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February 19, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-02-19

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1iwe Mr4§zn Daily
Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Ml 48104

Political notables slip off the hook

Thursday, February 19, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

"111 011 Y t G 41'P " w t9 I," _1 rr i r .-r

1 Sri ! 1 1 -


1 ~ 1
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WASHINGTON (PNS) - A campaign
law loophole - passed by Congress
in defiance of the Watergate investi-
gation - has saved a crowd of political
and corporate notables from the courts.
And it's still on the books.
The loophole retroactively reduced
the statute of limitations of campaign
offenses from five years to three. En-
acted in October 1974 only months after
Congress had finished its Watergate in-
quiry, it was an amendment to the 1972
Federal Election Campaign Act.
Among the possible beneficiaries was
Robert Strauss, chairman of the Demo-
cratic National Committee (DNC). In
1970 and 1972, while he was DNC 'treas-
urer, Strauss accepted two large and
allegedly illegal campaign gifts. The
new 'law, knowledgeable sources note,
almost guaranteed that a grand jury
would never indict him.
Interviews with more than 20 con-
gressmen and key staffers indicate that:
0 No one on either side of the aisle
strongly opposed the loophole.
* Even some Democrats believe that
the retroactivity provision was hatched
to protect Strauss, who has denied any
responsibility for the loophole, and oth-
er well known Democrats.
* Despite a recommendation from
former Watergate Special Prosecutor
Henry Ruth, Congress is not likely to
restore the five-year statute of limita-
"No convincing reasons have been
advanced for granting this special privi-
lege to federal candidates," Ruth com-
plained to Congress, "and the statute
should be amended to readopt the five-
year period now applicable to all other
persons in the criminal code."
But no one in Congress is lobbying
for a restored five-year statute.
"I still favor a five-year statute of
limitations," says Sen. Edward Kennedy
(D., Mass.), who mildly opposed the
three-year limit. "But a change in the
new law will probably be deferred un-
til the Federal Election Commission and
the Department of Justice have some ex-
perience under the three-year statute."
The origins of the three-year statute
have been traced back as far as mid-1974,
when the House Administration Commit-
tee was working out the Federal Elec-
tion Campaign Act amendments of that
Over lnch in the House dining room,
liberal Rep. Phillip Burton (D., Cal.)
suggested to conservative Rep. Wayne

Hays (D., Ohio) that he try to alter
the statute of limitations on election
They were two men with clout. Bur-
ton later in 1974 would become leader
of the House Democratic Caucus. Hays
was and .is chairman of the House Ad-
ministration Committee, which holds the
purse strings on most of the House's
internal operations.
Hays engineered the three-year stat-
ute through his committee, where it was
protested only by Rep. Bill Frenzel (R.,
Minn.). Other Republicans on the com-
mittee were preoccupied at the time
with Nixon impeachment matters.
Frenzel says Burton told him the
amendment would "clean things up" for
those who didn't understand the com-
plex 1972 election law, and that the
retroactivity could even help Republi-
cans like John Mitchell and Maurice
Stans. "Burton and Hays spent a lot of
time trying to get Frenzel to support
that provision," says a source close to
Frenzel. Frenzel now says he never
strongly opposed the amendment.
The House-Senate conference com-
mittee dispatched the entire campaign
bill in an hour. The issue of the statute
of limitations "did not come up until the
end of the conference," Sen. Kennedy
"If the question had been raised about
the effect of the provision on the Water-
gate investigations," Kennedy says, "I
am sure the change would not have
been made retroactive, but neither Con-
gress nor the Special Prosecutor raised
the question."
Yet James Doyle, a spokesman for
the Special Prosecutor's office, said in
November 1974, shortly after the law
was enacted, that, "We were surprised
at the loophole and were not consulted
before on it."
Doyle said then that he didn't think
the loophole would have much effect
on the Special Prosecutor's work. A year
later, however, Special Prosecutor Ruth
recommended a return to the five-year-
statute because prosecutors have enough
trouble nailing white-collar criminals in
At Justice, a spokesman says the
department knew about the change but
took "no stand" - even though there
was some dissent - because it didn't
think the new statute would have a
major impact on department work.
Neither the Special Prosecutor's of-
fice nor Justice will say how many cases
slipped by because of retroactivity-or
who, by name, missed being indicted.
But other sources say the clerk of

