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The claws are coming out…more GOP infighting about the fundamentalist Right’s role in the party. NY Gov Pataki’s advisor slams Bush’s fealty to the wingnuts in his party.. Oh, and the advisor is openly gay. Pataki is on growing list of potential candidates for a 2008 run. (NYP):

Gov. Pataki’s top political adviser has trashed President Bush, attacked the “Christian right,” and said Bush’s re-election means Pataki can’t become president in 2008.

The shocking comments by Arthur Finkelstein appeared in the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv, which also quoted the nationally known GOP consultant as saying that in the presidential election, “the Republican Party became the Christian right, the most radical in modern history ever.”

Finkelstein, the one-time political guru to former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, is also described by Maariv writer Boaz Gaon as “hating” Bush.

In the story, which ran last Friday, Finkelstein accused Bush of trying to “dictate to America how to live and what to believe in.”

Finkelstein, who has helped run several Israeli elections, is also described as claiming Bush is more interested in banning abortion than he is in winning the war in Iraq.

And Finkelstein, who told a Boston newspaper several years ago that he is homosexual, described Bush’s campaign strategy as being more interested in banning gay marriages than in improving the American economy.

Finkelstein, who is credited with orchestrating Pataki’s stunning upset victory over then-Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1994, told the newspaper Bush’s victory is bad news for Pataki, a social liberal who supports abortion and gay rights, because it means the “Christian right” is in charge of the GOP.

Asked if Pataki could run for president in 2008, Finkelstein responded:

“Bush’s victory not only establishes the power of the American Christian right in this candidacy, but in fact established its power to elect the next Republican president.”

UPDATE: Here’s more background on Finkelstein’s right-wing pedigree.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding