Maldonado and Nava clash over offshore oil
January 23, 2010
As State Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) continues his quest to become California’s next lieutenant governor, he finds himself under attack on the issue of offshore oil drilling. [Los Angeles Times]
The accusation comes from Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) who believes Republican Maldonado has cut a deal with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger concerning the controversial Tranquillion Ridge drilling project.
The project calls for limited offshore oil drilling to be allowed off the coast of Santa Barbara and is subject to approval by the California Lands Commission. If confirmed as lieutenant governor, Maldonado would cast the deciding vote on Tranquillion Ridge.
Schwarzenegger supports the project. Nava, currently running for state Attorney General, claims that the governor has made a deal with Maldonado: I nominate you. In return, you vote for Tranqullion Ridge.
Maldonado responded by attacking Nava. “I’ve voted against the proposal three times,” he said. “As lieutenant governor, I would take each each issue as it came before the commission, but I don’t know how much clearer I can be on that issue.”
However, as Nava points out, Maldonado refuses to pledge that he would not reverse his vote in the future.
Meanwhile, Maldonado continues his lobbying campaign in Sacramento next week to woo colleagues and win confirmation. If neither the Senate nor the Assembly rejects him by Feb. 22, Maldonado automatically becomes lieutenant governor.