Spectrograms have been obtained of the nuclei of twelve nearby giant E and SO galaxies that were previously found to be radio sources. Of the three galaxies observed with "normal" radio 5 ectra (spectral indices of about -0.9) none showed unusual optical features; whereas of the eight wi definite radio spectral peculiarities (and classified as "active" by Heeschen) seven have emission lines characteristic of low-excitation planetary nebulae. NGC 3078, for which insufficient radio data exist to define it clearly as active or passive, ezhibits no optical emission lines. Unlike radio spectra, the present optical spectra of the active elliptical galaxies do not demonstrate any obvious QSO-like properties. This is true of the emission-line spectra and, at least to an accuracy of 0.2 mag, is true of the continuum energy distributions over the region xx37()() 5O00.