Once More, With Feeling: Confirm Abel Maldonado

Later today the Assembly Rules Committee will take up the renomination of Abel Maldonado to be Lieutenant Governor.

By now you know where we at Calitics stand: Democrats have a duty to this state to confirm him. That’s not because we like Maldonado, far from it. He is a reprehensible politician who has gotten where he is only by disreputable scheming at the expense of his constituents (I’m one of them) and at the expense of California’s ability to fund its core services.

Maldonado will have a few months as Lieutenant Governor, but it isn’t likely to help him much for the fall. Either Gavin Newsom or Janice Hahn can paint him as an out-of-touch incumbent Sacramento hack, which is exactly what he is. I certainly hope he doesn’t cast any stupid votes on the State Lands Commission or on the UC Board of Regents or CSU Board of Directors, but if he does it’ll boost the candidacy of either Newsom or Hahn.

And in any case, there are bigger fish to fry: namely, Republican obstruction in the State Senate. Just as there is widespread agreement at the need to eliminate the filibuster in the US Senate at the earliest possible opportunity, we have to seize this chance to win a 2/3rds majority in the State Senate. At the CDP convention in LA last weekend most delegates and most Democrats who addressed the convention agreed that majority rule was essential to the state’s future.

Well, here’s their opportunity to provide it. Confirming Maldonado anytime after today means we can consolidate the runoff round of the special election here in SD-15 with the November general election. Democrats in this district are chomping at the bit to start working to put John Laird in the seat, especially us here in Monterey County. In fact, Monterey County will be ground zero in the fight for 2/3rds, since our other senate district, SD-12, can be flipped from red to blue by Anna Caballero.

This is an opportunity that cannot be missed. Maldonado is already on the Republican ballot for the LtG office, so we’re going to face him in November no matter what is decided about his confirmation. We might as well get something out of it – and 2/3rds is the holy grail, the achievement that makes all other achievements possible. Yes, we still need to win 2/3rds in the Assembly, and there are some good candidates running across the state that can make it happen too.

But there’s no sense in waiting to 2012 to elect a 2/3rds majority to the State Senate, especially with the unpredictable outcomes of Prop 14 and the redistricting commission looming. The Assembly should vote to confirm Maldonado – but not until tomorrow at the earliest.

Speaker John A. Perez voted against Maldonado (the second time – remember there were two votes that day in February, and he did not vote the first time), but since then has said there is a “pathway” for Maldonado to be confirmed. Let’s hope they’ve found it.

2 thoughts on “Once More, With Feeling: Confirm Abel Maldonado”

  1. On the principle that I can’t stand Maldonado at all, but the political reality and constitutional reality is that he should be confirmed.  It’s another of those things that leaves a nasty taste, but you just have to swallow…

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