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October 04, 1978 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-04

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Page 2--Wednesday, October 4, 1978-The Michigan Daily

* *

Levin combines substance with casual

(Continued from Page 1)
lecture halls, at plant gates, and in
kollege cafeterias. With the sleevestof
'his wrinkled blue shirt rolled up to the
:'elbows and the unruly hair whipping
around a balding head, the paunchy 44-
year-old Levin introduces himself as
"the Democrat who's gonna beat Grif-
In short, Levin - a former taxi driver
"~and Harvard law grad - seems more
'like a cabbie than a legal scholar,
equally at. home slouching charac-
SAteristically over a Lite beer in a bar as
listening to his favorite classical music
album and sipping fine wine.

Levin is hoping his casual, laid-back
style and his unpretentious manner will
translate into enough votes for him to
upset Republican incumbent Robert
Griffin, a two-term Senate veteran with
22 years of experience in Congress, The
Levin campaign strategy is "a one-two
punch," the candidate explained, "to
point out the weaknesses in Sen. Grif-
fin's record and also point out where I
can make a unique contribution to the
United States Senate."
THE "SOMETHING special" that
Levin talks of bringing to the Senate is

"experience with federal programs at
the local level - at our end." He cites
his eight years of experience on the
Detroit City Council and his ongoing
battle with HUD over abandoned homes
in Detroit for examples.
"I think (the administrative agen-
cies) have gone absolutely hog wild,"
Levin told interviewers at the Midland
Daily News during a typical campaign
grilling. 'And too often, their
regulations run contrary to the wishes
of Congress.
"It's simply essential that Congress.
take hold of the bureaucracy," Levin
says, and to that end he advocates:
" Use of the legislative veto, to give
Congress 60 days in which to overturn
any federal regulation, and
" Congressional oversight of ad-
ministrative agencies, to act as a
"check" on the executive branch.
LEVIN SAYS IT is that pitch that
precludes him from inviting President
Carter into the state to stump for his
candidacy. "It doesn't fit the theme to
have the President in the campaign,"
he explained to one reporter. "The
theme of my campaign is that Congress
has given up too much of its power to
the executive branch. It should be more
of a check."
"Congress has to roll up its shir-
tsleeves and take 'em on," Levin says.
"It's called legislative oversight."
But the main thrust of Levin's two-

pronged campaign so far was con-
veniently provided by Griffin himself.
In announcing his premature
retirement decision in April of 1977,
Griffin said "Twenty-two years in
Congress is long enough," and that the
state needed a Senator "with fresh
AND, AS LEVIN will remind an
audience at every opportunity, Griffin
then proceeded to skip 216 out of 635 roll
call votes in the next two months, "the
second worst attendance record of any
Senator who didn't die in office," Levin
With that preface, Levin will then rat-
tle off a list of important bills that Grif-
fin was not present to vote on, and then
rail into the Senator for the way he
voted when he was present and accoun-
ted for.
So far, Levin's tactic appears to be
working. Griffin is now on the defen-
sive, trying to explain his missed votes
at every turn. Levin, meanwhile, has
taken a one-point lead over Griffin in a
recent poll, the first time a senate or
gubernatorial challenger in the state
has led an incumbent since 1962.
"ONE OF MY poblems is I don't want
to talk about his absenteeism all the
time because he's even worse when he
is there," Levin says only half-jokingly.
In painting Griffin as an ineffective

Senator out of touch with the people of
Michigan, Levin is also chiding the
incumbent for playing, election year
politics. Griffin's major campaign'
thrust has been to champion tax
But Levin will tell you that Griffin
voted against tax reduction back in
1974, before it was popular.
Senator," levin says. "He wakes up
every six years."
Levin himself favors tax limitation,
which is blunting some of his opponen-
ts' efforts to turn tax revolt fervor into-a
Republican backlash. Both Griffin and
Levin favor the Headlee tax reform
plan on the Michigan ballot as a
"reasonable" proposal to stunt gover-
nment growth.
Griffin, seeing his main campaign
platform pulled out from under him, is,
reduced to saying that he supports tax
reform "more enthusiastically" than
LEVIN HAS ALSO proved par-
ticularly skillful at stealing possible
campaign issues away from Griffin,
pointing out his own weaknesses as a
candidate and turning them into advan-
For example, Levin is from Detroit
which could hurt him politically in the
rural areas upstate. Levin tells audien-
ces, however, "I'm going to represent
this entire state fairly and with all my
might, the same way when I was in
Detroit I represented my constituency
there and the same way Don Riegle
represents the entire state."
Also, Levin counters charges that
Griffin has more seniority and he would
be a young freshman Senator with no
clout; "His seniority hasn't produced
anything for the state of Michigan,"
Levin told a news conference in
Saginaw. "Seniority by itself doesn't
mean anything. And you have more
clout if you're in the party that controls
the Senate.
"EVEN A NEW Senator in the
majority party has more clout than a
seniority Senator in the minority par-
ty," Levin said. He adds in charac-
teristic humor "the 'young' part of it I
like, though."
MADISON, Wis. (AP)-"Art of Nor-
way: 1750-1914," an exhibition of works
from Norway's leading museums, is
scheduled to be on display at the
Elvehjem Museum of Art from Nov. 5
through Jan. 7, 1979.
The more than 260 works in the show
"highlight the unique contributions
made by Norwegian artists and
illustrate three areas of Norwegian art
druing its most prolific and creative
period since the Viking Age."

Levin is "optimistically" targe
one million dollars in his bid to uns
Griffin, and if he reaches that goal
will be the most a Democrat in t
state has ever spent on a U.S. Sen
campaign, he says.
Also, Levin is lining up an impress'
cast of political figures to come in
pump his cause - Mondale, and S4
Edward Kennedy, for example, b
due into the state in late October.
IF LEVIN'S campaign has taken
the big money and big names unchar;
teristic of a local politician trying to
set a well-entrenched incumbent 1'
Griffin, the answei is that Griffin -
the latest Market Opinion Resear
polls - is now seen as vulnerable.
fact, the latest poll published in I
Detroit News actually shows two-ter
veteran Griffin one point behind Lev
the challenger with no statewide off
to his credit.

MEN .dl

___ m _

Can't start 'I
day without


So the closeness of the contest,
the enticing thought of knocking off
Senate's minority whip, has whet'
the appetite of the national Democra
party, and Levin is hoping that the n
interest in the Senate race here v
translate into needed funds, if he is ex
to reach that million-dollar mark.
Levin f and Griffin are about
dissimilar as their politic
philosophies. Levin, the former Detr(
'city councilman, is an urban liber
while Griffin is campaigning as t
fiscal conservative from Traverse Ci
in northern Michigan.
Levin himself summed up the contf
best: "We've differed on basic issu
throughout the years," he said. "T
contrast is between how he voted ai
how I would have voted."
This is the second of two artic
on the race for United States Sena


if fl l tittftit /fff* r = lrs .. ,.r t
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October 3: WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, author and editor-founder
of the National Review, syndicated columnist and host of "Firing Line"
on PBS. Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m. Tickets $1.50 and can be purchased at
Ticket Central or at the door.
THIS WEEK-Classes begin-14 art and craft classes. 6 special
weekend workshops taught by active professionals in the Ann Arbor
area. Open to students and non-students; introductory and advanced.
Register on 2nd floor of Michigan Union. $24.00 for 8 weeks and supplies.
MEDIATRICS presents:
October 5: "THE LOVED ONE." Something to offend everyone.
Evelyn Waugh's satire on the mores and morals of Hollywood and the
funeral business isscripted for an outrageous ribald treatment directed
with exuberant high jinx by Richardson. Also featuring Liberace, Jona-
othon Winters and Ro Steiger. 7:00 and 9:00,in the Union.
October 6: "THE GOODBYE GIRL." Right out of first run in
the theatres. Neil Simon's hit starring Richard Dreyfuss ard .Marsha
Mason. A delightful story about love in New York City. 7:00 p.m. and
9:00 p.m., Natural Science Auditorium.
October 7: "LADY SINGS THE BLUES." Based on Billie Holi-
day's biography. "In this film, the face, the figure and the sound of Diana
Ross have become Billie Holiday."-Ralph Gleason, Rolling Stone. 7:00
and9:30, Natural Science Auditorium.
October 7: CIDER AND DONUTS. Reception in front of the
Union before/after the football game.
October 8: FLEA MARKET-students and others can buy, sell,
and swap goods by renting a table in the Union. 8:00 noon-8 p.m., Union
Ballroom. Student rental $1.00, others $5.00.
October 8: CHINESE CULTURAL FAIR-Exhibition of Chinese
Arts/ special Chinese food, preparation and testing. Michign Union
Conference room 3, 4, 5, 6. Free.

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