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Open-borders debacle at the California state GOP

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 25, 2007 11:17 AM

What a freaking mess:

Michael Kamburowski, an Australian immigrant who served as the California Republican Party’s chief operating officer, abruptly resigned Sunday — less than 24 hours after The Chronicle reported he had been ordered deported in 2001, jailed in connection with the order, and now has a $5 million wrongful arrest lawsuit pending against U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials.

The move was reported in a terse statement late Sunday by state party chair Ron Nehring, who said the state GOP’s Operations Committee accepted Kamburowski’s resignation during a teleconference with him.

“We thank him for his service,” Nehring said in his e-mail statement.

The news came as GOP officials and leaders expressed shock and fury at the troubled — and apparently unknown — immigration history of the person who handled the multimillion-dollar budget of the nation’s largest state Republican Party.

Former White House adviser Steve Schmidt, who ran the re-election campaign for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, angrily described the appointment of Kamburowski as “almost a parody of incompetence and malfeasance.”

“Somebody who has been imprisoned, faced deportation, has never worked on a state political campaign … and who is suing the government for harm inflicted by his deportation order defies description,” Schmidt said. “The bylaws of the Republican Party invest enormous authority in the position of chief operating officer — and it’s clear that this person brings no experience and qualifications to run a state party of the size of California, not to mention the assorted legal issues involved.”

The harsh words from Schmidt — who ran the Bush 2004 presidential campaign war room, advised Vice President Dick Cheney and was a member of White House adviser Karl Rove’s inner circle — underscored the concern in the California GOP following The Chronicle’s story on Sunday that detailed Kamburowski’s immigration history and multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the government.

Kamburowski was a surprise pick who was largely unknown to top state GOP leaders when he was named in March to be the chief operating officer of the party…News of Kamburowski’s immigration past comes on the heels of revelations in The Chronicle earlier this month that the state GOP used a highly sought-after H1B visa to hire another immigrant as a top consultant. Christopher Matthews, a Canadian citizen with no experience in statewide politics, was hired recently after the California Republican Party applied for, and received, an H1B visa specifically to fill the role of political director, according to U.S. Department of Labor data.

It is interesting, of course, that the open-borders SFChronicle is suddenly concerned about deportation failures and immigration abuses. Nevertheless, the story is a legitimate story–and the California GOP should be mortified.

Question: Who was behind Kamburowski’s appointment? Did he have White House connections?

***

Background here. Buzz at The Flash Report.

Josh Gerstein at the NYSun is also tracking the story:

The flap comes as the Republican Party is riven by a fractious debate over immigration legislation championed by President Bush.

The international hiring has also led to the mocking of California Republicans on national television. “The Republican Party here in California has obtained a special visa to hire a Canadian to be the state deputy political director, because they say they can’t find a qualified American to do the job,” Jay Leno joked on NBC’s “Tonight Show” last week. “Apparently, working for Republicans is one of those icky jobs Americans just don’t want to do.”

A former spokeswoman for the California GOP, Karen Hanretty, called the hiring decisions unfathomable. “It’s insulting but also embarrassing … to bring people from the outside who don’t know the difference between Lodi and Lancaster … and who can’t even vote,” she told the Chronicle.

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Categories: 2016 Campaign, Amnesty, Democrats, GOP, Immigration, Politicians