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.

  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Businessman and candidate John Cox on :Lessons From His Mom, Housing Solutions and Yes, the Bear" (2021-08-26)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): California and Kabul: Part Deux (2021-08-26) 
  • It's All Political (Joe Garfoli @ SFChron): Total Recall Podcast: Can Larry Elder Really Be Governor? with Alexei Koseff and Dustin Gardiner (2021-08-25)
  • Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin: Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) (2021-08-23)
  • California State of Mind (Nicole Nixon @ CapRadio): Investigation: How Some Law Enforcement Are Mysteriously Clearing Sexual Assault Cases (2021-08-20)


  • Capitol Seminars: Four Seminars Being Offered Over 2 Days (September 23-24)
  • 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  


  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): added Kern County Board of Education member Adam Medeiros - challenge to Valadao (R)

The Nooner for Friday, August 27, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

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SPORTS PAGE: The Angels are glad to be back at home after giving the Orioles their second win following a 19-game losing streak, and the Padres are happy to be north on the 5 to face the Angels after dropping three at home to the Dodgers. After a sweep of the Mets, the Giants begin a challenging stand against the hot Braves so we have to hear that awful "chop chant."

  • Giants @ Braves (4:20)
  • Padres @ Angels (6:38)
  • Yankees @ A's (6:40)
  • Rockies @ Dodgers (7:10) 

Happy Friday! It is indeed a delightful one as I'm heading to Iverson's to see Jason this afternoon to get my out of control locks trimmed. There will be lots of things that we take away from 2020-21, and among the top is the value of access to haircuts.

It may be Friday, but it's certainly not a quiet one here at Nooner Global HQ. There's lots going on and I don't pretend that I cover everything below. If I miss anything that shouldn't wait until tomorrow, I'll include it in This Week in Nooner this evening. And, yes, I wrote the silly sports page item and a couple of others last night.

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BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: Yesterday, the Appropriations committees concluded their regular work for the year and can only meet for further hearings on amended bills with a rule waiver. Here are the preliminary outcomes from Assembly Appropriations and here are the official results from Senate Appropriations. The votes on each bill are available on LegInfo.

Following the Approps actions, Friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli emails with the agenda for the final two weeks of the legislative session.

Next meeting: Assembly Floor – Monday at 1pm

Asm 2nd – 1

Sen 2nd – 172

Concurrence – 13

Asm 3rd – 3

Sen 3rd – 51

Consent – 5

Total: 245

Next meeting: Senate Floor – Monday at 2pm

Sen 2nd – 1

Asm 2nd – 129

Concurrence – 21

Sen 3rd – 14

Asm 3rd – 262

Consent – 68

Total: 495

Total measures between the two houses: 740

Considering Labor Day, the two houses will likely work Monday through Friday next week and Tuesday through Friday the the week of September 6. Of course, for that final Friday, the definition may be the wee hours of Saturday, September 11. Because it's the first year of the legislative biennium, bills can be approved after midnight with a two-thirds vote. (Technically, the same thing is true in the second year of the biennium assuming the bill has an urgency clause, which also requires a two-thirds vote.)

BALLOT MEASURES: Yesterday, three initiatives were submitted to the Attorney General's Office for title and summary. Obviously, I haven't studied each since they arrived at COB yesterday, so these are simple descriptions.

  • Local Land Use: would provide that, when there is a conflict in law between the state and local as regarding land use, local zoning on planning prevails (rebellion to the state bills encouraging housing density)

    The measure is backed by the mayors of Redondo Beach, Yorba Linda, and Brentwood and here is a website explaining measure. [h/t Rob Pyers]
  • Pay-as-you-go Water Projects: requires 2% of the General Fund to be restricted for specified water projects until a minimum increase of 5,000,000 acre feet has been achieved and provides state general obligation bonding authority to be funded by the restricted funds. 
  • "Death tax" repeal: Changes Proposition 19 (2020) to increase the value of property other than a principal residence passed from a parent(s) or grandparent(s) from $1 million to $2.4 million, among other provisions

EVICTIONS: On a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court of the United States held yesterday that the Centers for Disease Control exceeded its statutory authority when extending the federal eviction moratorium beyond the original 120 days provided for in the CARES Act. This does not affect California's eviction moratorium, which lasts through September, although there is a separate legal challenge to the state moratorium. Because the state is essentially paying landlords for the unpaid rent during the moratorium, it is not a violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.


