Hundreds of resumes are flooding into Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger's transition team as he scurries in the face of tight deadlines to make the two appointments that, more than any others, will define his new administration.
With the swearing-in set for the middle of next month, Schwarzenegger's advisors are looking most urgently at the jobs of chief of staff and finance director. Both are crucial to launching a new administration and preparing a 2004-05 budget that must go to the printer by December.
Among those believed to be in the running for finance director are Donna Arduin, who Schwarzenegger tapped Thursday to run an audit of the state budget, and former Rep. Bill Baker. The Contra Costa conservative served 12 years in the Assembly and two terms in Congress.
"We're all hearing from people we met 12 years ago on a cruise and gave our business cards to," said Rob Stutzman, spokesman for Schwarzenegger.
The chief of staff is at the top of the pyramid of power in any governor's office. The choice of finance chief is pivotal since Gov. Gray Davis was tossed out Tuesday in part because of concerns about the economy.
"It is critically important due to the fact that we have a tremendous budget deficit staring us in the eye, and that our commitment is to turn the economy around," said Sean Walsh, an aide to the governor-elect. "And we have a difficult time getting from A to Z without having the finance director directly engaged in the process. Those are the most difficult front-burner positions that need to be addressed."
Those jobs amount to a fraction of what faces Schwarzenegger: When he takes office, the new governor will need to immediately appoint about 100 people to staff positions. He can make 1,100 more appointments to various boards, commissions and departments. Although incoming governors typically have two months to staff their administrations, the rapid turnover prompted by the recall gives Schwarzenegger only about a month.
Working from home Friday, he took part in a conference call with more than 60 members of the bipartisan committee that will recommend people for the new administration.
Analysts said the approach is a savvy one. Given the polarization in Sacramento, Schwarzenegger can signal a more conciliatory approach by ensuring that Democrats are not shut out, some said.
"I suspect you'll see Democrats in the Cabinet," said Republican strategist Dan Schnur, who ran Peter Ueberroth's short-lived gubernatorial bid. "Schwarzenegger seems to understand that the strongest message coming from the voters was a distaste for partisan politics as usual."
Democrats appear to grasp that as well. A private strategy memo sent Friday to Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson (D-Culver City) and members of the Democratic caucus said of Tuesday's election results: "The conclusion is obvious. The voters want everyone in Sacramento to work together to end the gridlock on fiscal matters."
Schwarzenegger is directly engaged in the hunt for a chief of staff, advisors said. He is phoning members of his transition team asking for suggestions as he puts together a short list.
Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso said that Friday morning he spoke with the governor-elect, who said finding a chief of staff is his most pressing goal.
"I told him, 'I'm here to do whatever I can to help,' " said Caruso, a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission. "This is obviously going to be the shortest transition in the history of California. You have to strike a balance between getting people on board quickly and making sure you get the right people."
Schwarzenegger's circle is tight-lipped about front-running candidates. But Arduin, budget director under Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was said to be in mix for finance chief. Schwarzenegger tapped her Thursday to audit the state's books and advise him on the size of the budget shortfall. That job is due to end by January, she said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, people close to Schwarzenegger described Arduin's work in Sacramento as something of an audition that could lead to an offer, presuming she would be willing to leave Florida.
"If she performs well," one transition team member said, "that's a real possibility."
Though she only arrived in Sacramento on Thursday night, skepticism about Arduin's role is already surfacing.
State Senate leader John Burton (D-San Francisco) questioned the need for an outsider who has no experience in California.
"I would believe that [Senate GOP leader] Jim Brulte's own budget staff could tell [Schwarzenegger] as much as this woman could tell him about the budget," he said.
"It's not like it's hidden under lock and key. It's a public document. It's open."
The other oft-mentioned candidate, former congressman Baker, is a member of Schwarzenegger's transition team. He was ousted from Congress by Democrat Ellen Tauscher in 1996.
Brulte's fiscal chief, Mike Genest, is playing a major role in the budget transition. Some state finance officials expect that he will join the finance office as a top deputy once Schwarzenegger takes power in mid-November.
Luring people to the new administration should not be difficult, some observers said. For many people, an offer from the movie star-turned-governor may be hard to refuse.
That is particularly true for Republicans, who are in the minority in both houses of the Legislature and have been shut out of the governor's office since Pete Wilson's departure in January 1999.
"The governor's office is the whole enchilada," said Peter De Marco, spokesman for GOP Assembly leader Dave Cox of Fair Oaks. "Anyone who has an opportunity to go work in the administration would jump at the chance."
Times staff writers Evan Halper, Gregg Jones and Jeffrey L. Rabin contributed to this report.
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Members of Schwarzenegger's transition committee
Members of the Schwarzenegger transition committee will forward recommendations to the governor-elect as he hires his administration. The committee is directed by Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas); Jim Richardson, chief of staff to state Senate GOP leader Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga, will serve as staff director for the transition team. Rob Stutzman, a veteran Republican aide, will serve as communications director for the transition committee. Members of the committee are:
Dean Andal -- Chairman of the state Board of Equalization from 1994-2002. He served from 1990-94 in the state Assembly, where he was the chief budget negotiator for the Republicans.
Eloise Anderson -- Director of the Program for the American Family at the Claremont Institute. She previously ran the state Department of Social Services under Gov. Pete Wilson.
Annelise Anderson -- A fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She was associate director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration, specializing in domestic budget policy, and was on Wilson's Council of Economic Advisors.
Bill Baker -- Served in Congress from 1993-97. He also was a member of the state Assembly from 1981-93.
Willie L. Brown Jr. -- Mayor of San Francisco and, before that, the longest serving speaker of the state Assembly. He also has served as a trustee of the California State University system, a regent of the University of California and chairman of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.
Tammy Bruce -- A writer and political commentator who is currently a commentator for the Fox News Channel. She is a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women.
James Brulte -- Senate GOP leader, who has represented the 31st District for 12 years. Earlier, he served in the state Assembly.
Carol Chandler -- A partner in Chandler Farms of Selma. She also is a member of the California Postsecondary Education Commission and served on the UC Board of Regents.
Mike Carona -- Sheriff of Orange County and a member of the White House Commission on Homeland Security.
Rick J. Caruso -- A member and former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission. Previously, he was on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. He is the founder of a real estate company.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper -- Associate dean of Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Jon Coupal -- An attorney and president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.
Dave Cox -- Republican Assembly leader. He earlier served for six years on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.
David Crane -- A partner in Babcock & Brown, a law firm specializing in international financial services and asset-based financings and acquisitions.
Viet Dinh -- A professor of law and deputy director of Asian law and policy studies at Georgetown University Law Center. He earlier served as assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy.
Charles P. Diamond -- Head of O'Melveny & Myers' Litigation Practice Group, which he began in 1983.
Susan Estrich -- A USC law professor and frequent commentator on television news programs. She managed Michael Dukakis' losing presidential bid in 1988.
Carleton S. (Carly) Fiorina -- Chairman and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. Before that, she worked for nearly 20 years at AT&T; Lucent Technologies.
Matt Fong -- State treasurer from 1995-99. He lost to Democrat Barbara Boxer in the 1998 race for U.S. Senate.
Bonnie Garcia -- State Assembly member from San Diego.
Bob Grady -- Head of the Carlyle Group's venture capital funds. Before that, he was an executive director of the Office of Management and Budget and an aide to President George H.W. Bush.
James K. Hahn -- Mayor of Los Angeles since July 2001. Before that, he was city attorney and city controller.
Peter Hannaford -- Senior consultant with APCO Worldwide, a public affairs/strategic marketing firm. He also served Ronald Reagan in Sacramento and Washington.
John M. Hein -- Associate executive director of the California Teachers Assn.
Warren Hellman -- Co-founder and chairman of Hellman & Friedman, and former general partner of Lehman Brothers.
Bob Hertzberg -- A partner in the law firm of Mayer, Brown, and Assembly speaker from 1999-2002.
Bonnie Hill -- President of B. Hill Enterprises, a consulting firm specializing in corporate governance, board organization and public policy issues. She formerly was chief executive of the Times Mirror Foundation and senior vice president for communications and public affairs for the Los Angeles Times.
Bill Jones -- Former California secretary of state and a longtime legislator. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for governor in 2002, losing to Bill Simon Jr.
Frank M. Jordan -- Former mayor of San Francisco and, before that, chief of police.
George Keiffer -- Partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips. He also is chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jessie Knight -- President and chief executive of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He is a former member of the state Public Utilities Commission.
John W. Koeberer -- Chairman, chief executive and president of the California Parks Co. and a partner in the Shasta Recreation Co., which manage recreational enterprises for public agencies in Northern California.
Robin Kramer -- Chief of staff to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan from 1995-98. Before that, she served as executive director of CORO Southern California, a public affairs leadership training organization.
Sean Liou -- President of Always Best Tours and Travel. He is a member of President Bush's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Abel Maldonado -- A legislator and former mayor of Santa Maria. He also is president of his family-run farming business.
Jillian W. Manus -- President of Manus & Associates Literary Agency, a firm representing a varied list of independent authors in San Francisco and New York.
Jeannine Martineau -- President of the California School Boards Assn. and a board member of the Lake Elsinore Unified School District in Riverside County.
Kevin McCarthy -- A member of the state Assembly and former district director for Rep. Bill Thomas, the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Tom McEnery -- Mayor of San Jose from 1983-90.
Rebecca Morgan -- State senator from 1984-93. She also is past president and chief executive of the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, a nonprofit organization of business, government and education leaders working to improve the Silicon Valley.
Thomas A. Nassif -- President and chief executive of the Western Growers Assn. since 2002. He served in the State Department under President Reagan.
James Nielsen -- A former legislator from the San Joaquin Valley. He was a founding partner and president of Alternative Power Inc., which used rice straw for co-generating fuel.
Carlos Olamendi -- A member of President Bush's Advisory Committee on the Arts, a national advisory board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Beverly O'Neill -- Mayor of Long Beach since 1994.
Gerald L. Parsky -- Chairman of Aurora Capital Group in Los Angeles. He is President Bush's chief political operative in California.
Bill Pauli -- President of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Sally Pipes -- President and chief executive of the Pacific Research Institute and a regular columnist for Investor's Business Daily's "Brain Trust."
Cassandra W. Pye -- Vice president of public affairs and political director of the California Chamber of Commerce.
Safi Qureshey -- Founder and chairman emeritus of AST Computers.
Michael A. Ramos -- San Bernardino County district attorney.
Bonnie Reiss -- Former president of Schwarzenegger's Inner-City Games Foundation and founding director of Arnold's All-Stars, a California nonprofit organization providing after-school programs to middle schools.
William Reilly -- Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the first Bush administration from 1989-93.
Ivan Reitman -- A film director whose movies include Schwarzenegger's "Six Days / Seven Nights."
Richard Riordan --Mayor of Los Angeles from 1993-2001 and an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2002.
Piedad Robertson -- President of Santa Monica City College, she served as secretary of education for Republican Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts.
Mario Rodriquez -- Founder and chief executive of Jonathan Grey & Associates. He also is vice chairman of the California Republican Party and president of the Hispanic Business Roundtable of California.
Elizabeth ("Beth") Rogers -- A farmer and businesswoman who is considering running against Schwarzenegger's GOP recall opponent, Tom McClintock, in the 2004 state Senate race.
Jeff Sedivec -- A retired Santa Ana Fire Department firefighter-paramedic and president of the California State Firefighters Assn.
George P. Shultz -- Former secretary of state under President Reagan.
Bill Simon Jr. -- The Republican nominee for governor in 2002; he lost to Gray Davis.
Donna Tuttle -- President and co-founder of Korn Tuttle Capital Group Inc., a diversified holding company based in Los Angeles.
Al Vasquez -- Producer of Abriendo Puertas en la Comunidad (Opening Doors in the Community). He also worked for the Department of Commerce in Washington.
E. Myrtle Williams -- Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs Assn. and a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Pete Wilson -- Former governor for two terms. Before that, he served as a U.S. senator, state assemblyman and mayor of San Diego.
Dr. Sophie C. Wong -- Asian community leader in Los Angeles.
Charlene Zettel -- Public interest director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. A two-term member of the state Assembly, she was the first Republican Latina elected to the Legislature.
Source: Schwarzenegger's transition team
Los Angeles Times