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November 03, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 3, 1998

a7hr ati4,]CbgFat ]Dat*l

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorial board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Go votem
Democracy requires voter participation to work

'With this growth comes headaches and
tension as to how we define ourselves.'
- Hien Duc Do, speaking on the growth ofAsian
American studies programs throughout the country

Election year


t is that time of year again - yes, it's
Election Day! Today is the day when mil-
lions of Americans take time out of their busy
days to vote for the people they feel should
run the country. Republicans, Democrats,
older people, young people, men, women and
many other citizens from various groups and
organizations make a powerful statement
when they go into the election booth and pull
the lever. Some Americans take the funda-
mental right of voting for granted without
considering the history surrounding the strug-
gle for suffrage, the millions of people around
the world today who do not have this right,
and the important political ramifications of
their decision not to vote. Voter participation
is an essential ingredient to the well being of
any democracy - especially to the original
experiment of democracy, the United States.
The historical importance of voting goes
back more than 200 years to life as a colony
under British rule. The colonists were fed up
with the excessive taxes imposed upon them
by the British Parliament, which did not allow
the colonists representation in their governing
bodies. The desire to vote and have some
political representation led to the formation of
our country. Since this nation's beginning, the
right to vote has gradually been given to all
members of society regardless of property
rights, gender, race and age, for the most part.
The 15th, 19th and 26th Amendments led to
the expansion of suffrage in the United States.
Similar parallels relating to the desire for
political representation can be drawn between
the events leading up to the Revolutionary
War and the civil rights, women's, and youth
movements of the '60s and '70s. Millions of
Vote Gm

people have devoted and, in some cases, given
their lives for this fundamental right.
It should come as no surprise that millions
of people throughout the world are denied the
right to vote and other means of political
expression. In some countries, citizens are
denied the right to vote and express them-
selves politically by unyielding despotic
regimes. Many other countries either deny
their citizens the right to vote or make it diffi-
cult or impossible to vote through discrimina-
tory restrictions.
Perhaps the most important reason to
vote has to do with the current political sys-
tem and the way things are done in
Washington, D.C., and the state capitals.
Most politicians care about voters and will
pursue their interests in government. If
University students do not vote, they will
continue the pattern of low voter turnout in
the 18-25 age group, and this will adversely
affect the desired outcome of such important
issues as funding for higher education,
health care, child care and affirmative
action. Politicians will not represent a group
that does not express an opinion. The irony
is that most University and other college stu-
dents have strong feelings about issues relat-
ing to their lives and collegiate experience.
Do not become a victim of apathy or
laziness. Go out and vote regardless of
whether you like the candidates in one or
two elections. People have fought for this
precious right and your vote will be sym-
bolic, at the least, in that you will make
the youth vote stronger - send a message
to politicians that the youth vote counts.
Get out and vote!

Dem. is best choice for attorney general

W ith unusual events characterizing the
gubernatorial campaign, one of the
most contested contests this election year is
the race for state attorney general. Harvard
educated Democratic candidate Jennifer
Granholm is the most qualified for the job.
She has a 98-percent conviction rate as a
federal prosecutor for the Eastern District
of Michigan and the support of the 10-term
incumbent Attorney General Frank Kelly.
Unlike Republican Candidate John
Smietanka, Granholm is pro-choice.
Granholm also opposes a bill - which
Smietanka supports - that would allow
Michigan citizens without a criminal record
or history of mental illness access to a con-
cealed weapon permit - a dangerous and

frightening proposition at best.
The mudslinging that has occurred in
this campaign has taken focus off many of
the issues. The Michigan Republican Party
ran ads stating that Granholm would be in
favor of releasing 17,000 prisoners and
associating Granholm with Democratic
Gubernatorial Candidate Geoffrey Fieger.
According to Granholm's campaign manag-
er, Chris DeWitt, Granholm does not sup-
port Fieger's crime plan, which includes
releasing the prisoners mentioned in the
Republican ad.
The attorney general race is especially
important this year because of the sorry
state of the race for governor. Vote
Jennifer Granholm for attorney general.

Matthew Bieniek's letter
("Engler is the best and only
candidate,"' 112/98) has
some errors in its factual
The intent of creating the
Department of Environmental
Quality was not to improve
the environmental climate in
Michigan but was simply an
effort to weaken and disman-
tle the DNR. It has had a sig-
nificant negative impact on
important environmental con-
cerns. Decisions about gas
lines, drilling permits, farm-
ing deer and fish for the
sportsman, and many other
issues are all heavily slanted
toward business.
Public school funding has
not increased significantly in
The 50 percent "increase"
Bieniek cited was simply a
trade-off against lower proper-
ty taxes and inceasing the
sales tax by 50 percent. In Ann
Arbor, the new system has led
to about the same support for
schools. This is a good exam-
ple of how to lie with statistics.
As in California, the long-term
consequences for the state edu-
cational system may prove to
be serious yet. The current sys-
tem represents a significant tax
loss to the middle classes
because sales taxes cannot be
deducted and many fewer peo-
ple now get a state credit
against property taxes.
Moreover, reliance on sales
taxes is a regressive system.
The wealthy minimize them by
interstate purchases of
stocks/bonds, while the lower-
and middle-class people pay
the substantially increased
sales taxes for most of their
expenditures. It's easy to tax
vacations in Michigan, but
what about those trips to the
High school teachers
would be amused to learn that
it was Engler's support that
produced higher MEAP
scores. Engler wants to support
the elite and religious private
schools, but few in Detroit
expect his help for their needy
public school system.
Power is the
best choice
for 'U' Board
of Regents
Far down on the ballot
today are candidates for seats
on the University Board of
Regents. These are important

the economic activity in the
state. The best candidate for a
seat on the board is current
regent Philip Power.
I first met Power when I
was a student in Ann Arbor
after the very tragic death of
his wife, Sara Power, who at
the time was a member of the
board. At the time of her
death, there was a lot of ten-
sion on campus when stu-
dents camne together in a huge
rally and sit in to protest sev-
eral racists incidents that had
occurred on campus. This
event is historically called
issue was resolved and Mrs.
Power had died, some people
had cynically intimated that
the action of black students
had somehow contributed to
her death. Some of my clos-
est friends were at the
absolute core of the planning
and execution of BAMIII,
and Power made a point of
personally meeting with these
students to dispel the notion
that there was a connection
between the student protests
and the death of his wife.
This convinced me of the
depth of goodness in Power's
character. He personally
showed concern and support
for the issues and theleaders
of the movement.
Power was subsequently
appointed to the board by
the governor to fill out his
wife's term in office. In
1988, 1 worked with Power
when I was a member of the
student presidential search
advisory committee. Despite
what has been said about
that search process, the
regents treated the students
in a most collegial and
respectful manner. Power
made especially great efforts
to assure that the student
committee was a full partici-
pant in the process. We were
in no way slighted and
Power made sure of that.
Since that time I have
remained in the higher edu-
cation field. True to the tra-
dition of Michigan being
the "leaders and best,"
Power has a national reputa-
tion as a model of what a
university regent, trustee or
governor should be. He has
been active in recruiting a
lot of administrative, faculty
and student talent to the
Power is committed to
not only keeping the acade-
mic reputation of the
University high but improv-
ing upon it. But most
important, he has fought to
keep tuition increases to a
minimum and has fought
for University budgets that
commit more funds to stu-
dent financial aid such that
any undergraduate from
Michigan in good academic
standing can make it
through college. Power's
record and responsiveness
to the people and issues that
make up the University
make him a regent most
deserving of your vote. But

was a
I would like to thank all of
the University students who
came to listen to and speak
with attorney general candi-
date Jennifer Granholm and
Regent Philip Power.
These students were part
of a supportive crowd for
these dedicated and engaging
candidates. Granholm chose
to speak here at the
University only five days
before the election, not to
solicit swing votes, but to
communicate with students
on an individual basis. Her
belief in personal initiative
shined through as she
encouragedstudents to dis-
cuss issues important to
them. Also, Regent Power
took time from a close
statewide race to listen to stu-
dents' concerns about the
University. It is obvious these
candidates came to the
University to give students a
voice, not sling political mud.
Thanks again to those
students who welcomed our
representatives with your
Daily covered
I was more than glad to
find the article "Prof.
defends fossil dat-
ing,"(10/27/98) about human
remains from prehistory
found in northern Spain.
In all honesty, the Daily
does not cover in detail any
world news other than those
concerning certain
political/economic interests.
It is well known that the dis-
covery and further study of
the oldest human ancestry,
the 800,000-year-old "homo
antecessor" is viewed as a
peak of archaeological
research in Europe - some-
thing not to be missed.
Although the Daily did
not go much beyond basic
age speculations, this unusual
"trip" to the rest of the planet
is a good way for the campus
newspaper to really foster
intellectual challenge.
Last month, my Spanish
231 students were amazed to
learn about "my greatest
grandfather" (I am from near
Atapuerca, where the caverns
are) and could not believe that
mankind really existed so long
ago! They probably were the
first ones to know - now, the
rest of the University commu-

