New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 2, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
4A New Braunfels Heia\d-Zeitung Wednesday, November 2,1983
, General Manager
EditorAndy RooneyBeing broke makes us break codes
Has everyone been desperately broke?
Maybe not. I always assume that there are very few experiences or emotions that aren’t universal. I’ve been really broke in my life.
Its a feeling you never forget, and although ifs been 26 years since I didn’t know which way to turn for money, I never see anyone out of a job and without a dollar in their pockets without knowing how they feel.
There are still times when I think about being broke. At night when I empty the change out of my pocket and put it on top of my dresser, I often recall, in those terrible old days, adding up my change to see if I had $2.00.
There are chronically poor people who would laugh at what I went through because it wouldn’t seem very bad to them. My wife and I were never hungry. My father was retired but he had made a comfortable living even during the Depression and my wife’s father was a doctor. They wouldn’t have let us get to the point where we were out on the street and without food, but you know how that is. There’s an unwritten code. There are people you don’t ask for money, and my father and my wife’s father were two of them.
I don't know who makes those rules but we all know them. Certainly if I’d asked, either would have given me money. Maybe that was it. They’d
keeps man in hiding
WASHINGTON - When Walter Mungovan telephones, his wife ever knows where he is — and she never asks. Mungovan is in hiding, not because he’s a criminal, but because the Justice Department believes his life is in danger.
Unlike others in the federal witness protection program. Mungovan must be separated from his wife and their 12*year-old son. She has filed suit against the people the Mungovans hold responsible for the family's plight. So she has to be available for court appearances and fund-raising efforts to finance their lonely fight.
Mungovan has not been permitted to talk with reporters since he entered the witness protecton program, but he relayed a message to my associates Dan Van Atta an Indy Hadhwar. My associates have been investigating the case for three months.
*i am in the position of being cut off from my family, whom I dearly love, through no fault of my own,” Mungovan said. "I can’t justify what has happened to me when all I did was work hard and try to make an honest living...”
How did this happen o Mungovan? A memorandum filed in federal court last July by U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Bent lays the blame squarely on officials of the carpenters union in Hawaii.
"t They» were the driving forces behind the destruction of a man, a family, a business and an ideal,” the prosecutor wrote "They transformed Waller Mungovan, a combat veteran, a carpenter and a successful contractor, into a man whose business and family life were virtually destroyed, and into a man who feared for the safety of himself and his business. They bullied hun, they threatened hun, they shut him down and they willfully and maliciously perjured themselves They deserve to be severely punished.”
In fact, two union officials have been convicted of purjury and two others are facing trial. But it is the Mungovans who have been punished most severly.
After 13 years as a carpenter and union member, Mungovan went into business for hmmself in 1979. Within a year, his construction company had 20 employees Picket lines went up at the company’s work sites, charging that Mungovan was paying substandard wages.
But the employees, who were actually paid at or above union scale, voted unanunously not to join the muon. That should have ended the picketing.
In federal court last year, Mungovan testified that union officials indicated the pickets would remain until he signed up. At one point, Mungovan testified, a union official told him that another contractor’s work site would be "torched” if he didn’t unionize — a remark Mungovan interpreted as a threat against his own company as well.
The months of picketing were slowly wrecking Mungovan’s fledgling firm. But the decorated First Air Cavalry veteran decided to
have given it to me, not loaned it to me. They would have been disappointed that I felt I had to ask.
My father's brother was a salt-of-the-earth lawyer in a small town in New York State, fighting petty political corrupttion and providing free legal services to people who couldn’t afford to pay him. He and my aunt never had children and I was the closest thing to a son he had. When he came to visit us, he would often slip me a $5 bill as he was leaving. You don’t forget an uncle like that.
In desperaton I went to him and asked for $500. One of the terrible memories of my life is that I never repaid him. He died three years later
without ever having been able to take pleasure from thinking that his favorite nephew was a responsbile person. He didn’t need the money but he must have looked for some token payment from me and I never made it. I always meant to but I never did.
About 15 years ago we were doing better but we needed $2,500 to help pay for one of the kid’s college tuition, and my wife went to the bank for a loan. Banks are a better place to go for a loan than an uncle is.
By this time I was making enough money so we weren’t in desperate need of the loan, so, as the joke goes, we didn’t have any trouble getting it. The interest was probably 7 percent.
A year or so later I asked my wife if
we were going to pay off the loan in a lump sum, or just continue paying the 7 percent interest each year. Being in no way a business tycoon, I had the feeling we should pay it off. She does all our bookkeeping and banking, and she didn’t think we should. She was right. I’m not sure to this day if we ever paid the loan off. Margie is out, probably spending some of that interest this minute, or I’d ask her.
Now, of course, I appreciate that it’s the only good joke we ever played on a bank. We won because interest rates rose. If we have the $2500, and it’s invested, maybe in the same bank’s money market fund, and we get 9 percent interest, we are beating the bank for 2 percent on $2500. It is
not at all like failing to pay back my uncle.
This all occurred to me today because yesterday and old friend asked me to loan him money. Of course I’U loan it to him but I wish he hadn’t asked. It breaks the unwritten law. It changes our relationship.! don’t want to think about it every time I see him and I don't want him feeling uneasy about it when he sees me, but that's what will happen.
