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Money (and Politico): Arthur Finkelstein
A political consultant for many Republicans as well as Israel's Lekud party, Mr. Finkelstein has earned quite a bit of money and acclaim as the guy who slandered the term "Liberal" in American politics. He worked with and helped elect George Pataki, President Bush, Benjamin Netanyahu and Jesse Helms, amonst many others. He was active in creating 2004's Swift Boat campaigns to help destroy John Kerry's military reputation, and has just (as of 4/05) announced that he will be spearheading the "Get Hilary" campaign to defeat Senator Clinton's reelection campaign in 2006, using the same tactics as the (many would say successful) Swift Boat media attacks.
While researching information on Mr. Finkelstein for this painting I could find only ONE photograph of him on the entire Internet. Actually, I found the same photo in only 2 locations - a pixilated black and white newspaper photo, accompanied by the caption "The only known photograph of Arthur Finkelstein." I assummed that, like many of the true operatives, movers & shakers and financiers of the American Neo-Con/Neo-Theocratic/Neo-Fascist right, he preferred his anonimity for financial and political reasons. On my canvas his color tones are significantly different from most of the others - more garish and sinister, but with a touch of 1960's "Pop Art" flourescents.
Very recent news suggests that these more flamboyant colors suit him well. It seems that, while working for some of the most virulently repressive and repressed politicians and political movements, he himself is gay, and in early April 2005 married his life-long male companion of almost 40 years in a Massachusetts civil ceremony:
G.O.P. Consultant Weds His Male Partner, by Adam Nagourney, New York Times, 4/9/2005
For me, this is a perfect example of the Machiavellian mindset of this movement - we are entitled to eveything, and you are entitled to nothing. Particularly precious is his quote about rights married people have that should be available to gay couples. DUH!!! But not for any OTHER gay people, just him. Oh, and keep it on the down low, boys - he has a reputation of slander, media manipulation and political intolerance to uphold (it's his JOB).
WASHINGTON, April 8 - Arthur J. Finkelstein, a prominent Republican consultant who has directed a series of hard-edged political campaigns to elect conservatives in the United States and Israel over the last 25 years, said Friday that he had married his male partner in a civil ceremony at his home in Massachusetts.
Mr. Finkelstein, 59, who has made a practice of defeating Democrats by trying to demonize them as liberal, said in a brief interview that he had married his partner of 40 years to ensure that the couple had the same benefits available to married heterosexual couples.
"I believe that visitation rights, health care benefits and other human relationship contracts that are taken for granted by all married people should be available to partners," he said.
He declined further comment on the wedding, which was in December.
Some of Mr. Finkelstein's associates said they were startled to learn that this prominent American conservative had married a man, given his history with the party, especially at a time when many Republican leaders, including President Bush, have campaigned against same-sex marriage and proposed amending the Constitution to ban it. Mr. Finkelstein has been allied over the years with Republicans who have fiercely opposed gay rights measures, including former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, and has been the subject of attacks by gay rights activists who have accused him of hypocrisy. He was identified as gay in a Boston Magazine article in 1996. (more)
This image is soon to be reproduced in the Advocate Magazine (maybe a nice wedding annouoncement, perhaps?). Since there are no photos of him available, I'm happy to fill the need...
Here's another article from 1996, hard to find in a readable format online, so I reproduce it here:
Arthur Finkelstein: Out Of Sight But In Control By Jonathan Karl/CNN, NEW YORK (AllPolitics, Oct. 10)
He is the stuff of Hollywood: A man who can topple even the most powerful foes, yet so secretive that few have ever seen him. As actor Kevin Spacey said in "The Usual Suspects," "I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Kaiser Sose."
Republican strategist Arthur Finkelstein's style has been compared to Hollywood's villainous character, Sose, who was so secretive that some doubted whether he really existed. There has only been one photo of Finkelstein to surface during 20 years of consulting Republican candidates. Even his Westchester County, N.Y., office doesn't bear his name.
Says Stephen Rodrick of Philadelphia Magazine, "It's almost to the point of whether or not he really exists. He has all this impact, but no one has ever seen him."
