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Wait, wasn't the primary election back in February? Yes, it was in a way. The California Legislature, in an effort to make the state more relevant (that turned out well, didn't it?) moved the presidential primary several months earlier this year but left the rest of the primary races, and some key initiatives, for the June 3 ballot. There's a lot at stake here: three contested Legislative races, two judicial races, a measure that could end rent control in California ... vote early and often. Our endorsements follow.
Congress, District 6
It's an irony that the congressional representative from Marin and Sonoma counties is far to the left of the representative from San Francisco, but Lynn Woolsey's politics put Nancy Pelosi to shame. Woolsey was against the Iraq war from the start and the first member of Congress to demand that the troops come home, and she continues to speak out on the issue. At the same time, she's also a strong advocate for injured veterans.
Woolsey, who once upon a time (many years ago) was on welfare herself, hasn't forgotten what it's like to have trouble making ends meet. She's a leading voice against cuts in social service spending and is now pushing a bill to increase food stamp benefits. She richly deserves reelection.
Congress, District 7
George Miller, who has represented this East Bay district since 1974, is an effective legislator and strong environmentalist. Sometimes he's too willing to compromise he worked with the George W. Bush administration on No Child Left Behind, a disaster of an education bill but he's a solid opponent of the war and we'll endorse him for another term.
Congress, District 8
Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist, is moving forward with her campaign to challenge Nancy Pelosi as an independent candidate in November, and we wish her luck. For now, Pelosi, the Speaker of the House and one of the most powerful people in Washington, will easily win the Democratic primary.
But Pelosi long ago stopped representing her San Francisco district. She continues to support full funding for Bush's war, refused to even consider impeachment (back when it might have made sense), refused to interact with war critics who camped out in front of her house ... and still won't acknowledge it was a mistake to privatize the Presidio. We can't endorse her.
Congress, District 13
You have to love Pete Stark. The older he gets, the more radical he sounds and after 32 years representing this East Bay district, he shows no signs of slowing down. Stark is unwilling to be polite or accommodating about the Iraq war. In 2007 he announced on the floor of the House that the Republicans "don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." He happily signed on to a measure to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. He is the only member of Congress who proudly admits being an atheist. It's hard to imagine how someone like Stark could get elected today.