100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

April 07, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-04-07

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


BUILDING AN EMPIRE:

Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Wednesday, April 7, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Dangerous lab research
still continues uncheckied

Smith
By DAVID ROTHMAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. (PNS) -Or
of the people who best exemplifi
Washington's "old boy" network si
neither in the White House, the Cabins
or the Congress. In fact, he is not a
elective or appointive official of an
kind. Few people outside Washingt(
have even heard of him.
His name is Charles E. Smith: ti
federal government's largest supplier(
office space - and a good examp)
of how Washington insiders operate.
A small, charming Russian immigrar
in his 70s, Smith is now more or les
retired and lives much of the tim
outside Washington. But his empire ar
friends-who include a slew 'of notable
ranging from Sen. Abraham Ribicofft
Supreme Court Justice William Brer
nan - remain an integral part of lif
here.

houses

ginia. He and a host of other news-
men - ranging from political column-
ists Evans and Novak to Washington
staffers of the Manchester Guardian and
Kansas City Star - are Smith's tenants
in an office building near the White
House.
Cross the Potomac into a hilly sec-
tion of Arlington, Va. One past investor
in Charles Smith's Key Building there
- a 12-story skyscraper occupied by
the CIA - was Sen. Ribicoff, the Con-
necticut Democrat who sat on, and now
chairs, the Senate Government Opera-
tions Committee that helps oversee the
General Services Administration (GSA).
The GSA finds and rents most govern-
ment office space. Other Key Building'
investors have included Justice Bren-
nan, prominent D.C. judge David
Bazelon and the late federal judge Simon
Soberloff of Baltimore.
A long investigation has uncovered

AST WEEK IT WAS LEARNED that
the U.S. Air Force will not con-
tinue its contract with the Univer-
sity's Aerospace Engineering Depart-
ment for fuel cloud explosion re-
search, following the curtailment of
its present funding on May 20.
Although this knowledge was wel-
come to those on campus who oppose
such weapons-related research, the
victory may be hollow since other
potentially harmful research con-
tinues unchecked here as well as at
other universities all over the coun-
try. For example, just this January
the University Senate's Research Pol-
icies Committee approved, by a wide
margin, a classified research proposal
concerning a sophisticated tactical
radar system also funded by the Air
Force. The proposal was known to
be the same type of radar used on
fighter jets.
The problem is that, although
there are regental guidelines which
prohibit any research "the probable
result of which . . . is to destroy hu-
man life or to incapacitate human
beings," the vagueness of the rule
prevents its use in preventing any
but the most blatantly destructive
proposals. In the gray areas are hun-
dreds of studies which make use of
Defense Department monies to de-

velop scientific methods related to
those used in weapons - but which
also have potentially beneficial re-
sults.
Another problem is that scientists
and professors, dependent on grants
for their own research, make up a
majority on the Research Policies
Committee.
Thusitis not to be expected that
they would disapprove research for
their colleagues when the guidelines
do not specifically prohibit it.
THE GENERALLY LACKADAISICAL
attitude of the student commun-
ity is a contributing factor to the
University's permissiveness on re-
search whose connection with harm-
ful weapons is even the most tenuous.
The regental guidelines must be
strengthened to clear up the Uni-
versity's position on such possibly
harmful studies. The Research Poli-
cies Committee must end its back-
scratching attitude toward granting
the research. And it is crucial that
students begin to keep more of a
close and interested eye on Univer-
sity research if they wish to prevent
development of new and even more
terrible weapons than those already
at the disposal of the U.S. armed
forces.

US. s

power

base

1....... .... lh.+'. . . 111 J. .....v.......... . "
'Turn to the Post style section. Humor columnist Art
Buchwald invested $24,000 in Smith property in Vir-
ginia. He and a host of other newsmen - ranging from
political columnists Evans and Novak to Washington
staffers of the Manchester Guardian and Kansas City
Star - are Smith's tenants in an office building near
the White House.'
".x ,41 ..Y..,. .:'::. . .!. ","vf.14.J.F:::'~t::4.J.:t ".!""'.;.J":'y{t":'::V*v..:
.'.'J"1:".."." Am mmm KY : J by J tJm a .. t"".SVJ.44sm : :t:"4::::"i }":

