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Dornan's Policy of Honesty Works

July 24, 1994

* Your recent hit piece (" 'Shut Up' Not In Dornan's Vocabulary," July 15) on Rep. Bob Dornan (R-Garden Grove) ignored relevant facts and important contexts in which many of the Dornanisms cited were first uttered. One particularly offensive one was your omission with regard to Dornan's criticisms of longtime Soviet mouthpiece Vladimir Posner.

Where do you get off referring to Posner as a "TV commentator"? Posner may be nothing more than a second-rate TV commentator now, but he had a life before his partnership with Phil Donahue.

As a witness to the Dornan-Posner exchanges, let me set the record straight. I remember watching Posner live on network television when he called President Reagan a liar immediately after the President delivered a televised speech on SDI. At that time, Posner was a paid-propagandist and apologist in the employ of the Soviet Union. Dornan was one of many across this country deeply offended by the remark and outraged that one of our television networks would give a Soviet paid propagandist the opportunity to attack an American president.

During the late 1980s, on radio and television stations across this nation, Posner spread some of the most contemptible and outrageous lies in defense of the brutally corrupt Soviet regime. Posner was especially notorious for excusing Soviet anti-Semitism--even more incredible, when you consider his own father was Jewish.

Congressman Dornan, one of Israel's leading supporters and champion in the fight to end the persecution of Soviet Jews, was absolutely right to call Posner a traitor to his religion. And the fact is that, in an election year, two leading congressional liberal Democrats, Tom Lantos of California and Stephen Solarz of New York, along with a host of Jewish organizations, publicly supported Dornan the next day. They all knew then what you did not tell now: that Vladimir Posner was no TV commentator but an electronic menace to the truth about Soviet repression.

And it is through this same sleazy journalistic prism of distortion and omission that the Orange County Democratic Party has woven together its book of Dornanisms in a shallow attempt to mock and discredit Dornan's considerable record of political courage and public service. But it won't work.

Election after election the voters in the Democratic 46th District return Republican Bob Dornan to Congress, above all, because they recognize his forthrightness, passion, honesty and commitment. In this age of the play-it-safe professional politician, I wish we had more Bob Dornans who believe in what they say and have the guts to say it.

BRIAN O'LEARY BENNETT

Seal Beach

Brian O'Leary Bennett formerly was Dornan's chief of staff.

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