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March 20, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-03-20

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e tMgan Pat
Eighty-Four Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
20 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104 News Phone: 764-0552

Congress ignored:


MORE THAN 100 U.S. military
advisers are operating in
Cambodia in violation of a con-
gressional ban, a former int-
gence coordinator in Saigon has
Steven M. Davis, of Carmichael,
Cal., who earlier this year was one
of several former U.S. employes
who disclosed that top-secret

State Department messages had
been rerouted to the U.S. Joint
Chiefs of Staff, claims that U.S.
advisers in Cambodia are lead-
ing Cambodian Army troops and
conducting intelligence operations.
His accusations follow a W a s h-
ington Post eyewitness report on
March 13 of an American major
advising Cambodian combat troops,
as well as an Associated P r e s s


New hope for City Council?

[TY COUNCIL SHOULD be commended
for creating an open session devoted
the subject of discussing the Human
ghts Party (HRP) rape proposal. In-
Tmation which will be brought out at
e meeting will expand the store of
owledge present.
But the happiness is tempered by a
ong dose of caution, since there is
ery reason to believe that Mayor Steph-
son and the Republicans will talk rape
'orm at the meeting, but when it comes
te to talk money they will be strange-
The HRP package is quite expensive,
.ling for expenditures of $66,000, plus
incalculable sum for free 24-hour
mnsportation. And it's true that the
y already faces staggering financial
oblems. But the city's fiscal woes
ould be no excuse for failing to enact
piece of solid, progressive legislation.
'he issue is solidly law and order: how
n the Republicans vote against it?
'IS DIFFICULT to imagine how a poli-
tician could sleep easily at night aft-
voting against a proposal which would
t down on rape.
Rape is an evil and ugly crime of ag-
ession. It is brutal, and made more so
the stigma society attaches to rape

which the police investigate rape cases.
The burden of proof falls upon the vic-
tim to prove she has resisted "to the ut-
most" - a condition unique to the crime
of rape.
Physical examinations and question-
ing are frequently degrading and may in-
clude references to the victim's past sex-
ual history, as well as leering inquiries
into the rape act itself.
The support Mayor Stephenson and
John. McCormick lent to the rape pro-
posal last night was encouraging, and it
is to be hoped that other members of
the Republican party will come to their
side in an attempt to work out a rea-
sonable rape package for the city, one
which will be financially feasible and will
afford protection for the women of this
THE ONLY WAY that this will occur
however is if members of the com-
munity, gay and straight, men and wo-
men, come to the special session next
Monday night, and make their feeling
known to Council.
Council's record in the past has been
reprehensible, but hopefully they will
avail themselves of this opportunity to
improve the quality of life in the city.

report last Oct. 28 of a U.S. Army
adviser killed in Dem Nak Sangke,
Cambodia, while observing front-
line activity.
The State Department in Wash-
ington has denied that the major
"illegally instructed Cambodian
armed forces in the field.' The
U.S. Embasy in Phnom Penh,
while admitting that its military
attache teams make frequent com-
bat-area tours, has claimed "they
only act as observers, not advis-
IN WASHINGTON, hearings were
scheduled this week on alleged
U.S. military involvement. Earlier,
39 senators had demanded that the
Armed Services Committee investi-
gated the reports. Last fall, Con-
gress' investigative arm, the Gen-
eral Accounting Office, charged
that military attaches were acting
as advisers, thereby exceeding the
statutory ban on such activity im-
posed by Congress in 1970.
Davis, 23, who now works as a
nightvclerk at a liquor store here,
was fired last June 29 after work-
ing six months as a tWp-secret
documents coordinator at the Sai-
gon communications center run
for the U.S. government by an ITT
subsidiary, Federal Electric Corp.
of Paramus, N.J. The civilian-run
center handles both civil and mili-
tary intelligence for U.S. agencies.
According to Davis, 109 U.S.
military advisers and an unspeci-
fied number of Special Forces
members were advising the Cam-
bodian Army in 1973, when Davis
worked at the mesage center. In
addition, more than 100 Ame:icans
served as mercenaries, at pay of
$5,000 a week, with the Cambodian
The advisers give operational or-

in Cam
ders, Davis says. "They are ac-
tually with the Cambodian Army,
giving advice on logistic move-
ments, on military movements,"
Davis claims. They are alsi con-
ducting intelligence operations.
"They are actually conducting i-
telligence operations and gathering
intelligence information." Special
forces teams carry arms and fight
under cover with the Cambod:an
Army, he says.
THE AMERICAN mercenaries
are recruited by the CIA, Davis
charges. They man boats running
the Mekong River to supply the
besieged capital of Phnom Penr
-hazardous duty shunned by t h e
Cambodianls. Davis says the mer-
cenaries number at least 1410.
Davis has also charged that POW
recovery teams searching; for te-
mains of mising Americans in Viet-
nam include spy units and t h a t
Gerald Kosh, an American "civil-
ian observer" captured by t h e
Chinese during the Paracel Islands
battle with the Soutn Vietnamese
last January, was an army cap-
tain working under cver
"The United States has used the
POW teams ais a cover," he says.
Under the guise of searching for
bodies, the intelligence units ac-
tually gather miltary information
about NLF-contra'led areas a n d
forward it to the South Vietnamese
In an interview with Sacramento
radio station KZAP. Davis s a i d
Kosh, who was released ')y the
Chinese Feb. 1, is an Army m'li-
tary adviser working under a civil-
ian government employee cover.
Davis knew Kosh in Saigon. The
Pentagon has termed Kosh a civil-
ian Defense Department observer
reporting on the efficiency of the

South Vietnamese forces.
DAVIS BASES his charges on
documents he saw while working at
the message center. A Federal
Electric Corp. sipesman h a s
confirmed his empoynment, his ac-
cess to top-secret document., and
his firing - terming the last was
caused by a gene-al staff cutback.
Davis claims he was fired after
reporting, first to his superiors and
later to the CIA, that military per-
sonnel were forwarding copies of
State Department messages to
U.S. Ambassador Ellsworth Bunk-
er to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
in Washington and to military'com-
mand posts in Hawaii and Thai-
land. He detailed the message-
stealing charges in an Associated
Press interview in January and in
CBS and NBC television interviews
last month.
In a letter he received last week,
the Nixon administration thanked
Davis for his trouble - and in-
directly confirmed the charges.
The letter - signed by Ricnard G.
Collins, chief of staff of the U.S.
military's Defense Intelligence
Agency - assures Davis "on behalf
of PresidentNixon" that security
leaks found in six inspections of
the center have been eliminated.
Davis, a graduate of Army in-
telligence School, served for part
of 1970 with the 111th MIilitary In-
telligence Group in Atlanta and
for all of 1971 with the 52Szh Mili-
tary Intelligence Group in Viet-
nam. He then worked for a private
intelligence Agency in Sacramento
before returning to Vietnam in
January, 1973.
Joan Holden is a Pacific News
Service staff reporter.


How to play the thieving landlord game

II1 worse are the procedures by -STEVEN SELBST
Dem McGee evades issues

These are standard tactics politicians
often resort to when they must express
opinions on sensitive campaign issues.
Alter your day-to-day expressed opin-
'ions to conform with the political persu-
asion of the particular audience being
addressed that day.
Another tactic is to make campaign
statements so vague and general that no
one really knows where you stand. Then
later on, when public opinion eventually
decides one way or the other on an is-
sue, you can claim you were on the pop-.
ular side.
THESE TACTICS DO accomplish a po-
litical purpose. In campaigns where
issues have attained an acute sensitivity
and partisan nature, politicians can gar-
ner votes from citizens of both persua-
sions on an issue, by merely making non-
They thus get more votes than if they
had made their stands on the issues
However, these below-the-belt political
tactics sometimes do backfire. Occasion-
ally opposing candidates, or the news
media, venture to become bold enough to
call a candidate's bluff when these tac-
tics are used.
And if the voters are careful to remem-
ber the political double-talk incidents
that have occurred when they vote in the
polls-it can influence an election.
Colleen McGee has used the double-
talk strategy, saying one thing one day
and another the next, when speaking on
the controversiali Human Rights Party
Rent Control ballot proposal.
On the rent control issue, McGee so
far has expressed a virtual cornucopia
of opinions.
In a First and Second Ward condidate's
debate last Sunday at Northside School,
McGee contended that she has a lot of
disagreements with the specifics of the
HRP rent control plan, but that she in-
tends to vote in favor of it anyway, in
the upcoming April 1 elections.
However, to the Ann Arbor News she
expressed disenchantment with the bal-
lot proposal to the point of voting against
it. A story appearing in the News Mon-
day about the three First Ward council
candidates, that was based on an inter-
view held there last March 2, reads in
part, "McGee agrees with the purposes of
rent control, but opposes the HRP's char-
ter amendment."
the First Ward race have criticized
her for her refusal to take a clear stand
on rent control.
In the debate Sunday, Republican First
Ward candidate Joyce Hannum charged
to McGee, "Now wait a minute Colleen.
I remember you came out against rent
control in the interview we had at the
an A ,.1.r . .T,..y. ..~.A 1,In 1 Vni l n

you are for it?
"I don't approve of this," she contin-
ued, "You have to at least be consistent."
The Daily contacted McGee yesterday
about the apparent contradiction in her
statements before the two newspapers. '
The Democratic candidate maintained
that the Ann Arbor News' account was
wrong, and said, "I've already sent a let-
ter to the News explaining my position."
However Glen Harris, the News' city
government reporter who conducted the
candidate interviews and wrote the con-
troversial News story in question stuck to
his guns in the dispute.
March 12 interview McGee said she
was opposed to this particular proposi-
tion (the HRP rent control ballot pro-
posal)-I'm sure of it."
"I'm sticking by what we said," he
Meanwhile, McGee did not sign the
HRP petitions that got the rent control
proposal on the ballot, but suggests that
she would have signed had she seen one.
"I never saw a petition," she offered, as
the reason for not signing.
This is ridiculous. If no one else makes
a point of signing petitions on crucial
issues before an election, at least candi-
dates- for political office should.
The HRP rent control petitions were
widely circulated through-out the city,
and the contention that she "never saw"
a petition is patently absurd.
ON THIS A Human Rights Party of-
ficial suggested yesterday that, "The
petitions were everywhere . .. If McGee
is as alert or awake at City Council
meetings as she was when the petitions
were being circulated, someone should
buy her some benzedrine."
On the other issues that McGee has
chosen to address she resorts to tactics
of obfuscation, or making non-state-
On crime she calls for "community
oriented techniques," but does not go into
On city planning and development she
offers questions rather than opinions.
"We have to decide what to do with the
remaining space in the city," she says.
"We have to decide what kind of mix-
commercial versus housing development
-we want in future construction."
Maybe we do have to decide, but what
has McGee decided?
And in a final ironic note, when can-
vassing door-to-door before voters Mc-
Gee claims she is "more responsible"
than her Human Rights Party opponent,
Beth Brunton.
Perhaps McGee is a little confused as
to what her stands on the issues really
However, we wish she would hurry and
make un her mind-because the elections
are nearing, and citizens have to make

Editor's Note: This is the first of
seven articles written by students in
Course Mart 310, "Law of Landlord.
Tenant and its alternatives". The pur-
post of the series is to heighten aware-
ness of tenants' rights and problems,
and of the way housing is provided.
Jonathan Rose, attorney and director
of Student Legal Aid, is the course in-
The six remaining articles will be on
tenants rights, how to assert your
rights as a tenant, alternative formsof
housing in Ann Arbor, the role of the
University in Ann Arbor housing, the
new Michigan security deposit law, and
rent control.
The Editor has met the author of
the first article, who has requested
anonymity, and has examined the au-
thor's deed, leases, and identification,
to verify their authenticity.

7 per cent interest.
THE OWNER of the nropertv I
was interested in had bee run-
ning it as a two-apartment house.
He had been receiving a total of
$325 a month rent from the house.
According to the expense figures
his total yearly expense including
taxes, gas, water, repairs, insur-
ance, and miscellaneous expense
came to $1,164. His total yearly
revenue was $325 times 12 or 54,-
020. This was a net income cif
$2856 or 11 per cent of his invest-
* * *

worth more (partly because it
competes in price with m o r e
expensive new construction). The
landlord can charge higher rents,
and his profits soar.
* * *
I planned to convert the house
back into a single family dwelling
with five bedrooms. I wanted to
rent out four and sleep in the other
The property was listed for $29,-
900. I was never a very effective
bargainer, but since the owner was
interested in getting rid of the pro-
perty I felt $27,000 would be a !air
price. When I went over to the
realtor to tell him my bid he in-
formed me that the owner had low-
ered the asking price to $28.80 so
I bid $26,000. I was surprised when



Editor's note-
11 per cent is the figure
the landlord would make
owned the house outright.

if he
If he

IT WAS THE winter of my sopho-
more year. I was tired of look-
ing for a place to stay. All t h e
apartments were too expensive, all
the houses were too run down. Af-
ter telling my woes to a friend
I came upon the idea of buying a
house. Because she is a friend,
she didn't laugh too hard, but little
did she know I was serious.
The next day I went sheepishly
into a realtor's office and told him
my idea. He said it was great and
thai he had been a landlord when
he was in school. So he explained
to me all the responsibilities that
go with buying a house. You have
to pay the mortgage every month,
you have to pay taxes, you have to
get insurance, and you must take
care of maintenance. I feltreason-
ably prepared although I still
thought the idea was a little crazy.
In Ann Arbor all houses a r e
cross listed which means there is
a directory of all the property
that is for sale through ra-11tors.
After looking at several houses I
came upon a place that looked
most appealing for what I had in
mind. At this point we nad to un-
dertake preliminary negotiations
with the owner. Before I made
an offer I wanted to check what
rates Irwould be likely to get at
the bank. Since my credit rating
was non-existent I had to get
somebody to cosign the mortgage
with me. This means they put their
credit and their responsibility be-
hind me. I was able to coerce my
parents into cosigning and I nz-
gotiated a mortgage to cover 90
per cent of the purchase price at

