Looks like the governor has backed off his initial plan to swear in Abel Maldonado as lieutenant governor later this month despite last night’s Assembly vote – he has withdrawn Maldonado’s name from nomination and then resubmitted it, effectively restarting the 90-day clock for another vote.
Maldonado issued this statement:
“I’m humbled and thankful to my colleagues in the Senate for confirming me to the Lieutenant Governor’s office and very disappointed with yesterday’s show of extreme partisanship and politicking in the Assembly.”
“The inability to come to a simple majority consensus on important issues is why Californians are rightfully disillusioned by Sacramento politics. I’ve said time and time again—I put the people first. The office of Lieutenant Governor is their office—it does not belong to Democrats or Republicans. For this reason, I wholeheartedly support the rescinding of my nomination. We must do the people’s work first.
“I agree with the governor’s interpretation of the constitution, and furthermore, I agree that we cannot waste time and resources on a lawsuit sure to be brought by politicians trying to protect a seat they believe belongs to them. Our focus should be acting on the budget deficit and improving our economy.
“So, it’s with the people in mind that I refuse to participate in what Democrats have promised to be a costly, wasteful lawsuit over their inability to act.
“Let me be clear – I will not waste a dollar of tax payer money fighting the lawsuit Democrats are sure to bring to protect what they feel is their office. I also refuse to waste another minute of time that should be spent on the business of the people. It’s time to balance the budget and create jobs.
“I’m honored to accept the Governor’s re-nomination and implore my colleagues to reject partisan influences as my colleagues in the Senate exemplified yesterday.”
UPDATE @ 3:46 P.M. FRIDAY: Here’s the governor’s statement:
“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. The display of extreme partisanship among Democrats in the Assembly yesterday resulted in legislative stalemate that can only be resolved through protracted litigation.
“If we are going to move California forward, create jobs and get our economy back on track, the Assembly Democrats cannot continue the political paralysis that throws every difficult decision to the courts. This kind of hyper-partisanship is exactly what the voters have rejected time and time again. It doesn’t produce new jobs; it doesn’t balance our budget; it doesn’t lower people’s taxes or provide health care to one sick child. It has to stop.
“The California Constitution is clear: the Legislature must confirm or reject my nominee for Lieutenant Governor within 90 days. Refusal to make a decision results in the nominee taking office. I believe the public good is not served by continued paralysis and protracted litigation because the Assembly Democrats cannot produce a simple majority to make a decision.
“Therefore, in an effort to avoid wasting time and energy on litigation that should be spent passing a jobs package that will get Californians back to work, I intend to withdraw and resubmit the nomination of Abel Maldonado for Lieutenant Governor back to the legislature and ask the Assembly to take the vote again until a majority decision is reached, one way or another.
“I believe Senator Abel Maldonado is most qualified to be Lieutenant Governor and I am proud to re-nominate him. I urge the Assembly to set aside partisan bickering and act swiftly and decisively on his nomination.”