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February 01, 1974 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-02-01

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irh 3fr49ian Pau
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

A history of Chotiner the

kingmaker

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1974

An excelent precedent

THE RECENT RULING of the Michigan
Civil Rights Commission that the S.S.
Kresge Company must halt all past dis-
criminatory practices and open manage-
ment -positions to female applicants is
an excellent beginning.
This ruling is a landmark in the com-
mission's activities, because it is the first
case which deals with sex discrimination,
and because it provides a broad prece-
dent for future decisions.
The Commission's ruling grew out of a
complaint filed by Nelda High of Flint
after a K-Mart official refused to pro-
vide her with an application to the com-
pany's management 'training program.
The specific remedy for High's com-
Jusie lo
THE TRIAL OF FORMER presidential
aide John Ehrlichman, indicted for
the 1971 break-in at the office of Daniel
Ellsberg's psychiatrist, has hit an inter-
esting snag involving the President, the
courts, and legal manipulation.
Nixon, declared a material witness by
the defense, has been subpoenaed for
personal testimony. He is expected to
shun the o r d e r on constitutional
grounds, and without his appearance, it
is very possible the charges will be dis-
missed on the contention of an unfair
trial.
There is still the chance Nixon will
agree to submit written evidence. How-
ever, the prosecution will then be forced

plaint includes back wages and an of-
fer to join the management training pro-
gram. She certainly deserves both.
She also deserves credit for helping win
an important precedent in the ongoing
struggle for justice for women in the eco-
nomic marketplace.
IT IS TIME that the Michigan Civil
Rights Commission contributed vig-
orously to that struggle. We trust that
this ruling is only the beginning of its
attack on organized sex discrimination.
Jean King, local lawyer and feminist,
said of the ruling, "I wish this type of
thing would happen once a week for the
next year.",
We heartily agree.

Editor's note: Murray Chotiner, long-
time friend and adviser to Richard
Nixon, died suddenly Wednesday at the
age of 64. The following article was
written before Chotiner's death.
By LOWELL BERGMAN
and JAN DIEPERSLOOT
[URRAY CHOTINER, the man
who wrote Richard Nixon's
famous "Checkers speech," h a s
been called many things: Nixon's
secret link to the underworld, Nix-
on's bagman, Nixon's hatchet-
man, the best influence peddler in
Washington, the grey eminence be-
hind the Nixonian rise to power.
Lawyer and public relations man,
pioneer in American electoral cam-
paigning, his low profile approach
to politics left him little known
to the American public despite the
constant controversies which swirl-
ed around him.
But Mimi Nemeth knew him
well. An attractive ex-model, she
married Chotiner in 1965. "Mur-
ray told me," she recalls, "t h a t
someone called him up in 1946 and
said, 'Would you have time to run
an ex-naval lieutenant from Whit-
tier for the (California) congres-
sional seat?' When Murrav m e t
Nixon, he told him, 'Just stand
there in your navy uniform, keep
your mouth shut, and I'll get you
elected to Congress.' "
Mimi Nemeth'has a lot of other
behind-the-scenes memories of the
Nixon era. Since she divorced
Chotiner in 1970, she has also had
a lot of time alone to sort them
all out.
WHEN MIMI thinks back to her
first meeting with Murray, s h e
says: "I just wish I had been a
little less politically naive. B u t
he wooed me in a blitz-kreig-like
manner. After five and one half
months, when I finally said yes, he
looked at his calendar watch and
said, 'Well, that's just about right.
A good campaign should take about
five and one half months.'"
After the marriage, Mimi says
she soon discovered that Chot-
iner had no concept of a private
life whatsoever. ("He was so con-
cerned with his public image that
I don't think there is a private
one.") She paints him as a totally
compulsive man, ,bsessed with
power and posses .
"If he wasn't dc:i gsh political
work, putting clippings about him-
self in his scrapbook o~ balancing
his checkbook," she says, "he was
at a total loss. The night of the
1968 inaugural that he had thrown
away his whole life for, worked
like mad for, guess who w -s asleep
at a card table when his President
was speaking."
Today, whenever she sees Nixon
on TV, she can't help thinking of

him as Murray's creation. "The
two men were so simil -tr thai it
was eerie. They could he brothers.
They looked more alike than broth-
ers de. They both have the reced-
ing hairline, the crinkly hair, the
five o'clock shadow, the powls.
When Mitchell became attorney
five o'clock shadow, the jowls
administration. He even plays ex-
actly the same rinky-dink nickel-
odeon-style piano that Murray
did.' "
BUT CHOTINER'S influence on
Nixon goes far deeper tnan per-
sonal mannerisms. He may have
set the tone and substance for two
decades of American political life.
He was certainly the main figure
responsible for Richard Nixon's
meteoric rise in U.S. pohtics
.tW'.SW..4M<.AV.....sen
"When Murray met
Nixon, he told him,
'Just stand there in
your navy uniform,
ke e p your mouth
shut, and I'll get you
elected to Congress,.,
Aide to Senator William F. Know-
land, manager of Earl Warren's
successful 1942 campaign for the
California governorship, Chotiner
pioneered a new advertising-style
political campaign and hit upon
Richard Nixon, just out of the U.S.
Navy, as a perfect means for put-
ting it into practice.
According to William Costello,
a Nixon biographer, "Chotiner's
discovery was that, by ciim.sing an
acceptable stereotype, a political
personality could also be p icaged
and merchandised withu refer-
ence to any of the serious issues
of life and politics.".
He also brought "dirty trick'"
into the modern political dictionary.
"I say to you in all sinceritJ," he
told Republican National Commit-
teepersons privately in 1956, "that
if you do not deflate the opposition
candidate before your own cam-
paign gets started, the odds are
that you are going to be doomed
to defeat."
HE BECAME the master of cam-
paign innuendo. He "red-baited"
Jerry Voorhis in Nixon's 19 4 6
congressional campaign. He dis-
torted Helen Douglas' congressiotn-
al voting record and printed P up
on pink paper in Nixoh's 1950 sen-

atorial campaign. He cropped and
mislabeled pictures of Edmund
Brown for a California gubernator-
ial campaign pamphlet in 1962 (the
original mock-up is presently in
Mimi Nemeth's possession).
He made a television commer-
cial with a dying Eisenhower in
his hospital bed saying "Nixon's
the one" in 1968 (the ad was vetied
by the rest of the campaign
staff). He employed political spies
in 1968 and 1972 (Mimi Nemeth
remembers the endless "spy
calls" in the middle of the night
in 1968); and the list goes on.
With Ohotiner's "mastery of mo-
dern communications and public re-
lations . . . complete with scripts,
speeches, itineraries, issues, strat-
egy surveys, billboards, campaign-
ing clubs and off stage whispers,"
he managed to. bring Richard Nix-
on to the door of the vice presi-
dency in only six years.
In 1952, when the media discover-
ed a secret Nixon slush fund set
up by a group of rich southern
Californians, Chotiner preserved
Nixon's career. According to hIs
ex-wife, a pajama-clad Chotiner
intercepted Rosemary Woods (even
then Nixon's secretary) in the hall-
way of a Los Angeles hotel. She
was carrying Nixon's resignalion
telegram to be sent to presidential
candidate Eisenhower.
CHOTINER TORE it up. He then
wrote Nixon's famous "Checkers
speech", in which Nixon took to
TV and movingly detailed his per-
sonal finances to the nation. "Mur-
ray is really proud of that Check-
er's speech," Mimi recalls. "He
always bragged that he was the
one who wrote it."
"He wanted to play the role of
kingmaker," recalls Mimi Nemeth.
But his own rise was brought up
short in 1956 when a Senate invest-
igation brought to light his role as
an "influence peddler" for a group
of Philadelphia-New Jersey mob-
sters who had fraudulently abtained
multi-million dollar military cloth-
ing contracts. At the same time,
Behind the Scenes magazine ac-
cused him of having connections
with organized crime and called
him "Nixon's secret link to the un-
derworld." His political effevtive-
ness was ruined.
While the scent of scandal d) we
him politically underground, :t did
not sever his links to Richard Nix-
on. Despite the evident dislike and
jealousy with which such 1 a t e r
Nixon managers as Haldeman,
Ehrlichman and Mitchell treated
him, he reappeared in advisory
roles in all the Nixon campaigns
from 1962-1972. Just as consistent-
ly during those years, his n a m e

