Barry Goldwater Jr. shares family legacy, views on politics


The Rotary Club of Scottsdale recently hosted former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1969-1983), Barry Goldwater Jr.

The son of Barry Goldwater, U.S. senator from Arizona and Republican Party presidential nominee in 1964, Mr. Goldwater Jr. resides in Phoenix, near his son, Barry M. Goldwater III.

Continuing to champion the conservative political movement started by his father,  the Rotarians and guests were said to be elated to learn that Mr. Goldwater Jr. served as president of the Greater San Fernando California Rotary Club, according to a press release.

After retiring from politics, he moved to Los Angeles and pursued a career in the financial sector, specializing in security law and underwriting. He became a member of NYSE and a partner in what is now Wedbush Securities.

Chairman of a solar advocacy group, he maintains his contacts with political leaders and activists, while continuing the conservative political movement started by his father; and serves as chairman of Nelson Taplin Goldwater Consultants, a government relations firm primarily focused on the insurance industry.

During his talk, he shared his family’s legacy from migrating to America from Poland in 1840 and settling in San Francisco to being clothing merchants who followed the miners and army to Prescott, Arizona, growing the business into Goldwater’s Department Store.

His uncle Morris, was Prescott mayor for 25 years and helped to write Arizona’s constitution, the release said.

Describing democracy and the need to be impartial or independent, Mr. Goldwater Jr shared memories of dreaming of going to work with his father, and the irony of him as a 30-year-old California congressman, walking down the Capital steps with his father in fulfillment of that dream, the release detailed.

Together they served in the US Congress for 14 years. He learned from his father to stand up for beliefs; to respect the land; to learn gratitude for “what we have and where we come from;” to know the importance of being kind others; and, to always listen to what others say to learn from each other.

As a congressman, Mr. Goldwater Jr. created the largest urban park in the U.S., the Santa Monica National Recreation Area. He co-authored with former Congressman and NYC Mayor Ed Koch of the Privacy Act of 1974, which for the first time codified the concept of protecting personal privacy, the release said.

He even served on the space committee and was there when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins came home from their landing on the moon.

Mr. Goldwater Jr stated that Congress is different today. For 14 years, he was always in the minority; yet, Democrats allowed the Republicans to participate and help craft bi-partisan solutions to the country’s problems.

Republicans and Democrats got along, the release noted, adding that anger and division, likely fueled by a partisan press and expanded social media, exist in the country today.

Mr. Goldwater Jr. answered questions about California’s changing politics, third-party impact on the traditional two-party system, term limits and current issues needing attention such as highways, healthcare and immigration policies.

After his talk, he signed copies of the book “Pure Goldwater” that he co-authored with his friend, Legal Council to President Nixon, John Dean.

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