The Michigan Daily
Vol. LXXXVII, No. 17-S
Ann Arbor, Michigan-Thursday, May 26, 1977
Nixon wanted to face trial
WASHINGTON (P) - Forner President Richard Nixon says
he would have preferred "the agony of a trial" to accepting a
presidential pardon thai he know made him look guilty. But, he
said, he was persuaded "there was no chance whatever I could
get a fair trial."
And, Nixon said in a televisi. n interview shown last night, he
regarded former Vice President Spiro Agnew as "an honest man
a courageous man" who made mistakes.
THE INTERVIEW with David Frost, fourth in a series,
reached its emotional high point when the- discussion turned to
Nixon leaving the White House in disgrace in August 1974.
"Resignation meant life without purpose as far as I was
concerned," Nixon said. "No one it he world, and no one in our
history could know how I felt. No one can know how it feels to
resign the presidency of the Uniced States.
"Is that punishment e'nough?" Nixon said with strong feeling.
"Oh, probably not."
To the question, "Did yott, in a sense, feel that resigtnatisn
was worse than death." Nixon said:
"IN SOME ways. I didn't fel it in terms that the popular
mythologists about this era write; that, well, resignation is so
terrible that I better go out and fall on a sword, or take a gun
and shoot myself ., .. I wasn't about to do that. I never think in
those terms, suicidal terms, death wish and all that. That's all
just, just bunk."
Without mentioning tf-emt by name, Nixon spoke bitterly about
reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, authors of the book,
"The Final Days."
With tight-lipped anger, lie called their book "contemptible
journalism," while admitting he had read only stories about the
work rather than the book itself
"ALL I SAY is Mrs. Nixon read it and her stroke came three
days later," Nixon said. "I didn't want her to read it because I
knew the kind of trash it was and the kind of trash they are .
"This doesn't indicate that that caused the stroke, because
the doctors don't know what caused the stroke," the former presi-
dent added, "but it sure didn't help "
Nixon almost spat out: "I have nothing but utter contempt.
And I will never forgive them. Never."
IN THE BOOK, the two authors said Pat Nixon went to the
servants quarters in search of liquor during the last days in the
See NIXON, Page 9
FORMER PRESIDENT Richard Nixon posed with his family in the White House August 7, 1974,
the day before his resignation. From left, Edward and Tricia Cox; President and Mrs. Nixon; and
Julie and David Eisenhower. Nixon's fourth and final interview with David Frost last night dealt
with the last days of his administration.
'U, city officials back Bursley bill
By SUE WARNER
State Senator Gilbert Bursley
(R-Ann Arbor) has introduced
legislation that would provide
payment to municipal govern-
ments for services they provide
to state facilities, including uni-
versities. The bill compensates
local governments for loss of
tax base due to state ownership
of real estate within a city's
The bill is currently being in-
vestigated by the senate Com-
mittee on Municipalities and
Elections and both city and uni-
versity officials say they are in
favor of the proposed legislation.
"THE STATE has to make
some recognition that there are
communities that are impacted
with state-owned property," said
Ann Arbor City Councilman Ro-
ger Bertoia (R-Third Ward).
"Many cities, not only Ann Ar-
bor, would be delighted if' the
state would pay for services."
Presently, state-owned prop-
erty is exempt from local prop-
erty taxation, despite the fact
that municipalities often pro-
vide services-such as fire, wa-
ter and sewer to these facilities.
James Brinkerhoff, the Uni-
versity's Chief Financial officer
and Richard Kennedy, Vice-
President for State Relations,
agree that the state should re-
imburse local governments for
services to state-owned property
such as the University.
"BY AND large we've been
very supportive of this type of
legislation," Kennedy said. "We
feel that institutions located in
the community have an obliga-
tion to that community."
Bursley estimates that the bill
would have provided $1,626,000
to Ann Arbor and $557,000 to
Ypsilanti in 1976. However, the
proposed bill would not take ef-
fect until 1979 and Bursley pre-
dicts the payments to munici-
palities will be even higher then
According to Bertola, the Uni-
versity paid a percentage of Ann
Arbor's police and fire budget
up until four or five years ago,
when the state legislature de-
cided that no university or col-
lege could use state appropri-
ated funds to pay for municipal
"EVEN THOUGH the Univer-
sity is exempt from city taxes,
we still have to answer their
policeand fire calls," said Her-
toia. "It's been a difficult prob-
lem; because of the high inten-
sity of human life in the situa-
tion (University facilities). If a
fluorescent fixture blows, we
have to send five city fire
trucks. That gets to be expen-
sive at three to four thousand
dollars per year."
The bill includes a formula
which Bursley worked out in
conjunction with the Michigan
Municipal League entitling mu-
nicipalities to receive payments
for police and fire services to
state faciilties. The formula di-
vides the community police and
fire budget by the total com-
munity operating general fund.
The result is multiplied by the
municipal millage r a t e and
again by the assessed value of
the state facility in qutstion.
Procedures for assessment of
real and personal property are
spelled out in the bill.
"The formula sounds equit-
able to me, though I haven't ac-
tually seen the bill," Kennedy
BURSLEY introduced a simi-
lar measure in Lansing last year
which passed the Senate but
was defeated in the House. The
senator blamed the bill's failure
on the fact that it was brought
to the House too late in the ses-
sion and that higher state offi-
cials were against the legislation
because it would be too costly
for the state,
This year, however, Bursley
claims to have the support of
Governor Milliken and the State
Bureau of the Budget. He said
that they approved the bill be-
cause they, "saw that it was a
serious effort, not a flighty bill.
A lot of people wanted it."
VA patient: .Drugged?
By KEITH B. RICHBURG
Special To The Daily
DETROIT-Was Veteran's Administration (VA)
patient Russell Fletcher stiff and rigid after his
breathing failure of August 15, 1975, or was the
67-year-old veteran limp and flacid?
If Fletcher's body was limp during efforts to
revive him, it is possible that he had received
Pavulon, as the prosecution contends. If Fletcher
was stiff and rigid, then he could not have received
Pavulon, a powerful muscle relaxant.
AT THE CENTER of the controversy is VA
doctor Alan Kubre, Fletcher's physician, and a
note that Kubre wrote sometime after examining
Fletcher following the patient's breathing failure.
' Kubre's note reports that Fletcher was "still
rigid" following his respiratory arrest, and that
the patient's reflexes were "equal and symmet-
Testifying yesterday in the Federal courtroom
of Judge Philip Pratt, Kubre told the jury that
he wrote the note sometime after examining
Fletcher. "There's a time lapse," he said, noting
how he could have made his "rigid" observation
of Fletcher long after the patient had recovered.
The doctor could not recall whether Fletcher
was rigid or limp at the time he stopped breath-
DEFENSE attorney Edward Stein keyed his
See WAS, Page 10