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Here’s Finkelstein, according to a CNN story “Arthur Finkelstein: Out Of Sight But In Control.”

As I mentioned in an earlier post, N.Y. Governor George Pataki, who’s thinking about 2008 bid for the White House, already has his advisor Arthur Finkelstein, an out gay man, taking on the religious wingnuts.

What you may not know is Finkelstein is about as nasty and right wing as they come on the campaign trail. If he’s slamming the Bush team’s capitulation to the wingnuts, that’s saying something. Finkelstein has a history of hardball politics, working with Jesse Helms on his Senate run against Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt.

I was living in NC during this time period, and it was the nastiest, most racist campaign the GOP has seen in a lifetime. It was a close race (Gantt leading 47-45 percent), until Finkelstein ran the infamous “white hands commercial” showing a close up pair of a flannel-shirtsleeved hands crumpling a job pair of white hands crumpling a termination notice, with an ominous voiceover explaining that a well-deserved job went to someone else because of affirmative action. This appealed to the blue collar, textile working folks in the rural areas, and Helms won handily. Here’s a quote from local gay activist Mandy Carter from 1996:

All this from a politician whose main strategist during his first run for Senate – as well as last time – was Arthur Finkelstein. Who? You know, the guy who lives with his male partner and their two adopted children. It’s not a secret or anything. “The height of hypocrisy,” snaps Mandy Carter, campaign coordinator of NC Mobe. “I just don’t get Finkelstein, but Helms? This is the one who claims not to know anyone gay, swears he’d never hire anyone who is and opposes gays adopting children. And yet he retains a gay advisor. What does that tell us?”

This is the same Arthur Finkelstein who today is slamming Bush’s anti-gay bedfellows and their agenda — Bush and his wingnuts better belt themselves in tight, because they’re in for a helluva bumpy ride, if Finkelstein’s attitude is any indication.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding