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One hundred four years of editorial freedom
March 3, 1995
Balanced-budget amendment fails in Senate by 2 votes
From Staff and Wire Repons
WASHINGTON - The Senate
yesterday narrowly defeated a pro-
posed constitutional amendment to
balance the budget, ending more than
a month of increasingly bitter rheto-
ric and scuttling the centerpiece of the
publicans' agenda for overhauling
The 65 to 35 vote, two votes shy of
the two-thirds majority necessary to
adopt a constitutional amendment,
marked a setback for Senate Majority
Leader Bob Dole and other Republi-
can leaders who championed the cause
but could not overcome Democratic
charges that the measure would lead to
"looting"the Social Security trust fund.
Dole postponed the final vote for
two days in a desperate bid to find the
67th vote necessary for a two-thirds
majority. But in the end, Oregon Sen.
Mark 0. Hatfield, the lone Republi-
can holdout, and one or two Demo-
crats who might have turned the tide,
refused to budge.
As the roll was called in the hushed,
packed Senate chamber, with practi-
cally all the senators seated at their
desks, Hatfield sat directly behind
Dole, with his jaw set and his hands
gripping the arms of his chair. When
the clerk finally called out "Mr.
Hatfield," the silver-haired Appropria-
tions Committee chairman rose and, in
a whisper, said, "No," signaling to
Dole and everyone else in the chamber
that the amendment was dead.
Fourteen Democrats joined with
52 Republicans in the failed effort to
pass the amendment. At the last
minute, Dole switched his vote to no
in a parliamentary maneuver that will
permit him to bring up the amend-
ment again some time before the 1996
campaign heats up.
Michigan's senators split their
votes on the amendment.
"I cannot vote for a constitutional
amendment which raids the Social
Security trust fund surplus to cover
up a huge deficit," Democratic Sen.
Carl Levin said in a statement.
GOP Sen. Spence Abraham voted
for the amendment.
At the White House, President
Clinton told reporters the balanced-
budget amendment failed "because
Republicans could not provide enough
Democratic senators with the simple
guarantee that Social Security would
be protected in any balanced-budget
"President Clinton knows best!"
Dole said. "He is saying to the Ameri-
can people: You want something else
- higher taxes, higher debt."
Presidential politics were an obvi-
ous subtext to yesterday's historic
* vote, as Dole and other Republican
Man charged with
seria rapes, murder
By Frank C. Lee
Daily Staff Reporter
Ervin D. Mitchell Jr. was charged
Pterday with one count of first-de-
g 'ee murder and four counts of first-
degree criminal sexual conduct in con-
nection with a series of Ann Arbor
Mitchell,33, remained unemotional
as he pleaded not guilty to all counts in
Washtenaw County's 15th District
Court. Magistrate George Parker sched-
uled the preliminary examination for
"First-degree murder in Michigan
carries a mandatory sentence of life in
prison without parole," saidWashtenaw
County Prosecutor Brian Mackie.
"Criminal sexual conduct in the first
degree carries any term of years - up
Mitchell is being held in the
Washtenaw County Jail on $50,000
bond awaiting an April 3 trial date for
*ault and purse-snatching charges
stemming from a separate Christmas
Eve attack on an Ann Arbor woman.
He was denied bond yesterday in the
latest criminal charges.
"The court feels there's a very good
likelihood that the defendant would
flee given the opportunity," Parker said.
"That's the reason for the denial of
sexually assaulted Oct. 13 near Com-
munity High School.
At the arraignment, the magistrate
advised Mitchell of his legal rights and
once again appointed Lankford as
Mitchell's legal representative. Mackie
will likely serve as prosecutor in these
new criminal charges.
"It's a matter of scheduling and
availability," Mackie said. "The pre-
sumption is the charges and trials will
be separate. However, there will be
instances where the defense, for their
own tactical reasons, wants casesjoined
and they may move for that."
The murder and sexual-assault
charges are the culmination of a frus-
tratingand lengthy manhunt fora serial
rapist in Ann Arbor.
"As with any other case, we charge
when it's appropriate - that is when
we think we can prove our case,,
Lankford said. '1 think, realisti-
cally, I have to deal with them one at a
time. Clearly the more serious charges
are the ones (Mitchell was arraigned
on). As far as the time goes. the at-
tempted unarmed robbery is first in
line as far as the trial date."
