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April 13, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-13

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, April 13, 1992
J~be trbrau lEatIf

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0550

Editor in Chief
MATTHEW D. RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
ROM THEec titns:b;:g'eda........:.... .
MSnA elections bnleagi

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Ede Fox and Hunter Van Valkenberg will take
over the reins of the Michigan Student As-
sembly this week. Unfortunately, they were cho-
sen in an election mired in difficulties caused by
inept management and a failure to learn from last
year's election fiasco. Elections are the time when
most students become acquainted with MSA. If the
Assembly wants students to take it seriously in the
future, it must demonstrate that it can competently
run these elections. Elections Commission Chair
Carrie Pittman failed in this endeavor.
The ballot contained several typographical er-
rors. The president and vice-president, who were
supposed to be elected as a ticket, were listed as
individual candidates. Voters thought they could
select a Progressive Party presidential candidate
and Conservative Coalition (CC) vice-presidential
candidate or vice-versa. Many voters did split their
votes. These split-votes were tabulated separately,
and the voters who chose them were denied an
opportunity to affect the real race between Fox and
CC candidate Scott Gast.
Approximately one-third of the students did not
vote on the free-speech resolution included on the
ballot, presurpably because they weren't told that
there was a voting question on the back of one of
the pages. The resolution concerning fee caps was
worded in such technical language that many vot-
ers were unaware of the issue they were consider-

ing.
Only 6 percent of the student body voted; yet it
took elections commission volunteers more than
24 hours to count the ballots. Results from the
delegate elections had to be postponed. The arcane
procedure of MSA elections, whereby ahandful of
volunteers sort through thousands of ballots by
hand and match them to a list of all University
students, rivals of that of 19th century America,
when it took several days to determine the presi-
dency. Imagine if a full quarter of the student body
voted in an election: would it take 4 days to count
all the ballots?
While counting ballots, MSA election workers
"found" a bag of lost ballots containing some 400
uncounted ballots. Apperently these ballots did not
effect the outcome of the election, but it is testa-
ment to the manner in which Pittman bungled the
election. Fox won the MSA presidency by a par-
ticularly narrow margin-less than 80 votes. With
a close race like this, a precise and well orches-
trated election is a necessity.
Last year's Elections Commission received con-
siderable flack. Many polling sites went unat-
tended, and some even ran out of ballots. Pittman
should have learned from her predecessor's mis-
takes.
Hopefully, next year's elections chair will learn
from Pittman's debacle.

"

C~n11 moutryOver teargassmg

Teeing-off at taxpayers' expense

A recently issued General Accounting Office
report stated that Vice President Dan Quayle
used military planes for personal reasons several
times during the past two years. Quayle and White
House Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner frequently
flew back and forth from three-day golf and tennis
tournaments on military planes. Spending taxpay-
ers' dollars on these trips is both a waste of govern-
ment resources and a violation of the public trust.
These trips were partially subsidized by
fundraisers and through endorsements by political
sponsors. However, the repayments made up for
only a small percentage ofthe total cost for Quayle's
visits to country clubs and resorts. Congressional
investigators reported that a trip to a Williamsburg
golf and tennis tournament in June 1990 cost
taxpayers at least $10,989. The government was
only repaid $2,742.
Skinner and Quayle's aides have not provided
any further financial details. They stated that the
release of this information threatens security con-
siderations. It is hard to imagine, though, how the
release of this information could possibly affect
security, unless Quayle's tabs at the 19th hole were
exceedingly high.
Because such little information is released on
the personal budgets of politicians, a great deal of

government money entrusted to only the integrity
of Quayle and his golf partners.
It is ironic that Skinner replaced former Chief
of Staff John Sununu, another good-time politi-
cian who faced similar questions last May about
personal and political trips on military planes.
Apparently, Skinner has not had a problem filling
Sununu's oversized shoes.
David Beckwith, Quayle's spokesperson, stated
that security risks and the need to have communi-
cations with the White House in the event of a crisis
required Quayle to use government aircraft.
Beckwith also mentioned that the golf trips were
sometimes mixed with official business, which is
paid for by the government. However, Beckswith
did not say how many of the trips were business-
oriented, and he did not disclose how much time
Quayle spent during these weekends on business-
related activities.
It must have been difficult for Quayle to pitch
his way out of a sand trap while focusing official
government business. And imagine the pressure he
felt on each drive, knowing that at any minute an
advisor could have come up and alerted him to an
impending crisis.
Would he fly back in his jet or continue his
round?

Ashamed alumna
To the Daily:
I am sitting in my apartment in
Mineappolis, eating a bowl of
cereal and watching "Good
Morning America." It is the
morning after the NCAA champi-
onship game, which my alma
mater lost. According to ABC,
5,000 people, presumably
students, are rioting in Ann Arbor.
I know a kiosk on fire when I see
one. For the first time, I feel just a
little like taking my degree down
from my office wall. I am
ashamed.
Three years ago, when we won
the NCAA championship, the
University president blamed the
rioting in the streets on the annual
Hash Bash and the recent visit of
the Grateful Dead. How conve-
nient. What excuses will be used
this time?
No one loves Michigan more
than myself. However, you have
to wonder about a school that
places such an emphasis on
athletic competitions that win or
lose the campus erupts in violence
and mayhem.
According to the rules of the
code of non-academic student
conduct, how many of the rioters
will be thrown out of school?
Joanna Luschin
University graduate
Police were wrong
To the Daily:
Duke sucks and now the Ann
Arbor police swallows. Never
before have we witnessed such a
disgusting display of unnecessary
force.
Having been right in the
middle of the action on South
University, we saw no sign of
violence among the cheering
students. In fact, it was tame
compared to the peaceful
celebration of Michigan's victory
Saturday night.
The impatient reaction of the
police was completely unjusti-
fied. Teargas was released only
about an hour after the students
gathered on the street.
The police instigated the riot
by plowing through the crowd on
horseback. Unlike Saturday, the
police presented themselves as an
opposing force. It seemed that
they were anxious for a riot. Had
they waited, the crowd would
have soon dispersed on its own.
The unfortunate consequence
of Monday night is that students
are being blamed for the incident,
and Wolverine fans have now
been branded as violent sore-
losers.
It's a sad day in Ann Arbor
when we can't even cheer for our
own team.
Rebecca Oakes
LSA first-year student
David Nitz
Engineering sophomore
Police foster anger
To the Daily:
As I write this letter, my eyes
are still burning from the teargas
utilized by the police offivrs after
the Michigan-Duke w9.ie.
I was merely trying to walk

To the Daily:
The Ann Arbor police militia
have engaged students in the
worst kind of warfare. While
major media outlets dutifully
reported that the teargassing of
students was due to a "mob of
crazed ruffians," this is simply not
the case. Truth is the first causal-
ity of war, and truth has been
desperately lacking throughout
this whole event.
This is what really happened.
After the game, a small group
(compared to last Friday) de-
scended upon South University.
The mood was disappointed but
friendly, there was no "wanton
destruction of property." Even
student/police relations were
good. In fact, mounted officers
held their horses at a standstill
while students petted them and
fed them treats. Everything was
peaceful. The crowd slowly
started to dissipate.
But it didn't clear out fast
enough for the Ann Arbor militia
time schedule. At a prearranged
hour, mounted officers prowled
the street in a "V" formation in an
idiotic attempt at crowd dispersal.
When this didn't work, they tried
again. Finally, the Officers
decided to bring in the foot patrol.
All of a sudden, the once happy
mood of the crowd turned ugly.
Notice, this is the Ann Arbor
squad, not the deputized police.
The deputized police were
standing around their cop shop
muttering things like "How could
they be so stupid...are they really
going to use teargas again?"

Peaceful partiers were provoked,
and then responded in like kind,
daring the officers to fire.
Well, the almighty Ann Arbor
army couldn't pass up a challenge
like that. The reckless and
incompetent Chief Douglas Smith
gave the order to use tear gas on
an increasingly angry crowd. In
doing so, he risked the safety of
his officers by provoking the
crowd. This is when violence
started.
Had it not been for the
teargas, the whole crowd would
have broken up in half an hour.
The outraged crowd grew in force
while militia and students traded
jeers and tear gas for several
hours. Instead of keeping the
peace, the police endangered the
public safety.
Not only did police action
violate student rights - it was
just a stupid thing to do. Every-
one could have gone to bed for an
early night's rest. Instead, the
police purposely engaged
previously peaceful students.
Why?
Is Chief Douglas really a
monkey in uniform, or did they
simply want to test out those new
teargas cannisters?
It really doesn't matter. What
must be acknowledged is that
Ann Arbor police are a threat to
public safety. And simply
because we have student ID
cards, we do not forfeit our right
to peaceably assemble.
Glynn Washington
LSA senior

