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“At the end,” the columnist says of Mr. Reagan, “as he walked me to the door of the Oval Office, he leaned toward me, lowering his voice in a kind of conspiratorial way, and said, ‘You know, just between us, one of the hardest things in a government this size — no matter what our people way on top are trying to do — is to know that down there, underneath, is that permanent structure that is resisting everything you’re doing.’ ”

Go figure

Federal Election Commission member Hans A. von Spakovsky was testifying before Congress last week and trying to help an inquisitive, if not confused, lawmaker make sense of some behind-the-scenes legal maneuvering in a particularly puzzling case.

Mr. von Spakovsky replied that it reminded him of what an old law professor once told him: “You get four lawyers in a room, you get six opinions.”

Prior to his January 2006 appointment, Mr. von Spakovsky served as counsel to the assistant attorney general for Civil Rights, where he provided expertise and advice on voting and election issues.

{bullet} John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes .com.