Barbara Boxer

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Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer is a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing California. She was elected to her position in 1992, originally, and has been serving as the Chief Deputy Whip since 2005. She was a member of the United States House of Representatives for ten years and on Marin County Board of Supervisors for six years before her Senate career.

"...Boxer met her husband of 48 years, Stewart Boxer, at Brooklyn College. The couple moved to California in 1965 to raise their two children, Doug and Nicole." They have four grandchildren—Zachary, Zain, Sawyer and Reyna.[1]

Political career

Barbara Boxer became a United States Senator in January 1993 after 10 years of service in the House of Representatives and six years on the Marin County Board of Supervisors. In November 2010, she was reelected to her fourth term in the Senate.[2]

Barbara Boxer, was first elected to the House in 1982 and the Senate in 1992, and is now chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. She grew up in Brooklyn, before moving with her husband to San Francisco in 1965 and then to Marin County in 1968. In 1972 Boxer ran for the Board of Supervisors and lost to an incumbent Republican. During the 1970s, she worked as a journalist for the Pacific Sun and as an aide to U.S. Representative John Burton. In 1976, when women candidates were more accepted, she ran again for the board and won. When Burton retired unexpectedly in 1982, she ran for the House and was easily elected.[3]


A national leader on environmental protection, Senator Boxer is the first woman to chair the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW). She is a powerful advocate for clean air and water and has been leading efforts in the Senate to craft a 21st century transportation policy for the United States.

Senator Boxer also chairs the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, making her the only sitting Senator to chair two Senate committees. She is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she chairs the first subcommittee ever to focus on global women’s issues.

Senator Boxer is also a member of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, serving as the Chief Deputy Whip since 2005.

As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, she secured passage of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorized $1.3 billion for 54 flood control, ecosystem restoration and navigation projects in California. The bill had languished for six years until she led the fight to pass it and override a veto by President George W. Bush.

In 2010, Senator Boxer led the bipartisan effort in the Senate to extend the Highway Trust Fund, which helped protect 1 million jobs in transportation nationwide.

In 2010, she wrote a measure to end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street by ensuring that financial firms – not taxpayers – will pay all the costs of liquidating failing Wall Street firms. She also co-wrote legislation to increase lending to small businesses through community banks. [4]

Voted against support for "Contras"

The Congressional Record of February 3, 1988 shows that the following leading Democratic Party Congressmen voted against aid to the Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters - the "Contras"- then fighting against the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government of Nicaragua:

"Congressional Pink Caucus"

In October 1989 the Nicaraguan Sandinista Government announced that they would no longer comply with the 19 month-old cease-fire agreement with the Contras. This had been considered a prime step forward for the "peace process" that was progressing slowly as part of the Arias Peace Plan.

A resolution was introduced in Congress deploring the Sandinistas' action. The Senate voted unanimously in favor, but in the House the vote was 379-29. All the 29 Congressmen voting against the resolution were Democrats.

The Council for Inter-American Security dubbed these 29 people the "Congressional Pink Caucus":

Anti Clarence Thomas delegation

In October 1991 Patricia Schroeder led a delegation of fellow congresswomen, including Louise Slaughter, Barbara Boxer, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Nita Lowey, Patsy Mink and Jolene Unsoeld to the Senate to urge a delay of the vote on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the supreme court.[5]

Succeeded Alan Cranston

When far left Democratic California Senator Alan Cranston retired in 1992, Boxer sought his seat. In the November general election, she defeated Bruce Herschensohn, a Republican whose candidacy unraveled in the final weeks of the race after reports surfaced that he had visited a nude bar.[6]

DSA support


California Democratic Socialists of America discussed its role in the Barbara Boxer Senate campaign, at an August 2 1992 meeting, in the Student Union, Stanford University, Palo Alto.

Borosage on Board

Institute for Policy Studies leader Robert Borosage has served as an issues adviser to several progressive political campaigns, including those of Senators Carol Moseley Braun, Barbara Boxer and Paul Wellstone. In 1988, he was Senior Issues Advisor to the presidential campaign of Reverend Jesse Jackson.[7]

Eulogy to Communist Carlton Goodlet


On February 1997, Barbara Boxer read a tribute to leading Bay Area Communist Party USA member, and Soviet front activist Carlton Goodlett into the Senate Record.

