According to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, a Letter to the Editor submitted by a reader has a one-in-a-thousand chance of being printed. On Dec. 31, 2002, Clark Maxam, associate professor of finance at Montana State University College of Business and his wife MaryCarol beat those odds when their letter was published. The informative and thought provoking comments earned them the prestigious placement.

The letter to the editor entitled GOP Vote Tally on 1964 Civil Rights Act: was a response to the essay American Conservatism: Of Race and Imagination" written by Shelby Steele in the Dec. 18 edition of the Wall Street Journal. The Maxam s summarized the voting history of the Senate and House during the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and wrote, We felt compelled to respond to the popular misconception that "conservatism, for all its commitment to freedom, did not make itself the principled enemy of racism during the civil-rights era."

The article summarized the actual House and Senate votes on The Civil Rights Act, highlighting the fact that the no vote consisted of 74% or more Democrats and concluded with a criticism of recent comments by Trent Lott which led to his resignation as Senate Majority Leader.