- Australia court strikes down 5-day-old, gay-marriage law
- Fake interpreter at Mandela service: ‘Sorry,’ I have schizophrenia
- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Creator of ‘Selfies at Funerals’ blog retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
Birthdate: Aug. 21, 1967
Birth Place: Santa Maria, CA, United States
Residence: Santa Maria, CA
Abel Maldonado was born in California's Central Valley, the oldest son of immigrant field workers. As a child he picked strawberries alongside his father.
He earned a degree in crop science from California Polytechnic State University, then returned to the small family farm and transformed it from a half-acre of strawberries to more than 6,000 acres with 250 employees.
Maldonado won election to the Santa Maria City Council when he was 26, and was elected mayor two years later. In 1998, he was elected to the state Assembly, where he served until 2004, when he was elected to the state Senate.
He was nominated lieutenant governor in 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, filling the remaining term of John Garamendi, who had been elected to Congress. Maldonado lost his bid for election to a full term.
He lives in Santa Maria with his wife, Laura, and their four children.
Abel Maldonado has had a whirlwind political career and seen his share of controversy.
He won election to the Santa Maria City Council when he was 26 years old after becoming frustrated with city bureaucracy when he attempted to get permits for a cooling facility on his family farm. Two years later, he was elected mayor.
He was then elected to the state Assembly, where he earned a reputation as a moderate. He led a campaign to install seat belts on school buses, helped reform the state workers compensation system, and advocated for legislation to raise academic performance in schools.
In 2005, a year after he was elected to the state Senate, a San Luis Obispo weekly newspaper revealed that he had received $30,987 worth of gifts, including trips to Australia, Africa and Europe, from an organization representing California's power industry. The story suggested a link between the gifts and a seismic safety bill that could have affected the Diablo Canyon power plant's operating license. Maldonado angrily refuted that contention.
Maldonado signed a "no new taxes" pledge, but later voted for higher taxes, saying he regretted signing the pledge.
In 2006, he unsuccessfully ran for state controller, losing in the GOP primary to Tony Strickland. He later blamed then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for not supporting him forcefully enough and accused the governor of not caring about Hispanics. He later apologized for the comment and said he would not seek further political office than the state Senate.
He later made up with Schwarzenegger, who nominated him in 2010 as lieutenant governor to replace John Garamendi, who had been elected to Congress. Maldonado's nomination failed in the state Assembly, but was later approved.
He ran unsuccessfully for a full term as lieutenant governor, losing to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
In his 2012 congressional campaign against incumbent Democratic Rep. Lois Capps, Maldonado has been dogged by tax issues. The IRS says Maldonado's farm, Agro-Jal, underpaid taxes by $4 million between 2006 and 2008. Although most of the disputed amount stems from accounting of farm equipment, some was from items the IRS says was for personal use. Maldonado severed his ties to the business in a bid to distance himself from the controversy.
Similar issues surfaced in 2010 when Agro-Jal agreed to pay $111,146 in back taxes after the IRS put a lien on the business. The government said the taxes were for improper deductions of personal items, including horses, retiling a bathroom shower and other renovations in a resort home, pickup trucks driven by the Maldonado family, golf club memberships, and a catering bill for a party.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
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- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
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