July 28, 1983
I have received your letter withdrawing yourself from further consideration as my nominee for the Board for International Broadcasting.
I regret the circumstances that have led to your decision, but I want to add that during this affair, you have acted in a manner consistent with the reputation for honor that you have always possessed. I know that reputation among your friends and associates will continue to be strong.
Please accept my best wishes for future success.
[Mr. Thomas F. Ellis, Maupin, Taylor and Ellis, P. A., Raleigh, North Carolina 27602]
Dear Mr. President:
I appeared on Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for consideration of my appointment to the Board for International Broadcasting. It became obvious to me from the outset of the questioning by Senators Tsongas and Biden that they would use that occasion to attempt to divert the hearing away from broadcasting the U.S. views of freedom behind the Iron Curtain into a personal attack on me by my political enemies.
As a matter of fact, Senator Tsongas had issued a press release prior to the hearing criticizing you and prejudging my qualifications. It was an obvious partisan political effort to drive a wedge between you and the black community using me as the instrumentality. I have attached a copy of my letter to Senators Tsongas and Biden.
Frankly, I do not mind taking whatever heat these two ultra-liberal senators want to generate in my direction. However, I believe it is vital to America that they and their ilk be denied the opportunity to use me to hinder your struggle to return economic stability and provide an adequate national defense to our nation. Therefore, I am respectfully requesting that you withdraw my name from consideration for appointment to the Board for International Broadcasting.
Let me say in closing that I appreciate your appointing me to the Board. I did not seek the appointment but was most anxious to serve as I believe our only hope to survive the spread of Soviet slavery across the free world and to free the hostage people of the USSR is to broadcast the tenets of Christian belief through mass communication. I trust that the Board of International Broadcasting will carry out this task without fear of interference from some of those in public office who do not recognize the threat of Communist world domination.
God bless you and Nancy,
[President Ronald Reagan, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500]
Note: Mr. Ellis' nomination was submitted to the Senate on February 8.