Barbara Boxer and Hamilton Air Force Base

Hamilton in 1948, predated the Novato NIMBYs.
Hamilton Air Force Base was built in 1932, 8 years BEFORE Barbara Boxer was even born!  Boxer's long 34 year political career began in 1976 as a Marin County Supervisor. As you will learn, she has been wasting our tax dollars from day one.

"For two years Barbara Boxer was the lone voice on the Marin Board of Supervisors...against a proposal to acquire Hamilton Air Force Base for use as an airport..."
-San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 4, 1979.

On May 15, 1979 supervisors Barbara Boxer, Gail Wilhelm, and Denis Rice voted to withdraw the county's application to the federal government for an airport. 

"Hamilton Left Hanging on a Cliff"
"....the 3-2 vote to with draw the county's application to buy the base from Uncle Sam for the sum of $1 has opened Pandora's Box wide."
"....regional transportation studies have stressed the need for an alternate air terminal north of the Golden Gate to relieve growth pressure on the three international airports clustered around the South Bay."
-Marin Independent Journal, May 18, 1979.
Hamilton in 1973, the year before closure with very few neighbors!

".....there is a regional impact to all this. If you don't have a North Bay Airport somewhere, there'll have to be bay fill later on elsewhere to get more runway capacity." 
-Michael Wilmar, acting executive director, Bay Conservation Development Commission. --San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 4, 1979.

During the Depression, Marin County residents begged the government to build Hamilton so that jobs would be created. A few decades later, there were myopic people like Boxer who did not care about the economic potential of Hamilton. While she bashes her opponent for job outsourcing, one must ask,  How many jobs did Boxer PREVENT from being created at Hamilton? Every job created at Hamilton would have meant one less person clogging the Golden Gate Bridge to go to work.

The area surrounding Hamilton compared to a typical airport in the Bay Area, has an incredibly large area free of homes. Besides, water to the east, there is very little development east of Highway 101. The area surrounding Hamilton has a much lower density than that of the airports in Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco.

Quotes from Barbara Boxer:
"We have a very hard fight ahead because there are a lot of forces that want to see in this county and throughout the country that want to see that place become a regional airport for a whole lot of reasons."
-San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 4, 1979. 

"The intent and thrust of the Federal Airport Act is to open up to the public former federal airports. After all, the airport was paid for by federal taxpayers."  
"....under the airport act, the county can get Hamilton Air Force Base for one dollar, the reality is that it puts the county at economic risk."
-Marin Independent Journal, October 13, 1977

"Rep. Barbara Boxer has moved to block a federal grant for a study of Hamilton Air Force Base...."
"  'We have a 200 billion dollar deficit and to spend $175,000 to a study is frivolous'.... Boxer said today from her office in Washington."
 "Dennis McQuaid, Novato Councilman, called Boxer's move 'ridiculous', and said the study is needed to develop information so that people can be better informed for the election."
"She is choosing to support her political friends who are anti-aviation rather than support the majority of the council."
-Marin Independent Journal, May 02, 1984.
Barbara Boxer only cares about economic risk and deficits to the government when she personally opposes a project. 

Her concern for Marin County's financial health is disingenuous since a private firm was willing to assume the risks for Hamilton.  
"The Taubman Company of Michigan had offered to develop the base for and pick up airport losses, but the county turned them down."
"Federal consultants found merit in the county airport plans, saying development 'appears financially feasible on the basis of available information' "

-Marin Independent Journal, November 4, 1979. 

-Boxer's reaction that the GSA would sell the property at Hamilton and flood 3000 feet of the existing runway.
"A spectacular day for Marin County, Little Marin County stood up with the best of them...I'm just ecstatic."

Little Marin County has created a BIG PROBLEM for the rest of the Bay Area thanks to Boxer.
"Walter Abernathy, executive director of the Port of Oakland, said: 'The decision is unfortunate from the standpoint of aviation safety and air safety in the Bay Area.' "
 -Marin Independent Journal. June 26, 1980.

"Global warming is the greatest environmental threat faced by mankind." 
-August 14, 2007 press release
So lets force North Bay travelers to drive extra miles to outlying airports in San Francisco and Oakland! Great Idea! 
What an environmentalist she is! 

Barbara Boxer on the proposal to convert El Toro into a civilian airport: 
"Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) ….asked the Defense Department to delay sending a $1-million grant to (Orange) county to study the future use of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.
"In this difficult time of fiscal restraints, we should wait until after the election and not risk wasting taxpayer funds."

-Los Angeles Times. November 17, 1995.
That rare concern for the taxpayer from her surfaces once again. Orange County had already voted FOR the airport in November 1994. Despite her wishes to the contrary, they voted for El Toro AGAIN in March 1996!

"I believe that the county should fully and fairly explore non-aviation alternatives for El Toro.  I have urged the Navy to consider the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority's (ETRPA) mixed-use plan as an alternative option to the airport.
I hope you will be happy to know that I have written to Navy Secretary John Dalton to express these and other concerns."  

-October 21, 1998 email.
Boxer believes airports should not be in areas full of open space like Hamilton and El Toro. Instead, it is better to expand airports in dense inner cities like LAX and Oakland. What an advocate for environmental justice she is!

