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Oct. 21, 2004


The Journal endorses


We sat down Monday with Assemblymember Patty Berg, who is running for reelection. (See story) At the end of the interview I asked her how things were going in Sacramento, especially with the new Republican governor. She said pretty well, actually. She said Schwarzenegger is smart and a good listener, open to new ideas, and then she rattled off four or five instances where Democrats have been able to convince him to change course by restoring funding to a particular program, for instance.

"You mean he is a flip-flopper?" I joked.

"Exactly," she said. He can be educated and he is willing to change his mind based on more and better information.

It will come as no surprise to readers of the Journal that we are enthusiastically backing that other alleged flip-flopper, John Kerry, for president in what is the most important election certainly in my lifetime.

Those of us who well remember the Vietnam War era as adults have no trouble recalling how we felt and when we felt it. I personally think Kerry was a late-bloomer in coming around to his anti-war stance in 1971. But I have nothing but admiration and respect for his service and for his actions when he returned. Who had a more profound right to have an opinion about that war than someone who served, observed firsthand, and returned to work so passionately to get this country back on the right track again?

He can do it again. Kerry is a man of deep moral convictions and intelligence, and this country needs his proven leadership.

This endorsement is consistent with our editorial track record. One year after 9/11 we were becoming increasingly alarmed by the Bush administration's preparation for war with Iraq when there was no evidence of a link with the attacks of the previous year. In an editorial, we called for no military action without a second definitive U.N. resolution and we called upon Congress to resist unilateral action.

It was a long and dreary winter into spring, especially when it became evident that nothing was going to stop Bush's march to war. On April 3, 2003, we wrote of our anger that Bush kept promising he "was working on a peaceful solution, a diplomatic solution, all these long months when he wasn't.

"[Bush] has eroded our civil liberties. He has intimidated the press. He has put the government in financial peril. He has done great damage to two political giants -- Colin Powell and Tony Blair. He has driven a wedge between the U.S. and Europe. He's made an enemy out of the United Nations. And now he is threatening world stability with the invasion of Iraq."

This is the single issue of this presidential race. It's sad that we can't even focus on issues such as education, health and the economy while Americans and Iraqis are dying every day.

The Journal will also be endorsing in state and local contests next week. The League of Women Voters and KEET-TV, which hosted candidates' forums, asked that we not endorse within one week of the conclusion of the last televised debate since Journal Editor Emily Gurnon and Staff Writer Bob Doran served on several of the panels.

We thank KEET and the League for hosting these important events.



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