The Skinny

It was clear to anyone who’d been at a GOP victory party before that the election-night gathering at the Beverly Hilton was a bit out of the ordinary. And we’re not just talking about the presence of Tom Arnold and Rob Lowe on stage, either. The room was crawling with Democrats, many of them are familiar faces in the current Republican administration: Susan Kennedy, Daniel Zingale, Maria Shriver, etc. But there were also some new faces. Among them Ross LaJeunesse, the former chief of staff to Steve Westly. More importantly, LaJeunesse has worked for both of the Kennedys in Schwarzenegger’s life: Teddy and Susan. Westly and Schwarzenegger sources say LaJeunesse is expected to be the latest Democrat to join the administration for the second term. Meanwhile, a pair of GOP stalwarts are expected to be leaving. The oft-rumored departure of Legislative Secretary Richard Costigan is now confirmed as Costigan heads to the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge. Also said to be on his way out is Fred Aguiar, the gov’s cabinet secretary. Maybe LaJeunesse could fill one of those gigs. … Murtha vs. Hoyer isn’t the only Democratic squabbling out there. There seems to be a little race brewing for the chairmanship of the state Democratic Party. Termed-out Sen. Jackie Speier is said to be gearing up for a run for the job, while termed-out Assemblyman Dario Frommer is also telling folks he’s running for the job, in what would be a battle of two of the Legislature’s most ambitious and politically savvy Democrats.
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