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Archive for the ‘Abel Maldonado’ Category



Lady Gaga & iCarly vs. Arnold & the Klingons

Friday, November 27th, 2009

lady_gagaNext Up – a dramatic reading of A.B. 390: We’re pretty sure that no more than 5,999,950 of Jay Leno’s 6 million viewers were totally baffled when they tuned in to catch Lady Gaga Monday night and instead became eyewitnesses to history, as the gov made his really, really interesting announcement about California’s potentially, possibly, maybe new Lieutenant Governor.

Straightening out their sock drawers, our news department crew was sorry to miss the broadcast – but damn glad they did once they read the transcript of the painfully stagy Leno-Arnold byplay. Fortunately Dr. Hackenflack, a big Lady Gaga fan, was on the scene to provide live blog commentary on the event:

Leno: Let me ask you, what are you going to do about a lieutenant governor? We don’t have a lieutenant governor now. We haven’t had one for a while. Are you going to appoint another one? (A totally spontaneous question!)
Arnold:
Absolutely. (Duh)
L:
When are you going to announce that? (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge)
A:
Well, we can do it right here. (What the…?)
L:
You’re going to announce it right here? (I’m shocked – shocked!)
A:
Yeah, exactly. Why not? (Who says my delivery’s wooden?)
L:
You picked somebody? (Enough already with the build-up)
A:
Yes. I’m going to (Zzzz…)
L:
Is it me? (Only good line of the whole schtick)
A: I mean, I was planning to do it tomorrow. (Oy)
L:
Don’t wait until tomorrow. (Zzzz II)
A:
So why not? We have already a tradition. I announced my candidacy right here on the show. (What an amusing, unconventional fellow I am!)
L:
That’s right. (Gee, I almost forgot).
A:
So why not announce the lieutenant governor? So it will be Senator Abel Maldonado --(Huh?)
L:
Wow. (Wow is right – no wonder this guy’s ratings suck).

Props for Tfleischmanhe Flash: Jon Fleischman, who may be the hardest working blogger in show business, scooped the world at 4:09 p.m. Monday, citing “one of my better ‘insider sources’” to post the first report unconditionally stating that Gov. Schwarzmuscle had picked Maldonado for Lite Gov.

Having broken the news, the resourceful Fleischman immediately lurched into full advocacy mode, crafting a killer second graf for the ages:

Somebody get me a barf bag.

An hour later, perhaps chastened by switching to decaf, Fleischman thought better of the nanosecond honeymoon he’d accorded Maldonado with another post, this time offering heartfelt and sincere best wishes with a piece headlined “Congrats to Abel Maldonado.”

carly bald

Two old white guys left standing at the altar: So Carly Fiorina was scheduled to call Calbuzz for an interview Monday, but her handlers stiffed us at the last minute with a murky explanation about some supposedly late-breaking, double secret probation type emergency development thingie.

We were pleased to see, however, that iCarly was not so in distress that she bypassed a Beltway breakfast session with the crew of the conservative American Spectator.  Philip Klein’s post on the affair is well worth reading, if only for the challenge of trying to follow the rococo twists and turns of her extended riff on abortion rights.

On other issues, primary foe Chuck DeVore, R-Sirloin, jumped all over her statement that she would have voted for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, while Mrs. Chuck tweeted exception to Fiorina’s comment that she’s a stronger GOP bet by virtue of not being “a white male.”

Asked why she is a better candidate than her Republican primary opponent Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Calif.), Fiorina said that a woman stands a better chance of defeating Boxer.

“With all due respect and deep affection for white men – I’m married to one – but (Barbara Boxer) knows how to beat them. She’s done it over and over and over again.” Uh, really?

Among those who might take offense at her comment are:

1-The entire base of the California Republican Party.
2-Michelle Malkin, shrill harridan of the GOP’s Glenn Beck wing, who bashed
her
for an “identity-politics driven campaign.”
3- Matt Fong, the former state controller who lost to Boxer in 1998 and is decidedly not a white male.

To summarize: Hurricane Carly would have been better off calling us.

Reads of the week: Washpost media writer Howard Kurtz may be a walking conflict of interest and self-important windbag, but he churned out a helluva’ piece this week, a splendid 2,500 word feature on Emily Miller, a former Houklingonse aide who got caught up in the Jack Abramoff scandal and whose personal history is a moral lesson in the dangers of  tempting fate with blind Beltway ambition.

We also liked the Oracle of Cruickshank’s smart piece over at Calitics of how California was 25 years late to the New Deal, and an insightful column by Russ Douthat, a strong successor as NYT house conservative to the insipid William Kristol, deconstructing the anti-intellectual strains of Huckabee Palinism.

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near The Klingons draw close.

Why Arnold’s Pick for Lite Gov Actually Matters

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

platformnewUpdate 5:15 p.m. The governor’s pick for Lieutenant Governor is state Senator Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, who voted against the controversial Tranquillon Ridge oil drilling project off the coast of Santa Barbara. If Maldonado remains consistent with that position as lieutenant governor, sponsors of the project would fall short in an effort to overturn an earlier decision against it at the State Lands Commission, where former Lite Gov.  John Garamendi cast the key vote rejecting the proposal.

Of course, given his political  history, putting “Maldonado” and “consistent” in the same sentence is pretty much an oxymoron.

“He was a ‘no’ note in the Senate, and I’m glad he did that,” said Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, who has led the fight against the T-Ridge project in the Legislature. “But while he demonstrated good judgment one time, we’re going to need to know a lot more about his positions on ocean protection, state lands and other public trust issues. This is not a simple position.”

