 3.2% (-0.4% day-over-day), a 0.3% decrease from a week ago.


Largest Active Fires
  County Cause Acres Consumed Containment Structures Destroyed Fatalities Personnel On Scene Updated
Dixie Fire Butte, Plumas, Lassen,
power lines suspected 725,821
0 6,001 08/23
Caldor Fire El Dorado under investigation 106,562
0 1,745 08/23
McFarland Fire Shasta under investigation 118,090
31   0 819 08/23
Monument Fire Trinity under investigation 150,011
 0 1,725 08/23
French Fire Kern under investigation 13,816
not available not available not available 08/22
Source: Cal Fire

LA-LA land, cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research


LA-LA LAND: While the focus is on the recall election, there's an upcoming battle for the mayorship of California's largest city and the nation's second-largest. In the Times, Dakota Smith and David Zahniser preview the race for Mayor of Los Angeles:

Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas took much of City Hall by surprise last week, revealing that after months of speculation, he had closed the door on a bid for mayor.

The announcement served as a potent reminder that the candidate pool in the June 2022 election remains remarkably thin. With the primary about nine months away, City Atty. Mike Feuer and Councilman Joe Buscaino are still the only major political figures currently running to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Now, some in the city have begun voicing their dissatisfaction with those choices, saying they want more female candidates, more racial and ethnic diversity and even more excitement. In some instances, they’re seeking a candidate who is further to the left. In others, they want someone with fewer ties to City Hall.

“We need more fresh faces,” said Erick Huerta, a community activist who lives in Boyle Heights. Huerta, who is in his mid-30s, said he’s hoping for a candidate who’s closer to his age and doesn’t have the same “policy narrative” as a career politician.

In recent weeks, many of the calls to expand the candidate pool have come from supporters of U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, who represents part of South Los Angeles and was in consideration last year for a vacant U.S. Senate seat and as a possible running mate for President Biden.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Barry Broad, Ed Emerson, Kevin Sabo, and Karo Torossian!

CONGRATS: Nooner congrats go out to Assemblymember Brian Maeinschein and Elly on their nuptials over the weekend.


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: