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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Monday, February 11, 1974 - Page 6

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 11, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Ford running? Telltale clues abound Editorial Page February 11, 1974 Car insurance for all? rpHOUGH THE law of common JL sense urges motorists to become insured before driving, the code of Iowa makes no such demand. All the law requires is that if an uninsured motorist is involved in an accident, he must post bond or prove ability to pay for damages up to the minimum liability limits. State Rep. George Knoke (R- Council chairman of the house commerce committee, has announced his hopes of pushing through legislation making au- tomobile insurance mandatory. Eight to 12 percent of all Iowa drivers do not carry insurance, according to the stale insurance department. The statistic alarms Knoke: "Now you don't have to prove financial responsibility un- til you've had an accident. That's too late." Iowa law does require that in- surance companies offer "unin- sured motorist" insurance, which (offered at relatively low cost) covers personal injuries caused to the policyholder by uninsured motorists or hit-run drivers. But the driver who incurs property loss from an uninsured driver is out of luck. Sensible as Knoke's case for mandatory' auto insurance seems, the disadvantages of such a law under the present auto insurance- system appear likely to outsveigh attributes. Rep. Harold Fischer (R-WcIls- offers the reasonable prediction that this requirement would force all premiums up. The coverage needs of insurees would dictate that the over-all increase be pretty steep. Some of Iowa's uninsured drivers may be financially capa- ble, responsible types whose ec- centricities embrace a loathing of insurance. But most of the state's 8-tn-12 percent uninsured mo- torists obviously are poor risks, unable to obtain coverage at the average rates. Unless insurance companies decided to dip into investment re- turns to cover the added liabili- hold your breath wait- ing for losses in- deed would necessitate higher premiums all around. Beyond that, there is no guarantee that a mandatory auto insurance law would significantly decrease the number of uninsured drivers. It hasn't in states which require car insurance, according to Herbert Anderson, deputy in- surance commissioner for Iowa. This isn't to say the state legislature should dismiss Rep. Knoke's mandatory auto in- surance proposal. The idea should mesh nicely with no-fault in- surance when the concept comes up for ratification here. Fair-to- moderate success in a growing number of states hints that no- fault's day in Iowa is not far off. Midwest still one-up TIP FOR IOWANS seeking a silver lining in the energy- crunch gloom: No matter how severe the many inconveniences seem back cast have it a deal worse. In Gedar Rapids, for example, no monumental effort is required in finding a, fillup of gasoline. Go out before mid-evening (Sundays excluded) prepared to pay at least 45 cents per gallon and you probably will find fuel within two or three miles of home. Waiting time remains surprisingly low. But in Chicago, the securing of even half a tank of gasoline for 55-plus cents per gallon has become a "Jge sent me" type of' operation. Smart auto owners there are cultivating family ser- vice station operators just as they rely on family doctors, dentists and lawyers. To avoid waiting bumper-to-bumper for fuel, big- town residents find out from their friendly service station proprie- tors what time the station lot lights go down but pumps remain open. The independent truckers' sluff-off has further dramatized Energy handling is key the discomfort gap between the upper Midwest and the Chicago- Boston-Washington triangle (which contains 70 percent of the country's While con- sumers everywhere will feel the pinch, beleaguered easterners are expected to catch the worst of it: buying expensive flown-in meat and other goods both before and after the grocery shortage smites the Midwest. Yet citizens back there expect as having fielded most.of the air and water pollution, traffic and crime problems before the energy shortage ever topped the horizon. A generally higher cost- of-living pours salt into the life- style sore, not to mention other aggravations such as strat- ospheric taxes and higher priced automobile insurance (and nonin- surability from some companies in New Jersey, New York and Indeed, the energy emergency has magnified the quality of life differences between the tranquil, roomy Midwest and the. hectic, hemmed-in East. By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak IX7ASH1NGTON When a powerful Republican politician Moppet! in to set- Vice-president Cerald Kurd several weeks ago. the conversation flitted briefly over u new Harris poll showing Furd ahead uf both Senators Kdward M Kennedy and Henry M. .laikson but then turned In more important business. However, when the politician about to leave Ford's office, the vice-prrsiden! stupiH-d him and moved back In his desk a drawer. Ford drew out tin- regional standings in the Harris poll, pointing with sun-ness tn the regional breakdown in the poll shun ing ihul Ford's maximum strength was in Un- critically important South and Midwest "The (act thai Kurd was fascinaitil by that the politician said later, "meant one thing to me. Smaller what he says publicly, he', runnim; for President." That conclusion may seem far-fetched, based nn such slender evidence. Since then, however, almost everything Ford has done strongly supports the conclusion that his tolal presidential disclaimer when Richard Xixon picked him to succeed Spiro T. Agnew last October is now inoperative. Telltale simis are everywhere. During his skiinu' vacation in Vail. Colo., for example. Ford took the trouble In telephone retired Oi-n. William Westmoreland in South Carolina to urge that he accept the Republican nomination for governor this year. Westmoreland is still pondering. But if