Trio of Democratic Assembly members oppose Maldonado as lieutenant governor

A group of Democratic members of the Assembly are announcing their opposition to the appointment of Abel Maldonado as California’s next lieutenant governor.

Maldonado, the Republican from Santa Maria who represents San Luis Obispo County in the state Senate, has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace John Garamendi, who won a congressional seat in a special election.

But Pedro Nava, a Democrat from Santa Barbara and the chairman of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee, said this morning that Maldonado is “out of step on issues of great significance to most Californians.”

“He has voted against farm workers, health care, civil rights, worker protections, women, consumers, seniors, and the environment,” said Nava. “With a record like that we feel that he should not be confirmed by the Assembly.”

Others joining Nava in voicing their opposition are Assemblyman Tony Mendoza (D-Norwalk) a member of the Rules Committee, and Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) chairman of the Insurance Committee. The trio were to outline their views at an 11 a.m. press conference in Sacramento.

In nominating Maldonado, Schwarzenegger noted his ability to work with members of both major parties.

Maldonado cleared a key test last week when a Senate committee voted in favor of his confirmation. But to become lieutenant governor, Maldonado must be backed by the full Senate and the Assembly.

-- Tad Weber