Talk of Replacement LG Heats Up in Sacramento

As John Garamendi nears his coronation hard-fought election in CA-10, the Capitol is all abuzz over who will replace him as the political powerhouse known as Lite Guv.

If Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi wins a special congressional election Tuesday in the Democrat-leaning 10th Congressional District, Schwarzenegger has the power to appoint Garamendi’s replacement.

The Republican governor has not tipped his hand. He has the option of choosing a caretaker who will serve out Garamendi’s last year. Or he could use the appointment to reward a Republican legislator for working on his behalf in recent years. (SacBee)

Sure, Arnold could nominate Sen. Maldonado, but guess who hates that? Jeff Denham and Sam Aanestad, who have been banking on opposing Arnold at every turn in order to get the LG nod. Now, the nominee only needs majorities in each house, so Democratic support alone could be enough, and a vacant Senate seat in Maldo’s coastal district could be enough to satisfy Democrats. After all, would the Dems rather have an extra seat in the Senate or the LG position? Furthermore, it’s not even clear that an incumbent Maldonado wins the primary in 2010.

Of course, Arnold sees this problem too. Hee might try to float some right-wing name to toss some red meat to the base, and might even nominate some winger. However, Arnold knows there’s no way a right-wing republican gets through to replace Garamendi, so the pick will ultimately be somebody like former LA Mayor Richard Riordan, or a similar type who doesn’t plan on seeking reelection.

But hey, Arnold, I double dog dare you to put Maldo up. C’mon…do it.

9 thoughts on “Talk of Replacement LG Heats Up in Sacramento”

  1. But oh how I would love for him to pick Maldonado. I am sick of being represented in the Senate by that bastard. And I relish the prospect of Monterey County being ground zero of the effort to win a 2/3 Senate majority in 2010 (since a Maldonado appointment would open up SD-15, alongside Denham being termed out in SD-12).

    Which is of course why Maldonado won’t get picked. Still, I can hope…

  2. moderate republicans generally need a gimmick to get through the GOP primary, and the stature of lt. gov (and the sheer joy it would give tom to monkeywrench things on all those commissions that garamendi will be vacating) would help him glide past his less than powerhouse opposition.

    arnold is smart enough to know that controlling the statehouse is a critical part of the corporate/GOP game plan, and that conceding on culture war stuff is worth being able to gut meaningful legislation with the veto. he was put in lace for this function, and i would assume he’ll try to set up someone similarly reasonable-sounding and non-firebreathing as a successor.

    riordan almost slipped in vs. davis, but davis baited the GOP primary electorate successfully.

  3. floated that, if Arnold doesn’t want to spend the money, he shouldn’t put anybody up.

    Sadly, Democrats are going to be their own worst enemy here.  Florez wants to be elected LG, so he’d get the caucus to fight a Maldo appointment, which may hurt his chances if he has to face an incumbent in the general.  Steinberg was basically making the same kind of noises today.  So despite the fact that getting Maldo out would open up a winnable seat and actually make 2/3 possible in the Senate, they won’t allow it.

  4. and not right now. Garamendi should chose to wait until all the votes are verified before stepping down as LG.

    In addition making the whole verification process legitimate, it also means that Garamendi will remain a UC Regent and be able to vote in the crucial Nov. 17 Regents meeting where student fees might be raised 32%. As the most reliably supportive Regent it would be awful to lose Garamendi for this vital vote.

    P.S. This entire conversation is pointless if horribly low voter turnout throws the election to the right wing Republican David Harmer. Don’t let that happen, make some phone calls or knock on some doors!

  5. She already is in every meeting, runs the office, and it would keep the new Lt. Gov. from running off and doing something crazy on the various boards and commissions.  Plus she is nominally a Democrat.

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