Cedar Rapids Gazette, October 2, 1974, Page 7

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette October 2, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 2, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Bad habit: Presidents always from politics Editorial Page Wednesday, October 2, 1974 Linn leads the losers AS MIGHT have been predicted, 92 Iowa counties that received overpayments in state funds to replace revenue lost through repeal of the moneys and credits tax are taking their time in refunding money that does not belong to them. Meanwhile, the remaining seven counties, all of which were underpaid by the state, are standing by until they receive the money due them, unable to use it either to reduce taxes or to place at interest. This comes about because the 1973 legislature, in its wisdom, set Dec. 31, 1976, as the deadline for the 92 counties to refund overpayments to the state and Jan. 31, 1977, as the deadline for the state to parcel this money to the seven counties entitled to it. Probably the legislature wouldn’t have acted at all except that Michael Carr, the Delaware county attorney at the time, asked for an attorney general’s opinion how the underpaid counties could get their money from the overpaid counties. Attorney General Turner held that legislation would be necessary to require overpaid counties to refund the amount of overpayments to the state for redistribution to underpaid counties. State Rep. Hennessey of Ryan took it from there, introducing the necessary legislation in 1973. But neither he nor State Sen. Kennedy of Dubuque, who helped with the bill in the senate, could get the legislature to pass it without agreeing to deadlines three years away. Thus, those of the 92 counties that chose to wait until the deadline arrives will have use of mon ey that is not theirs to meet their needs while the seven underpaid counties the money belongs to must sit and twiddle their thumbs. Where is the fairness in that kind of unorthodox arrangement? So far, only 16 overpaid countied have refunded a total of $37,278, which the state has use of until it makes redistribution. The unequal distribution of state funds came about due to miscalculations by various county auditors in 1965 when five mills of the six-mill state moneys and credits tax were repealed. When the last mill was repealed later, valuations were frozen at the 1965 level. Then state distribution checks from 1967 to 1973 were based on miscalculations of what was due each county. Overpayments ranged from $343 to Fremont county to $114,643 to Polk county. Underpayments range from $770 due Adams county to $366,740 due Linn county, and they total $485,473. At 5 percent interest — and that’s on the conservative side in today’s market — the underpaid counties could have realized more than $24,000 a year if that money had been invested in their behalf. Or they could have used it to reduce taxes. But due to the delayed deadlines insisted on by the legislature, those seven counties (Clay, Delaware, Franklin, O’Brien and Tama, in addition to Linn and Adams) won’t get their money until January, 1977. It makes one wonder where the legislature would have set the deadlines if the situation had been reversed, with seven counties owing the 92 counties nearly half a million dollars. Art-show eyewash Embarrassed, seemingly, at showing what the watching world took to be the cultural weight of a band of apes in the smashup of an unapproved abstract-art show earlier this month, the Russian government has softened up a bit. Officials at a level higher than the local headlock and bulldoze brigade allowed an offbeat show to go ahead last weekend, undisrupted. Nearly all the artists showing works were nonmembers of the official Union of Artists. Most of their paintings failed to qualify in the only category of art that Soviet cultural authorities recognize as valid: “socialist realism.’’ The show was the first in modern history permitting works to be viewed publicly without first being submitted to the state for approval. That much, at least, marks Way    with words Timing By Theodore M. Bernstein A CONNECTICUT editor writes to ask about what he calls the “confusion between thi» and next." A reporter writing on, let's say, Monday, Aug. 28. will talk about an event scheduled for "this Wednesday" or “this autumn,” and the editor wants to know whether it shouldn’t be “neat Wednesday” or “next autumn.” The adjective fbi* has as one of its meanings close in time, so it is just as proper to write, “I am going to have pizza for dinner fbi* evening," as it is to write, “I had ham and eggs for breakfast this morning." In writing toward the end of August about autumn it might be ambiguous to say "next autumn"; it might not be clear whether you meant the one about to begin or next year’s. Writing "this autumn” would nail it down. The same goes for "this Wednesday." The use of next would not be headway. Signs of some concern for what the world thinks bespeak encouragement. Willingness to bend a bit toward freedom does too. But a number of the Moscow show’s exhibitors, themselves, refused to take all this as proof of any durable new tolerance on the Soviet government’s part for cultural