Not Resting On Laurels
Sander Levin takes nothing for granted
in 12th Congressional District race.
HARRY KIRS BAUM
arvey Dean senses he
doesn't have a chance, but
don't tell that to his oppo-
Sander Levin, 20 years on the job
as a U.S. representative, has spent
$550,00 out of a campaign war chest
of $750,00 to defeat the little-known
attorney. Dean resigned as the political
action committee director for Right to
Life of Michigan-12th Congressional
District, to run against Levin.
Levin is actively campaigning in the
new district, which includes parts of
Macomb County, and parts of
Oakland County's Southfield, Oak
Park, Lathrup Village, Huntington
Woods, Hazel Park, Ferndale, Pleasant
Ridge, Royal Oak Township, Madison
Heights and Royal Oak.
"We are holding numerous meet-
ings, ice cream socials, family picnics,
etc., in the communities new to the
12th District," Levin said. "We are
communicating with voters through-
out the district with literature on the
issues. We are also doing a lot of work
with other candidates at all levels."
Republican challenger Dean also is
actively campaigning, but he fears
Levin's name recognition, money and
a 60 percent Democratic majority in
the district according to past elections.
Dean has raised $17,000 and spent
$30,000 so far. "I feel I could beat
him if I had ample funds," Dean said.
"He has been on the wrong side of too
may issues. Those issues should be re-
examined and debated and it is for
this reason that I am running."
Levin and Dean agree on corporate
responsibility issues and strong sup-
port for Israel, but little else.
Levin believes that religion is an
important facet of life in the United
States, but the Constitution requires
the separation of church and state and
is "distressed when the Republican
majority brings bills to the floor [of
Congress] that warp this requirement."
Levin cited a bill that would allow
churches to participate in political
campaigns, including endorsing and
contributing to candidates without
losing their non-profit tax status. He
said the bill failed in the House, but
called it "a blatant erosion of the prin-
ciple of separation of church and
Dean calls religion's role in America
"the centerpiece of my campaign." He
believes the nation was founded "on
the principle of public acknowledge-
ment that God is the sole source of
our lives and liberties and that our
nation needs to rely on His providence
and His wisdom."
Levin believes the
U.S. should "not go
it alone" against
Iraq. He favors
Dean cited the Northwest
Ordinance, the first significant legisla-
tion passed by Congress, that stated
"Religion and morality being necessary
to good government ..."
"That was the public policy of our
government for 175 years or so. Our
problems began when that public poli-
cy was changed," he said.
Levin strongly supported both the
gun-limiting Brady bill and the ban
on assault weapons. Dean opposes
infringement on all constitutional
rights, including the right to bear
arms, and notes that Michigan's recent
experience in liberalizing issuance of
gun permits has not led to an increase
in gun-connected felonies.
Levin believes the United States
should not "go it alone" against Iraq.
He favors broad collective internation-
al action to disarm dictator Saddam
Hussein or take military action.
Dean believes , a nation can deliver
the first strike if it has hard evidence
that its people are imperiled by an
imminent attack. He would insist that
that evidence of an Al Qaeda-Iraq
connection be disclosed.
Sept. 6, 1931
FAMILY: Wife, Vicki. Children,
Jennifer (Levin Pensler), 44;
Andrew, 42; Madeline (Levin),
40; Matthew, 34.
EDUCATION: University of
Chicago, bachelor's, 1952;
Columbia Univeristy, master's
in international relations, 1954;
Harvard Law School, 1957.
Michigan State Senate, 1964-1970
U. S. representative since 1982
The two candidates are farthest apart
on how to fix Social Security. Levin
said the tax and budget policies of the
Bush administration and the
Republican majority in Congress have
effectively picked the Social Security
The sheer size of last year's nine-
year, $1.6 trillion tax cut has been a
key factor in sending the federal budg-
et back into deficit, he said, to the
point where Social Security and
Medicare funds are being used to fund
the tax cut.
"Congress should retain the tax cuts
that have already taken place, but
postpone most of the tax cuts sched-:
uled for future years that are not yet in
effect — the vast majority of which
benefit only the very richest taxpay-
ers," Levin said. "These funds should
be reserved for Social Security and
Dean called Social Security a trust
fund consisting entirely of IOUs from
the government in the form of govern-
ment bonds — and no more than a
series of bookkeeping entries.
"Because our population, like that of
all Western democracies, is imploding,
the only thing that can save the system
is an infusion of life," he said.
In eight years, when the Baby
Boomer generation begins reaching
the age of retirement, he said, there
will be too few workers to tax to
maintain Social Security. "The system
is doomed unless we have a profusion
of young people."
Dean proposes increasing income
tax deductions for children to $3,000
a year for each child, and index that
figure to inflationary changes.
The government should pay each
family $7,500 per year for each child
the family has over and above one
child, then pay college tuition for each
child over and above one child, and
pass an amendment to make abortion
illegal, "except for those needed to save
the lives of the mother." ❑
Feb. 11, 1927
Wife, Margaret; chil-
dren, Michael, 38; Mary
(Sarcona), 37; Gregory, 34;
Tony, 32; Sara, 30.
MILITARY: U.S. Navy
(World War II)
University of Michigan,
College of Literature, Science
and the Arts, 1951; U-M Law
Practicing attorne,y 47 years.