I categorically stand behind my April 17 column.
First, to respond to what John T. Dolan calls the "most telling deception" and the charge that NCPAC censured Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton for giving $75 million to a revolutionary government in Nicaragua, here are the facts. On May 21, 1980, the Missouri Citizens to Defeat Tom Eagleton Committee, a self-described "project" of NCPAC, distributed at a press conference its own document titled "Tom Eagleton's Voting Record." I quote directly from that document, under the section called "Extreme Liberal": "[Eaglton] voted to give $75 million of taxpayers' money in aid to revolutionary govrnment in Nicaragua, which is working closely with Fidel Castro to build a repressive, communist dictatorship. (January 29, 1980)"
There was no mention in my column of the discovery of the NCPAC error because, notwithstanding Mr. Dolan's contrary assertion, the Eagleton-Nicaragua item was not withdrawn. It was distributed before and at the very press conference Mr. Dolan cities. Only later that month did state representative Bill Steinmetz, the Missouri NCPAC chairman, try to explain, telling political reporter Dana Spitzer of The St. Louis Dispatch, "Getting your facts right isn't easy."
Regarding Sen. Kennedy: present federal election law provides for limited public matching funds for candidates for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan all chose to run on public funds. In fact, every presidential candidate in 1976 and 1980 who had the option -- with the sole exception of former Texas governnor John Connally -- ran with matching public funds.
The presidential candidate who accepts matching public funds accepts limits, limits on what he can spend in any state or overall in pursuit of the nomination and a statutory limit on the spending of his own money of $50,000.
As much as any other American, Ted Kennedy wrote the election law and the matching fund rules. On Nov. 9, 1979, only two days after Kennedy had announced his candidacy, his campaign manager stated that Kennedy had qualified for public matching funds. More than a month later Mr. Dolan's NCPAC letters were still insisting that Kennedy would "spend millions of his own money."
Mr. Dolan organized and directed Target McGovern both in South Dakota and nationally. Mr. Dolan defended the use of a campaign poster that imposed a rifle target over McGovern's picture: "I don't see anything wrong with it. It was not intended to mean you should shoot McGovern." On one point Mr. Dolan is right, and I was wrong. It was not "their" poster. The poster was produced by a separate group. Mr. Dolan simply encouraged and defended it.
Finally, Mr. Dolan pledges that NCPAC will discuss only the voting records of those whom NCPAC opposes in 1982. If so, that would constitute a major departure from NCPAC's campaign against its 1980 targeted senators. Take these lines from just one letter from Mr. Dolan's shop, seeking funds: "Consider what McGovern, Bayh, Cranston, Culver and Church have done to ruin America. Each of their Senate votes is like another nail in our nation's coffin and I think it is high time we ran these men out of office . . . Our nation's moral fiber is weakened by the growing homosexual movement, the fanatical ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) pushers (many of whom publicly brag they are lesbians). . . ."
Just the record, Mr. Dolan.