Abel Maldonado, who lost campaigns for California lieutenant governor and Congress, jumped back onto center stage this month with a brash campaign to repeal Gov. Jerry Brown’s corrections policy known as realignment, says the Los Angeles Times. The result of federal court orders to reduce prison crowding, the program keeps many low-level offenders in county jails rather than send them to state lockups. “The bottom line is that, under Gov. Brown, if you commit a crime you do less time. It’s just catch and release,” said Maldonado, who has formed an exploratory committee for governor.
The logo of his Protect California Families campaign is the silhouette of a butcher knife, the brainchild of his top media advisor, Fred Davis. “Abel Maldonado will not be governor if he runs a nice, little sweet campaign,” Davis said. With California expecting a budget surplus after years of financial crisis and Brown cultivating an image as the cheapest man in Sacramento, the Democratic governor will be difficult to beat if he runs for reelection, but he could be vulnerable on the prison issue, especially if “someone falls through the cracks” and it turns into a scandalous, high-profile crime case, said Bill Whalen, who worked for Gov. Pete Wilson when California voters overwhelmingly passed the “three strikes” law that cracked down on repeat felons.