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September 04, 1997 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-04

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1QA -- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1997

NATION/WORLD

Arizona
governor
convicted
of fraud
PHOENIX (AP) - Gov. Fife
Symington was convicted yesterday of
lying to get millions in loans to shore up
his collapsing real estate empire,
becoming the second Arizona governor
in a decade to be forced from office by
scandal.
"I have never been one to linger and
I don't intend to start now," a tearful
Symington said in a resignation speech
after the verdict. His lawyer, John
Dowd, said the two-term Republican
would leave office tomorrow
Symington, 52, would have been
forced under the state constitution to
leave office anyway when his felony
conviction became official at his Nov.
10 sentencing, where he faces a lengthy
prison term and $6.25 million in fines.
His resignation sets the stage for him
to be replaced by the secretary of state,
Republican Jane Hull.
"The future lies ahead of us, not
behind us," said Symington, "and oth-
ers will now be entrusted to lead us
there."
Symington, who was elected on a
promise to run the state with the same
business acumen he brought to real
estate, stared blankly at the table in
front of him as the bank fraud verdicts
were read. Muffled sobs were audible in
the courtroom from spectators, and one
juror wiped a tear.
"What is truly unfortunate is that Fife
Symington will never be tried for his
most serious offense - deceiving and
lying to the voters of Arizona," said
state Democratic Party Chairman Mark
Fleisher.
The jury found Symington guilty on
seven counts alleging he filed false
financial statements to banks. He was

Clinton to fight for
national testing

Los Angeles Times
EDGARTOWN, Mass. - President
Clinton vowed yesterday to fight for
voluntary national academic testing as
White House officials warned that a
current effort in the House to block the
initiative may provoke a presidential
veto of a broad spending bill.
Rep. Bill
Goodling (R-Pa.)
plans to introduce
as early as tomor-
row legislation that
would prohibit the
Department from
spending any
money to develop
national tests.
The president Clinton
has been pushing
all states to start testing fourth graders
in reading and eighth graders in math
with the same tests. The department has
a contract with test publishers to devel-
op the tests.
Taking a break from his vacation to
meet with teachers at a school on
Martha's Vineyard, Clinton declared
that "educational excellence at world
class-standards is now more important
than ever before."
Clinton told the teachers that he has
been "a little bit peeved" that some
members of Congress have resisted the
establishment of national academic
standards and a system to measure stu-
dent achievement,
"There are some people in Congress
and in the country who don't want this

to happen;' Clinton said in a speech at
Oak Bluffs School. "They either say
we've got enough tests already or the
federal government's making a power
grab or they're afraid that the t
won't be fair to people who don't
well on it."
Clinton said he expects "to be fight-
ing (the issue) out over the next few
weeks" with Congress.
A statement of administration policy
sent to Congress on Tuesday says- if
Goodling's amendment were adopted
"the president's senior advisers would
be forced to recommend that the presi-
dent veto the bill." Goodling's amen-
ment would be part of the sweepiq
House appropriations' bill for the
departments of Labor, Education,
Health and Human Services, and relat-
ed agencies.
Education Secretary Richard Riley
also urged Clinton to veto the measure if
it includes Goodling's amendment.
"In effect, de-funding would basi-
cally bring this effort to a halt, and we
find that to be unacceptable" Wh
House spokesperson Joe Lockha*
said.
Lockhart said the president is "con-
sidering" the veto advice but hopes
the Goodling amendment will be
defeated.
Goodling, chairman of the House
Education and Work Force
Committee, opposes the national
testing initiative saying he believes
there are already enough tests to
help educators study problems wi*
America's schools.

AP PHOTO
Arizona Gov. Fife Symington (right) shakes hands yesterday with his attorney John Dowd, following a news confrence at the
state capitol in downtown Phoenix. Symington was convicted this week of getting millions in illegal loans.

acquitted of three counts, including a
charge that he tried to use his political
muscle as governor against a pension
fund he owed $10 million.
U.S. District Judge Roger Strand
declared a mistrial on the remainder of
the 21 counts because the jury was
unable to reach a verdict. Prosecutor
David Schindler said he would consider
whefher to try Symington again on
those charges.
In 1987, Republican Gov. Evan
Mecham was impeached and removed
by the state Senate. He was later acquit-
ted of charges related to a questionable
campaign loan.
"What we need is an honest governor
in this state. Enough is enough," said
Tuscon resident Fred Ortiz, who

watched live TV coverage of yester-
day's verdict in an electronics store.
"There's too much corruption. First it
was Ev Mecham, now it's Symington."
Symington, a Harvard-educated
great-grandson of U.S. Steel co-founder
Henry Clay Frick, was indicted last year
on federal charges alleging that he
repeatedly lied about the health of his
troubled real estate businesses when
applying for loans in the late 1980s.
Several jurors said a key to their con-
victions were financial statements that
showed Symington overstated or under-
stated his net worth, depending on what
was necessary to get loans.
But juror Robert Bamond said he
would still vote for Symington.
"I think he's doing a good job as gov-

ernor," Bamond said. "As a business-
man, he didn't do as well. I think he got
caught up in desperation."
The verdict came after a total of 17
days of tumultuous deliberations. The
jury had to start all over again after
seven days when one of the jurors, a 74-
year-old woman, was dismissed
because other jurors complained she
was unable to concentrate on the case
and refused to discuss her opinions. An
alternate was added and the delibera-
tions began anew.
Prosecutors in the nine-week trial con-
tended Symington was nothing more
than a swindler, taking in hundreds of
thousands of dollars in developer fees
while creating office buildings and shop-
ping centers that never turned a profit.

New Russian
passports to drop
ethnic designation

...

Newsday
MOSCOW - Russia is about to issue
new internal passports that no longer will
include the notorious "fifth line" - the
declaration of nationality that reinforced
Soviet-era discrimination against Jews,
Tatars and other minorities.
For the first time in Russian history
- even the czars, after all, required
their subjects to list religion on their
identity papers - everyone will be
identified simply and plainly as a citi-
zen of Russia.
"It's a victory for common sense," said
human-rights activist Sergei Kovalyov.
Although its leaders spoke of creating
new sovietized citizens, the Soviet Union
always officially labeled its citizens by
nationality, an often painful reminder
that, regardless of communist propagan-
da, theirs was not a classless society.
Ethnic Russians, who made up only
half of the Soviet Union's population,
profited in stusly, work and politics
from a not-so-subtle pro-Russian chau-
vinism. Everyone else - Jews, Tatars,
Uzbeks and the other 99 nationalities of
the sprawling empire - suffered vary-
ing degrees of prejudice.

Children of so-called mixed mar-
riages could choose which parent's
nationality to declare when they turned
16. That is when they had to get the
passport that they would have to pro-
duce everywhere throughout their lives
- from the doctor's office to the u*
versity to the factory.
Taking Russian nationality was con-
sidered the smart option.
Vlada Kuznetsova, a 24-year-old
photographer's assistant in Moscow,
remembered the debate she had with
herself. Her father was Russian and her
mother Tatar. "I knew that putting down
'Tatar' could give me complications in
my career and in life" she said. "And
people used to make jokes about Tat
people, that they were primitive and
ignorant. I didn't want to be like that,
even though I knew that putting a dif,.
ferent nationality on my passpod
wouldn't make me better."
For children who had one Jewish par-
ent, the choice was especially critical
because entrance into many universi-
ties, institutes and government jobs was
closed to Jews, and travel abroad was
forbidden.

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