he does run and win. Ford will be enhanced politically in South Carolina. Similarly, the rejection by Ford's staff oT an urgent appeal for help from the beleaguered Republican candidate in last Tuesday's special election to replace the late Rep. .John Savior of Pennsylvania was quickly overturned by Ford himself. accepted the invitation, even though the odds were against the' Republican candidate. But the most significant indication of how Ford now his future came in the aftermath of his speeeh in Atlantic City la-t month, when even his i-liise-ii friends were aghast. The >peech (written by White House M'ccchwriters) charged that the im- peacftmi-n! caii'.paigp. Jgair.s! Mr. Xixim was the result of "a few. extreme par- l! exploded in his face The private fraction uf Ford and his chief of staff. Hubert Hartmann. was in- siamannius' Instead of trying in operate Midi a staff as a White House ap- pendage, face the hard iruih that Ford is becoming'the operating political head of the Republican party whose nominal chief is no! welcome across the country Pressing Ford hard toward a similar conclusion was George Bush. Republican national chairman, who forcefully urged Ford to hire an experienced politician as go-between with the national committee, the house and senate campaign commit- tees and the state party organizations. Thai led to the hiring of national com- mitleewomun Gwen Anderson of Washington state as Ford's full-time' political adviser Mr% Andersen has unique ideological qualifications. Shi- is highly regarded by Guv. Daniel Evans of Washington, a Republican moderate with strong ties to the liberals. But she also ingratiated herself with conservatives by splitting with Kvans and voting against the liberal-backed party reforms at the 1972 Republican national convention. When Mrs. Anderson arrived in Ford's office last week, one of her first acts was In make contact with southern Republicans, including Mississippi state chairman Clarke Reed (who also heads the southern state chairmen's organixa- Other vice-presidents have also had political advisers, bill Ford's full-time political plans for Mrs. Anderson set her above any of her predecessors. In the aftermath of the Atlantic City fiasco. Ford also wrung approval from the White House for two full-time 'Listen fo 'em but there whoopin' and hollerin'... I expect they'll hit us along about daybreak' NOVAK spttvhvvriters, alsu unprecedented One is Miltun Friedman (no relation In the hired last week from Ihe house Republican campaign committee. Friedman, a former reporter for llic Xionist .It-wish Telegraphic Agency who worked for liberal Sen. .Iamb K. .lavils of N'e'.v York in 1971, has good lies to Hie .levu-h community but is also regarded Consolation for Nixon: Congress hits bottom, too By Louis Harris The Marrii Survey THE PUBLIC'S rating of congress fell In 69-21 percent negative in January, the lowest ever recorded for that body by the Harris Survey. This is even lower than the over-all job rating for President Nixon, also at its lowest point. percent negative. Public confidence in the federal establishment thus has touched bottom. Surprisingly, with the exception of Watergate. President Nixon receives slightly better marks from the public than does congress on eight specific is- sues. However, the massive story thai emerges from these results is thai both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government have come as close Jo losing the confidence of the public completely as might be possible in this kind of republic. Between .Ian. 18 and 'i'i. a cross-section of households across the country was asked: "How do you rote the job congicss is doing excellent, pretty good, only fair, or Positive (good-excellent) Negative (only fair-poor) Not sure 21 69 10 38 45 17 Louis Harris This reading on congress is the lowest the Harris Survey has recorded for the federal legislative branch in more than II) years of measuring the standing of thai body among the American people. The previous low occurred in 1870 when congress received a percent nega- tive standing. The high point through the years for congress was when il received a percent positive rating. When Die public was asked about the job congress was doing in eight specific areas, I he results were even more nega- tive than its over-all .standing. People were asked: "Now let me ask you some specific questions about congress. How would you rote the -job congress has done-on (read list) excellent, pretty good, only fair, or Handling the case Keeping the economy healthy Handling impeachment proceed ings against President Nix.on Handling relations with President Nixon Inspiring confidence in government Handling the energy shortage Keeping spending under control Controlling inflation F.nrlicr in January, the Harris Survey had lesled public opinion on the President's handling of the same issues. Here is how congress and Hie President compare: t Posi- Negu-Not Inspiring confidence in government Nixon 17 78 5 percent negative, while lliut of confess is an even "lower 82-10 percent i man in charge of the energv energy William K. Simon, was also Mot the spending under would you rote the job being by E. Simon, the new energy chief pretty good, only fair, or relations {only the fact thai a hiirh 3fl Ovor-all job rating Nixon Congress Handling Watergate case Nixon Congress Keeping economy hnallhy Nixon Congress 30 6B 1 21 69 10 13 82 5 19 72 9 19 78 3 13 80 7 Whether the issue is Watergate, infla- tion, energy, the economy, spending, or simply gelling along with each oilier, the devastating fuel is lhat roughly three out of every four adult Americans come up with a negative assessment of the job being done by congress and Ihe Presldenl. Perhaps as key an area as any is that of Ihe energy shortage, where the public Is being asked to niajtn some sacrifices, allhongh ralinning of gasoline with coupons has not yel either been authorized or rciiucsted. The standing of Ihe President on the energy Issue is 7-1-22 of the public has not yel shaped up a judgment about the energy chief. William