Some Queries For Bradley

With almost insolent ease, Bill Bradley has gained much ground on Al Gore without burdening voters with much information about what he would do with power. Herewith a few questions: You stress racial "reconciliation." What was a reconciler like you doing Aug. 23 spending two hours in Harlem with Al Sharpton, the demagogic race hustler who participated in Tawana Brawley's completely fraudulent claim to have been raped and smeared with excrement by white police officers?

The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights seems poised to rule that heavy reliance on SAT scores in college admissions constitutes illegal discrimination because minorities score lower on average than whites. Do you agree?

Forced busing for school desegregation, which you have supported, is ending in the place where it began 29 years ago, Charlotte, N.C. After billions of dollars spent on busing, and billions of student hours spent on buses, what has busing accomplished?

Cleveland's school-choice program may wind up in the Supreme Court, which will decide whether a program that gives vouchers to parents, for them to use as they choose, at secular or sectarian schools, violates the First Amendment prohibition of "establishment of religion." The Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona state supreme courts have held similar choice programs to be constitutional. As president, would you have your solicitor general argue, as a friend of the court, for or against constitutionality?

You favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military. (From which military officers did you seek advice?) You favor amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. Yet you oppose same-sex marriage because of the "religious nature of marriage and respect for the diversity of views on that subject." But marriage is not solely or always a religious institution, and there was, to put it mildly, a "diversity of views" about civil rights for blacks in 1964. By what logic should both discrimination based on sexual orientation and same-sex marriage be illegal?

Federal law (Title IX) forbids sex discrimination in education. This has been construed to require equal numbers of male and female athletes in a college's sports programs, with the result that some men's sports programs are being dropped to achieve numerical equality. Has Title IX been wisely construed?

You called the 1996 welfare reform, which ended the lifetime federal entitlement to welfare, a "disaster." Since 1996 welfare rolls have dropped 40 percent. Granted, the robust economy gets some credit, but do you still think the 1996 law is a disaster? Do you favor restoring a lifetime entitlement to welfare?

You opposed the 1981 Reagan tax reduction, calling it "inflationary." Eighteen years later, years of almost uninterrupted strong growth and low inflation, the economy is more than 70 percent larger and tax revenues have tripled. Were you wrong? In 1981 you proposed cutting the capital gains rate from 28 to 15 percent. What did you not know then that later caused you to abandon that position? In 1982 you proposed reducing the top income-tax rate from 50 to 28 percent, which was done in 1986. Just seven years later you voted to raise it to 39.6 percent. Why?

The day Bill Clinton was impeached, Gore called Clinton one of America's greatest presidents. Do you agree? In his new book "An Affair of State," Richard Posner, chief judge of the Seventh Circuit, concludes that "Clinton's violations of federal criminal law... were felonious, numerous and nontechnical," and included perjury, suborning perjury and tampering with witnesses. Is the judge wrong?

In 1990 you said that if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, restoring abortion to regulation by the states, "the most immediate consequence" would be a return "to the day when illegal back-alley abortions put the lives of thousands of women at risk." Are you aware that the Centers for Disease Control reports that in 1972, the year before Roe, there were just 39 deaths from illegal abortions, and 27 from legal ones?

Campaign finance "reform," expanding government regulation of political communication (by tighter regulation of political giving and spending), is supposed to prevent corruption or the appearance of it. In your 18 years in the Senate, how often were you corrupted? Can you name, say, two of the 535 members of the national legislature who have been corrupted? One? If reform is all about the appearance of corruption, can you name, say, two legislators who, although honorable, appear to have been corrupted? One?

One reason campaign finance reformers such as you want to ban corporate soft-money contributions and spending on issue ads is that the money is spent without stockholders' consenting. Why, then, do you oppose requiring unions to get the consent of individual members before using their dues for political spending?

Should Beijing be told, privately but clearly, that the United States will use force if Taiwan is attacked?

As senator you called for moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Would President Bradley promptly order that, without waiting for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the city's final status? The presumptive Democratic Senate nominee in New York says Jerusalem is Israel's "eternal and indivisible" capital. Is it?

As senator, you voted to cut funding for missile defense below levels recommended by the Bush and Clinton administrations and the Armed Services Committee. With North Korea, Iran and other rogue regimes developing ICBMs, do you favor rapid development and deployment of missile defenses? The ABM treaty was agreed to 27 years ago--a long time in the life of technology--with an entity, the Soviet Union, that no longer exists. Should it be allowed to inhibit U.S. measures for missile defense?

There. Dozens more questions will be ready when the above have been answered.