Robert Strauss



/ ,

the House sent Justice about 5,000 cases
from the 1972 elections alone. Although
most of the infractions were simple late
filings, some appeared major.
And in his final report to Congress,
Ruth himself said: "An investigation into
the failure of the DNC to report correct-
ly a large contribution resulted in no
charges because the statute of limita-
tions, as amended retroactively in 1974,
barred prosecution."
He apparently referred to one or both
of the two illegal gifts handled by
Strauss. They were from Ashland Oil
and totaled $50,000. The Special Prose-
cutor's office had been bird-dogging
Strauss' DNC for months, but in the
end to no avail.
After the expiration of the foreshort-
ened statute, Strauss admitted accepting
illegal gifts, but now declines to be in-
terviewed on the subject. His party was
planning to retrun some money to Ash-
land at the end of 1975, but even at
that late time,. Vince Clephas, DNC
communications director, was trying
hard to play down the issue., "The ques-
tion," he said of the $50,000, "is whether
this is a debt or a moral obligation."
Strauss has said he thought the money
was a legal "personal gift" from Ash-
land Oil's president (not from corporate
coffers). Yet DNC campaign records list
the funds as miscellaneous minor con-
"It's an outrage," a Democrat who
is deeply committed to the new cam-
paign law said of the loophole. "It was
done intentionally to protect him
A reliable source said Strauss, Hays

and Burton held secret meetings whilt
the campaign act was being marked up,
and that Strauss had insisted on the ret-
roactivity until late 1974. Hays said there
were no secret meetings, and he claimed
not to have known of Strauss' legal prob-
lems until the news came out in th
papers. Burton has denied wrongdoing
Whatever happened, Strauss wasn'
the only one the law smiled on. Th<
new statute of limitations reportedl
foiled an investigation into Rep. Wilbu
Mills' (D., Ark.) 1972 presidential cam
paign. There is also speculation it ma
have hampered some checking into th
1970 Senate race of Hubert Humphre
(D., Minn.). And even former Rep. Ger
ald Ford's name appears on one oil com-
pany's list of recipients of illegal cor-
porate gifts.
If Congress does eventually restore
the five-year statute, nothing is likel)
to be done before 1977 - when viola.
tions from the 1972 campaign could nc
longer be prosecuted.
"There's no way we'll go back," Hays
says. "The Justice Department isn't in
terested in justice, but in political per
secution. We will not give them fiv
years to harass us."
Meanwhile, a Republican election ex
pert, who scrutinized every step of th
1974 campaign law, remains enraged b
the three-year limit: "These guys wer
really getting at the heart of the la
making process itself where you actuall
are writing the laws for your friends.'
Richard Rashke and David Rothm
are investigative political reporters base
in Washington; D.C.

Unemployment bill needed

currently at a high, rate of 7.8
per cent. The Hawkins - Humphrey
full employment bill proposed by
Democrats seeks to reduce this rate
to three per cent in three years, by
creating public as well as private
Unemployment is a trauma for any
family. For those lucky enough, they
can qualify for the "charity" of un-
employment compensation.
Rather than have people lie idle
and forego production, we can put
them to work in meaningful jobs.
One of the faults of the free en-
terprise system is that employment
is subject to the forces of supply and
demand, the same as any other re-
source. Right now, demand is low.
The full employment bill is one way
to increase demand by creating jobs
for the unemployed.
employment bill would create
jobs in the private sector of the
economy by increasing the monetary
supply and government spending.
Three influential factions in the
Democratic Party are joining be-
News: Elaine Fletcher, Lois Josimo-
vich, Andy Lilly, George Lobsenz,
Rob Meachum, Mike Norton, Jeff
Ristine, Tim Schick
Editorial Page: Stephen Hersh, Andy
Lilly, Tom Stevens
Arts Page: Jeff Sorensen
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens

hind the bill. These include the A.F.
L.-C.I.O., the Congressional Black
Caucus and Sen. Hubert Humphrey
(D-Minn.). Democrats hope to unite
voters behind the bill to win votes in
the 1976 Presidential election.
The number of jobs to be created
is also uncertain; it will depend on
the state of the economy, how many
are unemployed, and how well the
fiscal and, monetary policy changes
Currently the bill is under revision
and should be reintroduced at the
end of this month.
We think a full employment econ-
omy is possible and necessary for the
welfare of the people of this coun-
Editorial Staff
JEFF RISTINE ................. Managing Editor
TIM SCHICK . Executive Editor
STEPHEN HERSH Editorial Director
JEFF SORENSEN .. .. Arts Editor
CHERYL PILATF Magazine Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Ades, Tom Allen, Glen
Allerhand, Marc Basson, Dana Bauman David
Blomquist, James Burns, Kevin Counihan,
Jodi Dimick, Mitch Dunitz, Elaine Fletcher.
Phil Foley, Mark Friedlander, David Garfinkel,
Tom Godell, Kurt Harju, Charlotte Heeg,
Richard James, Lois Josimovich, Tom Kettler,
Chris Kochmanski, Jay Levin, Andy Lilly, Ann
Marie Lipinski, George Lobsenz, Pauline Lu-
bens, Ter Maneau, Angelique Matney, Jim
Nicoll, Maureen Nolan, Mike Norton, Ken Par-
sigian, Kim Potter, Cathy Reutter, Anne
Marie Schiav1, Karen Schulkins, Jeff Selbst,
Rick Sobel, Tom Stevens, Steve Stojic, Cathi
Suyak, Jim Tobin, Jim Valk, Margaret Yao,
Andrew Zerman, David Whiting, Michael Beck-
man and Jon Pansius.

Latin America: Perpetual



(EDITOR'S NOTE: The fol-
lowing reports have been de-
veloped from on-the-spot sourc-
es working with Pacific News
Service, North American Con-
gress on Latin America (NAC-
LA) and the Peru-based Latin
America Press. It is designed
to give readers a quick sense
of the dominant moods and
trends in this vital region.)
Conflict between church and
state is mounting throughout
Latin America as church offi-
cials take an increasingly tough
stand against political repres-
sion. It surfaced again here
early this month when Presi-
dent Juan Bordaberry closed
down a Catholic Jesuit maga-
zine, Perspectives of Dialogue,
which had denounced mistreat-
ment of political prisoners in
Uruguay. The magazine was
the fourth religious publication
shut down in recent months.
Bordaberry also expelled two
Protestant organizations - the
World Student Christian Federa-
tion, headquartered in Geneva,
and the New York-based Front-
ier program. Both missionary
groups were charged with col-
laborating with opposition forc-
es, maintaining contacts with
revolutionary Chilean and Bo-
livian exiles and working in the
interests of "international com-
LIMA, Peru - Batman and
Robin have been expelled
from Peru, along with 23 other
U.S. comic books and magazines
forbidden by a new law to be
imported here. The perennial
champion of justice and scourge
of the underworld in the U.S.
has been accused -nalong with
the other publications - "of
attacking the intellectual, moral
and civic formation of the Pe-
ruvian people" as well as drain-
ing funds from the country.
Among those expelled with Bat-
man were Mighty Mouse, Sex
and Beauty and Cosmopolitan.
RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil -
The discovery of 11 bullet-
ridden and tortured bodies in
working class districts here and
the disappearance of eight oth-
ers signals a new upsurge of
activity by Brazil's notorious
Escuadraos da Morte or Death
Squads. Originally formed by
off-duty policemen to kill petty
criminals, the death squads who
reportedly have murdered some
3,000 people over the last nine
years are now turning their at-

'The discovery of II
bullet-ridden and tor-
tured bodies in work-
ing class districts in
Rio and the disappear-
ance of eight others
signals a new upsurge
of activity by Brazil's
notorious Escuadraos
da Morte or Death
flation and joblessness rise,
signs of serious political unrest
are surfacing. Despite a ban
imposed on strikes by the mili-
tary government, a minor lay-
off of 200 workers in a shoe
factory in central Bolivia trig-
gered a 48-hour shutdown of
the leading tin, zinc and anti-
mony mines, involving thous-
ands of workers. 13,000 students
went on a 24-hour strike to show

their solidarity. For the first
time since it took power in a
bloody coup in 1971, the govern-
ment caved in to protestors' de-
mands, ordering those laid off
QANTIAGO, Chile - Mount-
ing international criticism
of its repressive policies is
making a dent on Chile's jun-
ta. Early this month, the gov-
ernment - in a surprise move
- granted safe conduct passes
to several leftist leaders who
had taken asylum in the Costa
Rican embassy and the Papal
Nuncio here last November.
Costa Rica had threatened to
boycott the next meeting here
of the Organization of American
States if the junta did not let
the leftists leave safely. Given
passes were Andres Pascal Al-
lende, nephew of slain president