was linked with mobsters, influ-
ence. peddling, and innuendo cam-
paigning.
IN 1970, for instance, as a "spec-
ial counsel" for the President, (ac-
cording to California's Oakland Tri-
bune) he intervened with the U.S.
attorney in Los Angeles, requesl: ng
him to drop criminal indictments
against Congressman Charles Tea-
gue's son-in-law in connection with
a Los Angeles housing development
that "collapsed in a welter of fraid
and looting" by its Mafia-Teamsters
Union developers.
In 1971, according to Jack An-
derson, he intervened with Halde-

of Nixon aides (also cilled t h e
"Western headquarters" of organ-
ized crime). There, .she, says, "I
saw him receive cash from a Las
Vegas gambler, and when we visit-
ed Las Vegas, all bur bills were
paid by this gambler."
EVEN TODAY, Ms. Nemeth
seems to have a sneaking respect
for her former husband. "He did
not use electronics, except for a
little tape recorder telepinene at-
tachment in his desk. He much pre-
ferred methods that he coul der-
sonally manipulate. He preferred
these to bungler-burglars.

to polities

to admit his statements without the pow-
er of cross-examination, or refuse the
testimony on that basis and subsequently
see the case dismissed.
IT IS NOT CLEAR that the President is
constitutionally protected from hav-
ing to testify when ruled a material wit-
ness, and it is certainly unreasonable
that political figures such as Ehrlichman
should continuously find refuge under
the ever-lengthening cloak of the highest
office in the nation.
It now appears that another clever
legal ploy combined with political power
is about to thwart legal processes by fol-
lowing the trend of circumventing jus-
tice rather than confronting it.

Murray Chotiner, who brought you
Richard Nixon

man to help gain parole for con-
victedtTeamsters' boss, J a me s
Hoffa. Hundreds of thousands of
Teamster dollars flowed into Niix-
on reelection headquarters a f * e r
this move.
Recently, his name had been
linked with the quashing of indkct-
ments against Las Vegas gamt)'ing
interests in connection with $36
million in shady loans made to
them by the Teamsters. Tt was re-
ported (and denied by Cho~tner)
that he had collected over $1
million from Teamster's h e a d
Frank Fitzsimmons for the secret
Nixon campaign fund, 'T vti Liddvy
and Hunt flew to LasVegas and
picked up $400,000 from the gamb-
lers in one of the many payoffs
used to finance Watergate.
Mimi Nemeth recalls her own
experiences with Chotiner and hs
syndicate connections. She remem-
bers visiting southern California's
La Costo resort, a favoriie haunt

"You have to give the old devil
his die. He wasgavmaster strateg-
ist and the only real pro that
Nixon ever had around him. John
Mitchell, for instance, was form-
erly a bonds lawyer. He had never
been involved in politics in his
life. He never would have b e e n
caught in this whole thing if he
wasn't so naive. He :s a very poli-
tically naive man, and it's interest-
ing that on this Mr. Chotiper and I
agreed."
Jan Diepersloot is p r e s e n t l y
writing a psychoanalytic history of
Richard Nixon in American poli-
ties and Lowell Bergman is pre-
paring a special series on organized
cfime in American politics. Copy-
right 1974 - Pacific News Serv-

Government at work

DESPITE THE President's oft-espoused
concern for holding the line on gov-
ernment spending, a "peculiarity" in the
method by which pay increases for the
military are computed cost taxpayers
$200 million in 1973.
Since 1967, Congress and the execu-
tive branch have followed the maxim
that government employes, including the
military, should receive a pay raise each
year to keep their pay roughly equal to
that received by non-governmental em-
ployes.
However, when the legislation approv-
ing such action was passed, the late rep-,
resentative L. Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.)
Photography Staff
THOMAS GOTTLIEB
Chief Photographer
KEN FINK ....................Staff Photographer
STUART HOLLANDER...........Staff Photographer
KAREN KASMAUSKI ........ .... Staff Photographer
DAVID MARGOLICK............Staff Photographer
ALLISON RUTTAN.............Staff Photographer
JOHN UPTON ................... Staff Photographer
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Gordon Atcheson, Dan B i d d I e,
Bill Heenan, Jack Krost, Mary Long,
Jim Schuster, Rebecca Warner
Editorial Page: Paul Haskins, M a r n i e
Heyn, Eric Schoch, Eric Williams
Arts Page: Saro Rimer
Photo Technician: Ken Fink

added an .amendment which provided a
pay increase formula for the military.
Rivers spent most of his time as chair-
man of the House Armed Services Com-
mittee protecting and promoting the de-
fense establishment, and he certainly
did a good job with the pay formula,
which orders the government to give
greater pay increases to military than
civilian employes each year.
UNFORTUNATELY, at the time the
rest of Congress apparently did not
understand the formula, and now they
really don't seem to care.
In his budget message last year the
President said this pay "peculiarity"
should be eliminated but the White
House then ignored the problem.
According to the Brookings Institution,
this system, which cost $200 million more
this year than would have been neces-
sary with equal pay raises, will cost $2
billion a year by 1980.
It is just this sort of boondoggle that
makes the budget cutting claims of both
Congress and the President suspect, as
well as leading the public to suspect that
it is governed by buffoons. One thing is
certain, however: The military is pleas-
ed to have the buffoons around.

Bringing equity to hearing aid" market

By RICHARD CONLIN
IN A WORLD that often seems filled with
conflict and deception, it is a rare
pleasure to ge able to report on one econ-
omic institution that seems to be working
to the mutual satisfaction of both sellers
and buyers.
It is an example of the principle t h a t
privately owned enterprise can serve the
public interest when it has an effective self-
regulating mechanism, which means an in-
formed public capable of making intelligent
choices, and real price competition so that
the choices are meaningful.
Ironically, PIRGIM encountered it in the
course of its investigation of hearing aid
sales, a field we found rife with incom-
petence, deception, and exploitation in many
places. Yet, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, we
found a model segment of the economy
operating satisfactorily for both the entre-
preneur and the consumer.
HEARING AID SALES are part of the
medical field, generally one of the least
consumer-oriented aspects of the economy.
Most medical areas are characterized by
high prices and a nearly complete absence
of both price competition and consumer in-
formation. The average person is unable to
judge the quality of medical services and
feels very reluctant to shop around for
prices for fear of sacrificing quality.
In most places, hearing aid sales are the
same situation. A person purchases an aid
from a hearing aid dealer, in many cases

without even medical assurance that it will
be of use to him or her, and with almost
no chance of getting the most suitable aid
at the lowest price.
A dealer's income is dependent upon sel-
ling hearing aids: she or he has an incen-
tive to diagnose that an aid is needed,
and to recommend the aid which gives the
most profit.
THE ONLY WAY to resolve this conflict
is to separate the diagnosis from the sale.
One person should perform the diagnosis
and receive a fixed fee regardless of whe-
ther he or she recommends an aid or
which aid is recommended. A different.
person should actually sell the aid and
realize any profit from the sale.
In Kalamazoo, a system based on this
principle is in operation.
Due to. its effective publicity and an ex-
cellent reputation, most persons with hear-
ing problems are seen by audiologists, who
are university-trained specialists in hear-
ing problems, at the non-profit Speech and
Hearing Center. operated by the United
Fund.
IN ITSELF, this is not so unusual: about
40 per cent of all hearing aids sold in
Michigan come through referral by such
speech and hearing centers, many affiliat-
ed with universities.
However, at most such centers, a pa-
tient found in need of a hearing aid will
be told the brand and model that will help

him or her, and told to go out and pur-
chase it. No options are given, nor any ex-
planation of how to evaluate aids or com-
parison-shop. The result is that the average
aid is sold at 170 per cent mark-up over
dealer cost.
Al Davis, the audiologist who directs the
Kalamazoo Center, felt that this wasn't
good enough. He felt each person should
be given a list. of appropriate aids and a
cost comparison to allow the buyer to
choose which aid to buy on the basis of
cost, as well as other considerations such
as distance from home to the hearing aid
dealer.
DAVIS BEGAN acquiring price lists from
hearing aid dealers before he would give
referrals, and attempted to select at least
three aids for each patient with the need-
ed characteristics but with different brands
to allow comparison.
The result was that educated consumers,
with an impartial diagnosis assuring them
of the adequacy of several possible choices,
began choosing aids at least partially on
cost considerations. This led to real' price
competition, and the cutting of prices by
dealers until a stable point was reached
for each dealer, below which casts could
not be cut.
The net gain for the consumer, accord-
ing to a PIRGIM price survey, was an
average price difference of $87 between
Kalamazoo and the rest of Michigan for the
nine aids most frequently recommended.

Average prices: $275 in Kalamazoo, $362
elsewhere.
THE DEALERS gain too. Because buy-
ers come by referral from the Speech and
Hearing Center, they do not have to adver-
tise and beat the bushes for customers.
Because professional diagnosis is done at
the Center, they need not spend time con-
vincing customers -they need hearing aids,
or trying to perform diagnoses most of
them aren't trained to do adequately. Their
overhead is thui reduced, and they can
cut prices and still make a profit.
The Kalamazoo hearing aid delivery sys-
tem is a successful modification which
makes capitalism work.
Consumers informed by a nonpartisan,
nonprofit, nongovef mental agency, w i t h
assurance of quality, successfully imposed a
free market on a system which previously
ripped them off with an informally shared
monopoly or oligopoly.
NO DOUBT THIS type of market regula-
tion which eliminates much governmental
intervention in infeasible for many pro-
ducts. However, that it can exist and can
work is something to be kept in mind when
we contemplate the future pattern of the
American economy.
The above is one in a series of articles
by the Public Interest Research Group in
Michigan. Richard Conlin is a PIRGIM
staff member.

Letter
To The Daily:
AS MUCH AS I despise adver-
tising - the non-informative type
- I feel that advertising responds
to the views of the people and not
vice-versa.
To those who feel that the leaders
of the advertising industry are a
group of male sexists, I would
point to Mary Wells of Wells, Rich
and Greene. She gave us Braniff
stewardesses who changed costum-
es during flight.
Sexist advertising will end when
the American sexist mentality
ends. That mentality will lend after
women learn to take themselves
seriously. A small percentage of
the nation's -women are doing it
now. When that percentage be-
comes a majority, the end of the

Sexist ads and sexist society

photos of naked women holding
water meters and valves.
Finally, I wish you'd clean up
your own house. On page five to-
day you carried an ad for porno-
graphic movies. Ironically, just
above the ad were the words "Join
The Daily".
-Vic Cooperwasser, Grad
January 28
p~osition
To The Daily:
AS A NON-MALE, non-white,
and in effect non-free member of
a very sexist society, I can't seem
to escape this burning question.
Because the vital issue of basic
human freedom demands an an--
swer. And I in turn am moved to

turday morning, opened my Daily
as usual, and almost gagged in dis-
belief. I felt my cheeks burn, slap-
ped in the face by a half-p a g e
visual layout by Karen Kasmau-
ski, framing numerous signs such
as "Abortion is Legal Murder",
"Life is Worth Living", 'Speak
for the Unborn". With the exception
of Sorority Rush, no other issue
this year has been granted such a
large amount of photographic cov-
erage by the Daily.
I regard the Sorority Rush spread
as a subtle ad campaign for th e
Greeks, in the guise of news cov-
erage. Similarly, the effect of all
those anti-abortion photographs is
to serve as an anti-abortion adver-
tisement, especially in light of Ms.
Vnem gir --vmnatat r tvt

(if he hasn't abandoned the moth-
er) also doesn't want you, is like
coming to bat with two strikes
against you. It may be hard on the
mother, but for the children of
foundling homes, socially stigma-
tized ;as "bastards", or th: vic-
tims of the hostile parental re-
lease known as the "Battered Child
Syndrome", it can be pure hell.
I am aware that only days be-
fore, The Daily published an abor-
tion statement by Ms. Kathleen
Fojtik, 14th District County Com-
missioner and NOW chapter vice-
president. However, Ms, Fojtik is
not a member of the Daiiy's oper-
ational anid editorial staff, whose
stand I am interested in. Further,
in my own mind, Saturday' sup-
nortive anti-abortion spread undid

sues this year, and up to now I
have not been terribly enthuse.i by
it, but not disappoited either Mar-
cia Zoslaw wrote a biting criticism
of sexist exploitation -f waitresses
and Cheryl Pilate gave needed cov-
erage to the Feminist Cred't Un-
ion, among other supyo tive arti-
cles and editorials that I noted. I
was, however, disappointed by Jait.
27's probing of the Quee i B e e
syndrome, because its summation
that Queen Bees threate i to3'silence
the Women's Liberation Movement.
seemed to blame these women for
a situation stemming from a sex-
ist system, of wviicf they are a
part, and which vi :timizes them
into defensiveness. Thc fina' para-
graph sounded lik-e somewhat more
of a death-wish to the Movement

Ar I AKWiAl ", /I 1 , i f/

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