A legislative affairs specialist who has been representing insurance regulators in Washington is taking a job as a representative for the chief executive of California.[@@]

The legislative affairs specialist, David Wetmore, has been director of government relations in the Washington office of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Wetmore will be taking a position Feb. 21 as assistant to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and director of Schwarzenegger’s Washington office. The appointment does not require the approval of the state Senate, and it comes with an annual salary of $123,000.

Wetmore “shares my commitment to working with our congressional delegation, the president and his administration to secure appropriate funding for California while also focusing on the many other important issues confronting our state in our nation’s capitol,” Schwarzenegger says in a statement about Wetmore’s hiring.

Before joining the NAIC in 1999, Wetmore was director of the Washington office of former California Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican. Wetmore began his career in public service with Wilson, working in Wilson’s U.S. Senate office from 1986 through 1991. Wetmore continued to work in the Senate for Sen. John Seymour, a Republican who was appointed to replace Wilson when Wilson became governor of California, until 1993.