By Rachel F. Elson
Updated October 10, 2003 10:00 AM

TOTAL RECALL: After a fractious and sometimes freakish campaign scuffle, California’s voting public ousted Gov. Gray Davis and voted to replace him with “the Governator.” An estimated 65 to 70 percent of voters turned out to elect action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, 56, who managed to overcome rumors of Nazi sympathizing, accusations of sexual harassment and even a 1977 interview with racy adult mag Oui, in which the muscleman talked candidly about his sexual habits and drug use. As Schwarzenegger prepares to take office, a biopic is already underway, while his wife, journalist Maria Shriver, scheduled a sit-down with her NBC News bosses to iron out her own career plans.

MOM-TESTED: Heartthrob actor Ashton Kutcher took girlfriend Demi Moore home last weekend to Iowa, where the May-December couple had planned to catch last Saturday’s Hawkeyes homecoming game against Michigan, the Associated Press reported. Those plans were scuttled once the paparazzi started showing up at the home of Kutcher’s mother, Diane Portwood — so Kutcher, 25, and Moore, 40, hung out at home instead, riding four-wheelers and enjoying quiet time with family, said his mom, Diane Portwood. They “had their own little homecoming,” she said. “We had enchiladas and ham, chicken breast — you know, the regular Iowa meals.” The two women, she said, “sat and talked about her kids and my kids, and we had a great time.”

AFFLECK CLEARED: Ben Affleck is free once more to focus on his wobbly engagement to Jennifer Lopez now that North Carolina officials have dismissed an arrest warrant against him. A Kure Beach district attorney said he found no evidence to support a woman’s claim that the actor threatened to kill her, the Associated Press reported. The woman, Tara Ray, had taken out a citizen’s warrant against Affleck, 31, on Sunday, claiming he followed her as she drove home from Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 25 and then called her and threatened to “blow your (expletive) head off.” She also said she had been in a relationship with the “Pearl Harbor” star since February 2002. Affleck’s rep called the claims “absurd.”

BOSS BAN: New York City’s finest dissed Bruce Springsteen after the Boss performed “American Skin (41 Shots)” — which refers to the controversial police shooting of African immigrant Amadou Diallo in February 1999 — at a concert at New York’s Shea Stadium. The NYPD chief yanked the musician’s police escort for his next show, New York’s Daily News reported. Springsteen skipped “American Skin” during the rest of his three-night-stand, last Friday and Saturday nights, and the cops restored the security escort for the rocker’s Saturday night finale.

SECOND HONEYMOON: Extended-honeymooners Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson have agreed to keep the cameras rolling for a second season of their MTV hit, “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica.” It’s been a ratings hit for the network, thanks to some memorably daffy comments from Simpson. (In one instance, Simpson, 23, confessed confusion over her meal. “Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish?” she asks Lachey, 29. “I know it’s tuna, but it says ‘Chicken by the Sea.'”) The finale of the first season of “Newlyweds” is due to air Oct. 21 at 10:30 p.m., five days before the couple’s one-year anniversary. New episodes will kick off in 2004.