Finally, an airport that Boxer actually supports.
“Building a new air traffic control tower at the Palm Springs International Airport is a critical project that will create 150 new jobs, generating much-needed economic activity in the Coachella Valley. When completed, the new tower will allow for better management of congestion and will help ensure the safety of airline passengers.” 
-March 31, 2010 press release.
Where was concern about creating jobs and generating economic activity for Marin County when she lived there? What about addressing congestion and safety for Bay Area airports? Now this new found foresight to improve Palm Springs Airport would have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Boxer now resides in nearby Rancho Mirage, and must use the airport to fly to Washington D.C.  Impossible!

Millions of dollars worth of taxpayer financed aviation facilities that would be turned into suburban sprawl and a swamp.

Hands down, general aviation re-use generates the most sales tax!
Marin County forfeited the opportunity to have control of the property for ONE DOLLAR and utilize it in the most economically beneficial way that would maximize employment and the local sales tax base. Eventually the General Services Administration SOLD the property to a developer. Today Hamilton is crammed with high density housing, and the $220 million plus taxpayer Boxer Swamp.
Loma Prieta Earthquake Damage.

Marin County Coastal Post. October 30, 1989.
If Barbara Boxer had her way, the runways would have been flooded before 1989, and Marin County would not have been able to assist victims of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. What will Marin County ever do should the big one hit there and they need to have relief supplies flown in?

All Marin County has left today is Gnoss Airport with a small 3300 foot runway. Ironically, there is a good chance the runway will be extended by another 1100 feet to make it a grand total of 4400 feet overall. This will likely require federal assistance from the FAA, where Boxer will hold a press conference touting how much she is "helping" the local aviation community.

Novato NIMBY Nabobs Not Nice to Navy.

"Hamilton Interests Navy for Housing."
...."Rep. Barbara Boxer, D-Greenbrae said she is worried that if the Berg-Revoir (development) plan collapses, the federal government will use the site for (Navy) housing. Such a development would be subject to few, if any local planning rules."

-Marin Independent Journal. December 07, 1988.  

Isn't Barbara Boxer supposed to be an advocate for working class people and low-income minorities? Not if they are military personnel who need access to affordable housing in the Bay Area.  If Boxer had her way, Little Novato in Little Marin County would trump the needs of the Navy. Eventually the Navy was able to acquire some housing at Hamilton, despite Boxer's "patriotism". 
Besides denying North Bay pilots a safe state of the art facility, and attempting to deny housing for the troops,  Barbara Boxer has also grossly inconvenienced North Bay air travelers. They represent an area consisting of Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties for a combined population of 1.3 million people; roughly equal to the city of San Diego. North Bay passengers must pay bridge tolls and use outlying airports in San Francisco or Oakland, which are both 38 miles south of Hamilton. Forget using B.A.R.T. as it does not connect with the North Bay.

In addition, the residents of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and San Mateo, Counties are inconvenienced as well due to these same North Bay travelers and job-seekers being forced to add to the local traffic congestion. Those are the impacts of not keeping the airfield at Hamilton.

For someone like Barbara Boxer who has sounded the alarm about "global warming", it would have been in her best interest to reduce the carbon footprint of Marin County and the rest of the Bay Area.

"Traffic Congestion would be worsened by any use of Hamilton, but the worst traffic would be caused by residential development, the study found"
"Air quality would suffer primarily as a result of vehicle use, again most seriously in the scenario for residential development."
-Marin Independent Journal, February 12, 1980.
Today there are several thousand residential units at Hamilton.  As long as it was anything but an airport, Boxer does not care.

- Marin United Taxpayers Newsletter

$205 Million Boxer Request for Hamilton Airfield Wetlands Restoration Approved  
Federal funding for project included in water resources bill 
April 14, 2005 
"Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today announced that Senate legislation reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) includes funding for the Hamilton Airfield Ecosystem Restoration Project.""Under Boxer’s proposal, approved today as part of WRDA, the project is authorized for a total of $205,226,000, including a federal contribution of $153,840,000 and non-federal (local and state) contributions of $51,386,000. The funding will be used to reconstruct 6.8 miles of levee and restore 1,470 acres of native vegetation."
-Barbara Boxer Press Release

2009 "Stimulus" Funds spent on Boxer Swamp: $14,250,000

Boxer Swamp is a continuous drain on your taxdollars! An earmark for more pork for FY 2011.
Besides wasting an aviation asset, Boxer also continues to spend additional tax dollars into turning the runways at Hamilton into a swamp. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the overall costs to date for Boxer Swamp are over $220 million covering 988 acres! This averages out to over $230,000 per acre! How many jobs has her Boondoggle on the Bay created?

Also, The Bay Conservation Development Commission has stated that the elimination of airport options in the North Bay could lead to increased pressure to fill the bay at Oakland International Airport. How MUCH will that cost and how MUCH environmental disruption will that cause?

Boxer Swamp in progress. Your taxdollars at work!

Boxer built the swamp. The voters are going to drain it!
This blog  is not affiliated with any political party or campaign.

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