Simon receives higher positive and lower negative marks on his handling of energy than cither Ihe Presldenl or congress. Bui Simon also is rated more negatively than positively by the public. As the Harris Survey has already reported, the oil Induslry does nol escape blame for a share of Ihc energy crisis. Thus oh this critical issue of contem- porary public policy; public confidence In its leadership Is low straight ncniss the board. Chlcaoo'Trlbune-New York Newt Syndicate by Itepiiblicnn us moderate con- servative. No one on Ford's stuff will admit it. but old political friends say the vice- prcsitlcnl has been restive oier Ihe Presldenl'- failure to give him clear aillhorlly in any or operating fit-Ill. All Ihe conversations he is supposed to be having every day with Ihe I'ic-idcnl have nol added up to u meaningful role So, having abandoned his parly's highest political ill Hie IIOIIM- to res- cue the administration al a disastrous hour. Ford is described by old friends as moving Inward a far more independent position than lie originally planned. The steady growlli of his staff, independent of Ihe crippled Nixon presidency, is one i.....-e signal lie Is looking toward a larger future. People's forum Missing lynx myth To the Kditor: A picture on the picture page Jan. 'I'I represents a method in which the press can stir public emotion while throwing blame on an innocent public. The picture showed a lynx killed by a man from Omaha. I don't blame The Gazette for the cap- lion of "Shoots' Rare Animal" or for carrying the brief detail about Mr. Cramer, who had killed the lynx while fishing along the Missouri river. The caplion probably came direct from the UPI. Bui I think the editor should use more discretion in allowing the details to be so meager. The lynx is not rare in its home range of Canada and across the northern tier of states in the U.S. The facl lhat one may have roamed down the Missouri river makes il rare only because it is not nor- mally found here. Someone knowing anything about wildlife would have pointed this out. Maybe this lynx was released afler being someone's pel an offense lo any wild animal. The second line of Ihe caption slalcd that Cramer was fishing. Why was a fisherman carrying a shotgun? One recent letter to the editor pointed out 1963 figures of animals killed by poisons. I believe Ihese are figures issued by Ihe deparlmenl of the interior on animals killed by" federal agents to pro- tect domestic livestock or private1 property. Since October, 1971, the use of poison has been prohibited on federal land. It is the private landowner or leaseholder who continues to kill wildlife with the indiscriminate use .of poisons. Example: the killing of golden eagles in Wyoming. Predators such as the lynx and even the bobcat serve lo dampen the fluctuations of wild rodent populations. Nature con- trols rodents through disease, food sup- ply and habitat. Even without these cats there would not be the rodent problem thai another letter writer dreamed of. Anyone wishing to help save wildlife should channel, funds and efforts through the conservation commission and other organizations which seek to provide or preserve habitat for wildlife. All the laws a legislature can pass won't save the lynx if there are no areas where it can escape the constant encroachment of man. Donald Pfeiffer Solon Put-off What's holding up congress in its move to impeach the President? What's keep- ing il from doing what the people want In happen? Do we have a bunch of wishy- washy, look-the-other-way men representing us? 1 feel thai the President should resign as did the vice-president, Mr. Agnew. Mr. Nixon is hurting his image and the country by refusing to leave his office. He is admitting his own guilt by the tape erasures and by refusing to hand over the tapes. The firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox helped to strengthen the case against him. Mr. Nixon's tax in- cident is not helping him. either. I musl admit thai Nixon has done his good things for America. He brought the buys home from Vietnam, ended the draft, ended price freezes and upped social security. But he also is somehow linked in Watergate, used bugging devices in his offices, did not pay his1 taxes, and knew about the energy crisis yet made no moves to cut it off.. I'm glad this is his last term he can servo as President. I wouldn't want him in again, messing up our way of life and our government: Craig Bova Lisbon Same old story To the Editor: A short time ago a few concerned housewives and lower income families took it on themselves to create a boycott against the high prices o'f meat. They ;were ridiculed, and the news media had pictures showing empty cattle sheds, and once more the public was the goat. Now with the news of a truck strike, news reports say that if the strike is not settled we will have over a million head of cattle that are getting too fat and need slaughtering. We have had so much of it in our one and only-newspaper' pictures of books .being scattered all over the building so as to make it appear as if we need a new library, pictures of the airport runways doctored up. Now they tell us that if the truck strike doesn't get settled, meat prices will go up. I wonder after the strike is settled, will they come down? Once more we will be given a chance to vote on cable TV. Beware, dear citizens. If we keep this up, there will be a wall built around us that makes the Chinese wall look like a foot-high picket fence. Frank ,1. Sasek 1912 Hamilton slreel SW Band boost As a Kennedy bund parent, I would like to thank the numerous businesses in the Cedar Rapids area who were so generous with their donations, large and small, to the Kennedy hand. The donations were auctioned offal a carnival in an effort to raise funds for the band to go to Virginia Beach. Without the all-out support of the local business men and women, Ihis drive would not In- successful. Frederic C. Bedard IHOKTnwn House drive NK Insights Common sonso is nol so conimon.   

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