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Statue of Former San Diego Mayor Sparks Controversy

A group of San Diego businessmen are planning to erect a statue of former governor and San Diego mayor Pete Wilson. The statue is controversial, due mainly to Wilson's stand on illegal immigration. We

Statue of Former San Diego Mayor Sparks Controversy

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.