Schwarzenegger says Maldonado confirmed—Assembly disagrees
Feb. 12, 2010 - - Did the state Assembly vote Thursday to reject Senator Abel
Maldonado’s appointment as lieutenant governor? Assembly members said they did.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said they did not. Maldonado said he assumed he would
be sworn in as the state’s second-in-command within two weeks—but he is keeping
his Senate seat in the meantime. The Assembly failed to approve Maldonado for
the lieutenant governor post. That vote came after the Senate gave the Santa
Maria Republican the thumbs-up by a 26-to-7 margin. But the governor says the
37-to-35 Assembly vote does not constitute a rejection and that Maldonado will
be sworn in. It appears the whole matter may be headed for court.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lawyers argue that the Assembly did not reject the nomination because the vote was 37 for and 35 against. The Governor’s office contends that to reject the nomination the Assembly needed to muster a majority of negative votes. “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,” wrote Andrea Hoch, the governor’s legal affairs secretary.
Chief Assembly Clerk Dotson Wilson and Democrats disagree, saying that any item before the house that does not get a 41-vote majority required for approval has been rejected. Schwarzenegger said he would swear in Maldonado as lieutenant governor after the 90-day period expires on February 21. Democrats say he will not be recognized as lieutenant governor. Capitol observers say that the whole matter could well be settled in court.