ENDORSEMENTS: National and state races


Editor's note: the file below contains a correction, updated May 5 2010. 

National races



The Republican Party is targeting this race as one of its top national priorities, and if the GOP can dislodge a three-term senator from California, it will be a major blow for the party (and agenda) of President Obama. The pundits are happily talking about how much danger Barbara Boxer faces, how the country's mood is swinging against big-government liberals.

But it's always a mistake to count out Boxer. In 1982, as a Marin County supervisor with little name recognition in San Francisco, she trounced then-SF Sup. Louise Renne for an open Congressional seat. Ten years later, she beat the odds and won a hotly contested primary and tough general election to move into the Senate. She's a fierce campaigner, and with no primary opposition, will have a united party behind her.

Boxer is one of the most progressive members of the not-terribly progressive U.S. Senate. She's been one of the strongest, most consistent supporters of reproductive rights in Washington and a friend of labor (with 100 percent ratings from the AFL-CIO and National Education Association). We've had our disagreements: Boxer supported No Child Left Behind, wrote the law allowing airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit, and was weak on same-sex marriage when San Francisco sought to legalize it (although she's come around). But she was an early and stalwart foe of the war in Iraq, split with her own party to oppose a crackdown on illegal immigration, and is leading the way on accountability for Wall Street. She richly deserves reelection, and we're happy to endorse her.




It's odd that the representative from Marin and Sonoma counties is more progressive by far than her colleague to the south, San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi. But over the years, Lynn Woolsey has been one of the strongest opponents of the war, a voice against bailouts for the big Wall Street banks, and a foe of cuts in the social safety net. We're proud to endorse her for another term.




George Miller has been representing this East Bay district since 1974, and is now the chair of the Education and Labor Committee and a powerhouse in Congress. He's too prone to compromise (with George W. Bush on education policy) but is taking the right line on California water (while Sen. Dianne Feinstein is on the wrong side). We'll endorse him for another term.




We've never been terribly pleased with San Francisco's most prominent Congressional representative. Nancy Pelosi was the author of the bill that created the first privatized national park at the Presidio, setting a horrible standard that parks ought to be about making money. She was weak on opposing the war, ducked same-sex marriage, and has used her clout locally for all the wrong candidates and issues. But we have to give her credit for resurrecting and pushing through the health care bill (bad as it was — and it's pretty bad — it's better than doing nothing). And, at a time when the Republicans are trying to derail the Obama presidency, she's become a pretty effective partner for the president.

Her fate as speaker (and her future in this seat) probably depends on how the Democrats fare in the midterm Congressional elections this fall.