by Steven Ertelt
December 8, 2005
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — Republican lawmakers and officials want a meeting with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger after he picked a pro-abortion Democrat to become his next chief of staff. Observers say his decision was based on the defeat of all of his ballot issues in November and that he has to move left in advance of his re-election bid.
However, pro-life advocates were disappointed that Schwarzenegger picked California Public Utilities Commissioner Susan Kennedy, cabinet secretary to former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, as his new chief of staff.
Kennedy is the former executive director of the California Abortion Rights Action League.
The governor has agreed to meet next Thursday with leaders of the California Republican Party to hear their concerns.
Some Republicans want Schwarzenegger to rescind the appointment and say they his re-election bid could falter because it is alienating his base of supporters.
California Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim said he is hopeful the meeting will be productive.
"The two major things people want to understand is what her role will be in the campaign," he told the Associated Press. "To what extent will we be interacting with her, or will there be others that we can discuss things with? You understand that we are concerned about races other than the governor."
Rob Stutzman, the governor’s communication director, said Schwarzenegger will not rescind the appointment.
Republican legislative leaders said they share the same concerns over Kennedy because they worry how she will influence the governor and his handling of legislative matters.
Assembly Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield said he does not support the Kennedy appointment: "I think it is a step backward."
Pro-life groups groups immediately attacked the appointment, but were not surprised because Schwarzenegger backs abortion.
"By placing a leading … pro-abortion Democrat activist in charge of his entire administration, Arnold has taken a disastrous turn to the left," Randy Thomasson, the president of Campaign for Children and Families, said at the time.
Thomasson said the appointment would be akin to President Bush naming pro-abortion Sen. Hillary Clinton to head up his administration — a notion he called "utterly ridiculous."
Schwarzenegger takes a pro-abortion position, but said he favored Proposition 73, which would have allowed for parents to be notified about a teenager daughter’s abortion. California voters narrowly defeated the measure, which Schwarzenegger did not back with heavy campaigning.