  • 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/@paulmitche112,841,048 ballots returned (13% of mailed ballots)
    • Democratic: 1,560,504 (55% of those returned; 15% ballot return rate)
    • NPP/other: 626,179 (22% of those returned; 10% ballot return rate)
    • Republican: 654,891 (23% of those returned; 12% ballot return rate)
    • 65+: 1,204,631 (24% return rate)
    • 50-64: 789,038 (14%)
    • 35-49: 491,070 (9%)
    • 18-34: 356,835 (6%)
    • White/Oth: 1,954,037 (15% return rate)
    • Latino: 464,799 (8%)
    • Asian: 321,726 (12%)
    • Af Am: 101,012 (14%)

This morning, Paul takes a look at who the independent voters who have returned ballots are:

To dive into this pool of Independent voters we can look at the breakdown of ballot returns using the “DemPlus” and “RepPlus” counts from PDI. These aren’t models, they are flags of prior behavior. A DemPlus is anyone who is a Democrat, plus those who are Independents who pulled a ballot to vote in a Democratic Primary, have donated to a Democrat or were previously registered Democrat. And, obviously, RepPlus is the same thing, but for Republicans.

Of the Independent voters who have cast ballots, over half meet one of these categories, with the current breakdown of 74% DemPlus and 26% RepPlus. But there are also Independents who aren’t categorized but can be looked at based on their household party type – meaning who they live with. As a rule, we expect independents who live with Democrats to be more progressive than those who live with Republicans.

Including those, we can break down the full independent vote as follows:

· Independents who are DemPlus: 193,283

· Independents who are RepPlus: 67,141

· Uncategorized Independent, but live with a Dem: 128,205

· Uncategorized Independent, but live with a Rep: 69,043

This leaves 134k of the Independents basically in an uncategorized bucket. But, if someone asks you the partisan lean of these independents, the best answer is that they appear to be about three-quarters leaning Democratic.

You can sign up for Paul's daily ballot tracker and commentary here.

In his California Politics newsletter, John Myers addresses confusion about what is happening with returned ballots:

One particularly viral — and false — story in circulation on social media is that the ballots that have been collected have already been “counted” by elections officials and thus there’s an effort underway to ensure Newsom prevails.


State election law allows ballots to be processed when they arrive — signatures on envelopes checked, a voter’s eligibility confirmed, torn ballots tended to — at any time over the 29 days before Sept. 14. But the votes aren’t tallied by counties until after the polls close at 8 p.m. on election night.

Not all of the confusion can be blamed on false accusations. A number of voters, after returning their ballots, have received an auto-generated text or email that says the ballot has been “received and counted.” It was a poor choice of words that, given the heightened concerns these days about elections, has left some voters unsettled.

With so many accusations of "fraud" related to the slow counting of ballots last November, this was an important change in law to allow county elections officials to prepare ballots for counting on election night, but as John writes, the actual counting begins at 8pm on September 14.

You can sign up for John's free weekly newsletter here.

Fraud accusations: For the Chron, Kaylee Fagan looks at how the Trump-promoted election conspiracies have made there way into the California recall election and the possible impact.

The campaign to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom has a conspiracy theory problem, and it just might siphon off votes that could aid its cause.

In an illustration of the fallout from Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, California recall supporters have unleashed streams of unfounded allegations on Facebook and other online forums, suggesting the state will continue in mass voter fraud to keep Newsom in power.

“We all know 2020s [sic] election was stolen from President Trump,” a woman wrote last month in a private Facebook group run by the pro-recall campaign to rally support in Orange County. “If we can’t guarantee election integrity, the Dems will cheat again.”

“We can vote all day but if it’s in a corrupt voting system it’s not going to matter!” a recall supporter from San Bernardino County wrote, also last month, in the campaign’s public Facebook group, which is statewide and has 25,000 members.

These views are anything but isolated, according to a Chronicle analysis of two months of posts and comments on the recall’s official Facebook pages. Supporters have repeatedly pushed conspiracy theories and other false or unsupported claims about next month’s election, as well as the pandemic and other issues.


