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Film on life of Pete McCloskey will air on KQED

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:44 pm in Congress.

Pete McCloskey

Pete McCloskey

A film on the life of former California Congressman Pete McCloskey, the charismatic war veteran from the Bay Area who famously ran for president against Richard Nixon, will air on KQED public television next month.

The first showing is July 5 at p.m. Click here for KQED’s full airing schedule.

Filmmaker Robert Caughlan has been working on “Pete McCloskey: Leading from the Front” film for several years but his 81-year-old subject refused to slow down long enough for Caughlan to finish it. First, the former politician decided to run for Congress against Richard Pombo in 2006 and then McCloskey, an environmental lawyer, took on a high-profile case.

Caughlan’s efforts were further complicated with the death last year of the film’s narrator, Paul Newman.

I met McCloskey for the first time in 2006 when he ran for Congress and found him to be an extraordinarily charming man. I visited McCloskey at his Rumsey property, where he persuaded me to interview him while I drove a tractor through his orange grove. The tractor’s bucket was loaded with horse manure and he walked ahead of me and talked while he threw shovelfuls of the stuff onto his trees.

I also got to know Caughlan during that time period and found him a personable and good-humored foil to McCloskey’s sometimes mercurial personality. I had the chance at the time to see pieces of the McCloskey film that were adapted for use during the campaign.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final version. Someone remind me to set my DVR!

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  • RR

    Pete McCloskey has been on the right and wrong sides of every issue since he entered public life decades ago. A colorful if minor figure in recent politics.

  • freakofthefarright

    The man who help slay Richard Pombo! A fiting end to a fine political career.

  • Elwood

    I’m not going to touch the topic of Lisa and a load of manure.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    For this, I am eternally grateful. (lol)

  • RR

    McCloskey was never more than a bug on Pombo’s windshield. It was Jerry McN that slay the beastie.

  • Frank Calabrese

    I give Pete McCloskey credit for helping to get rid of that crook Pombo. Let’s see Pombo’s military service record,too.(insert blank page)
    McCloskey took a similar approach that I did. I was a Republican for 32 years, and left when Daddy Bush got elected. The two times that Sonny stole the presidency
    confirmed my belief. I served during VietNam in the Navy-what was Sonny’s record?
    Thank you, Pete, and Welcome Home!

  • http://politicalblotter susan tuttle

    Lisa,
    We missed the episode and forgot to set the taping!!! Any idea if/when it’ll be rebroadcast?
    Susan Tuttle

  • Gary V

    In the mid 1970′s after I was honorably discharged from the Air Force, serving a year in a half in Vietnam, I worked in Congressman McCloskey’s office as an intern while attend college. I remember a few conversation with him about the military lying to Congress about bombing raids in Cambodia. He is a man who I admire an respect. He was devoted to serving his constituents while serving as a Congressman.

  • Geo McC

    I did not realize that the second coming had already occurred until I watched the film on Pete McCloskey. I can only assume that Obama is the third coming. A rose by any other name is a still a rose, just like a liberal by any other name is a still liberal.

  • Salim mastan

    If there would be more like Pete Mccloskey the world would love Americans

    a giant of a man

    salim mastan

  • Terry McCormick

    Saw, and was inspired by, the film on McCloskey’s life.

    What integrity!!!! What courage!!!! What an inspiration!!!! Wish we could clone him.