Centrist Dems stand up for Abel Maldonado
Maldonado is perhaps the strongest Republican in this year's race for lieutenant governor. That's assuming he can get out of the primary, which may not happen given his vote for last year's tax-raising budget deal. His candidacy would be boosted, presumably, if he could run as the incumbent, which may explain why Assembly Democrats have bottled up the nomination.
Lieu, who is running for attorney general, and Lowenthal, who briefly considered a run for lieutenant governor, argue that Maldonado ought to be confirmed:
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.Of note, last year Maldonado launched a fight against Controller John Chiang's purchase of office furniture, and Chiang happens to be Lieu's closest ally in Sacramento. Lieu says he recalls voting on Maldonado's office furniture bill at 3 a.m. last year, which was one of the concessions he extracted in exchange for his support for the budget:
"That was a ridiculous bill," Lieu says. "He nevertheless went up on a budget, and we cannot in the environment we're in pass a budget without the consent of Republicans. For us to not confirm him would negatively effect budgets for this year and years to come."