Ashcroft’s Electoral Skeletons
Re: “A Fox in the Electoral Henhouse?”

Micah L. Sifry is right to highlight the shortcomings of the FEC, which frequently refuses to enforce the nation’s campaign finance laws. In fact, the FEC currently refuses to enforce the laws in a matter implicating the nation’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft. During John Ashcroft’s 2000 Missouri Senate campaign, his leadership PAC donated a fundraising list to his campaign committee. The fund-raising list, with a minimum value of $100,000 and a possible value exceeding millions of dollars, grossly exceeded the maximum $10,000 contribution that the PAC could legally donate to the campaign. Moreover, neither the campaign committee nor the PAC reported the donation as required by federal law. Although an administrative complaint was filed with the FEC over one year ago, to date, the FEC has taken no action.

If the public cannot rely on the FEC to enforce the nation’s campaign finance laws, especially when the violations involve the country’s chief law enforcement officer, there is nothing that will ever reduce the influence of money in politics.

Lisa J. Danetz
National Voting Rights Institute
Boston, MA


Wistful Memories of Coral Replanting
Re: “The 300-Million-Gallon Warning”
March/April 2002

My father worked with Mel Fisher in Key West first then we moved to Key Largo around 1968-69. One day he brought home a beautiful piece of Stag Horn Coral. I still remember the smell of it as it cured in the sun. I felt sad, because I kept thinking my father killed that hard sharp tree.

I was 8 years old, but my dad said to me that yes, he had killed this piece of coral, but that he planted 6 or more in its place. And I thought to myself, “Yeah, sure, how can you plant a rock?”

He told me that when he was searching for treasure some times he would run into a lot of Fire Coral. He said that he swore that the old cuts and scars would come back to life when he was diving, and that he saw little pieces of broken coral growing again.

He experimented with planting broken pieces, and was amazed to find that they really started to regrow! I am sure he was not the pioneer of coral replanting but I had never heard of anyone else doing it until I around the late 1980’s.

Debbie Mitchell


Stepping Up for NBA Oldtimers
Re: “Pension Extension for NBA Elders?”

I want to thank Dave Davis and the editorial staff of Mother Jones for “stepping up to the line” again for my men.

Yesterday, we had the first formal Board of Directors meeting in Carlsbad, California, with some very notable persons: Ex-California State Senator Quentin L.Kopp; Ex-TV sportscaster and the first captain of the New York Knicks, Bud Palmer; Paul Martha, who spent 7 years with the Pittsburg Steelers and 2 years with the Denver Broncos; Greg Nelson, Chairman of the Board of Breg Inc; and Lucie Zeeman of San Diego, who helped me in the discovery process of men for whom I won pensions.

We now have a 501(C)3 non profit organization structured to raise money for use in taking care of those 3 and 4 years vets of the NBA without pensions. We’ll help them on a “as-needed” basis.

Again, thanks.

Bill Tosheff