“[Proposition 187] wasn’t scapegoating. What it was doing was laying out the facts of what it was costing state taxpayers for federal failure,” Wilson said in his office high above Century City, where he still maintains an active law practice.
Later, he circled back: “I may have my flaws but racism is not, never has been, never will be, one of them..."
Inevitably, then: If he had it to do it over again, knowing what he does now, would the former governor still support Proposition 187 and assume such an upfront, personally defining role in promoting its passage?
Yes, he replied, without hesitation.
Leadership “means doing the things that you, in your heart, know need to be done,” he said. “It means making people unhappy. It means making them enemies. Not that I enjoy doing that. But I’m not going to shrink from combat if, to avoid it, you’ve got to avoid doing what you know to be needed.”
Otherwise, Wilson said, “Why the hell run for office?”