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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: July 29, 1974 - Page 6

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 29, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Editorial Page July ?9. Test is in the doing ABOUT THIS TIME every election year we are deluged by news releases from candidates announcing, somewhat piously, that they have signed the Code of Fair Campaign Practices. Some candidates even go nut of their way to let it be known their opponents haven't signed yet, by suggest that they do sign, or to call attention to it in some other manner. So what is the Code of Fair Campaign Practices? It is a code that calls on political candidates to exercise the basic principles of decency, honesty and fair play that we are taught in adolescent years and that many of us conveniently overlook whenever we think the occasion demands once we reach adulthood. As written for political can- didates, the code requires that they present the issues as they see them, present their own case "with sincerity and and criticize "without fear or favor" items in their opponents' records "which merit criticism." It calls on the signers to "defend and uphold the right of every qualified American voter to full and equal participation in the electoral to "immedia- tely and publicly repudiate" methods and tactics which I con- demn" to either support one's candidacy or to attack one's op- ponent's candidacy. The candidates who sign also pledge to condemn the use of per- sonal vilification, character defamation, whispering cam- paigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any can- didate's personal or family life; the use of campaign material "which misrepresents, distorts, or otherwise falsifies the facts regarding any candidate, as well as the use of malicious or un- founded accusations against any candidate which aim at creating or exploiting doubts, without jus- tification, as to his loyalty and patriotism. Also, to condemn "any appeal to prejudice based on race, sex. creed, or national ongia. ami "anv dishonest or unethical prac- tice which tends to corrupt or un- dermine our American system of free elections or which hampers or prevents the full and free expression of the will of the voters." Heads well, doesn't it'.' Sounds good, too, when read aloud. Makes you feel good to know that this and that candidate for public office subscribes to it. Must make them feel good, too, judging from the imaginary, self-installed halos some of them seem to wear as the result of having signed. If we sound skeptical, it is because it would be too much to expect 100 percent cooperation in living up to the code, perhaps, but our skepticism results from the experience of seeing too few try to attain the percent mark. In other words, too many signers are like Sunday Christians who do not live up to Christian principles the remainder of the week. Signing the code is all right and better, no doubt, than if there were no code to sign. But the test is in the doing, not the signing. Candidates who believe in the basic principles of fair play that the code calls for will observe them if they make a practice of living them in their daily lives, whether or not they have signed the code. Law forgotten? PRESIDENTIAL Press Secre- tary Ziegler is quoted as saying that the house should "not pass the buck" to the senate to impeach the President. Reason: The American people will not ac- cept that. On an intelligence scale of one to ten, that observation rates a minus-six. Open meeting law OWA'S OPEN MEETING law is constitutional, according to District court Judge Damsgaard of Cedar Falls. He upheld the ruling of Clayton county Magis-. trate Tuecker in a decision sought by the chairman of the Area One vocational-technical school board, R. L. Evans of Monona. Judge Damsgaard's ruling comes as no surprise. The real surprise is that such a question should be raised by a public of- ficial who should know that meet- ings of public bodies should be open, whether or not there is a law- requiring it. The only reason for the law in the first place was due to the refusal of too many public bodies to open their meetings to the public, which has every right to People's forum To the Kditur; We see that the state of Iowa has marie a decision to affect cottages along the Mississippi river at Marquette. Why. when then' are miles and miles available other places without aggravating many people'.' People's rights should govern, not a bunch of men in monkey suits who all Iheir lives have lived off the tax- payers. We send senators and representatives to DCS Mninrs to protect our rights, but they instead give away to the conserva- tion commission, the department of transportation and the superintendent of schools