Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado announces that he is dropping out of the California governor race as his family listens at Santa Maria City Hall Thursday.

Paul Wellman

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado announces that he is dropping out of the California governor race as his family listens at Santa Maria City Hall Thursday.

Abel Maldonado Drops Out of Governor’s Race

Says He Wants to Spend More Time with Family

Thursday, January 16, 2014
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Former lieutenant governor Abel Maldonado announced Thursday from the steps of Santa Maria City Hall that he’s withdrawing from the governor’s race to focus on being “a full-time dad and husband.” Maldonado’s campaign to unseat Governor Jerry Brown this November struggled to gain traction from the start, and his decision to bow out came before he officially threw his hat into the ring despite recent months of stumping up and down California.

“It’s time to step away for a while and spend more time with my family and stay a little closer to home, helping my community as an active private citizen,” Maldonado said Thursday. “This by no means suggests that I am giving up or giving in. I love my country, and I love my state. But it’s just time for me to take a break.”

In speeches, press releases, and social-media posts over the last eight months, Maldonado had criticized Brown’s new prison-realignment policy (AB 109), arguing it was leading to the early release of violent felons who were endangering an unsuspecting public. He unveiled a proposed ballot measure to reverse the law and made an accused murderer his poster boy for reform. It would turn out, however, that the suspect and his release from prison had nothing to do with AB 109 and that he had completed his parole eight years before the policy went into effect. Maldonado also struggled on the fundraising front, and one of his top advisers recently exited the campaign under unclear circumstances.

Maldonado began his political career in his hometown of Santa Maria, serving on its city council and eventually becoming its mayor. He was elected to the State Senate in 2004, lost a race for state controller in 2006, and was appointed California’s lieutenant governor by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010. He then made a run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 but lost to incumbent Lois Capps. Assemblymember Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks remains in this year’s gubernatorial race, and former assistant U.S. Treasury secretary Neel Kashkari is expected to announce his candidacy.

“Almost a year ago, I began this journey of meeting Californians and sharing a renewed vision of California,” Maldonado said Thursday in statements posted to his website. “And for most of the last year, I have campaigned aggressively for governor of California up and down and all over this great state. I have heard from those who work two jobs and are still behind on their bills every month and still many others who can’t find any work at all. Too many of our schools are failing our children and many more are underfunded. Our streets are filling daily with criminals released early, and instead of serving the time they should have, they are causing new crimes. For too many, the California dream has become a California nightmare.

Believe me: I have heard it every day. I know I have the qualifications to be governor, and I strongly believe I can turn California around if elected governor. I have the experience and the temperament. I have served at the local level and state level in both the legislative and executive branches of government. And I know today California can do better. But after having traveled all over the state and giving it my all, I have concluded that now is not my time.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Good move. It is Brown's again, if he wants it. Plus Brown is looking, talking and sounding more like a Republican every day anyway. Happens when people get older and baby boomer demographics are getting older.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2014 at 5:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

foofighter, Jerry Brown is no Republican, but he's much more of a moderate guy than his first (ridiculous) time as governor. To his credit, he has repaired the gaping debt hole in the state budget, and thankfully has kept the public employee union machine in check.

Indyholio (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2014 at 7:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I believe that this is the correct decision. Mr. Maldonado simply does not have the depth of intellect and the political skills for the job. He is great as an city councilman and may even make a decent county supervisor, but at a higher level he over his head. He is a nice guy. I wish him will.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2014 at 7:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Brown got a temporary tax passed, that only gives the appearance of starting to repair the gaping hole in the state's $200 billion unfunded liabilities.

Don't let a one time "balanced" budget confuse the wall of state debt ($200 BILLION with a B) that continues to grow. T

hose are huge debts already incurred are not part of the annual "budget". They get paid either by Peter robbing Paul, or the state economy engages in a miraculous turn-around. What are the chances of that?

What is the game plan once the temporary taxes expire? By then takers may well exceed makers in this state, since it continues to be one of the most business unfriendly states in our Nation, by any standards.

