Ted Lascher is an Associate Dean at Sacramento State University. And he smells an opportunity. When Democrat John Garamendi was elected to Congress and vacated the Lieutenant Governor’s post, Lasher says it gave Sacramento a chance to re-think the position:
“There’s a small group of politicians who work in Sacramento who would notice it a lot, but for virtually everyone else, we wouldn’t notice it being gone.”
Last week Governor Schwarzenegger nominated GOP Senator Abel Maldonado for the job. Lascher says it’s a missed opportunity to make state government more efficient. The Lieutenant Governor has few specific duties. He or she fills in for the Governor when he’s away or incapacitated, and serves on a number of boards, including the UC Board of Regents and the CSU Board of Trustees. Lascher says it’s small potatoes as far as statewide elected officials go. But he notes that lawmakers would not be eager to get rid of the position:
“Both Republicans and Democrats look to position like controller and Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor as possible places to go after they’re through.”
State lawmakers have 90 days to confirm or reject Senator Maldonado. It’s unclear what they’ll do; some Democrats have argued that a sitting lawmaker should not get the post, because it requires a special election.