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Don Nickles

Tom McMillen is heading firm that's virtually a blank check

ONCE, everything Tom McMillen touched turned golden.

McMillen made the cover of Sports Illustrated when he was still in high school, starred on the great University of Maryland basketball teams of the early 1970s and played on the U.S. Olympic team. He graduated from College Park, went to Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, played 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association and served three consecutive terms in the House as the tallest (6 feet 11) congressman in history.

But take the ball out of his hands, take him off Capitol Hill, put him in a business suit and McMillen looks more like a carnival barker than a man of accomplishment.

Since 1992, McMillen's been...