Mr. President, I rise today to celebrate the life of Dr. Carlton Goodlett. Dr. Goodlett recently passed from this life, leaving it richer and more decent for his presence. The challenge of his voice, conscience, and healing hand is the legacy of a singular man.
To say that Carlton Goodlett was multitalented is to understate his genuinely remarkable energy and versatility. He was a medical doctor, held a doctorate in psychology and published a newspaper for nearly 50 years. He was local president of the NAACP and worked side by side with many of the giants of the civil rights era. Born in a time and place where discrimination and violence were commonplace, he remained passionately concerned about peace and equality throughout his entire life.

Although his contributions reasonate most clearly in San Francisco's African-American neighborhoods, Dr. Goodlett's example and spirit were in inspiration to many young Americans, irrespective of race. When he acted or spoke, his message was meant for anyone with an open heart and mind. He embraced people with great warmth and ideas with great facility. He was a leader in the truest sense.
At the Sun-Reporter, he nurtured numerous fledgling writers, giving them the opportunity to develop their professional talents while simultaneously providing readers with invaluable insight into a vibrant community at play, at work, in worship, and in struggle. As a physician, he helped guide young men and women into medicine. As a civil rights leader and advocate for peace, he appealed to conscience of leaders and citizens alike.
Dr. Goodlett considered life and community to be sacred. Though his time has come and gone, his message of hope and fairness endures. For all he did for others, he will forever be treasured and missed.

Endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa

In 2001, Senator Barbara Boxer, Governor Gray Davis, and retiring mayor Richard Riordan all endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa's bid for the Los Angeles mayoralty.[8]

Trip to Cuba

From April 19 - April 22, 2002, Boxer and her husband, Stewart Boxer visited Cuba to discuss "California trade". The trip was paid for by the United for Peace and Justice-affiliated Center for International Policy, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.[9]

Also along for the trip were Mickey Hart, drummer for the Grateful Dead; British actress Julia Ormond, and Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation. At the time, Boxer was serving on the Foreign Relations Committee.[10]

Opposed the Iraq War

The following is a list of the 23 U.S. Senators voting "Nay" on the Iraq War resolution in October 2002. The vote was 77-23 in favor of the resolution.

Daniel Akaka (D - Hawaii), Jeff Bingaman (D - N.M.), Barbara Boxer (D - Calif.), Robert Byrd (D - W. Va.), Lincoln Chafee (R - R.I.), Kent Conrad (D - N.D.), Jon Corzine (D - N.J.), Mark Dayton (D - Minn.), Dick Durbin (D - Ill.), Russ Feingold (D - Wis.), Bob Graham (D - Fla.) [Retired, 2004], Daniel Inouye (D - Hawaii), Jim Jeffords (I - Vt.), Ted Kennedy (D - Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D - Vt.), Carl Levin (D - Mich.), Barbara Mikulski (D - Md.), Patty Murray (D - Wash.), Jack Reed (D - R.I.), Paul Sarbanes (D - Md.), Debbie Stabenow (D - Mich.), Paul Wellstone (D - Minn.) [Dec. 2002] and Ron Wyden (D - Ore.).

Assisting CODEPINK's "Fallujah Aid"

Diplomatic courtesy letter from Rep. Henry Waxman to Daniel Goodspeed, Consul General, U.S. Embassy in Aman, Jordan. Dec. 14, 2004. (click to enlarge)

In December 2004, US Senators Barbara Boxer of California, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Congressmen Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Henry Waxman of California provided diplomatic courtesy letters to a contingent of anti-war groups and individuals desiring to Fallujah, Iraq. Among those travelling in the contingent were: Rosa Suarez del Solar and her husband Fernando Suarez del Solar; Jeffrey Ritterman, Physicians for Social Responsibility; Jodie Evans, co-founder of CodePink: Women for Peace; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and CodePink; Hany Khalil, national organizer, United for Peace and Justice. The organizations sponsoring the tour were CodePink, Project Guerrero Azteca for Peace, Global Exchange, the Middle East Children's Alliance, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, and Voices in the Wilderness.[11]

Fernando Suarez del Solar stated that had it not been for the help of the two congressmen, the tour would have not seen the light due to obstacles laid by the Pentagon. The contingent traveled from December 27, 2004 through January 8, 2005.

The contingent delivered $100,000 in cash and and $500,000 in humanitarian aid. At the time the diplomatic courtesy letters were issued, Medea Benjamin had stated that the aid was intended for families of the “other side” in Fallujah.[12]

Woolsey/Sheinbaum fund raiser

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the first Member of Congress to call on the President to bring our troops home, was be in Los Angeles on Saturday February 4th 2006, for a 'very exciting but critical fundraiser against the most well-known, well-financed challenger she's ever faced". woolsey was facing a primary challenge from a termed-out Assemblyman Joe Nation, a moderate Democrat who has been critical of her stand on the war and on bringing home our troops. He is raising money from people who have given money to Tom DeLay and Bush-Cheney and his legislative district covers 60+% of Congresswoman Woolsey's district. Congresswoman Woolsey is a "champion of equal rights, civil liberties, protecting the environment and fighting for single payer healthcare. Congresswoman Woolsey must be re-elected by the same victory margin she has had in the past to send a message to progressives everywhere that's it IS OK to be courageous, and to not back down on issues that matter."

The Host Committee for this fundraiser includes:

Ben Affleck; Ed Asner; Warren Beatty; Jodie Evans; James Cromwell; Matt Damon; Tom Hayden; Wendy Herzog; Mimi Kennedy; Norman Lear; Stephen Rohde; Susie Shannon; Stanley Sheinbaum & Betty Sheinbaum; Lorraine Sheinberg; Kathy Spillar; Gloria A. Totten; Peg Yorkin; Senator Barbara Boxer; Congressman Joe Baca; Congressman Xavier Becerra; Congresswoman Lois Capps; Congresswoman Jane Harman; Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald; Congresswoman Grace Napolitano; Congresswoman; Lucille Roybal-Allard; Congresswoman Linda Sanchez; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; Congressman Adam Schiff; Congresswoman Hilda Solis; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Congresswoman Diane Watson; Senator Sheila Kuehl and Assemblywoman Karen Bass.

The fundraiser was at the Stanley & Betty Sheinbaum residence in Brentwood. Both Sheinbaums have been members of Democratic Socialists of America.[13]

Take Back America Conferences

Roger Wilkins, Barbara Boxer, Take Back America!

Barbara Boxer was on the list of 237 speakers at the 2007 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[14]

IPS inspired Attack ad

In California’s heated Senate race, both incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina used Executive Excess reports to attack one another. The Institute for Policy Studies has published these annual reports on CEO pay for 17 years.

Friends of Barbara Boxer cited IPS's Executive Excess 2003 report in attack ad on Fiorina

As the advertisement pointed out, Fiorina laid off 25,700 workers in 2001, and then saw her pay jump 231 percent, from $1.2 million in 2001 to $4.1 million in 2002. Whereas previous HP heads had strived to avoid layoffs, IPS pay analyst Sarah Anderson described Fiorina as “like the Annie Oakley of the corporate world, coming in with her guns blazing.” [15]

Soros funding

By 2008, Barack Obama was one of only a handful of candidates to get a personal contribution from George Soros. The others include Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.[16]

Burton inspired "Rage for Justice" award

John Burton, Barbara Boxer

Consumer Watchdog hosts the annual Rage for Justice Awards to honor the heroes and heroines of the public interest movement. The awards are named after Congressman Phillip Burton, one of the "most productive and driven progressive legislators in American history. His story is told in John Jacobs’ acclaimed book A Rage for Justice."

The 2008 Award went to US Senator Barbara Boxer. She was introduced by Phillip Buton's equally radical brother John Burton.[17]

"Progressive hero"

Democracy for America endorsed Boxer's Senate bid, and they also gave her the coveted honor of “Progressive Hero of 2010.” [18]

Fair Elections Now Act

In 2010 Senator Maria Cantwell signed on as a Senate co-sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA), S.752 - joining Senator Dick Durbin (original sponsor) and other Senate colleagues for a total of nine.

In the Senate, others were Sens. Barbara Boxer, Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, and Arlen Specter. [19]

Fred Ross award campaign

In early 2013, mainly Democratic Socialists of America aligned activists, together with many elected officials across the United States came together to urge President Barack Obama to award posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr.. The Saul Alinsky trained radical was the first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSAer Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member, "Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong two decades after his death in 1992".

Congressional endorsers of the proposal included Barbara Boxer.[20]


  • Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee
  • Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
  • Foreign Relations Committee.
  • Chairman of the Select Committee on Ethics[21]


Planned Parenthood

Boxer received $9918 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.

EMILY's List

Boxer was supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

Health Care bill

After months of assurances that the health care bill passed in the Senate would not use taxpayer funds for abortions, Boxer stated the opposite. Following her decision to agree to the Nelson compromise on the bill's abortion language, groups like the National Organization for Women, the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and the National Institute for Reproductive Health issued criticism of the senator. "National Institute for Reproductive Health president Kelli Conlin said the Senate bill 'has sold out women' and described its as 'unconscionable.'”

Boxer told McClatchy News Service: not to worry. McClatchy reported Boxer, “said it’s only an ‘accounting procedure’ that will do nothing to restrict [abortion] coverage.”[22]

Record on Veteran/Military Issues

In Congress during the Cold War, Boxer consistently worked to cut military funding for projects such as the Patriot missile and stealth aircraft, and supported a Congressional Black Caucus recommendation to cut the defense budget in half. In 1991, she sponsored a House resolution demanding prior Congressional approval of all covert US actions overseas - a measure that would have crippled anti-terrorist efforts. This proposal was defeated unanimously.

On March 24, 2010, Boxer voted against S.Amdt. 3644 to H.R. 4872 (Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) S.Amdt. 3644 had the stated purpose: "To protect access for America's wounded warriors", and would have exempted veterans from a new tax on medical devices, including prosthetics such as artificial limbs.[23]


21st Century Democrats

21st Century Democrats is a political organization that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years. Founded in 1986 by Senator Tom Harkin, Texas Agriculture Secretary Jim Hightower, and Congressman Lane Evans, 21st Century Democrats has helped elect progressive politicians such as U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. Its three main goals are to help elect progressive candidates, train young people about grassroots organizing, and lastly, to continue to support our elected officials after Election Day "through our comprehensive progressive network".

The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to build a "farm team" of progressive populists who will be the future leaders of the Democratic Party.[24]

The organization supported Boxer in 2010, and in 1998.

Council for a Livable World


The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council is supporting Barbara Boxer in her 2010 election campaign.[25] Previous to this, the Council had also supported Boxer in her Senate and House of Representatives campaigns.[26]

While endorsing her in 2010, the Council said this about Boxer;

Council for a Livable World has had a long and close relationship with Senator Barbara Boxer. First elected in 1992 with only 48 percent of the vote, she has been one of the Senate’s most steadfast leaders on progressive issues for almost 20 years. Boxer will continue to be a staunch ally of the Council...
She was motivated to enter politics by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, as well as her opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1976, she was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Boxer’s intense grassroots activism enabled her to win an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. In that campaign, she emphasized arms control and during her decade in the House, she helped lead the fight for a nuclear freeze and an end to underground nuclear testing.
Senator Boxer, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has significant experience and expertise on other military and foreign policy, always trying to control national security spending. She discovered the Pentagon’s notorious $7,622 coffee maker and was successful in more than a dozen Pentagon procurement reforms. She became a leading member of the Armed Services Committee.
From the outset of the war in Iraq, Senator Boxer has been a vocal opponent and critic of the use of force there. She cast her vote against the war in 2002, repeatedly criticized the Bush Administration’s go-it-alone strategy, and supported numerous efforts in Congress to force a redeployment of American troops out of Iraq. She authored amendments in the Senate to end the no-bid contracts given to Halliburton and to require the Pentagon to regularly report on the cost of military operations in Iraq.

She has been an ardent supporter of nuclear arms control treaties, and voted for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1999. In the most recent Council for a Livable World voting records, she received a 90%, a 91% and a 100%, with two absences producing the only negatives. Senator Boxer has consistently opposed high national missile defense budgets and new nuclear weapons and was one of the few Senators to vote against the U.S.-India nuclear deal, arguing at the time: “The Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty is the keystone of our efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons throughout the world.”[27]

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Barbara Boxer has been endorsed by the Political Action Committee of Veterans of Foreign Wars.[28]

On October 10, 2010, she formally opened a veterans' center at Pasadena City College "and was later brought to tears by a forceful defense of her record by Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii." Inouye himself broke into tears and said "America needs Barbara." Boxer said following the opening, "I'm so excited to have the VFW endorsement. I couldn't be more thrilled."[29]


CODEPINK: Women for Peace is a strong supporter of Barbara Boxer, citing her as "our beloved Barbara Boxer" in a 2005 action alert.[30] Boxer has worked with the group and supported its goals on many occasions. In early 2005, Boxer was the only member of the Senate to oppose certifying the Electoral College result that returned George Bush to office for a second term. Code Pink hosted rallies and participated in various demonstrations and marches to "defend democracy" against the results of the 2004 elections.

