- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 25, 2003

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger calls the whole thing “old news,” but the accusations of sexual misconduct directed against him in the closing days of his campaign are not going away.

Liberal activists are looking for more women to come forward. The California attorney general still thinks a criminal investigation is justified.

Though Mr. Schwarzenegger tries to appear gubernatorial, his behavior has become a regular joke on late-night TV and in the comics pages, with “Doonesbury” this week depicting the former action hero as a giant groping hand.

Some in California’s capital are not willing to let it rest either. State Sen. Jackie Speier, a Democrat, said Friday that Mr. Schwarzenegger should take the same half-day sexual harassment training course required of other California public employees.

“I think that all of us in public service have a responsibility to know what the laws of the state are with regard to sexual harassment,” said Ms. Speier, who drafted the law after the Legislature was hit with a series of harassment lawsuits.

Some say the issue is already shaping how Mr. Schwarzenegger assembles his new administration.

After 16 women said he had groped or talked dirty to them, Mr. Schwarzenegger apologized during his campaign for “behaving badly sometimes” and vowed to be a champion for women as governor.

He has moved quickly since then to put several women in key posts, appointing a nationally respected financial analyst, Donna Arduin, to audit the state’s books and naming 22 women to his 68-member transition team. On Wednesday, he tapped Patricia Clarey, a health care executive and former aide to Gov. Pete Wilson, as his chief of staff.

Sheri Annis, a former aide to Mr. Schwarzenegger, said appointing women is a good way to get past the issue.

“Arnold shouldn’t appear to pander to women; it would make it more obvious that he’s trying to make up for past indiscretions,” she said, “but one of the best ways for people to get over the issue is for him to hire a fair amount of top women in his administration.”

Schwarzenegger aides insisted that the appointments were not done as a way of addressing the mistreatment accusations. “It did not come into consideration,” spokesman Rob Stutzman said.

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