Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 21, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette July 21, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 21, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa KT -U> .    S'    > c^hf Cedar ZVtpitU <$tt}«vHt Editorial Paqe Do what’s right’ aim could sway congress Sunday, July 21, 1974 Backdooring truck lengths IT WOULD CLEAR some heavy doubts if State Rep. Fischer of Wellsburg goes to court to find out whether it is constitutional for the new state department of transportation to set truck lengths in Iowa. Fischer got what purports to bt' a ruling from the attorney general’s office recently to the effect that “it must be presumed” it is constitutional for DOT to decide whether the length of tw in-trailer trucks, for example, can be extended to 65 feet from the present 60 feet. The ruling, written by Assistant Atty. Gen. Blum berg, said there is some doubt about the constitutionality. But mere doubt, he maintained, is not enough to declare a law unconstitutional. Fischer’s point is that there is a question about constitutionality since the new DOT law does not subject that department’s rules to review by the legislative rules committee. He also holds that the legislature illegally delegated power to DOT by permitting rules to supersede laws. Fischer has something there. In addition, constitutionality might be questioned on grounds the law seeks to backdoor truck lengths into legality without benefit of the governor’s signature. Under the new law the DOT must report to the 1975 legislature within five days after it convenes. If DOT finds it is feasible to operate 65-foot twin-trailers on Iowa highways, for example, this may be included in the report. If the legislature fails to reject or change the report in the next 60 days, the 65-foot length would become legal. In other words, the legislature sought a way to bypass the governor’s office (in the thought it may still be occupied by Governor Ray next year) and with the knowledge that Ray vetoed a 65-foot twin-trailer truck bill during the 1974 session. To put it bluntly, in that event the legislature will have succeeded in amending the constitution without having used the constitution’s own amending process, to rule out the possibility of another veto — unless that section of the DOT law is ruled unconstitutional by the court. It would be wiser and less expensive to get a court ruling on this section of the new law before it is put to the test. The governor is elected by the whole electorate of Iowa and is responsible to all the people. Legislators are elected by only those in their own districts and are responsible to them only, even though they are “state senators” and “state representatives.” To deprive the governor of his constitutional right to sign or veto something that may become law is to strip the people of authority. If this section remains in the new DOT law it will set a dangerous precedent. OEO’s vitality CAPITOL HILL observers who claim President Nixon is kit-ten-weak in domestic affairs these days have made much over the administration’s failure to wipe out the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). Indeed the antipoverty program’s rising stock during recent months has suggested a weakening of Mr. Nixon’s influence. First his handpicked demolition specialist, ultraconservative Howard Phillips, was shuttled out of the OEO directorship via a court order. Next, two months ago, the house of representatives in effect rescued OEO by eliminating <331 -to-53 vote) the independent agency as such but transferring programs to the health, education and welfare department; senate agreement is expect od soon. Then, last week, the President required the resignation of OEO Director Alvin Arnett, whose barnstorming on behalf of OEO programs had disserved administration goals. (Some interpret Arnett’s dismissal as an upshot of the President’s frustration, though others see it as a move to court friendship of southern conservative senators whose votes could prevent conviction on an impeachment rap.) People's forum Grocery sort-out To the Editor I would Ilk* to reply to Mrs Meeker’s letter in the July 17 Gazette, which concerned her sorting her groceries because of the new food tax law I work in a small town grocery store in Anamosa, and I have been asking all our customers to please sort their grocery items — nonedible items first and then all their edible items — when they approach the checkout counter Most customers have cooperated by separating their groceries, once they know’ what items are taxable or nontaxable. It is much easier and only courteous for each customer to sort his own groceries, so that his order can be totaled quickly by the chacker, thus not keep other customers in the checkout line waiting. The new food tax law has put the burden on the retailer to put the law into effect The chacker isn't /retting paid more to sort out a customer’s groceries under the new law The higher prices for groceries are caused by .nflation the demand for higher wages and more of What some Washington sages fail to understand, however, is that OEO’s survival owes not to the