Karabian, Walter: Opposing legislators
Walter Karabian: Well Deukmejian was a one-issue legislator: the death penalty. Everybody used to make fun of him because that’s all he thought about. I’m not sure what kind of attribute that is to George (Deukmejian) that he served all those years in the legislature and as governor, and he’s remembered only for killing people, and it’s particularly strange because he comes from the same ethnic group that I come from, and that ethnic group suffered a lot at the hands of the Turks. The death penalty was applied across the board, and so I always thought it was strange that Deukmejian got so excited about the death penalty, and would storm out of the room if he couldn’t get your vote on the death penalty. Moscone was viewed as pure against the death penalty, and whether they may have had debates on the floor or not the entire world knew that George Deukmejian was not going to change George Moscone’s mind, and Moscone knew he was never gonna to change George Deukmejian’s mind. So they – as I phrased in another bill – had irreconcilable differences. Jon Rubin: But somehow they got along. Walter Karabian: Well getting along depends on how you define it. You had to work together so you got along with everybody. You didn’t have this bitterness that you have up there now. You had to get along. Somebody who was against you on one issue might be for you on another issue. If you had the charm and grace that George Moscone had, you get along with everybody.
The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.
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Rubin, Jon and Karabian, Walter, "Karabian, Walter: Opposing legislators" (2010). Moscone Oral Histories. 88.