- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2003

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday announced his transition team — a list that includes old political hands, the liberal mayor of San Francisco and a movie producer — and dismissed accusations of sexual misconduct as “old news.”

The 67-member team, headed by Rep. David Dreier, California Republican, is made up of “people from the left, people from the right and people from the center,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said at a press conference.

Mr. Schwarzenegger said he “absolutely” would appoint Democrats to his administration. He will take the oath of office after the election is certified, likely in mid-November.

“It will be a diversified Cabinet,” said Mr. Schwarzenegger. “I know exactly what the people want.”

The transition team includes people with a wide range of political viewpoints, from San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who went on television the night of the recall election and called Gov. Gray Davis a “bad governor,” to former gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon, a staunch conservative.

Asked how he will manage the transition, Mr. Dreier said he will draw from his experience in Washington.

“I work with 434 other congressmen,” Mr. Dreier said. “I can work with this group.”

Shortly before the recall campaign ended, Mr. Schwarzenegger told Tom Brokaw of NBC News that after the campaign he would address accusations that he groped and sexually harassed several women during his Hollywood career.

Asked about that promise yesterday as he left his press conference, Mr. Schwarzenegger said the charges were “old news.”

Among the Republican political veterans on Mr. Schwarzenegger’s transition team are former California Gov. Pete Wilson, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and former Reagan administration Secretary of State George Shultz.

Also on the team are Susan Estrich, who headed the 1988 Democratic presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis; Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn, a Democrat; conservative Washington-based lawyer Viet Dinh; lawyer Charles P. Diamond, who defended the recall effort in federal court; Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute and member of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum; and Ivan Reitman, who produced Mr. Schwarzenegger’s hit film “Twins.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger said the team included “the best and the brightest people in this state.”

The governor-elect decried a bill, signed by Mr. Davis just before the recall election, requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance.

“I’m opposed to it, absolutely,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said. “We have to create a business-friendly atmosphere here … by not loading up businesses with more taxes and overhead. Right now, small businesses cannot afford that.”

Mr. Davis has at least 30 days left in office to keep up the quick pace of gubernatorial appointments and bill signings that he adopted in the weeks leading up to his defeat Tuesday.

The governor-elect encouraged Mr. Davis to stop.

“He has the right to do so, but I would like it if he didn’t make any more appointments or sign any more bills,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said.

He said he is convinced he can work well with the Democrat-dominated Legislature. If he doesn’t get his way, Mr. Schwarzenegger said, he will borrow a strategy from one of his heroes, Ronald Reagan.

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