The San Francisco Chronicle made a stunning — and utterly irresponsible — statement when it refused to endorse either candidate in this race, saying that neither Boxer, the three-term incumbent, nor challenger Carly Fiornia, was qualified for the job. That's insane — this one's as clear and obvious a choice as you could ask for in American politics.
Boxer's one of the leading voices for the progressives in the U.S. Senate. She was an early and stalwart foe of the war in Iraq; she's been good on immigration (even when other Democrats have been ducking); and she's a leading voice for accountability in financial companies. She's finally come around on same-sex marriage and has a perfect record on reproductive rights and labor issues.
Fiornia's chief claim to fame is that she ran one of the nation's top companies, screwed up its history of excellent labor relations, outsourced 30,000 jobs, orchestrated a train wreck of a merger, and was fired. She left with enough of a golden parachute to help finance her campaign for Senate.
Fiorina's anti-choice. She strongly supported Prop. 8 and opposes marriage equality. She's so rabidly seeking the support of the gun nuts that she actually said that people on the federal "no-fly" list should be able to buy handguns. She supports the Arizona anti-immigration law. She's for tax cuts for the rich and can't even figure out if she's supporting or opposing Prop. 23.
This one is a no-brainer. Vote for Boxer.
Woolsey was against the war when her colleague to the south, Nancy Pelosi, was still waffling. She's a consistent voice against cuts in the safety net (and has the distinction of being the only member of Congress who was once on welfare). We're happy to endorse her for another term.
Miller's an East Bay institution, now seeking his 18th term. He's been good and bad on issues — weak at first on the war, bad on education (he supported No Child Left Behind), but generally sound on environmental issues. And this spring, he was willing to publicly challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on a terrible water bill.
It's odd that Pelosi's become such a symbol of liberal Democrats and fodder for the right-wing attack machine. When you look at her record, she's hardly a San Francisco liberal and certainly no progressive. She's not even a strong supporter of same-sex marriage. She was bad on the war for too long and seems far more interested in raising money than representing her constituents. But she did salvage the health care bill, and she's held up as Obama's chief Capitol Hill ally under enormous pressure, and if the Democrats survive with control of the House, she'll stay speaker. If not, she should think about retiring.
Lee became a hero to the peace movement worldwide when she refused after 9/11 to vote to authorize then-President Bush to go to war. She was the only member of either house willing to stand up against what would become the costly and bloody invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. But she's also been a strong supporter of HIV funding, is one of the few members of Congress to show much leadership on poverty issues, and has been elected to chair the Progressive Caucus. We're happy to endorse her for another term.
Stark is the Sup. Chris Daly of Congress, a fearless progressive who's not afraid to ruffle feathers — or even insult the president — when he thinks it's necessary. At 78, he's an outspoken atheist (the only one in Congress), a staunch foe of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a progressive on all the major issues. He's not terribly popular among his colleagues, who allowed him to serve for only one day as chair of the Ways and Means Committee before dethroning him for his inflammatory statements. But on balance, we're glad he's around.