On January 7, 2005, CODEPINK thanked Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Senator Barbara Boxer for their role in objecting to certifying the Electoral College votes. They write, "We ended the day at the office of Senator Boxer, singing her songs of thanks for stepping forward."[31]


Countrywide Financial

Senator Barbara Boxer is Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. Boxer presided over a year-long investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee into whether two of her Senate colleagues, Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), received preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial as part of the company’s "VIP" program. (Senate ethics rules prohibit members from receiving loan terms not available to the general public.) In fact, according to The Associated Press, during an Ethics Committee hearing Boxer asked "the bulk of the questions."

However, Boxer failed to mention (or disclose on her official Senate Financial Disclosure documents) that she and her husband have signed no less than seven mortgages with Countrywide. At the time of the hearing, Boxer reportedly indicated she had paid off two Countrywide mortgages, but did not mention the others.

The evidence clearly showed that Dodd and Conrad knew they were receiving preferential treatment despite repeated denials. Yet Boxer's Senate Ethics Committee allowed Dodd and Conrad to wriggle off the hook with a light admonition that suggested the two Senators should have exercised better judgment. The same, apparently, can be said of the Committee’s own chair, who either neglected to mention or outright lied about her own dealings with the corrupt mortgage company.[32]

Staff Members

The following have worked as staff members for Barbara Boxer:[33]

External links


  1. About Boxer
  2. official Senate bio. Accessed August 2, 2011
  3. NY Times, Barbara Boxer Updated: Nov. 2, 2010
  4. official Senate bio. Accessed August 2, 2011
  5. PWW October 12, 1991 page 1
  7. Apollo Alliance board bios, accessed November 18, 2010
  8. PWW May 19, 2001, page 2
  9. Legistorm: Barbara Boxer: Trips (accessed on Oct. 13, 2010)
  10. [, CubaNews, Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator, Travels to Cuba, Sat Apr 20, 2002]
  11. Google cache of Bereaved US Families Share Iraqis Agonies of War by Adam Wild Aba, Jan. 4, 2005. (accessed on Oct. 18, 2010), originally located here, and deleted in early October, 2010
  12. Big Peace: Rep. Waxman Spokeswoman: ‘We Do Not Know’ If We Aided Fallujah Terrorists with Code Pink Letter, Oct. 16, 2010 (accessed on Oct. 18, 2010)
  13. LA Event Featuring Warren Beatty, Matt Damon for Lynn Woolsey 2/4/06 January 31, 2006 3:45 PM
  14. Our Future website: Take Back America 2003 Speakers (accessed on June 17, 2010)
  15. IPS website, Both California Senate Candidates Use IPS Reports to Slam Each Other, September 21, 2010 · By Kevin Shih
  16. Unlike Kerry, Barack Obama Covets George Soros' Support, By Robert B. Bluey, July 7, 2008, Boston (
  17. Consumer Watchdog, Phillip Burton Public Service Award, accessed April 12, 2013
  18. AlterNet / By Stephen Zunes, Barbara Boxer Gets Progressive Support Despite Checkered Record on Human Rights, International Law, October 18, 2010
  19. WashBlog, Free Speech for People moves forward in Washington State, By chadlupkes, Thu Feb 04, 2010
  20. Momentum Builds for Honoring Legendary Organizer Fred Ross, by Randy Shaw, 2013-03-05
  21. Committees
  22. Catholic News Service, Boxer on abortion coverage
  23. U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 2nd Session, March 24, 2010 (accessed on Oct. 13, 2010)
  24. 21st Century Democrats FaceBook page, accessed Dec. 21, 2010
  25. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  26. CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
  27. CLW website, Senator Barbara Boxer, accessed May 2013
  28. VFW PAC website: 2010 Endorsements, updated Sept. 24, 2010 (accessed on Oct. 13, 2010)
  29. Los Angeles Times: Boxer highlights endorsement by VFW PAC, Oct. 10, 2010 (accessed on Oct. 13, 2010)
  30. CODEPINK: Let us Celebrate 2 MAJOR Victories!, 2005 (accessed on Oct. 13, 2010)
  31. CODEPINK: Send thanks to Jones and Boxer, Jan. 7, 2005 (accessed on Oct. 13, 2010)
  32. Judicial Watch: Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2010, Dec. 2010 (accessed on Dec. 22, 2010)
  33. Legistorm: Barbara Boxer (accessed on Oct. 13, 2010)