Transition team’s diverse for Gov-elect

Arnold's board includes people on the left, right, center

Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the 65 members of his transition committee on Thursday who, he said, were selected to represent a broad spectrum of political interests.

“You will see a very diversified team of people on this list. You will see people that are to the left, people who that are to the right, and people that are to the center,” said Schwarzenegger at a press conference at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.

Rep. David Dreier, a Republican, is chairman of the committee.

Included on the pol-heavy committee, which will advise Schwarzenegger on filling positions in his administration, is producer-helmer Ivan Reitman, who directed the governor-elect in “Junior” and “Twins.” Reitman is the only industryite in the group.

The committee includes several Republicans, including former governor Pete Wilson, former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan, former candidate for governor Bill Simon and Rep. Dave Cox. But Schwarzenegger has also included San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and current L.A. Mayor Jim Hahn, both Democrats who campaigned for Gov. Gray Davis against the recall.

Auditor named

On Thursday, Schwarzenegger also announced that he had appointed Donna Verduin to conduct an audit of the California’s state budget. Verduin is taking a leave of absence from her current position as budget director for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Verduin has also worked in the state budget offices of Michigan and New York, gaining a reputation as a fiscal conservative who has helped Republican governors cut taxes and spending.

Other appointees to Schwarzenegger’s transition committee are philanthropist Eli Broad, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina.

“One of the reasons we have an unusual list,” said Dreier, “is that we have a very unusual person stepping up to the plate to be our governor.”

Literary agent Jillian Manus of Palo Alto-based Manus & Associates is also on board. Like many others appointed to the committee, she worked on Schwarzenegger’s campaign, coordinating outreach to women voters in Northern California working closely with the candidate’s wife, Maria Shriver.

Manus said she hoped to recruit women for administration jobs. “Arnold and Maria are very committed to women being present in this administration,” she said.

Pledges peace with Dems

Schwarzenegger said his transition office has opened in Sacramento and he has begun accepting resumes for jobs in his office. He also repeated on Thursday his vow to rescind Davis’ increase of the car registration tax and said he expected to work well with California’s Democrat-controlled legislature.

“I’m a very positive person,” Schwarzenegger said, “and I’m absolutely convinced that I will be working well with the Democrats.”

Allegations that Schwarzenegger sexually harassed women throughout his career still dogged the governor-elect. As Schwarzenegger walked away from the podium at his news conference, one reporter asked if he was going to, as said in an interview with NBC’s Tom Brokaw, investigate the women’s claims after the election.

Schwarzenegger glowered briefly and said simply, “Old news.”

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