Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 1, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3 TV Cedar Rapid* Gazette; Fri. Nev. I, 1*74
Campaigning With Culver
Plant Gates, Scholarly Talks
By Frank Ny*
“What’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans? There seem to be so few that there’s no clear choice.”
A student at Columbus high In Waterloo put that question to Congressman John Culver of Cedar Rapids, Democratic candidate for US senator. when he finished talking to government classes there last Monday morning.
It was a scholarly talk that held student interest all the way. Culver said the nation had just weathered its most severe crisis — in Watergate and its aftermath — since the Civil war.
So the system had survived And only two years before its 200th birthday. But that didn’t automatically insure its continued survival if faced with a lack of faith and a lack of informed participation on the part of the citizenry.
After all. Culver went on. 200 years is ‘‘a mere fly spec” in time and there s no guarantee our system of self-government will survive into eternity, not in the Bible or any other place
That’s why reports of voter apathy, reports that large numbers of people won't vote Nov. 5, reports that thousands have been “turned off” by w hat’s happened, are so disturbing
“Each generation of Americans,” he said, “has a critical obligation to be informed and to know what it wants the system to do and not to do.”
Voter apathy in a self-governing form of government is hard to figure, he mused, because “it is difficult to know how not voting is going to improve our political system ”
He recalled that Francis Payne once said, “If we want to enjoy the fruits of liberty and freedom we must bear the fatigue of their defense.”
And now he was asked the difference between Democrats and Republicans.
“You should read in history books the different positons the two parties have taken on social, economic and other national problems,” Culver suggested.
That's what education is all about, he says. To learn And. having learned, to make up your own mind. So, first, study the historical development and background of the parties
You’ll find, he went on, that each party carries a broad umbrella — the better to
cover all of its members,
many of whom embrace philosophies ranging all the way from reactionary to liberal. with the conservative and the moderate in between.
Sometimes, he said. you might think a faction of one party, like deep-South Democrats, would feel more at
home with a faction of the
other, like Republican conservatives, than in their own party
But the way things are now , each party has its separate and distinct factions
“I was brought up in a Republican family.” Culver recalled, “but after I studied the history and background of the parties, I found myself more basically in line with the thrust of the Democratic party.”
He found the Democratic party to be more concerned
Gozette Photos bv P'-ook Nve
John Deere foctory worker John White of Waterloo.
about social problems, he said, more concerned with civil rights and equal opportunity and the needs of the people than the Republican party. It seemed to offer more diversity.
So he became a Democrat.
But it would be more fair. Culver said. for the students to hear from a Republican about the Republican party. And for them to study the two parties on their own and then to make their own decision about which party to join
That, he repeated, is what educ ation is all about
It was nearly IO a rn and already Culver was more than four hours into a new campaign day.
He had arisen at 5 30 that morning, after six hours of sleep, taken a quick glance at the morning paper with a story that President Nixon didn t have any health insuranc e
“Now, maybe* we’ll get some health insurance legislation," he observed “There are about 25 million others in the same boat.”
At 6 a rn he was at the gates of the John Deer Waterloo Tractor Works to shake hands with and ask the support of as many of the plant's 11.SHW employes as possible at the 7 a m. shift change.
Of those, 9.400 are members of United Auto Workers Local 838, whose president, Jack Seeber, was on hand to welcome Culver.
It wasn’t the easiest morning to campaign, for it started raining — hard — at 6 15 and didn’t let up until 9 45. So workers, coming by car, by city bus and by charter bus from Oelwein, Independence. Sumner and other surrounding towns, were in no mood to linger
“I’m John Culver, candidate for the senate. I ll appreciate your support,” Culver repeated as he* shook hands.
Some passed with no foment. Others said ‘hi” or “r.kre to meet ya ” Some were downright talkative.
“Hi John, you’ve got my vote." was frequently heard
“Did you order this weather?” growled a wet worker.
“You picked a hell of a day to come out, ” said another
But the ritual went on until the last incoming and outgoing employe had cleared the gates.
One of them told Culver, “I rode with your daughter on the bike tnp last summer.”
Culver’s daughter, Chris, 14, rode from Waterloo to Dubuque on a cross-state bike ride.
It's the Person
Standing under a shelter observing the scene all the while during the rain was John White, 56. married and the father of five daughters and three sons, grandfather of 28 and great-grandfather of one
"You know what I tell ’em when they get to talking.” he said of the polticians. “I tell ’em it ain’t the party, it’s the person.
“Things arc* all shook up so I don’t know who I’m going to vote for The ones you think are going to win may not make it.
“Everybody votes his own way. Like my wife I don’t tell her how to vote We go to vote arid when we come out I don't know what she voted for and I don't ask ”
It’s 7.15 a rn. Culver jumps into a car with aides Ben Benzine and Pat Duluhery
(pronounced DeLeery). They head for the home of Robert Fulton. former lieutenant
governor and short-term governor of Iowa
Mrs Fulton — Rachel — one of Culver’s Black Hawk county coordinators. has
prepared a delicious breakfast consisting of a yummy egg dish. link sausages and coffee cake.
Political topics are discussed and there are reminiscences Fulton and Culver
were ticket mates — for governor and Second district congressman, respectively — in 1970
Breakfast over. Culver thanks Mrs Fulton and arranges to meet her at Columbus high later Then he hops into a car and at 8 20 stops at Dick Powers Yankee Kitchen in Ridgeway Plaza to greet customers, waitresses and cooks.
Eleven minutes later he does a ditto at Mister Donut.
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Customers, those with sleep out of their eyes, are surprised and seem happy to meet a candidate.
At 8:46 a rn. Culver tours the Ramada Inn Coffee House and eight minutes later is shaking hands with the people in The drill across the street
“I can’t vote for you," confides a customer. “I’m from California.”
"I hope you enjoy your stay-in Iowa,” smiles Culver
Back into the car for a trip to Donutland, then to Columbus high
Culver makes every minute count while campaigning, just as he did when he first ran for office ten years ago.
He’s in campaign trim. Back rn January, he quit eating bread, butter, potatoes and desert. By June he was down from 275 to his old college football weight of 236 while playing fullback at Harvard. He weighed 321 while fullbacking at Franklin high in Cedar Rapids before that.
Culver hounds up to the front door at Columbus high, meets some faculty and staff members and by 9 21 is addressing the two government classes.
During the question period. Christian Easel. 17. a foreign exchange student from Germany, who heard Culver say the Democratic party is mort* concerned with social programs than Republicans, asks for specifics.
Culver outlines social advances he said the party initiated in the areas of health and education. And, he says. Democrats put the social security system on the books.
Mrs. Fulton takes over as driver after the session at Columbus. with Culver aides dispatched to handle other responsibility. At 10:10 Culver stops at KWWL-TY for an interview
Jim Gritzner, the station’s interview man. asks why Culver doesn t answer charges leveled by State Reg). David Stanley, his Republican opponent.
Culver replies that he never hesitates to answer “responsible advanced" charges
Obviously, he doesn't consider Stanley’s charges “responsibly advanced.” Not. Culver explained later, when Stanley makes them with the full knowledge that voters in Culver’s second district, who know his record, have sent him to congress five times with increasing margins of victory. while Stanley has run three tunes for congress “and hasn t made it yet ”
Back to the car and Mrs Fulton drives Culver to the Univerity of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls, where an overflow audience of 2M has to be moved to a larger
Ip a tame
auditorium to be accommodated.
On the way to UNI, Culver lights a cigar and puffs away while answering questions.
What about Stanley’s charge inat he has missed 28 percent of the nill tails in congress this year?
Stanley’s record of his roll calls is incomplete. Culver says He has veiled 80 percent of the time. more than the congressional average In his ten years in congress, his voting record is 87 percent, well above the average.
Some missed roll calls. Culver explained, came during this campaign, when he was home defending himself from Stanley’s “misrepresentation of my record.”
Lot of Difference
What about Stanley’s claim of a 99 percent voting record in the Iowa legislature‘>
There’s a lot of difference. Culver replies, between being in congress, in session most of the year, and hundreds of miles from home, and being in the legislature, which meets a few months, and only a few miles from home
And how about Stanley’s claim Culver is a "big spender0”
“He calls me a big spender and then accuses me of failing to vote on a $148 billion appropriations bill,” Culver relates. “He can’t have it both ways.
“I voted to cut $8 8 billion from the budget this year, including $5 billion in the military budget alone. Mr. Ford says he’s for cutting the budget — hut ‘don’t touch defense’.”
Culver recalls past votes against appropriations for the SNT. the B l bomber the ABM and the Izskheed aircraft loan
lh* notes that Stanley says he is for continued research on the Trident sub and the B l bomber and that they are highly expensive items.
Culver delivers basically the same talk, upgraded for college level students, at CNI that he gave at Columbus high.
He is asked if he’ll vote to
Congressman John during a break for
Culver visits with Nurse Molly Culver no relation the night shift at Mercy hospital in Cedar Rapids.
confirm Nelson Rockefeller for vice-president.
If he had to vote right now . Culver responds, he’d vote “present” since the house judiciary committee hasn t held hearings yet. He’d prefer to await the committee’s report before making a decision.
Then to the student union to mingle with I’NIers having lunch iii the spacious cafeteria.
Dr. Paul Tenney of UNI medical services approaches Culver, reminding him they were classmates in the second grade at Johnson school in Cedar Rapids.
To Mason City
Things like that happen to him all day long. Many indi-\ iduals come up to tell him he spoke at their high schools years ago. or he helped them with a problem in Washington, or he did them a favor.
At 1:20 p.m., it’s off to hhe Watearloo airport for lunch and to depart for Mason City, where Culver s Third district coordinator. Jim La Rue of Iowa City, meets him.
During the flight, Culver answers questions. Where does he stand on the proposed
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He has requested hearings by the judiciary committee, he says, and prefers to await the outcome.
Any proposed amendment must Im* “carefully scrutinized,” he says.
Where does he stand on repeal of Sec. 14B of the Taft-Hartley act, permitting states in have right-to-work laws?
“I voted for repeal in 1965 and would vote for it again — hut I don’t think u will he coming up.” he says.
In Mason City. Culver makes quick rounds to KGLO-TV for an interv iew, to Cerro Gordo county Democratic headquarters, to city hall where Mayor Kenneth Kew introduces him around the building, and to The Mason City (ilobe-Garette.
Meany s Man
Then back to the airport for a quick flight to Cedar Rapids
On the way he is asked
about Stanley’s charge that he
(Culver) is George Meany s man.
Culver replies that the League of Women Voters, and various women’s, conservation, consumer, education and elderly groups have given him higher support scores for legislation they want than has labor.
Labor wanted only two things this session. Culver says: Defeat of the Bolling re-
Frank Nye similarly report ed on a day with Republican David Stanley during Stanley s campaign walk across Iowa
port to reform congress, which Culver helped to draft and voted for, and a trade reform bill that presently is hung up in the senate over the Sov iet emigration issue
Culver’s plane lands at the Cedar Rapids airport at 5:1ft p m. and aides hustle him to Sixteenth avenue SW where Lawyer Joe Severa is waiting
(Cont.: Page. 9. Col. I
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