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Narrated by Paul NewmanPete McCloskey: Leading from the Front
tells the colorful story of former Republican Congressman Pete
McCloskey, a true political "maverick”, who was both a Marine war hero
in Korea and a leading peace advocate during Vietnam.
representing California's 11th District from 1967 to 1983 (now Silicon
Valley), McCloskey became one of the first members of Congress to oppose
the war in Vietnam, and in 1972 ran against President Nixon as an
anti-war Presidential candidate. In 1973, after the Watergate scandal
broke, McCloskey was the first member of Congress from either party to
call for the impeachment of Nixon, his own party's President.
he served in Congress, McCloskey was one of the nation's first
environmental lawyers, and one of the first attorneys to racially
integrate his legal practice. As a member of Congress, he co-chaired
the first Earth Day in 1970, co-authored the Endangered Species Act, and
contributed to other environmental laws including the Clean Air and
Clean Water acts.
McCloskey did not go quietly into retirement.
In 2006, at age 78, he was so outraged by the corruption in the
Republican-controlled Congress and his party’s anti-environmental
policies that he led what he called “the revolt of the elders.”
McCloskey reentered politics to run against Congressman Richard Pombo in
the Republican primary, which contributed to Pombo's defeat in the
McCloskey's story offers an example of an
authentic hero who dedicates his life to public service and follows his
conscience, despite the prevailing political winds. The documentary cuts
through contemporary biases based on ideologies and party affiliations
to open a unique window onto an important span of our nation's history.
In so doing, it enables that history to illuminate present day politics
and issues in a new, even refreshing light.