Assembly confirms Maldonado

APRIL 22, 2010

Today the Assembly voted 51-18 to confirm Senator Abel Maldonado for Lieutenant Governor. Back in February, the Assemblyfailed to secure 41 votes for approval — or rejection — so Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger simply renominated him. The Senate, which already and overwhelmingly voted to confirm Maldonado, will take up the nomination again on Monday, April 26. Katy Grimes previous story, on Maldonado’s confirmation by the Senate Rules Committee, is below…

By KATY GRIMES

In a small room on the third floor of the Capitol, in cramped, standing room only (for media), the Assembly Rules Committee met today with Senator Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, Governor Schwarzenegger’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor. It was all partisan politics, to only end up sending Maldonado back to the Assembly tomorrow for another confirmation hearing.

But tonight there is capitol gossip in the hallways that Assembly Majority Leader John Perez, D-Los Angeles, has cut a deal with Governor Schwarzenegger that will result in the Assembly voting to approve Abel Maldonado for Lt. Governor if The Citizen Compensation Commission backs off its’ 10 percent pay cut recommendation. (More tomorrow on that…)

Maldonado held his own during the hearing, sounding reasonable and rather non-partisan, as he was peppered with highly partisan, special interest questions from Assembly colleagues. Most  of the questions were meant to trip him up — Assembly woman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, questioned his voting record on pay equity for women. Maldonado told Saldana that the issue “is a no brainer for me.” But later in the hearing, Saldana brought up the issue again, informing Maldonado that he voted “no” on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Maldonado said that he would have to review the bill and the issues surrounding it further, to explain his “no” vote.

Assembly member Mike Davis, D-Los Angeles, grilled Maldonado about the lack of African American students at University of California and California State University campuses.

Assembly member Tom Torkalson continually questioned Maldonado about the education system in California, insisting that Maldonado did not have the detail necessary to explain how he would bridge the budget gap.

And Committee Chair Nancy Skinner, D-Oakland, appeared to have difficulty containing her questions about imposing an oil severance tax on Californians, eventually asking Maldonado, “Can we achieve revenues now to get us out of this deficit?”

Maldonado continually insisted that “it is the people’s money,” referring to tax increases in the state. He said that California voters would not support tax increases.

The questions continued about civil rights, the poor, how California does not access all of the welfare Federal funds available, and even the black market operating in California for services — Assembly member Jim Silva, R-Huntington Beach, brought up how much can be purchased at flea markets for cash, leaving the state without the tax revenue. Maldonado commented that he “never thought of taxing garage sales.”

Senator Maldonado has been a controversial California Republican, voting last year for tax increases. But today, he looked like the only grown up in the room.

Tomorrow is another day.

1 comment

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  1. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 23 April, 2010, 15:24

    The assembly occasionally makes progress, in spite of themselves.

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