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.

  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): I join John and Tim to chat about the Top 100 (2021-08-30)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Rocklin council member Joe Patterson on housing (2021-08-27)
  • 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)
  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


  • 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)
  • 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  

The Nooner for Tuesday, August 31, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy election day for those in the East Bay AD18. Unlike the recall election, we'll likely know the result of the special election to fill now-AG Rob Bonta's district tonight. In Sacramento, the air quality is supposed to be pretty good today and we're looking at a tolerable high of 91.

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Happy Taco Tuesday! (¡Feliz martes de tacos!) With the loss by the Giants yesterday, the Dodgers are 1.5 games back after a win over that awful tomahawk team. 


  • 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 (23% of those returned; 10% ballot return rate)
    • Republican: 654,891 (22%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%)


Fundraising and cash through 08/30/21

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



Kevin Faulconer***



Caitlyn Jenner

Kevin Kiley

Kevin Paffrath



















Contributions reported yesterday**


$17,500     $5,000  $2,040  

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.

Faulconer: The LAT's Laura J. Nelson looks at the candidacy of former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer.

More liberal than the national Republican Party on abortion rights, gay marriage and climate change, Faulconer has long been considered the GOP’s best shot at winning statewide office after a 15-year drought. In a one-on-one matchup with Newsom, he’d have a great shot, his supporters say.

But it’s been hard for moderates like Faulconer to gain traction in this campaign driven by extremes. Faulconer harkens back to an earlier era of American politics, when the old joke was that candidates came in two flavors: Democratic vanilla and Republican French vanilla, “a little creamier and a little richer,” said Carl Luna, a professor of political science at San Diego Mesa College.

“Kevin is French vanilla,” Luna said. “But a lot of people don’t want vanilla. They want rocky road jalapeño with Tabasco sauce on top.”

Damn, I wish I had thought of that phrase first. Continuing with the article...

For years, he built a brand as an affable, across-the-aisle kind of guy in California’s second-largest city. A political insider once warned that profiling Faulconer would be like “investigating dry white toast.” (Asked if he’s boring, Faulconer said, “Oh, I think I’m pretty funny.”)

The self-described “vanilla” candidate is now walking a political tightrope: Reach out to independents and Democrats hunting for a palatable alternative to Newsom, while mollifying Republicans who doubt his conservative bona fides.

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


  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 22,517,853 (66.4%% of 12+)
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,498,394 (10.3% of 12+)
    • Californians with no vaccine: 23.3% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,730,601 (63 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 4.6%, a 0.6% decrease from seven days ago.

    In Sacramento County, it is 8.4%, a 1.2% decrease from 7 days ago.

    In Los Angeles County, it is 2.9%, a 0.1% decrease from 7 days ago.

Vaccine mandate: Assembly member Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) is not moving forward on a statewide vaccine mandate this year. The two-thirds vote just wasn't there, particularly with local businesses throwing up their hands over enforcement.

LAUSD: The LAT's Howard Blume writes that United Teachers Los Angeles is calling for more aggressive rules for the country's second largest school district.

The Los Angeles teachers union is calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible students and stricter quarantine rules while raising some objections to a new district mandate for online instruction when students are in quarantine.

The demand from United Teachers Los Angeles, in a proposal submitted at the bargaining table, calls for students “to achieve full vaccination no later than 12 weeks following the birthday in which they become eligible,” subject to medical and religious exemptions laid out in state and federal law.

The union also is calling for entire classes of younger students to be quarantined when anyone in that class — staff or student — tests positive for a coronavirus infection.

The union’s proposals were laid out in a document called “Counterproposal #2,” which is dated Aug. 26 and was supplied to The Times. There is no indication that the district has agreed to either proposal, which would further cement L.A. Unified’s coronavirus rules as among the strictest in the nation.


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







Monument Fire


under investigation







French Fire


under investigation



not available

not available

not available


Source: Cal Fire

 -Tahoe: In the Times, Hayley Smith and Alex Wigglesworth look at the fight to keep the Caldor Fire out of South Lake Tahoe.

It was a moment officials hoped would never come: The mass evacuation of South Lake Tahoe in the face of a rapidly approaching wildfire.

Even though the Caldor fire had been creeping ever closer to the famed resort town for days, few residents thought it would actually arrive. Most spoke reverently of a towering granite ridge a few miles away that they believed would prevent flames from dropping down into the Lake Tahoe Basin.

By Monday morning however, the wind-whipped fire had made alarming progress, raising the specter of an uncontrolled urban fire and sending residents fleeing under mandatory evacuation orders.