Let me tell you
about my family'
"Engler backing Proposal C is like
Hitler doing a B'nai B'rith ad."
- - Geoflrey Fieger. tastefidly com-
menting on the governor s attempt to
cover his poor environmental record
with the Clean Michigan Initiative
A s is the case every election year, the
1998 campaigns have brought us 4
plethora of stupid stories about the candi
dates, their spouses, their children, their
aunts, uncles, dogs, grandparents and their
third cousin twice
removed on their
mother's side. These
are the stories that
will keep you at they
edge of your seat,
mouth gaping, a look 0
of delighted amaze- 0W
ment strewn across
your face. Believe
me, I know -- I got
to sit through dozens JACK
upon dozens (upon SCHILLAC
dozens) of them dur- I
ing The Michigan_ _ _
Daily's endorsement
Did anyone know that Geoffrey Fieger
was once stung by a bee in the Blind Pig
while wearing "one of those shirts with no
sleeves" (he meant a tank top)? Or even
better, did anyone care?
Keep in mind that this answer came in
response to a question about the state'
prisons. I think Geoffer was trying to
commune with the students around him
when he told that one. Fie was one of us
once, ya know. He battled his way through
college while scoping out all of the out-of-
state girls (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
I always thought that the Dems were
better about this sort of thing than the
GOP, but '98 proved me wrong - it's
bad no matter who you talk to.
Take, for instance, state senatorial can-
didate John Hochstetler. Wearing a blue
suit and a big cheesy smile, Hochstetler
walked in to the Daily and handed every-
one an emory board with his name on it.
He found just about everything "a little *
disturbing." And when asked what he
thought about higher education funding,
he spoke of what a shame it was that you
could get jail time for stealing three
toasters from Meijer.
Wait, what the hell are you talking
about? Where the hell are you going?
Are you still paying attention here?
And during the interview, Hochstetler
expressed confusion as to how his oppo-
nent, Alma Wheeler Smith, could recon-
cile being pro-choice, pro-assisted suicide@
and Catholic at the same time, a look of
starry-eyed consternation hinted from the
stern look on his face. Well, what the hell
difference does it make? As for his own
stance on religious tolerance, Hochstetler
had but one thing to say: "If people wanna
be Hindu, let 'em be Hindus!"
Congressional candidate Tom Hickey
is a man of the people. He wants to
"work the territory" and be highly visi-
ble. He said that "we" were running to
serve the community and that "we" have
a background of community involve-
ment, "When I say 'we,' I mean my fam-
ily and I." After all, he's "a father first."
That's funny, Tom, I didn't see your
wife and two sons' names printed on the
David Brandon,'while not in favor of
affirmative action, is "in favor of action
that is affirmative." My, what a fantastic
semantic hairsplit. Now if only he could
explain to me what the hell that means.
For some people, the theatrical
approach works well - but it usually
helps if the politics underlying the
rhetoric are good to begin with. When
one of Brandon's opponents, Regent
Phil Power, started banging on the table

so hard that my Coke can was jumping
up and down, I realized that my life may
be in danger. He got his point across, all
right. And I was scared to death that all
his spit and vinegar would rub off on me
when I shook his hand.
No wonder he's such a good regent.
He's probably got Shirley McFee run-
ning scared.
None of this would bother me that
much if the political message and ideas
that they should be expressing weren't
so muddled as a result of their incessant
propensity to talk about some damned
unrelated topic. And sometimes, these
stories get so dull that a quart of Nyquil
couldn't knock me out faster.
Take, for instance, Gov. John Engler's
long story about the great deal of pride he .
takes in the state's prisons -=- after all,
Amnesty International just wanted to
inspect them because they were sick of
inspecting "bad prisons in places like
China." Luckily, he didn't make it in for an
in-person interview but rather spoke to the
Daily over the phone, so he didn't notice as
my eyes drooped and I gave a big yawn.
The only two candidates who didn't
inundate the editorial board with dull sto-
ries or cheap theatrics were Alma Wheeler
Smith and Kathy White. Smith was the
picture of professionalism, giving hard
facts and well-thought-out plans to back
L _ ...l I, a.« -.- TL.4_ - - & .-...

Michigan Governor:
No endorsement -Write in a candidate
Michigan Attorney General:
Jennifer Granholm
U.S. Representative:
Lynn Rivers
State Senator:
Alma Wheeler Smith
State Representatives:
John Hansen (52nd District)
Liz Brater (53rd District)
University Board of Regents:
Phil Power
Kathy White
Ann Arbor Mayor:
Chris Kolb
State Pronosa1 A (chance "handicanned" ti "disabled"

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