Saturday, June 22, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 22, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa > (^hr (titbit a l\tt pieta (HtajeHe Editorial Page Demo inquisitors fumble, Nixon covers Saturday, June 22, 1974 Endorsements distorted TUR LEAD editorial in this space on Sunday, June 9. advanced the thought that Rep. Edward Mezvinsky of Iowa’s First district faces a conflict-of-interest problem in sitting in judgment (as a member of the house judiciary committee) on the Watergate-affair involvement of three dairy cooperatives after having accepted an $11,000 dairy-interests contribution for his own campaign in 1972. Among the strange rebuttals which have surfaced since then was a passionate editorial in the Burlington Hawk Eye over the signature of Publisher John Mc-Cormally. The rhetoric included many colorful phrases such as: “thunders the Cedar Rapids Gazette,” “newspapers frantically repenting their sits of ’72" “calling a rag a rag." “hortatory homily,” “grand array of illogic" and “funnier flight of fancy." Let them stand. What needs an answer just to keep the record straight is this embellishment on the Mezvinsky matter as reviewed by the Hawk Eye: The poor Cedar Rapids Gazette. It is as wrong now as it was in 1972 when it told us all Nixon should Im* re-elected . . . Doesn’t all The Gazette's outrage sound suspiciously like its own way of overcompensating for having so warmly supported Nixon. milk money and all? . . . The real shame . . . has nothing to do with Mezvinsky or money It is the pious hypocrisy of Eastern lowa s biggest newspaper, lecturing a congressman about morality when i» helped foist Richard Nixon on its readers two years ago. even though it had in hand plenty of reason to know better but put its corporate interests ahead of its political judgment In these key excerpts from The Gazette's presidential endorsement editorial of Oct. 15, 1972. the reader is invited to judge for himself how warm a foisting took place: If the perfect, pure, incomparably wise, inspiring, trustworthy, handsome. lovable, strong father-figure candidate for President has ever come before the voters of America, it would be interesting to hear who he is Not even Lincoln, far in retrospect. approaches that ideal. This year, once again, the A-l, great, heroic candidate has not appeared among us In what for all practical purposes is the usual two-party contest, we will have to choose instead between a pair of sub-divine figures. Richard Nixon and George S McGovern. (Unless, as seems to Ik* the urge of more Americans than normal this time, one skips the White House problem altogether and applies all leverage to the ballot's lesser offices). . . (The (tutorial enumerated several People s forum Sign blight To the Editor Since Mark Jayne (Forum. June Hi has raised the issue of sight pollution via campaign yard signs, let me comment on another furm of the same disease Realtor yard signs The practical need for a sign advertising a residential property “for sale' 1 can be appreciated as a service to the buying public as well as the seller. However after the property has been sold, it appears to be the practice of most real es tate companies to slap a “sold” sticker on the original sign or. worse yet, erect a second sign proclaiming the house “sold”. Those which I have observed have been left in place until the new owner moves in, sometimes a period of weeks or even months. I recall a recent summer when several houses on our block were in various stages of changing ownership. With the proliferation of “for sale” and “sold” signs, the street took on some of the garishness of the All-Iowa fair midway In one instance, the house was sold before a “for sale” sign could be erected, hut a “sold” sign went up and stayed in place for several weeks faults as well as strengths iii both the candidates ) Naturally against that background, according to the recent polls, when people face the judging of one imperfect candidate against another they go 2 to I for Richard Nixon on the question of personal trust and confidence in handling presidential duties (Harris Survey. HI) percent to 29 percent. Oct. 3-5). Essentially bv that criterion, we tender Mr. Nixon The Gazette’s endorsement for election to his second term Nov 7. For the sake of the factual record, too, it is fair to point out that 15 other Iowa dailies (according to Editor & Publisher magazine’s “final” count) carried Nixon endorsements. The papers included: the Ames Tribune, Atlantic News-Telegraph, Clinton News, Carroll Times-Herald. Centerville Iowegian, Davenport Times-Democrat. Des Moines Register, Fairfield Ledger. Marshalltown Times-Repub-lican, Oelwein Register, Ottumwa Courier, Perry Chief, Spencer Reporter, Vinton Cedar Valley Times and Webster City Freeman Journal. Only the Burlington Hawk Eye and the Shenandoah Sentinel appeared on the list of McGovern endorsers. As for allegations that “corporate interests” overruled “political judgment’’ in the fall of ’72, that surprises and perplexes us no end. The Hawk Eye owes its readers, and the