“Today’s been a rough day, and there’s no bones about it,” Eldorado National Forest supervisor Jeff Marsolais said.

The evacuation comes amid a summer of extreme fire behavior, as heat, drought and wind stoke flames and strain the state’s firefighting capabilities. In response to the crisis, the U.S. Forest Service announced Monday that it would close all national forests in California for roughly two weeks, beginning at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. The Pentagon agreed to send hundreds of U.S. Army personnel to help battle flames in Northern California.

The Tahoe evacuation order covers nearly all of the Lake Tahoe Basin in El Dorado County, from the California-Nevada state line on the lake’s southern end to Tahoma on its western shore.

-Sierra-at-Tahoe: The Chron's Gregory Thomas looks at the fight to save the Tahoe ski resort Sierra at Tahoe.

Driving toward South Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area, Sierra is the first resort skiers pass along Highway 50, in Twin Bridges. The 2,000-acre resort is known for its legendary tree runs and great instruction programs for beginner skiers and snowboarders from Sacramento and the Central Valley. It has been around for 75 years, produced Olympic gold medalists and withstood earthquakes.

In advance of the fire, Rice and another manager feverishly cut defensible space around buildings, taped up air ducts to block embers, drove heavy equipment into the resort’s parking lots to spare them from damage and repositioned the resort’s cannon-shaped water hydrants, typically used for snowmaking, to douse structures when the flames arrived.

Inside, they went office to office, boxing up important documents and collecting computer servers to move them offsite.

“Everything and anything we could do to mitigate losses,” Rice said.

They knew the fire was coming. It was just a question of what the damage would be.

Meanwhile, Lake Tahoe officials were working on a new evacuation plan, reports Matthias Gafni in the Chron.

As of this morning, the news about the evacuation of South Lake Tahoe sounds successful. Folks could either head east into Nevada or camp out in the casinos. The South Lake Tahoe casinos were still welcoming guests. For those in the gaming mood, slots were open while table games were shuttered.

WAREHOUSES: The LAT's Margot Roosevelt looks at AB 701 (Lorena Gonzalez), which would increase scrutiny of working conditions of warehouse distribution center workers.

California lawmakers are taking aim at Amazon.

An Assembly-passed bill is expected to reach the Senate floor this week or next to crack down on the opaque, algorithm-led and harsh warehouse work conditions often attributed to the Seattle technology behemoth.

The bill, the first such legislation in the nation, would require warehouses to disclose quotas and work speed metrics to employees and government agencies. It would ban “time off task” penalties that affect health and safety, including bathroom use, and prohibit retaliation against workers who complain.

The bill is on Senate Third Reading after which it will return to the Assembly for a concurrence vote on amendments. The Assembly approved the prior version on a party-line vote and the same will likely happen again.

KAMALA: In the LAT, Noah Bierman writes that even fans of junior senator Kamala Harris are concerned about her political future.

That perception illustrates one of many early problems Harris faces. She is unlike any vice president who served before her — not just because she is a Black woman of South Asian ancestry — but also because she faces immense expectations that she is the favorite to replace Biden, who at 78 is the oldest president ever to serve.

Interviews in downtown plazas and suburban strip malls with more than two dozen voters in Philadelphia and Bucks County, Pa. — two essential places in the Democratic Party electoral map — illuminate Harris’ struggles in public opinion polls. All of the interviews were conducted during the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan but before the terrorist attack that killed 13 American service members and scores of Afghans.

Some of Harris’ challenges, including the perception that she is not a central player in the administration, have bedeviled her predecessors to varying degrees, given that the No. 2 job requires deference. Others are unique to the nation’s first female vice president: Two men told a reporter outright that a woman should never be president; a third said she “cackles” too much; a fourth called her “a joke,” who was put in her job as “a trophy.”

It’s impossible to quantify how many of Harris’ political struggles are the result of racism and sexism — both blatant and subtle — and how many stem from her actions and personal qualities. She has made political mistakes and is in office in an era of hyper-partisanship, when few politicians have attracted large majorities of national support.

Polls show she is faring far worse than three of her four most recent predecessors at this point in their tenures, and only slightly better than the fourth, Vice President Mike Pence, who served a uniquely unpopular president, according to a Times analysis of polling data. On average, Harris is viewed negatively by 49% of voters, compared with 43% who see her in a positive light, about 10 percentage points worse than Biden’s favorability numbers.

cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

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CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Benjamin Bradley, Marc Carrel, and Carol Dahmen-Eckery!



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;
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: