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November 01, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-01

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 1, 1994

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan

Jessie Halladay
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein

Flint Wainess
Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

'Generally, the number of weapons on the streets
of this country is disconcerting to the president.'
Press sectretary Dee Dee Meyers on the president's response to a gunman who fired shots
at the White House on Saturday afternoon
-t
CLASS OF 1953

Wolpe: refreshingchange
Democrat more in tune to state's needs

Are you better off today than you were four
years ago?
In 1984, Ronald Reagan asked voters that
question on his way to a landslide victory over
Walter Mondale. Now it is an apt question for
Michigan citizens, as they consider whether to,
re-elect Gov. John Engler to a second term.
The answer, for a vast number of people and
groups in the state, is a resounding "no."
Are Michigan's children better off since
Engler took office? Engler claims to have
revitalized the state's education system, al-
lowing more opportunity for every child. He
supports measures such as charter schools and
private-school vouchers, arguing that they will
force public schools to improve by increasing
the competition for students. In truth, such
measures will only benefit students who are
already advantaged with involved, informed
t parents - and will leave those students who
most desperately need such attention out in the
cold. Furthermore, Engler cannot take full
credit for the new system of education fund-
ing. The elimination of property tax funding
was proposed and pushed through the legisla-
ture by Debbie Stabenow, the Democratic
candidate for lieutenant governor. Advocates
on both sides must now wait to see if schools
actually do end up fully funded, rather than
face a predicted budget shortfall. Engler con-
veniently ignores this fact.
Are women in Michigan better off? In his
four years in office, Engler has signed into law
a number of restrictive abortion measures,
including parental consent and so-called "in-
formed consent." While the first is simply
naive, assuming perfect parent-child relation-
ships and neglecting the autonomy of young
adults, the second is blatantly insulting to
women. Informed consent requires women
seeking abortions to view pictures of develop-
ing fetuses, and to wait three days before going
through with the procedure. Such a law as-
sumes that women are incapable of making
their own personal decisions and poses an
unreasonable burden for women who must
travel long distances to reach an abortion

clinic. Engler is a virulent abortion opponent,
and women can only look to further restrictions
in four more years of Engler-style government.
What about welfare recipients? In 1991,
Engler unilaterally cut off General Assistance,
sending thousands of people onto the streets
with no income and virtually no warning.
Mental health patients? Engler gave them simi-
lar treatment when he closed Detroit's
Layfayette Clinic, turning out inhabitants with
little or no plan for replacing services. Cultural
institutions? They have also fallen victim to
Engler's funding ax, and have had to turn to
private sources for funding. Such action turns
art into the province of the privileged, rather
than being accessible thepopulationas awhole.
What, then, is the alternative? Former con-
gressman HowardWolpe, the Democratic chal-
lenger, provides a viable - if somewhat disor-
ganized -option. Wolpe holds realistic views
on education, focusing on revamping the cur-
rent public school system rather than siphon-
ing off funds to private and charter schools. He
has proposed a cap on administrative expenses,
funneling essential dollars to the classroom
instead. Wolpe also would be on the side of
teachers, unlike Engler who recently signed
into law a measure that vastly restricts teach-
ers' bargaining rights.
Wolpe is also an improvement for women.
He is solidly pro-choice, and would oppose
restrictive measures that the Right-To-Life
coalition continually tries to push through the
legislature. Wolpe has a more pragmatic view
toward the'state's welfare recipients, support-
ing jobs and job training for those collecting
public assistance. He advocates a strong state
role in mental health and the arts, recognizing
that local control and private support are insuf-
ficient for the needs of Michigan's population.
Howard Wolpe represents a refreshing
change from John Engler. In place of Engler's
combative mean-spiritedness, Wolpe would
take a realistic and compassionate view of state
government. For those who care the future of
Michigan and its citizens, the best choice for
governor is Democrat HOWARD WOLPE.

Bias in race for State Supreme Court Justice

To the Daily:
I believe a major oversight
was made regarding the judi-
cial election in an printed
Tuesday, October, 11, "Vot-
ers ready to grade mid-terms."
The issue of judicial election
was swept over at the begin-
ning of the article: "...
Michigan's voters will head
to the polls to elect..., and a
few judges..." The Michigan
Supreme Court race may be
the most important election in
the state this fall.
The health care issue is
dead on Capitol Hill for the
rest of the year. There is con-
troversy over physician-as-
sisted suicide, abortion and
state funding for charter and
parochial schools. These is-
sues will likely be legislated
next term by the Michigan
State House and State Senate.
More important, the constitu-
tionality of these laws will
definitely be challenged if they
pass of are voted down against
the will of the Democrats. This
has already been illustrated in
the case ofDr. Jack Kevorkian
and physician-assisted sui-
cide.
Unlike the United States
Supreme Court, which has
nine justices, the Michigan
Supreme Court has only
seven, four of whom are a
majority. On November 8, vot-
ers will elect twojusticeshalf

