SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) introduced key members of his transition team Thursday, saying the first thing they would do is conduct an audit to find out just how serious the state's deficit is.
Schwarzenegger, who will take office as soon as the results of Tuesday's recall election are certified, said his first priority will be investigating the state's finances. The Republican said the state's budget shortfall for next fiscal year may have risen to at least $10 billion.
"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 news conference at a Santa Monica hotel.
Several Democrats are among the 67 California notables on the Republican's team, including San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg. Republicans include former Gov. Pete Wilson, former U.S. secretary of state and treasury George Shultz and Bill Simon, once a rival of Schwarzenegger's in the recall election.
Business leaders on the team include billionaire builder Eli Broad and Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer Carly Fiorina.
Schwarzenegger on Thursday also called on Gov. Gray Davis (search) 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 October 13th automatically become law."
In California, the governor may veto a bill, sign it or allow it to become law without signing it.
Schwarzenegger also introduced Rep. David Dreier (search), R-Calif., who is heading his transition team.
The first member of the team they announced was its finance director, Donna Arduin, who is on loan from the administration of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, where she is budget director.
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.
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."
Meanwhile, Davis met Thursday afternoon with his cabinet members, congratulating each one and asking that they cooperate with Schwarzenegger's team.
"They may need our help and if they ask, I want you to provide it," said Davis, who did not take questions from reporters. "Our service is not complete until we've done everything humanly possible to prepare the next administration for their assignment."
Davis has about 100 pending appointments to make, 15 of which require Senate confirmation, Maviglio said.
Another 21 appointments already are pending before the Senate. Majority leader John Burton said he is considering calling the upper house back into session to act on the appointments before Davis, like Burton a Democrat, leaves office.
Even after becoming only the second governor to be recalled in U.S. history, Davis still has a sense of humor. On Friday, he was to read the Top 10 list on David Letterman's "Late Show."