A Private Eye For California

This is a partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, November 7, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL LOCKYER, ATTORNEY GENERAL, CALIFORNIA: I think it's a stain on his reputation and administration to have these lingering doubts. And I think that they should deal with them forthrightly.


TONY SNOW, GUEST-HOST: All right. That was California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (search); urging Arnold Schwarzenegger to have an independent investigation into allegations that Arnold behaved badly in the past. Now follow the bouncing ball here. The Governor-Elect, Schwarzenegger, believes that his conversations with Lockyer are confidential and therefore, covered under the attorney-client privilege.

Nevertheless, the Governor-Elect Schwarzenegger will hire a private eye to investigate old allegations against them. But he might not share them with Lockyer, who not only is a Democrat, but also has his eye on the governor's office in three years.

For more on this, we turn to Tammy Bruce, a member of the Schwarzenegger transition team, a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, and author of The New Thought Police, Inside The Left's Assault On Free Speech And Free Minds.

Tammy, welcome. Let's first talk about this whole idea of hiring private investigators. Is this mainly a piece of show on the part of Arnold Schwarzenegger to pay off a campaign promise, to go ahead and look into these things once he was elected?

TAMMY BRUCE, AUTHOR, THE NEW THOUGHT POLICE: Well, you know, we do expect sometimes him to behave like a normal politician. To be honest with you, he is doing it because he did say he would do it. I haven't spoken to him or anyone on the transition team about this. But my sense of it is that this is a guy who made a promise and he is going to keep it. There really from my assessment, to be honest with you is nothing to be gained. It didn't matter to me whether he would do it or not.

What matters to California, what matters to me is what he does in the future and getting the state back on track. What is most interesting, Tony, about all of this is that the Democrats, the guy isn't even sworn in yet. And they're already moving into politics as usual. On October 7 we rejected smear politics, we rejected the Democrats; and I think they have to be very careful about whether or not they're going to be obstructionists and to maintain politics as usual, or if they're going to let this man do his job.

SNOW: Well, I want to go through this whole thing about doing an investigation and then I want to move on to the politics of a Schwarzenegger governorship.

BRUCE: Sure.

SNOW: Because as you pointed out, everybody is trying to jump on to do an investigation. Now, Susan Estrich, during the campaign, made the point that none of the charges, she read in the Los Angeles Times or anywhere else, rose to the level of even constituting sexual harassment.

BRUCE: That's right.

SNOW: Nobody pressed charges. Is there any "there there" as far as you know?

BRUCE: Well, you know, here's the reality is that all statutes of limitations have passed. No one has sued. No one has pressed charges. You are looking at a dynamic, where, regardless of whatever an investigation might final, I believe that some of these things happened and I believe that some of them didn't. And maybe what he'll find could be important to him, and I think there are nervous people out there, that we're going to find out who, in fact, were just jumping on a bandwagon.

And in the meantime, of course, he's already apologized. And I do think that he is doing it because he said he would, without there really being any kind of payoff in the end for him. And I think that is the kind of actions we are going to expect to see from this guy, doing what he feels is right, while also, as he knows, having to behave in a different way in the future.

SNOW: Do you think he is a changed man?

BRUCE: You know what? I think that, as we all grow older, we all change. We all have regrets. There is no doubt about each one of us has done something, or a few things that maybe we wish we hadn't done and that we would never do again in the future. This is a man, and I've used the analogy from the As Good As It Gets movie. I believe that the California people make Arnold Schwarzenegger want to be a better man. And it is going to be an exciting prospect to see him grow and make this state come alive again.

And as a Democrat, I'm concerned that the Democrat -- that the Democratic posture right now, because I had like there to be a balance in Sacramento. And right now if the Democrats continue to do what they're doing, if Lockyer is any indication that they are going to be obstructionists, we're going to see a big change continuing in Sacramento.

SNOW: Bill Lockyer is an interesting case because he said he voted for Arnold. I think that was a way to sharp stick and poking it in the eye of Gray Davis (search). But on the other hand, as I noted coming in, this guy's made no secret of his desire to become a governor someday as well.

BRUCE: Yes. He knows what's best for California, but he is also a politician. And he needs to be aware that Californians have rejected politics as usual. And he needs to see if he can adjust to it.

SNOW: Let's talk a little bit about strategy for Arnold Schwarzenegger. You just mentioned the fact that the legislature overwhelmingly Democratic is not likely to give him the sort of stuff he wants.


SNOW: I've heard it suggested by some closest to the governor-elect of maybe one way getting around this is to use the initiative process. Put on ballot initiatives to see cover all the key items, whether it is limited spending or rolling back some health care regulations at small businesses think are erroneous. Or taking on some of the big ideas. Do you think ultimately it's going to come to that? In other words, going to the voters directly and having them vote on things over the heads of the legislature?

BRUCE: I think it can. I think that he will try to use that. The fact that Californians are with him to try to persuade the legislature to try to do the right thing. I'm hoping there are some Democrats there who recognize that they need to actually get some work done. But in the meantime, if they don't, clearly this is a popular governor. He will -- he already has the support of the people of the state across party lines. And he has pledged to do it that way. He will if need be, and the people of California will support him in doing it.

It is an exciting process of transition when it comes to how we're going to get the state back on track. And I'm really looking forward to it. It is going to show also, I think, the rest of the nation that the Democratic process works and that Americans in general are willing to participate to make sure that the right thing happens.

SNOW: Now, a number of times you used the qualifier "you hope the Democrats play along." Surely people have looked at the polls. And here is a guy that got nearly 50 percent of the vote when 135 people were running for governor. That's pretty strong mandate.


SNOW: So the question is when you talk to friends and colleagues, do you get a sense that a number of Democrats, A, are going to find their way into positions in this administration? For instance, I gather one already has been appointed to an environmental post. But also are going to have the ability to say to members of the legislature, look, guys, play along. This is going to be good politically for you as well.

BRUCE: Well, exactly. What California demanded was an awareness that things need to change on both sides of the aisle. And what my position on the transition team, Susan Estrich being on the transition team is an indication that, yes, Democrats are going to -- are recommended. They are going to be appointed.

But there are people who are going to be committed to continuing the revolution. And so he is serious, when you look at the make-up of the transition team, recommendations from someone like myself. My circle is different than Susan's, different than Eli Brodes. You know, different from everyone else's. So he's serious about it.

You're going to see a diverse mix, but you're going to see people who are committed first to the people of California, first and foremost. And I think that's how the politics in this state are going to change. And I think the people in Sacramento are going to get it. And if not, then they will be finding another job relatively soon.

SNOW: And at some point he'll have to say to them, look folks, I'm in charge. Like it or not, here we go.

BRUCE: Yes. Exactly.

SNOW: Tammy Bruce, thank you so much for joining us.

BRUCE: My pleasure.

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