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September 10, 1981 - Image 62

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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Page 2-C-Thursday, September 10, 1981-The Michigan Daily
State, U.S. reps adjust
to fickle student activism

6
4

By NANCY BILYEAU
While Mayor Louis Belcher and
Company represent the perceived in-
terests of Ann Arbor residents in the
arena of city government, state and
national representatives often focus on
"student issues" in hopes of securing
electoralvictory.
In some years, when the political at-
mosphere is intense, this strategy has
paid off-students are known for their
unparalleled activism when circum-
stances warrant, both during political
campaigns and at the polls. But in
calmer times (the past few years, for

example) students can be just as
apathetic as they once were active.
This forces state and natinal
representatives, as well as their
vanquished opponents in recent elec-
tions, to shape their strategies around
the shifting tide of student involvement.
State Representative Perry Bullard
and Senator Edward Pierce-both
Democrats and both University
graduates-say that student needs are
central to their policies. But, they must
often rely on a well-known circle of
local politicos and University officials
for indications of student attitudes

What is a
RUSH SLIP?

because direct student input is often
deficient.
NOW SERVING his fifth term,
Bullard has long been considered a
champion of student causes (see story
below). Local and state voters readily
associate Bullard's name with a long
list of "progressive" legislation which
he has introduced.
It is no coincidence that many bills
proposed, drafted, and heavily suppor-
ted.by Bullard or Pierce address a per-
ceived problem of inequity in student
life. When deciding policies, Ann Arbor
congressmen are usually influenced by
constituent mail, feedback from local
political leaders, and officials from the
office of Richard Kennedy, University
vice-president of state relations.
"We try to convey the University's
position to Carl Pursell (Republican
congressman for the second district)
and Bullard," said Roberta Booth,
Kennedy's assistant.
KENNEDY'S office keeps in close
contact with Ann Arbor's state
congressmen, as well as the state agen-
cies and offices which affect the
University. The University is affected
in many ways by state government,
primarily by the yearly appropriations
made to state colleges and institutions
by Governor William Milliken's office.
Most of the University's general
fund-currently approximately 60 per-
cent-comes from state coffers.
Much of what state congressmen
focus their attention on concerns the
specific committees they sit on. As
chairman of the House Judiciary com-
mittee, many of Bullard's bills involve
judicial matters.
As Chairman of the Health and Social
Services committee, state senator Ed-
ward Pierce-a University medical
school graduate and former physician
and city councilman-spends most of
his time researching and working on
issues related to health care.
CURRENTLY IN his first elected
term, Pierce is focusing his attention on
bills that could affect changes in the
See STATE, Page 5

YPSILANTI
115 W. Michigan
483-0225

Frant .
FLOWERS INC.

ANN ARBOR
2745 Plymouth Rd.
70-22 50

In Lansingw
On the state level, Repu li-
can Governor William Milli-
ken (upper left) makes the
decisions on state appropria-
tions to the University. But
Senator Edward Pierce
(above) and Representative
Perry Bullard (left) are more
closely tied to students' daily
life. Both Pierce and Bullard
are Democrats and Universi-
ty graduates, and both are
considered well to the left of
center on most issues.

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wire service

Mr. Bullard goes to Washin

By STEVE HOOK
Although next year's election is still
more than 400 days away, Perry
Bullard has already begun his cam-
paign.
Bullard, the Ann Arbor Democrat
currently serving his fifth term as the
district's state representative, will not
be seeking a sixth term, however. In-
stead, his attention has shifted to
Washington D.C. and the U.S. Congress
- "where the action is," he declares.
HE HAS concluded that state
economic issues are better perceived as
national issues, and that foreign policy
considerations are too compelling for
him to ignore in Lansing. He has also
concluded that the Reagan ad-
ministration is regressive, both
politically and morally, and that its
"vicious policies" will inevitably fail.
In their place, he has an armload of
programs, policies, and proposals that

he hopes to carry with him to
Washington if elected, most of them
following his liberal line measure for
measure.
"WE CAN'T solve the 15 percent
unemployment problem here in
Michigan," he says, "but with the
federal Congress, with administrative
leadership in Washington, we can have
better policies. The Reagan policies go
exactly in the wrong direction, so I
think we need to join the fight at the
federal level."
As Bullard sees it, the Reagan ad-
ministration will be harming individual
states by depriving them of federal
assistance; Washington "considers
government the problem, not the
solution," he says.
NOW 38 years old, Bullard's local
reputation reflects his liberal views,
and he has banked on solid student sup-
port from the University - he has

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received it - for each of his five suc-
cessful state campaigns. His promotion
of lenient marijuana laws, tenants'
rights, and alternate energy grants, as
well as his recent anti-apartheid ef-
forts, have won him a loyal constituen-
cy. And at the state capitol, Bullard's
reputation has blossomed in recent
years, where he now chairs the power-
ful House Judiciary Committee.
The major issue at this early stage of
the Congressional race - a question
that none of the prospective candidates
can control - involves "redistricting,"
In response to the 1980 national census,
the boundaries of Michigan's individual
congressional districts will be redrawn
later this year to accommodate the
decade's shifts in population.
There are several contrasting
forecasts for the "new" 2nd District's
borders; each of which paints a dif-
ferent picture of Bullard's election
chances. He needs the Democratic
voters - the urban-based, working
class, liberal voters - to carry the
district. But, Ann Arbor may "move
west," away from the suburban Detroit
Democratic base that Bullard needs;
the city may indeed move into the 6th
District of Central Michigan, now
represented by James Dunn (R-East
Lansing). If this occurs, Bullard will
likely face Democrat Bob Carr, also of
East Lansing, who dominates the left
wing of that district and would make
things extremely difficult for him.
THE 2ND Congressional District is
currently represented by Carl Pursell
(R-Plymouth), who has been re-elected
twice. Pursell has established a deep
political base in southeastern
Michigan, and is sure to seek a fourth
term next year.
But, even if the redistricting leaves
Bullard a substantial Democratic base,
the conservative tidal wave that
flooded the nation last November, and
which strongly prevails today - both in
Washington and southeastern Michigan
- would seem to undermine Bullard's
chances for victory. Simply put, the
times may not be right for an idealistic
liberal.
"I don't think the situation is clear by
any means," Bullard responds,
unusually pragmatic. "I think that I
can win, but nothing is certain at this
point. I think that, after another year-

gton?
and-a-half of Reaganomics, people in
Michigan are going to be fed up."
AMONG THOSE who will be integral
in the promotion of Bullard's candidacy
will be local attorney George Sallade a
former chairman of Ann Arbor's
Democratic Party, and an influential
partisan supporter for the past two
decades.
"He's a good man, and'I expect to
help him enthusiastically," Sallade
said recently. He claims to have
"contacts into almost every part of
the district, under any reapportion-
ment," and pledged to lobby them, on
Bullard's behalf. .
Rae Weaver, ran against Bullard for
state representative in 1976, but lost by
a slim margin. Currently, she serves as
executive director of the Washtenaw
County Republican Headquarters, and
doesn't think Bullard "has a chance" in
a race against Pursell. ,
"THE PENDULUM doesn't swing
that rapidly," she said, referring to
Bullard's assumption that the district
will be "disillusioned" with conser-
vative politics by 1982. In reference to
Bullard's across-the-board liberal
voting record and proposals, Weaver
added that -his Republican opponent
"would have a ball" in the campaign.
"As the (2nd District) lines are
drawn now," Weaver added, "I would
assume it would be next to impossible
for Bullard to carry the district."
BULLARD EXPLAINED that it -is
not domestic politics alone that have
aroused his interest in running for
Congress. He described his growing in-
terest in foreign affairs:
"A major question, which Reagan
has brough forth with devastating im-
pact, is whether we will be here as a
society, whether modern civilization is
going to avoid nuclear war."
With his campaign officially just five
days old, Bullard has a long way to go
before the November 1982 Congression-
al election. The temporal distance is
lengthy - 36 months - to be sure, but
equally imposing is his political quest:
As a devout liberal seeking to upend a
three-term Republican incumbent,
amid a nation-wide conservative
epidemic, Perry Bullard has taken on
by far the most difficult challenge of his
decade-long political career.

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