nonconformity. A vision of restrictive consequences overhung the scene for some. Good reasons for concern on that account, of course, persist. Artistic freedom, both for artists and for patrons of the arts, does not exist in any real sense where people who would like to show some art must get permission from the government before they can. Longer steps than any seen so far will have to come before the world buys the picture being offered up now. improper, but it might not always Im* clear. • The ic* word*. A question that arises from time lo time is whether a word like politics is always singular. It is singular most iif the time, but not always. When an -KS word refers to a subject, a science, a profession or a system it is construed as a singular: “World politics was his life study ” Hut when such a word refers to practical activities or qualities it is sometimes construed as a plural: "Politics keep the* senator busy from morning till night.” Two more «*xamples:    Slob* tic* is a principal course at the business school”; “Stotiitics prove nothing in this instance.” e Word oddities, So October is upon us. But why October when the root of the word is octo, meaning eight? October is the name of the eighth month — at least it was the eighth month in the ancient Roman calendar. In that calendar the year began with the month of March In the Gregorian calendar the month was changed to the tenth month, but the Octo-namc remained unchanged Similar things happened to September, November and December New /Of* I trues Syndicate By William F. Buckley, jr. IT IS EVERYWHERE said that with the withdrawal of Sen. Edward Kennedy from the presidential race, the Watergate drama has come to a complete cycle, crushing with the same juggernaut that impaled Richard Nixon, the Democrat!’ principal contender for the presidency, Edward Kennedy. The explanation is by now shopworn. You cannot, we are told, remove the Republican Nixon for his failure, among :>ther things, to cpnie clean about his misbehavior — and then elect the Democrat Kennedy notwithstanding his failure, among other things, to come clean about his misbehavior. Richard Nixon’s public declaration to the effect that he deeply regrets his mistaken judgments greatly annoyed people who wanted him to appear in sackcloth and ashes, regretting the day that he was born. In fact, politicians use euphemisms, wherever possible. When Edward Kennedy renounced the race for the presidency, he talked not about Chappaquiddick, but about his obligations to his family. I don't doubt that he feels quite sincerely his obligations to his family. But then I don't doubt, either, that Richard Nixon feels quite sincerely his regret at his mistaken judgments. After all, when you attempt to obstruct justice People’s forum Good bill To the Editor: A reader wanted information on the consumer protection in the uniform consumer credit code (Forum, Sept. 29). Before citing some examples, let me assure him that those who voted against the bill were voting against the interests of both consumers and the small business man. Sears, Roebuck will survive regardless, but my small hardware business in Anamosa can’t exist without credit sales. For years I was able to sell power mowers or refrigerators, for example, on credit and sell the contract to a lending institution. However, during that period of a year or so between the supreme court decision (holding Iowa’s usury law applied to revolving retail credit) and passage of the uniform consumer credit code, I lost many sales because I couldn't sell the contracts. You see, like most small business men, I don’t have the money to finance credit transactions the way Sears or Penney’s can. If the state wanted the small retailers to be killed off, defeat of the new uniform commercial credit code would be as good as any way to do it. Even with return to the old rate of 18 percent, Iowa’s rates are still lower than 46 states’. The temporary rate of 9 percent didn’t help the buyer, either. If he needed a refrigerator bad enough, or other necessity, he was forced to go to a small loan company and pay 36 percent. What good is a low interest rate to the consumer if he needs credit and can’t get it? The new law has more protection for the consumer, such as letting him cancel service type contracts (i.e. dance studios, etc ); outlawing numerous debt • collection practices; prohibiting balloon payments refinanced at higher interest rates; permitting court authority to revise an unconscionable contract; outlawing “flipping” (consolidation of loans at higher interest rates); allowing com* and fail to do so, among other things, you have been mistaken in your judgment. I wish that we would take the opportunity at this point to reflect less on the need of an American President to have been born without sin, pre portu, in partu, and po st partum, as the theologians say, — as to be born with outstanding qualifications to serve as President of the United States. The question arises: How come Richard Nixon was considered the top Republican in the country, and how come Edward Kennedy was considered the top Democrat in the country? It is easier to answer the second question than the first. Senator Kennedy is the surviving brother of a publicly illustrious breed, and the martyr’s blood one longs to avenge, runs only in his veins. That in itself would substantially account for his popularity, and you then add, of course, his good looks and his youth. I hear it said, incidentally, that he has developed into a fine public speaker. But his popularity was secure before that happened. In the case of Richard Nixon, he got to where he got by a combination of extraordinary luck (the need of Dwight Eisenhower to capture the California delegation in 1952), and dogged and intelligent perseverance: ten million town hall appearances for local candidates William F. Buckley, jr. over a period of 20 years. But Mr. Nixon never distinguished himself as a man of extraordinary gifts, or capacity. If his dealings with the Watergate prosecutors, and with Internal Revenue, and with Bebe Rebozo, were as chaste as those of Snow White with the Seven Dwarfs, would he therefore have loomed as a man more august than he is seen now to be? Isn’t it clear that his shortcomings, those that greatly matter, were of an extra-venal character? Here is the trouble with the presidency. People are laughed at for merely mentioning as a possible President someone who is not heavily steeped in a ritual which tends rather to vulgarize than to ennoble. It is safe nowadays to say, for instance, that you think Senator Jackson should be President. But it is ludicrous III SHV that you think Frank Stanton should ho President. Why? This has no-thing to do with any question of sharing or not sharing Jackson s or Stanton's views on public policy. But a wall lifts up, as impenetrable as Berlin’s, between the two categories of men. Stanton’s executive experience is far greater than Jackson’s. His general attraction to left domestic policies is about the same. His views on all matters are very well known, inasmuch as he has given almost as many speeches as Jackson. His position on foreign policy is not very different. He is neither much more or much less effective than Jackson as a public speaker. Surely this is a direction we should consciously turn to: increasing the list of Americans who should be considered for the presidency. The mere mention of someone as a possible President has the effect of getting his name thought about But it should be more than that. Committees should examine men from different professions. They should be written about, listened to. And the old mold should be destroyed, the one that says you have got to stick to a governor or a senator or a congressman, however obscure. Watergate should liberate us from something more than merely the lack of candor. Washington Star Syndicate People who belong to unions, and their families, are the largest single group in Iowa and in this country; actually, about 50 percent nationwide. Isn’t a candidate elected to represent the people? Is it wrong for a working man or woman to donate one or two dollars, when the employers are donating thousands? I think not. Robert Carson 803 Fifth avenue SW Easy street To the Editor. It appears to me that the best way to beat inflation on a personal basis is to be elected President and subsequently impeached. August Gureno 928 Third street SE ,ts    . '■V AJJfS' -/tov rn pensation for job firing due to garnish ment, to name a few. Those who supported the bill showed they were really interested in both the consumer and the small, independent business man. Henry Furino Anamosa ‘Union’ money To the Editor: I became a little irritated as I read these letters condemning John Culver v r' - Helpful for accepting money for his campaign from "organized labor” or “unions” from “outside the state. ” First it seems most hypocritical as one compares Culver and Stanley contributions Secondly, this “dirty" union money is voluntarily collected, one and two dollars at a time from union members in Iowa. It is then sent to the International Union office (outside the state), and is finally returned to the endorsed candidate, the amount based on several factors. It does not seem to me immoral for a candidate to accept money from thousands of people, which is what “organized labor” contributions are. To the Editor. I agree completely with Duane Els-berry’s letter of September 26 saying that helping people is Tom Riley’s way of life. I recall several years ago when a young black from Cedar Rapids was in jail in Wapello. He had defended himself from an attack by two drunks on a train and was arrested for stabbing one. Several other lawyers turned down his mother’s appeal for help before she went to Tom Riley. He took the case despite the political consequences to his career. Not only did Senator Riley prove his client’s innocence but got the railroad to pay damages for letting the drunks become abusive. As a legislator Senator Riley has consistently fought discrimination against minorities, women and school children. We need more persons like him in government. Stanley Winistorfer 261 Foote street SW Prosecution couldn't care less Haig-Kissinger wiretap lies draw a blank By William Safi re WASHINGTON - Last year, after learning that I was among the 17 government officials and newsmen illegally wiretapped, I called Al Haig to find out if President Nixon had known about the tap on my line. “Absolutely not,” said Haig. “The President was shocked to learn about it just now.” Toe general was lying, it seems. In testimony release last week as part of the senate foreign relations committee’s whitewash of the* Kissinger-Haig nile in wiretapping. Senator Eulbright asked: “So is it correct to conclude that the President personally requested that each of these individuals Im? tapped?” Our next NATO commander replied artfully ”... Three or four weeks ago the President signed a letter suggesting that he approved them, and. therefore, I believe that he did.” Then Haig added a curious thought about Nixon’s approval of each of these invasions of privacy: “Now, how formally that was done, whether it was done by Mr. Ehrlichman or Mr. Haldeman in his behalf, or Dr Kissinger running it by him, I can’t say.” Consider those words, Ix-cause they reveal a conception of a plural President that is at the root of so much of the Watergate agony. When I recently remonstrated with Haig for lying to me last year about whether the President “knew,” he replied in the same vein: “You know, Bill, ‘the President’ is more than one man.” The idea of a hydra-headed President. with accountability diffused and blame unfixable, is the Kissinger-Haig defense against bearing responsibility for their active sponsorship of an illegal White House spying operation They were just “following orders” from ti President who — in their eyes — was sometimes J. Edgar Hoover, sometimes John Mitchell, and once in a while the indi\iduai who had been elected to the job Spying on his colleagues was necessary', Kissinger explained over the sound of Senator Case’* sympathetic clucking, to show the fierceness of his own loyalty — after all, Henry had long experience in Washington under Democrats "I was a friend of both Jack and Robert Ken nedy In 1967 I conducted negotiations with the North Vietnamese for Harriman and Katzenbach I saw a great deal of Robert Kennedy before his assassination and, of course, I was a consultant to the President then ” This decade long record of top level Washington experience was suddenly V/illiam Safire forgotten by Kissinger when asked to explain his remark to Director Hoover that Henry and his friends “would destroy whoever did this” leaking “I was new in Washington,” he explained. "... I might h^ve had a tendency to show him that I was alert to the danger of security.” Dead men tell no tales. Kissinger and Haig have decided, and — as expected — they have tried to place the largest portion of guilt about the wiretaps at the doorstep of the FBI. In several cases, mint* included, the orders of wiretap were requested by Deputy FBI Director William Sullivan, who said he received surveillance requests from Al Haig. Hoover would then get written authorization from the attorney general and the taps went on But Kissinger and Haig now claim the FBI document* lie, swearing they .knew nothing about certain of the taps which were attributed to them. Whom does that leave holding the bag? J. Edgar Hoover who was deep-sixed by the grim reaper a while back, and William Sullivan, who insists that Haig did indeed make the wiretap requests he now denies. If we are to believe the Kissinger-Haig who-mc?-defenxe, we must believe that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was run with no concern for professionalism, with embarrassing activities left lightly covered by stories that could readily Im* disavowed Jfhat was not the way J Edgar Hoover was known to operate. The conflict in testimony between the Kissinger-Haig defense and the testimony of the living FBI men is absolute: Somebody is committing consistent perjury, and nobody in government is interested in finding out who’s lying. The senate foreign relations committee* investigation was a joke. Senator Scott even railed that the protests of the people who were trapped was "a disgust mg performance." The committee recoiled from the clue that Kissinger dropped about yet another FBI program of wiretapping, not yet revealed. The special prosecution force doe* riot find illegal wiretapping ideologically satisfying and has dropped it The last I heard from Iz*on Jaworski was a moo sage relayed to me by Al llaig a few months ago to “tell your man Safire ti lay off. Haig said he told the special prosecutor I was not his man Which is true enough. Al Haig ha* boasted to colleagues in San Clemente o! a $200,(MM)-a-yeur offer in the private sec tor from the Rockefellers Let him tak* The post held with honor by Gencr als Eisenhower, Gruenther, Ridgeway and Norstad should not go to the overly good soldier who - to this day - think! that “ ‘the President’ is more than nm man " New’York Time* Svrylt* ;

  • Al Haig
  • Bebe Rebozo
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • Edgar Hoover
  • Edward Kennedy
  • Frank Stanton
  • J. Edgar Hoover
  • John Culver
  • John Mitchell
  • Michael Carr
  • Richard Nixon
  • Robert Carson
  • Robert Ken
  • Robert Kennedy
  • Theodore M. Bernstein
  • Tom Riley
  • William F. Buckley
  • William Safi
  • William Sullivan

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: October 2, 1974

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