That is Brown's next task: unlocking the layers of obstructionist regulations that prevent this state's economic recovery. Which means weeding out much of the punitive green regulatory nonsense that is choking us far more, than any smog alert ever did.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2014 at 10:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A budget is not balanced unless it includes a long term plan and initial payment to reduce the unfunded liabilities the state (and county and city for that matter) is facing.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 9:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

foofighter, I agree there are still challenges that must be overcome, but one possible solution is to remove the Prop 13 limits for commercial properties.

Another would be to legalize and tax marijuana.

And implementing ALL of Gov. Brown's multi-part plan for public employee pension reform would also be a huge improvement.

But, I think we need to be careful stripping out environmental regulation. One look at the recent West Virginia chemical contamination of drinking water supply should make everyone take notice.

Indyholio (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 9:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Able is not capable of governing anything... The guy is a worthless hack. Send him back to Santa Maria and let him pander to the illegal immigrants who make up 50% of that rotting town...

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 2:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Good riddance.

zuma7 (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 3:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

People have been proposing split-roll changes to Prop 13 for decades. Why hasn't this happened?

Please provide the figures in a pro forma that show taxing pot saies will generate $200 billion dollars?

How much pot has to be purchased, by how many people for how long at what prices.

How much does an "average" pot smoker spend in one year on pot? Daily users, monthly users, occasional users? What percentage tax? 5% - 10%

How will the ability to grow one's own pot supplies affect future tax revenues. What would be the societal costs becoming dependent upon pot sales in order to support employee pensions payouts and promises?

Flesh this out. How exactly will this work. Data, please.

Same thing for Prop 13 split rolls. How much extra money would be generated and how long to attack the $200 billion debt. And at what downstream costs.if this Prop 13 tax change was implemented.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 4:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't know how much it costs a day to smoke pot, but a typical smoker can smoke a pack a day.

One pack a day cigarette smoker at approx $6.50 a pack for 365 days spends $2400 a year on cigarettes.

5% tax on that $2400 a year on cigarettes would generate $120 a year.

How many smokers generating $120 a year in taxes would it take in California to pay off the $200 billion in state unfunded liabilities?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 4:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let' talk dollars and sense. City of SB currently has at least $400 million in unfunded liabilities - their own wall of debt.

We just got the Clark estate property gifted to the city which is generously valued at $100 million dollars.

If we sold the estate, lock stock and barrel and dumped all the profits from this gift into the city's wall of debt, we would cover only one quarter of it. And lose the Clark estate forever.

Now think about reducing a $200 billion debt with a toker tax? How about even the annual property taxes if the Clark estate was sold to a private party? That would generate approx $2 million in property taxes a year for the county - city only gets a small part of that.

Should we sell the Clark estate to help pay for city employee pensions?

Should we aggressively sell and tax pot to reduce the $200 billion state wall of debt?

Or, should we budget our existing resources more prudently, stop promising what we can't deliver and setting up unrealistic public employee expectations?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 5:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Santa Barbara is not going to own the Clark estate. It would be the property of a non profit organization. The only control Santa Barbara would have over this organization is the right to appoint some of the board members. This is all contingent on a New York probate court's decision.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 6:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

City has a right to sell it as long as the profits are dedicated to the 'support of the Arts". Thus the enhanced property tax revenue issue.

The other point about the "sale" of the property primarily was to put a scale on the amount of public indebtedness and a relative amount of assets needed to make it whole.

You were good to clarify this alternative as to the facts; even though the example still stands. I will state this more clearly in the future.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 6:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

CA, dodged that bullet.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2014 at 8:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Go ahead and change "Prop. 13" to tax commercial properties, then say good-by to business's in Calif..

Why would a business owner stay in a state with the highest taxes when they could move to a state with lower or none??

Even a liberal can figure that one out all by themselves… At least I hope so, or am I giving the to much credit??

Priceless (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2014 at 8:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Damn I forgot to mention Abel.

Good riddance, you were never a Republican anyway. You've always been a closet democrat…...

Priceless (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2014 at 8:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Beating the drums for Prop 13 changes merely is an excuse to maintain the Democratic anti-business, poor-me victimization campaign that has been politically successful for them, yet fiscally ruinous for the rest of us.

If the Democrats ever stopped complaining about never getting their "fair share" of what other people produce, they would lose their reason for existence.

It teachers ever produced classroom success, they too would lose their fundamental reason to always be asking for more money.

This state is in a death spiral.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2014 at 10:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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