Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 12, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette September 12, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 12, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Caitif RttpttU CftajrHeCrisis-cope sign in isolated pardon step? Editoria’ Page Thursday. September 12, 1974 Area-boost for Kirkwood A CURIOUS thing happened this week on the way to renewal of Kirkwood Community college’s essential %-mill levy for maintenance, equipment-buying and construction purposes: Cedar Rapids voters almost knocked it off. The ballot question carried comfortably in spite of this because a much more positive response from people in the seven-county area supporting Kirkwood put it over big. For that support and understanding — which surprisingly fell down among those closest to the institution campused here — the outside, largely rural backers of it earn a respectful salute. In contrast to the 72-percent approval that Cedar Rapids voters gave Kirkwood’s five-year levy in 1971 and their 75-percent backing in 1966, they came up with only 50.15 percent this time. It was 2,-339 to 2,325 — a margin of 15 votes. And in contrast to that, the over all count unofficially was 10.- 610 to 7,108, or 59.88 percent in favor. Linn county as a whole (Cedar Rapids included) upped the spread slightly to 3.567 over 3,236 But Benton county approved the levy by 932 to 663. Cedar’s help was 631 to 366 Iowa’s. 837 to 470. Johnson’s, 2,312 to 1,092. Jones county’s, 1,597 to 843 Washington’s, 454 to ‘293. One district in Keokuk’s, 280 to 145. Why the wide disparity from Cedar Rapids’ former stand? No quick or easy answers show up in the tally. It would seem to be more likely a matter of peculiarities in the makeup of this year’s turnout than a case of declining favor generally for Kirkwood in its own home base. What counts, of course, is that the year-early renewal of Kirkwood’s special levy carried decisively in spite of Cedar Rapids’ aberration. That outcome showed good judgment on the part of those who saw the need and the rewards, and it is they who get the credit where credit is due. The pardon: A blunder A blessing By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON — John Randolph of Roanoke once defined the first rule of statesmanship, the very cardinal principle, as this: Never needlessly disturb a thing at rest. Gerald Ford broke that rule last Sunday. It was his first blunder And it was a beaut At the time of his first press conference two weeks ago, Mr Ford seemed fully disposed toward Randolph’s Rule. In response to questions about a pardon for Mr. Nixon, he twice emphasized that he would make no commitment “until the matter reaches me." He appeared to be inviting the special prosecutor “to take whatever action he sees fit” as to Mr. Nixon That wa^ Ford s eminently sound position on Aug. 28 He should have stuck with it. By staying aloof from the judicial process, he could have preserved his own distance from Watergate. He might never have had to act at all Months or years would have elapsed “until the matter reaches me." Meanwhile. Mr. Ford could have put an era of good feeling to most effective use By his generous action of last Sunday. Mr. Ford squandered much of the goodwill that was his only capital. Ten days after he said he would wait, he waited no longer This was the first test of his credibility, and his credibility, like Evel Knievel’s ill-fated rocket, slipped anticlimactically down the side of the canyon toward the waiting river below. The statements of Aug 28 had become inoperative by Sept 8 No wonder Jerry terHorst resigned in dismay The damage done to Mr Ford s credibility is only part of the damage. He has now compounded his problems of amnesty for draft evaders This is the sort of steamy issue that will set campuses to boiling just as they seemed to be simmering down Mr. Ford has muted partisan attack on his own integrity. Owing his very presence in the White House to Richard Nixon, he has sanctioned an $800,906 pillow to cushion his predecessor's fall from power, authorized an arrangement on presidential tapes highly advanta genus to Mr Nixon, and now granted a sweeping pardon for all offenses Mr Nixon might have committed Appearances count; and this appearance lends itself to certain attack Additional damage has been done, notably to the concept of equal justice under law The people may not know what is lawful, but they know what is fair. A score of his men have been jailed For Mr Nixon to be pardoned before he has even been indicted will strike many persons as patently unfair All th«*se damages might have been bearable if they were offset by a res toration of the domestic tranquility Mr Ford so earnestly seeks No such tranquility is in prospect This premature presidential pardon reopens the blading wound It will be said of Mr Ford that he has acted boldly, courageously, and decisively. This is true enough as far as it goes But discretion and prudence are equally the marks of good stewardship There are times when the wisest thing a leader can do is to do nothing By doing too much, Un) soon Mr Ford has lost much more than he and the country