Silly and unsubstantiated charges have recently been leveled at Charlotte Reid, former U.S. Congresswoman from Illinois and now a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
With all the people in Washington who have been ·proven to be liars or crooks, ripping off the taxpayers for their own personal gain or pressuring behind the scenes for special-interest favors, I think it is a refreshing relief to have a woman in high Federal office whose skirts are clean if you’ll pardon the expression.
The first charge made against Charlotte Reid is that she served in Congress “with an inconspicuous lack of distinction.” Most of the problems we have with government today are caused by those Congressmen and bureaucrats who are altogether too conspicuous in spending our money and regulating our lives.
I wish we had a lot more “anonymous faces” who would vote “no” on bills that raise taxes and send more power down to Washington. That’s what Mrs. Reid did for ten years, and we’d all be much better off if we had 434 others in Congress who did likewise.
The second charge against Charlotte Reid is that “she lacks apparent qualifications for the job” of FCC Commissioner. The problem with most regulatory agencies is appointees who are so overqualified that they have a conflict of interest or close financial affiliations with the industry they were appointed to regulate.
Andrew Gibson, whom President Ford tried to make Federal Energy Administrator, is a good example. Mr. Gibson was discovered to be receiving $900,000 in severance pay from a company doing business in the industries he was supposed to regulate.
Mrs. Reid has none of these liabilities, but does have a practical, working knowledge of the industry regulated by the FCC, by reason of having been a talented radio network singer.
Another of Mrs. Reid’s alleged offenses is that she goes about the country giving “little grandmotherly talks.” That is the ultimate put-down, isn’t it! To hang the “grandmother” label on a woman in public life! The fact is that Mrs. Reid is a very beautiful, trim, and stylish woman. By the male double standard, the word “grandmother” implies someone several decades older than a “grandfather.”
Isn’t it funny that nobody ever puts down a man with that word like saying that Nelson Rockefeller came to Washington to give one of his “little grandfatherly talks.”
Charlotte’s Reid’s splendid service in Congress was appreciated by her constituents who gave her large margins of victory, and most Americans are well pleased with her service on the FCC.