Police violate students' rights

I

Presidential perks kept secret

Since the recent check-bouncing scandal, Presi-
dent Bush has openly criticized Congress for
its exploitation of congressional perks and privi-
leges at the taxpayers' expense. Now, some repre-
sentatives are returning the favor by pointing the
finger away from Capitol Hill by holding hearings
concerning the president's own bloated travel ex-
penses. But the Bush administration's refusal to
disclose significant information concerning these
expenses is a clear sign of hypocrisy on the part of
the White House.
The president's travel expenses were listed as
only $29,000 in the federal budget. Common sense
dictates that this is nowhere near the
administration's actual expenses. This figure is so
low because it excludes significant aspects of the
president's travel. For example, it fails to include
the cost of Air Force One, Bush's private 747 jet,
as well as many security costs. If these expenses
are accounted for, Bush's travel expenses amount
to more than $100 million.
The administration's refusal to divulge the ac-
tual figures was quite intentional, as evidenced by
White House officials' refusal to attend a House
subcommittee hearing. The boycott was meant to
protest an inquiry prompted by the president's
criticism of Congress regarding the House bank
scandal.

At issue here is not whether the president is
abusing his travel privileges. Clearly, the president
needs to travel around the country and around the
world, and because of security considerations he
should not be forced to take commercial airlines.
One thing Bush's hefty travel budget makes clear,
however, is where his priorities lie. Many Ameri-
cans rightly feel the president has not demon-
strated enough concern for domestic issues.
Moreover, Americans should realize that ex-
cessive government perks are not exclusive to
Congress. The administration, too, has had its
share of embarrassments. The running total for the
infamous savings and loan scandal has passed
$500 billion. This amounts to an administrative
folly far worse than a bounced check. Additionally,
Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney bounced a slew
of checks of his own.
If Bush and Congress want to make political
graft an issue in this year's election, that's fine.
Perhaps those who have betrayed the public trust
will be taken to task for their poor judgement. But
it is more important that both branches of govern-
ment realize that government misspending - es-
pecially on itself - will no longer be tolerated.
Bush's excessive travel expenses, and the
administration's boycott of the House hearings,
indicates that he hasn't yet learned this lesson.

risked being trampled over.
Although I was not danger-
ously threatened, my friend was
injured to the extent of not being
able to see at all. He almost fell
down the Mud Bowl, and he may
not have been able to get home if
he were there alone. Surely there
must be a more humane way to
contain a crowd, which, inciden-
tally, was just not that rowdy
tonight, than to lob cannisters of
teargas. In addition to being
extremely painful, the action was
a violation of my right of
movement and my right to
breathe clean air.
Such actions by the police
only foster further resentment by
those violated - as if they don't
have enough enemies already.
Loren Shevitz
RC senior
free beer
Would have helped
To the Daily:
After watching the NCAA
Championship Game, I remained
where I watched it for a little
while and then headed back home
by way of South University.
When I reached South Forest,
I saw a bunch of people start to
walk the other way, and I figured
that the celebration was dying
down.
Next thing I knew, large
numbers of people start running
toward me and I got hit with a
wave of teargas. I did not see
what was going on that may have

indicates that the situation was
anticipated. The University could
easily prevent a potentially riotous
situation.
I know that there were places
around campus where students
could watch the game, but free
food is not enough to keep most of
the rowdy students from going to
a party where alcohol is available.
If the University would like to
create a controlled setting where
people can watch the game, it
should provide free beer to
students with proper ID.
Scott Goldberg
LSA senior
Students asked for it
To the Daily:
Last night's teargassing
incident shouldn't have happened.
There's no excuse for spraying
students with harmful chemicals.
However, it's about time that we
at University grow up.
We should be able to handle
watching our basketball team lose
without pouting on the streets. We
should be able to have a few beers
without becoming so drunk that
we throw rocks and bottles at
police and damage property on
South University. We expect to be
treated like adults, yet we act like
a bunch of obnoxious babies. Hell,
some even chanted "We want
teargas, we want teargas."
Well, you asked for it and you
got it. I've never been more
ashamed to say that I go to
Michigan.
Harold Hilborn

Nuts and Bolts
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