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November 06, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-11-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Dave Beck:

Hiding behind the Fifth

Thursday, November 6, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
My guys: Ford's yes-men

FTER A LITTLE more than a year
in office, President Ford had to
confront a political Scylla and Cha-
rybdis - a rock on one side pressing
an insurgent challenge to his elec-
tion and a whirlpool on the other
roiling the waters in the Departments
of State and Defense.
And confront it he did, - with a
series of major personnel shake-ups
early this week.
Hardly a deft, subtle stroke, the re-
shuffling that ousted Secretary of
Defense James Schlesinger and CIA
Director William Colby, when con-
sidered alongside Vice President Nel-
son Rockefeller's decision not to run
on the Ford ticket, gives the admin-
istration an aura of disarray and
deep-seated desperation.
Although Rockefeller offered no
reason for his sudden announce-
ment, he quite probably was pres-
sured into that position to pacify the
Republican right wing.
Ford has continually felt conser-
vative Ronald Reagan's breath on the
back of his neck as he seeks a full
term in the White House and the
former California governor has got-
ten a second wind while running
down the campaign trail.
CETTING RID OF Rockefeller will
presumably bring many of the
conservatives, who never c o u I d
stomach the man from New York,
back into the Ford camp.
All of this shows Ford to be a cut-
throat politician - not the nice guy
from Grand Rapids.
When Ford inherited the presiden-
cy from a fallen Richard Nixon, he
was still essentially just a podunk
Congressman who had demonstrated
little executive ability or under-
standing of overall domestic and for-
eign policy.
To buttress his reputation, he chose
Rockefeller - a man who had won
plaudits in many circles as an inci-
sive leader with broad vision - as
his vice president.
But now that Rockefeller has be-
come an impediment to Ford's elec-
tion, he is being cast aside - a sop
to the clamoring dogs on the Presi-
dent's -right.
Of- course, in all fairness, the loss
of Rockefeller, who personifies the
power of big business in America,
should not be mourned by the people.
But they should take the hint about
Editorial Staff
News: Glen Allerhand, Jo Marcotty,
Sara Rimer, Kurt Smith, Rick Soble,
Bill Turque, Margaret Yao.
Editorial Page: Paul Haskins, Debra
Hurwitz, Tom Kettler, Mara Letica,
Jon Pansius, Tom Stevens
Arts Page: Chris Kochmanski
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens

what really motivates Ford.
ment operations and executive
policy making, the immediate
changes in the Ford Administration
are far more alarming.
By the President's own admission,
he wants "a team I selected . . . my
guys." Thus, in effect, Ford is sur-
rounding himself with men of philo-
sophies so similar to his own that
they might might as well be one.
That's what prompted Schlesing-
er's departure - he simply did not
agree with Ford and Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger on the pursuit
of detente with the U.S.S.R.
Although Schlesinger maintained a
hard anti-Soviet line, it might be ar-
gued that some sort of alternate view
-albeit from the far right - is bet-
ter than none at all.
With Donald Rumsfeld elevated to
the Defense Department helm, with
former GOP national chairman
George Bush to head the CIA, and
with Gen. Brent Scowcroft to fill Kis-
singer's shoes as National Security
Council (NSC) director, Ford has in-
sulated himself with a blanket of
men who do not buck the boss.
All of which conjures up images
of the Nixon White house in which
H. R. "Bob" Haldeman, John Ehrlich-
man, and Kissinger kept the chief
executive's counsel to the virtual ex-
clusion of all others.
A ND OUT OF the round of musical
desks, Kissinger emerges as th
second most powerful man in govern-
ment - a disquieting thought con-
sidering he is elected by no one and
is accountable only to the president.
He won his struggle with Schle-
singer and Colby. Undoubtedly the
Kissinger view was the decisive fac-
tor in Ford's decision to ask for the
two to resign.
Seemingly in exchange, Kissinger
relinquished his NSC post. But his
reivlacement was literally a hand-
ricked heir - chalk up another vic-
tory for the doctor.
Ford has now fired a double-bar-
reled salvo to silence his critics -
both those outside the administra-
tion and those who formerly served
But the unfortunate result is an
Pecut~ve branch that Is significantly
more one-minded than it was last
DAVID ELOMQUIST ............... Art Editor
BARBARA CORNELL .. Sunday Magazine Editor
PAUL HASKINS.............Editorial Director
JOSEPHINE MARCOTY Sunday Magazine Editor
SARA RIM= ................. Executive Editor
STEPHEN SELST...............City Editor
JEFF SORENSON............. Managing Editor
MARY LONG.......... Sunday Magazine Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Adys, Tom Allen, Glen
Allerhand, Elen Breslow, Mary Beth Dillon,
Ted Evanoff, Jim Finklestein, Elaine Fletch-
er, Stephen Hersh, Debra Hurwitz, Lois Josi-
movich, Doe Kralk, Jay Levin, Andy Llly,.
Ann Marie Lipinski, George Lobsenz, Pauline
Lubens, Rob Meachum, Robert Miller, Jim
Nicoll, Cathy Reutter, Jeff Ristine, Tim
Schick, Katherine Spelman, Steve Stojic, Jim
Tobin, Bill Turque, Jim Valk, David Wein-
berg, Sue Wilhelm, David Whiting, Margaret
Photography Staff
Chief Photographer
STEVE KAGAN ..............Staff Photographer
PAULINE LUBENS..........Staff Photographer

