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July 01, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-07-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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The Michigan. Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, July 1 1976
News Phone : 764-0552

'76's scarlet letter


An unfair new ballot law
"THE DAILY is alarmed at a new state law which
rints the number of parties that may appear
on the November ballot. The bill was introduced in
the State Senate last spring by Patrick McCollough
(D-Dearborn) in an effort to streamline the bulk of
parties on the state ballot, from a projected thirteen
to nine - the maximum allowed on voting machines.
Zolton Fereney, former Democratic gubernatorial
candidate and oresent candidate for the state Supreme
Court, has called the bill "disenfranchisement of the
worst kind," and we agree wholeheartedly. He has taken
the matter to court on behalf of several minority par-
Representation is the heart of democracy, and to
discourage potential representatives is to eliminate the
interests of voters who identify with the minority par-
ties in the formation of policy. Furthermore, small par-
ties have often filled a gadfly role, badgering the Demo-
crats and Republicans into accepting social p'"oblems
too far out on a limb for their moderate tastes.
Ferency's suit is important. We hope the legislature
follows his lead, and rights its wrong.
Editoria1 Staf-SSnmmer Term
Stuppementt Editors
JJF 5EiJ5ST ., ... ,...................... .... Arts Editor
LOIJO...VICH...Night Editor
('EORNE I.OBSENZ...Night Editor
MIKE NORTON .. .... .......... ...Copy Editor
STU MCCONNE . I ...Assist ant Night Editor
PHrILLIP BOKOVOY ... Asistaot Night Editor
1lANI JORDAN ......A A sist nt Night Editor
.JNNY MIIIER.. ...... Asohtoot Night Editor
BARBL AHS . ...,. . . AstotNigh' Editor

'''Elizabeth Ray has touched off a scandal
that has now gone beyond Washington. The
Capital Hill Sex Scandal" threatens to be-
come a catch phrase which includes the extra-
marital affairs of all our public officials. As
the media gear up for a wholesale investiga-
tion of the sex lives of elected officials, and
as we the readers urge them on, I think the
ethical justification for such an investigation
should be examined.
The scandals will be brought to us by me-
dia that have undergone vast changes in the
last four years. The Watergate successes of
reporters Woodward and Bernstein have un-
leashed upon us a new generation of muck-
rakers looking for scandals for scandal's
y sake. Strong investigative reporting is the
iA bulwark of a great press, but such reporting
must be restrained by reasonable standards
of fact verification and relevance. Such stan-
dards have become archaic.
Today's journalists seem free to write what
they please, and to use whatever methods nec-
essary to obtain information. Instead of in-
i dependently establishing professional report-
ing standards, journalists have adapted what-
ever standards are convenient. Thus Wood-
ward's and Bernstein's latest The Final Days,
has given us direct quotes from sources that
can only be secondary, and instead of giving
their sources fancy names from porno flicks,
(i.e. "Deep Throat"), they have stopped nam-
ing them altogether. In trying to verify Miss
Ray's story, Post reporters recently took to
eavesdropping on her phone calls. If this is
not the same as wire-tapping, it as least has
the same effect - invasion of privacy. Wood-
ward and Bernstein were appalled to learn
that Henry Kissinger did that sort of thing.
The wide open media have reported the
growing sex scandal with perplexing irrespon-
sibility. Gossip and rumor have gone front
page. There has been little attempt to dis-
tinguish crimes from mistakes, reprehensible
actions from imprudence, and what the pub-
lic should know from what is none of the pub-
lic's business.
If Wayne Hays has misused public funds for
any purpose, we have a right to know about
it. Yet it is important to point out that Hays'
crime is misuse of funds, not having sex,
which, I hope, is not a crime. Instead of
making this distinction, the media have dwell-
ed on the aspects of Ray's stories that have
nothing to do with misuse of funds. Tapes of
sexual encounters are interesting to a certain
segment of the populace, I suppose, but they
do nothing to strengthen or weaken the case
against Hays.

