One hundred si years ofeditori lfreedom
March 26, 1997
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Los Angeles Times
BEIJING -Vice President Al Gore
yesterday assured Chinese Premier Li
Peng that U.S.-Sino relations will not
be hurt by allegations that China ille-
gally contributed to American politi-
cal campaigns in an effort to influence
policy, an administration official
Li raised the issue during bilateral
talks on the first full day of Gore's visit
to China, but Gore interrupted him and
"said very directly to the prime minis-
ter that these allegations very obvious-
ly were in the air and they would be
there'" the official added.
Gore told Li "the issue is being
investigated, but the important point
was that this in no way would deflect
'administration from pursuing its
p icy of engagement with China," said
the official, who attended the meeting
and briefed the media but spoke on the
condition that he not be named.
Li reiterated his government's consis-
tent denial that it engaged in any illegal
See CHINA, Page 2
By Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporter
Michigan Student Assembly members
proved last night that campaign finance
rrm is not limited to the national level.
t their weekly meeting, assembly
members passed a proposal that will cap
MSA candidate campaign spending at
$500 beginning this fall. After the reso-
lution passed, LSA Rep. Dan Serota said
he plans to sue MSA over the legality of
the code changes.
Rackham Rep. Josh Trapani, who pro-
posed the code changes, said having
unlimited spending on campaigns may
ct some students who want to get
i olved in student government, but
don't have the money other candidates
do to win votes.
Trapani said the campaign spending
limit would not infringe upon candi-
dates' First Amendment rights.
"I would argue that (the code changes)
would definitely not," Trapani said. "I
wouldn't support anything that did."
While the majority of assembly voters
agreed with Trapani, the resolution was
*unanimously supported - it passed
Serota, who unsuccessfully ran for
MSA vice president in last week's elec-
tion, said he plans to sue MSA because
he alleges the code changes violate the
legality of the U.S Constitution and the
Serota said the $500 spending limit
heavily favors incumbents who have
Wre name recognition than candidates
no prior MSA experience.
"I believe it violates every students'
rights to free speech," Serota said.
Trapani said write-in candidates are
By Brian Campbell
Daily Staff Reporter
A diverse panel of professionals and
niversity professors sifted through
the moral implications surrounding
physician-assisted suicide last night
and attempted to draw firm conclu-
sions about the complex issue before a
solemn crowd gathered in Rackham
Levin speaks to
By Jeffrey Kosseff
Daily Staff Reporter
While talking about campaign reform last night,
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) discussed an upcoming
"disturbing" Republican fundraiser where anyone
willing to contribute $250,000 will have lunch
with the chair of a Senate or House committee and
a photograph with Speaker Newt Gingrich.
For less money, the contributor will have lunch
with a vice-chair of the committee of their choice.
"I guess you get a smaller picture of Newt also,"
Levin used that blunt humor, along with updates
on current legislation to discuss education, cam-
paign finance reform and environmental issues to
a crowd of more than 100 people at the Michigan
Union last night.
The event was co-sponsored by the campus
College Democrats and Environmental Action, a
University student group.
Levin contended that when the 1994 legislators
attempted to cut education funding, their con-
stituencies reacted negatively.
"In 1994, there was an effort to make significant
reductions in education," Levin said. "There was a
tremendous reaction because people know the
more education you have, the more likely it is you
will do better income-wise."
In an age of close economic competition with
many other countries, Levin said that educatioriis
essential to the nation's success.
"We must compete;" Levin said. "We've got to
have the same kind of skills that other countries
Currently, Levin said he is optimistic about
bipartisan support of President Clinton's higher
education plan. It would raise Pell Grant funding
and either provide a $10,000 college tuition tax
deduction or a $1,500 tax credit.
"It amounts to a 10-percent overall- increase in
federal funding for education," Levin said.
Levin's sentiments on college financing were
well-received by many in the audience.
"I think he cares and he really wants to help stu-
dents with loans," said Engineering first-year stu-
dent Christine Bogaerts.
Another controversial issue Levin tackled last
night was campaign finance reform. Levin said he
can understand the public's anger about the topic.
"The repulsion is understood," Levin said. "We
basically have no limits anymore."
Although limits exist on how much individuals
can give to candidates, and companies are not
allowed to donate money to candidates, Levin said
there is a "soft money" loophole.
"You can give any amount of money to a (polit-
ical) party," Levin said.
See LEVIN, Page 7
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) talks with student groups last night in the Michigan Union about campaign
finance reform, education and national environmental policies.
s to limit
not subject to these rules, so they can
make the decision to have their name on
the ballot. Because of this option,
Trapani said the financial restrictions do
not impinge on the First Amendment.
MSA Treasurer Jonathan Winnick
said the code changes violate students'
"I feel MSA should not be micro-
managing campaigns, Winnick said.
"In a perfect world, everyone would have
equal amounts of resources, but I think
it's naive to pretend that world exists:'
Winnick said the code changes are an
easy target for loopholes and will face
consequences down the road.
"This is virtually unenforceable,"
Winnick said. "You cannot stop a friend
of a candidate from spending money to
MSA President Fibna Rose .turned
over her gavel during the code changes
debate because she said she felt strongly
about the issue.
Rose said some course of action needs
to be taken concerning campaign
finance spending "and the only way to
do it is to plunge ahead with this propos-
al and work form this on enforcing and
Anne Marie Ellison, chair of the stu-
dents' rights commission, said the $500
spending limit does not violate students'
First Amendment rights and that $500 is
even too high of a limit.
Ellison said candidates still have the
opportunity to use other forms of free
campaigning, including talking to stu-
dent groups or being members of stu-
dent groups, instead of spending mass
amounts of money.
See MSA, Page 7
I DREAM OF BEANIE
By Kathy Camp
For the Daily
Hippity, Hoppity, Floppity and Moppity have
come to Ann Arbor for Easter. But don't expect these
cuddly stuffed animals from the Beanie Baby collec-
tion to stay in local stores for long.
The Crown House of Gifts on State Street com-
pletely sold out of its latest shipment of 3,000 Beanie
Babies in just three days.
"It's really hard for us to get them in stock since
the company is so backordered that they can't get
them out to the stores," employee Emma White said
about the toys that are turning out to be the Cabbage
Patch Kids of the '90s. "They sell much more than
anything else in the store. The demand is just incred-
These hand-sized, bean bag creatures were con-
ceived by Kalamazoo College graduate H. Ty Warner.
They come with a birthdate, a poem, a $5 price tag and
a playful name like Inky the Octopus, Spike the
Rhinoceros or Crunch the Shark. The appeal of these
huggable, understuffed toys is broadly based and
includes children, college students and parents alike.
"Probably about one-third of our sales are to col-
lege students or even parents who want to collect for
themselves," said Katie Eory, an employee at the
Crown House of Gifts.
Engineering first-year student Kelly Zagorski said
Beanie Baby fever has caught on in her residence
"They're cute, they don't cost very much and they
make great gifts" Zagorski said. "I have the skunk,
one of the cows and the penguin, and my roommates
have about 20 more."
Scoyeon and Sooyeon Lee admire some 'retired' Beanie Babies that now reside behind glass at Aussie
Outfitters in Briarwood Mall. These rare 'babies' sell for about $80-$250 each.
University alumna Tiffany Heutal visited the
Crown House of Gifts last week to add three green
bunnies named Hippity to her collection of about 40
"My friend got me into it," Heutal said. "You go to
the store and you buy a couple. I mean, some of them
are really cute, but it's more like the craze.
First introduced on a small scale in 1993, Beanie
Babies are without question the toy of the moment.
According to Ty Inc. spokeswoman Anne Nichols,
annual sales increased 1,000 percent in 1996 and are
on track to grow another 1,000 percent in 1997.
Beth Callas, an LSA first-year student, attributed
these figures to Ty Inc.'s ability to make its product
the latest fad.
"I think they sell because they're marketed well
and everyone rushes to buy them," she said. "My sis-
ter has eight and her friend has, like, 40. They just
MBA second-year student Greg Lipper pointed to
low prices to explain the Beanie Baby success.
"One of the big reasons they sell is the cost. Parents
are fueling this thing more than the kids," said Lipper,
whose daughter owns the owl, giraffe and one of the
bunnies. "Because they pay in increments of $5, they
are not aware of how much it's costing them to buy 50.
It's a pretty smart marketing ploy."
While Beanie Babies are relatively inexpensive in
the stores, at Ty Inc.'s Web page - which has had
more than 1.5 million visitors so far - the market
gets more competitive. Beanie Babies come in about
70 different characters, some 20 of which are no
longer produced. The price of these harder-to-find
Beanie Babies can skyrocket to more than $150 per
animal or even $1,500 for some of the original fig-
ures, according to the Web page, http://www ty com.
Resume service offers
help in job searches
Derek Humphrey, an author and one
of the keynote speakers, said opponents
of the procedure should show tolerance
and take a more pragmatic view.
"Assisted suicide is the ultimate
civil liberty that we want, and it's time
we have it," said Humphrey, whose
wife took her own iife several years
ago. "If you don't like this law, just
By Bernard Swiecki
For the Daily
For students still looking for that per-
fect summer job but who fear that time
is running out, there may still be hope.
University Opportunity Network, a
new online resume service exclusively
for University students, will have a pro-
motional event from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight
at Java House on South University
Avenue. With the help of UON consul-
tants, students can submit their resumes
using computers at the cafe.
UON Project Manager Joshua
Ginsberg said the service atracts both
Another cafe promotion is planned
from 6 to I1 p.m. Sunday at Rendezvous
Cafe on South University Avenue.
UON is run by Web Elite, an Ann-
Arbor based Web-page design company
founded by University graduate
Jacques Habra. The service keeps a
database of students' resumes and
charges companies who wish to peruse
resumes of students who fit company
The entire process is done through
the World Wide Web and a paper
resume is never used, Habra said.
"I like the fact that it's so straightfor-
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