(Editor's Note: The following
is the second of a four - part
'N THE ANNALS of Teamster
history, the year 1957 might
very well be known as the "Year
of the Foxhunt." Starting almost
from the beginning of that fate-
ful year, the Teamsters officials
were constantly running from in-
vestigations and indictments;
they had to use all the cunning
and trickery common to the
species to come out of the after-
math as well as they did.
In January of 1957, the Sen-
ate Select Committee on Im-
proper Activities in the Labor
or Management Field was form-
ed under the chairmanship of
Senator John L. McClellan, D-
Ark. The star-studded commit-

wants to know if you honestly
believe that the submission of
your records to this committee
tend to incriminate you if the
information therein should be
revealed to this committee?"
Dave Beck: "Yes, I think very
definitely so."
EVEN BECK'S blatant show
of contempt for the proceedings
could not in any way alter the
evidence that was brought out
against him during these hear-
ings and subsequent hearings a
few months later. Among the
things that the committee estab-
lished were:
* That Beck had misappropri-
ated over $196,000 of Teamster
funds to build homes for him-
" That he took an additional
$85,000 from the funds to pay
his personal debts.

"Even Beck's blatant show of contempt for
the proceedings could not in any way alter the
evidence that was brought out against him dur-
ing these hearings and subsequent hearings a
few months later."
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in his first strike against Kro-
ger. In 1932, he moved into the
Teamsters and a year later, he
took charge of Local 299, De-
troit's largest local. Gradually,
he secured power throughout
the state, and by the late
forties, he was in control of all
Michigan Teamsters. He began
to expand his power base
throughout the Midwest. His
techniques were of the rough-
and-tumble type that were char-
acteristic of labor organizing of
the period. His philosophy was
always to have the most muscle.
He recruited racketeers and ex-
convicts. He formed close busi-
ness relationships with the mob,
including one - the infamous
Detroit Purple Gang. In 1949,
Hoffa made a connection with
Paul Dorfman, the leader of
the Waste Handlers in Chicago.
He represented the Chicago mob
and was a major link for Hoffa.
The other major Waste Handler
official in Chicago at that time
was a man named Jack Ruby,
who, years later, was to gain
perpetual notoriety for non-union
related actions. Hoffanturned
over the handling of the Cen-
tral States Health and Welfare
Fund, of which he was trustee,
to The Union Casualty Agency,
which was run by a friend of
for power, Hoffa was unconcern-
ed about means. In the early
fifties, he conspired with Johnny
Dio, a three-times convicted ex-
tortionist, to gain the control of
the union's joint counsel in New
York City. After Beck got wind
of this plot, Hoffa was forced
to back down and bide his time.
Hoffa also had his turn before
the McClellan committee. In
content there was very little dif-
ference between his testimony
and Beck's, but he did differ in
tactics.Whereas Beck took the
Fifth, Hoffa simply stated re-
peatedly that he didn't remem-
ber. The main charges against
Hoffa involved his connections
with the Mafia and the "bor-
rowing" of Teamster pension

Teamsters' President Dave Beck and protege Jimmy Hoffa smile
confidently on emerging from a 1957 hearing on union corrup-
tion. Their mirth would be short-lived, however, for both men
later found themselves on the bleak side of prison bars - first
Beck, later Hoffa. Each man's demise was as spectacular as
his rise to power. And in Hoffa's case at least, he succumbed
to the same kind of final brutality that he wielded so freely
while in power.

tee included Senator Joseph Mc-
Carthy of Wisconsin, Senator
Barry Goldwater of Arizona and
two Massachusetts brothers who
were to use the fame and pub-
licity they received as the bull-
dogs of the committee as spring-
boards to spectacular but tragic
public careers, Senator John
Kennedy and Chief Counsel to
the Committee, Robert' Ken-
First on the committee's agen-
da was the Teamsters Union,
specifically, their two big guns,
Beck and Hoffa. The display
that these two men put on at
the Committee hearings was a
classic statement of arrogance
and contempt by men of pure,
corrupt power, unparalleled in
our time until Watergate.
Fegruary 26. The first part of
the hearings was mainly a mat-
ter of proving connections be-
tween the Teamsters and the
mob in Portland, Oregon. The
major evidence to come out of
this segment of the hearings was
proof that high ranking Team-
ster officials, including Dave
Beck, were backing gangland
efforts to gain control of major
law enforcement positions in
On March 26, 1957, Dave Beck
began two days of non-testi-
mony, in which he parried every
accusation against him by tak-
ing the Fifth Amendment. At
the opening of his testimony the
following dialogue between Beck
and the chairman took place:
Senator McClellan: "The Chair

