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November 07, 1994 - Image 21

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-07
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6- The A igan Daily-- Election '94 - Monay, November 7, 1994




The Michij

1.5. 1~4O u se
13th District
Schall, Rivers differ inpeo
poitcs and personalt

The Body: 435 seats, 16 from Michigan; Currently controlled by the Democrats, 256-178.
All appropriation bills begin in the lower house, which is governed by strict rules of debate.
The Democrats have controlled the House since 1952. Members serve two-year terms.

AW State.Ols

The Body: 110 sea
The Joab A two-year term, pays $

Daily Staff Reporter
The race for Michigan's 13th con-
gressional district is a classic clash of
conservative and liberal ideologies.
The district contains the university
town of Ann Arbor and the more
conservative blue-collar communities
of western Wayne County.
The district's current representa-
tive, William Ford (D-Ypsilanti
Township), won with 52 percent of
the vote in 1992, largely because of
his popularity in Ann Arbor. Ford
retired this year, and vying to fill his
seat are Democrat Lynn Rivers and
Republican John Schall, two people
who differ greatly in personality, poli-
tics and approach.
Rivers currently represents Ann
Arbor's 53rd district in the Michigan
House of Representatives, and served
eight years on the Ann Arbor School
Board - 1984-1992. She has a famil-
iar style in public, has a reputation for
personally responding to constituent
mail and is very open about her back-
ground and her life.
Like fellow Republican candidates
Spence Abraham and Joe Mikulec,
hall has never been elected to pub-
ic office. Atop his credentials is his
appointment as chief of staff of the
Department of Labor during the Bush
administration. Schall is a self-de-
scribed policy wonk, and is more
likely to talk about numbers than gran-
diose themes.
Schall has called this race "a real
grass-roots campaign." Both candi-
dates have done the door-to-door cir-
cuit, but they've both turned to the

electronic media for exposure. Schall
has produced a series of radio spots,
but Rivers has found $200,000 to buy
time on stations in the expensive De-
troit media market.
They have met several times in
head-to-head debates. Chambers of
commerce, community organizations
and radio stations have all sponsored
forums starring the two. But the most
notable debate never materialized.
Schall had agreed to appear at a
Nov. 1 debate at the Law School spon-
sored by University student groups.
Schall backed out just days before the
event, choosing instead to appear at
two fund-raisers. Schall said he re-
gretted the decision, but responded
that a candidate needs money to get
out his message.
So far, the campaign has been
grounded in ideological differences,
but the candidates have taken occa-
sional shots at one another. In an early
October debate, Rivers criticized
Schall for missing several elections
while working in Washington.
"I missed some votes; I admit it,"
Schall said. Schall then pointed out
that Rivers had herself missed 10
meetings of the Ann Arbor School
Board while she was its president.
Rivers said she had been having health
problems, which eventually led to a
But the sniping has been a side-
show to the real political differences
between the two.
In early October, Schall signed
the "Contract With America" in Wash-
ington with more than 300 other GOP
House candidates. He has made the

tly 53rd District state,
Served on Ann Arbor SchoolY
5492 president 1990-92x
. in Biological Anthropology, University of
3, Law Degree, Wayne State University, 1992.
, two kids.
Pro-choice, wants legislative reform in
is universal health coverage (prefers a

ief of Staff of the Labor
President Bush, 1990-
nestic Policy Council for

contract-which includes a balanced-
budget amendment, middle-class tax
cut and increased defense spending
- a centerpiece of his campaign.
Schall says that by signing the
contract, Republicans have been ex-
plicit about what they plan to do.
"What we've done is turn politics on
its head," Schall has said repeatedly.
Rivers opposes the contract, call-
ing the balanced-budget amendment
"a gimmick" which will cut deeply
into Social Security, Mecidare, and
programs like student grants and loans.
Rivers is running on her history of
public office, stressing issues such as
legislative reform, fighting for the
rights of gays and lesbians, and her
pro-environmental record.

in political science, University of Michigan,
JFK School of Government, 1984.
io children.
rofife, supports a balanced-budget
500 child tax credit and building more
Dwer taxes, opposes unfunded federal'
"We're going to phase out what
we're doing now," Rivers said, "and
we're going to help business, con-
sumers and industry find cleaner,
greener ways to do business, because
if we don't we're all out of luck."
Schall has more moderate posi-
tions on environmental issues, but
can point to his assistance in drafting
the 1990 Clean Air Act. He also sup-
ports less risky environmental pro-
posals such as a national bottle bill.
Both candidates responded to a
request by Public Interest Research
Groups in Michigan to sign on to a
"Green Voter Pledge." Of 16 mea-
sures on their list, Rivers signed on to
all 16, and Schall agreed to support

Big issues in the
13th District:
Health Care
Rivers prefers a single-payer
system, but will support a variety of
plans that would achieve universal
coverage and affordability, among
other goals.
* Schall maintains the health care
system is broken for only 15 percent
of Americans. He advocates indi-
vidual medical savings accounts and
portability of coverage between jobs.
® Both candidates are graduates
of the University, and enthusiasti-
cally support the recent restructuring
of the federal student loan program to
eliminate banks as middlemen.
Both candidates support a "three
strikes" policy for violent felons.
* Schall advocates building more
prisons and keeping guns out of
school. He has used Rivers' vote
against such a law to portray her as
weak on crime.
* Rivers says she opposed
Michigan's "guns in school" law on
the grounds that it didn't provide for
education of students expelled from
traditional schools under the law.
* Rivers says conservatives' poli-
cies on crime have been tough and
dumb. She supported the crime bill,
noting especially her support of the
funding for additional police officers
and the assault weapons ban.
s Schall criticized the crime bill
as being full of social spending.
A Schall is anti-abortion rights,
Rivers is pro-abortion rights.

Daily Staff Reporter
Differences abound between the
candidates for Michigan's 53rd state
House district, but not in the usual places.
Looking to fill congressional can-
didate Lynn Rivers' seat are Republi-
can Renee Birnbaum, an attorney who
has lived in the district for 12 years,
and Democrat Liz Brater, who has
taught English and public policy at
the University. Brater also served one
term as Ann Arbor mayor and was a
member of City Council.
While the two may have different
political ideologies, they share stances on
a variety of issues. Both say they would be
advocates for the area's three colleges.
Birnbaum urged watching the
University's infrastructure and con-
tinued funding for research and the
highly ranked programs in medicine,
law and nursing. She suggested elimi-
nating waste and overspending in other
areas to increase higher education's
portion of the state budget.
Brater agreed, saying the budget
needs to reflect the state's priorities.
"The U-M in particular has seen a
shrinking share (of the state budget),"
she said. "That's not good public
policy. U-M is the flagship of our
system. We should take pride in that

53rd District
Ex-mayor Brater faces attorney Birnbaum to fill Ri'

As for helping with the current
burdens of college costs, both candi-
dates advocated expanding the exist-
ing work-study programs.
Brater also favors restoring the
Michigan Educational Trust program,
something gubernatorial challenger
Howard Wolpe has promised to do.
The program, which was closed to
new contracts in 1991, invested money
in a child's name and guaranteed tu-
ition at any public college in Michi-
gan. It also could be applied toward
costs at an out-of-state or private school.
The two also stressed the impor-
tance of improving public schools and
assuring funding for local districts.
"One of our major goals needs to
be to make sure the money guaran-
teed is going to be there," Brater said,
referring to the funding formula ap-
proved by the voters last March.
Known then as Proposal A, the
constitutional amendment raised the
state sales tax to six percent. It also
raised taxes on cigarettes and phone
calls in exchange for an income tax cut
and the virtual elimination of property
taxes as a method of school funding.
Some economists predict the re-
placement plan may come up as much
as $1 million short in two years.
Birnbaum supports school choice
and charter school programs, which

53rd Michigan

Ren Birnbaum
Political; Republican from Pittsfield Twp.
Career: Non-practicing attorney.
Family: Married, two kids.
On the Issues: Would look at voucher systems to i
flexibility of education, throwing money at problem
doesn't always solve them, providing other after-s(
activities for children wIl discourage them from ge
involved in gangs and violence, pro-choice, notes s
doesn't always agree with Gov. Engler.
Political: Democrat from Ann Arbor
Career: Former Ann Arbor council member
and mayor. Also has been an instructor irn
the University's English Department and Institute f
Family: Married, two kids.
On the Issues: Feels state government should not
unfunded mandates on local governments, working
public schools and not competing with them will do
improve them, pro-choice, access to weapons is too

House District

she said can be tailored for children
with special needs or interests. She added
that such steps do not preclude reform-
ing the public school system.
Brater said such programs drain
money from the public schools.
"We have competition - it's called
private schools," she said, adding that
magnet schools in the public system

Schroer faces stiff challenge from GOP's Straub

SSecretary of Statea
ASix-term A ustin appCars to beidriver's seat ifn rac vS. iller

* Mud flies as GOP
charge Austin absent
from polls in '92,
while Dems call Miller
Daily News Editor
Candice Miller, the Republican
challenger for secretary of state, isn't
spinning her wheels in this election.
Although the job as head of driver and
motor vehicle registration is far from
glamorous, she is determined to win
the position.
Her opponent, however, says
Miller may be too determined. Rich-
ard Austin has been secretary of state
for 24 years and decided to run for re-

election only to
help his flagging
Democratic party.
The cam- 53
paign has taken a
detour down the
muddy road of
politics, some-
thing Austin
doesn't appreci-
ate. Moreover, Austin
said Robert Kolt,
Austin's spokesperson, Miller's
constant references to age are inap-
At 81, Austin is in top physical
condition and able to complete an-
other four years in office, Kolt said.
"(Austin's) opponent has run a very
nasty campaign," he added. "The

