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August 03, 1978 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-08-03

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Page 8--Thursday, August 3, 1978-The Michigan Daily

I F THERE IS a Polish picnic or a Slavic
ethnic festival anywhere in the state
these days, rest assured State Senator An-
thony Derezinski (D-Muskegon) will be
there. The 36-year-old American-born son
of Polish immigrants is counting on this
state's large Slavic vote to make his bid for
the U.S. Senate nomination a success.
Although generally considered the un-
derdog, Derezinski, a University and Har-
vard Law School graduate, sincerely
believes that with ethnic backing he can
surmount Carl Levin's name recognition
and Philip Power's money and catch the
Democratic nomination.
Derezinzki has one of the most liberal
voting records in the state legislature. But
he bills himself as a moderate Democrat
and takes a hard line on U.S. foreign
policy, especially on detente and the
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the
Soviet Union. And Derezinzki knows that is

exactly what most Slavic immigrants in
this country, who came from behind the
Iron Curtain, want to hear.
"THEY LOST THEIR human rights and
that is why they're immigrants," he said.
Derezinski has gone so far as to say he
would have supported the recent
movement in Congress to oust U.S. United
Nations Ambassador Andrew Young for
his statement that there were "hundreds,
perhaps thousands" of political prisoners
in the U.S.
The slightly balding, personable
Derezinski relinquished a possible third
term in the state Senate to run for his par-
ty's U.S. Senate nomination. He called the
act "a leap of faith," but several state
political observers have called the move a
"no lose proposition."
THESE OBSERVERS have hinted that
Derezinski would have faced stiff com-

petition in a re-election campaign for his
state Senate seat. But ever if he loses the
primary, a strong ethnic showing could
force state Democrats to nominate him for
the lieutenant governor spot.
Derezinski is proud to say he is a Navy
man and a Vietnam veteran. He served in
Vietnam as a military court judge and
sometime defender. He said he reads
everything he can on the subject of Viet-
nam-a situation he does not want
Derezinski views a U.S. Senator as
someone who "helps shape this country's
goals, both domestic and foreign, and to
arrive at mechanisms to fulfill them." He
said he would like to see "idealistic men in
Washington who are willing to gamble
their jobs to do what is right and not what
is politically expedient."



They want tA

A YOUNG MAN and woman were waiting for an
elevator which would take them to the floor
where State Senator John Otterbacher was scheduled
to speak. One said to the other, "I heard he was a
psychologist." Otterbacher, standing unnoticed behind
the couple, offered: "He is a psychologist." The person
turned, Otterbacher apologized for eavesdropping and
introduced himself. The person then asked the most
logical question: Why is a psychologist running for the
U.S. Senate?"
Otterbacher's reply came by way of a long narration
of his struggle through college during the anti-war era
and the seed of his frustration with government's
inability to provide adequate social services and its
propensity for making war.
The 36-year-old Otterbacher is trim and very
athletic. He runs five miles several times a week, "for
his mental health," he said. He resembles Bobby Ken-
nedy and has been compared to Calif. Gov. Jerry
Like Brown, Otterbacher studied for thepriesthood.
He received his BA from Aquinas College, a seminary
in Grand Rapids. Otterbacher is a philosopher; he
views the Senate as a place "where all the diversity of
the country ought to be reflected in a public and open
"We ought to look to the Senate not only as a place for
strategic change,.or legislative or problematic change,
but we also ought to look there to get a sense, at any
given time, of what's going on in this country, what
we're thinking about, what questions are being asked.
It ought to be a place where we go to learn," he said.

Otterbacher received his M.A. and Ph.D. in
psychology from St. Louis University and is proud of
thefact that he paid for his entire education by working
various factory and construction jobs.
He is an ambitious, quick-thinking, fast-talking
liberal Democrat representing a basically Republican
constituency in Grand Rapids-a fact which he
believes makes him a formidable match for Senator
Robert Griffin.
Like all his opponents, Otterbacher would like to see
a matching federal funds program for federal elec-

In a non-presidential election year
marked by more than usual roter apathy,
the Senate primary race appears
lackluster. But it should be anything but
that. For the first time in a dozen years,
pollsters say the Republians face possible
defeat. The contest in the Democratic
camp may decide who uwill represent
Michigan in the nation's capital.
In the Republican corner, Oakland
County Prosecutor L. Brooks Patterson
has offered incumbent Sen. Robert Griffin
only minimal competition and Griffin's
nomination seems assured.
But on the Democrat's side, roters will
u-ade through six candidates to annoint
the one they beliere best capable to defeat
The candidates are former Detroit City
Council President Carl Let-in, State
Senator Anthony Derezinski (D-
Muskegon), State Senator John Otter-
bacher (D-Grand Rapids), State Rep. Paul
Rosenbaum (D-Battle Creek), Ann Ar.
bor newspaper publisher Philip Power,
and former U.S. Rep. Richard Vander-
Everyone seemed to jump on the bad-

wagon when
retirement. But
when he changee
run for re-electiu
in the excitement
With candidat
corerage and ro
usual. Daily ret



S TATE REP. PAUL Rosenbaum (D-
Battle Creek) may not have all the
money he would like to spend on his
primary campaign for the Democratic
U.S. Senate nomination, but there is one
thing he will never be short of-confiden-
"Outspoken" may be an understate-
ment. Rosenbaum has distinguished him-
self in the primary campaign by making
personal attacks on his Democratic op-
The 44-year-old Rosenbaum, who was
raised on 138th St. in the Bronx, New York,
calls himself "the best political street
fighter" in the race. And he adds, "I'm a
very outspoken human being."
even if Rosenbaum wins the primary he
will 'ot be able to count on the'Hel of the
other candidates asaresult of These per'

sonal attacks. Therefore, the sources have the issues. I go into an audience and look
said, a divided party would not be able to for controversy," he said.
offer Rosenbaum the support he needs to BUT THROUGHOUT AN hour-long in-
beat incumbent Bobert Griffin. terview, Rosenbaum hedged or evaded a
Rosenbaum moved into the political number'of questions. On the subject of
scene by way of a taxpayer's association marijuana, Rosenbaum said he favored
he formed in Battle Creek in the early 70s. decriminalization. When asked about
He was one of the first Senate candidates legalization, he evaded the question. When
to endorse the so-called Headlee proposal pressed, he said "legalization would not
which is now backed by all his opponents work." When pressed further, he said "the
except VanderVeen. The tax limitations society and legislature are not ready for
issue has been a central target in Rosen- it."
baum's campaign largely because of its Despite attcks on his opponents, Rosen-
natural appeal. baum is one of tl'.e most personable can-
Rosenbaum, who worked his way didates in the campaign. He is by far the
through school playing the saxophone, best speaker, with a propensity to take a
graduated from Springfield College and tired, restless audience and within a mat-
George Washington University Law ter of minutes transform it into an excited,
SchooJ lie, often says his opponents are cheering crowd. ,
circumventing the issues in this primary
campaign.' Iri the only-rie f'alihg'aut,S p , , RO.SSENBAUM, Page 13

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