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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Sunday, July 21, 1974 - Page 8

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 21, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                (ttftlnr Editorial Page 'Do what's right' aim could sway congress Backdooring truck lengths TT WOri.D i'LFAR some heavy 1. doubts il State Hop. Fiscner of Wdisburg goes to court to find ou! whrthir it is constitutional for tlu1 now slate department of Ir.inspi'-riaii'in lo St'l Inuk lengths in Iowa. Fis-.'hrr purports to In1 3 from the attorney frnirnii's offi.-e nvrnlly to the ef- ff'-t that "it nnsi he presumed" it i.> for DOT to decide trucks, for example, can he ex- tender] to M feet from the present fill feet. The ruling, written by As- sistant Atty. Gen. Blumberg, 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 tin-foot length would become legal. In other words, the legislature sought a way tr, bypass the gover- nor's office (in the thought it may still he occupied by Governor Ray year) and with the knowledge that Ray vetoed a S5-fool twin- trailer truck bill during the 1974 session. To put it bluntly, in that event the legislature will have succeeded in amending the cons- titution without having used the constitution's own amending process, to rule out the possibility of another veto unless that sec- tion of the DOT law is ruled un- constitutional by the court. It would be wiser and less ex- pensive 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. "J. EO s vitality 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 Op- portunity Indeed the antipoverty program's rising stock during recent months has suggested a weakening of Mr. Nixon's influence. First his handpicked demolition specialist, ultracon- servative Howard Phillips, was shuttled out of the OEO direc- torship 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 expected soon. Then, last week, the President required the resignation of OEO Director Alvin Arnett, whose barnstorming on behalf of OEO programs had disserved adminis- tration goals. (Some interpret Ar- nett's dismissal as an upshot of the President's frustration, though others see it as a move to court friendship of southern con- servative senators whose votes could prevent conviction on an impeachment rap.) People's forum To the Editor: I would like to reply lo Mrs Mceker's letter in the July 17 Gazette, which con- cerned her her groceries because of the new fond tax law. I work in a small town rrocery store in Anamosa. ami I have been asking all our cuslomers to please sort their grocer1.1 items nonedihle items first and then all their edible items when thev approach the checkoul cmmler. Most cuslomers have cooperated by separating their groceries, once thev know what Hems taxable or nontax- able. !l is much easier and only cour- teous for each customer lo sort his own groceries, so lhal his order (an be totaled (juiikiy by tin.' checker, Ihiis not keep other cuslomers in I he checkout line waiting. The new food lax law has pul Ihe bur- den on Ihe retailer lo put Ihe law into if. fi'd The checker isn't gelling pair! more to .sort oul a customer's groceries under Ihe new law. Ihe higher prices for groceries are caused by inflalion. The demand for higher wagos and more nf 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 Wallape: "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 wild- eyed socialism and militancy which hindered the antipoverty program at its inception a decade, ago has long since moved else- where. In light of massive con- stituent 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 lax break, so why shouldn't Ihev help out the retailer by sorting their own groceries? The new law has created many problems for both the consumer and the retaiter II will take a short peri'id of ad.iustmcni before this new law becomes routine for everyone. Our grocery store was in a stale of confusion during Ihe first week that th" new food (ax law became Th" enipinves to learn what ilems uere taxable and nnntaxable, and then pass this information nn lo the consumer Beer and pop hollies are taxable Hems, but pop is nol These are a few of Ihe problems we had in distinguishing taxable and nontaxablc items. Insights 8y Tom Wicker Here is .in .inaly w "e.i- ul the shrewdest and most members of congress, a IVmotratic senator who has supported Kichard N'ixon on foreign policy and l.ivi :ind order issues even on all of Nixon's Miprcme court nominations There is not much doubt lhat a majority of the house of representatives will vete to nr.peach Nixon, if three con- ditions are me! The first is lhat at least some Republican members of the bouse jiidit lary committee vole for ihe articles of impeachment licit the enmmiuee's Democratic maiontv will undoubtedly approve. The second is that the supreme cciir! rules against Nixon's contention lha! lie does nut have to surrender the subpoenaed s-pecl.d ProsccnI'M1 l.e'T, .1 ivvcrski f'T use .is "'e'n'11.1 !hc 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 vole "yes" or "no" on whether N'ixon should be impeached for acts he can be reasonably believed !o have com- mitted failing lo prevenl illegal behavior by his closest aides, concealing knowledge of criminal acts, refusing to provide evidence needed in criminal trials and in the constitutional process nf impeachment, deleting or editing or al- tering substantive passages in the transcripts he did provide to the special prosecutor and the judiciary com'mittee. Such an article, in the senator's judg- ment, is needed to sweep away all Ihe peripheral areas of debate and doubt and obfuscation, and concentrate the im- peachment question in a value judgment by 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 Con- stitution and to take eare lhat the laws be faithfully executed? The senator drew an analogy to poli- tical polling. Eighteen months, say. 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. Eighicen months later, however, in the voting booth, the voter faces a hard, real either-or choice between candidates, one of whom is going to be President for four years. 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 impeach- ment, the senator believes, a majority will vole for impeachment. Members of the senale 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 judg- ment is lhat "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 Ihis new legislative blunder. Whv not cooperate with th'1 checker and make the best of it'.' Just think: I'm get- ting a .1 percent discount on my groceries because I -.orleil them mil. If you con give your ion one gift, lot H bo enthusiasm. Brucfl Barton Dependency To Ihe 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 nf 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 Ihe Cedar Rapids-Marion Chamber of Commerce International Trade bureau revealed the startling fad lhal in over 3D percent of Ihe entire manufac- tured goods originating here were ex- ported. It would seem In me self evidenl lhal anyone living in Ihis area, or represent, ing this area in any capacity whatsoever, should carefully consider Ihe traumatic impact upon our ln i'ls NATO nieclilig .Mleiuled bv Piesidenl Nixon and Sc' o( Slate There r, a in v. of trust which didn't exisl a feu months ago. NEXT in the Middle East? July and August will be crucial in preparing to begin peace negotiations in (iencva in September Arab and Israeli diplomats will be following each cither In Washington during the next six weeks to try lo find whether Ihe Geneva meeting will be possible. No quick overall settlement is in Ihe works II will come piecemeal if nt all. There are two favorable factors. There is a visible atmosphere of confidence between Egypt and Israel. Also, both sides Arabs and Israelis fool Ihey need lo find an alternative tn renewed war AN'K w N'KW KIND of I'. S.- Soviet summit ould be mllilarv, not political. A meeting of I'. S Defense Spcrelary James Schlosingor and Soviol Defense Minister Andrei (irechko is quite likely. I'm pose1 To try lo narrow deep diflerenc i's on how In gel an agreement on offi'ih r, e nuclear weapons   

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