In several media interviews,
Mitchell has maintained that he is inno-
cent, despite mounting circumstantial
See MITCHELL, Page 2
Washtenaw County Prosecutor
Brian Mackie speaks to the press
after Mitchell's arraignment.
Mitchell was wearing a bloody
glove at the time of his arrest Christmas
Day. DNA tests conducted on the glove,
which was allegedly used in the rob-
bery attempt, have linked Mitchell to
four of the five Ann Arbor rapes that
occurred during a 2 1/2 year period.
One of the victims died as aresult of
herinjuries. No bodily fluids were found
on the last known victim, who was
leaders sought to shift blame for the
defeat of the popular amendment to
President Clinton, while Dole's chief
GOP rival, Texas Sen. Phil Gramm,
sought to upstage Dole.
During a news conference after the
vote, Dole was asked whether Repub-
licans might support a proposal to pre-
vent Congress from using Social Se-
curity trust fund surpluses to reduce
the deficit. Dole snapped: "We have a
President who has abdicated responsi-
bility... If we had a real President
down there we might think about it."
® Duderstadt to
address changes in
By Cathy Boguslaski
and Zachary M. Rami
Daily Staf Reporters~
For more than 20 years, Michigan
State University and the University
of Michigan have received equal fund-
ing from the state, but Gov. John
Engler's proposed state budget could
break that balance.
University President James J.
Duderstadt will testify in Lansing to-
day to address that possibility.
If approved by the Legislature,
Engler's budget proposal would give
Michigan State University $10 mil-
lion more in state appropriations than
Duderstadt will testify before the
House Appropriations subcommittee
on higher education and the standing
committee on higher education.
The president will take.a non-par-
tisan approach as a representative of
the state's research universities, said
University spokeswoman Kim Clarke.
"He'll be speaking about the past
two or three decades in state funding
and what it's doing to higher education
in the state," she said. "He will say that
Michigan's state universities have dif-
ferent, but distinct and important roles
to the state of Michigan."
Duderstadt told the University
Board of Regents at its February meet-
ing that the proposal would break an
equilibrium that has been beneficial
to both universities and may jeopar-
dize the cooperative environment that
has developed between them.
The president of Michigan State
University, M. Peter McPherson, will
also testify to the committees.
"We want the president of each
university to tell us what information
they believe we need as a legislative
appropriations committee to make
informed decisions of their universi-
ties," said Rep. Donald Gilmer (R-
Augusta), who chairs both the House
Appropriations Committee and its
subcommittee on higher education.
In other words, the presidents will
explain "Why they believe (they) should
be entitled to more," Gilmer said.
The larger appropriations increase
for MSU - 7.5 percent compared to
the University's 3 percent - was
based on Carnegie evaluations of
Michigan universities. The Carnegie
classifications rate universities ac-
cording to the amount of federal fund-
ing received and number of doctoral
degrees granted, among other factors.
Engler's budget gives additional
funds to Michigan schools that rank
lowest in funding in their particular
classification. At the regents' meet-
ing, University administrators said
they do not feel the Carnegie classifi-
cations were the most accurate means
of determining funding.
"We think a university should be
funded by its mission," Provost and
Executive Vice President for Aca-
A executive sessions
Ervin D. Mitchell Jr. enters 15th District Court yesterday afternoon to face
charges of first-degree murder and four counts of first-degree criminal
sexual conduct. Preliminary DNA tests link Mitchell to a series of Ann
Arbor rapes that occurred during a 2 1/2 year period.
New party to run
By Maureen Sirhal
Daily Staff Reporter
The Ann Arbor City Council faces
t another legal matter as a retired
city employee has filed two com-
plaints against the council for violat-
ing the Michigan Open Meetings Act
of 1976 during two of its executive
sessions last month.
An executive session is closed to
the public under the special exemp-
tion clauses of the Michigan statute
that requires open meetings for gov-
The council has had a few prob-
lems with its closed executive ses-
sions during the past few weeks. At the
Feb. 21 council meeting, several mem-
bers voted against holding an execu-
tive session because they believe that
information was leaked to outsiders.
