The Buzz: Burton not worried about Maldonado bid for governor

April 15, 2013 

1W15BUZZ

A truckload of overripe broccoli featured prominently in an anecdote about Republican Abel Maldonado told by Democratic Party Chairman John Burton.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE FILE

Party chair Burton turns up nose at whiff of Maldonado candidacy

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton doesn't seem too concerned about the possibility that Republican Abel Maldonado will challenge Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014.

"I bet Jerry Brown's wetting his pants," Burton quipped at a Friday night reception to kick off the party's annual convention in Sacramento.

Maldonado, a former state legislator and farmer from Santa Maria who was appointed lieutenant governor by GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, recently filed paperwork to start raising money for a gubernatorial run. Some GOP strategists think Maldonado's candidacy could be key in helping the embattled California Republican Party woo Latino voters.

Burton's thoughts about the potential challenger, however, were limited to an incident involving some bad-smelling broccoli.

"When I think of Abel Maldonado, I think of a guy who brought a truckload of broccoli into the Capitol garage during the heat of the summer and forgot to take it out … stunk up the whole Capitol," he said.

When asked to provide more details about that incident, Burton simply said "Ask Abel, he'll remember."

Maldonado wasn't immediately available to answer over the weekend.

AT THE CAPITOL

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the National Football League Players Association, and a special team of retired and active professional athletes are in town to lobby against Assembly Bill 1309, a measure – sponsored by pro sports leagues – to exempt athletes who play for non-California teams from being covered by California's workers' compensation laws.

WORTH REPEATING

"I was disappointed, so disappointed the president didn't mention the best-looking LG in history, but Cruz Bustamante has that locked up."

LT. GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM, joking with delegates to the California Democratic Party convention, referring to President Barack Obama's description of Attorney General Kamala Harris as "by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country."

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