October 23, 2003 at 5:36 PM CDT - Updated June 24 at 11:07 AM
California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger sat down Thursday with the man he'll be replacing, and said in a joint news conference that they were working well together and had started "a great relationship."
The Republican actor said there were no hard feelings between himself and Democratic Gov. Gray Davis lingering from the Oct. 7 recall election.
"He kept his promise," Schwarzenegger said. "Every day we are working with his office, and they have been really fantastic to work with. So, I think we can continue on having a great relationship here and a working relationship.
"We will need the governor's help in the future."
Schwarzenegger was also scheduled to meet Thursday with each of the statewide office holders - including recall election opponent Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante. On Wednesday, he paid personal visits to top Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature, describing the talks as "relationship building" sessions.
Schwarzenegger said Thursday that Davis had given him some good pointers already.
"He's going to show me the ropes. He's going to give me some of the inside information here," he said.
Davis said he would "do my very best to help Gov.-elect Schwarzenegger be a success, because I love this state."
He said that once he leaves office, he will try in his private life to find ways to champion some of the same causes he championed in Sacramento, though he did not elaborate.
During his first official visit to the Capitol on Wednesday, Schwarzenegger pledged "action, action, action, action" in the Statehouse as he picked a chief of staff, Patricia Clarey. He also joked and chatted with lawmakers and announced his plan to call them back in a special session soon after he's sworn into office.
Clarey, 50, was a deputy chief of staff for former Gov. Pete Wilson in the mid-1990s, and previously worked in Washington, D.C., under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Spokesman Rob Stutzman emphasized Clarey's experience, saying: "She has a very good understanding of how the governor's office works."
After the meetings Wednesday, Schwarzenegger joked with Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco, and clapped his arm around Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson's shoulder. But there were indications the friendly mood could change quickly when actual legislative work began.
"We're going to give him the benefit of the doubt, and on things that we disagree with him on, we're going to fight tenaciously," Wesson, D-Culver City, told the Los Angeles Times.
The special legislative session Schwarzenegger plans to call is expected to deal with workers' compensation reform and repealing SB60 - legislation recently signed by Davis to grant drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants. Other possible topics would be political reform and budget issues, Stutzman said.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.