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 (CapRadio)Can California Continue to Grow the World’s Food Without Reliable Water? (2021-09-03)
  • Political Breakdown; (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Dem recall cqndidate Kevin Paffrath (2021-09-02)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Hoard 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)


  • Capitol Seminars: Four Seminars Being Offered Over 2 Days (September 23-24)
  • 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, September 7, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners


Do you recall?

Happy Taco Tuesday! My lungs are still crappy today without much sleep overnight. Further my excruciating pain ir We are now one week from the recall election and three days final day of the Legislature before the four-month Interim Study Recess. Meanwhile, with the Dodgers and Giants easily winning yesterday in St Louis and Denver respectively, the Giants maintain a 1.5-game lead in the National League West.

Senate Budget and Fiscal Review hears 19 budget bills this afternoon after session, including a "budget bill jr." with lots of appropriations in it.


  • Recall election key dates:
    • September 14: Election Day
    • October 22: Statement of vote
  • Ballot update from PDI/@paulmitche115,890,491 ballots returned (26% of mailed ballots)
    • Democratic: 3,491,820 (55% of those returned; 33% ballot return rate)
    • NPP/other: 1,391,265 (22% of those returned; 29% ballot return rate)
    • Republican: 1,448,306 (22% of those returned; 20% ballot return rate)
      • 65+: 2,824,295 (45% return rate)
      • 50-64: 1,677,150 (30%)
      • 35-49: 1,098,092 (20%)
      • 18-34: 839,264 (14%)

National assits: Kamala Harris will be in town in the Bay Area and The White House said this morning that Joe Biden will be in California "early next week."

Elder: For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks at why Larry Elder is spending lots of time wooing Latino and Asian voters.

In nearly every way, Larry Elder appears to be the candidate that the California Republican Party has been waiting for.

The party hasn’t won a statewide election since 2006. Its base of supporters has been gradually whittled down to an ever whiter and older demographic in one of the country’s most diverse states

Now here comes Elder, offering something different. A longtime conservative talk radio host in Los Angeles, he is the most credible Black candidate for governor since the 1980s in a state that has never had one.

Throughout his short campaign, Elder has made explicit efforts to reach out to communities who have not traditionally found a home in the GOP. In press conferences, Elder has prioritized reporters from Chinese-language and Latino-focused media outlets and underscored endorsements from political leaders of color, including a former Democratic state Senate leader. 

And he’s told and retold the story of his hardscrabble upbringing — as a boast, but also an appeal to voters who rarely see their own biographies among Republican frontrunners. “I’m from the ’hood,” Elder told CalMatters in a recent interview. “It seems to me that I ought to be a success story.”

 'Campaign frenzy: In the Times, Ben Poson reports on the final frrenetic days of recall election campaigning.

In a sprint to the finish, Gov. Gavin Newsom and his challengers campaigned across the state over Labor Day weekend, with just days to go before the Sept. 14 recall election.

On Monday, Newsom campaigned in Baldwin Hills with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), courting voters in the predominantly Black neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Republican front-runner Larry Elder held rallies in Castaic and Thousand Oaks to lock down conservative voters.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer stopped by that city’s East Village Friday and went on local TV over the weekend to discuss how he would address the homelessness crisis if elected.

Newsom: For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes on how Gavin Newsom created the threatening polls:

The earlier indications in polling of a too-close-to-call outcome were based on what appeared to be a yawning voter turnout gap. Republicans were motivated to turn out and Democrats appeared to be turned off, which gave the anti-Newsom faction a fighting chance of winning.

The polling clearly startled Newsom and his campaign advisors, so they turned from defending his record as governor for the past 30 months, particularly his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, to offense, branding the recall as a power grab by disgruntled fans of ex-President Donald Trump, a political pariah in California.

Talk show host Larry Elder’s emergence as the leading Republican successor candidate gave the Newsom camp a specific target and it unloaded on Elder as right-wing radical who would wreak havoc on the state.

Belatedly, Newsom’s aggressive assault has appeared to jolt apathetic Democrats, or at least enough of them, to narrow and perhaps close the turnout gap.

Youth vote: For the Chron, Matthew Regan looks at the impact of the vot of younger cvoters in the recall election.

Alex Valdivia began paying more attention to politics over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a homebound 17-year-old, Valdivia started logging into Kern County Board of Supervisors meetings to understand how his community became one of California’s largest hubs for oil drilling.

“My neighbor is an oil company where I live, back home in Bakersfield,” he said.

While the ballot has two questions, he plans to follow Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lead: Just vote “no” on removing the governor and skip the second question on replacement candidates — and has been spreading that message to his close friends, parents and grandparents.

“In my circle, I told them all: ‘You know, you gotta get out to vote,’” said Valdivia, a junior at UCLA studying political science. “So at least in my circle, they’re gonna vote. We’ve already got our ballots.”

In a recall election that will likely be decided by which side turns out its base at the highest rates, young, energized voters like Valdivia represent an important voting bloc for Newsom if he hopes to survive.

Churches: In the Times, Faith E. Pinho looks at the impact of churches on the recall campaign.

It started as a traditional Sunday service.

The worship rose and fell in emotional chorus. People shook hands with their neighbors in the pews.

But then, in lieu of a sermon, Destiny Christian Church Pastor Greg Fairrington welcomed onstage Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder.

“People of faith, in my opinion, have stood on the sidelines for far too long. We need to get involved. And that is why I’m running,” Elder told the 5,000 people who packed the sprawling Rocklin church campus to watch his 30-minute conversations with the pastor at each of the three Sunday morning services. An additional 25,000 watched online. “I’m doing it because I feel that I have a patriotic, a moral, and a spiritual obligation to fix this state to the extent I can.”

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


  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 22,849,099 (67.3%% of 12+)
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,443,099 (10.1% of 12+)
    • Californians with no vaccine: 22.6% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 5,802,823 (639days 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 4.5%, no change from 7 days ago.

    In Sacramento County, it is 7.4%, a 1.4% decrease from 7 days ago.

    In Los Angeles County, it is 2.8%, a 0.6% increase from 7 days ago.
  • School daze: For EdSource, Carolyn Jones looks at problems with school COVID testing.

    As schools reopen, frequent Covid testing is meant to be a crucial tool in controlling virus outbreaks on campus. But so far, testing in many districts remains inconsistent and disorganized, leaving parents, teachers and administrators frustrated and doubtful of the tests’ effectiveness in keeping students safe.

    “None of it makes any sense. They’re sending kids home with a little sniffle or cough, and it could be a week or more before they’re allowed to come back,” said Kristy Llewellyn, a parent of three children in Temecula Valley Unified in Riverside County. “The kids are already so far behind. This just can’t go on for the rest of the school year.”

    Some districts, such as Los Angeles Unified, test all students and staff weekly. The district even publishes a dashboard showing positive test rates in different areas of the district.

    But in other districts, the process has been spotty at best, and often relies on parents to find free testing sites and report positive results to their child’s school. Laboratories and clinics send positive test results to state and local public health agencies, but the results aren’t connected to specific schools because the student may have been infected anywhere, not necessarily at school, according to the state Department of Public Health.


Largest Active Fires




Acres Consumed


Structures Destroyed


Personnel On Scene


Dixie Fire

Butte, Plumas, Lassen,

power lines







Caldor Fire

El Dorado

under investigation







Monument Fire


under investigation


(np change)

no change)




Source: Cal Fire

Caldor and da bears: In the Chron, Matthias Gafni reports that when residents were evacuated last week during the Caldor fire in the Tahoe area, the bears moved in.

As residents frantically evacuated a week ago from the approaching Caldor Fire, the last thing many South Lake Tahoe residents did was to pull their garbage cans to the curb. The problem: Garbage pickup wasn’t scheduled for four to five days, and refuse emplot Sayees were also fleeing town.

So bears helped themselves to a rare feast.

“Bears are just having a heyday of it. It’s just a nightmare,” said John Tillman, owner of South Tahoe Refuse. “There’s so much garbage on the street because of the bears. Oh my God, they are making a mess.”

Insurance: Fpr KPBS, Camille van Kaemel reports that insurance companies throughout San Diego County are dropping homeowner polices in high fire risk areas.

The threat of wildfire is increasingly leading insurers to drop the policies of San Diego homeowners, a trend most prominent in the county’s rural areas but also affecting city neighborhoods from Scripps Ranch to Hillcrest.

Seven out of 10 insured homes in San Diego County were located in ZIP codes where insurers increased the share of policies they dropped from 2015 to 2019, according to an inewsource analysis of the most recently available California Department of Insurance data.

The biggest single-year jump came in 2019, when insurers dropped 3.7% of all homeowners policies countywide, up from 2.3% in 2018.

legislative employees, OC homeless, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

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BAIL: For the Times, Patrick McGreevy looks at the latest effort to move to zero bail for some crimes.

Ten months after California voters rejected a state law to eliminate cash bail for many offenses, a new fight is brewing in the Legislature over an alternative plan by lawmakers that would slash the amount arrestees must pay to get out of jail.

The national bail industry that spent $10 million to defeat a “zero bail” measure on last November’s ballot is lobbying hard against the new proposed legislation and warns it will sue if the bill passes because it would put them out of business.

The threat comes after state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) recently amended his bill to remove a zero bail requirement for many less serious offenses.

Lacking the votes in the Assembly to eliminate bail, Hertzberg changed his legislation to instead require judges to determine whether cash bail is necessary to reasonably protect the public. If the court determines bail is necessary, the judge would be required to determine a defendant’s ability to pay bail before setting it.

LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEES: AB 314 (Lorena Gozalelez), which allow state employees to collectively bargain, is not moving this year after not being referred to committee.

OC HOMELESS: For Voice of OC, Nick Gerda looks into the effectiveness of the Orange County Commission on Homelessness.

Community activists are criticizing Orange County’s homelessness commission for not suggesting any action — and instead talking largely about rescheduling meetings to be more convenient for themselves – while being made up of people who depend on the county for funding.

The commission cancelled most of their meetings over the last year amid a majority of commissioners failing to show up, which happened again at their July meeting.

The no-shows come as homeless deaths climb to record levels in OC.

 At the Commission to End Homelessness’ most recent meeting, commissioners adjusted their meeting schedule and considered changes to their mission bylaws and general areas of interest — but had no sign of recommending actions for how to improve homeless services.

“We just had a discussion about [the] calendar and frequency of meetings,” said commissioner Paul Wyatt at the most recent meeting on Aug. 26. “The purpose of this commission is to advise the Board of Supervisors on what may be done.” 

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Robyn Boyer, Guillermo Cespedes, Cadee Condit, Hilary McLean, Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Arthur Valenzula



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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:

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: