Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado inspired local Republicans with his history and accomplishments in a talk Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Goleta.

As acting governor during Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent trade mission to Asia, he had to act fast to assess the deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno and to issue emergency orders and dispatch equipment to assist with the revovery. The blast also took out a sewer line and a water line, necessitating air drops of water to the community.

In response to the city of Bell scandals, Maldonado also signed legislation aimed at cracking down on corrupt politicians.

Maldonado, who was appointed by Schwarzenegger to be lieutenant governor when John Garamendi was elected to Congress, is running for a full term in the job. He emphasized his qualifications, having served as a city councilman and mayor of Santa Maria, assemblyman and state senator from the Central Coast.

He outlined the municipal record of his Democratic opponent, San Francisco Mayor Mayor Gavin Newsom. Under Newsom’s stewardship, he said, limitations have been imposed on bottled water, soft drinks, the size of bagels and pet stores.

But Newsom’s establishment of San Francisco as a sanctuary city has allowed repeat criminals who are illegal immigrants to remain, Maldonado said. He related the history of Edwin Ramos, a gang member and illegal immigrant from El Salvador who had been found guilty of two felonies as a juvenile but was sentenced to probation. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement was never called and Ramos was never deported. After his third release, Ramos allegedly shot and killed a San Francisco man, Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, as they drove in the city’s Excelsior District in June 2008. Ramos is awaiting trial in the murders.

Maldonado described the process of his confirmation hearings to become lieutenant governor. After failing to get the necessary 41 votes required in the Senate, he spoke to Univision in Fresno, Monterey, San Diego and Santa Monica. Schwarzenegger resubmitted his nomination and Maldonado eventually got 50 votes and was confirmed.

Maldonado said he is proud of the Republican Party and its efforts. When asked about the Democratic Party being described as the party of the poor, he asked: “Do you want to be poor?”

Regarding immigration, he said he believes the nation should look at issuing temporary work permits. At a recent naturalization ceremony, about 40 percent of the new citizens were from Latin America. The Democrats are trying to register as many as possible, he said.

— Bob Zeman is a local freelance writer.