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The L.A. Weekly’s Endorsements 

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President and Vice President

John Kerry and John Edwards

With the possible exception of Jefferson Davis, and for some of the same reasons, George W. Bush is the most dangerous president our continent has known. Like Davis, Bush has amassed a stunningly divisive, parochial and belligerent record. In an era demanding international coordination simply to ensure a decent defense against terrorists, Bush is a militaristic xenophobe (and a careless one at that, as our troops in Iraq discover on a daily basis). At a time when corporations are abandoning the wage-and-benefit practices that once made American workers the envy of the world, Bush wants government to abandon its own responsibility to our citizens, leaving Americans to their own inadequate devices to pay for health care, college, retirement and other such incidentals. Just as a mental exercise, try imagining a worse president than this cosseted brat. It ain’t easy.

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John Kerry is a Democrat in the center-left mainstream of the party, who’s led significant battles on behalf of environmental and energy causes, and who would re-assert government’s role in enabling Americans to receive health coverage, college educations and union representation. By any measure a more credible commander in chief than Bush, Kerry knows that an America that stands only for military force and that undermines its own best values in so doing has the moral and political firepower of a pop gun. The Massachusetts senator believes in civil liberties and a woman’s right to choose — beliefs his Supreme Court appointees would share, as George W. Bush’s would not. Kerry may not be the ideal liberal candidate (none such exists this year), but he has the makings of a more-than-decent president, and his victory would enable liberal groups to move from defense to offense.

George W. Bush is a threat to the republic and the planet. The only way to stop him is to vote for John Kerry, a course the Weekly recommends more fervently than any endorsement we have ever made.

United States Senator

Barbara Boxer

Now seeking her third term in the Senate, Boxer has won herself a reputation as the Senate’s foremost feminist and one of its leading liberals. On every one of George W. Bush’s key proposals — the tax cuts and the war, most notably — she has resoundingly voted “no.” (Would that the same could be said of Dianne Feinstein.) Should the Democrats retake the Senate, Boxer would play a key role in shaping environmental law, which would be good news indeed for the environment and the people who inhabit it.

Her opponent, Republican Bill Jones, was a better-than-decent California secretary of state, but in the Senate he’d be a reliable vote for every Bush folly or against every Kerry initiative. We enthusiastically recommend Boxer’s retention.

United States Representative

26th District

Cynthia Matthews

As chairman of the House Rules Committee, otherwise affable Republican David Dreier is a key enforcer of Tom DeLay’s one-party Republican rule, making it impossible for Democrats to offer floor amendments to any significant legislation. We support Cynthia Matthews, the environmental-management consultant who is his Democratic opponent.

27th District

Brad Sherman

More centrist than most other L.A. Democratic members, Sherman voted to authorize the war in October 2002, but then so did John Kerry. In a closely divided Congress, however, the Democrats need their wimps no less than their heroes, and Sherman’s nowhere near the wimpiest.

28th District

Howard Berman

Heavyweight Howard remains the leader of the congressional forces for humane immigration reform, and, like Kerry and Paul Samuelson, he’s moved a bit away from free-trade orthodoxy in recent years.

29th District

Adam Schiff

The relatively centrist Schiff has been a leading proponent for stem-cell research and sane homeland-security policies.

30th District

Henry Waxman

Waxman has been brilliant and tireless in exposing administration misdeeds and follies. He lacks subpoena power, but he’s built the best investigative and legislative staff on Capitol Hill. With Ted Kennedy, he’s one of the most effective liberals in American politics.

31st District

Xavier Becerra

His local political battles against Antonio Villaraigosa have been counterproductive, but Becerra is a solid progressive vote in Congress — except, occasionally, on trade.

32nd District

Hilda Solis

Solis was a brave and push-the-envelope progressive while a legislator in Sacramento, and her tenure in the House coincides with Bush’s presidency and DeLay’s dominance of the Hill. With a President Kerry and a Speaker Pelosi, Solis would be dynamite.

33rd District

Diane Watson

Sometimes addled, usually liberal, Watson soldiers on.

34th District

Lucille Roybal-Allard

The member from perhaps the most immigrant-heavy district in Congress, Roybal-Allard remains a consistent champion of immigrant rights.

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