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View Sample Pages : Cedar Rapids Gazette, February 08, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 8, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Ov IWhite House-prosecutor rift expands Editorial Page Friday, February 8, 1974 Interest-conflict ethics AT THE END of the* Iowa senate’s recent debate on wiping out the sales tax on prescription rlruKs and food for home consumption, a strange thing happened. One of the legislators — a grocer — disqualified himself from voting on the bill because of what he said was a conflict of interest. Norman Hedgers of Adel abstained from the 46-2 enactment after leading opposition to it vocally before the vote. It could be argued snidely that a certain measure of self-interest falls to one who keeps the record void of one’s own extremely unpopular vote — just as business-self-interest could motivate a vote along the lines of Rodgers’ argument. Even so, his standoff act was notable for rarity. It does direct attention to a seldom-tackled cpiestion as to interest-conflicts in the legislative process: Where should legislators draw the line in taking part in actions where they stand to lose or profit personally from what occurs? What ARE the legislative ethics that should rule? There is. of course, an important difference between debating a point and voting on it. From the viewpoint of a legislator’s own experience or expertise in something, firsthand information from him can be useful to his colleagues. But possible personal gain from his own vote on an item, where decisive power comes to bear, is another breed of cat. When citizens with outside incomes sit as legislators too: Should a grocer vote on food-tax changes — or on measures letting wine be sold in grocery stores.’ Should an insurance agent vote on rate-structure changes that could benefit his business — or on no-fault insurance? Should a utility employe vote on legislation to control utilities? Should a teacher vote on a bargain ing-powcr enactment for teachers? Should a parent with children in parochial schools \ote on something that would channel public funds to private schools*’ Should a banker vote on raising bank rate maximums? Should a merchant vote on measures to increase, or limit, legal-rates on charge-account interest? Should a newspaper publisher vote on requirements for publishing public-body minutes, or legal notices? Should a farmer vote on action to decrease tin* taxi's on his farm equipment? Should a real estate man vote on new controls for subdividers? Should a trucker vote on truck-length limitation changes? Interest-conflict possibilities involving personal reward from legislators' votes are as diverse as they are commonly ignored. But easy answers do not automatically enfold them all, and the practicalities more often show in shades of gray than black or white. This much is clear for citizens and legislators, both: More sensitivity to interest-conflict voting should make cases of abstention commonplace instead of ran'. Birth-trends taper THE CURIOUS phenomenon of sound social policy meshing with sound personal choice has shown up recently in birth rate figures for the nation during 1973. It comes as frosting on the cake to find that Iowa’s own record last year showed an even sounder birth rate than the national. Preliminary data from the Census Bureau for last year disclosed a U.S. rate of 15 births for every I.(HK) people — lowest in the nation’s history. That corresponded with a rate of 1.9 children per couple, which is satisfyingly below the 2.1-per-eouple rate regarded as the stability level of zero population growth. Iowa’s performance ran still lower: 13.4 births per thousand residents, down a bit from 14.3 the year before. In times of shortage and projections of still worse conditions as the century wears em, these trends glow in terms of resource-use. environmental quality and way-of-life concern Some analysts see a social awareness of all this as part of the reason why people have controlled their reproductive' lives collectively to register the* rates now noted Other specialists discount that motivation They explain the trend as mirroring “postponement” rather than a lasting pattern. Many also assess it as more an outgrowth of concerns for personal economy, inflation, affluence and life-style than a consequence of over-all enlightenment. Better practices of birth control and freer access to abortion also surely underlie the record too Few would dispute, in any event, that the causes are multiple, the social forces behind them highly complex and the prognosis uncertain Even so, the current picture unmistakably bespeaks encouragement, rome what may, it manifests a brighter social outlook than the opposite trend would. If most of the rest of tin* world ex cr manages to duplicate w hat we’ve been seeing here, an even greater time for cheering will have come, along with astonishing sign that all of hun unkind may actually have smartened up By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON The probability that special prosecutor Leon Jaworski will not subpoena the last tapes and documents denied him by President Nixon’s lawyers may be hailed at the White House as a major victory, but iii fact the new confrontation has ominous overtones for the President Fven without the new material, daw or ski’s prosecutors are confident they have ev idence enough to indict and convict Mr Nixon’s former top aides Meanwhile, relations between thi* White House and laworski, handpicked by the President last October to replace Xrchibald Cox. are lower than ever. Furthermore, the latest noncooperation has hurt the President with the all-im-jiortant fence-straddlers in congress Worst of all. the new developments tie Mr Nixon ever closer to tilt* fate of his former lieutenants — particularly ll It Haldeman and John I). Fhrlichman. lf the prosecutors really do have the goods on them, the President isjrither guilty of damaging loyalties to fallen comrades or needs to shield them to protect himself Thus, now more than ever. Mr Nixon appears to be personally committed to the exoneration of Haldeman and Fhrlichman. People’s forumNews bias To the Fditor: For some time now the public has been bombarded with discussion concerning whether the President should resign It’s reached the point where people should stand up against the biased, twisted interpretation of facts as presented by the media (television in particular), on the question of the President’s involvement in the Watergate affair Many network T\ performers have openly implied their belief in the President’s guilt, stating they believe he should either resign or he impeached. Recently, on the “Tomorrow” show. newsman Harry Reasoner said the President was responsible for Watergate, implying that therefore the President is guilty of some criminal activity . With oi>en bias like that, how can we get straight facts on television news programs0 One news program ends each evening in a personalized commentary by a nationally known figure, after dealing with the President s involvement in Watergate This stands as testimony that TV news is slanted: specifics give way to personal views This method of handling nows has got to stop and stop now sn the American people carl hear fact without bias on the part of TV s many influential newscasters lh. an H Moore Hiawatha (Editor $ note On the point of who is responsible for Watergate, President Nixon said, in a televised address on Watergate April 30, 1973 ' I will not place the blame on subor dmates In any orgamlotion, the man at the top mu*) bear responsibility That responsibility, therefore, belongs here, in this office I accept it ')UNICEF success To the Fditor Vs co-chairman <»i the IAH KF c.ird shop I am*pleased to roper! the results of our 197S endeavors (’hecks in excess of si MHI were sent to the I S < ommittee fur I NR KF Among the items sold were The shadowy confrontation this week between the White House and ,laworski cannot rationally be explained otherwise In recent weeks, the White House has privately stressed defense not only of the President but of former aides as well. The word being spread to Nixon loyalists i> that former appointments secretary Dwight Chapin, a -.mall fish indeed, may be the only staffer ever convicted by a jury, all the rest will go free The basis for this rosy forecast is the prosecution’s reliance on testimony by deposed White House counsel John W Dean III Presidential lieutenants are telling friends in private what Sen Hugh Scott has been telling the world in public Tin1 (apes will prove Dean a liar That, they claim, will demolish the prosecution’s cases. Hence, the White House believe*, it has Jaworski iii a dilemma. If lie subpoenas the documents denied him, he risks a court fight pushing long-delayed Watergate indictments into May or even later, as well as probably stalling house impeachment proceedings But if he pulls hack and does not press for the documents, the White House can claim Jaworski, when eyeball to eyeball with the President, flinched At this writing, Jaworski’, probable course is to consult the senate judiciary committee, which iii turn may summon Atty Gen. William Saxbt* for help But all this seems mostly going through the motions to make a record Iii all probability, the documents will be neither surrendered nor subpoenaed The White House can then claim Jaworski flinched. But in fact, the prosecutors believe iii their existing evidence. They believe Penn’s testimony will stand up against the tapes Consequently, us iii so much of Watergate, all paths converge on John Dean’s credibility lf Dean is sustained in court, the President’s strategy will have served him badly by further souring relations w it ti Jaworski. The day when presidential chief-of->taff Alexander Haig called Jaworski “a patriot,’* and other White House aides expected soft treatment from him, passed long ago, and the relationship has deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks Haig telephoned Jaworski two weeks ago to complain that his subordinates