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Friday, May 13, 2005

Laborers, Leaders Mourn 'the Real Miguel Contreras'

Laborers, Leaders Mourn 'the Real Miguel Contreras': "Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, speaking alternately in English and Spanish, presided over the funeral Mass. But it was Maria Elena Durazo, Contreras' widow, who offered the most stirring eulogy.

In a strong voice that quavered at moments, Durazo told mourners that since her husband's death, she had heard Miguel Contreras described as 'a kingmaker, a man of great influence, a consummate behind-the-scenes dealmaker.'

'These views miss the real Miguel Contreras,' Durazo said. 'They ignore why he was able to do what he did. While he reveled in the game of politics, he succeeded because his constituency, the people he was trying to help, knew he was the real thing….

'Miguel was as passionate about the struggles of electricians and actors and longshoremen as he was about homecare workers and janitors and nurses and hotel housekeepers,' she said. 'He fought for each worker with the same heart and the same soul.'"


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