Sen. Al D'Amato (R-N.Y.) is one who has seen Finkelstein. D'Amato has tapped the mystery man for what may be Finklestein's biggest challenge yet: helping direct Republican strategy in the 33 Senate races this year.
"Arthur Finkelstein is probably one of the brightest, cutting-edge political scientists I've ever met," said D'Amato.
Scientist, strategist or mystery man, Finkelstein has orchestrated stunning upset victories for many of his clients including Sens. D'Amato and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), and New York's Republican Gov. George Pataki. His unseen hand also helped Benjamin Netanyahu oust Shimon Perez in the Israeli elections earlier this year.
Finkelstein's signature style emerges through the ads he creates. Two recent adds brand Democrats as liberals: "Call liberal Paul Wellstone. Tell him it's wrong to spend billions more on welfare," one ad states.
"That's liberal," says another. "That's Jack Reed. That's wrong. Call liberal Jack Reed and tell him his record on welfare is just too liberal for you."
"That's the Finkelstein formula: just brand somebody a liberal, use the word over and over again, engage in that kind of name-calling," said Democratic consultant Mark Mellman.
The August issue of Boston Magazine revealed something that might have surprised some of Finkelstein's more conservative clients: he's homosexual. In his Massachusetts mansion, he lives with his long-time partner and their two adopted children. Stephen Rodrick, now with Philadelphia Magazine, wrote the article.
"As recently as September 10th (1996), four of Finkelstein's clients voted against the anti-gay discrimination bill -- Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.), Jesse Helms (R-N.C), Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and Sen. (Bob) Smith (R) of New Hampshire," said Rodrick.
"Homosexuality is wrong, it's immoral and it shouldn't be condoned and it certainly shouldn't be elevated to a special protected status by the federal government," declared Nickles (R-Okla.) in a Senate speech.
"I think it's clear that there is an element of hypocrisy where he lives this kind of sedate, gay lifestyle while making millions of dollars off of candidates who bash gays," Rodrick added.
Finkelstein and his anti-gay clients would not comment, but D'Amato, who supports homosexual rights, did. "I don't think a person's sexual orientation, his private life -- a person's private life should be brought up and I think the question is offensive, it's wrong. He's a wonderful, decent person and whatever his sexual orientation is, that's his business," stated D'Amato.
- Bill Clinton calls Arthur Finkelstein self loathing and sad (from queerday.com, 4/12/05)
- Hunting Hillary Clinton:
Arthur Finkelstein, long-time GOP political consultant, to lead campaign to defeat Hillary re-election and derail her presidential hopes (Bill Berkowitz, dissidentvoice.org, 2/17/05)
- G.O.P. Consultant Weds His Male Partner, By ADAM NAGOURNEY, New York Times (see except above) April 9, 2005
- Arthur has always had a reputation for doing the nasty - nasty campaign ads, that is... (from a website nicely titled Republicans get Caught With Their Pants Down!)
- GOP Moderates Frozen Out (Marc Humbert, Associated Press, 11/11/04, posted by 365gay.com)
- Arthur Finkelstein 'marries' male partner (Entre Nous / Musings of a former Belgian, 4/10/05)
- Arthur Finkelstein's Federal Campaign Contributions (newsmeat.com)
- The Mystery Man Who Inspired Dole's Latest Strategy (Eric Pooley, Time Magazine, 10/7/1996)
- "The political center has disappeared, and the Republican Party has become the party of the Christian right more so than in any other period in modern history... 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" (Arthur Finkelstein to the Hebrew-language paper Maariv, 11/04)
- "Either this guy believes his party is not serious, and is totally Machiavellian in his position, or there's some sort of self-loathing there. I was more sad for him." (Bill Clinton, 4/05)
- "Arthur Finkelstein is probably one of the brightest, cutting-edge political scientists I've ever met" (NY Senator Al D'Amato)
Do you have bio material or quotes for this person? Please email it to me!
© 2004 Joel Pelletier, joelp.com, email: email@example.com, web design: the Way Home media
Original text & images protected by copyright law; reproduction without consent prohibited.
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