have gained VOr Sfi'KjKCf*# By William F. Buckley, jr. ONCERNING the presidential pardon. a few observations: 1 It is objected that Richard Nixon has not shown a proper contrition, that he did not “apologize." I do not think this is the fact. “No words can describe the depths of my regret and pain at the anguish my mistakes over Watergate have caused the na*ion and the Presidency. a nation I so deeply love and an institution I so greatly respect." What do they want from him0 2 It is objected that as things now stand, the record doesn’t establish whether Richard Nixon was actually guilty. Stuff and nonsense. There isn t anyone around who believes that Richard Nixon wasn’t in fact guilty of complicity in the coverup To demonstrate it before a jury would be* a venture in redundancy I. The argument that it is now established that all men are not (“qual under the law is superficial. We are governed under a Constitution that gives the President the “power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States.” Perhaps executive clemency should tie done away with altogether. But no one is saying that So long as the prerogative survives, it is precisely a call to discrimination If it is required to be proven, before an executive can extend clemency, that everyone else in identical circumstances also receive clemency, the instrument could never be used, because research into the question would be* endless, and conclusions ambiguous 4 It is not correct to say that Mr Nixon’s confederatio are to tie punished even as Mr Nixon gets off scot-free Mr Nixon’s principal offense was a political crime He lied, systematically, to tho American people The June tape that was the proximate cause of his resignation revealed only that he maneuvered while in the White House to discourage an investigation, pleading national security. That was an utterly trivial offense It was magnified by Mr Nixon s public posture For this he has been brutally — though fairly — punished Ejected from the White House, exiled from the esteem of the countrymen who had given him the greatest vote in presidential history that was his punishment So we want to send him to jail for double parking? His confederates were not publicly elected personnel, and their punishment can only come from a court of law lf the juries decide that the official pardon granted to Nixon is itself grounds for declining to convict the confederates, well let them go ahead and make that decision Who’s going to stop them0 If there is to be discord, it will only tx* because it has been stimulated The Constitution does not specify that the President shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons only when there is a clear popular sanction for the granting of said pardons. It authorizes the President to make up his mind respecting clemency, and my own feeling is that President Ford has acted honorably, prudently and charitably lHa%hir,yUjr, $1af By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON — By succumbing to emotion and not even waiting for the completion of a secret study on the effects of pardoning Richard Vt Nixon, President Ford has raised serious questions of his performance in time of crisis. At the moment Sunday morning when Mr. Ford bloodied his young presidency by issuing the pardon, selected lawyers on and off the government payroll were quietly preparing a study he had requested on legal and political ramifications of a Nixon pardon Preliminary reports of that study submitted to White House counsel Philip Buchen suggested it was much too soon for any possible pardon That view was shared by Buchen himself as well as other aides President Ford brought into the White House. “I don’t know one Ford man. either on his staff or in his kitchen cabinet, who wanted an immediate pardon," a Ford insider told us Gen Alexander Haig, the chief of Gerald Ford staff inherited from Nixon, was viewed by these Ford insiders as advocating a quick pardon. But not even the mighty Haig is believed influential enough to have swayed the President from the resolve expressed at his Aug 28 press conference to await action by special prosecutor Leon Jaworski before considering a pardon for Nixon What changed the President’s mind0 The answer is put identically by several Ford advisers “Somebody got to Ford." Specifically, that “somebody" told the President that Nixon was in precarious condition emotionally and physically and could not survive under threats of prosecution This certainly was not the message brought back from San Clemente by Benton Becker, the young Washington lawyer sent there by Mr Ford to negotiate with Nixon Becker encountered a composed Nixon, wholly in command of himself, and so reported ta the White House. Accordingly, the “somebody’’ was a person in far more intimate contact with the real Nixon at San Clemente In the opinion of one informed Ford adviser, it was Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the former President’s engagingly bright daughter who has always been a favorite of Mr. Ford’s. Whoever the San Clemente caller, Mr Ford’s stunning reversal is seen by his closest advisers as dictated not by politics but by personal compassion Here, then, is