2 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday,_March 17, 1994
Continued from page 1
ward the White House meetings" with
regulators could become "a method
of backing into the fundamental ques-
lions involved in W4iitewater issues
On Tuesday, Rep. Lee Hamilton
(D-Ind.) said hearings might be the
best way to get the facts out "quickly
Known for his bipartisanship,
Hamilton is chair of the House For-
eign Affairs Committee and was co-
chair of the House-Senate Iran-Contra
Foley said Democratic lawmak-
ers "are free to say what they think"
about the need for hearings into the
president's Whitewater real estate
investment; its relationship to a failed
savings and loan; the death of a White
House lawyer and any possible ad-
ministration interference in the case.
Asked whether Whitewater was
-affecting the agenda, Foley said, "I
.don't think it is yet, but it could."
Rostenkowski, fresh from a re-
nomination victory in Tuesday's Illi-
nois primary, would not predict
whether a congressional investiga-
tion would be productive, saying that
depends "on whether it becomes a
circus or not."
SING US A SONG, YOU'RE THE PIANO MAN...
anticipate tax hike
Assistant piano technician Paul Brunno tunes a 9-foot Grotrian concert piano yesterday in Rackham.
Continued from page 1.
homeowners of Michigan," said Senate
Minority Leader Arthur Miller. "The
loser of the day was Joe Camel."
Joe Camel is the infamous mascot
of Camel cigarettes, a reference to the
tobacco industry's well-funded cam-
paign against Proposal A. Beginning
May 1, the tax on each pack of ciga-
rettes will rise from 25 cents to 75 cents.
One student who voted for Pro-
posal A said the tax is long overdue.
Meg Whittaker, a School of Public
Health representative to the Michigan
Student Assembly, enthusiastically en-
dorsed the cigarette tax hike as a tool to
curb smoking. "It's good from a public
health standpoint," she said.
Factors influencing the vote for
Proposal A were as varied as the vot-
ers who trickled to the polls at the
Michigan Union Tuesday.
Voters rattled off a list of pluses and
minuses about Proposal A and the plan
that would have taken effect if the ballot
plan had failed. All of them agreed the
barrage of advertising on both sides did
little to influence their decision.
"I didn't understand it, and I
couldn't believe it," Rackham stu-
dent Ken Blochowski said of adver-
tising for and against Proposal A. "I
voted mainly based on talking to
people, experts on school finance."
Voters at the Union went to great
lengths to separate their decision on
Proposal A from the gubernatorial race.
Engler, who is running for re-elec-
tion in November, was Proposal A's
most influential backer. State Sen.
Debbie Stabenow of Lansing, aDemo-
cratic contender forEngler's seat, was
among the most vocal opponents of the
The overwhelming victory of Pro-
posal A will strengthen Engler's posi-
tion in November's election, but ex-
perts disagree how much.
"I don't know that this is a particu-
larly big deal," said Edward M.
Gramlich, director of the University's
Institute of Public Policy Studies. "It
will put (Engler) in pretty good shape
this fall, but I think it's too early to say
whether the election will depend on it."
Englerhimself brushed aside ques-
tions about Proposal A's effect on his
"It's too early to look at that. I'm
delighted to have this behind me," the
first-term Republican governor said.
"I'm not going to say that (it guar-
antees re-election). This is about cut-
ting taxes and getting Michigan's
economy on the positive track.
Most Democrats took the election
in stride, butoneparty leaderpredicted
the outcome would be another nail in
Engler's electoral coffin.
Michigan Democratic Party Chair
Gary Corbin said Proposal A will short-
change Michigan schools by $1 billion.
"The bill will come due," he de-
clared. "Maybe not this week...
Maybe not next month. ... But the
handwriting is on the wall -and both
the governor's budgetary shortfall and
shortcomings of leadership will be
abundantly clear to every Michigan
parent by November."
Partisan swipes aside, the con-
vincing victory will inject a surge of
morale into the Engler campaign. But
it could be temporary.
As the Democrats are fond of say-
ing, President George Bush rode a wave
ofpublic support after the U.S. victory
in Operation Desert Storm. Less than
two years later, the electorate cast him
out of office.
The Associated Press contributed to
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retailers to push big-
ticket items, urging
consumers to beat
higher sales tax
DETROIT (AP) - Beat the sales
tax. Buy now and save, save, save!
Economists and consumer repre-
sentatives said yesterday that con-
sumers should be prepared for such
advertisements over the next six weeks
as retailers - particularly those sell-
ing big-ticket items such as appli-
ances and cars - try to push sales
before the 2-cent sales tax increase
goes into effect on May 1.
But they say they don't think it
will have much of an effect on overall
"When you think about buying an
$18,000caryou're talking about pay-
ing $360 more spread over payments
of 36 to 48 months, I just don't think
it's that big a deal," said Alan Baum,
an analyst with Autofutures. "The
consumer may go into it with a differ-
ent mindset, but I think they're going
to be more concerned about whether
the product they want is available."
Ron Fisher, a Michigan State Uni-
versity economics professor, said the
2-cent increase - to 6. cents on the
dollar - may cause people to speed
up their major purchases slightly, but
he doesn't think it will cause an over-
"I don't think someone who
doesn't need a new refrigerator is
going to go out and buy one just to
beat the sales tax." he said. "But I
think someone who is planning to
purchase an automobile this spring
will try to buy one by May I and save
Paul Greene of Birmingham falls
into that category. He said he's been
contemplating buying a piano for a
while now and the looming sales-tax
increase may motivate him to go
Continued from page 1
Before accepting the plea,
Multnomah County Circuit Court
Judge Donald Londer asked Harding
if she had any emotional or psycho-
"I. don't know," Harding replied.
Harding later issued a statement
saying there was no excuse for the
bad decisions she had made.
"I am committed to seeking pro-
fessional help and turning my full
attention to getting my personal life
in order. This objective is more im-
portant than my figure skating," the
Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee
Jan. 6 as she practiced for the national
championships in Detroit. She was
forced to withdraw, and Harding then
won the championships and qualified
for the Olympics.
Kerrigan's father, Daniel, told re-
porters outside the family home in
Stoneham, Mass., that Nancy and the
family were not ready to comment on
Gillooly pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to
"I'm not upset about it (the sales
tax increase), but I'd definitely want
to buy it before May I if I'm going
to," he said.
But Joe Ross of Ross & Associ-
ates, a Lansing public relations firm,
said consumers should be wary of
sales pitches based on beating the
"What's two cents? At a grocery
story two cents is really two cents.
But when you're talking about going
to an appliance store or a car dealer,
it's not as relevant. There's more of a
fudge factor," he said. 0
Ross said consumers may actually
be able to get a better deal on May 2,
if the seller lowers prices more than
the difference of the sales tax in-
"If you're a good, savvy shopper
you'll be able to get a good deal
anytime," he said.
He said a survey he conducted of
print and advertising managers found
that some advertisers started plan-
ning ads based on the sales-tax in-
crease two weeks ago.
A random sampling of shoppers at
a Southfield appliance store yester-
day morning found few people plan-
ning to push up there purchases.
"I don't buy much anyway so it
really doesn't matter much to me,"
said Paul Tyler of Southfield.
Voters showed they weren't tha
concerned about a 6-cent sales tax on
Tuesday, when they voted over-
whelmingly for it instead of plan
would have raised the income tax
from 4.6 percent to 6 percent on May
Proposal A also increases the ciga-
rette tax from 25 cents a pack to 75
cents. For someone who smokes a
pack a day, it will cost them $182.54
more a year.
"It will definitely causeme tothink
about it," said Gary Gold of
Southfield. "I've been thinking about
it for a while anyway and this might
definitely do it. I'll at least cut back."
racketeering in apleabargain with pros-
ecutors. He told authorities Harding
was in on the plot and gave the final goa
ahead. Harding has denied knowing
about the attack beforehand.
After the hearing, Deputy District
Attorney Norm Frink said there was
"substantial evidence to support Ms.
Harding's involvement prior to the
"She's not going toplead guilty to it,
but I think the facts speak for them-
selves," he said. The state accepted th
plea agreement because of the poten
tially large cost of a trial, he said.
Eckardt, attacker Shane Stant and
getaway driver Derrick Smith have
been charged with conspiracy. They
have confessed to their roles but have
not been indicted.
William Hybl, chair of the USFSA
panel that investigated Harding, said
the USFSA would continue its inves-
tigation and that Harding could stilO
be stripped of the national title she
won in Detroit.
A grand jury deciding whether to
indict Harding met throughout the day.
Among those testifying were Gillooly,
and a handwriting expert.
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STAFF: Robin Barry, Carrie Bissey, Hope Calati, James R. Cho, Lashawnda Crowe, Rebecca Detken. Lisa Dines, Sam T. Dudek, Ronnie
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