"Information was immediately
handed to people not involved. That
is a reprehensible violation," said
*uncilmember Elisabeth Daley (D-
Other members agreed for differ-
ent reasons. "I voted not to go into
executive session that night," said
Councilmember Peter Nicolas (D-4th
Ward). "I have never been in favor of
executive session except in rare cases."
Retired city employee Robert Peer
filed the complaints on Feb. 17, stat-
ing that the council violated the Open
Meetings Act on two occasions.
"I filed complaints on separate
meetings. According to the Open
Meetings Act, the separate minutes
shall be taken by the city clerk or a
designated secretary of the closed
session, and there was no one taking
minutes," Peer asserted.
The complaints were filed in re-
sponse to decisions by the Committee
on the Deferred Compensation Pro-
gram. The program is a retirement plan
in which two companies offered con-
sulting services for retired city employ-
ees. The plan was discussed with an
outside attorney in the closed sessions.
The committee on the program
fired one of the companies, Diversi-
fied Financial Consulting, without
conferring with participating employ-
ees. The other company, ICMA, will
"I think the committee has a hid-
den agenda. When they fired Diversi-
fied, they moved between $3 and 5
million from that company to the other
one, ICMA " Peer said.
Many council members maintain
that their executive sessions were not
in violation of the act and further state
that it was the retired workers' disap-
The Open Meetings Act
The act onfy allows
closets meetings under
For example when
I disciplinary actions of
employees or students;
U real est a tions; or,
U pending litigation with outside
council where an open meeting
would cause financial harm.
pointment over the committee's deci-
sion that prompted Peer to file the
"I voted to go into executive ses-
sion on the advice of the city attor-
ney." said Councilmember Jane
Lumm (R-2nd Ward). "This is the
kind of material that is exempted from
discussion in the Open Meetings Act."
Councilmember Christopher Kolb
(D-5th Ward) said that the council
has the right to hold a closed session
to discuss legal matters where outside
attorneys are involved. "In this case
the information was attorney-client
privilege and is confidential," he said.
Peer said the Michigan State po-
lice are investigating the complaints
and the detectives' report will be re-
leased to the county prosecutor's of-
fice in the next few days. He said the
prosecutor may then bring charges
against the council depending on the
outcome of the report.
By Amy Klein
Daily Staff Reporter
The Maize and Blue, a new cam-
pus political party, has entered the
race for the Michigan Student
Assembly's executive office seats.
Pledging to concentrate on issues
that directly impact the student body,
Engineering junior Mark Biersack and
LSA sophomore Chris Hanba are run-
ning for president and vice president,
Neither Biersack nor Hanba cur-
rently holds a seat on MSA, but
Biersack served during the fall term
of 1992 with the Conservative Coali-
"I'm getting involved again because
I see around campus a lot of things I'd
like to work on before I graduate,"
Biersack said. "I think we can bring to
MSA a new way of looking at the same
issues. We haven't been involved, but
we're not ignorant."
One of the most drastic sugges-
tions on the Maize and Blue platform
is a proposal to eliminate the party
"It's not a group of students help-
ing another group of students right
now," Hanba said. "It's become basi-
cally counter-productive in all the
Biersack and Hanba plan to elimi-
nate parties by revising the MSA-com-
piled code. Currently the code allows
a party to be formed from five or more
candidates or representatives from
three or more schools.
"We want to revise the code to
Seth Altman, the MSA vice chair
of the rules and elections committee,
said eliminating parties would violate
"(Prohibiting parties) would be a
violation, not of an MSA code, but of
the First Amendment right to as-
semble," Altman said. "Furthermore,
it seems pointless because regardless
of eliminating the parties, the ideolo-
gies and ideas behind them won't
The Maize and Blue party pro-
posed other changes affecting cur-
riculum. Its platform suggests chang-
ing the LSA foreign language require-
ment to lower the current class mini-
mum from four to three terms. The
pass/fail option would only be per-
mitted for one of the three terms.
"I've gone through four terms of a
language and once
you get to the
fourth term there
is a basic lack of
said. "In addition,
the TAs know
we're not inter-
ested. With three
terms interest will
Biersack and TAs will do a
dates also hope to
see changes in the
current math pro-