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tv   Tribute to Former California Governor Pete Wilson  CSPAN  October 23, 2021 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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important to us as a nation that we remember these veterans and their sacrifices to us and here's a list of some of our partners that we are excited to work with. local aquariums, museums, maritime museums all sorts of folks so we are very proud of that. as we look at the shipwrecks and their stories it reminds me as americans we aren't born into greatness and we don't seek it out but we do rise when greatness is thrust upon us and this is our story. our mission is that we never forget the sacrifices made by her veterans and all those that came before us. we are open -- hoping to expand our site to include these other shipwrecks and these other histories so we invite you to come join our site at monitor. know and hope you follow us on facebook and twitter as well.
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.. >> i'm not worried about him, but i'm worried about gayle. if she's mad at me, i'm in trouble. i want to thank each and every one of you for braving the traffic tonight. i know it's sort of a nightmare out there, but on behalf of everyone who helped put this together, thank you for coming. i'm hugh hewitt. i'm the president of the richard nixon foundation. we're so pleased to host a celebration that could actually go on for hours and hours, but we're just going to sandwich it
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in to the time that we have available to us tonight. because it is a pete wilson and gayle wilson event, we begin of course with the presentation of the colors. would you please rise and greet the troy jr. rotc high school as they present the colors.
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jim kepler will now sing the national anthem. ♪ oh say can you see by the dawns early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hail ♪ ♪ at the twilight's last gleaning ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ or the ramparts we watch were so galantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rockets red glare ♪ ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night ♪
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♪ that our flag still there ♪ ♪ oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ oer the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the brave ♪ applause [applause]
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>> please be seated. it is a great event that brings us together tonight. we're celebrating 30 years ago pete wilson took over california, and we enjoyed eight years, but i can't say much about that which followed but tonight we're celebrating the time he was there. i'm not doing introductions tonight except for the senior man in the area which is the general at the right. thank you general for joining us tonight. marine honoring marine. [applause] >> the other sea service admiral, thank you, admiral for being with us. we just appreciate having the services with us so much. would everyone who is a veteran in the audience please stand and accept our acknowledgment and
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thanks. [applause] >> we have a lot of people who wanted to talk. it was tough to make the trim list, but the operation put together by jim byron who is the ceo operating officer here at the library, chris nordyk who ran this, they have done a great job. we couldn't have done this without gayle wilson. before we go a minute longer, thank you gayle wilson. [applause] >> all of us gathered together have a debt to the governor. i like to think mine is at least equal to any of you. 43 years ago, this very night, and we did not pick the date. it was fortous you -- it was fortuitous. it was going to be this april. then the pandemic intervened.
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43 years ago i met on mission bay. governor, thank you. [applause] >> many of you have served with and have had the honor of knowing pete wilson. we will have a choice few talk tonight. beginning with mark albrecht. his name is synonymous with service, service in the space aviation industry, service as the president of lockheed international launch, service as president bush's appointee on the space council, a business executive, a public servant, but his reputation if you will in the national security world began when he spent six years as a national security aide so then senator pete wilson in the cold war years of washington, d.c. please welcome mark albrecht. mark? [applause] >> wow, what a gathering. so good evening.
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we are under very strict time limits. i will adhere to them. i'm mark albrecht. for six years, i had the privilege of supporting pete wilson in his work on the senate armed services committee. it is honor tonight to share a brief story of his time there. in 1983, pete wilson came to the u.s. senate with big ideas and ambitious goals. chief among them was to do all in his power to further america's rebuilding of our armed forces, to roll back soviet advances in the world and to realign the nuclear arms competition in america's favor. years of work in the armed services committee, under the leadership of senator john tower cementing the two-term reagan initiatives in defense, in nuclear modernization, in arms control, and perhaps his most lasting legacy, the strategic defense initiative, were all on the line in the writing of the national defense authorization act of 1989. democrats had gained control of
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both the house and the senate in 1986 and had carefully chosen the 1989 defense bill as the vessel of their attempted clawback of reagan advances in national security. 1988 was an election year, the last year of the reagan presidency. the democrat party was feeling very encouraged by the midterms and strongly believed they would win the white house in 1988. they gambled, they could go very far in curbing reagan's national security agenda without completely gutting it by using restrictive language in the bill to bound and limit the advances in missile deployment and strategic defense initiative while counting on the election of a new democrat administration. reagan was at his weakest, they reasoned, and the new defense intellectuals, gore, kerry and their allies in the national
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security establishment waged they could outsmart and outmaneuver reagan and his allies, like pete wilson. how wrong they were. as the defense bill progressed, senators pete wilson, john mccain and dan quayle and house members like jim quarter acted to challenge and whittle the intended poison pills in the bill. the senate defeated amendment after amendment while the house larded up the bill with every conceivable restriction on strategic forces. the house senate conference on the defense authorization act of 1989 was epic. tempers flared. insults flew. high minded debate on the intricacies of arms control treaties and legal interpretations of treaty language went early into the mornings. outside the capitol, the national security establishment was calling sdi destabilizing, impossible, easily defeated, and overwhelmed and easily overwhelmed. bargaining chip at best, surely
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not a serious initiative. the case for legislative language restricting the development, testing, and deployment of strategic defenses was hailed as prudent, even shrewd, and responsible. senator wilson and his compatriots were fighting a two front war. on the inside, aspen, nun, and levin, on the outside the beltway arms control establishment, the washington post and the new york times. when the dust settled. the democrat majority had succeeded in spiking the defense bill with antisdi and other language although while some of the worse pieces were mitigated by the clever wilson team. wilson, quayle and mccain implored president reagan and others to veto the bill. others like john warner cautioned vetoing a bill, perhaps delaying military pay
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raises and military construction was unacceptable risk. it all came to a head in the meeting in the white house with president reagan and vice president bush soon to be the republican nominee for the presidency. senator wilson and his compatriots made their case. they prevailed with reagan with bush's concurrence announced the decision to veto the 89 bill. not two weeks later, after withering attacks from the press, democrat dukakis brandished his defense credentials. two weeks later -- one month later, quietly without fanfare, the house and senate hastefully passed the revised 89 defense bill without the offending language. six months later george h. w. bush was elected president of the united states. on november 9, 1989, the berlin wall came down and with it the soviet union. senator pete wilson had indeed served this nation with distinction and can take a seat of honor among those who won the
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cold war. his washington time was coming to an end because california needed him back to restore its golden luster. thank you. [applause] >> hi. i was governor wilson's legal affairs secretary and counsel during his second term. winston churchill once observed that courage is the essential quality of human nature because without that quality, none of the other qualities of human nature can be guaranteed. pete wilson and his tenure as governor exuded courage and decisiveness of [inaudible] nature. let me give four very brief examples of this. number one, april 29, 1992,
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riots erupted in los angeles after four police officers were acquitted after the beating of rodney king following a high speed car race. those rioters dissolved that thin blue line between civilization and anarchy. stores were burned, looted. fires erupted throughout los angeles. the next day, governor wilson called out the national guard. when he discovered that the guard was not on the streets, a frustrated and angry governor called to find out what happened. apparently the national guard was staying in the armory because they didn't have enough ammunition. well, this former marine directed the commanders and said give every soldier one bullet. give further ammunition to the local commanders and send the
