Thursday, December 01, 2005

Schwartzenegger Names Out Democrat as Chief of Staff

(Link) No, Susan Kennedy is not just openly Democratic. She's been married to her partner Susan since 1999. How ticked off are the Republicans about it? Enough so that they've already dedicated a website to "stopping" her.


LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:

BY Kumar Choudhary

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named a Democrat in a same-sex marriage as his chief of staff on Wednesday in an apparent political shift on the heels of a major electoral defeat. Susan Kennedy, 45, was the confidant and number two to ousted Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, whom Schwarzenegger beat in a bitter recall election in 2003. She married her lesbian partner in 1999.

"I love Susan, I think the world of her," Schwarzenegger told a news conference at the state capitol. "She is willing to take her Democratic philosophy aside and implement my vision." Despite his celebrity as a former Hollywood star and champion bodybuilder, Schwarzenegger faces a challenge in convincing a state in which Democrats are the largest party to re-elect him in 2006. Voters rejected him across the board when he sought support for ballot initiative measures opposed by Democrats earlier this month.

The appointment of a woman who once served as the California Democratic Party executive director and has led campaigns for abortion rights angered some Republicans. "The appointment of Susan Kennedy as chief of staff to the governor is a betrayal of the hard-working activists that supported the governor during the recent special election," said Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly. Another opponent immediately set up a Web site where visitors were urged to sign a petition seeking to rescind the appointment.

"BRILLIANT CHOICE" Although reaching to the opposing political party for senior staff appointments is relatively rare in American politics, Schwarzenegger's top advisor is his wife, prominent Democrat Maria Shriver. He also says his mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver -- sister of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy -- frequently offers him political suggestions. Susan Kennedy is not related to the family.

Former Gov. Davis, under whom Kennedy served as cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff, called Schwarzenegger's choice brilliant. "Susan is a remarkable public servant -- she believes in governing from the center," Davis told Reuters. "She processes information more quickly than anyone that I have ever known." Kennedy, who served most recently on the California Public Utilities Commission, described herself as a moderate Democrat willing to put aside party differences.

"I'm tired of the partisanship," she said. "I felt it was time for me as a Democrat to put up or shut up." Schwarzenegger said that he had heard protests from about five percent of those he told the news, but said he would not change his political program. "This is not about drifting anywhere," Schwarzenegger said. "It doesn't change my direction at all."

badphairy said...

So, he won't sanction gay marriage for all, but will provide a good job for one lesbian. Wow, we should all be so impressed, huh.