Here’s what the people at the Capital Center for Law & Policy have been reading and thinking about this week.




Molly Alcorn

New York Times

Asian-American Students Suing Harvard Over Affirmative Action Win Justice Dept. Support by Katie Benner

Students are suing Harvard over discrimination. This is not a new story- Universities across the country have been sued for racial discrimination against minorities. However, this story caught my interest due to the very stern statement of interest from the Justice Department. In this letter, the Justice Department states that Harvard failed to “adequately explain how race factors into its admissions decisions.” Of course, to keep things interesting, Harvard fired back by stating it was “deeply disappointed” but not surprised “given the highly irregular investigation the D.O.J. has engaged in thus far.”




Jon Wainwright

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Here’s what the people at the Capital Center for Law & Policy have been reading and thinking about this week, aside from the obvious major headlines about Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort that broke on Tuesday.




Leslie Gielow Jacobs

New York Times

It’s Not Technology That’s Disrupting Our Jobs by Louis Hyman

This opinion pieces reminds us that “technological advances” may facilitate the gig economy, but they do not cause it.  Rather, the lack of job security, benefits, and minimum daily wages are the result of decisions made by corporate managers and government policymakers over the last number of decades.  So, the consequences many lament are the results of deliberate choices, and particular views of corporate and government responsibilities.  They are not inevitable results of the forward march of technology.




Jon Wainwright

San Francisco Gate

Safe Injection Sites In SF Closer To Fruition After State Senate Vote by Bay City News Service

AB 186 bill piqued my interest last year when it was initially introduced by Asm. Susan Talamantes-Eggman. The bill in its original form “would have authorized eight counties with heavy intravenous drug use to create pilot “safe injection sites.”” It immediately reminded me of Hamsterdam from Season 3 of The Wire. The updated bill would allow for three-year pilot program in just San Francisco. AB 186 still needs to be signed by the Governor if it is going to have any impact, but given the need to address the drug addiction problem in San Francisco, I am very interested in seeing the kind of impact legislation like this could have for the city.

Erin O’Neal Muilenburg – Career Advisor

New Case at US Supreme Court Tests Gender Pay Disparities by Erin Mulvaney

“Salaries speak louder than words.”  Judge Reinhardt’s words jumped off the page and caught my attention when I read the news of the recent decision in the pay equity case Rizo v. Yovino, in which the Ninth Circuit held that an employee’s salary history cannot be used to justify paying men and women differently for comparable jobs.  This issue may well be making its way to the Supreme Court.  In addition to the Ninth Circuit’s recent ruling, the federal appellate courts are currently split, with the Tenth and Eleventh Circuit holding that salary history alone cannot be used as an exemption to equal pay laws, and the Seventh Circuit ruling that previous salary can be considered.  Particularly in light of Justice Kennedy’s recent departure, and the effect on the Court’s jurisprudence that is likely to result from a newly appointed Justice, it will be important for both employees and employers to watch these issues closely.

I’m trying out something new for CAP·impact. If you like – or don’t like – this kind of post let me know in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook.

We’re going to let you all know what news has been capturing our attention over the past week. This week, we’ll start with the news I’ve been chewing on for the past week, and in the coming weeks, I’ll add some other familiar CAP·impact contributors. The news stories may or may not be political in nature. With no further ado, here are my top stories from the past week.

Former lawmaker under sexual misconduct investigation sues accuser for defamation

Earlier this week, Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times reported that former Assemblymember Matt Dababneh – who resigned eight months ago after allegations of serious sexual misconduct – filed a defamation lawsuit against his accuser, Pamela Lopez. Mason’s report came one day after Scott Lay discussed some positive things Dababneh could do with leftover campaign money that was transferred from Dababneh’s Assembly account to an account for a run at Lt. Governor in 2022 in his daily newsletter, The Nooner (start about halfway down the page, after the wildfire coverage for his thoughts on Dababneh). Lay discussed the defamation suit that Dababneh filed in Wednesday’s edition of The Nooner.

I remember a certain somebody else threatening to sue women who accused him of sexual assault, but never making good on that threat. Personally, I don’t like the look or smell of all of this lawsuit one bit, and I completely agree with Scott Lay’s assessment that we are “going to be deep in the gutter here.”

Capitol Weekly’s 10th Top 100 List features three McGeorge alumni

Earlier this week, Capitol Weekly announced their annual Top 100 list. It’s their “annual look at people who aren’t elected to office but who wield decisive influence on California politics or policy – or both.” This year was the 10th anniversary of the Top 100 and we were happy to be at the party announcing the honorees.

We were also very happy to see three McGeorge alumni make the list this year. Coming in at number 8 this year was Alan Zaremberg, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. At 38th is Rex Frazier, President of PIFC – short for Personal Insurance Federation of California. And coming in at 57th is Mike Belote, who is President of the contract lobbying firm California Advocates and a noted philanthropist.

Congratulations to the McGeorge alumni on the list, as well as all the honorees on this year’s Top 100 list!

McGeorge Capital Center for Law & Policy Director, Professor Leslie Gielow Jacobs, appeared yesterday on KCRA in Sacramento to talk about allegations made yesterday by California Insurance Commissioner, and candidate for Attorney General,  Dave Jones against current California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. You can catch her comments in the video below.

Jones’ campaign released a statement following Attorney General Becerra’s from attorney Amber Maltbie (McGeorge, 2009) which read, “First, the Government Code Section 8314 prohibition on state officials filming campaign commercials in a state building supersedes any permit or permission that Becerra was able to obtain from the Film Commission or Highway Patrol using his influence as Attorney General. Second, the California Film Commission website states explicitly that there is no process to film inside an Appellate Court of the State of California. ‘Filming requests for appellate courtrooms located within state office buildings will not be considered.'”

The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday announced another round of layoffs in its newsroom. 15 more journalists are being cut, including Ed Fletcher who announced his layoff on a Facebook Live Feed.

“It’s a big hit. It’s a sad day for the news industry,” Fletcher said. “If you haven’t been paying attention, it’s a bad time for the news industry.”

The Sacramento Bee states “[t]he object of this newspaper is not only independence, but permanence.” With the changing times, local newspapers such as The Bee have been struggling against the alleged fake news circling the internet. Mistrust directed towards journalists is a fatal flaw that leaves news companies struggling to maintain readers and support.

Having journalists is key to promoting independent reporting of national and international news. It is even encoded into our 1st Amendment rights to have freedom of the press to report.

The Annual Mike Belote Endowed Capital Lecture held earlier this year addressed these struggles and the importance of independent journalists in our current political atmosphere. If you haven’t already seen it, please enjoy the timely expert panel.

The Capital Center for Law & Policy is excited to announce the launch of our new podcast, The CAP·impact Podcast. You can find the new podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, and Soundcloud. We will be expanding our list of podcast clients that you can find us on in the next few days. If there is a particular app you like to use for listening to podcasts, let us know in the comments and we’ll get The CAP·impact Podcast on there for you.

Erin Scott – Board Chair, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence – sitting down with Jon Wainwright at The Partnership’s office in Sacramento.

If you’re a die hard reader of CAP⋅impact, you might recognize the people in today’s episode. The episode starts with Jon Wainwright giving an introduction to the podcast. That is followed by an abridged conversation between Ray LeBov and Chris Micheli on lobbying the state budget in California.

Following their chat is Jon’s conversation with Erin Scott, the Chair of the Board of Directors for The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. While it’s not in this episode, you’ll want to stay tuned for a follow up to this conversation that Jon had with some of the folks at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault on the cost of sexual violence in California and on their joint efforts with The Partnership to get more funding for preventing sexual violence and domestic violence in California.

The launch of The CAP⋅impact Podcast is a very exciting next step for us. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to more great conversations about law and policy in California added into your feed every week and please give it a 5-star review – and a positive comment – so other people can find the show more easily.

Thank you for listening!

This is a slight departure from our usual content. That said, last night’s event – the Belote Lectore on Journalism in the Era of Fake News – warrants the change of pace. The video above is of the entire one-hour discussion. Please enjoy the fantastic conversation between three stellar political journalists who know their craft inside and out.

The Annual McGeorge School of Law Mike Belote Endowed Capital Lecture was held last night at the Sterling Hotel in downtown Sacramento. The topic of last night’s event was Journalism in the Era of Fake News.

A full house of attendees enjoyed a dynamic, frank, and funny discussion which featured three influential journalists discussing the role of journalism today, as well as ethics in the journalism profession, the impact of Facebook and Twitter, and what members of the legal community can do to help journalists with combating the issue of fake news.

McGeorge Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz gave the opening remarks and then handed the discussion off Professor and Associate Dean for Experiential Learning Mary-Beth Moylan, who expertly moderated the evening’s discussion. The speakers were Jonathan Weisman, Deputy Washington Editor for the New York Times; John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times; and Joe Mathews, California columnist and editor for Zócalo Public Square.

The Mike Belote Endowed Capital Center Lecture series was made possible by a generous donation from Mike Belote (McGeorge Class of ’87), who is President of California Advocates, Inc. and a longtime Pacific McGeorge alumni donor and volunteer.

To stay up to date with the McGeorge Capital Center for Law and Policy and CAP⋅impact, you can subscribe to email updates by scrolling up and typing your email into the form just to the right of this post. You can Like CAP⋅impact on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CAPimpactCA.