It wasn’t enough that the Guvernator Ah-nuld mucked up California. On New Year’s Eve, Schwarzenegger made a slew of last-day political appointments and re-appointments in a smoke-filled room, and put his 3-year press secretary Aaron McLear on the California Film Commission. Others in the unsalaried positions include TV veteran Lindy DeKoven, former NBC Entertainment EVP, and Moulin Rouge producer Fred Baron, EVP of feature production for Twentieth Century Fox.
McLear, a Republican, previously served as a regional press secretary for the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007 and was communications director for the 2004 Bush-Cheney Campaign in Ohio. Prior to that, he served Ohio Governor Bob Taft as a legislative liaison, assistant press secretary and communications assistant. Baron, a Democrat, since 1990 has overseen the productions of feature films that include: Knight and Day, Date Night, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Live Free or Die Hard, Borat, Kingdom of Heaven, I Robot, The Day After Tomorrow, Last of the Mohicans, Grand Canyon, Edward Scissorhands, Hot Chicks, Broken Arrow, Romeo and Juliet, Alien Resurrection, Bulworth and Moulin Rouge. Interestingly, few of those productions were filmed in California. DeKoven, a democrat, has headed DeKoven Entertainment after she left NBC in 2000. She is chair of the Commission on the Status of Women. Also appointed was Hilary Rice Armstrong, another Democrat, who since 2006 has been president of Fire of Life Films and executive producer for California State of Mind: the Legacy of Pat Brown. Additionally, she has been development director for My California Now since 2007.
Reappointed were Steve Dayan, a business agent for the Teamsters Local 399 representing Drivers, Location Managers and Casting Directors; Christine Essel, CEO for the Community Redevelopment Agency for the city of Los Angeles and a former Paramount Pictures SVP of government affairs; Janet Knutsen, a freelance TV and film producer and production manager who previously worked for Nickelodeon and Warner Bros; Michael Miller, division director of IATSE’s Motion Picture and Television Production Department since 2008 and served as eighth international vice president of the IATSE General Executive Board; Gary Tobey, chairman/CEO for Haworth Marketing and Media since 1995.