Maybe. On the one hand, Abel Maldonado does qualify as a moderate in a lot of ways. He's the one who bargained for the jungle primary referendum, which I can't actually remember if I voted for, but I at least thought it was an interesting idea. And it's definitely evidence that Maldonado is a lot more than just a party hack. (It was Prop 14 back in June...basically as a moderate Republican he wanted to be able to run in a primary that was all Republicans and all Democrats thrown together, with the top two vote getters moving on to the general election. Massive potential for unintended consequences but not bad as an ideological dream.)
On the other, his record on gay rights is pretty, well, Republican. He has recently managed to piss off the right wing fringe by refusing to "go rogue" while Arnold was out of the state and appeal Prop 8, and he changed from being anti-Harvey Milk Day to pro. (I don't actually care about Harvey Milk Day all that much, but it seems like a promising sign that his views might have evolved). But at some point in the past (I'm trying to figure out exactly when, cause that probably does matter...I think 5-10 years ago), he voted against domestic partnership laws. And really, that's pretty damn awful even if it is completely predictable.
And as unimportant as the lieutenant governor is...Jerry Brown is 72. I agree with Newsom on most things ideologically, but think he's grandstanding disaster who's temperamentally unsuited for the responsibilities of governor. Maldonado seems like he would be no worse than Arnold as governor, and maybe a very good thing for the Republican party in California. And maybe, fundamentally, the job of governor is much more pragmatic than ideological. But I don't know...someone want to talk me out of it?
UPDATES: I did it. And I still feel pretty conflicted about it. But I also figured out that Gavin Newsom is one of the major backers of Prop L in San Francisco, which is essentially just a law designed to legalize police harassment of homeless people. (It makes it illegal to sit or lie on a public sidewalk in SF between 7 AM and 11 PM). So yeah, I feel like my suspicions that everything good he's ever done was pure opportunism have been confirmed. Excuse me Mr. Kicked Out of a Mental Health Institution By Reagan, your extreme misfortune in life is off putting to the tourists who want to be able to visit Haight Ashbury (!!!!) without actually leaving their comfort zones. Could you, uh, move? No we don't know where. Just go somewhere that nobody has to see you. The guy is rotten to the core, and only doesn't screw over gay people because they're so clean and actually good for tourism.