High time to reform the FEC

Regarding "How to 'disappear' a law" (Editorial, Aug. 13): Your commentary sharply criticizing the Federal Election Commission for "disappearing" the new federal election law resonates strongly with this erstwhile candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Phil Gramm.

It was profoundly disappointing to learn that the reporting required of me by the commission for my electoral expenses of less than $10,000 was categorically as great as if my expenses were $10 million – the threshold having been set in l979 at $5,000.

Requests for interpretation of the statute by the US attorney general, and for amendment of the statute, were rebuffed. I desisted from further attempts at obviously needed reform because of open threats of reprisal.

While a higher threshold for election reports would reduce the workload and costs of electoral candidates, it would also reduce the workload and budget of FEC bureaucrats – clearly an intolerable provocation.

Yes, please keep calling for reform of the Federal Election Commission.
Lawrence Cranberg
Austin, Texas

Beware 'Blaine' amendments

As the Monitor noted in "School's out, but fight over school choice is in" (Aug. 13), one of the main impediments to school choice is the presence of "Blaine Amendments" in a number of state constitutions.

These amendments are named after an anti-Catholic legislator in the 19th century, James Blaine, who was concerned that members of Christian sects he didn't care for might gain sway in public schools. It's something members of all religions should keep in mind as they listen to forthcoming debates about ostensible First Amendment arguments against letting parents have, well, a First Amendment right to choose.
Keith Sheets
WashingtonAlexis de Tocqueville Institution

Tiger and his 'only one voice'

Regarding "Should Woods carry the black man's burden?" (Aug. 16): Tiger Woods has proven his ability at scoring birdies on the golf course, but keeps coming up empty with bogies in life. Woods might have had a bad day on the golf course, but at least he got on the golf course. The fact that women are excluded is not just "unfortunate," as Woods puts it, it is "the way it is," because of people like Woods.

He was cognizant of what he faced on his rise to fame as a minority. But he reaches the pinnacle of apathy with his remark, "I am only one person." This is just another excuse to avoid the responsibility of one person to another.
Kenneth Bonacci
Salem, Mass.

Tiger Woods should never have been asked to comment on the issue of gender discrimination at the Augusta National Golf Course, unless it had been posed to every other professional golfer who has competed there. That such a question caused a "breakdown in his game" is hardly imaginable. Woods is far too bright and dedicated to his calling to let something like that have more than a temporary effect.

Of the four tournaments that compose the "Grand Slam" of golf, the Masters is the only one confined to one location. Augusta National and adjacent cities and towns fare very well, economically, when the Masters is played. Perhaps if the PGA threatened to move the Masters to another location, and made Augusta-area businesses aware of that threat, those who control the Augusta National Golf Course might change their minds.

Tiger Woods has no control over the policies of the Augusta golf club, nor should the press have attempted to make him the spokesman for the women of America.
Lee Dimin
Albany, N.Y.

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