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Pete Wilson's Past, Present and Future

June 06, 2004

While Pete Wilson may not be racist in politics and life, you are known by the company you keep ("Pete's Second Coming," by Fred Dickey, May 9). The bottom line is that Proposition 187 was based on a fear of the enlarging Latino population and vote. If Wilson was only trying to force the federal government to take on its share of the expenses of the southern U.S. border, then his backing of an initiative as broad and sweeping as Proposition 187 was clearly wrong.

California's Constitution has remedies for getting a sense of the voting population. A simple referendum on the issue would have been noticed inside the Beltway, and not been nearly so polarizing. Proposition 187 was part of the GOP's "wedge politics," which it employs to this day. Wilson is the fruit of that tree. His legacy of Proposition 187 is embedded in the collective memory of California. While he may not be racist, much of the campaign was. He made very poor choices.

William Cinnamon III

North Hollywood

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How amusing that Wilson's sojourn in the political wilderness was credited solely to his support of Proposition 187. No mention was made of his running for president while he was governor or his making political moves aimed at garnering national headlines, regardless of their impact at home.

Moira Waddell

Los Angeles

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You're totally wrong. Wilson was not in exile. Actually, he was thinking and strategizing as you can see now. He will always be alive and well in our hearts and minds. No, never underestimate him for a minute!

Diana Carreon Malmquist

Westlake Village

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Wilson was a great mayor of San Diego. Despite all that has been written to the contrary, he was an ineffective senator and a poor governor. Many of the problems that California must now solve originated with Wilson's policies and actions, beginning with the energy debacle and taxing programs.

Somehow he has escaped the kind of scrutiny that has done in other California politicians. In this era of media domination by political conservatives, apparently Wilson is a conservatively acceptable progressive who merits little criticism.

Dick Bundy

San Diego

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