Breaking: Majority Leader Opposes Maldonado Confirmation

Senate votes to approve appointment of Central Coast Republican for Lieutenant Governor

SACRAMENTO — Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter) broke with many in his party today in voting against the confirmation of Senator Abel Maldonado for Lieutenant Governor.  The motion passed in the Senate by a vote of 26-7.

In explaining his vote today, Florez issued the following statement:

“The question for me was whether I would have supported Senator Maldonado if he was on the ballot.  I would not be able to vote for him if he was on the ballot, so in my mind it made no sense to support him now.”

“I watched the confirmation hearings and I was surprised and disappointed to learn that Mr. Maldonado had admitted to a number of OSHA violations with respect to his farming operation, and I was disappointed that he wasn’t prepared or didn’t elaborate on the severity or nature of the violations.  I think this really needed to be cleared up.”

Florez continued:

“Senator Maldonado voted against liability for farm operators when, under the circumstances we know now, he should clearly have recused himself.  He has consistently voted against air quality for the Central Valley, against health care reform and against a modest raise to the minimum wage for all those who are struggling in this state.”

“I was also surprised at how Senator Maldonado characterized his role in addressing the state budget, his efforts to hold up the state budget, how he allowed people — many people in my district — to suffer, took our state to the brink of financial collapse and then characterized his holding out as somehow a principled move.”

“The fact that he can’t get his own ideas through the legislature or convince enough people to support his ideas, opposes real reforms to move California forward, and then uses the budget to extract concessions for his vote for something he wants is a practice that I don’t support, and I wouldn’t support someone who does such things.

I will report any information I learn about how any investigation into his OSHA violations turns out on Calitics.