were leaking information contradicting Senator Scott and defending Dean s credibility, The backstage White House refrain of 1973 that (’ox was fumbling the prosecution has become the 1974 complaint against Jaworski. Old friends iii Texas -.ay Jaworski is hopping mad. Moreover, noncooperation with Jaworski will have an impact on Hazardous old toy I 438 boxes of cards, I TH date IxMiks, HIH wall calendars, and numerous gift items including books, games, and toys The money we have collected will provide food and medicine for millions of nmiy children as well as aid in the support of numerous training and educational programs Without our community’s support, however, this vital project would not have born possible More than HU citizens unselfishly volunteered their time and Recommended: no control of content Here’s a switch: unregulated cable TV By James J. Kilpatrick 117ARMINGTON - Think, now and ® * take your time before an coring How long ha. it been xinu* an official government report came along that recommended not more governmental controls, but fewer? Until the Cabinet Committee on ( able Communication filed it > report last month, it had been a long, long time. The report is thus a shocker, To borrow from the late Jim McCarthy , it is among the most unheard-of things one ever heard of. The cabinet < ommittee was i barged with formulating broad policies, looking far to the future for the development and regulation of cable* communications The natural and normal tendency of such a committee* we»uld be- to recommend pe*r-vasive federal eontrol. This committee recommended no such thing. I do not pre tend to understand the technology of what i.> known variously as cable TV, < ATV, coaxial ( omnium* atom, and simply “cable.” But the authors of this report make it clear that this growing e'omniunications medium has a fantastic future* Development began in the late* 1940s wilts community antennae* in moun famous parts of Pennsylvania and Oregon By 19r>2, some 70 cable sy stems haej 14.000 customers. Ten years late r, Him sy sterns were * n mg HSII OOO < us-tomers Today, 3.OOO systems are* con* m eted to almost 8 million household - The cabinet committee* looks to the* day, in the* not very distant future. when a cable subscriber will have instant access to forms at e ntertainment, education. and information lieyond the* dreams of science fiction ll will be jMissthle lo bring market (imitations, weather reports classroom lei lures and the* • -smit-, of courts and legislative bodies directly into one’, home Eventually messages and requests may be sent back up the cable tor more* -pee iali/ed ervices If I under (and all James J. Kilpatrick th iv * or rec fly, e able i» to pre sent day T\ as jet planes ar* lo propelle r elrIVcr: aircraft In the world cd communication v wear* alioth to go I w ie e* as fa ! ten time, as far The* committee acknowledges in pas-trig. that ttie prospe*(*t hold, some* disturbing sex tai implications » once ivably the* next century may see* mod families ii - sedentary as so many -.qua ti irs the* garden rooted tee boob tubes in every room \ gre at expansion in communica turn could mean a great contraction in human relationship** These unsettling conjectures are left leer another day The re port is directe d chiefly to mechanisms of regulation Wha! is propo-.cd, in brief, is no regulation - ne* regulation that I-, to sax, •if the conte nt of ( able programming The committee would take cable* out from under the* Federal ( ommumcut teens < ommissioii and thus nullify e ve ry bure ane rat ic requirement .es to la inn ss en equal t im* or goo*I taste I reele r the commute'** plan ieee al e able systems would a ne simply as ((minion e .if r lei >, like t« lcphori** eompanie, or bu-, lines or Western I'mon with no authority whaler ewe i the programs or mforma turn prov Ned "I he* e able* sy stem »>(<' rater,’ says the committee ‘ xx i Mi bl be erbliged to deliver the messages of channel use rs with as little f ga rd to content as the Postal Servile* his to the content of the* print media Ideas would have to win the ir influence in the marketplace, rather than requiring exposure through the* re gilly tory proce*ss Such an approach makes great good (•rise* I rider this ped icy the Rev ( ar I M I til ire, w horn t he E< 1 ought to lienee in an indefe nsible decision Iasi year would Im* lie* tee expound his fundamentalist go ped \post b s of liberal I lien dogy en iii Ii. rosy would he »**|ua!ly free Subject only to reasonable safeguards again t libel, jmrnographv. and in (•dement, to e rime ( aide* systems would transmit any programs that sponsors and customer might el**are \s I av the tee linolopv is tieyorid my ken but the peddle*#! philosophy is not. The authors of this report are talking about freedom of expression — freedom of ideas, freedom of e ((inject mg doe trines, freedom of personal choice — and they .ire talking about freedom from needless government eontrol To hear tins from a cabinet committee is moxie to the ears WOSS I nylon blat Syr>di» oil* efforts