Arthur J. Finkelstein


Arthur J. Finkelstein

Arthur J. Finkelstein (born 1946) is a United States Republican Party political operative. He has directed a series of campaigns, considered to be quite successful, to elect conservatives in the United States and Israel in the past 25 years. He runs Arthur J. Finkelstein and Associates, a political consulting firm based in Irvington, New York, which handles his clients. He works with his brother, Robert Finkelstein.

Biography

Little is known about Finkelstein's background other than that he is Jewish and grew up in New York City.

His signature is in the lobby of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel.

Professional history

By 1972 he was working on President Richard M. Nixon's re-election campaign as a demographic theoretical analyst. In 1979 he rose to prominence as a pollster for Ronald Reagan during the Republican primaries leading up to the 1980 general election that made him President. In 1980, he engineered the surprising victory of former U.S. Senator from New York Alfonse D'Amato over incumbent Jacob Javits. The unexpected victory of Republican George Pataki over the Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo in the 1994 New York Governor's race in the heavily Democratic-leaning state helped to cement Finkelstein as one of the most successful campaign managers working at the time. In 1996, Finkelstein had a hand in directing Republican strategy in 33 U.S. Senate races.

Campaign style

Finkelstein is known for his hard-edged political campaigns, which often focus on hammering home a single message with great repetition. He is credited with helping to make "liberal" a dirty word in the USA during the late 1980s and 1990s by using commercial messages like this, intended to damage Jack Reed's
cite news
first=Jonathan
last=Karl
author=
url=http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/news/9610/10/karl.finkelstein/index.shtml
title=Arthur Finkelstein: Out Of Sight But In Control
work=Inside Politics
publisher=CNN
pages=
page=
date=1996-10-10
accessdate=2005-07-02
] He also helped create the idea for this commercial message about Minnesota U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone::"Paul Wellstone. Embarrassingly liberal. Decades out of touch."cite news
first=
last=Dionne
author=E.J., Jr.
url=http://www.wpyellowpages.com/wp-srv/politics/talk/zforum/wellstone/wellstone011997.htm
title=Radical Realist
work=Washington Post
publisher=
pages=
page=W08
date=1997-01-19
accessdate=
] While often successful, Finkelstein's tactics have sometimes backfired -- such as in 1996, where his repeated attacks against Wellstone had the effect of galvanizing Wellstone's liberal grass-roots base. Republican U.S. Senator Rod Grams had to eventually condemn Finkelstein's negative ads against Wellstone for being excessive.

Finkelstein's early style is described in an account of a Congressional primary race in Arizona (Thomas W. Benson. "Another Shooting in Cowtown." "Quarterly Journal of Speech" 67 (1981): 347-406.)

Finkelstein's office shares a small building with Diversified Research, a Republican push-polling firm. It is highly likely, but not certain, that he retains their services.

Current clients

Finkelstein has worked for many politicians in a number of positions:cite news
first=Bill
last=Berkowitz
author=
url=http://www.mediatransparency.com/story.php?storyID=58
title=Arthur Finkelstein is Hunting Hillary Clinton
work=
publisher=Media Transparency
pages=
page=
date=2005-01-09
accessdate=2005-05-06
]
* Romanian Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
* Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum
* Florida Congressman Connie Mack IV
* New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce [http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/2007/10/pearces.html]

Former clients

* Former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms
* Former U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond
* Former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey
* Former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler
* Former U.S. Senator John East
* Former U.S. Senator Roger Jepsen
* Former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato
* Former U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz
* Former New York Governor George Pataki
* Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan
* Former U.S. President Richard Nixon
* Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole
* Former U.S. Representative Gerald Solomon
* Former U.S. Representative Jack Kemp
* Terry Dolan's the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC)
* Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
* Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
* Former U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth
* Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman
* Former U.S. Senator Don Nickles
* Former U.S. Senator Bob Smith

His firm has also done non-political work for a number of organizations:
* Time magazine
* Scott Paper
* McDonalds
* Quaker Oats
* Ledger Publications
* The Trump Organization
* The opponents of the new stadium on the West Side of Manhattan

Personal life

In 1996, Boston Magazine outed Finkelstein as a homosexual in a feature story. In April 2005, Finkelstein acknowledged that in December, 2004, he had married his long time partner in a civil ceremony at his home in Massachusetts.cite news
first=Adam
last=Nagourney
author=
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/09/politics/09finkelstein.html?ex=1115611200&en=b2051a2383ca5c2b&ei=5070
title= G.O.P. Consultant Weds His Male Partner
work=New York Times
publisher=
pages=
page=
date=2005-04-09
accessdate=2005-05-06
] This prompted former President Bill Clinton to state that "I thought, one of two things. 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."cite news
first=Austin
last=Fenner
author=
url=http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/299104p-255983c.html
title=Bill: Gay GOPer 'self-loathing'
work=New York Daily News
publisher=
pages=
page=
date=2005-04-12
accessdate=2005-05-06
]

Stop Her Now

In April 2005, Finkelstein organized a political action committee (PAC) called Stop Her Now with the stated goal, "to shed light on the REAL Hillary Clinton and the danger she and her ideas pose for America."cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
url =http://www.stophernow.com
title =Stop Her Now Homepage
format =
work =
pages =
publisher =
accessdate =2005-05-06
accessyear =
] The PAC planned to raise ten million dollars to defeat Clinton in the 2006 New York U.S. Senate race, thereby making a potential 2008 presidential run less likely. However, the PAC showed barely any activity [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8853004/site/newsweek/] , had no effect on the Senate race, and Clinton was easily re-elected by a wide margin. After the 2006 election, the PAC and website have since been taken over by Dallas businessman Richard Collins [http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/120406dntswprezmoney.34a7139.html] .

Current activities

In 2007, Finkelstein began working for the National Liberal Party in Romania and the Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu. Fact|date=October 2007

Quotes

* "Stupid people say stupid things." (Said to the Hebrew language paper Maariv in 1999)cite news
first=Mark
last=Lavie
author=
url=http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg06853.html
title=US Campaign Advisers Work in Israel
work=
publisher=The Associated Press
pages=
page=
date=1999-03-04
accessdate=2005-08-05
]
* "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." (Said to the Hebrew-language paper Maariv, 11/04)
* "From now on, anyone who belongs to the Republican Party will automatically find himself in the same group as the opponents of abortion, and anyone who supports abortion will automatically be labeled a Democrat." (Said to the Hebrew-language paper Maariv, 11/04)Fact|date=February 2007
* "She will put off Democrats from the center. In terms of the Republicans, Hillary Clinton is a wonderful candidate for the presidency." (Said to the Hebrew-language paper Maariv, 11/04)cite news
first=Michael
last=Janofsky
author=
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/11/politics/campaign/11repub.html?ex=1146369600&en=146eea676812e604&ei=5070
title=G.O.P. Adviser Says Bush's Evangelical Strategy Split Country
work=
publisher=
pages=
page=
date=2004-11-11
accessdate=2006-04-28
]
* "When you allow people to choose between the corrupt and the stupid, they will go for the corrupt." (Said in reference to a 2003 Israeli campaign)Fact|date=February 2007

References

External links

* [http://sutu.ro/2008/08/07/arthur-j-finkelstein/ Romanian journalist Cristi Şuţu photo of Finkelstein]


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