Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Lt. Governor' Category

Campaign update: Gov, AG, Senate and more

Rolling into this weekend’s California Republican Party convention, it seemed this was a much better week for Steve Poizner than for Meg Whitman in the Republican gubernatorial primary. He got endorsements from the California Republican Assembly and conservative mainstay Congressmen Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher; she got bogged down in bad press over refusing to talk to reporters and then turning a town-hall meeting into a carefully scripted infomercial. On the other hand, a Research 2000 poll conducted Monday through Wednesday on behalf of Daily Kos showed Whitman supported by 52 percent of likely voters in the GOP primary compared to Poizner’s 19 percent. So for whom was it truly a good week?

Steve CooleyThe run-up to the convention saw a flurry of endorsement roll-outs, but perhaps nobody has had ‘em so hot and heavy as Attorney General candidate and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley. This week he announced the endorsements of the California Police Chiefs Association (in the GOP primary – the CPCA picked Alberto Torrico in the Democratic primary); former governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian; and former state GOP chairmen Mike Antonovich, Dr. Tirso del Junco, Mike Montgomery and Frank Visco.

(UPDATE @ 12:19 P.M.: I’m now told that, in yet another case of multiple endorsement, the CPCA has endorsed Ted Lieu in the Democratic AG primary, too.)

Carly FiorinaRepublican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina announced her campaign’s regional grassroots co-chairs. In the Bay Area, one is Laurel Pathman of San Jose, who seems to be senior manager of commercial and government contracts at Sunnyvale-based Cepheid, which deals in genetic testing technology; I can’t find much else about Pathman online besides her signature (#86) on a 2008 petition supporting controversial evangelical pastor John Hagee. The other is Shahin Shabahang of Los Altos, an attorney at San Jose-based Pedersen, Eichenbaum, Lauderdale & Siehl, which is the in-house staff counsel of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

Janice HahnEven as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom formally announces his bid for lieutenant governor (note the updated Web site!), the candidate who has been leading that Democratic primary so far, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, is campaigning practically in his backyard. She’s keynoting the monthly luncheon of the National Women’s Political Caucus’ Marin Chapter at noon today in San Rafael. Hahn picked up the endorsement of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday, but I’m sure Newsom’s entry into the race – in which Hahn had been seeming to trounce state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter – made this week pretty grim at Hahn HQ.

Nadia LockyerOn the local front, Alameda County Family Justice Center Executive Director Nadia Lockyer this week scored the endorsement of the Alameda Labor Council AFL-CIO in her bid for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 2 seat. But not every union member in the county will be behind her: One of her rivals, Hayward City Councilman Kevin Dowling, announced his endorsement by Hayward Firefighters Local 1909.

Posted on Friday, March 12th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Attorney General, Carly Fiorina, Gavin Newsom, Janice Hahn, Lt. Governor, Meg Whitman, Steve Poizner | No Comments »

Newsom’s former advisor smacks him down

It seems like only a short while ago that I sat down for a cup of coffee with veteran Democratic campaign strategist Garry South so he could tell me how San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was going to clean state Attorney General Jerry Brown’s clock in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Of course, no. But now South works for Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s campaign for lieutenant governor, and now that Newsom is threatening to jump into that race and rain on Hahn’s parade, suddenly he doesn’t think Gavin’s all that anymore:

“I am surprised and perplexed that my friend and former client Mayor Gavin Newsom apparently has decided to jump into the lieutenant governor’s race at the last minute – especially against an already-announced candidate who would be the first woman lieutenant governor in California history.

“In every one of several conversations we had about the job while he was running for governor, the Mayor expressed nothing but disinterest in and disdain for the office of lieutenant governor. In fact, he was derisively dismissive of Gray Davis’s decision to run for and serve as lieutenant governor prior to running for governor (‘I’m not a Gray Davis,’ he said). On a couple of occasions, he directed me to repudiate publicly in the strongest terms that he had any interest in ever running for lieutenant governor.

“The Mayor himself told the Chronicle in October that rumors he may run for lieutenant governor were ‘absurd’ and ‘a complete lie,’ and angrily accused Jerry Brown of personally spreading false information to that effect. As recently as December, he himself said flatly ‘no’ when asked directly on a San Francisco radio show whether he intended to run for lieutenant governor.

“In addition, when he precipitously pulled out of the governor’s race in late October – against my advice – he said he couldn’t continue as a statewide candidate because he was a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco. So far as I know, he’s still a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco. So it’s pretty hard to see what’s changed over the last four months that would now allow him to run for another statewide office.

“If the Mayor does run, it is his responsibility to explain why he now claims to want an elected office he summarily dismissed publicly numerous times over the last several months, and which just earlier this year he called ‘a largely ceremonial post’ … ‘with no real authority and no real portfolio.’”

Maybe that first paragraph should’ve read “former friend.”

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Gavin Newsom, Janice Hahn, Lt. Governor | 3 Comments »

Newsom takes step to run for lite gov

Democratic San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has apparently spent enough time already with the family. After bailing on his lackluster gubernatorial campaign, he filed today a candidate declaration of intent to run for California lieutenant governor.

Called a Form 501, it is the first step in a candidate’s big stack of required paperwork. It allows a candidate to start raising money. Newsom also agreed to abide by the state’s voluntary campaign spending limits, which makes him eligible to submit a statement for inclusion on the state ballot pamphlet. The deadline was today at 5 p.m. to submit the ballot statements. (Interestingly, the Secretary of State does not release a list of who filed statements or the contents until the official public review period starts Feb. 23.) In order to appear on the ballot, Newsom must also file candidate nomination papers with the San Francisco election’s office by the end of the day March 12, the deadline to enter the June primary.

Other declared lieutenant governor candidates on the Democratic side include state Sen. Dean Florez of Shafter, state sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn. On the Republican side, of course, we’ve been following the sage of Schwarzengger-appointee and Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado, who has been unable to win confirmation to occupy the post for a few months. GOP Sen. Sam Aanstad of Grass Valley has also been raising money for the post.

Folks interested in meeting Hahn in person can attend the Contra Costa Central Committee meeting on Thursday, where Hahn is expected about 8 p.m. The committee meets at the Union Hall of Electricians Local 302 at 1875 Arnold Drive in Martinez.


Posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Lt. Governor | No Comments »

Maldo’s Lt. Gov. campaign has little in the bank

State Sen. Abel Maldonado’s drive toward confirmation, which got hung up by Assembly Democrats on Thursday and reset for another 90 days by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday, hasn’t helped him land a lot of contributions to his campaign for that office.

After Schwarzenegger nominated him in late November to fill the rest of former Lt. Gov. John Garamendi’s term, Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, announced his intent to seek election to a full term of his own in June’s GOP primary and November’s general election. Of course, now that the governor has withdrawn and re-submitted his nomination, it seems he’ll have to simultaneously convince the Assembly to support him and convince the public to vote for him in the primary.

“Abel Maldonado for Lt. Governor 2010” qualified as a committee Jan. 19, according to records filed with the Secretary of State’s office, even as Maldonado and Schwarzenegger were starting to ramp up public awareness and pressure on the Legislature in advance of this week’s votes. Yet the committee has received only three major contributions totaling $23,400 so far: $6,500 from Michael Fox of M.E. Fox & Co. Inc. in San Jose on Jan. 19; $11,900 from the California Professional Firefighters PAC on Feb. 1; and $5,000 from former Assemblyman and former Santa Barbara County Supervisor Brooks Firestone of Solvang on Feb. 1.

Maldonado’s state Senate campaign account showed $9,106 cash on hand at the end of 2009, and no major contributions since then.

Not that his GOP primary rival, state Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, has been making bank, either. Aanestad’s campaign committee reported $97,499 cash on hand as of the end of 2009, but he’d put in $50,000 from his own pocket in December and the only major contribution since then has been $5,000 from The Dentists Insurance Co. this Thursday.