of that majority. This is defi-
nitely a crucial year for decid-
ing the fate of future legisla-
tion. The next time the terms of
two justices expire is in 1997.
While the list of candidates
on page 7 was helpful, it is
incorrect in the Supreme Court
Justice section. First, one can-
didate is Judge Richard A. Grif-
fin, not Griffen, who is cur-
rently a judge on the Michigan
Court of Appeals. Second, Jus-
tice Conrad L. Mallett, Jr., is
currently aJustice on the Michi-
gan Supreme Court; therefore,
he is an incumbent, and the
Daily should identify him as
such.
I would also like to point
out some of Justice Mallett's
campaign funding sources. Jus-
tice Mallett has accepted over
$200,000 from political action
committees toward his cam-
paign. A considerable amount
of these funds came from the
United Auto Workers
($69,000) and the Michigan
Education Association
($15,000), two of the largest
unions in the state. Endorsing a
candidate, as the Detroit Free
Press and the Right to Life of
Michigan often do, is one thing.
But contributing thousands of
dollars to a campaign is en-
tirely different. How do the
UAW and the MEAexpectJus-
tice Mallett to return the favor?
Although I do not agree with

their purpose, I accept the fact
that PACs are currently allowed
to lobby all parts of the Legis-
lative branch of government in
order to influence a vote. Jus-
tice Mallett is a member of the
Judicial branch of government.
I fail to see what purpose PACs
have in contributing to judges,
for , theoretically, a judge
makes an objective decision
based on current laws and pre-
cedents (case law), not on the
influence of a lobbyist or any-
one else. The latter is called
bias. I mean to imply no wrong-
doing by Justice Mallett, the
UAW or the MEA. Iam merely
questioning the purpose of such
large contributions.
Judge Griffin has refused
to accept PAC contributions to
his campaign for Justice of the
Supreme Court of the State of
Michigan. Neither did he ac-
cept any PAC funds when he
ran for Judge of the Michigan
Court of Appeals. Judge Grif-
fin receive his law degree from
the University of Michigan,
was a trial lawyer for eleven
years and is currently a judge
on the Court of Appeals. He
favors victims' rights, truth-in-
sentencing and no parole for
violent criminals.
Joshua Bostwick
LSA First-year student

Past your 13th
birthday? It's
over you're
old...
Fall drifting into winter makes
us all feel old. You're a little too big
to dress up as a princess or a cowboy
and go begging candy at neighbor's
houses. Snow means a cold and
slippery walk to class instead of a
fun day playing, and another crop of
first-year students has pushed you
further up the totem pole toward
graduation.
But how do you know you're
really old? In middle age the body
begins to give subtle hints of im-
pending doom, butmost ofus young
adults lack these physical signs of
aging (hint: if you're holding this at
arm's length, you're in trouble). Our
aging is psychological; in a society
which values youth (like, oh, that
13-year-old on the cover of the fash-
ion magazine you're holding) we
start to feel old pretty early.
Remember the first time you
were too big for dad to swing you
around? Or told you were too big to
climb trees, read comic books, am-
bush your brother with Silly String,
wear Spiderman Underroos, or just
plain have fun? Or that day in high
school when you realized you were
no longer growing out of your
clothes?
After 18 the signs are a little
more subtle, but there are still a few
ways to tell when you're getting old:
*Music: Not only do you recog-
nize the "retro-flashback" songs on
the radio, but you like them. The
guaranteed way to make someone
feel old is to go into their room and
say "Wow, you sure have a lot of
cassette tapes." If you're lucky,
they'll reply "Cassette tapes! You
should see my records!" This is your
chance to look young by saying,
"You have records??!!!"
* Holidays: Halloween is still
cool when you're older - the only
difference is you beg for beer at
neighbors' houses instead of candy.
But Christmas, sadly, looses most
of its allure as you get old and cyni-
cal. I cried when my parents told me
that they were really Santa Claus,
and now I know why. This age and
lost innocence means you have to
go home for break, where your par-
ents will promptly forget your age
and responsibility and want toknow
where you're going, who you're
going with, and if they wear clean
underwear. Cool presents are also a
thing of the past-you're a little old
to ask for Mighty Morphin Power
Rangers (as much as you want them),
so you'll get stuck with a couple of
sweaters, a new pair of pants, and
maybe a CD or two if you're lucky.
(If your parents give you records,
take legal recourse.)
" Movies: Take a look back at

your favorite flick from junior high
or high school, and you'll get agreat
laugh at 80's fashion until you real-
ize you used to dress like that too.
*Birthdays: Every birthday was
cool when you were younger, and
teenage birthdays are all milestones
of one kind or another: at 16 you get
to drive, at 17 see R movies, at 18
vote and be a legal adult (and regis-
ter for the draft, but we'll conve-
niently forget that for the sake of
cool.) 19 is kinda nothing, and 20
means (hold on to your seat) you're
now in your twenties. At 21 you can
drink legally, notthatitever stopped
you before. But then what? Nobody
looks forward to being 30, much
less 40 or 50. 30th birthday cards
say things like "You're Turning 30
...Have you contacted Dr. Kevorkian
yet?" (I am not making this up -
that's a real birthday card.)
* Marriage: The first boy who
ever gave me flowers got married
th _int a__i ht _ tmr~mnat %A