* That in 1945 he used his
union influence to cause the
Anheuser-Busch brewery to give
its Seattle-area distributorship
to the K&L distributors, run by
his son, Dave Beck Jr.,
* That this was the largest
single distributorship of Busch
in the country.
* That in return for this favor
when Beck was President of the
Western conference of Team-
sters, he used his pull to settle
a strike against Anheuser
Busch's building of its Los An-
geles plant.
" That in 1953, the National
Mortgage Company was formed
in Seattle by Beck's nephew,
Joe McAvoy, and that many
Teamster mortgages were pur-
chased through this company,
and that from these mortgages
purchased with Teamster funds,
Beck made over $10,000. These
were only the major accusa-
tions made against Beck. There
were 66 in all.
AS A RESULT of these dis-
closures, and a subsequent in-
dictment on a charge of income
tax invasion, Beck decided not
to seek re-election at the Team-
ster convention in October. The
spotlight then fell upon the 9th
vice-president of the Teamsters,
James Riddle Hoffa.
Hoffa had much the same
early background as Beck. Born
in 1904 in Detroit, he led a
basically normal early life. He
went from job to job, until he
gradually drifted into the labor
scene. In 1931, as part of a load-
ing dock crew, he participated

After the hearings ended,
events moved rapidly through
the summer and into October.
Hoffa stepped up his campaign
for the Presidency, while the
Committee mulled over possible
action. Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO,
under the direction of . George
Meany, threatened the Team-
sters with expulsion if Hoffa
were elected. At the same time,
a class-action suit by the Team-
ster rank and file was brought
against many of the top Team-
ster brass, 'including Hoffa. The
judge at this trial issued a tem-
porary injunction prohibiting a
Teamster election. But this was
soon removed and the conven-
tion met, with the predictable
result of Hoffa's election. About
this time, Hoffa was indicted
for bribery, a charge for which
he was subsequently able to buy
a favorable verdict. Due to the
rank and file suit, the Judge
stated that Hoffa could only be

provisional president under the
supervision of a three-man,
court-appointed Board of Moni-
tors until a new election could
be held. In the interim, certain
reforms would be instituted.
their December convention the
AFL-CIO voted to expel the
Teamsters and other corrupt
unions. As a final note to the
year-long saga, Dave Beck was
convicted in January, 1958 of,
larceny for the selling of a
Union - owned Cadillac for his
own profit. He was sent to jail.
It was under these circumstan-
ces that Jimmy Hoffa began his
stormy reign as President of
the Teamsters,
TOMORROW: The Hoffa re-
Michael Beckman is a mem-
ber of the Editorial Page staff.

Letter's to Thie Daily

To The Daily:
I, RON JENKINS (manager
of the S. University store), am
writing this epitaph to clear a
name that many have loved for
its character and cuisine. What
did the Vaudeville Deli mean
to you? Was it the N.Y. cheese
cake, a reuben, lox, blintzes or
a good bowl of home made
chicken and motzo ball soup?
I saw the Vaudeville go
through 25 months of struggle
and in that time Len Dennisson
has poured all his resources
and time into an ideal. We have
maintained the same level of
quality ethnic food as we watch-

ed our operational and food
costs rise. We couldtnot allow
our prices to equal those in De-
troit for fear of losing our cli-
A source not internally in-
volved in the company suggest-
ed shoddy management as the
reason behind the store's clos-
ing; but may I suggest that we
just did not have enough money
to afford the management and
machinery needed to expand its
facilities and services as quick-
ly as Ann Arbor demanded. But
whatever the reasons, I, along
with my co-workers, Len Den-
nisson and a sizeable number
of Deli followers will miss it.
Ronald Jenkins

gra fitti
To The Daily:
WE DECIDED to take a min-
ute today to express our feel-
ings about seeing the most re-
cent Greek graffiti all over the
campus. The appearance of Al-
pha Phi Alpha on various uni-
versity buildings and sidewalks
has not added to the scenery
at Michigan. We feel that these
acts were in very poor taste and
show gross disrespect of public
property. We feel that the per-
petrators of these acts should
be billed for the removal of'
these signs, if not prosecuted.
A Group of Concerned
October 31

'm mThe Lighter Sid {
The ABC's of gun 1
control: Mass chaos
- - --------2 n ..i n r I a ,


