The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 27, 1996 - 7
old pols say
By Laurie Mayk
Daily Staff Reporter
Although their names won't appear on the ballots this
November, visiting political veterans on campus put in their
two cents about voting in the 1996 election.
Unlike the candidates and voters years ago, today's cam-
paign participants understand the sensitive nature of the
political process, former House Speaker Thomas Foley said
at "The Trouble with Washington" conference yesterday at
the Gerald R. Ford Library.
Americans know the correlation between votes cast and
issues addressed, Foley said after the conference.
"The political system is supposed to be responsive to voter
participation - that's the idea," Foley said.
The fact that candidates, political analysts and voters know
this connection exists can help combat the "imbalance" the
system creates, Foley said. Recent emphasis on issues of con-
cern to senior citizens - the largest and possibly most power-
ful voting block- may be one of the reasons for a push to reg-
ister young voters on college campuses across the country.
"What element in our society has the worst voting record?
Eighteen-to-2 1 -year-olds," former President Gerald Ford said.
Continued from Page1
determining tuition rates at the
University. She said private gifts and
state money are the only sources of
funds for construction projects.
Machen said the large allocation
given by the state this year gave the
University more flexibility in assem-
bling the budget.
"We got a good appropriations
increase from the state, one of the
largest increases we've gotten in recent
years," Machen said.
Moreno said public universities also
confront political difficulties when they
are dealing with state appropriations.
"At public institutions, one of the
things that's happening is there are a lot
of cutbacks at states in funding,"
Conversely, student fees contributed
26 percent of the revenue in the 1986-
87 school year, but now they make up
32 percent of the overall fund.
"What we risk is students paying big-
ger and bigger portions (of the bud-
get)," said Regent Nellie Varner (D-
Detroit). "We have offset that in past
years by making sure there's a large
portion of state financial aid."
The College Board survey noted Pell
Grants have declined in value over the
past decade. According to the survey,
the federal grants cover 10 percent f
costs at private universities - own
from 20 percent in the mid-'80s -and
one-third of costs at public universities,
half of its former value.
College Board President Donaid
Stewart said in a written statement that
policy makers should work to rebtild
the Pell Grant's former power.
"A substantial investment is needed
to restore this lost value and fulfill the
Pell Grant's promise of prox iding aconl
sistent, substantial federal schoirship
for low-income students," Stewart said.
Rose said she is troubled by the lack
of aid going to students.
"In general, it is an alarming trend
that access to higher education is get-
ting more and more out of reach for
working- and middle-class families"
Baker said universities are always
going to be torn between financial real-
ities and educational ideals.
"The universities have to sta-Way
ahead," Baker said. "We create knowyl-
edge. To draw the best faculty and most
talented students, we have to provid-: all
the things that allow us to do our:best
The College Board surveyed 2,811
institutions about tuition and financial
- Thomas Foley
Former House speaker
Registering voters is a
logical first step, he said.
"Until you take that step
you're not talking on an
academic level about
Although some worry
uninformed voters may
flock to the polls Nov. 5,
candidates aren't mak-
ing the same mistakes
they did years ago, said
former Democratic Sen.
"That is where we
failed in '72 - we had
the students fired on the
issues, on the war in par-
ticularly in Vietnam, but
they failed to get regis-
tered," McGovern said.
Former House Speaker Tom Foley speaks with Michigan Student Assembly Vice President Probir Mehta
at yesterday's "Te Trouble with Washington" talk.
Continued from Page 1
Vendors caught selling counterfeit
merchandise have their merchandise
seized and are issued either a warning,
citation, or a cease and desist order. If
the vendor is a repeat offender, he or
she may be reported to the prosecutor's
office. Counterfeiting is a violation of
the federal trademark statute.
However, the prosecutor's office usu-
ally decides not to proceed with the
"We have declined to prosecute those
cases," said Joseph Burke, chief assis-
tant in the prosecutor's office. "This
isn't a high priority for our office."
Burton said it is difficult to lOnw
how much money the University loses
"it could be anywhere, anytime
McGovern said his 1972 presidential campaign suffered
because his student supporters didn't register to vote. That
election was the first time 18-year-olds could vote, and they
weren't familiar with the registration process, McGovern said.
Ford, who chose Bob Dole as his running mate in the '72
presidential election, said he is putting his faith - and his
vote - in Dole once again this year.
"I'm gonna vote for him and I'm gonna campaign for
him," Ford said.
Ford warned that looks can be deceiving in this election,
and that Dole is physically and politically stronger than polit-
ical analysts predict.
"He may not be as articulate as President Clinton ... but on
tough issues and in tough crises I have a great deal of faith in
Bob Dole's abilities to make decisions domestically," Ford
Foley, however, predicted that Clinton would defeat Dole
"The odds are probably that ... we are going to see the re-
election of a Democratic president," Foley said.
Continued from Page i
As the need for government intervention in eco-
nomic and social capacities fluxuates over the
years, politicians continue to debate Washington's
role in citizens' lives.
"I don't think it's Washington's job to go out
and help average Americans," said Lyn Nofzinger,
President Ronald Reagan's former spokesperson.,
in response to an audience member's plea for gov-
ernment intervention to help working parents who
Puja Dhawan, atn LSA junior said Nofzinger's
ideas were an example of the panelists' difficulty
to interact and respiond to constituents.
"They really doin't know how to bring it to the
people," Dhawan said.
While panelists encouraged' voters to actively
research issues, they clashed in assessing the source
that provides the iinformation. The power of the
media was a then; throughout the day, and both
politicians and journalists conceded the business is
a blessing and a curse to the political process.
"Media has becme maybe the most powerful
aspect in the political system." McGovern said.
"People who want to be informed ... have a better
opportunity to do that today than at any other time."
Ford said an electorate well-versed in the issues
won't stand for shallow or sensational coverage.
"An informed electorate deserves something bet-
ter than what I call 'gotcha coverage,"' Ford said.
Although the media's power to decide what is
news is frightening to the system, it creates
informed voters that demand more accountability
"Polling and public opinion has made govern-
ment more responsive," Sidey said.
A perceived "decline in ethics" is unlikely
because of this new accountability, Foley said.
"The truth is it's probably gone the other way,"
he said. Foley said because of investigative report-
ing and increased technology "there is much less
tendency for people to abuse the system."
But louder voters may lead to a legislature
determined by opinion polls and special interest
groups, some panelists said.
Ford said he never initiated a public opinion poll
while in congressional office, and didn't use them
as factors in his presidential decisions.
"I was never much of a person who put my fin-
ger up and Saw howv the political winds blew when
I made a decision." Ford said. "At least if you vote
the way your conscience tells you. you can slcep."
Tlie balance bet ween representing people's
desires and making informed decisions in the peo-
ple's best interest is a precarious one, Ford said. The
decision often comes down to the fact a president's,
or legislator's, job is to be even more informed and
knowledgeable than the electorate, Ford said.
"The public doesn't have access to all the infor-
mation, therefore their judgements reflected in
polls tends to be superficial ... my judgement (as
a legislator) is sounder," Ford said.
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