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Low voter turnout
Liberal voting registration mandate is solution

N ovember 8th -- election day - is fast
approaching. Along with the usual cov-
erage of candidates and issues comes the bian-
nual concern about low voter turnout. The
United States, the "role model" for democracy
around the world, has a lower voter turnout
than most European countries. While this is
not of crisis proportions, the low figures are at
the very least disappointing. Most striking,
though, is that certain states have a noticeably
higher turnout than others. Not surprisingly,
these are the states with the most liberal voting
registration laws. A relatively simple solution
exists to help remedy low voter turnout in this
county: A national standard of liberal registra-
tion laws for all fifty states.
The problems of low voter turnout are not
to be confused or generalized. Certainly one
reason why citizens neglect election day is due
to voter cynicism with government. If voters
don't feel excited about their candidates, no
amount of encouragement will make them go
to the polls. Still, studies show that 85% of
registered voters often turn out, implying that
once people are registered, they will vote. The
problem, therefore, resides in the complex
voting registration process that discourages
people from exercising their voting rights.
What should change? One idea is to allow
voters to register up to election day, or the day

vote only for the Presidential elections every
four years, they should not be de-registered for
not voting every two years as some states do.
The main problem is that each state has it's own
set of laws, each affecting turnout in their own
peculiar way. One study has concluded that if
all states were to adopt the voting laws of the
most liberal state, South Dakota, voter turnout
would immediately jump 9%.
Moreover, many of the current voting laws
were enacted in the early 1900's in an effort to
battle election fraud. But today, with comput-
erized voting and close supervision, fraud is
almost unthinkable. These laws are simply
outdated.
The Federal Government should draft a
mandate requiring all states to follow a liberal
and voter-friendly registration law. If states
don't comply with this change without good
reason, it would be easy enough to make them
comply in the same manner that President
Reagan made states all adopt a 21 year old
drinking age - the withholding of Federal
funds would easily force states to adopt the
new changes.
With low voter turnout a problem in this
country, there are obvious steps that can be
taken to alleviate the problem. A federal policy
in support of fully liberalized registration laws
would give a noticeable boost to the active

Victim of
cyclist speaks
out
To the Daily:
I am responding to com-
ments made during the past
few weeks regarding The Cy-
clist Incident of 10/7. I am the
pedestrian the Daily so flatter-
ingly photographed for publi-
cation (thanks, twits!) and be-
lieve the letter by Anne Rea
(10/25) was particularly in-
triguing. I am wondering,
Anne, if you and friend were
mowed down by the same
bonehead who nailed me at the
crosswalk outside of the LSA
building. A bonehead who has
yet to come forth and offer the
slightest acknowledgment of
responsibility. Disgrace to cy-
clists, indeed.
Obviously, my being
strapped on a hospital stretcher
before a gawking crowd on
State Street did not make for a
happy day. Nor did the grape-
fruit-size lump on the back of
my noggin. Nor did enduring
several x-rays to detect pos-
sible paralyzing spinal injuries
put a spring in my step or a
song in my heart. Luckily, I
hada h aerd had- aenseof

who may have caused pedestri-
ans various scrapes and
scratches or bumps and bruises.
And the same to roller bladers,
skateboarders, motorcyclists,
drivers, joggers and walkers.
Have the guts to extend a little
care and consideration toward
others.
Most everybody on cam-
pus has somewhere to be at a
specified time and any posted
street sign or traffic law means
nothing when people don't pay
attention, ignore caution or
refuse responsibility for their
own actions.
Belinda Briggs
University staff
The election,
Rush and
"The Bell
Curve"
To the Daily:
Campaign issues can re-
flect the cycle of internal-ex-
ternal "devils." Without the
Soviet Union, the 1994 cam-
_:_ t.." in aa :s,, _ an

ated with the low in the classes.
Rush Limbaugh and others
who exploit the rising social
divisiveness and search for se-
curity in the country have cap-
tured the inferiority complexes
of their people and give them
"security" by attacking Blacks,
women, lower classes and lib-
erals. Certain elements of the
media establishment appear so
worried by Rush's success that
they are currying his favor to
avoid his wrath. The country is
in a dangerous mood.
A reflection of that mood is
the sensationalism surround
Charles Murray's book, The
Bell Curve. It does as Rush
does. It produces and repro-
duces social inferiority. The
publishers are rushing to get
early copies to Rush Limbaugh
and George Will "who will
likely generate apositive spin."
Once again we are using "sci-
ence" to "prove'"that some
human populations are infe-
rior. Murray and his readers
search for security. Rush and
followers attempt to discover
it, not in the internal "commies"
of the 1950's, but in the "infe-
rior" people whereverthey find
them.
Mel Williams
Professor of Anthropology

I

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