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troops out, and with that decisiveness, the troops went out. order was restored in l.a. example two, in 1994, the north ridge earthquake erupted in los angeles, destroying many buildings and buckling the santa monica freeway which as many of you know is the key artery from the west side of los angeles to downtown los angeles. governor wilson promptly exercised his emergency powers to lift all restrictive statutes including bidding requirements and entered a contract to have that santa monica freeway repaired in 140 days, but wisely he provided a bonus for every day early that the construction was completed. and the santa monica freeway was up in operation not in 140 days like the contract said, not in 120 days, not 100 days, but in
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66 days, that -- [applause] -- that freeway was repaired. when you compare some other governor's actions, the people of the state in 2014 voted to have more water storage in california, which badly needs it. not one of those water storage projects has been completed seven years later. governor wilson got what he needed to get done in 66 days. example three, near the end of the governor's first term, he learned that uc berkeley was not admitting students solely on their individual merit. instead uc berkeley was using something called a matrix by which different test stores and different grade points were assigned depending on the race
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of the applicant. pete wilson understood that a preference based on race should not be given to someone who may have never suffered discrimination to the detriment of someone who never engaged in discrimination, and he understood that not only was such an effort by uc berkeley unjust, but it was antithetical to the principles in the declaration of independence and the 14th amendment that all people are created equal and should be judged on their individual merit. what did he do? after a throat operation that left his voice at nearly a whisper, he chaired the uc regents meeting, and in a close vote and under the shadow of protests that were orchestrated by jesse jackson, he got the uc regents to ban preferences based on race or gender in admissions, employment, or contracting.
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[applause] >> then he made it statewide by championing proposition 209 throughout the state to prohibit any preferences based on race in public employment, contracting, or public education, and the voters of this state agreed with that wisdom and last year defeated the democratic legislature's effort to repeal proposition 209. [applause] >> final quick example, right now you know that in 2021 alone, more than a million undocumented migrants have been surging at the u.s. border. well, 30 years ago, another federal administration was not securing the border, and during a recession, it was causing a great burden on california's budget. pete wilson had the courage to say there is a distinction
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between legal immigration and illegal immigration based on a very clear principle which is who decides who enters the country? the sovereign nation? or the migrant? well, it's clear that the sovereign nation has to decide who enters the country, not the migrant. and governor wilson had the courage despite being [inaudible] in the press for making that distinction. but that effort went on to result in the republican congress enacting laws that tried to eliminate the incentives at least at that time for encouraging undocumented immigration into this country, which unfortunately other administrations have allowed to lapse. so let me conclude as follows: we are here in the nixon library, and i know that one of president nixon's favorite quotes where nixon would say in a number of speeches that you
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have to wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been, and that quote, by the way, governor wilson actually quoted during his eulogy for president nixon at this very library. so let me end by saying this, now as we step back 25, 30 years from the wilson administration, we now can see how splendid the day was during governor wilson's tenure. thank you. [applause] >> -- a place where everybody refers to everybody else as my friend. it can hard to form real and lasting friendships in a place like congress. that's why we have been so grateful to have pete and gayle wilson as true friends for many years now.
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he was already in the senate when i arrived in 1985. i liked him right away. he was a principled leader and an effective legislator across a number of subjects. but of course [inaudible] -- one step in his career as public service. he stood up for things like public safety. imagine that. so my friend, i'm sorry i couldn't be there to celebrate in person. congratulations on this occasion and on your remarkable record of accomplishments. >> i was lucky enough to get to know pete and gayle when i was just starting [inaudible]. pete always welcomed diversity in the party, the government, and our country. he was a stalwart champion of the contributions the immigrants have made to this country. he and gayle have [inaudible].
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i'm only one of the multitudes of people that pete and gayle have fostered and brought along in all different kinds of positions. a true patriot, pete has dedicated his life for improving the lives of all californians and americans. i also want to give a big shoutout to his beloved gayle and former first lady of california. devoted to one another, theirs is a true love story. california and america are blessed to have these two leaders who have devoted their lives to improving the country in which we live. >> to me, you have always been and always will be a very promising young man, since i'm three years older than you. the two of us have shared similar life spans together.
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we both attended ivy league schools. we both graduated in public law school. we both served in the united states marine corps before practicing law and then entering public service. but i have to quickly add that you had much greater success as a candidate for public office than i did. you won a total of ten elections to four separate offices, california general assembly, mayor of san diego, u.s. senator and finally governor of the golden state. meanwhile, i lost the only time my name was ever on the ballot, when texas voters chose someone else as their attorney general in 1978, which was a good thing for me in the long run because it made possible my public service in washington. and so i salute the milestone
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you're celebrating today, pete, your illustrious career in politics and public service, and particularly, our long and enduring friendship. >> it was truly the golden age of california because you always had the privilege to do what you believed was right, which reminds me one of my favorite stories. when you were in the senate [inaudible] emergency appendectomy, the phone rang, and it was the commander-in-chief ronald reagan, and he said [inaudible]. without thinking twice, sir, i'm
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ready to roll and roll you did, still in your pj's from gurney to ambulance to wheelchair and on to the senate floor where you received a standing ovation from everyone, and you said mr. president, what's the question? oh, pete, you may have lost your appendix, but not your sense of humor. pete, you truly deserve [inaudible], a champion of the american dream because you are the american dream. >> pete, i wish i could thank you in person for your storied career. for decades, you fought to keep california a place where americans can still pursue the american dream. as a marine, you know that you
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only take fire when you're over the target. and over the years, you've certainly got a lot of incoming. but when things get tough, no one fights harder than a marine. pete, you're a champion of the conservative movement, and you've made our nation and your state proud. you guided california through some tough times and stood for what was right, even if it was unpopular. you're the gold standard of the golden state. history already judges you kindly, and it will continue to do so in the years to come. i wish you and gayle all the best. congratulations on your lifetime of service to our country. >> governor wilson, congratulations on this big night. this is a chance to say thank you, thank you to your service to america. as a californian someone who grew up in this amazing place,
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to watch your public service as a marine, the mayor of san diego, i grew up in santa ana and then to watch you lead and to do it with grace and kindness and real authority and power, america and california is better off for all you have done for it. this is a much deserved award. congratulations to you. god bless you, and may you continue to serve america. >> pete, remember the first time that we got to know each other? back in 1983, pal. that's a long time ago. you just joined the senate, joined the senate armed services committee. you and i were seat mates, right next to each other for eight years there. and i remember the first [inaudible] that we went on. it was 1983. [inaudible] went on to be the secretary of defense, as everyone knows. we went to israel. you and i went to lebanon, went
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to rome and then to the munich national security conference. during that trip and that conference, i could see how hardworking you were, diligent, prepared. you hit the ground running. i was very impressed. we've been friends ever since. you went on to be the governor after the senate for two terms. so i've been thinking about this. you've been state assembly, mayor, senator, governor. how about president of the united states? not too late. gayle, you'd be in, wouldn't you? i would be in. get some folks there to be in. why not. we need good solid leadership like pete wilson offered the state of california for many years. we need that for our country. so pete, give it a thought. give it a go. have a great evening.
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>> honoring pete wilson with the champion of the american dream award. pete was a strong governor of california and a fine united states senator. pete is an exemplary citizen of the united states, fine public servant and a friend. laura and i send our very best wishes to everyone involved with the nixon foundation, and god bless. >> good evening. i'm janice rogers brown, another of the governor's legal affairs secretaries. [applause] it is interesting to think that the golden state really did have a golden age, but maybe it was a golden hour, but have any of you noticed that the state began its
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decline into the [inaudible] just when pete wilson stopped being actively involved in its politics? i'm just saying. [laughter] pete wilson never had the usual heroes when he was young. he wasn't into the marvel universe. he was absorbed by the biographies written by the survivors of brutal battles in world war ii, marines who fought in the pacific in places like iwo jima. and his commitment, courage, discipline, self-sacrifice, protective of the vulnerable has never left. he said himself to lead is to choose. i came to quickly understand that he rarely chose the easy way. he would do what was right. i like to think it was a little
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like being han solo's sidekick in a star wars saga. you just knew that when pete walked into the [inaudible], he was going to tap the most mean person on the shoulders and probably say something that would upset him. no capital case had been carried out in california for a quarter of a century. the governor granted harris's request for a clemency hearing because harris presented a new basis for clemency. he claimed he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome as a result of his mother's heavy consumption of alcohol. it was a claim that was certain to capture the governor's attention, and it did because child abuse through the umbilical cord had been a longstanding concern of his as a senator, and so he said it deserved careful consideration. and he gave it that careful
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consideration. i very much wanted him to do a postcard denial so there would be nothing that people could take issue with. he begged to differ with me. he did not take my advice. he issued a forceful eloquent detailed statement, and he concluded robert harris, the man did have a choice. he chose to take a life to make victims of michael baker and john [inaudible]. the decision of the jury was correct. the evidence of robert harris's own victimization does not alter his responsibility for his acts. as great as is my compassion for robert harris, the child, i cannot excuse or forgive the choice made by robert harris, the man. governor wilson chose to explain his reasoning. he permitted the people to judge the quality of his decisions, and to do that was not only brave, it was brilliant. and as usual, he was right.
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and just as he chose to side with ordinary citizens in permitting the death penalty to be carried out, he did the same when it came to taking dangerous criminals off the street. in 1993, it was confirmed the rising crime rate was the public's number one concern. california's indeterminant sentencing scheme coupled with generous good time credit reductions was putting violent felons, rapers, robbers, and child molesters back on the street after ridiculous short phase in prison. the murders by parolees with lengthy criminal histories caused concern about criminal recidivism. even three strikes harshest critics had to concede that it worked. it did exactly what it was supposed to do. it was incapacitated habitual offenders. the crime rate dropped.
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juveniles were unwilling to risk a 25-year sentence, and although unintended consequences are usually negative, justice o'connor took note of an unexpected but positive consequence of three strikes. she said more california parolees are now leaving the state when parolees from other jurisdictions are entering california. indeed, some of the habitual offenders desiring to leave pete wilson's california would have been great material for a saturday night live skit. these days opponents of three strikes have managed to put many of its most effective provisions to rest, and specious arguments have been presented to an electorate that hardly remembers the bad old days. the initiative has been cannibalized, a victim of its own success, and the crime rate after decades of decreases has begun rising.
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so i want to close, though, with a personal anecdote, near the end of his first term, the governor decided to appoint me to the appellate court. my nomination was not well received. to appoint a conservative is controversial, to appoint a black conservative is [inaudible]. so this became kind of a pitched battle, and during the height of the controversy, i got a call from a friend who was also a member of the wilson administration, tom asked how i was faring. i said i honestly hadn't wanted to drag the governor into another issue. he had enough to deal with. he was running for another reelection. he had had a first term in which he was visited by more plagues than egypt, when god was trying to free the israelites, and he
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had a lot going on. i said but, you know, the governor has been staunch. the more resistance he faces, the tougher he gets. tom laughed and said you know, that's one of the things i really love about pete wilson. when he thinks he's right, he won't give an inch. then there was a moment of thoughtful silence, and tom said now that i think about it, that's one of the things i really hate about pete wilson. [laughter] we both laughed. we were not laughing at pete wilson. we weren't even laughing about pete wilson. we were laughing about ourselves and the things we had learned from pete wilson because we had learned to have that laughter, that chuckle that you have when warriors who have a bond from
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being in the fire realize that they're no longer dismayed by the tumult; right? so the governor always says there are no ex marines, and i conclude there are no ex wilson [laughter] [applause] >> hello. my name is sean walsh, i served as governor wilson's press secretary and then deputy chief of staff and then i've been with him at three law firms since, now at the brown george ross law firm also part of the wilson family, the named partner and the son of our chief supreme court justice ronald george. so the family does exist, and it continues on to this day. i want to take a step back for a
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second and talk a little bit about pete wilson and who he is. he's a man who grew up in the midwest. his father was a newspaper man, and his father used to talk to him at the dinner table, kind of old fashioned, but taught him values, told him get your facts straight, before you go out and say something, and make sure you know the history of what you're about to do because that's important with regards to how you're going to conduct yourself for the rest of your life. and i think that the way his dad raised him, sending him to yale and the governor getting into yale, but on an rotc scholarship where he eventually became a marine, worked in the summertimes as a card-carrying union member in construction jobs, learned the value of not just an ivy league education but what it takes to have that value and education through hard work. i think that that up bringing then brought him forward to who he is and what he is. since we've been out of office, i've had dozens if not hundreds of candidates come by and seek
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his advice and support. he always tells these candidates what are your core beliefs? it doesn't matter if they are aligned with mine or the state's, but if you have core beliefs, you can convince the public that you know what you are doing and that you want to take the state or that position somewhere. number two, what do you want to do in the office? it is surprising many people who are seeking elected office can't answer those two basic fundamental questions before they go to the governor. i think it says an awful lot about pete wilson because he knew who he was and he knew what he wanted to do, in every elected office that he had and particularly when he served as governor of california. now when the governor first started in office, things were looking pretty rosy. the economy was relatively good during the election cycle, but almost overnight, the u.s. economy collapsed, and the california economy collapsed even more significantly. in that collapse, in the span of four to six months, the state lost a third of its general fund budget. to put that in context, 14
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billion dollars vaporized almost overnight, and the governor had to close that budget gap by cutting almost every program in the state with the exception of education, and even though he's still was vilified by the teachers union for not increasing the funding in that time period. not only did he cut budgets, but he decided -- the old line never let a good crisis go to waste. he used that opportunity to fundamentally reform the state's budget process and reform a whole host of other public policy programs and even to this day the effects are still there. with regards to rebuilding the economy, it wasn't just enough to cut your way out of it, but you had to bring the economy back. he brought peter uberoff in. the commission, recommendations were made. they established red teams where we had state elected officials at the legislative level, at the local level. we had our cabinet secretaries going out and meeting with utilities at the municipal and
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state levels. we did everything we could to put together a package that would a, keep businesses from leaving the state, and b, help them expand in the state. by doing that, we came out of a recession years earlier, and by the time the governor left office, he turned a 14 plus billion dollars deficit into a 7 billion dollars plus surplus. and that was all through grit and determination, and it was also in the legislature that was dominated by democrats in both houses. with regards to some of his most significant policy issues, you know, really wonderful to see so many of the wilson family here tonight. jim strock who pete wilson founded, the california environmental protection agency. [inaudible] who made significant improvements to our healthcare with regards to different types of insurance to make sure that we can put insurance out and it didn't necessarily fall on the government to fund that, but the private sector played a role.
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with regards to [inaudible], the governor had time limits, and he said you have to go out and get a job. it is a shared responsibility. the state is not solely responsible for you, and i will share you a little vignette in just a moment. pete wilson knew what he wanted to do in public safety. he hosted a crime summit down in los angeles and he called willie brown and the legislature into session in los angeles and campbell was there and he put a face to what crime really meant in the state. he not only had legislators participate in the crime summit, he had law enforcement and public policy people, and he actually put crime victims on the stage. and for years, for years, the democrats would put their most liberal members on the public safety committee and kill off important crime legislation because they were basically immune, never got to the legislative floor. the democrats and others who didn't want to be tougher on crime could take a pass because the legislation never got there. and so when pete wilson did
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that, and when you saw crime victims and they told their stories with literally dozens of tv stories. willie brown on the second day of the summit went of the news conference and said i'm advising my members to get off this train track. you're going to get run over. he used the bully pulpit, the laws, the legislature to achieve what he wanted to achieve. he got real meaningful crime reform. crime reform, when you were a criminal in the wilson administration, you knew it went something. if you committed a crime, if you hurt someone, there were real consequences. it is not like you could walk into a convenience store and steal $980 and get a parking ticket and go back and do the same thing again. criminals respected and criminals feared the consequences that would happen due to their acts. it is a far cry from unfortunately what i think we're seeing in the state today. realignment, big word, but basically pete wilson said government best serves the people when it's closest to the people. as part of the budget reform
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process, he realign state government. took state dollars, brought it down to the county and the local level and said, you know, if you're doing social services in a county that may be a lot different than los angeles county and he let the locals decide what was in their best interest. it seemed like a pretty simple concept but it was revolutionary at the time. with regards to pension reform, we all hear about the hundreds of billions of dollars that the state is in shortfall with the pensions. people don't realize this and unfortunately the media doesn't cover this, but pete wilson actually solved the pension problem. during the budget crisis, he changed our pension system to a two-tiered system and if we would have stayed in that system, when davis was under recall and reversed it, we probably would be in a stable pension system today. so tragedy that's come into billions of dollars in consequences. it matters who your governor is. couple other quick quick policy notes, when you've got eight years and four minutes to talk about all the policy goals and
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objectives. i remind you pete wilson was the first governor to open up a state university system since the 60s. pete wilson was talked into with not a lot of stress to ban smoking in public spaces and restaurants and outdoor areas. we're a lot healthier and safer because of that. when caltrans came and said we've got deficiency in bridges, pete wilson ordered a study. they went out and counted up 180 bridges. went to the floor and got a bond passed and the bridges got fixed in a couple of years. good fundamental management of government. you had a governor what knew he was doing. he hired the best people to run his departments and agencies and things got done in an efficient manner. he made it look easy but it was anything but. lastly education reform, pete wilson had epic battles with public employee unions, teachers
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particularly with regards to education reforms. he believes that people have a fundamental right to have a job and a good job to support their families. they have a fundamental right to be safe in their own homes and their own communities. one of the biggest civil rights issues in america today is the inequity in our education system, where kids don't get a fair shot at the starting line because too many schools fail them. so he went head-to-head and toe-to-toe over seven, eight years where he put statewide curriculum standards into place. he reduced class sizes. he replaced social promotion, with testing and early remedial education. the testing wasn't intended to punish teachers. it was basically designed to say if one teacher in one school is doing demonstrably better than two other teachers, let's learn from what that one teacher is doing right because it is the same kids. he was willing to take the fight in. he was willing to have people spend teachers unions millions of dollars against him, but he
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did what he thought was right and always fought the good fight. two little vignettes, it is easy to talk about public policy issues in the abstract. two things, one, when he was governor and there was a lot of issues about the three strikes law, a judge was holding a court hearing, and there was a gentleman in his court, and in the judicial transcripts the man said, you know, i was robbing this store, liquor store, and i had a gun with me. and i was debate wlg to pull that gun -- and i was debating whether to pull that gun out and shoot the man behind the counter. he said all of a sudden this little white face popped up and it was pete wilson's face, and he said if you do that, you are going to jail for the rest of your life. he said i didn't want to do that. so he didn't. this is one example, but here's a man who was probably a clerk in a drugstore alive today and probably has grand kids because pete wilson did what was necessary to do to reform our criminal justice lenient laws. the second and last was my kids
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went to a parochial school. they were working at a home that helps people that are homeless and trying to get back on their feet, drug and alcohol addicted. the woman that was working there, i asked her, so what do you think is kind of the most important thing to help your community? and she said, you know, you are going to keep this kind of strange. i swear i didn't set her up for it. she said i think the most important thing that's happened in our community was when pete wilson stopped paying people to have more kids and forced fathers who actually had those kids to start paying for some of their money, and she said you'd be amazed that people who would come into our office. they would know what the code number was, how to get their money and how to benefit. she said it had a cultural change in communities where kids would have kids and then would have more kids, and she said i think that was probably one of the most important and most meaningful things, and lives were better changed for that. and again, never told i workeder
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if -- never told i worked for pete wilson but it was very interesting and very telling. those are two stories of real life examples of what pete wilson has done from a public policy perspective. again, i really need to do a shoutout to all of the pete wilson family and all of the staff and cabinet and department directors that are here tonight because you really really -- the governor was a marine. he fought every day, every year to get bills passed and eventually got what he needed to get done, and it wouldn't have gotten done without all of you. i salute governor wilson for being as tough as he was and for the army of soldiers that are in this room that supported him in those endeavors. [applause] >> with that, bob dole is unable to travel out tonight in person to speak on the governor's behalf, but he did send a letter, and i would like to read that for you.
