California's Controversial Confirmation

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Sept. 3, 2008: California Republican State Sen. Abel Maldonado speaks at the RNC.

    Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria is one step closer to becoming California's next lieutenant governor as the Senate Rules Committee voted 4-0 in his favor Wednesday.

    His nomination, announced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Nov. 24, faced a vote Wednesday afternoon in the Senate Rules Committee.

    "I want to thank my colleagues and Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg for convening a hearing today to consider my qualifications to fill the vacancy in the lieutenant governor's office," Maldonado said in a statement.

    In response, Schwarzenegger said in a statement "the Senate Rules Committee put Californians ahead of politics and exercised its constitutional duty by recommending that Sen. Abel Maldonado be confirmed as lieutenant governor."

    The confirmation will now go to a full vote of the California Senate, the governor's office said.

    Maldonado angered fellow Republicans last year when he voted for a budget plan that included a package of temporary taxes.

    This article originally appeared on KCRA.com.