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February 02, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-02

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8- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 2, 1995AN/W O
Taxpayers picked up tab for Gingrich's trips to class.

WASHINGTON (AP)-Newt Gingrich didn't
receive a dime to teach a history course at a Geor-
gia college in 1993, but government records show
taxpayers picked up most of the tab to fly him there.
The records, compiled by the office of the
House clerk, show Gingrich used 10 of his 29
taxpayer-paid trips in 1993 to travel to or from
Atlanta on the 10 weekends he taught his course at
Kennesaw State College.
The trips occurred on consecutive weeks, the
only period during the year that he traveled home
so regularly.
Members of Congress are reimbursed for flights
home as long as they claim official business as the
primary purpose of the trip. Meetings with con-
stituents and speeches to community groups are
examples of official business, but teaching a course
is not.
In Gingrich's case, a spokesman said, constitu-
ent meetings were set up to coincide with the
weekly trips to the classroom.
"He made a commitment to be here for the
course, so he built town-hall meetings into the
schedule," said Allan Lipsett, the spokesman in
Gingrich's district office in Marietta, Ga. "That's

what a congressman's supposed to do: come home
and be with your constituents."
Chuck Lewis, of the Washington-based Center
for Public Integrity, criticized the travel payments.
"Public officials are not supposed to conduct
private business on the public nickel," Lewis said.
"And they're not supposed to create the facade of
official business to cover their costs."
He said such mingling of official business and
private business is routine in Washington.
Gingrich taught for two hours on 10 straight
Saturdays, starting on Sept. 18, 1993. During that
period, he filed expense accounts for four round-
trip flights between Washington and Atlanta. He
also claimed six one-way flights, either to Atlanta
before the class or to Washington after the class.
The flights cost $2,845, according to the House
records. The bill for Gingrich's government-re-
lated travel for all of 1993, the last year for which
complete records are available, was $8,435.
Taxpayers did not pay for three other one-way
trips. Gingrich's financial disclosure statement for
1993 shows that one trip to Atlanta before a class
and two trips that ended in Washington after classes
were paid by congressional candidates who invited

him to campaign for them.
Lipsett said Gingrich keeps a busy schedule
each time he flies to Atlanta to teach.
"He gets in on Friday evening, teaches the class
on Saturday morning, does a town hall meeting on
Saturday afternoon," the spokesman said. Often,
he added, there is a dinner or speech Saturday
night, and sometimes an event on Sunday.
"All this while teaching a course he wasn't paid
anything for," Lipsett said.
Gingrich originally was offered $5,000 to teach
the course, but he agreed to teach for free since
elected officials are prohibited from being paid by
state colleges and universities in Georgia. He now
teaches the course at a private college, and it is
broadcast nationally on cable television.
Questions about the course are the focus of a
complaint against Gingrich before the House eth-
ics committee.
The Associated Press reported this week that
Gingrich was offered the course by Kennesaw's
business dean after the congressman helped the
dean's private consulting firm set up a meeting to
seek contracts from a governmentagency. The
firm did not win any contracts.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures at a news conference yesterday.

Chechen leader charged with
treason; Russia renews attack

The Washington Post a mostly Muslim region 1,000 miles
MOSCOW -Russia charged the south of Moscow, on Dec. 11, and
leader of the breakaway region of they launched their assault on Grozny
Chechnya with treason yesterday as one month ago. Despite repeated
Russian troops intensified their as- claims of victory or imminent vic-
sault on its capital, Grozny, and small tory, the Russian army remains
towns in the countryside. bogged down in Grozny and faces
The federal prosecutor's office increasing resistance elsewhere in
issued a warrant for the arrest of Chechnya.
Dzhokhar Dudayev, more than three Artillery and mortar shells again
years after he declared independence
for his Connecticut-sized region on Rhhave
Russia's southern border. 1U6J' w iOi
The charge carries a possible a us - but
death sentence, but Dudayevn has a
so far proven resourceful at elud- not lietA t By
ing Russian attempts to hunt him
In Chechnya, the Russians
launched a fierce attack by artillery law are they
and helicopter gunship on the town of . .
Samashky, where Chechen fighters wiping out
earlier had shot at a Russian tank pe au m n~e 'aff
The apparent revenge attack on - Malsak Lomangabetyev
Samashky, where thousands of
women and children from Grozny
had taken refuge, leveled houses and
caused numerous civilian casualties, rained down on Chechen-held areas
residents told reporters after the fight- of Grozny yesterday, but there was
ing. little evidence of Russian progress
Atleast18peoplewerekilleddur- in evicting Chechen fighters from
ing the five-hour assault 20 miles the city.
west of Grozny, the Reuter news Much of the capital, once home
agency reported, most of them women to 400,000 people, has been de-
and children. stroyed, and international humani-
"They have shot at us before, but tarian officials have said that tens of
not like that," said Malsak thousands of civilians are now
Lomangabetyev. "By what interna- trapped in cellars without food,
tional law are they wiping out peace- water or electricity.
ful villages?" Russian planes also bombed vil-
Russian troops entered Chechnya, lages in the mountains south of Grozny
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Defense Minister Pavel Grachev,
the target of much criticism for the
results of the operation, was reported
yesterday to have checked into a
hospital two days ago.
Another key figure in the mili-
tary operation, Deputy Prime Min-
ister Nikolai Yegorov, checked into
a hospital shortly before President
Boris Yeltsin relieved him of his
duties as presidential representa-
tive to the region. But a Defense
Ministry spokeswoman said yes-
terday that Grachev was in the sub-
urban Moscow hospital for "rou-
tine checks."
Yeltsin turned 64 yesterday but,
with his popularity falling to new
lows, did not mark the birthday with
any public celebration.
The chief prosecutor's office said
in a statement that Dudayev, the
Chechen leader, has been charged now
because "enough evidence has been
gathered" to accuse him of "commit-
ting deliberate actions to seize power
... and instigate ethnic, social and
religious strife."
Russian officials suggested yes-
terday, as they have several times
before, that Dudayev has abandoned
Chechnya. But the former Soviet air
force bomber pilot and general has
disappeared and then popped up in-
side Chechnya for impromptu news
conferences or interviews several
times during the war, mocking Rus-
sian intelligence-gathering and
threatening to bring the war to Rus-
sian cities if Yeltsin does not cease



