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October 24, 1986 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-24

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, October 24, 1986

The Michigan Daily

Baker

argues

campaign

issues

On October 19 Daily Opinion staffer
Peter Mooney interviewed Democratic
congressional candidate Dean Baker. The
following are edited exerpts from that
interview.
Daily: How do you respond to
questions about whether you have enough
experience or are ready to be
congressman?
Baker: I recently finished my
dissertation in economics. I've taught
economics for four years here and for two

supported cutting programs across the
board which are very popular throughout
the district.
D: Pursell argues that these cuts are
necessary to reduce the budget deficit?
B: One of the causes of the budget
deficit was the corporate tax cut they gave
out in the early 80s. Pursell voted for
both that tax break and increased military
spending which together caused the
massive deficit that he now claims to be
leading the fight against.
D: What kind of impact could you have
as just one congressman?
B: I think I would have an impact on
Central American policy and military
spending. But I also think my candidacy
is representative of something that's
going on throughout the country which
will have a strong impact on national
politics.
D: How do you respond to a flyer in
which Pursell criticizes your endorsement
by the Democratic Socialists of America
and his statements that you are an "ultra
liberal"?
B: I think it's tragic that a five term
incumbent can't do anything better that
resort to name calling.When I talk to
people about the issues they
overwhelmingly agree with me. When
you tell people how much of their taxes
are going to the military they're upset.
People in the district support legislation
to protect family farms. It's Pursell who

isn't representative of their views.
D: When you entered the Democratic
primary late in the campaign you were
considered an underdog to win the

district is very encouraging. Most people
have never heard of Pursell and the people
who have have almost all heard of him in
a negative context.
D:Michigan has lost a large number of
industrial jobs; how do feel about
proposals such as the recent plant closing
legislation designed to halt this trend?
B: Plant closing legislation came up
before Congress twice and once lost by
only 6votes. It would have required that
companies give workers two months
notice before closing and try to make
arrangements with workers to keep their
plants open. You go to a place like
Jackson where two huge plants have been
shut down and you can see Pursell's votes
against the legislation don't represent the
interests of the district.
D: Do you see the trade deficit as
having a role in this problem?
B: We've got an enormous trade deficit
and are the largest debtor nation in the
world. Domestic content legislation,
which Pursell opposed, would have
protected the auto industry from foreign
imports and it would have gone a long
way toward putting that problem behind
us.
D : What do you think is the
significance of the recent arrest of an
alleged CIA agent in Nicaragua?
B: If we're going to continue supplying
the Contras with weapons through any
means I think we're going to see

continued escalation of the conflict there.
This shows that Reagan's policy is
increased direct American involvement
D: Do think Pursell's money advantage
will be a significant handicap for you in
the campaign?
B: It is a problem in that he'll be able
to say a lot of things which I'll have no
opportunity to respond -to. I think the
flyer is an example of this. He did that
out of some desperation. Unless you'ri
really in trouble you don't want to give
your opponent free name recognitiQn;
Also; calling someone a socialist it a
campaign in the second district is in effket
telling Ann Arbor to go to hell. Two city
council members here are in the
Democratic Socialists of America
McCarthyist tactics are just not
acceptable here.
D:What about University research
funding?
B: The National Science Foundation and
the National Endowment for the
Humanities.have been cut back. That's
been the real scandal of the rise :in
military research; it has resulted in less
funds for other types of research. The
autonomy of the Univetsity is threatened
when research funds are dominated by the
Defense Department. When you have the
DOD funding a high number of research
projects its going to stifle criticism of
those projects. They aren't going to give
money to people who disagree with them.

at the University of Denver. In terms of
not being ready, I think you can say the
same thing about Pursell who has been
there 10 years but has a poor grasp of the
issues.
D: You began your campaign very late,
what made you decide to run?
B: I felt someone had to challenge
Pursell on the issues. I felt people had to
have a clear choice. This was particularly
true on the issue of Pursell's support for
the Reagan administration's policy in
Central America where voters were not
offered a clear choice. He also has

Dean Baker

nomination and many considered your
candidacy symbolic; has your view of the
campaign changed?
B: Though I always thought we could
give him a run, what I've heard in the

d

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS:

I

MSA code criticism flawed

Vol. XCVII, No. 37

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Doily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