was ranking minority member of the
House Public Works Committee-which
approves funds for federal building pro-
grams.
CHARLES E. SMITH amassed most
of his tax-supported empire during the
Kennedy and Johnson administrations,
after meeting a Who's Who of politicians
and judges in Washington..
Through charity work, he met the
wife of then-U.S. Court of Appeals Judge
David Bazelon. Through the judge, Smith
met Ribicoff; Arthur Goldberg, who
served on the Supreme Court and later
as U.N. ambassador; Abe Fortas, an
intimate of Lyndon Johnson and a
Supreme Court justice before resigning
under conflict-of-interest allegations; and
Justice Brennan.
In each case, with these men and
others, Smith showed a knack for turn-
ing powerful friends into investors.
While Fortas and Goldberg apparent-
ly never put any money into Smith
property leased by the GSA, Brennan,
from 1964-67, held a 2.16 per cent lim-
ited partnership in the same CIA-occu-
pied Key Building in Virginia that Ribi-
coff helped back.
The case of Ribicoff especially il-
lustrates the financial, social and politi-
cal ties that Smith has cultivated with
official Washington.
FROM 1963-68 RIBICOFF had a 2.88
per cent limited partnership interest-
with $20,000 - in the Key Building.
Smith in 1964 wontthe lease on the
building, at more, than $400,000 annual
rent, and began collecting the next'
year.
Contrary to its own instructions, the
lease did not list the building's part-
ners. And rather than naming Ribicoff,
Arlington County partnership records
named a "David Kotkin, Trustee," a
past law partner of Ribicoff, in his
place.

The lease also violated its own Para-
graph 11 prohibition against renting from
congressmen unless they are involved in
incorporated companies. Smith, and Ribi-
coff were involved in a partnership,
not a corporation,
Paragraph 11 is based on Section 431
of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which pro-
vides fines of .up to $3,000 for viola-
tions. But because the law's statute of
limitations is five years, and Ribicoff
withdrew from the partnership more
khan seven years ago, he could no
longer be prosecuted.
ACCORDING TO RIBICOFF, a cap-
ital gains tax canceled out any profits
he made on the Key Building. But he
continued investing in Smith's non-gov-
ernment-leased property. And in 1973
when Ribicoff set up a "blind" trust
for himself after reporters began ques-
tioning his financial holdings, the trust
did not sell his shares in Smith's prop-
erty.
The trust is run by a bank on whose
board Smith's son Robert sits. Estimates
of the value of Ribicoff's interests turn-
ed over to the trust have ranged from
$100,000 to $250,000.

Smith replied in late 1974 to
gations of impropriety this way:
know GSA like we do, nobody
influence them. It has to go right
the line, all the way."

alle-
"You
could
down

Tenants Union strike ends
successfully, triumphantly

Twenty-three buildings maintained by
Charles E. Smith Management, one of
his companies, house some 16,000 fed-
eral workers - more than half a Pen-
tagon full.
SMITH'S BUILDINGS and those own-
ed wholly or partly by his business
associates collected a quarter of the
Washington-area rent paid by the federal
government in 1974, Federal Times re-
ported. Smith Management alone took in
over half of that - roughly $15 mil-
lion in taxpayers' money - from its
government leases.
Drive through the fashionable busi-
ness district near theWhitesHouse and
you will pass the buildings of Smith
and his friends. Park your car and
your money will quite likely end up
in the coffers of Kingdon Gould and
Dominic Antonelli, banking and real
estate associates of Smith who own the
giant PMI parking empire.
Read your Washington Post. Although
the front page has run exposes of al-
leged improprieties at Madison National
Bank, which Smith helped found and
which has financed some of his ven-
tures, real estate editor John Willmann
has extolled Smith's projects in his own
section. Willmann owns $1,300 of stock
in Madison National Bank, having bought
into the bank when it was founded in
1963.
TURN TO THE POST style section.
Humor columnist Art Buchwald invest-
ed $24,000 in Smith property in Vir-

no proof that Smith's contacts with
Ribicoff and others have led to his
federal contracts. Nor is the main is-
sue whether the federal government has
gotten a good deal in renting from
Smith. Rather, it is whether the gov-
ernment got the best deal. The dif-
ference between good and best can add
up to millions: The GSA is now pay-
ing landlords all over the country about
$375 million in annual rent.
THE INVESTIGATION has revealed,
however, that Smith has prospered as
Uncle Sam's landlord while:
0 Making large political contributions
rto Influential Republicans and Demo-
crats alike;
" Enjoying helpful decisions from
the GSA;
* Bringing well connected people
into his real estate partnerships.
The Smiths - including son Robert
Smith and son-in-law Robert Kogod,
both now partners - have portrayed
themselves simply as public-spirited
contributors who act as a family in
"virtually all things that are charitable
,. community, civic, political."
But the Democratic Smith and Kogod
gave at least $70,000 to Richard Nixon
in his 1972 campaign. They each gave
$3,000 to Ribicoff's 1974 reelection cam-
paign. And in 1970 Smith spent $900
on then Florida congressman, William
Cramer's unsuccessful race for the Sen-
ate. Cramer, a conservative Republican,

r nrr rrr rr rrrr rr r --

THIS IS YOUR F.B.EYE

But Smith, a stranger when he first
came to Washington from New York in
the 1940s, has come a long way since'
first befriending the powerful. Smith once
had trouble arranging sewer connections
because, as he puts it, he didn't know
the "right people." Today the "right
people" are Smith's good friends.
David Rothman is a Washington
based freelance investigative reporter who
writes for 1NS, the Nation and the
Progressive.

