Thomas' FailureEditor: Garland Thompson's column in The...


August 20, 1991

Thomas' Failure

Editor: Garland Thompson's column in The Sun for Aug. 3, concerning the debate on the Clarence Thomas nomination to the Supreme Court, quotes figures that reveal an unsurprising fact: Judge Thomas, while heading the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was another fox in a chicken coop. The Reagan administration specialized in placing foxes who would fail to enforce regulations they didn't like, or who would actively damage the agencies they had sworn to serve.

There are several reasons for not confirming the appointment of Judge Thomas, but the decline in EEOC help to gain minority access to employment during his tenure disqualifies him for greater responsibilities.

Carleton W. Brown.


Basketball Thrust

Editor: In its Aug. 10 editorial, "Federal Bureau of Basketball," The Sun in one stroke seems to criticize the role of the Congress in collegiate athletic reform, while making the case for the need ,, for outside intervention.

I am grateful that the paper considers as "good ideas" my proposals for a board of college presidents to run the NCAA and a more equitable distribution of athletic revenue. Where the editorial fails is in recognizing that these ideas, and others like it, will never be adopted by the NCAA by itself.

Throughout this century, collegiate athletic reform has consistently been a result of outside pressure. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to abolish college football because of 18 deaths in the sport. The result was a new set of rules and the establishment of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In 1972, the Congress mandated that colleges spend equal amounts on men's and women's athletics, a goal still unmet today. And in 1990, the NCAA required its members to report graduation rates of student athletes, after initially opposing the concept, and only when it was clear the Congress would mandate the reporting, which it eventually did.

I am a product of America's athletic system and fully recognize that there is far more good than bad in it. However, as television revenues have increasingly dictated everything from length of a season to the classroom schedule of student athletes, some institutions have lost sight of their educational mission. If America is to remain competitive in the world market place, we must ensure that the integrity of our education system remains intact and college sports no longer are a blemish on our campuses.

Tom McMillen.



The writer represents Maryland's 4th District in Congress.

'RHP' Hoopla

Editor: Why all this hoopla over the use of an Annapolis ambulance by the governor's office? I am surprised that one of the state's medevac helicopters was not pressed into service. ,, As they say in the military, ''RHP''(rank has its privileges).

J. Bernard Hihn.



Editor: I thought Mary Eckhardt's letter on ''Mikulski's Money'' was right on the money in terms of one of the basic things wrong with Congress. Her point that 35 percent of Sen. Barbara Mikulski's million dollar campaign fund comes from other states illustrates how we've allowed money to undermine our political institutions.

How can this be called a representative democracy under such circumstances?

Moreover I cannot agree with Tammy Nevaker's subsequent letter defending the practice simply on the basis that Ms. Mikulski is a woman and as such represents not only Maryland women but ultimately women in other states and territories. That's not what the Constitution says.

I don't believe that's the job Senator Mikulski was elected to do and I certainly hope she doesn't see it that way. If the Constitution called for representation from every special interest group in the country rather than from the various states, we'd have more senators than voters.

I disagree with the implication that only a woman can adequately address women's issues or that the progress of women should be the chief concern of a United States senator.

The problem is that just such power blocs, backed by big money, have effectively undermined the constitutionally mandated representative form of government. Is it any wonder that elected leaders often appear incapable of making tough decisions when they are paralyzed by so many conflicting loyalties?

In my opinion, it would be very healthy to have an absolute standard cap on campaign spending and require that all funds be raised within the candidate's intended constituency. A senator should be beholden only to the citizens of the state he or she represents, who, by the way, are not all women.

John D. Schiavone.


Bikers' Helmets

Editor: I fail to see how Steven P Strohmier (letter, Aug. 4) can interpret the inclusion of a simple fact concerning helmet use as '' biased anti-motorcycle reporting.''

To state that a motorcyclist failed to wear protective headgear implies nothing about breaking any laws. It merely suggests that the rider is lacking in common sense and feelings of self-preservation.

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