The intensity of these assertions — which have been amplified by the Republican front-runner in the election, radio host Larry Elder — has prompted both recall supporters and voting experts to worry they could diminish trust in the election and even discourage some people from voting altogether.

Well, we know what the story will be if Newsom beats the recall.

Poll position: I'm not going to post the actual numbers since crosstabs aren't provided, but Change Research yesterday released a polling memo and toplines on a recall poll on both questions. The poll was not conducted for a client and was paid for by the polling firm.

I'm expecting another respected poll with full transparency early next week.

Fundraising and cash through 08/26/21

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



Kevin Faulconer***



Caitlyn Jenner

Kevin Kiley

Kevin Paffrath



















Contributions reported yesterday**



$16,000      $42,850  $1,000 $6,000

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. 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: $12,396,157
  • $1,000+ contributions since: $12,602,970  (includes yesterday's and in-kinds)
  • Added yesterday: $241,092

Big money: Not included above since it was reported this morning, the Democratic Governors Association adds $3 million to the Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom account, increasing its total contribution to $4.5 million.

Governor GOP: For Politico, Jeremy B. White and Victoria Colliver look at what Sacramento -- far more under the control legislative Democrats than in 2003 -- would look like under a Republican Governor.

Any Republican who succeeds Newsom would be parachuting into hostile political territory. Democrats command two-thirds majorities in the state Legislature that allow them to override vetoes without a single Republican vote. The state’s biggest cities are run by Democrats. And all would be aiming to drive the new governor out of office in next year’s general election.

But a Republican executive could fight back through unilateral action, uprooting the state’s vast government bureaucracy, freezing spending and issuing sweeping edicts with a swipe of the pen.

Expect a year of political bedlam.

“It would be complete chaos, and government would come to a virtual standstill,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, a former state Senate leader who headed the Democratic caucus during Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s tenure.

Obviously, Elder has shown a lead in all the polls, so let's talk about him. A big question for Elder would be who to recruit for top staff rolls. As I pointed out on the recording of the Capitol Weekly podcast (likely coming Monday), there are far fewer Republican legislative staffers than when Schwarzenegger entered in 2003. Further, Schwarzenegger was elected for the remaining more than two years of Gray Davis's term, and because of his star power, was presumed to win election to a full term in 2006 (which he did). Finally, because of his work on before and after school education and Prop. 49, Schwarzenegger had relationships to Sacramento. 

Elder doesn't have the star power, would face election in just over a year, and doesn't have many known relationships to Sacramento. How many experienced GOP lobbyists would want to "cross the street" to work in an Elder Administration?

Continuing with the Smith and Colliver article:

“You can do a ton in the executive order space,” said Dan Dunmoyer, who was cabinet secretary under Schwarzenegger, the winner of the state’s only other gubernatorial recall. “You don’t need any legislative approval, though you have the courts to worry about. You could overturn every one of Newsom’s executive orders like Biden did to Trump.”

Health Officers Association of California Executive Director Kat DeBurgh said the state’s health and safety code empowers local governments to maintain stringent rules. But Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith disagreed, saying a state public health officer appointed by the governor would have the ability to change local health orders.

“Obviously, such an action would be challenged in court," Smith said.

"Mad moms" and mask mandates: For the LAT, Seema Mehta writes on what is motivating some of the most ardent supporters of the recall.

Now, as recall ballots are dropping in mailboxes, children are returning to school amid heated battles over mask mandates and skyrocketing cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Leaders of the effort to remove Newsom for office are confident that women, exasperated by the effect of Newsom’s policies on their children, are the reason they will prevail.

“It’s gas on the fire,” said Anne Hyde Dunsmore, campaign manager for Rescue California, one of the main recall groups. “The whole time, it’s probably the single biggest ingredient in the campaign, in our success.”

Newsom “didn’t understand mad moms, which are the same as soccer moms,” Dunsmore said, referring to the pivotal group of suburban female voters. “Don’t piss off mommy.”

Newsom and his allies agree that these women are critical, but they point to polling that shows that well over a majority of the state’s women approve Newsom’s handling of the pandemic. If these women turn out, they will be a major factor in helping the governor retain his job.

“Non-Republican women are key targets in our field and voter mobilization efforts,” said Nathan Click, spokesman for the anti-recall campaign.

Elder on race: In The Bee, Lara Korte looks at Larry Elder's views on race.

