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August 01, 1979 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-08-01

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Page 2-Wednesday, August 1, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Diggs censured
for misconduct

WASHINGTON (AP)-Rep. Charles
Diggs Jr. was censured by the House
yesterday for financial misconduct, the
first congressman to be so chastised in
58 years.
As his colleagues watched from their
seats, the Michigan Democrat walked
to the front of the House chamber
where Speaker Thomas O'Neill
pronounced the censure. Diggs showed
no emotion throughout the proceeding.
He was the first member of the House
to be censured since Rep. Thomas
Blanton (D-Texas) was censured in
1921 for inserting "obscene language"
in the Congressional Record.
little more than a tongue-lashing, it is
considered by the House to be the
strongest punishment short of ex-
Unlike the more common reprimand,
the weakest punishment administered
by the House, censure requires the
member-to be present and to stand in
front of the House while his actions are
formally condemned.
The vote to censure Diggs was 414 to
0, with four members voting present.
Besides Diggs, those voting present
were Reps. Robert Garcia (D-N.Y.),
Parren Mitchell (D-Md.), and Augustus
Hawkins (D-Calif).
THE CENSURE was based on an
admission by Diggs that he violated
House rules by using his congressional
payroll to help pay his personal expen-
ses. Earlier, a federal court found the
veteran congrpssman guilty on 29 coun-
ts of mail fraud and of making false
statements in connection with his use of
the congressional payroll.
The House action will have no effect
on Diggs' federal conviction, which he
is appealing. Nor does the censure close
the door to further disciplinary action
by the House should Diggs lose his ap-
Diggs, a former chairman of the
House Black Caucus, faces a three-year
prison sentence should his federal court
appeals be rejected.
House vote

DIGGS PRESENTED no defense on
the House floor, and his comments after
the climactic vote were muted.
"I don't have anything to say," he
told reporters. "It (the censure) speaks
for itself."
Asked if he would resign, as one
member suggested, Diggs replied:
"I'm still here and I expect to serve out
my term." Asked whether he intends to
seek re-election next year to a 13th
term, he said, "Oh, yes."
The censure will have no effect on
Diggs' right to vote or to serve in
Congress. Diggs has held no position of
power in the House since resigning his
chairmanship of the House District of
Columbia Committee and the Inter-
national Affairs subcommittee on
MOST OF THE debate centered on
why the House ethics committee had
recommended censure instead of ex-
Rep. Richard Cheney (R-Wyo.) said
he believed Diggs should resign "as the
only honorable course of action." But
noting Diggs' re-election last year after
his conviction in federal court, Cheney
said it would be an "awesome respon-
sibility" for the House to override the
wishes of the voters in Diggs' home
district in Detroit by expelling Diggs.
O'Neill's reading of the censure was
as lacking in drama as the debate itself.
Diggs is censured. . . with the public
reading of this resolution," said O'Neill
as Diggs stood before him.
O'Neill ordered Diggs to deliver im-
mediately a promisory note of
$40,031.66 payable to the U.S. Treasury.
That is the amount Diggs agreed to
repay for misusing his congressional
O'Neill also ordered that all of Diggs'
employees be required to declare to the
House ethics committee that their pay
was earned in accordance with House

REP. CHARLES DIGGS, Jr. (D-Mich.) leaves the floor of the House of
Representatives yesterday after being censured by his colleagues. He was
the first member of the House to be chastized in more than 50 years.
After '80, every5years

(Continued from Page 1)
questionnaires will be shipped from
those offices to three processing cen-
ters in Indiana, Louisiana, and Califor-
nia. There the answers will be
processed through high-speed
mirfilm e uinment and transmitted

Bohl said the census, begun in 1790 to
count the number of white men eligible
for conscription, today serves more
purposes than simply compiling a
population figure. The main purpose of
the census is to provide the basis for the
distribution of seats in the U.S Houseof

to computers at census bureau Representatives, and for federal fund
law forces the census bureau to report nments. Private industry also makes
its results to the president by Jan. 1, use of census data for marketing ContinuedfromPagei' jamin Gilman, (R-N.Y.), that also
1980 or face fines, imprisonment, or analysis, national sales programs, and . would be through utility bills, Wylie would have given Congress a chance to
both. locating target consumer groups. said. veto the plan in advance of an
Democratic leaders opposed the emergency.
BOHL SAID the next "Census Day" amendment, but did not make an all-out Gilman's amendment had been ap-
will be April 1, 1980, which is when In 1865, President Andrew Johnson attempt to defeat it. proved last Wednesday by a 232-187
Americans will find one of two issued a general amnesty to Civil War AFTERWARDS, Rep. Toby Moffett, margin, catching leaders off guard,
questionnaires in their mailboxes. The rebels who were willing to take an oath (D-Conn.), chairman of a House energy prompting President Carter to accuse
shorter version should take just 15 of allegiance. subcommittee, said a lot of Democrats the House of political "timidity" and
minutes to complete, according to the supported the measure because they delaying action on the bill for nearly a
bureau's fact sheet, while the longer liked the idea of "comparableenergy week.
version, sent to urban areas, should THE MICHIGAN DAILY savings."
demand 45 minutes. (USPS 344-900) "I think it's just another word for gut- IT TOOK A major lobbying effort by
Volume LXXXIX, No. 56-S ting the conservation section because the White House and the Democratic
Wednesday, August 1, 1979 it's unenforceable and confusing," he leadership to turn the vote around. But
is edited and managed by students at said. the House vote clearly put the standby
the University of Michigan. Published Under, the rationing bill, Congress rationing proposal back on track
daily Tuesday through Sunday morn- still would have the power to reject - toward passage.
SMia nard ntreet Un AerAbir aichat 40 by a one-house veto - a rationing plan
48169. Subscription rates: $12 Septem- once the president moved to actually The Senate must also act on the
$20 EARLY MTiowNC05 NT ber through April (2 semesters); 13 by implement it. rationing proposal before it can go to
for those enrolling by August 15 in. mail outside Ann Arbor. Summer ses- AND CARTER could only invoke the White House, and Senate leaders
classes for Oct 13 or ec. LSATs sion published Tuesday-through Satur- rationing if petroleum supplies dropped indicated a willingness to act quickly on
day mornings. Subscription rates:
CALL 11-4SATOR wRITE. $6.5 in Ann Arbor; $7.00 by mail out- by 20 per cent over a 30-day period - the House bill to meet the goal oge
University LSAT Preparation Service side Ann Arbor. Second class postage compared to the 15-17 per cent shortage ting it to Carter's desk by tomorrow
33900 Schoolcraft Road, paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan. POST- in the 1973 Arab oil embargo or this night. But that promise appeared based
itia, Michigan480 THE MICHIGAN DIL , 4 a ynard yrs sBortageof less than 1 per cent. on an assumption that House leaders
Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. But by, yesterday's vote, the House ..ould be successful in removing the
strucki i amendmen ,byRept en- amendment they find offensive.,

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