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Feb 13, 2010 1:49 AM by Ariel Wesler

Governor renominates Abel Maldonado to end growing controversy

What started as a simple confirmation vote for state senator Abel Maldonado has turned into a big controversy in the state capitol. The confirmation process just got a bit longer.

Governor Schwarzenegger says he will re-nominate Maldonado for Lieutenant Governor until a majority decision is reached in the Assembly.

The republican received overwhelming approval in the senate but fell short in the Assembly by just a few votes.

Many democrats say because he did not get the majority, he cannot take office.

Governor Schwarzenegger wants a redo. His office released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"I intend to withdraw and resubmit the nomination of Abel Maldonado. . .and ask the Assembly to take the vote again until a majority decision is reached, one way or another."

The Assembly voted to approve Maldonado 37-35, but fell short of the 41 votes needed for a majority.

Many democrats considered that a rejection, but the governor's office disagreed, leading to a legal battle.

"The constitution clearly states that unless one of the chambers has a majority no vote then Senator Maldonado will be our next Lieutenant Governor," said Rachel Arrezola, a spokesperson for the governor.

"If the governor continues to act in an illegal way, I don't think we have a choice but to challenge his actions, said 35th District Assemblyman Pedro Nava.

Many democrats fear if Maldonado is approved, he would have an advantage as the incumbent for the election this fall and blame the governor for drawing out the process.

"The easiest way for him to fix this problem is to appoint someone who will not run for the office. Therefore, you eliminate any issue of political ambition," Nava said.

The legislature will have another 90 days to confirm or reject Maldonado.

Both sides are blaming each other for the bickering and lack of bipartisanship. The governor says he hopes voting again will end the controversy. During the confirmation, six democrats were either not present or didn't vote.

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