The leading Republican recall candidate says he’s not African American. He’s an American who is Black.

He thinks systemic racism is a lie, and that rising crime is the result of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He thinks welfare is more harmful to Black families than slavery and that the poor performance of Black children in school would be remedied by school choice.

Larry Elder’s views on race in some ways align with his libertarian ideals, but have raised alarms among Californians who warn he is the “Black face of white supremacy,” as one Los Angeles Times columnist did recently.

“They are scared to death,” Elder told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in response.

As a Republican, Elder is, statistically speaking, an outlier among African Americans. For decades, Black voters have solidly supported the Democratic Party. The latest data from the Pew Research Center found 83% of Black voters identified with Democrats.

But Black voters are not a political monolith. In 2019, 43% of Black Democrats called themselves moderate, 29% called themselves liberal, and 25% called themselves conservative. according to the Pew Research Center.

Elder's campaign manager: For Politico, Carla Marinucci reports that Larry Elder's new campaign manager has faced scrutiny over billings to the Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies.

The new campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial recall frontrunner Larry Elder has been the subject of investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s office in connection with millions of dollars billed by his consulting firm to taxpayers, according to a Southern California attorney who has been questioned in the probe.

Jeffrey Corless, who last week joined Elder’s campaign team, is chief executive and president of Irvine, Calif.-based Venture Strategic Inc., a politically connected public relations and communications firm tapped to develop communications strategy for Orange County’s Transportation Corridor Agencies. The agency, which manages the county toll roads, hired Corless’ firm in 2015 in its effort to sell commuters on the value of area toll roads to ease gridlock.

Southern California attorney Adam Englander, a consultant for the city of San Clemente, said in an interview that in March 2021 “an investigator from the Orange County District Attorney’s office met with me for hours to discuss the investigation of Venture Strategic and the TCA.’’

Englander said he provided the investigator with seven gigabytes of public information which he said documented “gross overbilling by Venture Strategic.’’ He said that based on his review of the documents, the firm has been paid nearly $5.9 million in consulting fees from the public agency.

Tim Lineberger, Venture Strategic’s spokesperson, would not comment on whether the firm had recently been the subject of a DA investigation, but said that no charges have been filed against Corless, and said that the accusations of wrongdoing were part of “politically motivated attacks” by Democrats.

“It is no coincidence the second Venture Strategic began working in support of the recall against Gavin Newsom, Newsom’s cronies who hold positions of power in government abused their authority to leak information and smear us with blatantly false insinuations of wrongdoing,’’ he said in an emailed statement to POLITICO. “Government agencies have apparently spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars auditing and reviewing this matter, only to discover Venture Strategic underbilled the toll road agency, was owed roughly five thousand dollars, and successfully performed on the contract.”

Faulconer on parental leave: As he stakes out the moderate lane among the 46 successor candidates on the ballot, Lara Korte reports for The Bee that former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is calling for universal paid parental leave.

Gubernatorial recall candidate Kevin Faulconer wants to implement fully paid parental leave as part of a plan he says will support California women, especially working mothers.

The plan, which Faulconer introduced Thursday, comes as he and other candidates lambaste recall front runner Larry Elder over comments he made in support of pregnancy discrimination.

Faulconer accused Elder of wanting to “eradicate women’s protections” and said his plan will provide mothers with support when they need it most.

“More new mothers and primary caregivers will receive their full pay up to 12 weeks,” Faulconer, a Republican, said standing in front of the Capitol on Thursday. “Secondary caregivers, of course, will be paid up to six weeks.”

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


  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 22,382,452 (66.0%% of 12+)
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,510,348 (10.3% of 12+)
    • Californians with no vaccine: 23.7% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,508,897 (60 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 5.4% (no change day-over-day), a 0.1% decrease from seven days ago.

    In Sacramento County, it is 9.2% (no change day-over-day), a 0.7% decrease from 7 days ago.

    In Los Angeles County, it is 3.0% (-0.1% change day-over-day) (confusing 7-day number).
  • Vaxx mandate: The buzz yesterday was about the possibility that Assembly member Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) could turn AB 455 into a statewide vaccination mandate for employees not working at home and for entrance to indoor dining, bars, gyms, and other venues. As of this morning, the bill still deals with transit-only lanes on the Bay Bridge.

