Conservatives help Maldo (sort of)

by CalWatchdog Staff | September 13, 2010 11:00 am

Steven Greenhut: We all know that most conservative Republicans don’t care for Lieutenant Gov. Abel Maldonado, the Santa Maria “Republican” who isn’t just liberal on most issues, but goes out of his way to poke conservatives in the eye. Most conservatives I’ve talked to would rather seen Democrat Gavin Newsom win the lieutenant governor race. It’s a meaningless position and they would rather be entertained by the kooky mayor of San Francisco than constantly be insulted by Maldo.

But today and since Friday, actually, conservatives are trying to help Maldo win his race, although mainly by happenstance.

Conservative activists have been inundating the lieutenant governor’s office and his campaign with phone calls asking him to appeal the Prop. 8 (gay marriage) ruling, which would give the case standing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As the Capitol Resource Institute explains in an email press alert, “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the appeal of the challenge to Constitutionality of Proposition 8. But in accepting the appeal of Perry v Schwarzenegger they noted that the issue of whether the proponents have standing to bring this appeal will be decided at the hearing later this year. Attorney General and Governor Schwarzenegger have refused to defend the people’s vote and file the appeal.  Governor Schwarzenegger is currently out of the country which means all the rights and responsibilities of his office fall to Abel Maldonado, California’s Lieutenant Governor.”

Maldo has until 5 pm tonight to decide to act as governor, something he legally is allowed to do with the real governor out of the country, and file the appeal. Here’s where this is so much fun.

There’s a significant chance that Republicans will not vote for Maldo in sufficient numbers to elect him in November. Maldonado said recently that he needs 84 percent of Republican votes to beat Newsom. Fat chance given that he has no doubt angered more than half of them with his tax-hiking votes alone. But if Maldo files the appeal he will no doubt shore up conservative support and win re-election. So conservatives are right now tying up his phone lines and angering his staff, but they actually are giving him the best chance he will have to win.

Is he ambitious enough to do this? The guy seems to lack any semblance of principle, so why not? But I don’t think he will want to anger his patron, Schwarzenegger.

Ironies abound. Personally, I wish conservatives would get this agitated over budget, pension and governmental abuse issues rather than over gay marriage. The state should just exit the marriage business, period, but conservatives tend to be in favor of big government whenever their issues are at stake. Nevertheless, I love the beauty in this political tempest — as the tax-raising, big-government RINO (Republican In Name Only) Maldonado can be saved by his foes. It’s up to him.

It’s doubtful he will take the bait, but stay tuned. This could be a fun day.

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