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Schwarzenegger Appoints Lesbian Activist Top Aide


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Schwarzenegger Appoints Lesbian Activist Top Aide

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 30, 2005 11:00 am ET, Updated 7:00 pm ET

(Sacramento, California) In a move to shore up his sagging support among California gays and moderates Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has reportedly hired Susan Kennedy as his new chief of staff.

Schwarzenegger will make the formal announcement Wednesday after California newspapers leaked news of the appointment.

"She is willing to take her Democratic philosophy aside and implement my vision," Schwarzenegger told reporters at an afternoon news conference.

Kennedy's appointment is part of a major shakeup of the governor's staff as he heads into an election amid plummeting approval ratings.

Kennedy is a longtime gay activist, a former official with the state Democratic Party official and was a top adviser to former Gov. Gray Davis.

Prior to joining the Davis Administration, Kennedy served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

She previously served as Executive Director of the California Democratic Party and as Executive Director of the California Abortion Rights Action League.

Kennedy managed two of the most successful Get-Out-The-Vote campaigns in recent California history, including the 1992 Coordinated Campaign for Clinton/Gore and the 1998 Coordinated Campaign that elected Davis.

Davis named her to the California Public Utilities Commission in 2003.

Kennedy is credited with helping influence a number of key legislative issues affecting gays and lesbians, including the state's landmark domestic partner law.

She and partner Vicki Marti exchanged vows in a 1999 ceremony in Hawaii that was attended by many California political insiders.

She is highly respected by both Democrats and Republicans, although the far right of the GOP has expressed concerns about the reported appointment.

Neither Kennedy nor the Governor has confirmed the Chronicle report.

Schwarzenegger has seen his public approval ratings drop over the past year. He angered gays and lesbians when he vetoed legislation that would have allowed same-sex marriage in the state. (story)

The veto prompted Equality California to launch a "payback" campaign which helped defeat Schwarzenegger's so-called government reform referenda in this month's election. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005


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