Saturday, March 17 , 2018, 7:40 am | Fair 44º


Schwarzenegger to Renominate, Not Swear In, Maldonado

Showdown over vacant lieutenant governor's post shows few signs of ebbing

Abandoning a showdown with the Democratic-controlled Legislature, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has opted to withdraw his nomination of state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, as lieutenant governor and will resubmit it next week.

On Thursday, the Assembly voted 37-35 to confirm Maldonado, but the tally was four votes shy of the 41 needed in the 80-member chamber. Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, voted against the nomination.

After the vote, Schwarzenegger had argued that the Assembly essentially took no action on Maldonado’s nomination because a majority did not vote against it. He vowed to swear in Maldonado and ask a court to back him.

On Friday, he changed his position.

“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,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

“I urge the Assembly to set aside partisan bickering and act swiftly and decisively on his (Maldonado’s) nomination.”

Nava was having none of it, however.

“At a time when California is facing a fiscal crisis and the governor is threatening to take away wheelchairs and close adult day-care centers, he is choosing to put his personal political agenda ahead of solving the state’s real problems,” Nava told Robert Cuthbert of the Central Coast Democrat Examiner.

“Gov. Schwarzenegger often says that ‘we should let the people of California decide’ and that is what I am asking him to do. Instead of continuing with this nomination, we should let the people of California decide who they want to elect as their lieutenant governor this November.”

Schwarzenegger appointed Maldonado to fill the remaining term of Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a Democrat, who was elected to Congress in November. With a renomination, legislators need not vote until mid-May, just weeks before the June 8 primary election for lieutenant governor.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk.

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