AP oTo
An unidentified man scans the headlines at a Mexico City newsstand yesterday.
Mexicans cheer Citon's loan ,
pledge; peso g-rains some value


* Mexican President
Ernesto Zedillo
personally blamed
for economic turmoil
Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - The headlines
proclaimed, "Long Live Clinton!" and
"Clinton to the Rescue!" The peso
soared, interest rates fell overnight
and, beaming with relief, Mexican
President Ernesto Zedillo managed
his first genuine smile in public after
weeks of crisis.
But, on the morning after Presi-
dent Clinton's $20 billion bailout
buoyed Mexico's financial markets
and bolstered its currency, the nation
and its president yesterday remained
deeply mired in crises both political
and economic.
Mexico's increasingly indepen-
dent Congress grilled the Zedillo ad-

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ministration on its future monetary
policy. And the legislators angrily
debated opposition calls for an ex-
traordinary session to demand that
the president and his economic team
disclose the precise terms of a U.S.-
led international credit package to-
taling $50.76 billion - and what, if
any, concessions Zedillo made to
win it.
Under domestic and international
pressure, Zedillo's Central Bank Gov-
ernor promised to announce the
nation's current foreign-exchange
reserves, which had already fallen
from $10 billion tojust over $5 billion
during Zedillo's first month in office
in December.
Fueled by continuing insecurity,
interest rates remained out of reach of
most Mexicans - topping 45 percent
for most loans.
The peso steadied after early
gains yesterday, closing at 5.4 to the
dollar- still about 30 percent lower
than when Zedillo took office two
months ago. The Mexican stock
market fell more than 4 percent.
And prices for most goods were still
going up.
Mexico's political and economic
analysts were almost unanimous in
concluding that Clinton's rescue plan
is little more than a Band-Aid on a
continuing hemorrhage of confidence
in Zedillo's ability to get Mexico out
of its morass.
"The uncertainty is not over,"
declared political analyst Carlos
Ramirez. "What began as a crisis of
confidence and credibility quickly
led to a crisis of capability and, this
week, entered a crisis of gover-
"The crisis hasn't ended," agreed
economic analyst Enrique Quintana.
"The work that is left to do in the next
weeks and months is to rebuild confi-
dence to avoid another liquidity crisis

in the future.
"But the crisis is not liquidity -at
least not solely. ... Resolving the li-
quidity crisis will simply buy time to
resolve the more profound crisis that
afflicts the country: the institutional *
The root of Mexico's ills, the ana-
lysts said, is Zedillo himself. Uncer-
tainty persists about his ability to craft
new democratic institutions and si-
multaneously build a strong enough
presidential image to win back the
confidence of international inves-
tors, the Mexican people and even
some members of his own ruling
Zedillo, who has vowed to sepa-
rate the Mexican presidency from the
ruling party for the first time in nearly
seven decades, appeared to concede
that the absence of confidence was
behind the economy's six-week tail-
"The foreign investors who had
been investing for several years in
financial instruments issued by pub- *
lic and private institutions in Mexico
felt their confidence in our
economy's short-term prospects
undermined, especially as a result
of political events," the president
told members of a North American
environmental institute in the after-
math of Tuesday's bailout.
Proclaiming the "structural sound-
ness" of the Mexican economy as a
whole, Zedillo promised to maintain
strict fiscal and monetary discipline
and to continue promoting private
Answering opposition charges
that the new U.S. loan package is
attached to strings that dictate
policy on migration and narcotics,
Zedillo insisted, "These are strictly
financial operations that in no way
place the country's sovereignty at*

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