1977-The Michigan Daily
Capitol Hill unhurried
By RICHARD BERKE
and BRIAN BLANCHARD
VASHINGTON From their fash-
able homes in' suburban Virginia
I Maryland, legislators launch
o longdays of dining -at smoke-
ed receptions, and wining at
orgetown cocktail prties, resting
efly for an occasional kick-back.
nter the idealogue from Michi-
, freshman Carl Pursell,whose
a of a hot time in Washington is a
eful reading of the latest News-
ek in -his cubbyhole boarding-
ise room a few blocks from the
'OR IF the sad-eyed Republican
o represents Ann Arbor in the
ise is to be taken at his word, Leon
vorski and the Justice Depart-
nt will never have any truck with
itting in his boarding-house, the
year-old lawmaker explains that
likes to consider himself outside
congressional social circuit C"I
Vt stand receptiqns"), doesn't
ak bread with colleagues away
from the office ("I've been out to
lunch maybe once"), and the heavy-
set representative won't even indulge
in the ;accepted cocktail ("I don't
smoke or drink").
Over Pursell's shoulder, one sees
sient lifestyle in Washington. Time
and again, he tries to convey the
impression of status-free, modest
"In the evenings I like to take a
walk, read," he says. His evenings,
"'I want people to look at Carl Pursell as a guy
who got things done ... That should be the principle
goal for freshmen. You could spend months travelling
Pursell likes the words 'leadership' and 'effective'
- hardly a sentence goes by without one or the other.
:.: + .:i.:.:...::. :::.:.:.:: :.4."41i : :gg : : :: . . :.4.:'5..:...L . .r. 4 .:.. 4i .!.i".!.
"I can't stand recep-
tions ... I've been out
to lunch maybe once
. . . I don't smoke or
cars roll by on Independence Avenue
under the late-summer sun. Although
it sits a stone's throw from the
Capitol, the neighborhood is an
unsafe area of the city.
edges, even boasts about,
One of the largest selections of "La Coste" shirts, Levi Jeans,
Panatella, and Corduroys on State Street.
State Street on the Campus
No H ooks or Crooks
vft yQur room
Just order any cock and you receive a really neat treat ... a super 18"
"RUSH HOUR" decal absolutely FREE.
he says, are his only time for
relaxation. He takes advantage of the
Library of Congress, just a stroll
away, to sample periodicals and
digest an occasional biography.
Like every freshman who comes
into the House little known, Pursell
spends a great deal of time on the
chamber floor, trying hard to get his
bearings in the cutthroat carnival of
Congress. There, he says, "I try to
identify with what I call the strong
people. It's important in being an
effective legislator down the road. I
select out those who are talented
. the rest you don't worry about."
BUT PURSELL claims that he
isn't awed by the influence of these
"strong people". In fact, the Wash-
ington neophyte predicts, he won't go
to a White House function if he has
something better to do. "I'm not
impressed by leadership," he says.
One gets the impression that Pur-
sell would be dogmatically earnest
about a game of checkers. For, while
he doesn't have a polished delivery or
a reservoir of anecdotes to dish out,
he seems disarming. His dull redun-
dancy encourages credibility. He is
believable in the same way that a
plumber might be: nothing fancy,
just an employe with a pile of work to
"I WANT people to look at Carl
Pursell as a guy who got things
done ... that should be the principle
goal for freshmen. You could spend
months traveling social circuits."
Pursell likes the words "leader-
ship" and "effective" - hardly a
senterice goes by without one or the
other. His hands become gavels and
pointers to add emphasis to key
Pursell is generally considered a
liberal Republican. His name has
-appeared on consumer advocate,
314$/2 S. State
Begins Sept. 12
for info call 995-4242
- Don 't be late for your next class.
But, if time doesn't matter, then order a "RUSH HOUR" decal-set of
any size ,and receive a dynomite 6" rush hour decal FREE.
Stick them anywhere, walls, windows, --
luggage, vans, police cars ... etc.
Decals are adhesive backed, water- Clocks are battery operated and
proof plastic. You get a set of 2. can go anywhere.
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Ralph Nader's "hit list" for a poor
consumer interest record, but that
doesn't bother the balding congress-
man. He is proud of having co-
sponsored a bill to promote laser-
fusion as an energy source.
Since Pursell has "never been a
clock-watcher," his day is loosely
scheduled. He strolls to work from
his southeast Washington room at
around nine each morning and
returns in the early evenings.
Pursell starts his day with staff
briefings to plan the day. His
legislative assistant, he emphasizes,
is a woman. Some members of
Congress send third-year law stu-
dents to fetch hamburgers and
launder socks, but, he points out,
none of his aides are sent on personal
errands for him.
Most mornings he goes from his
briefings to hearings of either of his
two committees: Education and
Labor or Science and Technology. He
spends the rest of his day scurrying
from House debates to other eommit-
tee hearings to meetings with consti-
"I don't plan to be here all my
life," Pursell said. "When I go, I
House terms, he says, should 6e
limited to ten or twelve years. Like
most government newcomers, he
says he doesn't have his sights on
Pursell flies back to Ann Arbor
every Friday, but doesn't have much
time for his wife and three children.
Constituents, he explains, have a
greater claim on his attentions.
Pursell thinks that he and most of
his colleagues spend far too much
time in Washington, away from the
district. "The pressure point is to be
in Washington, and I would like to see
these roles reversed."
The "pressure point" leads to what
Pursell calls "not an easy life."
Michigan Bell Service Bulletin
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