no repeat of the infamous Saturday night massacre Mostly private criticism of the President within his own party goes not to motives but to judgment. The cost of that bad judgment is running perilously high. By breaking past promises, Mr Ford has shredded his own credibility and put all Republican candidates on the Watergate spot loss than two months before the election. His presidency, his relations with congress and Republican campaign prospects all have been damaged Republicans are consequently asking whether this was a single abysmal aberration or a clue to congenital behav ior in time of crisis They desperately hope the former is the case because of the unwholesome parallel to this crisis with President Nixon, who never consulted his party. Only Haig, Buchen and counselor Robert Hartmann were kept fully informed about the pardon Mr Ford took no advance soundings of congressional reaction A longtime Ford intimate, house minority leader John Rhodes (one of the few Republicans giving the pardon his private approval), was informed Sunday noon at the ninth tee at Burning Tree following the public announcement Nor is there any sign that another wise old Ford crony, Melvin R Laird, was consulted in advance. The cabinet — including still another Ford crony. Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton — was ignored. Least explicable of all was the failure to confide in press secretary Jerald terHorst Attempting to protect the new President, terHorst removed from the payroll strident Nixon partisans such as Kenneth B. Clawson and Father John McLaughlin Other Ford staffers believe Haig resented this role by terHorst. Thus, the puzzle deepens: Why ignore terHorst, a savvy veteran of 16 years as a Washington correspondent and a friend of Mr Ford’s even longer, and instead consult Haig? Republicans are hoping that, though the euphoria of Mr Ford’s first month is gone forever, the pardon will not prove to Im* a running open sore like Watergate (and. for that matter, Chappaquiddick). What really nags at them is whether last week's trauma is a preview of President Ford under extreme stress — whether somebody as persuasive as Julie Eisenhower can deflect him from a sensible, operational strategy by a private appeal outside normal political channels. Punisherv Moll Svnriirotr Richard Nixon Zoo questions spice November ballot in C.R. TWO QUESTIONS, each needing yeses from WI percent of the voters to pass, will lay it on the line to Cedar Rapids residents Nov. 5: Are they willing to assume the cost, through taxes, of constructing and of operating a new, modern zoo for the community to entertain and educate not only people here but visitors from much of Eastern Iowa? As promoted bv the Hawkeye Zoological Society, plans for a $3 million zoo financed by bond-issue money feature this broad outlook; The facility would be* of “barless enclosure" design resembling open lay-nuts in such cities as Milwaukee and St Louis Natural-type habitats would let The    Gazette's opinion Opportunity knocks BEYOND DISPUTE, a first-rate zoo is a first-order asset in any community. It entertains a full cross-section of the people. It educates them helpfully in things worth knowing. It provides a good life for many animal species and helps to preserve them It attracts to a community large numbers of guests from around it. An excellent zoo is good for people and good for business. It is also expensive to build and to run. What Cedar Rapids residents now have a chance to decide on November’s genera 1-election ballot is whether they believe a first-rate zoo’s rewards are worth the expense they would feel through taxes. In the seven weeks or so before Nov. 5. full details of the plan and all its pros and cons will come before the public for its judgment. Bare essentials of it have been summarized above. On the strength of that much, citizens responding to a survey by the zoo-promoting Hawkeye Zoological Society reportedly expressed strong favor for the plan now shaping up What they were asked specifically was whether they would be for zoo construction at a tax cost to themselves at levels called for by a $3 million bond issue being proposed — 60 cents a month for owners of homes market-valued for assessment purposes at $20,000. Over all, according to the poll, 73.4 percent of those queried were for the idea. They included both renters and owners of homes Among owners alone, the "yes” majority was 69.4 percent. As a further guide to feeling, as a stimulus to interest in the plan and as an outlet for opinions on the project at this stage in its development, the ballot form beside this editorial is offered for the use of anyone who cares. Nothing scientific underpins it, and as usual the outcome will prove nothing. But the information-flow can benefit thereby, and so may People’s willingness to go for something good when the chance comes along. each kind of animal move relatively freely amid grass, trees or shrubs and water. separated by moats, walls, overhands or other suitable dividers. No steel-and-conerete cages in the old-time sense would pen them in A staff of trained attendants would see to the animals’ feeding and care year-round. Funds for operation of the zoo ($200,000 a year) would come primarily from moderate admission charges. Estimated annual attendance: 175.