Republicans in this race have done
everything they can to discredit the
That includes claims that Austin
did not vote in the 1992 election.
When records were found to prove he
did cast a ballot, Republicans said
they were falsified.
Miller, the 40-year-old Macomb
County treasurer, said age is not an
issue for her. She is more concerned
with Austin's ability to fulfill the du-
ties of the office.
"It is simply time for a change,"
said Miller, who also supports term
limits for politicians.
"I know going into this (election)
eight years is as long as I can be here.
My opponent thinks he needs 28 years.
I think the people in Michigan will



With more
than 180 offices,
about 2,100 em-
ployees and a
$142 million bud-
get, the secretary
of state has a sig-
nificant amount of
responsibility in Miller
The secretary of state has four
primary duties: driver and motor ve-
hicle administrator, director of elec-
tions, state safety commission head
and state historian.
Among Austin's accomplish-
ments are a successful 14-year effort
to enact Michigan's safety belt law,

the creation of evening hours for
secretary of state offices and elimi-
nating the requirement of a front
license plate, saving the state mil-
lions of dollars.
Miller, who was Harrison
Township's supervisor for 12 years,
wants to decrease the time people
have to stand in line at the offices.
She plans to implement technol-
ogy that would make license re-
newal possible through a touch-tone
Austin has suggested similar
changes, Miller said, but only after
her action plan was made public.
Austin may be a gentleman, but that
his time in office must end. Miller
flatly states, "It's time to sweep out
the corners."

Daily Staff Reporter
Coming from different ends of the
political spectrum, the candidates for
the 52nd state House seat differ more in
methods than goals.
Incumbent Mary Schroer went to
Lansing with her own seat in the Legis-
lature two years ago after serving as a
legislative aide for state Sen. Lana Pol-
lack (D-Ann Arbor).
Republican challenger Marty Straub
would like to take his experience as an
engineer with General Motors Corp.
and now a small business owner to help
make Michigan friendlier to industry.
"If not for the private sector, there is
no economy," he said. "We can't view
government as a solution to any prob-
lem without recognizing the private
sector is the provider of all we have."
With the current boom in the state
economy, some predict a downturn in
a few years. "I don't buy into all the
gloom and doom projections," Straub
said. "A prudent government body will
start making cuts to reduce the impact
of a downturn by the time we get to it."
But Schroer said cutting spending or
taxes to boost business may not be wise.
"I don't think we should look at indi-
vidual taxes. We ought to sit down and
figu out what we to do with that surplus,"
she said, refening to the'state's rainy day

fund, which stands at a record $664 million.
One option is to increase state ap-
propriations to public universities. But
based on current performance, the can-
didates balked at that idea.
"As a parent Fcould certainly look
at the administrations and criticize them
for how some of the ways they spend
money," Schroer said, encouraging stu-
dents to question their universities.
"I don't like that they raise tuition
every time things get a tight. Teesgot
to be an upper level (on tuition)," shie said.
Straub said schools should imple-
ment cost-containment measures, like
other state departments.
Both said aid programs to students
were not effective and suggested work-
study programs as a partial solution.
The two also have opposing phi-
losophies as to how K-12 public schools
should be funded and improved.
"The important thing is that funding
follows students," Straub said.
He said state money should only go
to accredited programs, but should also
go to religious schools, which is cur-
rently prohibited by the state Constitu-
tion. "When (the U.S.) Constitution
was written, the problem was govern-
ment interfering with the matters of
the church. I'm not concerned about
funding going to schools which inci-
dentally happen to teach religion."

He added that charter and magnet
schools could be designed with a focused
curriculum, and neighborhoods should
be allowed to establish programs in their
schools to keep students in their districts.
'That's the same kind of competi-
tion we see all the time. The free market
is key to all of this," Straub said.
Schroer disagreed. "Children aren't
widgets. It's tough to apply market
forces to education. Quality control is
difficult," she said,
Butshe saidcharter and magnet
schools should be used to explore
other educational philosophies.
"I don't want to see charters as an
opening to private and religious
schools," she said.
Straub has attacked Schroer for being
soft on crime, noting her vote against
stiffer penalties for marijuana possession.
She called the bill, which set a five-
year maximum sentence and up to
$20,000 fine for having less than 10
pounds of the plant, "a little harsh."
Schroer supports some forms of gun
control, increased spending on preven-
tion programs and community policing
programs, such as Ann Arbor's foot
patrol and bicycle officers. Straub sup-
ports "three-strikes" laws and sees some
crimes deserving only two strikes or one.
"There is no justifiable reason -
given the impact on a person or society

could provide for students wi
The two also said combat
would require a variety of e
"We need to educate chil
to resolve conflicts in other N
through violence," said B
who favors gun control, tru
tencing and "three-strikes"
* ~ " " Far ill
to les
as a whole--that a violent ra
be allowed to roam again," h'
He also supports longer ser
violent crimes and more sever
non-violent offenders, as well
training to prisoners with short
"I can have a certain a
compassion, but that does not
fact that (the crime) was an e
personal choice," Straub sail
As an incumbent, Schro
enced the shared-power agn
the state House, forged when

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