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LETTERS IN VIEW : Readers Question Account of Dornans' Domestic Troubles

June 30, 1993

I just read the article about how the wife of Bob Dornan repeatedly filed for divorce, alleging he beat her, pointed guns at her and violated restraining orders against her ("I Take Full Blame," June 24). She now says that none of it ever happened, that Bob has been the model husband and that the dozens of allegations over the last few decades were fantasies brought on by her alcohol and drug dependency.

Given that Dornan has always seemed incapable of discussing a new crosswalk without frothing at the mouth and questioning the sanity and personal morality of those who disagree with him, some of us may have a wee bit of trouble buying that it was all a multi-decade delusion.

Some might even be prone to speculate on what triggered Sallie Dornan's chemical dependencies or, at least, to wonder aloud why a man with so dysfunctional a marriage has spent so much of his life lecturing others on how to run their families.

I do know that if Robert Dornan heard even the slightest whisper of this kind of family strife about a Democrat seeking office, he would have it all over every newspaper and TV show in creation, including an 11-hour infomercial/filibuster on C-Span.

MARK EVANIER

Los Angeles

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Maybe Sallie Dornan's longtime drug addiction and depression drove her to say nasty things about her husband, Robert K. Dornan, the conservative congressman from Garden Grove. But what possible excuse do the voters have for electing this kook to office? Mass insanity?

DAWNA KAUFMANN

Los Angeles

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I was stunned to see your front page beatification of Bob Dornan. He should consider this exposure a political donation and report it.

Dornan has historically displayed a violent temper in public; (as to) behind closed doors, one could only speculate. However, it's interesting to note that he's coming clean now after being threatened with exposure because he's got a big political agenda.

While asking for sympathy for himself and his family, maybe Dornan will look back on his history of labeling people as "queers," "scum hippies," "drug crazies" and "leftist goons" and repent.

CADY PHILLIPS

Corona

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I'd like you to know the Sallie Dornan I know. She is a very good and loving grandmother to my children. She is a person who rocks my children to sleep at night, the person who had a tea party for my daughter's fifth birthday.

Dave Lesher quoted my husband, Robert Dornan Jr., saying he told his father to divorce his mother when they were having hard times together. This happened more than 20 years ago. Let us enjoy the changed Sallie Dornan whose children love her and not take away from our children's grandmother.

THERESA HOHENFELD

DORNAN

Clifton, Va.

*

Your recent story attempts to portray Robert Dornan as an innocent victim of his wife's behavior.

Is this the same Robert Dornan who has made a career out of degrading all who do not agree with him? The same man who continues to embarrass this state with his disgusting public remarks about people who happen to be different from him?

Regardless of the truth or fiction in his family's disclosure, the only victims here are the public who continue to be subjected to his never-ending repertoire of hate and discrimination.

IRENE BRIGGS

Huntington Beach

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After reading about the Dornan family, we were reminded of an old Yiddish saying which, translated, says: "He faced the situation like a man; he blamed his wife."

RICHARD M. POWELL

KAREN NUSSBAUM

Los Angeles

Boys, Girls and Math: Is Separate Better?

The idea expressed in Robin Abcarian's column ("Answer for Girls Is Math, Science Classes Minus Boys," June 23) proved true in my daughter's education.

Upon completing her co-ed public elementary school, she was judged by her teachers as a good student but an also-ran in math and science. She asked to go to Immaculate Heart in Hollywood for middle and high school.

After a couple years at the all-girls school, she took chemistry from a gifted and experienced male teacher. A few months into the year, he said to us: "Your daughter is probably the most outstanding chemistry student I have had in 15 years." We were dumbfounded because it was so at odds with earlier teacher pronouncements.

That teacher dealt only with girls, so he focused on their raw talent. His observation spurred our daughter on to handle not only chemistry but biology, physics and calculus.

She received her degree in biology at Pomona College magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. On June 12 this year, she was awarded her doctor of veterinary medicine at UC Davis.

FLOYD A. OLIVER

Los Angeles

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From a math teacher and the Supreme Court of the United States: Separate is never equal.

CAROL MAY

Los Angeles

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It seems teachers let boys call out, but girls must be "nice" and wait to be called on. This results in boys getting more attention and having more self-esteem than girls. Abcarian wants to separate the genders to force teachers to pay attention to girls.

Why not teach girls it's OK to call out so they learn how to hold their own among the boys? To foster girls' self-esteem, don't shelter them from male competition; teach them how to compete on an equal footing.

It starts with knowing how to make yourself heard.

BARBARA L. GALLEN

Los Angeles

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