There’s no need to rush the confirmation of Abel Maldonado as Lieutenant Governor. But Arnold Schwarzenegger, impatient man that he is, wants exactly that:
I have no idea what Speaker Pérez is doing with confirmation hearings. I think we all are somewhat frustrated because he has been, now, promising me five times — at least — that he is putting him up for confirmation. It really started way before Easter vacation, when he said, ‘OK, this Monday I will put him up.’ Then it was, ‘Yeah, I can’t do it on Monday, I will do it on Thursday.’ And then it was, ‘I will do it on Monday but as soon as we come back from Easter vacation.’ Then it was the Thursday after that. Now it’s the Monday.
So, I mean, I have no idea. I don’t know why he’s not getting it done. I don’t know why he’s confused about it or what is going on and with his leadership. I cannot answer that because I do not work upstairs. I just hope that he gets it done as quickly as possible. (LA Times, 4/13/10)
Speaker Pérez is right to wait. If Maldonado is confirmed after April 22, then the special election here in the 15th State Senate District will happen in two rounds: first round in late August, and second round – the runoff – would be consolidated with the November general election.
That’s the right move for California taxpayers, since it’s far cheaper to combine a State Senate election with a statewide general election. All that would happen in the five counties that comprise SD-15 is another race gets added to the ballot. Simple, easy, affordable, efficient.
Conventional wisdom is that it also benefits Democrats here in SD-15, since it’s easier to turn out voters to elect John Laird to replace Abel Maldonado if the election is combined with the statewide balloting. Which, you know, might also be motivating Speaker Pérez’s decision about when to confirm Maldonado.
As you can imagine, I’m all in favor of that timeline. Democrats are going to take back SD-15, and along with electing Anna Caballero in neighboring SD-12, we’re going to get to 2/3rds in the State Senate – and Monterey County will be ground zero for that fight.