E RECENT SETTLEMENT of the
four-month-old Trony rent strike
must rest very well with its organitz-
er, The Ann Arbor Tenants Union,
and for good reason.
In addition to the handsome con-
cessions won for the striking tenants,
the Tenants Union won for itself a
prize never before enjoyed by the stu-
dent run organization - recognition
by a rental agency as sole bargaining
agent for its tenants.
And a new grievance procedure
won by the Tenants Union gives fu-
ture Trony tenants a larger part in
the solving of tenant - landlord dis-
putes, particularly with the old
stickler, maintenance problems.
THE SETTLEMENT not only stands
out as a glowing achievement for
the Tenants Union, but a victory for
all those who rent in Ann Arbor.
Hopefully, the strike action will set
a precedent in town for both land-
lords and tenants by increasing ten-
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Michael Blumfield, George Lob-
senz, Jenny Miller, Jeff Ristine, Tim
Schick, Jim Tobin, Bill Turque, Barb
Zahs
Editorial Page: Michael Beckman,
Stephen Hersh, Lois Josimovich,
Tom Stevens
Arts Page: James Valk
Photo Technician: Steve Kagan

ant involvement in what concerns
them greatly - the condition in
which they are forced to live.
It is refreshing to see that some
people in town not only care, but take
some action against what student
renters are forced to endure in this
substandard housing market.
We applaud the Tenants Union
members for the hard work they put
in to bring the strike to a successful
close, and for their devoted efforts
to revolutionize the Stone Age con-
ditions of Ann Arbor's housing mar-
ket.
Fditortal Staf
ROB MEACHUM EBILL TURQUE
Co-Editors-in-Cbief
JEFF RISTINE.............Managing Editor
TIM SCHICK Executive Editor
STEPHEN HERSH ............ Editorial Director
JEFF SORENSEN ................ Arts Editor
CHERYL PILATE .............. 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, TeriManeau, Angelique Matney, Jim
Nicoll, Maureen Nolan, Mike Norton. Ken Par-
sigian, Kim Potter, Cathy Reutter, Anne
Marie Scfliavi, Karen Schulkins, Jeff Selbet,
Rick Sobel. Tom Stevens, Steve Stojic, Cathi
Suyak, Jim Tobin, Jim Valk, Margaret Yao,
Andrew Zerman, David Whiting, Michael Beck-
man, Jon Pansfus and Stephen Kursman,

I

To The Daily:
THERE IS A leaflet ci
ing around campus false
tributed to the Student 0
ing Committee. This lea
poorly typed, sloppy jo
not produced by the SO{
does it express the views
organization. Written in
cal" jargon rhetoric,
motes views that distort
pose the interests of the
For example, SOC is p
ed as planning the dorm1
and favoring elimination
third of the teaching assi
opinions diametrically o
to the interests of the SO
didates.
This malicious represe
of our views is one in
line of anonymous leaflet
derously attacking the S
Organizing Committee a
members.
Student Organizin
Committee
April 6
To The Daily:
THE CONTINUING w
revelations about the CI
vert activities - fromt
mala in 1954, to Chile in1
prove that this organiz
fundamental task is tot
social change perceiv
threatening to U. S. int
and to suppress politica
sent both at home and a
The CIA has finance
helped install dictatorsi
governments of Iran,
guay, Chile and many
countries. It has spied o
infiltrated numerous politi
ganizations in this country
Mothers for Peace to the

Letters
SOC Liam Gamson (Sociology), Zel-
da Gamson (Residential Col-
rculat- lege), Herbert Hames (Ger-
ely at- man), Robert Hefner (Psychol-
rganiz- ogy), Max Heirich (Residential
flet, a College), Kenneth Langton (Po-
, a litical Science), Les Owens His-
b was tory), Marc Ross (Physics),
f he Joel Samoff (Political Science),
of the Ruth Simmons (RC), Alan Wald
it pro- (English), Robert Weisbuch
or op- (English), Thosas Weiskopf
SOC. (Economics), Ernest Young
resent- (History), Marilyn Young (His-
lottery tory). April 6
of onetea s
stants tnns
ppose To The Daily:
C can- IT IS ALL to easy to ignore
student government but their
ntation effect on student groups is
a long strong. Both MSA and LSA have
:s slan- supported the Tenants Union
tudent and their assistance has helped
nd its us get on our feet.
The tenants Union voted at
g its general membership meeting
to give full support to the mem-
bers of PESC, the Program for
Educational and Social Change,
CIA in the coming election. Dan Be-
Jesky and Dick Brazee, the can-
ave of didates for President and Vice-
A's co- President respectively, have
Guata- long been advocates for tenants
1973 - and dorm residents.
ation's Last spring they worked on
thwart the Rate Study Commission and
ed as produced a report which con-
erests, vinced the Regents that a dorm
al dis- increase was not required. This
broad. report was an important boost
d and to the tenants movement in its
in the early stages and showed that
Uru- students themselves did more
other conscientious work than hired
n, and bureaucrats. Jodi Wollens, an-
cal or- other member of PESC wns on
, from the steering committee of the
Black TU and helned organize the

