Davis Launches Second Term With Promises

Gov. Gray Davis pledged to concentrate with "intense, unshakable focus" on reviving California's sickly economy and creating jobs as he took the oath of office Monday for his second term.

Davis faces a $34.8 billion budget deficit and is attempting to repair his own image after a first term marked by a staggering financial downturn and a power crisis in the nation's most populous state.

New or returning governors also were sworn in Monday in Wyoming, Arizona, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho and Nevada, many of them warning that sacrifices and challenges lie ahead because of gaping budget deficits.

"I will bring an intense, unshakable focus to creating new jobs and I will direct every resource at my command to re-energizing our economy," said Davis, who has been accused of failing to act quickly during crises.

He called for worker training programs and funding from the federal government to pay for homeland security efforts.

"America needs a real economic plan that puts Americans back to work -- and I call on Washington to act," the governor said.

Davis also outlined an economic stimulus plan he said would create 500,000 jobs in California in the next four years. He directed state agencies and school districts to speed up school and housing projects to create jobs.

Davis won election four years ago by a 20-point margin and enjoyed a booming economy and swelling state treasury during his first two years in office. But then the state suffered rolling blackouts and soaring electricity bills. The high-tech economy also collapsed, dragging down income tax and capital gains revenue with it.

He won re-election by only 5 percent over little-known Republican businessman Bill Simon.


--In Madison, Wis., Jim Doyle was sworn in as governor. The first Democrat to win the office in 16 years, Doyle pledged to lead the state through fiscal and ethical problems as it deals with a deficit Doyle said could top $4 billion. "Yes, there will be pain along the way," he said, but "at the other end of this painful process, we're going to be a much stronger and a much better state."

--Minnesota Republican Tim Pawlenty was sworn in as governor in St. Paul and said he would use a $4.56 billion budget shortfall as an opportunity to redefine state government. "Minnesota is great because we build great progress out of great challenges," he said in his inaugural address.

--In Phoenix, Janet Napolitano took office as Arizona governor, saying residents must unite to solve the state's budget crisis. "We must ensure that prosperity wins over desperation and becomes the norm for all Arizonans," the Democrat said.

--Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was sworn in for a second term, saying the state's greatness "has not been the result of passivity or mediocrity -- it is the result of tenacity and resolve. We must be willing to make sacrifices to secure the blessings of today for the generations of tomorrow."

--Dave Freudenthal was sworn in as Wyoming's first Democratic governor in eight years, calling on the state to diversify its economy and end its reliance on the minerals industry for job growth.

--At Carson City, Nev., Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn was sworn in for a second term. Guinn said a tax on business profits is among the ideas under consideration.

-- In Guam, Gov. Felix Camacho, a Republican beginning his first term, vowed to make the U.S. territory the "leading island" in the Pacific region. His father held the same office in 1970 when Guam, about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii, held its first gubernatorial election.