    That said, at 8pm last night, Larry Elder tweeted an announcement of a September 8 State Capitol rally by "A Voice for Choice," which is the same group that unsuccessfully protested pediatrician Senator Richard Pan's bills SB 276 and SB 277 that tightened up exemptions for mandatory vaccination of schoolchildren. 

    I'm told that there is a debate as to whether to do it now as a gut-and-amend or start with the regular legislative schedule in January. The advantage of doing it now is that, if the recall looks like it will be successful after election night but before the certification of results, Governor Newsom could sign the bill. With Elder leading as the successor candidate and promising to repeal all of the state public health executive orders on his first day in office, this would write the vaccination mandate into law. Consequentially, it couldn't be reversed without further action by the Legislature.

    While the play makes sense for those advocating for vaccine mandates, it's still unclear if Wicks can find the two-thirds vote for such a mandate, particularly with the anti-vaxx hornets nest already being stirred up.
  • School daze: In The Bee, Sawsan Morrar looks at the return to in-person instruction in Sacramento.

    Just days into the school year, COVID-19 cases and quarantines caused by infections are on the rise in Sacramento-area districts.

    Hundreds of cases have been reported among students and staff, the vast majority of which have been clustered at high schools and middle schools, where most students are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The number of young children being admitted to local hospitals with COVID is also increasing.

    While health experts have their eye on COVID-19 cases among children, district closures are not planned. State Senate Bill 98, which allowed California schools to pivot to distance learning during the pandemic, sunset on June 30. The goal, education officials say, is to keep children in school.

    Many health and safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19: staff and students wear masks, more than 40% of 12- to 17-year-olds in Sacramento and Placer counties are fully vaccinated and COVID testing is available for students.

    “I really trust in the public health advice,” Sacramento County Superintendent Dave Gordon said. “It has served us well so far. I think following that will get us through.”


Largest Active Fires




Acres Consumed


Structures Destroyed


Personnel On Scene


Dixie Fire

Butte, Plumas, Lassen,

power lines



(no change)




Caldor Fire

El Dorado

under investigation


(no change)





McFarland Fire


under investigation







Monument Fire


under investigation



(no change)




French Fire


under investigation


(no change)

not available

not available

not available


Source: Cal Fire

Tahoe: In the Chron, Michael Cabanatuan and Lauren Hepler write that the first evacuation warnings have been issued in the Lake Tahoe basin as the Caldor Fire progresses toward the treasured locale.

Evacuation warnings were issued inside the Tahoe Basin on Thursday for the first time since the Caldor Fire erupted southwest of Lake Tahoe two weeks ago, and evacuations were ordered at Echo Summit.

This order is in the area around the Sierra at Tahoe ski resort, which has had ominous webcam footage the last few days. The resort is in the current mandatory evacuation zone.

Residents of Christmas Valley in the South Lake area were told to prepare to vacate their homes while residents between Twin Bridges and Echo Summit were ordered to leave. The developments in El Dorado County came as another new wildland fire started in Tuolumne County, forcing evacuations in Sonora.

The Caldor Fire has burned 139,510 acres and was moving east along Highway 50 on Thursday. Despite the expanded evacuations and warnings, fire officials said they expect to stop the fire from entering the Tahoe Basin.

“We just need to make sure anyone in the forest or in their homes still gets out,” said Dave Lauchner, a Cal Fire spokesperson. “But we still foresee getting this stopped before the basin.”

Meanwhile, in the Times, Hayley Smith and Jason Armond look at the impact on South Lake Tahoe as a key holiday weekend marking the symbolic end of summer approaches.

As the destructive Caldor fire creeps closer to the popular resort area, the boaters, hikers and beachgoers who typically descend on South Lake Tahoe ahead of Labor Day have all but vanished. And the lake itself — a blue jewel of California — is now choppy and dark under a dense blanket of smoke. The layer of ash in the area is thick enough in some places to leave footprints.

But it was only months ago that Tahoe offered an escape valve and relocation option for many during the COVID-19 pandemic — at one point becoming so overrun with tourists that officials wondered whether to ask people to stay away.

“We were inundated with people earlier this year,” said Tim Cain, who owns the El Fresco and Freel Perk restaurants near Christmas Valley, now under an evacuation warning. “Now, they’re just not coming.”