Salvador Allende, Ann Beausire
and Nelson Gutierrez. All three
- members of the Movement
of the Revolutionary Left (MIR)
- were among the most wanted
resistance leaders in Chile. Al-
lende and Beausire will go to
Cuba. Gutierrez will go to Switz-
MEXICO CITY, Mexico - As
unrest among Mexico's nine
million landless and below-sub-
sistence level peasants turns
into land seizures, landlords are
forming armed vigilante groups
to take back seized lands. Land-
lord vigilantes in northwest
Mexico recently killed three
peasants and wounded six oth-
ers, marking an ominous shift
to violence in a previously non-
violent situation. The 1910 Revo-
lution which formed modern
Mexico promised land to all who

Student eviction by lottery





To The Daily:

ate Richard Ray's commenda-
tion of the Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) on ground of
efficiency (Daily, Feb. 12), I
hesitate to laud the MSA for
accomplishing what must be re-
garded as a purely suppressive
On February 10, MSA voted
to unseat all 10 members of
Central Student Judiciary, leav-
ing the Judiciary vacant. CSJ
is the only body that MSA an-
swers to - and the Assembly
has wiped it out, invoking a
power (the recall of Judiciary
members) that has never been
used by the central government.
Although Assembly members
professed to be "starting the
government fresh," an MSA rep-
resentative privately admitted
that the Court was stilled to
circumvent pending litigation
that challenged the legality of
some of the government's ac-
Checks and balances are man-
datory to maintain a democrat-
ic government; I fear that MSA
may be on the road to dictator-
shin. If the Assembly continues

till the soil, but some 40 p
cent of Mexico's 23 million pea
ants either have no land at
or not enough to feed the
wealthy pro-U.S. busines
men have been expelled for plo
ting the overthrow of the To
rijos government. Included we
an executive of the Chase Ma
hattan Bank in Panama, t
owners of a large chain
stores, lawyers, financiers an
directors of the Chamber
- Commerce in several Panama
ian cities. The ,expulsions wer
announced in the aftermath (
charges by the government the
ousted president Arnulfo Aria
conspired with U.S. presidents
candidate Ronald Reagan to u
dermine the proposed U.S.-Pa
ama Treaty.

I HAVE BEEN evicted.
With one extraction of a three by -five inch
index card from a crude corrugated box,
the University has informed me that I will
no longer be able to enjoy the plushness and
comfort of Mosher Jordan Hall, my Ann Ar-
bor address for the past two years.
This new ripple in my life came a week
ago night during the University's second an-
nual gala dorm lottery, billed thisyear by the
folks down at Housing as a "drawing".
You see, my little index card was the 183rd
plucked from the men's box at Mojo's ninety
minute affair. Unfortunately, there were 210
cards in that same box, and my unlucky lot
placed me 60th on the waiting list for a men's
dorm space.
Being booted out onto Observatory Street
with my two valises and typewriter does not

Life on Mojo's fourth floor as a freshman
was a novelty last year, an integral part of
my University orientation and a new and
unique "living experience". This year, I
know every-single fiber in that striped, tan
rug out in the hall and have developed the
uncanny ability to predict when next week's
grilled chopped round will find its way down
my esophagus.
Try not to misinterpret this. Dorm life has
afforded me the opportunity to get totally
plastered in the company of some of the fin-
est folks I've met anywhere. There has al-
ways been someone within shouting distance
to seek solace from, even if the neighbors'
blaring stereo negated attempts at raising my
Living at Mosher Jordan has been wacky,
irritating, obnoxious, fun, strange, rewarding,
gastric and' memorable .Two years of dorm
life, however, are enongh. It's time to tackle
snme other form of housing which touches

A- vr

really choke me up the way it would have s'JJU 11U i....
last year. closer to reality than the ivy-walled behe-
LAST YEAR, of course, I didn't have to It's too bad many of us have to exit the
face a substantial rate hike in my room and dorms by way of the lottery!. It seems a
board. (In case you haven't been keeping n)or excuse for the University's lack of fore-
up with the campus news, you'd better wire sight in aiding the canus honsing crunch.
Mom and Dad for more money if you plan
to remain in your dorm next fall.) [ay Levin is a Daily staff reporter.
HEY, poCtMYP -, tTS J I uEAR 'PAr '0U
t UTSpir6Y D IT FoR A lUIL-' / GcTrA QUiTSLEEt/G

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