The Race for California's Lieutenant Governor Heats Up

Gavin Newsom pulling out all the stops to beat Abel Maldonado

While it hasn't had a lot of publicity, the race to become California's next lieutenant governor is just as intense as the battle for the state's top job.

On Friday, Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom enjoyed the support of former President Bill Clinton, but Republican Abel Maldonado is currently sitting in the lieutenant governor's chair.

While the position is largely ceremonial, it's often used as a "place holder" for a politician who is interested in seeking higher office.

But there are issues in the campaign for lieutenant governor this year.

One of them deals with energy.

The two candidates for the position differ on how to achieve reductions in carbon pollution in the state.

Both Maldonado and Newsom say they support the state's greenhouse gas law, AB 32, which requires the state to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy sources, even if it drives up the cost of power.

But Maldonado backs a plan to hold back implementation of the law until it is clear that it won't cost state jobs.

"If once those regulations are in place, and this AB 32 says we get good research that it's going to hurt jobs, why not put a moratorium of one year? That's being reasonable, and that's being pragmatic," says Maldonado.

But Newsom doesn't agree.

"I just don't get it. We haven't even begun the implementation. The implementation doesn't even start until 2012. We'll do it in a judicious way. We'll do it in a thoughtful way, but to send the message that you're going to stop before you've even begun, puts a chill on venture capital, puts a chill on investment," said Newsom.

Both candidates say they oppose Prop. 23 on the November ballot, which would significantly roll back the "climate change" law in California.

Contact Us