Reagan, a statue and a ferocious battle for poor Californians

A statue of Ronald Reagan has found its home in the basement Rotunda of the State Capitol. I believe such a tribute – in a building that belongs to all Californians – should be reserved for a person who represents all Californians, be they farmworkers or corporate farm owners, poor or rich, and those who belong to all ethnic and racial groups.

The statue’s unveiling was celebrated by many Reagan admirers and even endorsed by The Sacramento Bee editorial board. However, it prompted me to revisit one of the most ferocious legal battles of my career. The reader can judge whether Reagan deserves to be honored in light of his dishonest and deceitful efforts to destroy a nonprofit legal services program dedicated to serving the rights of the rural poor.


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