administration’s loss of clout but rather to increasing grassroots acceptance of OEO’s community action program. Said Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe: “The nation — and Texas — can ill afford to lose the capability which community action has developed to provide programs tailored to meet the needs of the poor.” Similar praise bubbles up from the Deep South, where — in some locales — community action is the sole provider for the poor. Alabama Gov. George Wallace: “There is strong support in Alabama, from all segments of the local communities.” Obviously, few have been fooled by the administration’s quaint stereotyping of OEO. The wildeyed socialism and militancy which hindered the antipoverty program at its inception a decade, ago has long since moved elsewhere. In light of massive constituent support, the antipoverty program seems to have won enough congressional support to withstand attack from the most powerful administration. everything by Americans has driven the costs up for everything Consumers are the ones benefiting from the new tax break, so why shouldn’t they help out the retailer by sorting their own groceries? The new law his created many problems for both the consumer and the retailer. It will take a short period of adjustment before this new law becomes routine for everyone. Our grocery store was in a stale of confusion during the first week that the new food tax law became effective. The emploves had to learn what items were taxable and nontaxable, and then pass this information on to the consumer Beer and pop bottles are taxable Hems but pop is not These are a few of the problems we had in distinguishing tx ‘ween taxable and nontaxable items. By Tom Wicker WASHINGTON — Here is an analysis of the impeachment situation bv one of the shrewdest and most knowledgeable members of congress, a senior Democratic senator who has supported Richard Nixon on foreign policy and law and order issues — even on all of Nixon’s supreme court nominations There is not much doubt that a majority of the house of representatives will vote to impeach Nixon, if three conditions are met. The first is that at least some Republican members of the house judiciary committee vote for the articles of impeachment that the committee’s Democratic majority will undoubtedly approve. The second is that the1 supreme court rules against Nixon's contention that he does not have to surrender the tapes subpoenaed by Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski for use as evidence' in the Watergate trials The third condition for impeachment. in this analysis, is at least one tightly written charge of obstruction of justice, or subversion of the Constitution, or both, that will force members of the house, in effect, to vote “yes” or “no” on whether Nixon should Im* impeached for acts he can be reasonably believed to have committed — failing to prevent illegal behavior by his closest aides, concealing knowledge of criminal acts, refusing to provide evidence needed in criminal trials and in the constitutional process of impeachment, deleting or editing or altering substantive passages in the transcripts he did provide to the special prosecutor and the judiciary committee. Such an article, in the senator’s judgment, is needed to sweep away all the peripheral areas of debate and doubt and obfuscation, and concentrate the impeachment question in a value judgment bv each member of the house on what is known — at least reasonably believed — to have happened. In all these ways, a member would have to ask himself: Did Nixon fail to protect and defend the Constitution and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed1 The senator drew an analogy to political polling. Eighteen months, saw before a presidential election, poll-takers usually present respondents with a list of six or seven potential candidates. Almost all will draw at least some support, since the situation is hypothetical and multi-choice; probably some on the list will not even run. Eighteen months later, however, in the voting booth, the voter faces a hard, real either-or choice between two candidates, one of whom is going to be President for four years. Tom Wicker When — and if — the house is faced with just such a hard. real either-or choice on whether Nixon’s reasonably well-established acts warrant impeachment, the senator believes, a majority will vote for impeachment Members of the senate then would face the harder questions — whether it is beyond reasonable doubt that Nixon did indeed commit the acts alleged, and — if it is — whether those acts warrant his removal from office. The senator’s judgment is that “the vote would he very close in terms of getting a two-thirds majority for conviction.’’ I do have one suggestion for Mrs Meeker and other consumers on how to deal with this new legislative blunder. Why not rooperate with the checker and make the best of it? Just think: I’m getting a 3 percent discount on my groceries because I sorted them out Dave Oarlock Anamosa Dependency To the Editor Your July 7 article on the volatile issue involving a senate effort to repeal Domestic International Sales Corp legislation very effectively put forth various points of view However, there is one significant point which should interest all Cedar Rapidians because it affects their pocketbooks, and it was not mentioned This is that a recent survey by the Cedar Rapids-Marion Chamber of Commerce International Trade bureau revealed the startling fact that in 1971 over 30 percent of the entire manufac tured goods originating here were exported It would seem to me self evident that anyone living in this area, or representing this area in any capacity whatsoever, should carefully consider the traumatic impact upon our local economy uhenevt r anything is done which disturbs our ex- ‘We consider that you, the public, has the right of access to certain ovid . . . oh, you've already heard . For the moment, as he sees it, the Republicans — from the White House down — are following a dual strategy of delay, and of imputing partisanship and political motives to the Democrats — thus perhaps holding the votes of wavering Republicans and of Democrats who need the support of Republicans or conservatives or Nixon partisans in their home states or districts. But that makes it the Republicans, in the senator's view, who are being truly partisan — making the defense of Nixon a party matter, rather than considering the case as a grave constitutional question Deprived of evidence That is not to say, of course, that no Democrat is partisan or political in his motivation. But the senator believes that the record of the house leadership and the judiciary committee majority and staff is solid enough, and the evidence against Nixon of sufficient weight, to put the Republicans more nearly on the defensive as to partisanship. In his view, one shaped through long acquaintance with house and senate and politicians generally, Nixon will not finally be impeached, convicted or acquitted in either house for partisan or political reasons. In the long run. he believes, when finally confronted with the hard decision — yes or no on specific questions — most members will vote honestly on their view of the evidence, and their conception of proper presidential conduct. “As for me,” the senator said, puffing a politician s cigar, “if we have to vote in the senate, I plan to get up the next morning, look at myself in the mirror, and say, 'Well, you may not he coming back to this place after the next election. But when y«ui voted yesterday, you did what you thought was right, if you never do again.” New York Times Service Free Ehrlichman? A scenario By William F. Buckley, jr. THE CONVICTION of John Ehrlich-man raises to an intolerable intellectual and emotional pitch paradoxes for which there is only a single solution. A little background is in order. Richard Nixon, having observed John Ehrlichman in operation over a period of four years, terms him one of the best public servants Nixon has ever worked with. John Ehrlichman, asked by the Ervin committee whether the President has the implied power to enter illegally the offices of a psychiatrist, as was done in pursuit of the medical record of Daniel Ellsberg, answers in the affirmative. That, too, is the position, truculently asserted. of his lawyer, a gentleman of some renown. Unwilling There is then a trial. At that trial, there are. in fart, two categories of defendants. There are those who actually broke into the psychiatrist’s office. Not much time was apparently wasted on the question whether they had broken th'* law It was never suggested that Richard Nixon even knew who they were, let alone that he had instructed them to burglary. F hrhehman’s defense was specific and general. Specifically, he insisted that a “covert operation . . to examine all the medical files still held by Ellsherg s psychoanalyst”, which are the words he used to activate the plumbers, was not necessarily an illegal operation. He insisted, in short, that he did not port posture This JO percent figure is far above the national average and a tribute to the entire industrial community There is no escaping the truth that it precisely means that 30 percent of wages paid to people associated with manufacturing in Cedar Rapids are derived from international sales, This is the direct benefit and most important because the other side of that coin is that as this figure is diminished by any action whatsoever. a comparable number of people lose their jobs We must also focus upon the truth that this income passes from hand to hand throughout our community, to our retailers, service organizations, professional people, th** economic ripple effect is monumental Therefore we are talking about an economic impact in our community, directly related to exports of local products, probably exceeding a half billion dollars if we use the generally acceptable minimum ripple effect denominator of four Are the people of Cedar Rapids really willing to allow that much of their livelihood to he jeopardized by anyone? One would hope they will speak out in their own self-defense when this issue again arises, as it most assuredly will following its recent defe it in the senate T A Barks, president Kwik Way Industries 902 Seventeenth street NE know the form of action the plumbers would take. In respect of the general argument — that the President has implicit powers that cover such an operation as this one *— Ehrlichman was pretty much powerless, because the judge would not entertain any discussion of the point unless Ehrlichman was willing to say that Richard Nixon had instructed him to proceed with the burglary. And this Ehrlichman was not willing to say. Whether because Nixon had never given him reason to believe that such action was now called for in the national interest, or because Ehrlichman simply wanted to keep Nixon out of it, we do not know. Now comes a statement by Richard Nixon in which he says that, rn fact, John Ehrlichman was not fairly tried. There was the usual business about Ehrlichman having been pilloried by the press, etc. But Nixon is a lawyer, and he must know that a jury is reasonably influenced by the pencilled notation of Ehrlichman: authorizing "a covert operation ... to examine all the medical files still held by Ellsberg’s psychoanalyst — if done under your assurance that it is not traceable." A perfectly honest jury not only can, but almost necessarily will, reach the conclusion that those words add up to th*' authorization of burglary, for which act John Ehrlichman is now officially guilty. William F. Buckley, jr. Surely the resentment of Richard Nixon cannot he against the law, or against the conclusions of the jurors. It must be a resentment against a residual injustice resulting from the unavailability of all the evidence to the jury. You see, the notion that there are rights that issue from the Chief Executive’s responsibility for the national security does not require that the exact nature of that national security be specified. Indeed, under some circumstances it is required that they not be specified . Mr. Nixon’s behavior, in a word, suggests that he knows Ehrlichman was truly innocent because Ehrlichman knew of Nixon’s direct concern for the national security as it involved Daniel Ellsberg, and acted in a way that was consistent with what Ruhard Nixon wanted done Sad alternative There is, surely, a remedy here, it is: executive clemency. President Nixon should either repudiate John Ehrlichman, which is inconceivable in the light of his recent statements about him — or commute his sentence That inferences’ would then be drawn about the role of Mr. Nixon in the Ellsberg affairs is simply a pity. But it would not paralvze Mr, Nixon for these inferences to be drawn — he would retain the highly defensible right to refuse to discuss publicly matters touching on the national security. But the alternative is for John Ehrlichman. one of the finest public s*»r-vants Richard Nixon ever knew , to rot in jail. Viewed (his way, the alternative is for Richard Nixon to send one of the finest public servants he ever knew to rot in jail. Washington star Syndicate Grassroots vs. weed Freedom from fumes By Roscoe Drummond II7ASH1NGTGN — Nonsmokers lib is on (hi march. Smoking continues to increase in the United States, but nonsmokers ar*' enjoying it more. They are getting greater protection all the time through state and local measures There are increasingly strong laws to free nonsmokers from the discomfort and hazards of smoke others create. Arizona has led the way in banning smoking in elevators, theaters, libraries, concert halls, museums Twelve other states are considering similar legislation Already some 54 cities, towns or (utilities in KI states have banned smoking in a variety of public places • THE DIPLOMATIC inside Year-long differences and irritations within tin* Atlantic Alliance, including tin* feeling that the United States was favtiring detente with Moscow over the sc< uni v of Western Europe, were almost entirely dissolved at the Brussels NATO meeting attended in Pr» silent Nixon and Secretary of Stall' Kissinger. There is a mw ( Urn ate of trust which didnt exist a few months ago. II7 HAT NEXT in the Middle East1 July and August will be crucial .n preparing to begin peace negotiations in Geneva in September, Arab and Israeli diplomats will be following each other to Washington during the next six weeks to try to find whether the Geneva meeting will be possible. No quick overall settlement is in the works It will come piecemeal — if at all. There are two favorable factors There is a visible atmosphere of confidence between Egypt and Israel. Aho, both sides — Arabs and Israelis — feel they need tai find an alternative to renewed war. ANEW KIND of U. S -Soviet summit would he military, not political A meeting of I S Defense Secretary James Srhlesinger ami Soviet Defense Minister Andrei Grechko is quite likclv Purpose To try to narrow deep differences on how to gtl un agreement on offensive nuclear weapons lot Angelet Timet Syndical* Insights lf you con give your own son one gift$ let it be enthusiasm. , Bruce Barton ;

  • Andrei Grechko
  • Blum Berg
  • Bruce Barton
  • Daniel Ellsberg
  • Dolph Briscoe
  • James Srhlesinger
  • John Ehrlichman
  • Leon Jaworski
  • Richard Nixon
  • Roscoe Drummond
  • Ruhard Nixon
  • Tom Wicker
  • William F. Buckley

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: July 21, 1974

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