who take all the individual rights from the taxpayers. We see law and order haven't been working out: why1.' Can all the various departments stand up under a thorough grand jury investiga- tion? Our public servants have failed us. We have lost many privileges here I.M Iowa wiih the present administration and not much relief is in sight. We have a real nice park here at French town which could accommodate many, many people', but you never see nver III or 12 campers or cars there any more over a long weekend. Why? Ask the campers. know what decisions are being made, how they are being made and why they are being made, since the public is footing the bill. The real problem with the open meeting law is that it isn't being enforced. Even with the law on the books, many public bodies are finding ways to circumvent it and, up to now, no court has seen fit to crack down on them. But the legislature, which opens all of its sessions and meetings of its many committees to the public, is showing signs of irrita- tion that other public bodies are often in violation of both the letter and the spirit of the law. So look for an early session of the legisla- ture to step in and tighten the law in such a way that open will mean just that. We don't need the Marqnette campgrounds and if we did. who would be responsible for the lives and property in case of a train wreck'.' The slate of Iowa is setting up a death trap. People who live there now are part of our way of life or individual rights. Who's giving all these various depart- ments all this authority? The governor must sign these bills. I'm real sure. These various departments and all then- power are a lot worse Hum Watergate ever was thought lo be. Stop and think, voters. Marvin .1 Insights Burglar's bane 'No hard feelings, Tips from a friendly tapee By William Safire WASHINGTON When recenlh- releiised FBI documents showed Hen. Alexander Haig to be the man who requested the wiretap on my telephone in lOfifl. 1 called the President's chief aide in California In wnnder why he had chosen me- lt hadn't been his idea, he explained he had only been an agent carrying nut somebody's orders. What's more, the tap was my own fault I never should have taken that call from a British correspon- dent whose phone was being tapped. As we spoke, a voice with a Senior Of- ficial's accent kept badgering him in the background. "Tell him it wasn't me. make sure he knows it wasn't me." Haig gladly made that point, that Henry Kis- singer had never known about the wire- tap on the White House speechwriter the house judiciary committee calls When I asked him to put Henry on the phone, the secretary of state took time from settling the Greek-Turkish war to assure an old colleague that he had been totally unaware of this wiretap which had his office's fingerprints all over it. Besmirched A few days later, Kissinger repeated that denial under oath to the senate foreign relations committee, which is pursuing him with the identical say-it- isn't-so lethargy that Mr. Nixon showed to Messrs. Haldeman and Ehrlichman in March of last year. Obviously, Haig in- tends to support that denial of Kissinger complicity when he testifies this week. The plan seems to be to blacken the name nf .1. Edgar Hoover, which cannot please his old friend in the Oval Office, but these are hardly times to be finicky about dead men's reputations. At Haig, a good man in a pinch, was the gift to the Nixon administration of President Johnson's aide, Joe Califano. with whom he whizkidded under Defense Secretary Robert MciN'amara. Ironically. nobody has been more barbed ill cri- ticism of wiretapping than Califano; nobody was more deeply enmeshed in wiretapping than Haig. As a son ire, then, to a good soldier who is possibly being asked to take the rap for somebody else, and whose superb discipline and patriotic fervor kept him from expressing any misgivings about wiretaps when they were illegally ins- talled, let me help you, Al. prepare for the kind of question that might come up when you appear before the committee. William Safire Did you ever have a recording capability in your office? Were your telephone calls all monitored by a secre- tary on a "dead key." who then transcribed the verbatim notes, unbe- knownst to your callers? Was this true of Henry Kissinger as well when you served as his deputy? Where are these transcripts kept today? Is there anything on any of them, yours or Dr. Kissinger's, referring to the installation of. or the fruits of, the 17 wiretaps? Specifically, do you have transcripts of calls to William Sullivan or Bernard Wells or Robert Haynes of the FBI? Are there records of the conversa- tions Dr. Kissinger had with J. Edgar Hoover about the wiretaps? Forwarned is forearmed; with advance knowledge nf these questions, Al, you