Newsom, Maldonado continue enviro-battle 

The two Lieutenant Governor candidates continued swapping barbs Thursday over whether Mayor Gavin Newsom is or is not environmentally aware.

According to Abel Maldonado’s campaign, Newsom is aware – aware of his wife’s financial interests. In fact, a campaign spokesman said, it’s “totally unbelievable” that Newsom was unaware of his wife’s financial connections to the company responsible for the BP oil spill.  According to recent financial disclosure documents, a blind trust in Newsom’s wife’s name invested between $10,000 and $100,000 in a TransOcean Inc. bond. That’s the company whose ruptured oil rig is responsible for the oil spill.

“I think it’s totally unbelievable that Gavin Newsom does not know that his household has millions of dollars in interests in offshore drilling companies,” said Brandon Gesicki, spokesman for Maldonado’s campaign.  “It’s insulting to the voters and it’s insulting to anyone who understands basic economics.”

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s campaign on Thursday confirmed that the the mayor’s wife – Jennifer Siebel Newsom – liquidated her personal trust’s energy-related investments, including the Transocean bond. The campaign said that an investment management team had been in charge of the investments until now; funds from the liquidated assets will be kept in a blind trust where the investments will be made with companies that are … er, more eco-friendly?

Besides, who is Maldonado to talk? asked campaign staffers.

“Abel Maldonado doesn’t mind attacking the mayor’s wife, but he lacks the courage to stand up to the Texas oil companies trying to roll back California’s environmental protections,” said Dan Newman, Newsom’s spokesman.

“Maldonado has a dismal record on the environment – he received a failing grade from the California League of Conservation Voters, is leaving the door open to drill off of Santa Barbara’s precious coast, and he not only voted against California’s landmark climate change law – AB 32 – he now refuses to oppose the Texas oil companies’ initiative to overturn the law.”

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Erin Sherbert

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