(HK) To whatever extent income fails to meet expenses, a separate operation levy would make up the difference through taxes on property. November’s ballot question sets this, under law, at a maximum of one mill. The actual need, varying with weather-linked attendance, is expected to average $13,000 a year That would put the levy at l/20th of about one mill To the average owner of a $20.(MMI marketvalued house, it would mean an estimated 27 cents a year in taxes On the $3 million bond issue for zoo construction itself, taxes averaging about I 35 nulls a year for a 10-year period are the general prospect. Zoo promoters illustrate this as a tax of $7.29 annually on the typical $2*1.000 house. When the bonds have been paid off, of course, the levy also would expire. As separate questions on the bonds and on the operations levy go before the voters, no location for a Cedar Rapids zoo has been pinned down. That would be determined later if the measures authorizing ZIM) construction and support for operation earn approval of the people at the polls. How do YOU see it? To encourage fair and full exposure of opinion on matters of public concern in Eastern Iowa and Cedar Rapids, The Gazette's editorial pages offer periodically this mini-ballot medium for readers |udgments and comment. Responses will be summarized in a future edition. Unless marked otherwise, comments will be considered for publication in the People s forum. Please clip end mail to: Editorial Department, Cedar Rapid, Gazette Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406 Zoo project Question I: Do you want a good new zoo in Cedar Rapids badly | enough to pay about 1.35 mills a year more on your property tax levy to I help cover the construction cost? □ Yes □ No Question 2. Would you be willing to pay up to I mill more on your j | taxes for a zoo s operation, on the understanding that the actual charge J will probably be only I / 20th that much? □ Yes □ No I CommentI II Name Street addressI | City or P O. I_______ People s forumProblems To the Editor. For those who are proposing a zoo for Cedar Rapids, there are many questions and problems that must Im* met What kind of a zoo are they proposing0 How large, and who will care for the feeling, health and shelter? W ill there in* wild animals that need special climate and spa<e° What kind of shelter and where will it Im* built? As for charging admission to residents of L«*dar Rapids, it would seem a playground type with domestic animals suited for the climate and a barn-type shelter would Im- more appreciated W ith large zoos, as near as St Louis, it would seem a trip there for those who wish to sec wild animals should be suffi cient Wild animals are not happy cooped up in a jM*n My son and family visited a zimi recently He said he watched a wolf trot round his lien the same pace endlessly going into the little shelter and back out He wondered if he even knew what he was doing being so obsessed with escape We should have more compassion for animals The zoo kec|M*rs told him at night the animals cry out as if to say, when are then/crazy people going to let us live our own lives fn*o in the woods and wilds0 A supervised playground would Im* welcomed — where children could play in safety without danger of being molested We have too many z«m)s already Besides, our economy carmot stand an other ripoff at this time V R McVay 11*81 Raney street, HiawathaErring lo the Editor I think the so-called news media, in some aspects, should “straighten up and fly right,” whether they be newspaper, magazine, television or radio I dislike sentences that begin "A very reliable source.” or “An unini|M*uchahle source," or “A source close to the White House " Who are these so-called sources’’ When President Nixon resigned, most everyone thought everything would be “coming up roses ’ Well, it hasn t, toe it? But give President Ford time I do i.„i like his selection for vice-president President Nixon was striving for world peart* — a permanent peace — not just • peace in our time ’’ He did deceive everyone, even his own family But they love him and he loves them When you love someone you love them with all their faults Love, to me, is loving and la'ing, loved in return I here wa*' a coined expression about President Truman To err is Truman Well, to err is human, forgiveness is div me Mrs Val Baria 2WMI Twelfth avenue S\V Mercy To the Editor The quality of mercy is not stra it droppeth as a thunderbolt from White House A r( ' I ✓ 4 ;

  • Benton Becker
  • Evel Knievel
  • Gen Alexander Haig
  • James J. Kilpatrick
  • Jerald Terhorst
  • Jerry Terhorst
  • John Mclaughlin
  • John Randolph
  • John Rhodes
  • Julie Eisenhower
  • Julie Nixon Eisenhower
  • Kenneth B. Clawson
  • Leon Jaworski
  • Melvin R Laird
  • Nixon Becker
  • Philip Buchen
  • Richard Nixon
  • Richard Vt Nixon
  • Robert Hartmann
  • Robert Novak
  • Rowland Evans
  • William F. Buckley

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: September 12, 1974

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