AZ GOP leader 'happy' with spokesman who criticized women for 'b**** session'

By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The chairman of the Arizona Republican Party said he's "very happy" with his top spokesman who bashed a pair of female critics this week for having a, "bitch session." Tom Morrissey said he'd never use the phrase personally, but backed his spokesman, Shane Wikfors, who used it to criticize a columnist for the Arizona Republic and another woman. "He didn't call anyone a bitch," Morrissey said this afternoon in a telephone interview. "He used the term bitch session." Morrissey, who took over the party last year, says his spokesman didn't intend to demean women and that, “sometimes people make mistakes." When asked if he thought Wikfors was doing a good job, Morrissey said, "yes, I'm very happy." For his part, Wikfors wasn't apologizing as he took a strident tone this afternoon on Twitter.

"Keep the hate coming lefties (who don't bother to read)," Wikfors wrote. In another tweet today, he wrote, "Love it when even backs up my definition of 'bitch session.'"

That definition, however, describes the term as "usually objectionable." Wikfors, who has worked on high profile political campaigns in the past, has said there’s nothing wrong with using the phrase to criticize women. On Wednesday, he told 3TV it's a commonly used expression that's heard in places like corporate boardrooms. The flap over Wikfors' comments started after he posted a column of the conservative website he created, In it, Wikfors rips into longtime columnist Laurie Roberts and a Republican Party member, Kathy Petsas, whose uncle once ran the state GOP. Roberts published a piece in the paper over the weekend where she quoted Petsas as being highly critical of the party. “Ms. Petsas ran off to Laurie Roberts and engaged her in a ‘bitch session,’” Wikfors wrote on the blog. “Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of people like Kathy Petsas and even some of the political consultants who don’t do a damn thing for their Republican Party.”Petsas was outraged that a top party official would use such language to attack her on the Internet. She also called it an example of how poorly run the party is right now. "It's reprehensible, that kind of comment," she said Tuesday. "Nobody should think that kind of language ought to be condoned."


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