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Statue of Former San Diego Mayor Sparks Controversy


Aired 4/19/09

Alan Ray (Guest Host):   It's not often you get to talk to a guy who's actually going to be a statue. This is one of the rare times.  He's the former mayor of San Diego, a former governor of California, and a U.S. senator.  He's credited with starting the renaissance that pulled downtown San Diego into the present -- and the future. If you didn't live here in the 1970's, you probably have no idea how run-down and seedy it was.

More than 200 donors have put up $200,000 to erect a larger-than-life statue of Pete Wilson, which will be unveiled later this month at the NBC building on Broadway. But, to put a bit of reverse spin on Tip O'Neil's line: everything local is political.  As governor, Pete Wilson was also a prime mover behind Proposition 187, a 1994 ballot measure approved by voters, but overturned in court. It would have denied social services to undocumented immigrants.  Now, Latino activists oppose the statue -- or any honor for Pete Wilson -- because of his record on immigration. 

The statue will be unveiled this Saturday, August 25th at 4 p.m. outside the NBC building at 225 Broadway.


  • Governor Pete Wilson, former governor of California, U.S. Senator, California State assemblyman, and mayor of San Diego.
  • Pat Finn, freelance producer for KPBS-TV who produced several stories on the life and work of Pete Wilson.
  • Enrique Morones, Immigrant Rights activist and founder of the organization, Border Angels. 

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