Liveblogging the Maldonado Vote

The Assembly is to take up the Abel Maldonado confirmation vote for his nomination to the vacant Lieutenant Governor’s office by 10AM, and I’m watching the Cal Channel coverage. Maldonado is nervously checking his watch and fidgeting, it’s clearly his big day. Are the votes there?

Maldonado did pretty well in yesterday’s Assembly Rules Committee hearing. He reiterated his opposition to the Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil drilling project and said he “has a problem with” CSU Stanislaus not revealing Sarah Palin’s speaking fee.

Speaker John A. Pérez is apparently a “yes” vote on Maldonado. Will it be enough to get him confirmed, and enable Democrats to win a 2/3rds majority?

We’ll find out in a few minutes. Republicans are still in caucus – are they getting cold feet?

…Speaker Pérez presiding now, things starting to get underway. He runs an efficient session.

…Charles Calderon moving motion to approve the nomination. Calderon was a no vote in February.

…Chuck DeVore rises to oppose. Remember people, if DeVore is against something, it’s generally a good idea to be for it.

…Anthony Adams rises to support Maldonado, and reminds Californians that Reagan supported big tax increases too.

…To some degree we’re seeing Assemblymembers screwing with each other – Diane Harkey, an Orange County Republican, says she was going to vote no until she heard Pedro Nava speak against Maldonado, so now she’s going to vote yes. However. Lori Saldaña is making a very principled case against the confirmation. UPDATE: Saldaña wound up voting yes. UPDATE 2: Saldaña’s staff now says she switched to no.

Here we go with the vote….and Maldo’s got it. 51-17.

The Assembly has indeed confirmed Abel Maldonado, 51-17, with very little suspense – totally unlike the February vote. The Senate, which voted 26-7 in favor of the confirmation in February, is likely to quickly follow suit.

This means SD-15 is going to be an open seat, and we’re going to work our asses off between now and November to put John Laird into what is a Democratic seat, now that Maldonado’s 6-year long occupation of the Central Coast district is coming to an end.

…SacBee has the final vote tally, which was 53-21.

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