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Schwarzenegger Faces GOP Revolt Over Lesbian Aide


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Schwarzenegger Faces GOP Revolt Over Lesbian Aide

by Mark Worrall, 365Gay.com San Francisco Bureau

February 12, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Sacramento, California) Conservative Republicans are threatening to withhold the party's endorsement of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's bid for re-election unless he fires LGBT activist Susan Kennedy, Democrat, as his chief of staff.

The group is demanding a vote on what it calls its "Susan Kennedy Resolution" at the Republican Party winter convention in San Jose.

The governor hired Kennedy in November (story) in an attempt to show a moderate image as he prepares for November's election. Schwarzenegger alienated gays and many moderate swing voters in the state when he vetoed a bill that would have allowed same-sex marriage.

But in hiring Kennedy he angered conservatives within his own party.

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.

The resolution says Kennedy "has spent most of her adult life pursuing a partisan Democratic agenda for higher taxes, greater government spending, gay rights, abortion rights ... and other anti-Republican policy issues."

The measure calls on the party to withdraw its endorsement of Schwarzenegger, effective March 15, unless the governor fires her.

State GOP President Duf Sundheim said he believes the majority of the party supports Schwarzenegger but is concerned that the infighting will hurt the GOP. Sundheim said he hopes to calm the enflamed conservative passions before the convention begins next month.

For his part, the governor is showing no signs of ditching Kennedy. Last month in a speech at the Sacramento Press Club he praised her abilities.

"She's spectacular. She's much better than I thought, and I'm looking forward to working with her for many more years," he said.

©365Gay.com 2006


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