The first time I saw Tom Hayden he was running in the 1976 primary for the United States Senate to displace fellow Democrat John Tunney. I was relatively new to California. It was in the San Francisco area. Hayden was campaigning, walking down the street with a group of young campaign supporters advancing him, announcing to passersby that Tom Hayden was coming that way and we should say hello. We didn’t meet then.

We did meet later, of course, a number of times and since we were on opposite sides politically the meetings were mostly around professional circumstances, such as at Bill Rosendahl’s television studios in Santa Monica. There was little agreement between us. I opposed his many runs for office. However, one thing that we both supported was involving people in direct democracy.

We both appeared at a 2010 San Francisco conference called the Global Forum on Direct Democracy attended by activists from all over the world. One of Hayden’s initiative successes was his backing of Proposition 65 in 1986 to require signage about potential toxic chemical effects. We were on the opposite sides in initiative issues as well. He didn’t like my initiative successes that set up taxpayer protections.

There were other times running into him, once at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. He was a big baseball fan, played baseball for many years. And, a couple of years ago at a conference in Los Angeles we sat at a small table together during a break and talked for a few minutes. Even then, the conversation, while wide-ranging, offered up differences.

It remained that way to the end. In fact, my last connection to Hayden came as recently as last week when the New York Times published an online video documentary on the history of Proposition 13. We both appear separately in the video, but once again, Hayden and I offered differing views.