Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Gerald Ford Remembered by Local Congressman

Here's a straightforward story from Lori Carter in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat about Gerald Ford as he will be remembered:
"Jerry was really a man of impeccable integrity," said Clausen, a Republican who represented California's 1st district, which extended from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border, from 1962 to 1982.

Clausen, 83, recalled that he was the deciding vote for Ford as the future president was seeking the minority House leadership position in 1965 against Rep. Charlie Halleck of Indiana, who had helped Clausen get a position on the public works committee.

"I was in California and (Ford) kept trying to get a hold of me," Clausen said. "We finally got together when I got back there and I had to explain it to him. I said, 'Jerry, I lean in your direction, but I have to have a positive commitment from you that you will be just as available to me after you win as you are today.' And he says, 'You can count on that.'"

After Ford became president, Clausen convinced him to visit The Geysers [a local hot springs] in hopes of garnering funding for the geothermal energy project.

Ford visited a snow-covered field north of Santa Rosa for 90 minutes before meeting with Western governors in San Francisco to discuss energy resources.

"We're flying in a helicopter, and we were sort of reminiscing about that" pledge to be available, Clausen said. "And all of sudden, he said, 'I kept my word, didn't I?'"

Thirty years ago, we thought we had our politics on a decent path again regardless of whether our politicians were Republican or Democrat.

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