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For Arnold Schwarzenegger's last appointees, time is running out

December 23, 2011 | 12:45 pm

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As one of his last acts as governor a year ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed a slew of aides and political allies to state boards, including top advisor David Crane to the University of California Board of Regents.

But Crane and others are now being forced to step down from their posts because the state Senate didn't confirm their appointments within a year, as required by law. Senate leaders were reluctant to confirm long-term appointments that would prevent Gov. Jerry Brown from filling  posts important to the work of his administration.

Another Schwarzenegger appointee, former Senate Republican leader Dennis Hollingsworth, is leaving his $128,100-a-year position on the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board on Dec. 31, according to the board’s top executive, Alberto Roldan. "He would have liked to have stayed," said Roldan, the chief administrative law judge. "It was sad."

Crane, whose last day with the UC Regents is Tuesday, has been a bur under the saddle to legislators, criticizing them for inaction on pension reform and making cuts in state funding to universities, which have forced large increases in tuition. "It's virtually impossible for anyone to get confirmed if they keep pointing out that the Legislature is privatizing UC,'' Crane said Friday.

In addition, Crane is president of the group Govern for California, which has a mission that also was unlikely to ingratiate him with legislators.

"Replacing just a handful of the 120 members of the California state legislature with a few courageous, honest and effective legislators would improve public services, enhance the jobs climate, and enable elimination of the state’s structural budget deficit," the organization says on its website.

--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tours a solar energy company in Los Angeles in September. Credit: Maury Phillips / Getty Images

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