Nava’s comments reflect just one of many political cross-currents and conflicts that will confront Maldonado and Schwarzenegger as the nomination moves through the Legislature.

BTW, our sources say Democrats John Laird, and his successor Assemblyman Bill Monning both are likely to run for Maldo’s open seat. Here’s a piece on why the Lite Gov appointment matters, posted before  Arnold’s announcement.

By David Ferry
Special to Calbuzz

While pundits and journalists have been contemplating how many buckets of warm spit* can fit in the Lieutenant Governor’s office, California environmentalists have anxiously awaited Governor Schwarrzenegger’s appointment with more substantive concerns.

Amid the speculation following the election to Congress of former Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a number of students of state government say the governor’s pick matters not a whit. Ted Anagnoson, a professor emeritus at CSU Los Angeles, told Calbuzz, essentially, “who cares?”

“We still basically have no real need for a Lt. Gov…I think the office is a total waste of money. We would survive just as well if the governor’s job went to the head of either the Assembly or the Senate if the governor were indisposed, or to one of the other statewide officials.”

However, there is at least one key policy area where Arnold’s selection could make a big difference. The governor remains a strong proponent of Plain Exploration and Production Co.’s proposal to drill in state waters off the coast of Santa Barbara County, and many environmental groups fear the appointee could help fulfill the lingering calls from the 2008 Republican National Convention to “Drill Baby, Drill.”

The lite gov is, of course, a de facto member of the State Lands Commission, and Garamendi — a former Department of Interior official and anti-offshore environmentalist — cast the deciding vote to scuttle the PXP deal in January.

However, as Timm Herdt reported, the proposal is far from dead. Paul Thayer, executive director of the commission, said that PXP could “absolutely” resubmit its application whenever it wants for a lease in state waters at Tranquillion Ridge; the process could move quickly because the original paperwork is still good. PXP CEO James Flores said in a conference call two weeks ago that the company is just waiting to see who Schwarzenegger will choose as Garamendi’s replacement.

A new push by PXP would instantly restart a bitter intramural conflict between state environmentalists. A number of Central Coast groups and local officials – who typically oppose offshore drilling – including one formed in response to the 1969 spill that started the movement – have signed on to the deal. But plenty of other conservationists aren’t buying it, even though the plan was brokered by the respected Environmental Defense Center, which has been in the center of previous offshore battles.

As Calbuzzers know, Assemblyman and anti-oil crusader Pedro Nava has been fighting the PXP proposal since the beginning. He says that he won’t be surprised if Schwarzenegger makes T-Ridge a “litmus test” for picking his appointee.

Susan-Jordan-File2_t150Susan Jordan, a Santa Barbara County environmentalist who’s married to Nava and running for his termed-out seat in 2010, went a step further. She said in an email that any new pro-PXP Lt. Governor “is also likely to be pro-oil, pro once-through cooling, pro-desalination, etc. That is the real danger. A vote beholding to the Governor has far greater implications then just this project.”

EDC and other supporters back the PXP proposal because it calls for the company to end all drilling in the area – including its current operations in federal waters – by 2022. The company also has agreed to donate thousands of acres of Central Coast land for protection. However, when the Lands Commission voted the project down in January, it said these agreements between PXP and the EDC did not appear to be binding.

Linda Krop, chief counsel for the Santa Barbara based Environmental Defense Center, lamented how politicized the process has become, when Calbuzz asked about the deal and the prospect of a new Lieutenant Governor. She said the EDC worked out the agreement solely for its environmental benefits, and maintained that the project would actually safeguard the coast. Although she said she hopes the governor won’t use a T-Ridge Test in his pick, she would like a second chance before the Lands Commission: “We do believe that we can address the concerns raised by the SLC,” she said.

The family drama may not matter much if Schwarzenegger fills the post with someone opposed to the project. Of frequently floated names, Republican state Senators Abel Maldonado voted against the plan while Dave Cogdill voted in favor on this summer’s attempt to push the deal through the legislature as part of the budget. Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg has founded three alternative energy businesses since retiring. GOP Assemblyman Mike Villines, on the other hand, punched ‘Yea’ in the infamous expunged vote this summer and freshmen San Diego Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher was one of two Republicans who abstained.

Of course, the governor’s pick is subject to approval by the legislature, which could theoretically strike down anyone in favor of drilling. But more important criteria for confirmation seem to be the concerns of legislators already lining up to run for the job and the fact the new lite gov would have a leg up on a future race for a big statewide office. Never mind that, according to Tim Hodson, Professor and Director for the Center for California Studies at CSU Sacramento, only three Lite Govs have gone on to become Governor or U.S. Senator.

Professor Hodson suggested that Arnold could render all the speculation moot: “With Gov Schwarzenegger it’s always possible that he go for the theatrical and leave it vacant.”

*The late Texas Senator John Nance Garnet famously referred to the job of be4587_732572791127_3626475_42588334_5742619_ning vice president as “not worth a warm bucket of spit,” and the post of California lieutenant governor presumably would be worth even less. Over the years there has been some dispute about the noun Garner used in his formulation; many sources make it “a warm bucket of piss” and the Senator reportedly once called a reporter who employed the spit substitution “a pantywaist.”

Calbuzz Bay Area Correspondent David Ferry works for the Climate Watch desk of KQED-FM’s “California Report.”