Monday, August 28, 2017

One of the Nastiest Political Operatives You Never Heard of Has Died

The Ugly Campaigns of Today are His Legacy

Arthur Finkelstein, left, and his husband, Donald Curiale, in 2013 at an event in which Mr. Finkelstein was given an award by the American Association of Political Consultants. CreditGary Maloney

Arthur Finkelstein who passed away was a pioneer of negative, vicious campaigning.  He left us with the political discourse we have today.  No that is not something to be proud of.  For example here is a list of his successes.

Mr. Finkelstein’s combative campaigns helped elect or re-elect the Republican Senators James L. Buckley and Alfonse M. D’Amato of New York, Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Connie Mack III of Florida, Don Nickles of Oklahoma and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

And how did he reach success with some of the most abominable candidates in modern history?

As a gay, Jewish libertarian, Mr. Finkelstein helped elect homophobic candidates, once polled South Carolinians on whether they would support a rival candidate identified as a Jewish immigrant, and supported gay rights and abortion rights as what the political consultant Roger Stone, another of his protégés, called, in a phone interview, “a situational conservative.”

One reason for his success was that he stayed behind the lines, never seeking publicity, just wanting to win, any way and with whatever it took.

His family and friends will miss him, the rest of us, not so much.  Late in life in Prague he saidt he following.

“I said I wanted to change the world, I said I did, I made it worse,” he added, without amplifying and, perhaps, with a dollop of self-deprecation. 

No argument here.

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