to
ing committee
its unanimous;
SOC, we feel,

supported student group
has worked with the TU
advocate for tenants and
residents. SOC has mad
into a meaningful organ
and it is important tha
influence remains strong
In order for student g
ment to do its part in ch
the Ann Arbor housing sit
students who are con
with the issue of housing
be elected. We urge st
to vote in MSA and LS1
tions and do their part f
proved housing.
Anh Arbor Tenan
Union
April 6
To The Daily:
I WOULD LIKE to a
name to the growing list
ple who feel that the so
Ann Arbor Hash Bash is
gusting event that dis
Ann Arbor and studentsi
eral. To suggest that s
are the major compon
this yearly debacle is m
ing and absurd. Most s
that I have talked to
ignore the "festival", re
with a kind of detached
ity, or are appalled by t
level of the proceedings
very disconcerting' to be
ing to class and be har
by roving packs of adol
who have skipped sch
come to Ann Arbor for t
pose of getting stoned.I
mance of teenage group
ity totally escapes m
adults to smoke ma
among other adults is a
from encouraging child

of the TU
support fo
has consi

The Dai

voted I was two." In the article you
r SOC. also quoted a woman who said
stently that she gave her four year old
ps and child a "toke or two". Such a
as an journalistic policy is not only
I dorm grossly irresponsible but also
e MSA is indicative of an amazing lack
iization of perceptiveness of the staff
t their of the Daily. To accept and pa-
rade destructive behavior as a
govern- social norm or to imply that
anging such behavior represents a posi-
uation, tive force is to be guilty of mor-
cerned al nihilism.
g must If the duty of a newspaper is
tudents to be absolutely objective in re-
A elec- porting the news then the ar-
for im- ticle that appeared on April 2
concerning the drug festival
ts could have been considerably
shortened. For *example, it
might have read something like
hash this:
Today in Ann Arbor approxi-
dd my mately 5000 adolescents, street
of peo- people and high school students
)-called gathered to take drugs and
a dis- drink beer in the rain on the
credits University of Michigan diag.
in gen- About 50 students looked on
tudents while roughly the same number
ent of participated.
mislead- But if you feel as I- do that
tudents a newspaper should exercise
either some form of leadership then
gard it the article might have read:
curios- Today was a sad day in Ann
he low Arbor. We students, because of
it is our ambivalent attitudes, have
walk- allowed ourselves to lend re-
angued spectability to a shabby display
escents of exhibitionism and juvenile
ool to delinquency. By not voicing our
he pur- objections we have encouraged
The ro- children to skip school, take
toxic- drugs and be exploited by psy-
e. For chonathic young adults. There,
rijuana will not be another one of these
far crv drug festivals next year without
ren to a protest.

MSA
To The Daily:
THE DAILY HAS been bought
off again. How else can one ex-
plain their persistent support of
mandatory funding, especially
considering that, last term, over
60 per cent of the student voted
for voluntary funding. The Daily
claims that "There doesn't
seem to be much danger of
(corruption) happening under
the present MSA system.
Unfortunately the MSA sys-
tem is not significantly differ-
ent from the SGC system - ex-
cept for the name. Furthermore,
in the same issue as the Daily's
editorial, Bob Garber, Pres.
Comm FOR HONEST STU-
DENT GOVT. and MSA candi-
date on the SCREW MSA ticket,
exposed the corruption that con-
tinues under MSA. In the last
two months MSA has used stu-
dents' money to finance their
own campaign for mandatory
funding, and in doing so, they
have violated campaign elec-
tion codes. MSA has deliberate-
lv oversnent the $60 campaign
limit snecified in its own code.
In fact, they have. spent well
over $100 just on three large
Daily ads alone. But most out-
rageois and shocking of all was
their imnneachment of the entire
Centrl Student ,idieiarv ourt,
in order to avoid, litigation for
illeagllv collecting student
d'ies.
The corruntion continues. Stu-
dents are only going to get re-
snonsible government if MSA
is forced to be resnonsive to the
ne-ds of its constit1ients. How-
e-er, as long ns funding is man-
dnfrvthernrlr ol;icans

m

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan