Given the state of the Republican Party in California, short of Ronald Reagan stepping from crypt and endorsing a candidate, no political figure carries much weight among conservatives out there, particularly in Southern California. While Wilson may still have fundraising ties – large donors we’ve spoken to in Orange County aligned with Romney, McCain and Thompson say his influence has greatly diminshed- it’s an odd endorsement for Giuliani to have pursued, particularly given how hard Rudy opposed Proposition 187, which Wilson actively endorsed and campaigned for.
But Wilson actually throughout his career as a Senator was more ideologically in tune with Giuliani. As a Senator, he opposed INS raids on workers “out of status,” siding with the agriculture lobby he was beholden to in the state. He also fought numerous deportation filings against “out of status” workers during his Senate days.