As I walked out of his office I still couldn't
believe what he had said, and I really can't
believe it now. . . I still think it's a rip-off.
. .. %: : .. ..icmo em am as.-e4"y; rqg't ° i":4}y.. 'f{ isiv s:$

has a mortgage, he will make a
much higher percentage by the
use of "leverage", he makes the
11 per cent on his own money
(the down payment), plus the
difference between 11 per cent
and whatever he has to pay the
bank for the use of the bank's
money. It is because of "lever-
age" that landlords try to make
their down payments as small as
possible, borrow as much as
they can, and thereby own as
many buildings as possible, each
one being purchased, in effect,
by their tenants.
This profit figure, according to
Rose, also does not include what
landlords make as a result of'
"accelerated depreciation', a tax
loophole that allows the land-
lord to pretend the building is
quickly going down in value and
to deduct this "loss" from his
other income for tax purposes.
Rose adds that the 11 per cent
figure also fails to take into ac-
count inflation, which works
more to the landlord's benefit
than to his detriment. Although
the landlord's maintenance costs
rise, construction costs rise fast-
er, and the landlord's building is

the owner quickly accepted t h e
offer. In the end I didn't even
have to pay $26,000 for it because
my realtor insisted that it be up
to code or that I get an allow-
ance to bring it up to code.
NOW THAT I knew exactly how
much I would be spending, we
worked out a mortgage with a pay-
ment of $160 per month. I then cal-
culated my other costs. I tried to
be pessimistic in my estimates and
I still come out with a net income
of $1080 figuring $375 monthly rent-
al. When I showed my banker the
calculations he said I wasn't mak-
ing enough. He said I should plan
on making at least 10 per cent on
my investment - and in Ann Ar-
bor more like 14 per cent. I asked
if he meant 10 per cent on the
$3,000 cash I had put in, he re-
sponded with a laugh and said,
"No, 10 per cent on $26,000." That's
$2,600 a year and at 14 per cent
that's $3640 a year, over 12 per
cent of my cash investment.
As I walked out of his office I
still couldn't believe what he had
said, and I really can't believe it
now. It is a complete ripoff.
IT'S BEEN a year and 10 days
since I bought the house and things

look a little different now. I've put
a lot of work into the place mak-
ing it as nice as I can, both for
my own benefit and for the en-
joyment of my tenants. I have
found leases. to be a hassle but an
unfortunate necesisty to keep from
getting burned. My. nature does not
bring me to be harsh enough on my
tenants when rent becomes due.
So far, in spite of leases, I've
been taken for $260. But that is my
As far as my profit picture
looks, it's more than my wildest
dreams. My revenue per month is
$375 or $4500 a year. For one year,
my expenses have run $652 for tax-
es and $80 for repairs, $73 for mis-
cellaneous expenses, $60 for insur-
ance and $1920 for mortgage. The
tenants pay all the utility bills be-
cause I felt this was more equit-
able; if I were paying the bills
I would have to guess how much
the bills would be, pay them, and
then just add it on to their rent
THUS I HAVE total annual ex-
penses of $2785, total revenue of
$4500, a net profit of $1715 plus
the equivalent value of my room
of $720.
Editor's note -
Under the proposed R e n t
Control Charter Amendment, this
teenage landlord will be able to
charge the value of his time in
doing maintenance, plus mater-
ials, plus a profit of half of that
amount, plus a management fee
for managing the house himself,
all in addition to all of his
"costs", which inJlude principal
and interest payments, the pro-
cess by which the tenants buy
the building for the landlord
from the bank.
* * *
People I have told my story to
say that rent control will put a
stop to unfair profits. Unfortunate-
ly, this is not true enough. First,
I personally will not fall under the
power of rent control because on a
loop hole. But even if I were con-
trolled I would be abel to actually
charge more than the present lev-
This is because I do most of the
maintenance and repairs myself
and the rent I presently charge is
lower than average. I see rent

control as a tool to bring land-
lords under control and bring rent
down to a reasonable level.
Due to.other technicalities, even
the great state of Michigan is help-
ing me out. According to the Home-
stead act of Michigan, since I was
living on the property and my po-
perty tax was more than 4.5 per-
cent of my income, I received a
rebate from the state. This cut the
second biggest expense I had in
gives me a break on, my income
tax. I am able to write off all the
interest payments and other ex-
penses of running a house. "'h e
kicker is that since I rent it out
I am able to write off deprecia-
tion, which a regular homeowner
can't do. With all these deductions

Jonathan Rose
I end up paying no income tax,
even though my income is a couple
thousand more than that received
from the house.
I have never though it fair that
my mortgage payments, which are
now running $120 for interest and
$40 towards the principal, should
be counted as an expense. But my
banker says I should count them
because everyone else counts
As a last note I would like to say
that the landlords are making im-
moral profits off your need for a
place to stay. I still think it's a

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