Bush pledges Pentagon review; builds transition team

As President-elect Bush ventured to the White House for a meeting with President Clinton Tuesday, Bush-Cheney transition spokesman Ari Fleischer said one of the first missions of the Pentagon during the Bush presidency will be a "top-to-bottom review of all our military needs," fulfilling a campaign promise.

Fleischer also said that about 600 people, including Bush-Cheney issue specialists, congressional aides and others, would be named to advisory committees that will provide ideas and suggestions about legislation the incoming administration will propose.

The advisory committees will provide "input" to the policy coordination groups, which will draft legislative proposals and advise incoming Cabinet secretaries.

Bush will nominate Don Evans as Commerce secretary Wednesday, turning to his campaign chairman and longtime friend to fill one of his first Cabinet posts, a Republican official told the Associated Press. Evans, 54, is chief executive of Tom Brown Inc., a Midland, Texas, oil and gas company. He was instrumental in helping Bush raise a record $100 million for his presidential race.

Bush's transition team has tapped some additional Capitol Hill and K Street veterans to help keep Congress informed and involved in the new administration's talent search and policy development.

In addition to transition legislative affairs director David Gribbin and Ziad Ojakli, a former aide to the late Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., the team now includes Candi Wolff, who used to be a top aide at the Senate Republican Policy Committee. She will help Ojakli with Senate efforts.

Nelson Litterst, a lobbyist with the National Federation of Independent Business, and Kim McKernan, a lobbyist with O'Brien Calio, are helping with House transition work.

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