One small step

IBM AND GM corporations are
reluctantly making a step to end
U.S. support of apartheid in South
Africa by selling their property in
South Africa. Ranked eighth and
second respectively among U.S.
companies by number of
employees in South Africa, the two
multinational corporations made
hard-nosed business evaluations
that will influence the entire
business community.
Political conditions caused IBM
and GM to pull out. The rebellion
of the Black people in South Africa
forced the white-ruled government
to impose martial law. Day after
day, the press had to report that
Blacks, especially Black youth,
were the victims of shootings by
the regime's security forces.
The rebellion continued in South
Africa despite the regime's
crackdown and the business
community became jittery about the
future. The value of the South
African currency-the rand-fell to
very low levels.
At the same time, the courageous
battle against one of the world's
most efficient police states inspired
renewed solidarity movements in
the West. Institutional investors
sold stocks in companies operating
in South Africa and the U.S.
government even made it illegal to
invest further in South Africa..
Opponents of divestment from
companies that operate in South
Africa have argued that it is
impossible for institutional in-
vestors, such as the University, to

influence companies like GM by
selling their shares in GM. The
withdrawl of IBM and GM prove,
however, that political actions can
translate into economic force.
The contributions of divestment
movements in the West are small
compared to those of the
indigenous people who risk their
lives to liberate themselves in
South Africa. Still, it is possible to
do one's share in creating
unfavorable conditions for
businesses to operate in South
Africa.
Undoubtedly, IBM and GM do
not want continued criticisms of
their role in South Africa now that
they have sold their operations.
The New York Times even
published an article with the
headline "Divestment Ends A 5-
Year Struggle" (10/21).
It is necessary, however, to look
beneath political appearances,
especially in the case of GM. GM
is selling its South Africa unit to
the management there. By selling
to Black employees, GM hopes to
create a tiny Black middle class.
GM will also continue to supply
the renamed South Africa
operation.
Withdrawl by IBM and GM is a
step in the right direction.
Continued vigilance by the multi-
faceted movement to cut economic,
intelligence, military and cultural
ties with South Africa will help
ensure that U.S. corporations
continue to find South Africa
unattractive.

To the Daily:
Without having been
schooled in government or
academic administration, I still
feel comfortable in calling the
Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA) resolution condemning
administrators at Yale
University for the suspension
of five student protesters a
societal double standard. If
rules of conduct are espoused
by our society as a whole, then
why should students at any
University be exempt from
rules of conduct?
It is absurd for the MSA to
consider "a code of non-
academic conduct" an injustice.
Every society and organization
needs rules. Instead of negating
the need for such a code, the
MSA should be petitioning for
an active role in its making. It
is not wrong to protest or
dissent in our society, but rules
must exist toprotect those
being protested. Such is the
case at Yale, where five
students entered administrative
offices and refused to leave.
Students have no more of a
justification for strong-arm
militancy than do
administrators. Insofar as rules
of conduct for protests and for
the protection of all students
and academics, a code should
exist here at the University of
Michigan. The Michigan Daily
reported MSA vice-chairman
Ed Kraus as saying that
administrators "seek a code to
do away with student liberties
that interfere with their efforts
to stremline the University
community." This is why
students ahould participate in
the making of such a code.
Also, Ed Kraus mentions
liberties, but what about the
obligations and duties of being
a responsible member of the
academic community? The
Bank policy
change needed
To the Daily:
Dear President of First of
America:
After waiting in the long
slow line which is typical in
your Ann Arbor offices I was
coldly informed by one of the
tellers that any transaction for
my account was impossible as

E. Quad party policy unfair

action taken by the Yale
students was wrong. Besides,
Yale is a private institution,
and therefore has a right to
have r code of non-academic
conduct even if the students do

To the Daily:
On Sept. 18, East Quad
residents received notes in their
mailboxes informing them that
henceforth all parties must be
preregistered at the East Quad
front desk. The policy
originated from the head of the
Housing Division.
The Representative
Assembly of East Quad has
several criticisms of Housing's
party preregistration policy.
We recommend that the policy
be rescinded.
The policy is
unconstitutional. It restricts
freedom of assembly, a
fundamental right guaranteed
by the Constitution of the

United States.
The policy infringes on
individual privacy by requiring
residents to provide
information on their activities
that would otherwise be
private.
The definition of "party" is
perniciously vague. Ten
residents studying for a final
exam are indistinguishable
from a keg party.
The purpose of this policy
is unclear. It does serve to
inform residents of their
responsibilities as party hosts.
Yet a fact sheet would
accomplish the same function.
In contrast, the form provides
specific data as to the location

and time of the party. This can
be used to seed securityto
certain specified rooms,
threatening civil rights in a
manner similar to that of ag
police state.
The policy is not only
immoral; it fails to be
effective. There is no
enforcement mechanism,
therefore the policy may be
disobeyed with impunity.
The party preregistration
policy is an offensive failure.
The residents of East Quad are
insulted by its implementation
and urge its immediate
revocation.
Bryan A.bCase
October j

not like it. A public institution
must usually bend to political,
legislative and student
pressures. The five Yale
students knew that a code
existed. They must also have

known that to defy it would
win them punitive responses
by the adminstration.
-L.A. Velazquez Rivera
October 16

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