AZ GOP spokesman slams women having a 'b**** session'

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The top spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party didn't like a column published recently in the state's largest newspaper.

So on Monday he slammed the female reporter and another woman quoted in the piece for having what he called a, "bitch session."

Shane Wikfors, the communications director for the state GOP, said there's nothing wrong with using the derogatory term when referring to women.

"It's a colloquialism," Wikfors said during a telephone interview. "It's universally used. Go to any corporate boardroom and you'll hear that reference."

The expression, he said, was used to describe people who get together and complain and wasn't meant to demean women.

Wikfors said he was angry after reading a column published Saturday by the Arizonan Republic's longtime writer Laurie Roberts.

Her article, which was headlined "To dekook Arizona, start with the state Republican Party," quoted Kathy Petsas, a self described lifelong member of the GOP.

Wikfors, who has worked on high profile political campaigns in the past, said he needed to respond to the accusations made in the article.

So he posted his response on a Republican website he helped create, It never appeared on the state GOP website, but Wikfors identifies himself in the essay as the spokesman for the party.

In the post, Wikfors criticized Roberts for not calling him for comment and slams Petsas for running to the press without speaking to the party first.

"Petsas never made an attempt to provide any constructive criticism to the State Party," Wikfors wrote. "Instead, Ms Petsas ran off to Laurie Roberts and engaged her in a 'bitch session.'"

The term did not go over well with Petsas, who said it should have never been used.

"It's reprehensible, that kind of comment," she said. "It's inappropriate and unprofessional for someone whose job it is to be a spokesman."

She also said this highlights the types of problems inside the state party. During a telephone interview with 3TV, Petsas was highly critical of the Republican Party’s leaders.

"They couldn't manage their way out of a paper bag," she said. "They want to call me names then come back and ask me for money."

Petsas said there's no way she's donating cash to the GOP as long as Wikfors and others such as Chairman Tom Morrissey are in charge.

"I'm not going to pay for someone to use the language they just used," she said. "Nobody should think that kind of language ought to be condoned."