Schwarzenegger's Transition Team Includes Fiorina

The Hewlett-Packard CEO was named to the advisory group that will help California's governor-elect prepare to take office.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

October 10, 2003

4 Min Read

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- Moving to keep a promise that was one of the pillars of his campaign, Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger named an independent auditor to investigate the size and scope of California's budget deficit.

"One of the first things we have to do is audit. Open up the books and let the people look inside. Let the sun shine in," Schwarzenegger said at a Thursday news conference.

Donna Arduin, who is on loan from Gov. Jeb Bush's administration in Florida where she is budget director, has pledged to complete her work by January when Schwarzenegger is required to submit a spending plan.

After her introduction, Arduin promptly left for Sacramento to begin her analysis.

Schwarzenegger, who will take office when the results of Tuesday's recall election are certified, said the budget shortfall for next fiscal year may have risen to at least $10 billion.

He also introduced key members of his transition team, including Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, who is heading the effort.

Schwarzenegger's transition committee includes everyone from conservative Republican businessman Bill Simon, who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, to liberal San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Among others: Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; Gerry Parsky, President Bush's top California adviser; Hollywood director Ivan Reitman; and Susan Estrich, who ran Democrat Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential campaign.

"When you look at this list ... you will see a very diversified team of people on this list. You will see people that are to the left, people that are to the right, and people that are to the center," he said.

Schwarzenegger has vowed to immediately repeal the recent tripling of the state's car tax and to preserve educational programs as he trims the budget.

He emphasized Thursday that his first order of business is simply determining the state of California's finances.

After Schwarzenegger finished his press conference, a reporter asked him whether he would address sexual harassment allegations made by 16 women in the days leading up to the election. Schwarzenegger responded, "Old news."

In the meantime, outgoing Gov. Gray Davis met Thursday with cabinet, congratulating each member and asking that they "extend the hand of cooperation" to Schwarzenegger and his team.

"They may need our help and if they ask, I want you to provide it," said Davis.

Schwarzenegger on Thursday also called on Davis not to make any more appointments or sign legislation in the waning days of his administration, although Schwarzenegger acknowledged it is Davis' right to do so.

"I would like it really if he doesn't sign any more bills, as far as that goes," Schwarzenegger said. "But we will be working on that, and I'm absolutely convinced that when the governor says that he wants to have a smooth transition, that we will in fact have a smooth transition. And I am looking forward to that and the process has already begun."

Davis spokesman Steven Maviglio said Davis will continue to make appointments and act on legislation. He added, "The governor-elect might be interested in learning that bills that Gov. Davis does not act on before Oct. 13 automatically become law."

In California, the governor may veto a bill, sign it, or allow it to become law without signing it.

Davis has about 100 pending appointments to make, 15 of which require Senate confirmation, Maviglio said. An additional 21 appointments already are pending before the Senate.

In an interview published Friday in the Los Angeles Times, Davis said he's mulling working for a nonprofit group on education or environmental issues in the future, and said he isn't bitter about the sudden apparent end to his decades-long political career.

"I had a great 30-year ride and a wonderful opportunity to serve the people of this state," Davis told the newspaper. "Now the people have said they want somebody else to govern."

The outgoing governor said Schwarzenegger's celebrity and a well-run campaign aided the actor's victory.

"He really didn't make any mistakes," Davis said. "He had a few stumbles early on. But his celebrity really allowed him to circumvent the political press."

Davis still has a sense of humor. On Friday, he was to read the Top 10 list on David Letterman's "Late Show."

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