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July 24, 1975 - Image 6

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-07-24

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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed ay Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, July 24, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552
Michigan leads the way
THE MICHIGAN HOUSE has passed an innovative po-
litical reform bill that is one of the most extensive
and demanding in the entire nation.
The bill, passed 74-29 on Tuesday, sets ceilings on
campaign spending, provides for public financing of gub-
ernatorial campaigns, requires disclosure of private fi-
nances by public officials and their families, and pro-
mises a closer, almost itemized regulation of persuasive
spending by lobby and pressure groups.
" The measure is designed to have a number of com-
mendable effects in the areas of fair democratic elec-
tions and decision-making processes in state government.
The limit on campaign spending in elections for gov-
ernor, state senator, state representative, Supreme Court
justice and state Board of Education member will ideally
allow voters a ballot choice based more on endowment
with legislative and leadership abilities than with un-
limited expense accounts.
J)ISCLOSURE. OF THEIR financial holdings and the .
source of those holdings by State officials will bring
personal involvements and potential conflicting interests
to the visible surface. Extending that request for finan-
cial information to the officials' families further insures
revelation of interests that could conceivably affect an
official's actions or decisions in office.
The tighter regulation of expenditures by lobby and
pressure groups is designed to encourage persuasion on
the merits of argument and point rather than gratitude
and obligation.
It is hoped that the bill will have the effects desired
by its originators on the election of our state law and
policy makers and on the decisions they make in office.
The measure provides for a political ethics commission
to investigate all sworn complaints of misconduct and
unfar practice, and to watchdog the activities of state
pressure groups; it is also hoped that this regulatory
commission will be effective in enforcing the bill's am-
bitious reforms.
THE- LIGHTER SIDE
Runn ing hard unopposed
By DICK WEST
WASHINGTON (UPI) - The Federal Election Commission
recently invited the public to submit views on various cam-
paign regulations it is considering.
One of the matters on which it solicited comment concerns
proposed spending limits for candidates who are running
unopposed.
The question the commission was wrestling with was whe-
ther candidates who have no primary opposition should be
permitted to spend the same amount as those in contested
primaries.
Since this happens to be an issue I feel strongly about, I
have spent a good bit of time collecting my thoughts for pre-
sentation to the commission.
I am setting them forth here in the hope that if you are
likeminded you will let the commission know about it, too.
In all fairness, it seems to me, an unopposed candidate
shouldn't have any limit on his campaign spending.
POLITICIANS have a hard time drumming up support when
the race is close. In a contested primary, a candidate's major
source of support comes from voters who can't stand the
other candidate.
Candidates who are forced to run unopposed not only lose
that advantage; they acquire at least two big disadvantages.
Possibly the main obstacle an unopposed candidate must
overcome is the undecided vote.
Public opinion polls invariably show that whenever vot-
ers are given no choice there is a substantial increase in the
percentage who can't make up their minds.
Actually, of course, in an uncontested primary the voters
do have a choice of sorts. In effect, they are told that "it's
either him or nobody."
And that is the point on which many are unable to reach
a decision.

Thus, for an unopposed candidate the problem is twofold.
He must look for support not only among voters who would
prefer nobody but among those .who aren't sure which they
would prefer.

New light on the CIA

By WILLIAM W. TURNER

(First of two parts)
On September 20, 1963, a
rangy man with a vertical scar
on his forehead strode into the
State National Bank in El Paso,
Texas, and requested $100 in
travelers' checks. Before the tel-
ler could comply, he whipped
out a pistol and fired two shots
into the ceiling. Then he waited
to be arrested.
Police quickly realized that the
suspect, Richard Case Nagell,
32, was no ordinary bank rob-
ber. Papers he carried showed
that he was a decorated hero of
the Korean War who had gone
on to a career in Army intelli-
gence before being discharged
with the rank of captain in 1959.
Why : had he pulled the non-
robbery?
Last week Dr. Richard H.
Popkin, a philosophy professor
at Washington University in St.
Louis, stepped off a plane in
the nation's capital lugging a
briefcase containing documents
illuminating the strange case of
the man who shot a bank. Also
crammed into the briefcase was
a thick sheaf of papers relating
to a bizarre "Manchurian Can-
didate" episode in the Philip-
pines in 1967.
Both the El Paso and Manila
incidents, Popkin said in an in-
terview before leaving for Wash-
ington, were linked to the Dat-
las assassination of John F. Ken-
nedy on November 22, 1963.
They "crack the case wade
open," he predicted.
The slight, bearded academnic-
iap was stopping in Washington
to present his discoveries to At-
torney General Edward Levi
and the Senate Select Commit-
tee on Intelligence Activi'ies be-
fore going on to a conference of
learned philosophers.
Popkin is no stranger to the
JFK investigation. In 1966 he
published "The Second Oswald",
which chronicled several in-
stances of someone impersonat-
ing thew man later accused of
slaying the president. At the
time the book gained scant at-
tention, but recently it was dis-
closed that as early as June 3,
1960, FBI Director J. Edgar
Hoover himself wrote at interde-

partmental memorandum citing
evidence of an Oswald imposter.
The FBI knew Oswald at that
time as a defector, to Russia,
and, some conspiracy theorists
believe, as a possible CIA agent.
Popkin said he nad been in
touch with Richard Nagell, now
living near San Diego, and had
learned about Nagell's friend-
ship with Lee Harvey Oswald.
Nagell has fascinated assassina-
tion researchers ever since an
FBI report filed with the War-
ren Commission quoted him as
saying he had met with Oswald
in Mexico City and Texas. But
the former intelligence officer
had been inaccessible. He re-
mained in prison for the El
Paso caper until his conviction
was reversed for insufficient
evidence in 1967, after which he
dropped from sight
Nevertheless, researchers were
able to glean some picture of
Nagell's significance from his
defense pleadings and cryptic
letters from prison.
In August 1963 Nagell, work-
ing as a CIA agent, learned of
a domestic plot to- assassinate
the President, involving Oswald
and anti-Castro Cubans. He in-
formed his CIA superiar b u t
feared nothing would be done be-
cause he lacked details. On Sep-
tember 13 he dispatched a let-
ter warning J. Edgar Hoover
of the plot, but again assume.d
no action would be taken.-
As Nagell understood i', Ken-
nedy was to be shot ini Washingf-
ton about September 26 (as it
turned out, JFK left September
25 for a whirlwind :our of the
West).. Frantic, Nagetl flew to
Havana on September 19 to see
if Castro aides could shed light
on the assassination plot, but the
only advice they could offer was
to execute Oswald in the hope
that would stop the plhan.
But Nagell left Ciba de.dilg
that he "was an intelligence
agent, not a killer." Flying to
El' Paso via Mexio City, he
walked into the bank the next
day for "the sole purpose of sav-
ing myself arrested and detain-
ed by federal autlorities"' -
apparently fearing that his as-
sociation with Oswald would im-
blicate himself in the planned
assassination.

Nagell was in the El Paso jail
when Kennedy was shot in Dal-
las two months later. He sent
an offer to testify before the
Warren Commission through
"private channels" but received
no reply.
In his recent discussions with
Popkin, Nagell has revealed new
details about Oswald. He first
met Oswald, he said, in the late
1954s at the U.S. Naval base
at Atsugi, Japan, where Oswald
was a Marine Corps radar zuec-
ialist. They became friends, but
didn't encounter one another
again until August 1963 w h e n
Nagell learned of time plot
against Kennedy. Disputing
claims that Oswald had ties
with the CIA, Nagel believes that
Oswald was a dedicated leftist
who was duped by anti-Castro
exiles involved in the conspir-
acy. Posing as Castro G-2 intel-
ligence agents, the exiles wheed-
led Oswald into becoming a
"fall guy" by playing on his
Castro sympathies, painting
Kennedy as anti-Castro. a n d
promising that he would be
spirited to Havanne after t h e
assassination.
Nagell told Popkin he mset
with Oswald in Mexico City and
New Orleans, both hotbeds of
the anti-Castro movement. "Na-
gell claims he has squirreled
away a snapshot of himself with
Lee Harvey Oswald taken in
Jackson Square in New Oreans
in 1963," Popkin asserted. "In
the picture are two other coen,
both anti-Castro Cubans, w h o
were pretending to Oswald 'hat
they worked for Castro's C-2."
If this photograph does exist
it would lend credibility to Na-
gell's account. And Nagell is
willing to surface and tcl his
story to Congress, Popkin s's,
provided protective conditions
are met.

(Part Two tomorrow)
William Turner is the au-
thor of a book on the CIA's
secret war against Castro,
and a writer for the Pacific
News Service. Copyright,
PNS, 1975.

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