The money is bigger on the other side of the aisle. Democratic primary candidate state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, reported $957,381 cash on hand at the end of 2009, while Democratic primary candidate Janice Hahn, a Los Angeles City Council member, reported $341,341 cash on hand; neither has raised many big contributions since.

Posted on Saturday, February 13th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Abel Maldonado, campaign finance, Dean Florez, Janice Hahn, Lt. Governor, Sam Aanestad | 3 Comments »

Maldo, Anthem, subway and more on ‘TWINC’

I was on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California” last night talking about the Abel Maldonado mess. The show also featured the Chronicle’s Victoria Colliver on Anthem Blue Cross’ rate hikes; KQED Public Radio’s K. Oanh Ha on the 2010 State of the Valley Conference; and the Chronicle’s Rachel Gordon on the groundbreaking for the new MUNI subway line to San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Posted on Saturday, February 13th, 2010
Under: Abel Maldonado, Lt. Governor | No Comments »

Maldo withdrawn, re-submitted for Lt. Gov.

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.”

Posted on Friday, February 12th, 2010
Under: Abel Maldonado, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lt. Governor | 6 Comments »

A Maldonado re-vote?

It’s still at least theoretically possible for Assembly Democrats to beat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at his own game and reject state Sen. Abel Maldonado as lieutenant governor.

The Assembly voted 37-35 yesterday on confirming Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, as lieutenant governor. Assembly Democrats contend this is a rejection, as Maldonado didn’t get 41 votes to confirm. Schwarzenegger and Maldonado interpret the state constitution otherwise, arguing that the Assembly must act by majority either to confirm or reject Maldonado, or else Maldonado can just be sworn in 90 days after his nomination.

This no doubt has the California Supreme Court’s justices rubbing their temples in anticipation of a possible intervention so politically charged that it’s sure to leave everyone unhappy.

But that need not necessarily come to pass. The governor’s office confirmed to me today that under this interpretation, the Assembly could vote again between now and Feb. 21 – the 90-day mark – to either confirm or reject Maldonado with 41 votes. And seven Assembly members didn’t vote yesterday.

One will remain on the sidelines no matter what. Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, was on the campaign trail yesterday and absent from the vote, but issued a statement saying he would have abstained anyway. (Ed. note at 4:10 p.m.: Trevino informs me DeVore “actually was present on the Assembly floor for the morning vote. He was only gone for the afternoon session. Doesn’t affect his purposeful abstention, though.”)

“One year ago, I resigned as Assembly Minority Whip because I would not support the budget deal that led to the failed Proposition 1A — which would have been the largest state tax increase in American history. Senator Maldonado, by contrast, played a decisive role in putting 1A before the people. I won’t reward bad behavior with high office. It is in that spirit that I abstained from this vote.”

Today, campaign spokesman Joshua Trevino told me DeVore will abstain if there’s a re-vote.

“As he just told E.J. Schultz at the Fresno Bee (via Twitter), the GOP Assembly caucus has decided to support Maldonado. If Chuck votes no, it will be more a hit at them than the nominee per se. An abstention registers disapproval of the nomination without expressing direct disapproval of his fellow Republicans. It also serves as a de facto no when the affirmations are tallied.”

Two Assembly Democrats – Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, and Mary Salas, D-Chula Vista – opposed Maldonado in an earlier round of voting, but didn’t vote in the final tally. Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that they would again oppose Maldonado in a re-vote. That would make it 37-37 – still four votes shy of a majority to confirm or reject.

Three Assembly Democrats – Hector De La Torre, D-South Gate; Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles; and Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina – were present but didn’t vote. Assemblywoman Wilmer Carter, D-Rialto, was absent.

I queried all four about what they would do if there’s a re-vote. Carter spokeswoman Ellen Braunstein responded to my query just before noon: “I haven’t been able to contact the Assemblymember yet, and will wait for her response.”

But, perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the other three have responded yet. Perhaps they were busy having their heads knocked together by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Speaker-elect John Perez and/or California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton, all of whom might like to see them fall into the party line to sink Maldonado once and for all.

Posted on Friday, February 12th, 2010
Under: Abel Maldonado, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly, Chuck DeVore, John Perez, Karen Bass, Lt. Governor | 3 Comments »

Is Maldo in or out?

Maldonado

Maldonado

As California Target Book co-author Allan Hoffenblum said to me earlier today, the California Legislature couldn’t pass a resolution favoring motherhood these days without a partisan fight.

He was referring to the news this afternoon that Republican State Sen. Abel Maldonado is either the next lieutenant governor or he is not.

The Senate confirmed Maldonado’s nomination but the Assembly rejected him on a 37-35 vote. (Click here to read the news story.)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s people say it takes 41 votes — a majority of the 80-member Assembly — to legally reject the nomination. So, the governor plans to swear Maldonado into office, an act that could send the dispute into the hands of a judge.

“California Democrats stood strong and stood for principle today when the Assembly rightfully voted to reject Governor Schwarzenegger’s appointment of Abel Maldonado for lieutenant governor,” said California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton in an email statement. “If not for the courageous actions of the Assembly, California Democrats would have been party to putting an un-elected Republican, with a history of making backroom deals, a heart-beat away from the governor’s office – to say nothing of the vote the lieutenant governor has on the critical State Lands Commission.”

Schwarzenegger’s Legal Secretary Andrea Lynn Hoch disagreed. She issued this statement:

“The California Constitution is clear: if the legislature does not act to refuse to confirm the Governor’s nominee, his appointment moves forward. The Constitution only speaks to ‘refusal’ of confirmation. Furthermore, the Lungren decision does not apply to this situation. The Lungren case addresses an entirely different situation and is not instructive here. Based on the Assembly vote, Senator Maldonado will be sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.”

Article V of the California Constitution states that the nominee takes office if he or she is “neither confirmed nor refused confirmation” by both chambers. Today’s Assembly vote is not a “refusal” to confirm, there is neither a confirmation nor a refusal to confirm by that chamber and, under the text of the Constitution, the nominee would take office.

The decision in the case of Lungren v. Deukmejian (1988) 45 Cal.3d 727 dealt with a situation in which the Assembly voted to confirm and the Senate voted to deny. The court held that in that scenario, the nominee would not take office. The Lungren decision has nothing to say about the question here – when a majority isn’t reached, does the vote count as a refusal. According to the California Constitution, today’s Assembly vote is not a “refusal” to confirm.

Posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2010
Under: Lt. Governor | 2 Comments »

One-stop shopping for Democratic candidates

The Coalition of Bay Area Young Democrats, conjunction with the San Francisco Young Democrats, will host a massive candidates’ forum at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 6 at the SEIU Local 87 hall, 240 Golden Gate Ave. in San Francisco.

Free and open to the public, the forum aims to hear from, and give attendees a chance to ask questions of, candidates in some of 2010′s highest-profile races. Confirmed speakers include gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown; lieutenant governor candidate Janice Hahn; Attorney General candidates Kamala Harris, Chris Kelly, Pedro Nava and Alberto Torrico; incumbent state Treasurer Bill Lockyer; Insurance Commissioner candidates Hector De La Torre and Dave Jones; Superintendent of Public instruction candidates Larry Aceves and Tom Torlakson; and incumbent Board of Equalization member Betty Yee.

Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Alberto Torrico, Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, Democratic Party, Democratic politics, Elections, Janice Hahn, Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, Lt. Governor, Pedro Nava, Political events, Tom Torlakson | 1 Comment »

Maldonado’s confirmation hearing scheduled

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, has set a Rules Committee hearing to consider Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s appointment of state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, as Lieutenant Governor for 1:30 p.m. next Wednesday, Feb. 3 in room 113 of the State Capitol.

Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Under: Abel Maldonado, Arnold Schwarzenegger, California State Senate, Darrell Steinberg, Lt. Governor | No Comments »