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dear pete, i regret that i can't be with you to celebrate your lifetime of achievements. we're sending our best wishes to you and to gayle from our nation's capitol. you have accomplished so much during your stellar career that it's difficult to choose your most impressive highlight. as far as i'm concerned, they've all been highlights, from your service in the marine corps, california state assembly, san diego mayor, u.s. senate, california governor, the list goes on and on. pete, you've done it all. not only have you been a true leader in the republican party over many decades, but you've managed to do it all with strength of character, wisdom, and a selfless commitment to improving the lives of americans. public service is a calling, and you've made us all proud by proving that public service is also an honorable endeavor. it's never a perfectly smooth journey, but i'm certain that
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your legacy is as far-reaching and a positive one. simply put, we need more pete wilsons in today's world. i admire all you have done, and i've always been pleased to call you a true friend. thanks, pete. i hope you enjoy your celebration. you more than earned it. god bless, bob dole. [applause] >> wonderful, sean. i have the pleasure of sharing with you the story about pete wilson's leadership of one of the great museums in the united states. it began in 1999, when the congressional medal of honor society, an organization that's comprised exclusively of medal of honor recipients bestowed on pete its highest honor, their national patriots award. it was at that event that pete
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met the late great author of band of brothers and founder of the national d day museum in new orleans steve ambrose. thus began pete's now 20-year journey with this great museum. ambrose and museum founder knew that pete possessed the uncommon leadership abilities to help transform the national d-day museum at the time into a museum that would tell the entire story of america's broader experience in the war that changed the world, why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today, so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learned. wasting no time getting to work, pete helped the museum leadership draft the museum's new mission statement, craft its new strategic master plan and expand its board of trustees to one of national reach and scope. pete was elected chairman of the
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board of trustees in 2006. shortly after hurricane katrina devastated new orleans, threatening the very future of the museum, drawing on his leadership skills and experience successfully managing and dealing with many of california's natural disasters, and with a unique passion and determination that's only pete's he helped field the resolve of the board of trustees to push forward even in the face of post-katrina challenges. so the museum pushed forward. after chairing the board, the museum needed someone to lead its 400 million dollars capital campaign so it could realize its promise as one of america's great educational institutions. pete took on this challenge too, chairing the campaign, putting in untold hours and traveling countless miles across the united states, raising funds to build today's awe-inspiring campus. but there's one trick that stands out above all others, for
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the indelible impact that it's had on the life and the growth of this great museum. in 2010, the museum was small. but it was an unqualified success. it had survived katrina, had been designated by the united states congress as the national world war ii museum of the united states, and plans to transform it into a world class destination were clearly defined. they were bold, and they were ready to execute. the museum clearly was reaching its tipping point, ready to take its great leap forward. and that leap was to begin with an expected 20 million dollars grant from the federal government to help build its signature building the u.s. freedom pavillion. but congress was balking. the appropriations was at risk. politically the timing just wasn't right. so hearing this, pete wilson gets on a plane at lax, and he flied to his old stomping ground
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washington, d.c. to meet with his old friend and a former colleague, world war ii veteran, medal of honor recipient, and chairman of the senate appropriations committee. and during that meeting, the senator in a way was noncommittal. it was true in fact that the timing was not right for that large appropriation, even for this great cause. but pete had a different take on timing. pete knew time was of the essence because time was running out to honor world war ii veterans before they were all gone. so at that point, pete asked his old friend and colleague two simple yet very profound questions: danny, he asks, if not now, when? and if not you, then who? and the answer to those two questions came back in the form of a 20 million dollars gift from the american taxpayers, followed by a 15 million dollars gift from the boeing
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corporation, which pete also helped secure, and up rose the u.s. freedom pavillion, the boeing center. [applause] >> well, at that point, things had decidedly tipped. next came the construction of the campaigns of courage pavilion featuring the road to berlin and the road to tokyo exhibits. and then the home front, an arsenal of democracy exhibit that together tell the story of america's preparation for the war and the might and the spirit of her people. and then the museum opened its institute for the study of war and democracy, and in 1999, it opened its own hotel and conference center. now, in 2023, the campus will be complete. but i don't think pete's work is going to be done. you see one of pete's driving passions is to continue to expand the museum's digital outreach and its distance
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learning initiatives so that all americans but especially our youth will understand that freedom isn't free, that its costs are real and can be very high, and that our nation's ideals and values are worth fighting for and defending. he wants students around our nation to learn the dangers of appeasements and the importance of military preparedness so that future wars don't need to be fought. he wants them to honor and respect the exceptional nation that has given them so much and helped liberate the world. and you know what? i think that's what drives pete today, teaching the younger generations about the america they are not learning about in our classrooms. and if students can't travel to new orleans louisiana to be inspired by this great museum and its important message, pete will work to bring the museum to them, digitally to students and others in all 50 states in this great nation. finally i want to share with you
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something about a flag staff that resides at the center of this beautiful six acre campus. [applause] measuring 12 inches in diameter, at its base, and rising 80 feet into the sky, atop it measuring a whopping 15 by 25 feet, flies old glory, flying high enough to catch the breeze off the mississippi river. the flag staff is strengthened by a beautiful seven foot royal granite base that's inscribed with an important tribute to a man and inscribed with words of the world war ii generation, words that are rooted in the birth of our great nation and which reach back through generations to offer promise and hope to us all. this is the pete wilson liberty flag staff. it stands like a century
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protecting the museum and the hallowed stories within its walls, and it is a proper tribute to a man who has given so much to this museum, and i think it's no coincidence that the words inscribed in the granite base are the same words that describe pete wilson himself, optimistic, determined, generous, courageous. that is pete wilson who at the tender and of 8 years old learned -- age of 8 years old learned about the japanese attack at pearl harbor who years later enlisted in the united states marine corps to defend the nation he respected and he loved, who for decades so honorably and effectively served his state and his nation in elected office. and then not finished with his service to others, he devoted himself to the growth of an educational institution that will inspire future generations long after the greatest generation is gone.
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well, the congressional medal of honor society was right. pete is a national patriot. for his service to our state and to our nation, and to the national world war ii museum, we all owe pete an enormous debt of gratitude, and thank you for honoring him here tonight. [applause] ::.
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>> so instead i like to talk a few minutes about myself im honest enough to know that for references for any of you and just as i consider my friend and mentor and counselor my a governor and senator i know everybody here feels the exact same way about governor wilson. that is part of pete's genius he has all of us believing there is a special bond and it is pete's gift to all of us.
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and that is part of the magic as part of the people and family. i've known pete 40 years amendment the california republican party convention there was 35 of us. [laughter] i got to know pete very well. i was an intern for the republican national committee that pete offered me an internship at his office but the rnc was paying $100 a week and it was $100 more than pete was offering so i went to the rnc. [laughter] so it was seven dollars and then to get through the month of my $400 salary. there was a guy from a school who was an intern and he
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thought he could get into the reception of the senate office building so the first night there was the intern event and it was a traditional event so i showed up and pete said that he worked at the rnc? seeing you that because he was my reference to get the job. if you can participate in the intern program anyway. that you would not recognize me. i was 165 pounds, dark black hair. but pete looks exactly like he does today. [laughter] some things don't change. [applause]
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and there is a portrait in the wilson home because that photo has been in my office with all the national security advisers from the oval office and is still one of my prized possessions forget the french of that is happened over a lifetime sense and there is a lot of successful politicians you have congressman and judges and high officials. politics is a rough-and-tumble but a very few of those are tried and true but pete falls into that latter category. they are the ones who call you the day after your candidate for president loses and in my case that's pretty often.
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[laughter] i had a good run after bush 2004 every time asking for governor romney that pete would be on the first call the next morning and somehow some of them had forgotten the phone number but they are always on the phone they attended the former staffers funeral or family members and then they are comforted it's the governor and the first lady. and then they acknowledge you across the crowded restaurant. and with those prospects of how do you know the governor the friendship evening came into play with the national security affairs. not a lot of people know this story that i was in israel with john bolton resigned or whatever the story was. [laughter]
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and so i flew back from israel and was interviewing for the job on the oval office for the next day or the day after i didn't expect to get the job so if you know my career in politics always of the list of trades but then on a wednesday or thursday i was missing my wife from the state department. and that was nice i got to go see the boss but i get a call the next day from pasadena from the president secretary and said you're from california. and said you know pete wilson? he said some very nice things
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about the president and he wants to meet him and said that's great he will be at the fundraiser at palmer's house in beverly hills on tuesday can you get pete wilson there? i said absolutely. [laughter] i am not entirely stupid i had not called him yet but i aaron town. so i called pete and they were game and with another intern with my law partner so we were in the holding area and the president was very interested in took pete and then to say angry things about me. you did a great job as governor. that was great and i can hear anything about me and said do
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you have a minute? so then we walked next door and then the secret service clear the bedroom and then looking over me and behind me i'm not stupid i said i've known him since i was 18. and said pete come here. so that is still the subject to the dispute i thought i was offered the job in the meeting. >> so my advice is don't say anything to anybody and then i
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was shaking my head this way. [laughter] so we were both right. i found out the next morning 6:00 a.m. by twitter to be named the national security advisor. so when the president did and what he likes to do especially when you are there what do you think of pete o'brien? [laughter] i'm right here. but pete delivered for me and said you can trust him. and i was grateful so naturally after i took office i set up an advisory board that my predecessor did not have one. [laughter] i will save anymore. [laughter] and pete was the first that i
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asked to join the board and i was concerned at the time and i had been at the state department that the military buildup was not proceeding the pace at the level the president wanted and that's what we continue to face the existential threat from china. so we had to get the military buildup so sitting in the large conference room at the executive building that was the only item on the agenda. i said pete can you please talk to us about what president reagan did? how did he rebuild the military and at the time two years left in the term and with the customary eloquence pete walked us through and walked us through the video earlier with the arm services committee and walked us through it and at the whole
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time when we got done with the meetings these are former senior officials and former senators and members of congress and they sat around to say hello and talk to him and all i could think about watching that was if his vocal cords were not given out in 1996 them what a president they could've had with pete wilson as president of the united states. [applause] so if you are up for another run in two.five years so even the brand-new first year congressman and then they got
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certificates and diplomas and momentous from back home and to see some pretty impressive roles in washington at the highest levels but there's one thing that always stuck with me a plaque that was hanging in the senators office and had a marine corps cover and the civilians that covered me with a drill sergeant hat. and then the marines are looking for a few good men. they are right. so semper fi. [applause] so pete and gail thank you for your friendship all these many years thank you for your time of service to the country congratulations from the nixon
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library from the foundation it is well-deserved may god bless you and your family and the golden state of california and the united states of america. [applause] we will now see a video compiled from the nixon foundation compiled from the next and foundation we will turn it over. thank you. [applause] >> an analyst wrote when he became a lawyer they lost interest in being one. he said what was missing it seemed to me was a sense of doing for other people the sense of doing something important and that is why pete wilson entered politics to do
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something for other people to do something important. pete was born in illinois but his parents went to st. louis so that is where he grew up in a recent interview that his dad was his greatest influence because he taught me values and always said never be less than you can be and whatever you achieve you have an obligation to give back. in high school pete was a budding scholar and a leader. and his coach said he played football with precision and fight and that would define him the rest of his life precision and fight. he attended yale on the navy rotc scholarship in his third year he opted to join the marine corps and spent three years as an infantry officer
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and a platoon leader to absorb observe the core creed and has embodied after all the years while he was attending law school at berkeley he made his debut in politics nixon's gubernatorial campaign that began a lifelong association the president became mentor in the former president became a friend. a longtime member of the nixon foundation board of directors and asked pete to utilize in 1983 and then the next year they asked him to run with president nixon. >> we met in 1962 purity debated kennedy and already run for president and was a major political figure on the world stage.
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but still he had time to talk to and help a man who could offer him little that energy and enthusiasm. in the fall of 1965 when i was 32, he honored me by asking me to come to work with him on his potential bid for the presidency in 1968 that he heard that hearing that running for office myself and said it was true he grinned and said in his deep rich voice is that a good district? can you went? and then he said because if you can, then pete, you've got to try you will never forgive
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yourself. i was just another young lawyer trying to find his way in the world. and he was a former vice president preparing for a bid in the highest office in the land. but yet that day, he was as concerned with my future as he was with his own. >> practicing law in san diego when he decided to run for the california state assembly and elected in 1966 reelected and 68 and 70. and chairman of the committee on urban affairs working closely with governor reagan. pete was elected mayor san diego early the next morning the newest youngest mayor was a well wisher. >> after lacked mayor peter
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wilson. >> i that i got you out of bed? >> it was a great victory how do you feel? you must feel pretty dead or tired? >> very very tired did you in my more than you expected? >> yes i did. >> i'm sorry that into politics quick. >> now i never have been. >> i just want you to win. >> he recently inherited the city in bad shape and then manage the growth turning into an international trading have been launched the san diego trolley and transform the derelict downtown into that gaslamp district vibrant area where people wanted to live
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after three terms as mayor he said his sites on the u.s. senate. at the start of the term, pete wilson married to gail. it was the perfect match and that complemented him and was smart they are both devoted to do things for others to do something important. she was an accomplished performer whose code name was nightingale the results are epic.
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>> . >> in washington wilson was respected on both sides of the aisle to take a stand and stand by his word. as a member of the senate armed services committee supporting the defense
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policies and yielding on fiscal discipline every year named watchdog of the treasury and talked about budgetary discipline after an emergency appendectomy he arrived on the senate floor wearing pajamas and the bathrobe to cast the key vote before the ambulance question back to the hospital. and then one mail inside the first person to win more than five votes in the senate race. and then to set a record senator wilson was an outspoken champion and as a lead response cosponsor of the civil rights act of 1988.
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but then to bring it back home for a bold run for governor of california. it's a tight race but he pulled it out. governor wilson inherited the $16 billion deficit then was badly tarnished what's next? that pete loved it but there was in the perfect job to do something. and with a hostile business climate throughout the future sweeping anticrime welfare to
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positively influencing every aspect of california society and culture. three years later he was reelected by a landslide. 1999 the governor elect inherited a 16 billion-dollar deficit and in 1898 his successor inherited a $16 billion surplus thanks to pete wilson the golden state had renewed faith of the california dream. term limit lies precluded running for a third term. and has played by on —- a role
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to teach the history that is not taught in american public schools and was far wiser then to ignore the obvious threats visitors are greeted with the liberty flagstaff this year marks the 50 years the mayor of san diego and as governor of the golden state these days he and gail have more time to enjoy but they continue their commitment to california and the nation what a life pete wilson has led. what a career. pete wilson precision.
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courage and commitment pete wilson doing things for other people doing something important and then to champion the american dream. [applause] >> governor wilson joined me after one —- up here. [applause]
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[cheers and applause] >> it's an honor to do this that i am on your schedule i will stay in your schedule. we could've had three rooms. and then to have a talent for loyal staff but i want to ask how do you figure out who you hire so they still come 30 years after and still applied for you? >> that is a line i cannot
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resist i/o and enormous debt of gratitude to someone that was with me for the first 28 years and was a yelling and eight on —- san diego state graduate work for me that he did such a terrific job but then offered a job that i cannot begin to imagine. and as a friend of mine and then said okay were the guy that he let me have. [cheers and applause]
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it was almost genius. it was the same policy and personable the policy if you are good at it. and then he hands a gift more than once we could use someone that is first-class. so let's ask him. let's ask her and part of it was good luck as well.
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there are at least two or three flanagan levers here tonight. [laughter] flanagan when elected said listen i know you're looking for a legal counsel before you make a choice with janice rogers brown and i said who is janice rogers brown and she just one and enormous lawsuit for as attorney general for the state of california and we just grabbed her at her firm. and we cannot do better. i said i will talk to her. and bob said what do you think? it on he does anybody else. she is the one. it turned out this was true in
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the different instances. and then to deserve credit. i don't think anyone has ever had a more loyal and hard-working decent staff as loyal as i could have hoped for. [applause] so the second question i will overlook that mistake. so when you tell us about the partnership talk about nancy reagan and with his
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partnership. >> i can make the same statement. just now as i was coming appear after the generous comments that you have heard tonight. that you will be hard to live with. [laughter] i said you mean i haven't been? and she said right at that moment, i could not have achieved what i had done there is someone a deeply hoped and cared about he said he will do it and get it done. i'm not worried. i know it's tough i offer this. when we got married i said you have to promise me one thing.
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and then i said this primitive art form that i have chosen for self-expression it's tough you will hear things in read things about things that are untrue and unfair and you have to promise me one thing and with that don't ever let the pastors hurt you i can take it and give it back and said okay. you really have to promise that is a they think they could get to me. and she said can i pop them
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back? [laughter] i don't think this will work. [laughter] there has been a reference made to your time in the marines the remember from ocs or anything about the marines to influence your career which has been so spectacular? >> the answer is yes and then up again he sergeant. and then you could tell. and that is the greatest thing
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that's great about the united states marine corps. so there is genuine respect for noncommissioned officers and for the listed people from what i was expected and they never leave anybody behind. but the other thing is you get to be a gathering sergeant in the marine corps and they are generally the people who run things and with the platoon commander and what you learned
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early on is if you ask questions and you don't pretend that you know things that you don't know that they will be great teachers for you and they will understand with the test of a six-month course but then really there is a pride. genuine concern good people could be made that are better people. you teach discipline and responsibility. so i think when i became a second lieutenant and with the
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rifle platoon commander. is the first in my had responsibility for 39 other young men. that i never had before. they were my responsibility i had to look out for them but so much of that you learn frankly by watching my older brother was corporal. and when he came back from boot camp he said i will break your arm. you seem to be doing all right. that yes i worry about you. it is tough that people shoot
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at you. that is profound. thank you. [laughter] >> you served in the united states senate and it was summarized pretty well. and amazing giant from senator mccain and kennedy on the other side of the aisle. just to run through it. so what makes a great senator? >> so to do the job properly and then to fight if you believe in something then you may lose if you fight the good fight and they word respect that you have the next time
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i'll take you off. and i think that is true. i got into a squabble with bob and he is a very bright guy that was involved financial interest with a fight between hollywood and new york and the networks were in a position to call the shot. so with abc, cbs, nbc, i have a great show and they say maybe, that we will see and by the way you are asking way too much and then you
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don't ask during get the same thing. and then the guys who would put the show on the air but they thought that was unfair so i set about changing it with a bill that would cause that to end. so i lobbied the hell. and then the bill came on the floor it was appropriation i said i don't care dammit i will do this anyway.
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mr. president, i offer and appropriation and atwood said mr. president the senator from california is attempting to amend for the appropriation which we cannot do. the senator from oregon and is correct in the amendment is rejected. i said item in the rollcall that. and the ruling of the chair which i challenged and ted stevens is behind me.
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and said oh god. [laughter] and said he can't win what the hell do i have to lose? and we one. [applause] a time things were strained and he got a couple of times back when i was running for reelection and said i like to help you if it will be of any help to you come from a fundraiser for you and he did. never had any fights after that. he was very bright and had very good ideas but one of the
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things he had done that i thought that was terrific so you learn by getting into fights. sometimes you lose. sometimes you win sometimes you win those who should not have one. [laughter] >> so as governor you have riots and budget shortfalls and more disasters and we can count on but what makes a great governor? >> it means you know you will get a surprise but what i got was unbelievable so then you know how to do things and i
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said to my director the retirement that we are paying is unsustainable and he said yeah i know. so we have to change that and cut into it and said i have talked to lawyers on both sides and they all say you cannot alter the retirement compensation for people that are already employed. you thought you could try to get the votes but here where you pay a different wage. and we've got nothing to lose. let's go. and then we let them decide.
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so if we had sustained it as we have heard tonight you would have heard the deficit that we did not have to care. but we did curate. letting people know that california was open for business and it would not be regulatory but we are going to make this the most competitive state in the country. and the democrats over two years dismissed the report and i said guys and now we are going to do it would take all of us and we will take a trip to revisit the major cities of
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this country. and then to get breakfast or lunch or dinner and then ask you to come out to california and that worked but the second stop was the eye-opener and it helped this guy at the question and answer period and how wonderful it would be and said yes i have an increase the market share and you are telling me i should bring it to california? i'm sorry it is a last damn place in the world because of my nightmare experience.
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and with that democratic floor leader. and then to say okay governor. we do have to make some changes and said damn right. and then we started to do things for people that were suffering from regulatory access. [applause] so what is the greatest thing in sacramento for eight years and every sort of condition. >> the people that his fifth
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generation are naturalized citizens one of the most wonderful things i have ever seen it was a ceremony where a lot of men young and women became naturalized pledging allegiance to the united states a bunch of navy and marine kids and the looks on their faces they would light up your heart and they are not all that unusual in that is too bad about the draft a lot of people who have military service and experience the
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changes but when you can look at people who struggle to get here to become naturalized citizens and by god they are great citizens. and they appreciate the state and to come to california they can't wait to come to california. because they are losing all kinds of jobs that we we have to say to the people who say i don't want to nightmare experience but to say we have to make some changes we have to make changes to the public school system. [applause]
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so what used to be 40 years ago that the public school system in the nation but today it is struggling one of the worst. and you have to have the kind of people with the shattering of the glass ceiling and i'm not saying we should go back or go to law school. [laughter] they should be, many managers we have to do what is necessary to come and create jobs. we did it in my second term
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, we had an enormous increase. and we opened offices, we opened ten offices and foreign countries and they paid for themselves the first year. >> and for the world war ii museum you can do anything you want to do a great service to the nixon library in the reagan library and as a member of the board but your soul has obviously then and world war ii museum and then catching up with you on the way to iwo jima once. why is that the cause of your
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retirement? given how much you work quick. >> given the history of world war ii it is a classic example that young people should know about. 440,000 young americans lost their lives in the war that winston churchill described when asked by a reporter what name would you give and said the unnecessary war. but he was right and we are in a war because we ignored every warning. so we were ranked 18 in the world right after romania. it was on the eve of world war
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ii. people thank you can neglect those capabilities but you do so at your peril and almost guaranteed if you study history to produce the kind of tragedy and that's from world war ii and it is estimates that one of the estimates is the casualties from world war ii somewhere upwards of 80 million people. in a war that was unnecessary but was ignored with every sign should have said to us , this guy will plunge us into a conflict that will be tragic.
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it is a whole lot better to be the superpower and believe in democracy and practice that but you can believe in and all you want. and as reagan mentioned we are only one generation away or democracy is only one from extinction so then you will risk losing it. and that to me is a recipe that we cannot teach too much to simply have a hell of a lot of people. [applause] >> but we are taking great pride for your career and your
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life and dedication and your stewardship, thank you for being with us governor. [applause] >> . >> ladies and gentlemen. pete and gail wilson.
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[applause] god bless america. thank you. >> you certainly can have a picture with me. [laughter] thank you. ♪♪ ♪♪
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>> he has been a print journalist almost his entire adult life. originally from detroit michigan working for the "washington post" for 30 years his assignments included four years in southeast asia from 1986 through 1990 and africa for three years than five years in hong kong that time is new york city bureau chief 2007 through 2010 and also based on the "washington post" and paris and is later the china correspondent. in addition his time in afghanistan and iraq is university of director of hong kong journalism and media studies center we ask him to talk about his work.
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>> i clarence thomas do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. against all enemies foreign and domestic that i will bear
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true faith and allegiance to the same. that i take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. that i will well and faithfully perform the duties of the office on which i am about to enter so help me god. [applause] . . . .


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