LANSING (AP) - As if raising the
gasoline tax weren't hard enough, ma-
jority Republicans in the state Senate
are pushing a sweeping plan to shakeup
the entire transportation policy in Michi-
The legislation would clear the way
for ditching the state Transportation
Commission, repeal the basic funding
hula for transportation money and
allow counties to eliminate their road
commissions and raise their own gas
But the controversial bills face as
many potholes as they're designed to
fix. Although Gov. John Engler wel-
comes soni of the changes as consis-
tent with his view of government ac-
countability, many local officials and
e lawmakers oppose the proposal.
his takes place against a backdrop
of continuing debate over whether to
raise the gas tax to generate more road
money, and state House moves to tackle
the transportation problem.
State Transportation Director Robert
Welke said Thursday he expects Engler
to recommend a hike in the state fuel tax
later this year. He said it was likely to
occur in the "lame duck" legislative
session, after the election but before the
of the year.
The Senate package is in an appro-
priations subcommittee, and is slated to
begin moving to the full Appropria-
tionsCommittee soon. Its sponsor, Sen.
Philip Hoffman (R-Horton), is catching
flak at the center of the controversy.
"Every county road commission in
the state hates me," he said. "We are
taking the key for the transportation
system from the transportation bureau-
"We are after getting greater effi-
ciency in transportation services," he
said."I'm coming to grips with the fact
the roads are crumbling. What we're
trying to do is give them tools."
Hoffman, chairman of the Senate
Appropriations subcommittee on trans-
portation, has held hearings on the leg-
islation. He has told road officials there
simply isn't enough support in the Leg-
ture to raise the 1 5-cents-a-gallon
gas tax any higher.
"There may be a time to raise the gas
tax but I'm not willing to do it first," he
The Michigan Daily - Monday. Aoril 1. 1996 - 5A
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David Date washes windows at Suwanee Springs Leather on a sunny Saturday afternoon on Liberty Street.
IF hold Selimar onV1ln
By Kate Glickman
Daily Staff Reporter
As the 1996 national and local elec-
tions approach, community members
met Saturday to talk strategy on how to
get more minorities elected to govern-
Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem
Twp.) delivered words of wisdom to
political hopefuls who attended the
Political Action Forum at Washtenaw
Community College looking for re-
sources and information.
"In planning a political career, you
do the same thing someone planning a
business career would do," Smith said.
"The men do it, and (women) are faulted
for not doing it."
Christina Montague, a county com-
missioner, spoke about her experience
running for local government as "a
woman, not a professional politician."
Montague said she ran for office be-
cause she wanted to fight for those in
her community who she viewed as
To others interested in a political
office, Montague advised, "Have a de-
fined message, know the issues, learn
about the office you want to run for and
give it your all."
The forum, in addition to discussing
how to get more African Americans
elected to office, also addressed ways to
mobilize the black community to the polls.
"We're allowing ourselves to become
discouraged and disillusioned," Smith
Smith said that if more people came
to the polls, "the conservative tide"
now in control of the House and Senate
would be eliminated. People could "flip
this whole process on its ear," she said.
The group discussed different ven-
ues to attract voters to the polls.
While programs like Get Out the Vote
help, many community members regis-
ter to vote but never get to the polls on
election day, Ann Arbor resident Dwain
The forum suggested providing child
care near polls, forming car-pools and
educating people on how to get absen-
tee ballots if their workplace is too far
from poll sites.
Making voting convenient for work-
ing mothers and people who work far
from home is being tackled by vote-by-
mail legislation, which is currently be-
ing debated in Lansing.
Smith said she has been pushing for
vote-by-mail legislation for years, but
it has yet to pass because lawmakers
fear the impact of the new voters that
would be recruited. Smith remained
confident, however, that the legislation
would pass soon.
"This was very exciting," said Shawn
Mason Spence, chair of the National
Political Congress of Black Women.
"We got a lot of information in a small
period of time."
Spence, who organized the forum, said
the event offered people achanceto evalu-
ate their own role in politics and plan
"where they would like to see this go."
® Attendence low;
audience members say
they were forced to go
By Ann Stewart
Daily Staff Reporter
An unexpectedly small audience of
about 40 fraternity members gathered
yesterday at noon for the first Inter-
Fraternity Council Seminar on Violence
"There were those who got some-
thing out of it and those who didn't. It
seems like a lot were forced to be here,"
said LSA first-year student Ben Wolf.
Speakers said they were disappointed
by the sparse audience. Most of the
audience were pledges or new mem-
bers of campus fraternities. The semi-
nar was held in Auditorium 4 of the
Modern Languages Building.
"The numbers were few but we did
have around two-thirds of all fraterni-
ties represented," said IFC Vice Presi-
dent of External Relations Dan Levin.
The seminar opened with a statement
by Joyce Wright, training and education
coordinator for the Sexual Assault Pre-
vention and Awareness Center, in which
she tried to get responses from the audi-
ence about statistics on sexual assault.
Wright said in her speech that 65
campus rapes were reported to SAPAC
last year, adding that 15 of those alleg-
edly occurred in fraternities.
The seminar also included a film de-
picting a date rape situation and a speech
by a Wayne State University student who
was raped by a WSU fraternity member.
David Garwin of the Alternatives to
Domestic Aggression Program said he
was disappointed in the turnout, and
that he expected to be speaking before
hundreds of students.
"There should have been more ofyou
today," Garwin said. "But it's 'no big
deal.' If violence against women was a
big deal (to men) it wouldn't happen."
A discussion following the presenta-
tions drew a lot of audience participation
and revealed much about the attitudes of
some fraternity members toward date rape.
"The questions were indicative of
the reasons forthe seminar," Levin said.
Fraternity members questioned
Wright, Garwin and the survivor about
many elements that they often called
"gray areas," including the use of alco-
hol by both parties, and ambivalence
about how consent is construed. Many
audience members said they felt the
panel was biased against men.
"The questions weren't uncommon.
When people learn about violence
against women they often try to find
reasons or rationalizations for why this
happens," Wright said.
The seminar ended with suggestions
on how to make changes.
"You're being recruited today. We've
got work to do in terms of how we view
women in this society," said moderator
Greg Harden, special adviserto athletics.
Fraternity members said they also
saw value in having the seminar.
"I think it's important, especially in the
Greek system, to be aware and to take a
stand against something that's obviously
a problem on campuses everywhere,"
said Josh Brayer, an LSA junior.
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Department say the crowd varied from
to 1,000 people at various times
d locations during the traveling cel-
AAPD officer Martin Morales, who
was patrolling South University on a
bicycle, said the crowd was well-be-
"It's a good crowd because it's so-
ber," Morales said during the celebra-
tion. "The basketball crowd was bad
because it was drunk."
Celebrations in previous years for
,* basketball team were marred by
violence. In 1992, three arrests were
made and police used tear gas to break
up the crowd. After the 1993 Final
Four, 13 were arrested for malicious
destruction of property, assault and re-
AAPD Sgt. Pam Wyess said no inci-
dents were reported. She credited the
good behavior to the time of day.
*The daytime atmosphere helped
control the crowd," she said. "Night-
time makes it easier to go nuts."
Wyess said AAPD called the Michi-
gan State Police and the Washtenaw
County Sheriffs Department to help
monitor the crowds.
Steve Mourad, owner of Touchdown
Cafe, said the crowds were not prob-
"Everybody got excited, got up and
W lauded and everybody stepped out-
s etojoin the crowd," he said.
Mourad said more than 200 people
watched the game at Touchdown Caf6,
but no one caused any problems.
Morales added, "Most of the crazy
fans are at Cincinnati right now."
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