A candid conversation: Meet the real Eugene Delgaudio

[Click here, or the "continue reading" link at bottom, to read the entire interview.]

Chronologically, the following narrative begins in the late 1960s, with a then-14 year old Eugene Delgaudio clinging to a tree in New York’s Central Park, shouting “THERE go the right-wing fascists!” and pointing into the distance as a mob of 5000 leftists and hippies charges past him, when all along – as he now relates – he was the right wing fascist, who had trespassed into their rally to burn an effigy of Ho Chi Minh.

To speak with Eugene Delgaudio about issues of the day is to unfold a panoramic timeline, because this is a man steeped in the history of politics and ideas. Ask him about something that happened last week or last year and the reference points might include Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan – or other figures from the past too numerous to mention – just as likely as Herman Cain or Sarah Palin.

He brings the past into the present because there is a consistency between what he believes, where he learned it, and what he does today. He hails from the time before principles became archaisms. And more than that, he recalls it all from the perspective of one who was there.

Eugene Delgaudio was Free Republic before there was a Free Republic; he was Tea Party long before there was a Tea Party. And as I learned in the interview, he might’ve been Capitol Steps before there was a Capitol Steps.

The reason for this interview is to give a glimpse of the authentic Eugene Delgaudio, and as you’ve probably gathered by now, it is not a “hard-hitting” interview per se. That wasn’t the point. But even if you are not currently a Delgaudio fan, stick with me for a second and you might see some value in what follows.

You are never going to get any public figure – Supervisor Delgaudio included – to really open up in the context of a hostile cross examination. That’s obvious. What is unique about Eugene Delgaudio, however, is that he really is much more honest than most public figures (this has raised controversy at times … but nothing the supervisor has ever shrank away from, either).

Even the most rabid anti-Delgaudio people must admit two things:

  • Eugene Delgaudio works very hard, and
  • Eugene Delgaudio does not self-censor as proficiently as some

He is not hard-wired to put on airs.

Consequently, once you get him talking, you really can get quite an unvarnished view of Eugene Delgaudio. That’s what I wanted to accomplish because, having known the man for a number of years, the real Eugene Delgaudio is not whom his opponents usually attack – and that fact is very revealing about them.

If you want to criticize Eugene Delgaudio for his conservative beliefs, well have at it. Liberals won’t care for his votes in office, and liberal voters may vote against him. But for anyone who wants to know about how he does his job, why he does what he does and says what he says, for good or ill, you will certainly find that out in what follows. For any opponents who think voters should get to know him better, be careful what you wish for, because love him or hate him Eugene Delgaudio is the real deal.

This year, Supervisor Delgaudio is facing a full-court press from the usual coterie of local antagonists, but now with significant help from outside money and union workers imported to carry the water for a candidate who actually is a union employee, a writer for the far-left Daily Kos site and recent arrival in Sterling – one of Eugene’s two opponents. The other rival for the office is a lifelong Sterling resident who is also very, very far to the left ideologically.

So there is no pretense this year of even putting up a moderate candidate to oppose Eugene Delgaudio in 2011. What his opponents are thinking, who knows? But the following is provided so that supporters, undecideds and even current critics can learn who he is, and decide for themselves whether he should continue to represent Sterling.

NOTE: This interview is long, so the following hyperlinks are provided to make for easier navigation by subject matter. I edited – believe it or not – for length, because there was even more history from the supervisor’s past and more philosophical explanation than is already presented. But for the most part what you read – what follows – is our conversation.


Quick Links To Article Sections

Why the contradictions between who Eugene is, and who his opponents try to paint him as

Retail politics in a diverse community, and righting a wrong in college

“For the rest of your life, you will always have been in Sterling”

Can you be both tough on crime, and a friend to the entire community?

“I come in peace; do you come in peace?”

The man who came to Sterling, and the Meatball Rebellion

Enemy of the libraries?

Supervisor, defined

The hardest-working supervisor in the county

“It is very, extremely annoying to be me”

Ego, money, and accessibility

Humor as an art form

John Grigsby and the Bork battle

To those who say you’re a clown

continue reading…