dener was overpaid because her boss wanted
her on call. It is disturbing that Elizabeth Ray
did not mind being the incentive for Mike
Gravel's vote. aut these matters are dwelled
upon day after day not because they are ap-
palling or disturbing or true. They are dwell-
ed upon because they are interesting. Patron-
age and misuse of funds is a fact of life in
Congress, but apparently the media have de-
cided to condone it until sex becomes involved.
And votes are swayed in Congress by a num-
ber of unsavory methods that have nothing to
do with sex.
Still, if there is not a justification for wal-
lowing in the Hays, Young, and Gravel cases,
there is at least justification for reporting
them. There is the clear possibility of wrong-
doing with regard to their elective office.
Such is not the case with the affairs in-
volving Allen Howe of Utah, and Frank Kelly
and John Dingell of Michigan. These cases
have expanded the scandal beyond the area
of public interest into the area of public cur-
iosity. Representative Howe quite possibly has
been the victim of an entrapment, but little
has been said concerning the questionable 2
methods or credibility of the two policewo-
men who arrested Howe. Instead, the freak-
ish morality of many Utahans almost forced
him from office before hehad a chance to
answer the charges. As for the Michigan af-
fair, even Oakland Cty. Prosecutor Brooks -'
Patterson, a key source for the story, does
not think the charges against Kelly and Din-
gell are worth investigating. Neither man is
married, and there is no evidence that sex
with Ms. Herman could possibly affect their
job performance one way or the other. Sta-
tutes prohibiting prostitution, sodomy and
homosexuality have fallen in disuse. The
attacks on Howe, Dingell, and Kelly show the
dangerous extent to which the sex scandal has
expanded, invading the sex lives of public
officials with no other motive than curios-
ity, perhaps entailing the destruction of po-
litical careers.
If the stream of revelations continues, we
will find out that elected officials are pretty
much like everybody else; they have sex as
much as possible. Some, of course, are strong
enough to resist the temptations which their
offices present them. But sexual morals are
private matters.
In undertaking the investigation of these
scandals, the media should realize that they
have the responsibility to distinguish sex from
crime, and to help prevent the "immoral"
from going the way of the guilty.

DON StIMi'5iJN .

Smie-ur Buisiiess S/atf
Advertt ,,gCoordintor
Display Advertising Manager
.... Cir,,uition Manager
Classified Manager
Cirenlation Director
DO-iissly Advertising Ass't Manager
... Salesperson

Si,,mme r Sports Stajf

* Sporis Editor
Executive Snorts Editor
Night Editor
Night Editor
* .. Nigiht Editor

Letters to The Daily

July 4th Coalition
Despite government harrassment, the National July
4th Coalition is expecting a successful demonstration
of 40-50,000 peo,)le in Philadelphia this Sunday. How-
ever, they have been faced with one obstacle after
another, as the U. S. government attempts to thwart
their plans.
Attorney-General Levi has authorized the FBI to
investigate the Coalition, according to the Washing-
ton Post, "to determine if there is factual basis for
allegations against them." Levi declined to state what
those allegations were. Meanwhile, in New York, two
active Coalition members; Martha Schwartz and Lu-
rieda Torres, have been subpoenaed by a federal grand
jury, ostensibly created to investigate a series of
bombings in New York City two years ago. Ms. Torres
is now appealing a contempt conviction for refusing
to cooperate with the harrassment.
COLUMNIST Jack Anderson reported that an "in-
formal White House task force" has been created for
an "anti-terrorist' campaign to prevent alleged plans
to disrupt the bicentennial celebration.
Another problem the Coalition has faced is the con-
fusion created by the fact that the Revolutionary Stu-
dent Brigade (RSB) has called for their own demon-

stration, and refers to itself as the Rich Off Our Backs-
July 4th Coalition. This name is deceptive, as the RSB
"coalition" is nothing more than the Revolutionary
Communist Party (RCP) and its three front groups.
In addition, there is the People's Bicentennial Com-
mission march in Washington. Jeremy Rifkin's PBC
has been criticized for its non-democratic structure,
due to the fact that all economic and political deci-
sions are made by a 17-member executive board -
an ironic twist to an organization calling for "Econom-
ic Democracy."
HOWEVER, the National July 4th Coalition is a
true coalition, consisting of over 130 local and national
organizations across the country. Representatives from
all these groups met this spring in order to plan for
the demonstration in a democratic way. The Coalition
has three broad demands: "Bicentennial without colo-
nies - Freedom for all oppressed nations", which spe-
cifically refers to independence for Puerto-Rico, au-
tonomy for Native American lands, and no more U.S.
intervention in the Third World. The second demand
is for "Full democracy and equality" particularly for
the most exploited: blacks, other national minoriti ,.
and women. The final demand, "Jobs and a decent

standard of living," reflects the Coalition's call for a
job for everyone and the right of working people to
control their workplace.
The demonstration will begin at 11:30 a. m. at Le-
high and 30th, followed by a Peoples' Parade which
includes floats, music, and a rally at Fairmont Park
(Oxford and 33rd). The park is at the opposite end of
the city from the Ford celebration. Keynote speakers
include Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Karen DeCrow (NOW),
Dave Dellinger, Big Black (Attica), and Juan Mari
Bras (Puerto Rican Socialist Party).
Locally, the A2 Coalition is composed of 11 commun-
ity and student organizations including the Tenants'
Union, Welfare Rights Organization, The Unemployed
Council, Native American Solidarity Comm., Southern
African Liberation Comm., Youth Liberation, SHRP,
Ypsi HRP, Michigan Free Press, and the Free Peo-
ples' Clinic. A massive car caravan of Ann Arbor
citizens * will be departing this Saturday, July 3 for
Philadelphia. Come and join us. For information call
Irene Brody
Ann Arbor July 4th Coalition
June 30

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