rest of us accused of prostitution, an impassioned, logic-laden explanation as to how that went. Skeletal story ONLY THE bare bones .surfaced on the Associated Pre ss wire the other day when the federal government yanked the road funding rug from under Nebraska: Federal Highway Administrator Norbert Tiemann said the funding cutoff resued from the state’s failure to remove 42 illegally-posted tourist signs along interstate 80. What the wire service might have added, to heighten reader interest, is that Tiemann used to be governor of Nebraska; doesn’t it take a record quantity of grit to turn against the old diggings Another way to flesh out the fund-cutoff story would have been to explain where in that tabular expanse on Iowa’s windward side are there enough tourist spots to rate the posting of 42 signs. Until a colleague mentioned the estimable Pioneer Village at Minden, the consensus here was that all the tourist wonderland sites out Nebraska-way are found in Colorado. Do real estate companies believe that Cedar Rapids residents are not bright enough to figure out that a property is no longer for sale if the ‘ for sale” sign has been removed? I doubt it At this point the sign no longer serves the public but simply provides promotion for the real estate company involved I am not aware of any other Cedar Rapids business which uses front lawns of private citizens for advertising purposes. And I see no reason why real estate firms should be allowed to offend the eyes of the public any longer than necessary to gel their jobs done Mrs William J Duffy 143 Meadowlark lane NU Bird-killers To the Editor: With sunflower seeds at over 32 cents per pound (I have spent $90 43 on bird food since November I, 1973) it's too expensive to feed the fine birds we have in our neighborhood only to have big cats come to our home to catch and eat them almost everyday. We chase one or two off our property daily. Let s get an ordinance making people control their pets, especially cats that like cardinals C C. birr 1120 Forest drive SE By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON — \ squeeze on the house judiciary committee, helping to reverse the impeachment tide and give the momentum to President Nixon, was applied last week bv independent actions of the justice department and a federal judge On Wednesday morning (June 12). a highly exercised Deputy Atty Gen Lawrence Silberman placed an angry telephone call to John Hoar. majority counsel for the impeachment proceedings Silberman bluntly informed Dour that the justice department and the FRI were red hot about leaks from the committee They simply could not tolerate FRI reports appearing on tilt' front page of every morning’s Washington Post. About the same time, minority counsel Albert .tenner had a lower-keyed conversation with federal Judge Gerhard Gesell Asked by .Fenner for private comment on the committee possibly going into open session. Gesell said no If committee proceedings went public, the judge warned, he would not be able to empanel a jury in the Kllsberg burglary trial of John I). Khrliehman and others Rep Peter Rodino of New Jersey, the committee chairman, quickly responded to Silberman's warning by pleading with fellow Democratic committee members at a caucus that afternoon to summon a I it t It' self-restraint in maintaining confidential information. But with jury selection for the Ellsberg burglary trial to begin June 2H, Gesell’s admonition could keep the proceedings closed until well into July. Thus, a squeeze has been applied to the committee, dropping morale of the Democratic majority to its lowest ebb since Doar took over last Dee. 20 to bring order out of chaos. While not sufficiently disciplined to prevent leaks, the committee cannot go into the open sessions that would avoid the need for discipline. Poupled with resurgent Nixonian regularity among the committee’s Y-y-yes, I'm the one who reported a leak' Republicans, the initiative has moved from the impeachment investigators to the President’s defense The 38-member judiciary committee is belatedly following the course predicted months ago bv senior White House aides: polarization along party lines and disintegration among the 21 Democrats Signifying incipient disintegration is the first substantia! criticism among committee Democrats of the Rodino* Doar leadership. The complaint is twofold: First, in retrospect, thr committee should have been in open session, closing the doors only for specific con fidential points, second, Doar should have conducted the inquiry much more rapidly, even at. the sacrifice of thoroughness. Thus, there is substantial unease among committee Democrats over indefinite continuation of closed-door sessions with the July 15 target date for a committee vote on impeachment slipping into August Senior Democrats on the committee are urging Rodino to hold to July IS. House majority leader Thomas P. O’Neill of Massachusetts is privately exasperat ed with I he delay. Whereas Hoar was a hero to house Democrats a month ago. many now grumble that over preparation ' of cases was his