Cain said even official stay-at-home orders issued during the pandemic couldn’t keep people from “sneaking over the hill” into Tahoe from Sacramento and the Central Valley.

But on Thursday, he and many other business owners had to close their doors early due to worsening conditions as the Caldor fire moved within 14 miles of the area.

The smoke in the basin has gotten so thick — and the air quality so hazardous — that even Mike Papa, a 32-year resident who works at the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, said he had no choice but to advise people to stay away, a notion that runs counter to everything his office stands for.

“Everything is closed and it’s dangerous,” he told one caller on the phone. “You don’t want to be up here this weekend.”

EDUCATION MATTERS: For EdSource, John Fensterwald and Betty Márquez Rosales report on the challenges school districts are facing upon the return to in-person instruction.

Quarantines and teacher shortages are threatening to overwhelm school districts already struggling to provide independent study for tens of thousands of students who have chosen it or could be forced into it because of Covid infections and exposure. Many districts are confused over how to educate students in quarantine — what’s required, what’s allowed and what’s funded.

At this point, independent study, even for eight to 14 days due to a quarantine, is the only education option that the state is willing to fund other than in-person instruction. The Legislature let the one-year law setting the rules for distance learning expire at the end of June.

For decades, many school districts have offered independent study for students whose needs couldn’t be met by traditional schools: child actors, aspiring Olympians, bullied children or brilliant students who thrive on their own.

In retooling the law to accommodate families still fearful of returning to the classroom during Covid, the Legislature requires all families to sign contracts spelling out the terms of independent study. Lawmakers strengthened reporting requirements to verify that students were doing assignments and set minimal live instruction requirements for students in early grades.

But superintendents complain that the new rules are cumbersome and unclear and say they’re worried the system will break down if outbreaks of Covid force large numbers of individual students, classrooms and entire schools into independent study programs on short notice.

“This has become hyperpoliticized, but a lack of direction and clarity from the state really has been having an impact on us,” said Brett McFadden, superintendent of the Nevada Union High School District in Grass Valley.

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

Probolsky Research


BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: In the Chron, Emma Talley looks at the impact on diversity after San Francisco's Lowell High School eliminated merit-based admissions for incoming students.

Black and Hispanic students at Lowell say they often feel isolated, historically making up a very small portion of the student body. But this year, Lowell is seeing a shift in its racial and ethnic makeup after it suspended merit-based admission for its ninth-grade class, with more diversity than in recent memory, if not ever.

This year’s ninth-grade class will have more Black and Hispanic students combined than at any time in at least 25 years — according to available state data on race and ethnicity that goes back to 1993.

The data bolsters arguments made by supporters that getting rid of the competitive admissions process would boost diversity in what has long been considered an academically elite public high school — and one embattled by racist incidents.

After more than a century of using academic-based admissions — most recently an entrance exam and grades — the school board permanently stripped the high school of its academic-based admissions process in February in a controversial fast-tracked proposal. Admission to Lowell is now primarily a lottery that takes into account school preferences by students as well as other factors.

The decision to change admissions came as the country grappled with a racial reckoning and the school board pledged to address symbolic and systemic issues of inequity, including a bumbled effort to rename 44 schools.

ATTENTION UOP FORENSICS ALUMS: Former staffer and education advocate Pam Gibbs shares:

Dear Friends and Colleagues - You are invited to join the new Pacific Forensics Alumni Club for engaging events and opportunities to support our team! The club is for alumni who were a part of the speech and debate team at University of the Pacific as a student or coach. Now is the perfect time to join as an inaugural club member. Please remember to invite your former teammates and other speech and debate students you knew at Pacific. For more information and to get involved with the club, please contact the Pacific Forensics Alumni Club at or 209-946-2899.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jonathan Abboud, Rachel Linn Gish, and Christine Smith!



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]


Taught by 46-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov and distinguished speakers Chris Micheli and Richard Stapler. Seminars: Regulatory Agency Advocacy, Media Strategies, Budget Advocacy, & “So You Think You Want To Sponsor A Bill”. Sessions are being held: Sept. 23rd: Regulatory ($175) and Media ($175). Sept. 24th: “So You Think You Want To Sponsor A Bill” ($225) and Budget ($175). *Discounts for multiple sessions. Seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208. Further information:

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: