Kevin Faulconer and Pete Wilson
  • Kevin Faulconer and Pete Wilson
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Their cash arrived the day before the election — traditional timing for controversial contributions that might otherwise become negative campaign fodder — but ex–San Diego mayor Pete Wilson and his wife Gayle came through for now mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer.

Wilson, the former mayor, who went on to become a United States senator, California governor, and failed Republican presidential candidate, kicked in the maximum individual contribution of $1000, as did his wife Gayle, on February 10, according to a filing made February 11, election day, by the Faulconer for Mayor committee.

Wilson, a natty dresser who reportedly never really liked living in what he saw as the branch-office, border-town atmosphere of San Diego, now resides in Los Angeles, where he works as a consultant to the Bingham Consulting Group, the filing says.

According to the firm's website:

Led by former New Hampshire Governor and Attorney General Stephen Merrill and former Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Representative Chris Cox, Bingham Consulting professionals bring more than 100 years of experience in senior level government positions.

We use our understanding of the interplay of investigative, prosecutorial, legislative and regulatory processes to help clients develop the right mix of business, legal and communications strategies to succeed.

Image from 1994 Pete Wilson campaign ad on illegal immigration

Wilson is perhaps best memorialized in history for his advocacy of 1994's Proposition 187, the anti-immigrant measure that many blame for creating hostility among Latinos that has haunted Republicans ever since.

“They keep coming,” said Wilson’s TV spot at the time. “Two million illegal immigrants live in California. The federal government does nothing to stop them at the borders but expects us to spend billions to take care of them.”

“For Californians who work hard, pay taxes, and obey the law," Wilson declared, "I am working to deny state services to illegal immigrants.”

The GOP’s Faulconer vanquished his Democratic foe David Alvarez by about 54 to 45 percent.

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HonestGovernment Feb. 12, 2014 @ 9:50 a.m.

The fair-skinned, blue-eyed boys are back in control. As Gentleman Jerry Sanders said, "the dark days are over."


Bob_Hudson Feb. 12, 2014 @ 10:05 a.m.

Prop 187 was not anti-immgrant - it was aimed at forcing the federal government to pick up the considerable social costs of its failed immigration policies, instead of making Californians pay for them. If the Senators and Congressional representatives from New York, Missouri, Virginia, etc. are going to approve legislation that results in the flow of millions of dirt poor immigrants to the US, then it is the responsibility of the US government - not the states - to pay for the impacts of that policy.

Wilson certainly did lose the spin war on 187. His communications guru Otto Bos died not long after Wilson became governor and the Wilson organization's communications efforts were ham-handed at best after that, especially against that well organized anti-187 campaign. I worked for a Mexican radio station company with offices in Chula Vista and I saw first hand the faxes coming from the Mexican Consulate with guidelines and strategies for the anti-187 campaign. Mexico was having big internal problems at the time and 187 gave the government a chance to once again trump up anti-American sentiment to divert attention from the turmoil at home. It was a successful campaign that killed 187 and kept Californians on the hook for the huge social costs of a failed federal immigration policy.

I spent many hundreds of hours traveling throughout California with Pete Wilson as a senior aide and never, ever was than any indication that he considered San Diego an unsuitable backwater. But, when he retired from public service, the kind of work available to someone with his background pretty much necessitates being in a large city, which we can all agree San Diego is not.

As for Wilson's campaign contribution being the potential source of negative campaign fodder? I can't even begin to fathom what would support such a supposition. Latinos generally did not vote for Republicans long before Pete became mayor, Senator or Governor and a contribution from someone who hasn't held office for 15 years certainly is not going to impact the Latino vote in a local special election.


monaghan Feb. 12, 2014 @ 11:06 p.m.

Very true-blue and loyal to Pete Wilson, Mr. Hudson, but you really ought to ask any sentient California Latino about whether they think Wilson was racist in crafting, backing and pushing the punitive provisions of Prop 187. Are you saying it was a Mexican plot to divert attention from their own internal troubles? You must be kidding.


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