Being broke is a terrible feeling, but it’s probably an experience everyone ought to have once in a lifetime. If you’ve never been really broke, you can't possibly understand how nice it is to have a little money in the bank.
fight back. He gave the FBI affidavits and secretly-taped conversations with union officials.
That’s when the Justice Department decided Mungovan must go into hiding. His business is now ruined, and he is more than $30,000 in debt.
His British-born wife, Cher, came to Washington to speak to members of Congress, and hopes to be able to make a personal appeal to the president for help. She wrote to the White House. ”1 am here alone ... trying to fight for what is right... I’m the wife of an innocent man who cannot ask, but need your help. I am the mother of a son who said to me on the phone, ‘Mom, why don’t you ask President Reagan? Maybe he cares.”
Footnote: The Drew Pearson
Foundation, P.O. Box 2300, Washington, D.C., 20013, will accept contributions to help people like the Mungovans.Watch on the Kremlin
Although the Soviets insist everything is hunky-dory with the Vietnamese laborers pressed into service on the Siberian pipeline, letters smuggled out tell a different story. The workers, who thought they were signing up for a few weeks’ instruction in Russian and maybe some simple mechanical training, are now stuck for five or six years in a bitterly cold climate, rejected by their Soviet and East European neighbors and working for starvation wages, i One-third of their pay is kept by the Soviets to repay Vietnam’s military debts, and another third is grabbed by the Hanoi government.
— How tunes change. In 1973, when the Israelis shot down a Libyan passenger plane, the Soveit delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights asserted tha his delegation was “convinced that the destruction of innocent people, including women and children, had no legal or moral justification.”Headlines and footnotes
Federal Trade Commissioner Michael Pertschuk, often in the minority on FTC votes, put this cigarett-style disclaimer on the painted version of a speech he made recently Mi the dangers of anobing: ‘The views expressed in these comments are mine and most likely do not reflect the views of the Federal Trade Commission.”
— Congress is tryihg to decide whether the government or private industry should take responsibility for victims of asbestos-related diseases. Used as a fireproofing agent for decades in the construction industry, asbestos has been linked to many ailments, including a debilitating lung disease and two forms of cancer. A report to be published soon by the House subcommittee on labor standards warns that only M percent of workers exposed to asbestos materials for more than 30 years can expect!© live a normal life span.
Reagan could have reasons against running for re-election
By MIKE FEINSILBER Associated Press
WASHINGTON - If you were Ronald Reagan, would you want to be president again?
—I. It is not as much fun the second time around.
On the campaign stump, cs adulates see issues in blacks and whites, and with total clarity: in office, as Reagan can testify, issues turn into an array of difficult blobs of gray.
Reagan came to Washington as a sworn ideological opponent of communism, and there were high moments of eyeballing the “evil empire,” as he Mice called the Kremlin.
But talking down international communism isn’t the same as dealing with fanatics and mystical fac
tionalism in the Middle East.
—2. Reagan could leave now, head high, declaring: ’’Mission ac
Not quite, of course: He promised to balance the budget and the deficits are at levels that no one would have expected a few years ago.
But he promised to cut down the sue of government and it has been cut.
He promised an enormous tax cut and taxes have been cut enormously.
He promised a huge increase in defense spending and defense spending has been increased hugely.
That’s a record one could rest on. He would leave looking good.
—3. His wife may want him to quit. No one denies the influence Nancy Reagan wields on the president, especially on so intimate a question as how and where they will spend their
next years together.
Her husband's presidency has not been unmitigated joy for Mrs. Reagan. She went through a devilish time when he was shot on March 30, 1961. A year later, she said, ”1 remember everything about the day and I guess it’s something you don’t forget. I thought it would fade a little but it doesn't.”
On Oct. 22, Mrs. Reagan again experienced the trauma of having aides tell her that her husband was under protection because someone had crashed the golf course he was playing. The situation turned out to be un threatening, but it must have reopened raw memories.
—4. Second terms are always more difficult. After four or five or six years in office, presidents are less persuasive, and Reagan didn’t get
elected in order to see his ideas overridden by an opposition Congress.
The Republicans stand a good chance of losing control of the Senate in 1964, even with Reagan at the head of the ticket. With the House already in Democratic hands, a re-elected Reagan might confront a solidly Democratic Congress, eager to work its will, not his.
—5. Finally, Reagan has to consider this too: If he runs, he could lose. He loves campaigning, but no one loves losing.
And Reagan’s opponents stand to gain from high unemployment, growing black registration, the gender gap and the disenchantment of other blocs.
None of this means that Reagan won’t run. It means that if he doesn’t, he’ll have his reasons.
Rep. Tom Loofflor
Sen. John Tower
Gov. Mark White
U.S. Houso of Representatives
United States Senate
1212 Longworth Houso Office Building
Room 142 Russell Building
Room 200 State Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20615
Washington, D C. 20510
Austin, Texas 78701
Bon. Lloyd Benison
Rep. Edmund Kuempel
Sen. John Traeger
United States Bonete
Texas House of Representatives
Room 240 Ruesell Building
P.O. Box 2910
Washington, D.C. 20610
Austin, Texas 78769
Austin, Tsxas 78711