will be able to frame answers that will turneth away wrath without turning on your present or former boss. Here are some more: Did you know of the existence of the tap on "F" when it was put on? Did you conceal this knowledge from the President's national security adviser. Dr. Kissinger? Why? Did anybody tell you not to tell your immediate superior about this'.1 Who told you to tell the FBI that it was okay to install the tap? Can you think of another instance in which you were asked to do anything by a high authority without informing the man who was nominally your boss? Did the President deal with you on other matters behind Dr. Kissinger's back? From whom other than the President or Dr. Kissinger would you have taken an order in 1969 and 1970? Vivid Picture If you are determined to substantiate the Kissinger-never-knew story, Al, even though it makes it seem you were in cahoots with somebody to keep Henry in the dark, then watch out for Robert Mardian. the former assistant attorney general. Mardian told the FBI in excruciating detail how he delivered the satchel full of wiretap summaries to the White House in 1971. and how you and he and Henry Kissinger carefully checked off every single one of the 1969 taps. That vivid picture of the three of you going over the itemized list of taps is going to be hard to handle, but there should be time between now and tes- timony time to come up with something plausible. Besides, Mardian has been in- dicted as a co-conspirator, and has no friends on the foreign relations commit- tee. Nobody likes to learn that he has been systematically spied on by his colleagues, using a flagrantly illegal na- tional-security cover for snooping into political loyalty. By preparing you for these questions, Al. I hope to have shown that "F" harbors no hard feelings. As you pointed out. the eve of impeachment is no time to bear a grudge. Absenteeism on Capitol Hill Empty chairs match rhetoric By Tom Tiede WASHINGTON Time and again during these indolent hours of summer, members of congress rise in their wisdom to address themselves to a single question: "Mr. Speaker, I suggest the lack of a quorum." How dignified. How diplomatic. What the honorable gentlemen are really saying is: "Where the hell is It is a gravely important question. The population at high levels of govern- ment appears as of late to be infected with "Kissingeritis." The President is managing to be absent from his post about -Ml percent of the time. The vice- president has traveled 100.000 miles in seven months making 400 notably inimi- table public appearances. In congress, there are far more tourists in the gallery than members of the floor. William Simon is mi a Hi-day seven nation tour. Law ignored Beauty not caused. It is. Emily Dickinson Naturally, everyone has an excuse, llarrnmph. kaff-kaff. There is a law ill the I'.S. Code (Title Sec. :1S) which provides for salary deductions when members of congress are absent unless the reason assigned Is illness. Hut the statute hasn't been en- forced in Kill years, says Senate Secre- tary Francis Valeo, because: "We feel members are on duty 24 hours a day wherever they are." The President, too, we are told, is knocking his brains out for Ihe good of America be he al ('amp David or San (lemente. "Would you have him stay in the White House every day1.'" asks a bored aide incredulously. "Where would we be wilh China if he did.'" And so. too, it is wilh Ihe capital's third or fourth best known gadabout. Gerald Ford. His people rationalize that his travels are "unifying the country." and "makinggovernment more visible." And the man himself reasons that he should not "stay on the banks of the Po- tomac and listen only to the strident voices" of Washington. Itinerant V-P Sorry. Nobody is fooled. Certainly public officials must move around to function fully, but if it is at the expense of Iheir primary responsibilites, as it may be now, then the excuses are phony as the language "suggesting" a lack of a quorum. What the nation needs now is not visible government so much as working government. Poor leadership does not regain public confidence by ab- senteeism, instead it just passes from lethargy lo Ihe comatose state. situation seems especially un- fortunate in the case of the itinerant vice-president. He, not the choice of the American people, was presented to them not as a unifier but a doer lie was selected, it was promised, because his years in congress qualified him as Ihe man to join that body to the administra- tion in the course of progressive legisla- tion. Great goals were ahead; Gerry Ford was just the fellow to see at least some would be met. Groat goals? Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield said the other day that while inflation is millions of citizens, "Neither congress nor the ad- ministration is doing a damn thing." Strip mining legislation flounders at Ihe expense of land and energy future. Nuclear proliferation accelerates, to Ihe threat of all humanity. Even when legislation does move, it seems, it's often unwise: Ihe senate commerce commillee lias recently passed, without dissent, a Another View Traceable hot goods By Don Oakley BrHCI-ARY is still the 1 crime in America. Siiiiie million burglaries are committed every year about une every 13 seconds fur an cs- limated loss of more than million Only about one in every live burglaries is solved. Of the relatively small percentage of stolen Roods dial police recover, a share can't be identified and is eventually put up for public sale. This lack of positive iden- tification of stolen property also makes it difficult to oblain cum ictions for breaking and cntcring- a pro- tection program sponsored by the Na- tional Assn. of Insurance Agents is a plan to put the thieves out of business. It simply involves personaliz- ing or branding portable belongings with the owner's personal identification number. Electric engraving pens are available at no cost through the local of- fices of NAIA members across the country. After branding their property, par- ticipants in Operation ID put decals on windows and doors reading, "All items of value on these premises have been marked for ready identification by law enforcement agencies." The idea is that, being forewarned, burglars won't usually break in, for any good burglar knows that marked items are not only hard to fence but offer police bard evidence for a conviction and are. therefore, an invitation to jail. The results, where the program has been put into operation, have been dramatic. In the Cincinnati area, for example, in one year's time there were burglaries in non-Operation Identification homes. During the same period there were only 10 burglaries in the homes participating in the program. Wichita, Kans., reports burglaries in homes. But of the 20.000 homes involved in Operation ID. only four were burglarized and of these four, only six marked items were taken and three of them were subsequently recovered. Operation Identification thus has three functions; it deters burglaries, traces stolen property and helps prosecute thieves. It also helps keep down spiraling insurance costs. Currently, about cities are par- ticipating in the program. "Wow I've seen everything. Bumper stickers for cows, bill to transfer wildlife control on public lands to state authority, a good for hunters but doom for the animals. Meanwhile the vice-president. Ihe doer, is off about the nation XI states so far putting people to sleep with speeches of better times. Kven worse, many of the speeches are for Republicans only (75 by count, raising about million for partisan Far better it would be if lie stayed in Washington In help calm the "strident voices" which if he listened to carefully, he might identify as those of Ihe people he was foisted upon. Cut the jet Say nil to the invitations. Sit down In work, sir. nr step aside for someone else; that seems to be in vogue Ibese days. NOWSDODCr E Save cash, Git! By Jim Fiebig I SEE where the agriculture depart- ment has granted S96.000 to scien- tists at Colorado Slate university to study ways of keeping coyotes and dogs away from sheep. The dog part is easy. Every time he goes after a sheep, hit him with a news- paper (the dog, not the Hitting the dog with a newspaper will stop him from doing almost anything except biting newspaper boys. Coyotes present more of a challenge. For one thing, it's hard to get close to them with a newspaper. For another, since sheep neither run like a jack rabbit nor fly like a quail, coyotes have come to depend upon them as an indispensable and easily-obtained part of their diet. In other words, when coyotes get around sheep, they act like animals (the coyotes, not the Still, I think handing science SDb'.OIHI to study Ihe problem is another unfair expenditure of taxpayer money. When one decides to raise sheep, he accepts the fact that coyotes come with Ihe territory. Why should the rest of us be expected in help underwrite the solutions? Put another way. when's the last time a sheep rancher did anything for your business'.' Nevertheless. I'm not insensitive to the problem. In fact. I may even have the answer. My plan is for sheep ranchers to hire men (or women who resemble men) to guard their sheep. These guards should be supplied with a weapon a staff, perhaps, or even a rifle. Then, when coyotes come sniffing around Ihe flock, Ihe guard lets loose wilh Ins staff or rifle, thus either scar- ing the predators away or rendering them senseless. I even have a name for Ihese call them shepherds.   

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