/d. R1

v c.r YyCJI

- /

WASHINGTON UPI - The U. S. Office of Education has found
that milions of adults in America are unable to cope with such
elementary complexities of modern life as writing checks, ad-
dressing mail and reading airline timetables.
And I'm one of them. Or at least one of the several million
who can't get there from here with an airline timetable.
So widespread is the lack of proficiency in consumer skills
that a full 20 per cent of the adult population is functionally in-
competent, the study shows.
To the untrained eye, this might appear unrelated to the cur-
fent gun control hearings in Congress. But to someone ever on the
lookout for hidden correlations, the study suggests both a cause
and a cure for the nation's high crime rate.
INABILITY TO FUNCTION effectively in a complex society
most likely is the main reason so many people depend on guns to
help them get along in life.
Guns are delightfully simplistic. Easy to understand and op-
erate. Even if you don't comprehend how to write checks, you can
readily grasp how to withdraw money from a bank with a gun.
Thus guns have become a substitute for rudimentary know-
how in the more sophisticated facets of our daily existence.
Ideally, the way to reduce the rate of gun abuse is to bring
everyone up to proficiency level in consumer skills. But that
takes time.
As a stopgap, Congress should strive for a compromise be-
tween those who favor strong gun controls and those opposed to
any type of firearm regulation.
WHAT IT SHOULD do, in short, is put the question of gun
ownership aside and pass a law making guns more complicated.
If it took as much gumption to fire a gun as it does to figure
out an airline timetable, then presumably the 20 per cent of the
population now most likely to use guns illegally would be unable
to do so.
It wouldn't even be necessary to change the design of guns.
All Congress need do to make guns incomprehensible is require
that firearms sold in the United States be accompanied by an
instruction sheet prepared by a Japanese toy manufacturer.
For that matter, the instructions probably doesn't have to be
imported. Any of the American firms that make toys that parents
must put together on Christmas Eve could do a satisfactory job.
STEP ONE: TAKE handle of gun Part "h," Fig. 1 and connect
with palm of hand Part "p," Fig. 2 as shown in Illustration B.
Care must be exercised to make certain handle connects with
right palm of dextral marksman and left hand of sinistral marks-

SINCE MY FIRST year here, I don't think
any political experience or campus event
has been as exciting as the Ann Arbor Teach-
In, unless you count last year's GEO strike.
In fact, it's good to keep the GEO strike in
mind, because it ticked off an upswing in stu-
dent activism here at the university.
I neverthought activism was dead; that
was merely a myth created by those who
wished to keep us quiet. Speaker after speak-
er at the Teach-In explained the activities
they have been involved in during the past
few years since the so-called death of student
But certainly we are seeing an upswing
in activity and in that respect, as we sat at
the Teach-In, we watched the beginning of
something fresh and new. As I stood in the
rain last Monday noon listening to Carl Ogles-
by explain how we brought the war home,
I wasn't disappointed that only a small group
had gathered to hear about another begin-
It's time to put an end, once and for all,
to the myth of apathy. Jeremy Rifkin pointed
out last night that in 1775 there were those
who felt the British Empire was eternal, and
could never be defeated. But he said, "If
you can give something a birthday, you can
give it a funeral." We should remember that
the opposite is true. Where is the birthday of
student activism? In the 60's? Check back
DAILYS in the 20's, the 30's or the 40's. Acti-
vism didn't start in '61, and it didn't end in
'69 either.
BUT SADLY, DURING my four years at the
university, the myth has prevailed. Until the
GEO strike last year those of us who cared

audience questions and interaction; though
several workshops were held, they didn't seem
to fill the gap. A lack of minority and wom-
en representation on the panels left an in-
tolerant audience actually hissing at people
who worked constantly for the last six months
to make this happen.
I am not excusing the Teach-In for this ex-
clusion. A more sophisticated group of organ-
izers wouldn't have committed this oversight.
But the Teach-In committee members are not
sophisticated organizers. They represent a
new interest, a new concern, a new beginning
of activism in Ann Arbor. We should be criti-
cal, but we should be applauding, not hissing.
THE TEACH-IN is only a small part of a
new growth of activity on campus. From our
offices in the Michigan Union, it is easy to see
signs of this movement building.
Student interest groups are forming and
growing to act upon campus issues such as
affirmative action; local issues such as hous-
ing; and national issues such as Senate Bill
One. The student governments have quit
shouting at each other over personal insults
and are beginning to recognize and act upon
their role as representatives of the issues that
affect students.
On a state-wide level the state colleges and
universities are moving quickly since they
established SALT (Students Associated for
Lower Tuition). This winter, for the first
time we will be lobbying together as tuition
hikes threaten us.
Frqm our offices it is easy to see this ac-
tivism. But the view from the Administration
Building is obscured by small windows and
many bricks.

New movement rekindles
long-dormant sensitivities


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