- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 26, 2000

English immersion helps Hispanics

Your editorial "Viva 'English only'" (Aug. 23) was excellent.

As a resident of Orange County in Southern California, I thought you might like to know that 60 percent of Hispanics in this county voted for Proposition 227, a successful 1998 ballot initiative that eliminated bilingual education in California.

Statewide, more than 50 percent of Hispanics voted in favor of it, despite the fact that large Hispanic organizations that supposedly look out for Hispanics' good ranted and raved against it.

Proposition 227 has been successful here, and Hispanic students are learning proper English at an astounding rate. Under the old method, students taught bilingually from the first grade were graduating from high school barely able to speak any English.

Several schools that used the loopholes to stay out of English immersion had droves of Hispanic parents insisting the schools switch over. When schools refused, parents yanked their children out and enrolled them in schools with English immersion.

A recent poll in California showed that 70 percent of minorities intend to vote in favor of the voucher proposition on November's ballot.

Again, a wonderful editorial. For the sake of Hispanic children and their families, I hope every state adopts English immersion. The biggest foe, of course, will be the teachers unions.

CAROL CANNON

Orange, Calif.

Times should apologize for 'jackpot' reference

I find it callous of The Washington Times to call a monetary recovery that a relative would receive for the death of a loved one a "jackpot" ("Retroactive move allows big awards in TWA crash," Aug. 24).

I believe the survivors would prefer the company of their deceased loved ones to the "jackpot" they received for the horrible fate of their children falling from the sky while facing certain death. As your article points out, none of the children killed on the flight was supporting anyone. No, they were just looking forward to a long, happy life.

Your paper is a prime example of why the American public needs such an organization as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) to fight for fair treatment.

Fortunately, in this case, they were not alone. Sens. Arlen Specter and John McCain, both Republicans, saw the need for the bill that you find so heinous.

You owe all those people who had family killed in this tragedy an apology.

TERRY TAYLOR

Austin, Texas

Potomac Exchange festivities not as Times portrayed

In response to James Morrison's Embassy Row column for Aug. 9, I would like to set the record straight.

The Potomac Exchange took more than 135 foreign ambassadors and their wives to Philadelphia on Aug. 3 for a day of special activities focusing on this fall's election. The program was planned to give our foreign guests both a historical perspective and a modern-day, firsthand look at how we elect our president. The diplomats traveled on a special seven-car train to observe the Republican Party's nomination process. Because there was no government money, it was paid for by the Shell Oil Co., Federal Express Corp., Riggs Bank N.A., Coca-Cola Co., General Electric Co., Patton Boggs LLP, Trammell Crow Co., Design Cuisine, Moving Water Industries Inc., Chevron Cos. and Enron Corp. Every sponsor was allowed to have four persons on the train.

The article claims there were only 20 credentials for diplomats to get into the convention hall. The facts are different. With help from the Republican National Committee, at the beginning we had 80 passes available on a rotating basis. This number later was increased to 300 passes so that our guests could see and hear Gov. George W. Bush's acceptance speech.

As the Union League Club will confirm, there is a discrepancy between your critical attack and our effort. Only 35 to 50 representatives were present. No pork products were served to our honored guests; they had the choice of filet mignon or grilled lemon-grass salmon. The waiters made these choices available in a very polite and professional way. Plans had been made to accommodate all religious dietary prohibitions.

All diplomats were taken to Independence Park for an organized historical tour. Anyone who missed the bell was not on our tour.

After dinner, our honored guests were escorted by bus and by police escort to the Victory Pavilion at the First Union Center. Gov. Tom Ridge, Pennsylvania Republican, had a special area for VIPs, where credentials for the hall were distributed. Your reference to a platter and a cheese sculpture of Lincoln is inexplicable because there were no platters of cheese at our function. That only could have been the case at a different function.

I hope The Washington Times will correct these unfortunate critical remarks, because the purpose of our effort and hard work was only to do something positive.

LEO G.B. WELT

Executive director

The Potomac Exchange

Washington

Clinton legacy is Gore presidency

Ever since President Clinton was re-elected in 1996, we have heard that he is preoccupied with his legacy. In the past few months, this seems to have become a fixation for Mr. Clinton.

As time runs out on the Clinton presidency, we will see more and more about his legacy on television and in the print media.

So what will the Clinton legacy be? Welfare reform? Prescription drug coverage for seniors? Peace in the Middle East? The definition of the word "is"?

Actually, it will be none of the above. Mr. Clinton's legacy, if he has one, will be Al Gore in the White House and a Democratic Congress. That is what the next couple of months will be about. Don't believe any of the pious rhetoric you hear to the contrary.

If Mr. Clinton gets Mr. Gore in the White House and gets a Democratic Congress, his place in history will be secure. He won't have to worry about any legal issues, and he won't have to concern himself with his image in history. He will be able to relax and enjoy life, knowing that Social Security will not be privatized, there will be no vouchers for elementary and secondary schools, and medical savings accounts will be in the ash bin of history.

In short, the welfare state will be preserved. That is what Mr. Clinton has represented. He has vetoed every constructive measure except welfare reform passed by Congress during his tenure. He would have vetoed that, too, if not for his political consultant Dick Morris, who told him he would lose the 1996 election if he did. Mr. Clinton signed the bill, and today there are 4 million fewer welfare recipients.

You will hear that Mr. Clinton wants this or that bill or this or that settlement as part of his legacy. In truth, he only wants these things if they help elect Mr. Gore and a Democratic Congress. Only a President Gore and a Democratic Congress ensure a Clinton legacy.

If George W. Bush is in the White House, he might appoint Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore to be attorney general. Mr. Gilmore is someone who could go after the terrible corruption in the Clinton years. Then there would be no Clinton legacy. If Mr. Gore is elected but Republicans continue to control Congress, they will push proposals such as medical savings accounts, vouchers and privatization of Social Security. Mr. Gore just might compromise with some of them. Then there would go the Clinton legacy. A Republican-controlled Congress just might regain some nerve and use its investigative powers to go after Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore.

No, the Clinton legacy is only safe with Mr. Gore on Pennsylvania Avenue and Democrats occupying leadership positions in both houses of Congress. That is what the endgame will be about as Congress returns to Washington.

PAUL M. WEYRICH

President

Free Congress Foundation

Washington

Gore debate coach ties

Janet H. Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, informed C-SPAN viewers on Thursday that Robert Barnett assists Vice President Al Gore in preparing for his public debates. She assumed Mr. Barnett would be repeating the task for the upcoming presidential debates.

And who is Mr. Barnett? He is the husband of CBS reporter Rita Braver and a lawyer with Williams & Connolly, President Clinton's personal law firm. Mr. Barnett and Miss Braver have been frequent guests at Clinton White House functions.

I know I heard Mr. Gore say he would be his own man. I don't know anyone who believes him.

LINDA O. ANDERSON

Kennesaw, Ga.



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