Maldonado’s Fate Is (not) Decided

The State Senate voted 26-7 to confirm Abel Maldonado as Lt. Governor earlier this morning. The no votes:

Aanestad (R), Denham (R), Ducheny (D), Florez (D), Runner (R), Wyland (R), Yee (D).

Now the confirmation is being taken up by the Assembly as I write this. Reports are flying that the Assembly will reject him. We’ll find out in a few minutes what will really happen.

…Assembly GOP leader Martin Garrick stands up to call for Maldonado to be confirmed.

…Republican Jim Nielsen (AD-2) calls Maldonado “clearly qualified”, says “we disagree on a lot of issues” but that doesn’t mean we should reject him, let the voters decide.

…Sandré Swanson says Arnold should have appointed a caretaker, and that a “no” vote is justified because Maldonado is running for the post.

…Charles Calderon rises to oppose confirmation, says it was a “backroom deal,” “could not have been more partisan,” “there’s no reason to confirm Maldonado.” If progressives like Swanson and moderates like Calderon are opposed, Maldonado’s nomination may indeed get shot down.

…Anthony Adams reminds people about confirmation of Bruce McPherson, a Republican who was confirmed to replace Democrat Kevin Shelley. McPherson ran for the office in the next election, and was beaten by Debra Bowen. He reminds people of his “courage” in voting for the budget a year ago, he put the state above partisan needs. Closes by quoting Obama: “Si Se Puede!”

This all looks like it’s going to fall out along party lines. Unless we see some indications that a dozen or so Dems will vote for Maldonado, his nomination will die.

…Mariko Yamada rises to oppose nomination. Says she makes her decision not on partisanship, but the evidence available, says Maldonado’s voting record is out of step with the state, can’t have him being a “heartbeat away” from the governor’s office, can’t reward “temporary courageous acts.”

…former Democrat, now Independent Juan Arambula supports confirmation, says “we need people in the middle.”

John Myers tweets:

Maldonado looks nervous as he stands in back of Asm chamber..walks up to 1 Dem assemblymember who shakes his

…Torrico closes debate, saying “we’ve all been moved by Maldonado’s personal story,” but that nomination shows what’s wrong with the political system, “Sacramento is broken,” system gives too much power to a few people to dictate terms of the budget because of 2/3rds rule. That rule allowed Maldonado to “leverage system for personal gain.” “We cannot reward this system, this nomination.”

Vote begins. 36-34 so far with some Dems voting yes, still others not voting. Vote still open.

As we wait for the vote to be finalized, some of the Dems who voted for the confirmation include Cathleen Galgiani (AD-17) and Anna Caballero (AD-28), along with Ted Lieu, Anthony Portantino, Jared Huffman, Alyson Huber. Shane Goldmacher tweets that neither Karen Bass nor John Pérez have voted yet. This thing could still go either way, as the vote is “on call.”

…my Asssemblymember, Bill Monning, also voted yes. 36-36 now. Vote placed back on call. Now down to 36-34. Motion fails. Torrico moves for immediate reconsideration. Crazy stuff. Reconsideration approved, Republicans go into caucus.

In short: Maldonado only got 36 votes, so he technically went down in the Assembly. But immediate reconsideration is happening, Republicans will caucus and try to round up enough votes.

UPDATE: This thing has gotten real crazy real fast. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office says that unless there are 41 votes against the nomination, Maldonado is confirmed. The Assembly clerk says it’s the other way around – unless there are 41 votes for the nomination, it is dead. Arnold says he’ll go to court on this if needed. They’ve also said they’ll resubmit the nomination if necessary.

Republicans have put off the reconsideration vote while Danny Gilmore, who is sick with pneumonia, is driven up to Sacramento from Hanford.

My guess is somehow 5 arms in the Assembly will be twisted to get Maldonado confirmed. But we shall see what happens.

Cap Weekly tweets that the Dems might prefer Maldonado be confirmed later in the spring so that the SD-15 special election happens the same day as the November statewide election:

If Dems drag out this reconfirmation past April 21, it would allow Gov to consolidate election for Maldo’s Senate seat with the Nov election

Let’s be clear: Democrats can win SD-15 whether the vote is in June or November. Doesn’t matter. We’re taking SD-15 back.

UPDATE by Brian: I’m trying to figure out just who exactly hasn’t voted yet. With 72 votes on record right now, that means 8 votes are outstanding. I know that Democratic Asms. Davis, De Leon, Hernandez, Speaker-elect Perez, and Speaker bass have not yet voted, and Asm. Carter was absent.  On the Republican side, Chuck DeVore did not vote.  Profile of courage right there. Do you think his plan in the Senate is to skip out of votes too?

Here’s the roll of the vote from a photo taken by the Bee staff.

UPDATE by Robert: Assembly to reconvene at 3pm, with Danny Gilmore included….and by “3pm” we mean “sometime this afternoon.”

Under way. Gilmore is clearly ill, but speaks in favor of the Maldonado nomination. Torrico speaking now against it.

Revote underway. 37-35 in favor. No meaningful change. Vote held open “on call.”

…So the vote is over and the floor session is adjourned. Maldonado got 37 votes for confirmation and 35 against. Bass and Pérez both voted no.

But what this means is totally unclear. Did Maldonado need to get 41 yes votes? Or did he merely need to avoid getting 41 no votes? Right now it’s unclear, and it may very well wind up in court. The Maldonado nomination saga is by no means over.

12 thoughts on “Maldonado’s Fate Is (not) Decided”

  1. She should have stepped down in shame a long time ago, she has no clue what she is doing, she only knows how to cave and end up further away from the goal than when she started. I have never encountered a more counterproductive legislator.

    Republicans may be evil, but if Bass were any less competent she’d be an inanimate object.

  2. Does Bass support Maldonado for the same strategic reasons discussed on Calitics or for some other reason?

  3. a majority of the members, not a majority of the members present, is required.

      (b) Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the

    Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Lieutenant Governor,

    Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, or Attorney General, or on

    the State Board of Equalization, the Governor shall nominate a

    person to fill the vacancy who shall take office upon confirmation by

    a majority of the membership of the Senate and a majority of the

    membership of the Assembly
    and who shall hold office for the balance

    of the unexpired term.  In the event the nominee is neither confirmed

    nor refused confirmation by both the Senate and the Assembly within

    90 days of the submission of the nomination, the nominee shall take

    office as if he or she had been confirmed by a majority of the Senate

    and Assembly; provided, that if such 90-day period ends during a

    recess of the Legislature, the period shall be extended until the

    sixth day following the day on which the Legislature reconvenes.

  4. I disagree that the Dems would likely win a special election in that state senate district IF that election is held at the same time as the June statewide Primary election.  The June Primary will be weighted heavily toward a Republican electorate.  There are competitive primary races for both the Senate and the Governor’s office in the Rep Party.  This will bring lots of Rep voters to the polls.  There is NO competition in the Dem primary for the two top of ticket races.

    I am NOT opposed to the confirmation of Maldo as L.G.  But the timing needs to be strategic if the Dems want to maximize the opportunity to take that seat this year.  I believe that Laird can win, but it won’t be easy.  Contrary to conventional wisdom in most years, a stand-alone special election would be better for the Dems than one that coincides with the June Primary.  

  5. Thanks for posting the NO votes in the Senate. Would you happen to also know which Senators abstained?

    The Senate vote does not appear to be so easy to find.

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