Maldonado Re-nominated for Post

Portantino voted to confirm nominee, Liu was absent.

Written by JASON ALVIN WU / Published March 5, 2010

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger officially restarted the clock for the state legislature to consider a Republican state senator for the vacant Lieutenant Governor post.

Schwarzenegger re-nominated Senator Abel Maldonado on February 16.

The State Assembly and State Senate now have 90 days to vote to either confirm or reject Schwarzenegger’s nominee.

Failing to act by May will result in Maldonado’s automatic ascension to the position, according to the state constitution.

The State Senate confirmed Maldonado, 27-6, on February 11.

But the State Assembly ultimately rejected his nomination despite receiving approval up by a 37-35 margin, the same day. According to a legislative legal analyst, nominees must receive 41 votes to be confirmed by the State Assembly.

A day after the confirmation votes, the governor released a statement praising the State Senate, but criticizing the State Assembly.

“I am grateful to the leadership of the California State Senate for acting decisively and in a bipartisan manner in confirming Senator Abel Maldonado to the post of Lieutenant Governor,” Schwarzenegger said.

He continued, “The display of extreme partisanship among Democrats in the Assembly yesterday resulted in legislative stalemate that can only be resolved through protracted litigation.”

Originally, the term-limited governor planned to legally contest the State Assembly’s non-confirmation. Instead, Schwarzenegger chose to withdraw his nomination and then re-nominate Maldonado, basically asking the state legislature for a second vote.

Maldonado, seen by many political observers as a moderate Republican, was attacked by both Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans dislike Maldonado for having sided with Democrats in voting for taxes.

“We voted to confirm Maldonado not because we like his voting record-often we do not-but because he demonstrated the quality we have seen far too little of in our combined 30 years of public service: political courage,” a lawmaker said.

At the same time, Democrats fear that placing a Latino Republican in a statewide office would diminish their chances of recapturing the post this November.

Recently, in an interview with the Sacramento Bee, new Assembly Speaker John Perez expressed his belief that Maldonado has a better chance of securing confirmation in the State Assembly.

“I’ve given him some advice that I think increases his chances of being confirmed, so I think he definitely has a better chance today than he did the last time he was up for a vote,” Perez said on February 28.

Perez added, “People had serious concerns and, hopefully, this additional time gave him the opportunity to address those concerns.”

While Assembly Speaker did not vote to confirm Maldonado, Temple City’s representative to the State Assembly did.

Anthony Portantino, the state assembly member of the 44th district, voted in favor of Maldonado’s confirmation. The Temple City Voice attempted to reach Portantino for comment, but did not receive a response.

State Senator Carol Liu was absent from the State Senate.

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