Roger Telschow remembers

Roger Telschow on Ed:

Roger ran the Northern Californian PIRG office at Santa Clara.  Ed recruited him while on one of his political crusades.  This is from a January 5, 1994 phone conversation I had with Roger.

“I have fond memories of Ed..” Roger started with and continued by saying, “Citizen Lawmakers by David Schmidt has excellent chapter on Ed…

“Ed convinced me that the only way to get anything done in the country was through the national initiative…

“Kemp was present during the hearings (Senate Judiciary Hearings of 1977) on national initiative.  Months ago I read in US NEWS that Kemp was going to make the National Initiative part of his Presidential Campaign in 96. I have been hearing those rumblings for awhile.”

“Sometimes it just takes longer doesn’t it?” I said.

“Yes, a lot longer,” Roger replied.

“Originally we got him (Kemp) interested during the hearings, and he was one of the co-sponsors…

“We, John Forester and I,  left the crusade in early 80’s.  There was just no money in it.

”Nader soured on John and me… John and I created an office and living space in one of the buildings we bought… One of his staffers lived there with us and John and he had some bad vibes and that seemed to sour Nader’s relation to us. Talked to him 4-5 times since and sensed his coolness… Schmidt worked with him.”

Ed anecdote:

“Once we were in a press conference in Colorado or San Francisco.  These reporters were gathered and Ed went in the room treating them like a bunch of students,  “Okay, guys I got some good stuff for you today…” Ed would say.

“And he carried on about the anti-nuclear initiatives and he would say something important and then say , ‘The last physics I had was XLax…’ and they’d laugh…

“They liked him and when he got ready to give them some serious stuff one of the reporters said, ‘Wait a minute, I got to get a pencil.’ Ed stopped, gaxed at this guy, hung the audience out to dry and said, ‘What?  You’re a reporter and you don’t have a pencil?…   That’s like a prostitute without a pussy….”

“The placed cracked up. They just loved him.  He was great.”

“Ever since meet I Ed getting national initiative passed became my main interest.

“Luckily, my first contact in Washington was Senator  Abourzek of South Dakota.  Walked into his office and told them what we were about and the aide said,  ‘Yeah, I think my boss would be interested in that…’”

Regarding. National Init:

“Haven’t seen anybody yet lay out a strategy to make that happen…

“Perot organization – proposed it to them.   With their national town meeting it seemed like a good fit…  Since then, and I don’t know if I had anything to do with it or not, the National initiative is in their platform…”

Regarding Gravel’s Philadelphia II approach:

“We’re a nation of laws and how do you get around not doing it through the Constitutional amendment route… May be spitting in the wind if set up a major court case to determine if can do it outside of amendment process.  Can you do national initiative through a process that isn’t sanctioned by our laws… Then having the court throw them out?..


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