to the card shop Grateful thanks are extended to them as well as to the art center’s staff (the* shop s home for the past three years), and in particular to Mr. Stun Wiederspan In spite* of his many responsibilitie s as the center’s new director, he graciously accepted our presence and offered his timely assistance Finally, there* is one very important person we* should all thank for the success of the I NK KF program in Coelar Rapids lim shop s chairman. Mis-, Katherine* Kollmann. Since 19H2. when she originated the card shop, she has been actively involved with it and other United Nations projects VY ithout her loyalty and devotion, the children of the world would he* much poorer and so would our community Linda I ie Wolf 1722 ( hestnut lane NFBring in cable To the Fditor Th** subject of cable TY is one of importune!* to everyone* espe*i willv to cl li/eris of (Velar Rapids since* cable TY along with re gulation TY affects «»ur lives intensely every day In ,i recent Iranehi * clee t mn I lo* voter s of Cedar Rapids turned flow ti albe wing .I ca tile IV company to operate in I It ami give persons who desired cable TV a chance to receive ii I would term these results, to say the least, rather short sighted The vol mg public obviously wanted to kcc p the company out of our city, but for what reasons’' I think they were basically afraid that this corn puny would bitume a monopoly, and soon everyone would have to pav the* small fee to get TV programs iVople maybe felt that WI* had adequate* reception with regulation TV Perhaps they felt it was too futuristic, espe* lolly for (Velar Rapids MI of a sudden critics who had shouted fe»r better quality TY' for years just shut up and voted “no What is wrong with us? ( able TV FVANS NOVAK President Nixon’s potential inners The members of congress All but die* hard loyalists believe, rightly or wrongly, that refusal to give Jaworski documents suggests Mi*. Nixon has something to hide. There is no sign that the new material sought by Jaworski involves an attempt to focus the* prosecution on the President. Contrary to published reports, the prosecutors have* no sj)e*cial interest in tailed conversations during January 1973 between the* President and John I) Fhrlichman over executive clemency for the* Watergate burglars that conceivably could implicate Mr Nixeen Rather, the new requests by Jaworski are* re*ally intended to buttress cases against former Nixon lieutenants. The White House refusal to cooperate reflects its unmistakable desire to confound the prosecution in these* cast's, a sentiment which can only enlarge suspicion about the President’s motives. Publishers Hi ill SyndKoep companies have* operated for years in many towns much smaller and more conservative than ours, ll has worked beautifully The' fact that most people in these lieu tis switched to cubic TY sen in after its introduction can lie attributed to its many advantages at a nominal fee, ni»l to monopolistic practices by the* TY c'om puny. The variety of programming possible with cable TY’ approaches infinity It has much more future* potential than conventional TV. Already plans are being made* for cable* TV in which you pay to watch a particular program only if you arc interested W(‘’ve always complained of violence, insulting programs and low -quality commercials The*se are the d**ath signs of conventional TY ( able TV can change all that It is definitely the* medium of the future*, and the sooner it is attaint'd, the heater Yet the biggest nightmare is thai the* suj>-poxedl.v progressive-minded people of (Velar Rapids will let cable TY’ go the* way of our dilapidated library and lorget about it VY** must not let this happen, for everyone’s sake the next time we are* pre*sente*d with a chance to bring cable* TY into Cedar Rapids Brian Mykleby 320 Red Fox road SF Charity misplaced To the Editor YU during my life according to what I react. I must have* been misinformed by ply parents They always taught me charity begins at home* It seems to me c hanty be*gins overseas According to the government. Us needs are* greater than our own here in the C S. Great numbers of people* are unemployed Some who have a job are making just a hare existence Would someone* figure* out the thinking of the* officials in \\ ashington? \ factory worker or anyone* else* who is drawing a jut ye beek has to give too much to I neb* Sam before ever se*eing his paycheck Ii serins to me* charity logins in Washington, then overseas, with the* worker last on the* totem pole* It just isn’t right Mrs ()li\«*r Fore 2.3117 0 avenue* NYV Can't win To the* Editor I just finixhe d reading the abortion letters in Feb. 4 Forum. It s a ralhe-r sail statement on our sot icty when “murder” bv abortion is more appealing than facing (M'ople* with an illegitimate* child I guess you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t Marsha A Fonder MonticelloInsights t I very man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the woi Id weigh less than a single lovely action James Russell Lowell ;