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May 09, 1978 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-09

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, May 9, 1978-Page 9

Dempsey
By ELISA ISAACSON
Michigan Social Services Department
Director John Dempsey denied charges
by the Michigan Welfare Rights
Organization (WRO) accusing him of
misrepresenting welfare costs and
figures to the Michigan legislature and
U.S. Congress and covering up failures
in his administration.
Commenting after his speech before
a crowd of 200 at Saturday's Welfare
Reform Symposium, Dempsey refuted
accusations against him.
"I AM PREPARED to uphold all I've
said," he said. "I don't think any of this
will come to anything because I don't
think they (the WRO) will be prepared
to stand by their figures." The WRO
demanded a letter to Governor William
Milliken that Dempsey be publicly cen-
sured.
"Dempsey's misrepresentations
have distorted the actual cost and offec-
tiveness of many welfare programs and
they have adversely affected Michigan
families who are eligible for public
benefits and services," said Mary
Schacher, Mayville welfare recipient
and WRO spokeswoman.
The WRO claimed the Social Services
Department is spending too much time
and money covering up mistakes and -

disputes welfarf

failures in its programs.
"THE NOTION that every error is an
instance of fraud or an instance of
deceit is an exaggeration." He announ-
ced that the department has an 8.7 per
cent spending error, which costs $7
milliona year, but insisted this is due to
innocent mistakes and not fraud.
"Basically the welfare system is as
good or as bad as the people who run it,
and the people who run it are typical of
other human beings," said Dempsey,
whose speech began in Rackham Am-
phitheatre and ended at the League.
"You can't expect of them a perfect
job."
Dempsey stressed the need for sim-
plified, consolidated county welfare
system. "Somehow, if we're going to
build a system that's less error prone,
we're going to have to have a central
system," he said.
ALTHOUGH DEMPSEY said he
doesn't think any of the four welfare
reform bills currently under con-
sideration in Congress would com-
pletely solve welfare problems, he
acknowledged that "at the very least,
we need welfare reform."
Dempsey said Michigan would not
immediately benefit from any of the
welfare reform proposals pending in

the legislature, but that reform "would
inevitably be good for us because it
would be good for the country, and
what's good for the country is good for
Michigan."
Dempsey said injustices are in the
welfare system today because each
state separately controls its individual
welfare system. "Even with food stam-
ps the disparity between Michigan and
Mississippi is sinful," he declared.
"There is no other word."
DEMPSEY SAID he finds the fact
that there are leaders who feel welfare
reform is needed very encouraging.
"1978 is a good time to act," he said.
He said he is worried that if welfare
reform does not come about this year, it
will not be seriously brought up again
for at least another six years.
"I can't see President Carter busting
his britches and going through all the
hell he has gone through in the last fif-
teen months" to get another bill
proposed next year, Dempsey stated.
THE WRO ALSO accused Dempsey
of trying to block a new federal
regulation that would allow a welfare
mother to withhold the name of her
children's father if she feared the
father would do harm to her or her
children.

LAWYERS MOVE TO VACATE CONTEMPT CHARGES:
Chicago Seven call trial unfair

charges
According to Dempsey, 30 per cent of
the welfare clients are unwilling to
cooperate and don't give the names of
the fathers until, about 30 days after
they apply for welfare.
Dempsey claimed this costs the state
$4 million each year, and said much of
the money spent in these cases is for
psychiatrists who determine exactly
what the impact on the father would be
if the mother revealed his whereabouts.
DEMPSEY SAID he believes that the
possibility of emotional harm being
done to the father is no reason for the
mother not to identify him. "I think a
father has an obligation to support his
children," said Dempsey. "That's
really the issue."
Schacher claimed that the proportion
of women who refuse to identify their
childrens' fathers is only one to five per
cent, rather than 30 per cent.
Dempsey insisted that the WRO
figures are incorrect and claimed they
were obtained by interviews with
various workers and are not documen-
ted, as his statistics are.
"They challenge my figures, but they
don't say where they got theirs," said
Dempsey. "Welfare rights groups are
accusing legislators all over the coun-
try. I'm sure there are some legislators
who might start calling for my im-
peachment," he predicted.
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NEW YORK (AP)-Lawyers for the Chicago Seven defendants, Jerry
Chicago Seven yesterday said former Rubin, and unindicted coconspirator
Chief District Judge William Campbell Stewart Albert under the Freedom of
deprived their clients of a fair trial by Information Act.
informing the FBI of behind-the-scenes Albert said in a telephone interview
developments during their stormy con- from upstate Hurley, N.Y., that a copy
spiracy trial. of an Oct. 20, 1969 FBI memo in his
Morton Stavis, who is working with possession reports that Campbell con-
William Kunstler on the case, said in a fidentally contacted Marlin Johnson,
telephone interview from Newark, special agent in charge at the time, to
N.J., that they would ask a federal say that Hoffman was on the verge of
court in Chicago in a week or two to citing the defendants and their lawyers.
vacate 13 contempt citations that Another FBI document says Cam-
resulted from the trial. pbell advised Johnson "in strictest con-
IN CHICAGO yesterday, the chief fidence" that Hoffman might call a
federal prosecutor in the trial denied a mistrial and send all the defendants
charge that he and federal Judge Julius and their attorneys to jail for contempt
Hoffman collaborated to provoke in- for six months, according to Albert.
cidents and thus the contempt citations. THE DOCUMENTS also include an
Thomas Foran, who was U.S. attor- FBI memorandum from the head of the
ney at the time of the trial in 1969-70, Chicago office, dated two weeks after
commented on FBI documents which the trial's start, which said Hoffman
Kunstler said "prove conclusively" had "indicated in strictest confidence"
that Hoffman spoke to the prosecution he planned to consider issuing contem-
side about the possibility of citing the pt citations at the conclusion of the
defendants for contempt of court trial.
without telling the defense about those The memorandum reportedly or-
conversations. dered FBI agents to record the defen-
"That's quite absolutely untrue. It's dants' speeches for use later in possible
flat out untrue," Foran said. "It is not contempt proceedings.
only untrue but there was no con- Johnson declined to comment on the
ceivable reason to do it. It's documents, and Campbell, who is now
ridiculous." semiretired, could not be reached.
FORAN RECALLED that four of the FORAN SAID, however, that during
defense attorneys were cited for con- the noontime breaks during the trial,
tempt of court the weekend before the the defendants were repeatedly making
trial began and Hoffman kept talking speeches around the courthouse in front
about possible contempt situations "all of demonstrators that sometimes num-
during the trial." bered in the thousands.
' Judge Hoffman refused to comment, , "I think it's a fair statement that
saying "I don't comment about these neither I nor the judge would be upset if
people, never have. You can't dogfight the FBI in its investigative respon-
with people like that." sibility covered these guys. Just two
Kunstler said the documents show weeks later, the Days of Rage oc-
that "the prosecutor and the judge were curred. I don't think it would be goofy
working together to destroy the defen- for Johnson to figure this would be a
dants, their lawyers and their suppor- z valid investigatory function."
ters." Rubin and seven other antiwar ac-
KUNSTLER SAID here that the tivists appeared before Hoffman on
documents ereobtoinsd~byQrleW th; conspiracy and riot charges in -connec

tion with demonstrations during the
1968 Democratic National Convention.
Five of the defendants were convicted
of coming to Chicago to foment a riot,
but these convictions were overturned
on appeal. Judge Hoffman levied more
than 150 contempt citations but all ex-
cept 15 of these later were dismissed.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP)-Hitch-
hiking has its rules of thumb and Henry
Hildebrandt has then down to a science.
For two semesters at Mississippi
State University here, the 29-year-old
assistant professor of architecture, has
taught a five-week course, "Inter-
national Hitchhiking."
Hildebrandt, who has hitchhiked
across the United States, and in
Canada, Europe and South America,
said that he used his own travel log as a
resource for the course.

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