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Roger Hedgecock

Roger Hedgecock
30th Mayor of San Diego
In office
May 3, 1983 – December 5, 1985
Preceded by William E. Cleator, Sr. (acting)
Succeeded by Ed Struiksma (acting)
Personal details
Born Roger Allan Hedgecock
(1946-05-02) May 2, 1946
Compton, California
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cindy
Children 2
Residence San Diego, California
Alma mater UC Santa Barbara
UC Hastings College of Law
Profession Radio Talk Show Host, Politician
Religion Roman Catholic
Website .com.rogerhedgecockwww

Roger Allan Hedgecock (born May 2, 1946) is an American politician and conservative talk radio host who served as mayor of San Diego, California between May 1983 and December 1985. His show is syndicated by Radio America. Hedgecock resides in San Diego. He is married to Cindy Hedgecock, and they have two sons, James and Christopher.


  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
  • Radio and television 3
    • History 3.1
    • Politics 3.2
  • Other endeavors 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Hedgecock was born in Compton, California. When Hedgecock was ten years old, his family moved to the Loma Portal section of San Diego. His father was unable to work because of illness. The family faced tough times, and the younger Hedgecock worked various jobs in his youth. Since his youth, he has been an avid surfer.

He graduated from the Roman Catholic-affiliated St. Augustine High School. He received a bachelor's degree from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1968 and a Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1971. He practiced law and became city attorney for Del Mar in 1974.

Hedgecock was not qualified for military service during the Vietnam War for medical reasons. His severe acne caused him to be rated first 1-Y and later 4-F.[1]

Political career

Hedgecock first became active in politics at an early age, having volunteered to work in U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater's 1964 Presidential campaign. In 1976, he was elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and served until 1983.

In 1983 he was elected mayor of San Diego. Although San Diego municipal elections are "non-partisan" (i.e., party affiliation is not listed on the ballot), Hedgecock ran as a "progressive" Republican. He campaigned to stop the "Los Angelization"[2] of San Diego, a term in San Diego politics synonymous with the uncontrolled urban and suburban development, overcrowding and pollution of Los Angeles.[3][4]

In 1985 Hedgecock was charged with several felonies related to receiving over $350,000 in illegal campaign funds and was forced from office because of the scandal.[5] All the key players, including Hedgecock's associates and the financier himself,[6] admitted in sworn statements that they knowingly and willingly broke the law when they conspired to funnel the money from a wealthy financier into Hedgecock's 1983 mayoral campaign.[7] Though Hedgecock claimed none of this was true, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and was found guilty of twelve counts of perjury, related to the alleged failure to report all campaign contributions. Since California, like most states, does not allow convicted felons to hold elected office, Hedgecock was forced to resign on December 5. His first trial ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury after the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction. However, two of the 12 jurors in the first trial submitted sworn statements that the jury bailiff, Al Burroughs, provided them alcohol and tried to pressure them into finding Hedgecock guilty. State prosecutors then conducted an investigation into the possibility of criminal jury tampering. As part of the investigation, Burroughs admitted trying to influence the verdict. Under California Superior Court rules, any attempt on a bailiff's part to influence a verdict is "serious misconduct" that can be grounds for reversal. However, prosecutors refused to release the transcripts of their investigation interviews to Hedgecock's attorneys.[8]

An appellate court in San Diego ruled in 1988 that the judge presiding over the second trial "who had announced from the bench that he believed Hedgecock was guilty -- was wrong to block release of" those transcripts to the defendant. Hedgecock was still denied access to those documents for two more years until he appealed to the California Supreme Court, which ordered the transcripts released. In that appeal, the Supreme Court threw out the 12 perjury convictions and set aside the remaining conspiracy charge pending a hearing on Hedgecock's motion for a jury trial on grounds of jury tampering.[8]

The defense finally obtained the transcripts in October 1990. The next month, Hedgecock reached a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in return for no jail time or retrial. As part of the deal, a judge reduced the felony to a misdemeanor and dismissed the case on December 31.[8]

Radio and television


With the controversy ending his political career, Hedgecock accepted a job as a talk show host on San Diego's KSDO-AM, which later changed call letters and dial position to KOGO AM 600. He started four days after resigning, with his first show on January 20, 1986. His show aired from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Several years later, Hedgecock's time slot moved to 12 noon to 3 p.m. to make room for The Rush Limbaugh Show in the schedule. His show eventually moved to the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slot.

Beginning in November 2007, Hedgecock hosted a nationally syndicated radio talk show on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon Pacific Time; with the flagship station being KOGO. On January 5, 2009, his show began being syndicated nationwide by the Radio America network. Originally, the plan was for the fourth hour of the show to continue only on KOGO and continue discussion of topics relevant to the local San Diego/Southern California audience, but KOGO later decided to drop the fourth hour altogether, thus bringing to an end the "Community Forum" that had been his focus since the show's inception in 1986.

In November 2011, it was announced that Hedgecock would be leaving his local flagship station KOGO and would move his nationally syndicated show to a new flagship home, radio station AM 760 KFMB, San Diego's CBS radio and TV network affiliate. His weekday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. PT broadcast debuted there on Monday, January 2, 2012. The show format continues to focus on political and social topics from a conservative point of view.

He has done simulcasts with talk hosts from other areas of the country, such as Lars Larson of AM 750 KXL in Portland, Oregon, and often does transatlantic simulcasts with James Whale on the British station, talkSPORT, and was also, until October 2007, a frequent guest host for the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show.

Hedgecock receives over $300,000 per year to do his show from Radio America, a division of the tax-exempt American Studies Center based in Arlington, Virginia.[9] Hedgecock also hosts a cable TV program at U-T TV run by GOP donor Doug Manchester.[9][10]

On Monday, February 23, 2015 during the opening of his program, Hedgecock announced he would be leaving his show on March 27, 2015. He made clear he would continue to do correspondence and interviews but it would be the end of his radio show that he started in 1986, as he stated, "Before Rush and before Hannity," when people told him talking politics on the radio was taboo.


Hedgecock was a moderate Republican as County Supervisor and Mayor. As a talk show host and practicing Roman Catholic, he moved rightward by taking conservative stances on most political, economic, and social issues, especially opposition to illegal immigration, abortion, homosexual behavior, and same-sex marriage, even though he courted the homosexual vote during his campaigns for County Supervisor and Mayor of San Diego. In October 2011 endorsed fellow Republican and San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, an openly homosexual member of the San Diego City Council.

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on Hedgecock for his anti-immigration leadership in the media.[11]

Other endeavors

In his early years, Hedgecock was an entrepreneur and worked in music concert promotions. One notable co-production of his was the 1969 Mother's Day concert at Aztec Bowl (now the site of Viejas Arena, SDSU). Performers included Canned Heat, Grateful Dead, and Santana. In the months before the infamous Altamont Free Concert, security was provided by the local Hells Angels motorcycle club, to whom Hedgecock paid a signing bonus of a case of Jack Daniel's.[12]

In 1986 he formed a band with well-known San Diego journalist Thomas K. Arnold called The Arnold-Hedgecock Experience. Arnold was a writer for the Reader, San Diego Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and numerous other publications; in the early 1980s he also engineered 1960s pop star Gary Puckett's comeback. They recorded a cover of "Louie, Louie" and donated proceeds to St. Vincent de Paul, a local charity; they played several concerts around town, including opening for The Kingsmen in Oceanside in front of 10,000 people.[13]


  1. ^ San Diego City Beat, Jan. 21, 2004
  2. ^ Horstman, Barry (January 12, 1986). "Mayor's Race in San Diego Shaping Up as 3-Way Battle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ Farnsworth, Margie (January 2004). "The Los Angelization of San Diego". San Diego Magazine. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Chase, Carolyn (21 December 2000). "Blueprint for Los Angelization". San Diego Earth Times. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Headliners; His Honor Is Guilty". The New York Times. October 13, 1985. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Acuna, Armando (April 19, 1986). "Hedgecock Aides Admit Breaking Law : Two Plead Guilty to Conspiracy in Ex-Mayor's 1983 Campaign". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ a b c Abrahamson, Alan (February 2, 1992). "Bailiff's Bias in Hedgecock Trial Disclosed". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Kicks: San Diego's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine". Thomas K. Arnold, Publisher. 1980 interview with Roger Hedgcock.
  13. ^ Horstman, Barry (October 5, 1986). "Hedgecock : Enjoying Life Beyond Politics Despite a Lingering Legal Cloud". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 

External links

  • Roger Hedgecock's website
  • DeMaio Critics Bash Recent Endorsements, Refusal to Debate
  • Hedgecock out at KOGO, in at KFMB...
Political offices
Preceded by
William E. Cleator, Sr. (acting)
Mayor of San Diego, California
Succeeded by
Ed Struiksma (acting)
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