weakness as the justice* department’s civil rights chief in Hie early I WHI is Rut most disruptive have been tin* committee’s leaks. Democrats privater suspect two anti-Nixon fire-eaters, Reps Robert Drinan of Massachusetts and Jerome Waldie of California, of disastrous wholesale leaks The worst blow to the* committee s self-respect came from Rep, Joshua Ell* berg, no fire-eater hut a Philadelphia Democratic machine politician best known for caution It was Kilberg who made the committee Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s persecutor by racing from a closed session with a garbled version of the wiretap affair “It was mindless, absolutely mindless,” a Democratic member rages “Eilberg never says anything, but this time he saw a top secret document and began talking before digesting it.” That aberration partially justifies the prediction by hard-liners at the White House that judiciary committee Democrats ultimately would help Mr Nixon through their excesses The President’s men npw want to keep them on the defensive. They may accuse judiciary committee Democrats of obstructing justice by defaming and destroying the public images of Watergate defendants, precisely the felony to which Charles Colson pled guilty in regard to Daniel Ellsberg. Divided and demoralized about tactics and procedures, the committee’s Democrats now look elsewhere for a revival of impeachment momentum. With good reason, they believe a supreme court decision ordering Mr Nixon to obey the special prosecutor’s subpoenas could force the President back on the defense by mid-July. For now, however, In* has his congressional inquisitors at bay Publi%hprs Hall Svndiratp Fiddling while voters burn Congress runs comedy relief into ground’ By Jack Anderson x WASHINGTON — Throughout the senate side of the Capitol, the three-bell alarm clamored urgently, summoning senators to the Chamber. Into the great oval, its antique desks arranged in a graceful arc. they shuffled. After answering to their names, some barged off again with the harried looks of men having more important duties. Others lingered on. waiting for the debate to begin. Many profound issues cried for senate attention impeachment, detente, inflation. the energy crisis, The two opposing senators shifted nervously on their feet as they braced for another test in the world’s foremost forensic arena There was Sen John Tower (R-Texas), sandy-faced, his short, husky stature giving him the appearance of a larger man standing in a well A few desks away was Sen Harry Goldwater (R-Ariz ). a look of stern amiability upon his familiar face. From the throne-like leather chair behind the marble rostrum, the presiding senator intoned: “The senator from Arizona is recognized.” For the next several minutes. Goldwater and Tower solemnly debated the merits of Arizona vs. Texas chili beans They agreed to settle their differences in the way of the West, with a chili cook-off. I he scene was not at ail uncommon With the government in crisis, the people s elected representatives often pre-empt the floors of congress to embark upon excursions into triviality. Most of the tune, it is true, they are engrossed in weightier matters, and perhaps a little comic relief should be welcome. Rut day after day, they pause from the momentous problems of our times to honor the winner of a local talent contest or to proclaim Future Homemakers of America week They fiddle while the voters burn < (ingress still hasn't completed its work on campaign reforms, which would help clean up polities arid prevent future Watergate* from happening Congress is also dawdling over reorganizational reforms, which would put its own houses in order Yet the menthe! s found time for such antics as these: • On a mad March morning, the house devoted almost its entire morning session to thunderous oratory over Actress Jane Fonda's request for the use of a house hearing room No less than 25 congressmen, with a great exercising of lungs, joined in the polemics. Others who missed the chance to declaim kept the debate going for two more days Yet the issue was altogether moot, for tin 1 actress already had conducted her seminar in the hearing room several weeks earlier. • The day after May day. Rep. Ed Derwinski (R ill ) solemnly rose to his feet to commemorate Constitution day in Poland. Not to be outdone in their fealty to their Polish constituents, a score or more congressmen scrambled like spawning salmon for the house microphones to add their praise of Poland. • It is part of the daily routine for members to wish one another a happy Land use shootdown birthday, to congratulate one another on a new honor or, for no apparent reason at all. to adorn one another, with complimentary verbiage during public sessions No issue before the congress, no matter how urgent, is permitted to interfere with the political backslapping and backscratching. • Accolades are also bestowed, willynilly, upon random constituents. Sen J. Glenn Beall, jr., (R-Md.) interrupted the senate proceedings, for example, to inform his colleagues glowingly that his high school couch was retiring. Rep Mendel Davis (D-S.C.) brought to the attention of the house some essays written bv school children buck home. And a friend of ours, Hep. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) provided the house with a splendid account of what occurred at a luncheon we helped sponsor The droning, out-of-eontext oratory on the senate and house floors, of course, isn’t always a true reflection of the real workings of congress Individually, the average* congressman puts in a 18-hour workday. He usually gives constituents conscientious service. Jack Anderson Rut collectively, congress remains hopelessly cumbersome. The* seniority system holds back the brightest young men, whose leadership is needed iii this swift-moving time. The old men who run congress, honorably though they may have served in the past, are placing an intolerable brake on the law-making machinery of the national government, already in desperate need of overhaul. Never has the need of reforms been more urgent. But the members of congress appear to be more interested in chili brails, Jane Fonda and school childre s essays.    * Uniter) p Syndic ale Why not do best they can ? I HSI frills I don t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members Groucho Mar* By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON — The house of representatives last week killed the long pending land use bill The action triggered an explosion of angry charges and recriminations, but the vote was a pretty fair manifestation of representative government in action We can learn something from it The bill would have authorized up to SHOO million over an eight-year period in federal grants to the states The grants would have been used bv participating states to develop land use plans according to federal guidelines The idea was to promote the conservation of watersheds, wetlands, scenic and historical areas, and areas of particular environmental importance By its rejection of the bill, in the view of the Washington Post, the house dealt a “low blow to the land ” The newspaper said the house had voted for exploitation and destruction It was an irresponsible performance, both disheartening and discouraging, the work of a coalition of “the profiteers, the primitives and the President ” “Without any national program,” said the Post, “the various states and localities will be left to deal with growth, speculation and suburban sprawl as best they can . The absence of coherent land use planning policies does not mean the absence of regulation; instead, it means continuing the present tangle of fragmented, often conflicting federal slate and local laws, which have already cost so much iii litigation, uncertainty and ugliness.” James Kilpatrick The **ditorial offers a textbook example of contemporary liberalism. It does not occur to the Post that the house members who voted against the bill might have twen motivated by honest convictions and well-founded doubts The only explanation that occurs to the Post is that profiteers and primitives were irresponsibly determined to pursue their policies of exploitation Tile underlying assumption of the editorial is that federal regulation is bound to be better than state and local regulation. Without federal grants and federal guidelines, the states and localities will have to get along “as best they can ” To which the conservative replies What is so wrong about that? Where is the evidence to prove that federal uniformity is inherently better than state diversity? The hill that died last week wasn’t killed by some wicked coalition That bill died of disenchantment What lias the federal government dom* lately to inspire confidence in its superior wisdom? When one looks at those areas of unchallenged national responsibility, the record is not im sue The White House is staim corruption The congress cannot even a modest budget reform act defense establishment provid shocking exhibition of cost overruns Postal Service cannot deliver the Amtrak cannot run its trains on The District of Columbia offers a tiful example, does it not. of f<> authority in action dirty air, pol rivers and crime-ridden streets The people, it occurs to me, an tifiahly skeptical of further fe< guidelines. They have had a belly such guidelines Under federal gun] racial tensions iii the public schools not been diminished but mere Because of federal guidelines th vironmental Protection Agency rap losing public support. The people sound reason to believe that a federal control soon is followed by I federal control It is true that last week s land u- ,,ad ‘wen stripped of the punitive Huns once proposed, but exponent taught the people to lieware of en wedges Once a program of Ion grants had become entrenches sanctions might have been added L ,,f t I" get along “as best they the stoles and localities doubles ‘nuke some errors in regulating ti *" li "" 1 /!>“•> “'N" WHI It.iv.. Zn ,l " s ls ll ' 1 '* Mmilism .. I" work ... it lr,,. ( , )uiltrv , r.-ason, c>ii«r,ss mi K lit |„ |,. 1IV ......  '"I......■ Nm Hill fin. own way st,). Syntji, u( .