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March 10, 1999 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-10

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 10, 1999 -- 7

&abenow considers
Senate; Blanchard
says he won't run

WWASHINGTON (AP) - Former
Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard said yes-
terday he has decided against trying to
unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Spencer
Abraham in 2000.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Debbie
Stabenow (D-Lansing) said she is seri-
ously considering entering the race.
Abraham, a first-term senator, is con-
sidered vulnerable by Democrats and
they have made him a national target.
"I thought long and hard about once
ain serving the people of Michigan in
Washington but have decided not to
seek election to the Senate for personal
and professional reasons," Blanchard
said in a letter sent yesterday afternoon
to elose supporters and friends to notify
them about his decision.
In an interview, Blanchard said,
"Much as I like to be a senator on cer-
tain days of the week, I'm not prepared
*ask my friends to walk down that
road if I'm not sure I want it."
Blanchard said he enjoyed public
service but disliked the enormous
amount of time senators have to
spend fund-raising. "Spending half
my time raising money is not my idea
of public service, and it would really
take the fun out of campaigning,"
Blanchard said.
l'lanchard's withdrawal threw the

spotlight on Stabenow, a second-term
congresswoman who has been urged to
consider getting into the race by sever-
al Democratic party leaders, including
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle
and Robert Torricelli, head of the
Democratic Senatorial Campaign
Committee.
"She's looking at this very seriously,"
said Stabenow spokesperson Matt
Frankel. "But she has not come to a
decision either way. This is a difficult
decision for her."
Frankel said Democrats were united
at the national and state level in agree-
ing that "Spencer Abraham is vulnera-
ble right now."
Sage Eastman, a spokesperson for
the Michigan Republican Party, said the
freshman Republican senator would
run an aggressive campaign.
"He's got a good record and we're
going to have a well-oiled machine"
Eastman said.
Abraham has said he will raise $9
million for the race.
Stabenow unseated Republican U.S.
Rep. Dick Chrysler in 1996 to win her
first term in Congress. She is known
statewide, having run unsuccessfully
for lieutenant governor in 1994 after
making a bid for the Democratic
gubernatorial nomination.

HISTORY
Continued from Page 1
deserted like during Christmas break,"
recalled anthropology GSI Rachel Barish,
who participated in the 1996 walkout.
University Chief Negotiator Dan
Gamble, who also negotiated in 1996,
estimated 30 percent of classes were
canceled due to the 1996 walkout.
Some students said they did not
honor the 1996 GEO walkout because
they needed to keep up with classes.
"I went to the classes that were most
important - the ones I knew if I didn't
go to I'd be screwed," LSA senior
Alvonne Small said.
Small, who was a first-year student
during the 1996 walkout, said he was able
to buy lecture notes for some of the class-
es he missed then, but that isn't an option
in the upper-level classes he's taking now.
"I don't honor this walkout as much
as the last one because I don't think the
problem should occur twice in a four-
year time span," Small said. "The prob-
lem should have been solved then."
GEO Chief Negotiator Eric Odier-Fink
was a GSI during the 1996 walkout, and
said 15 of his 75 students joined GEO's
picket line.
Others showed their support for the
GEO walkout in different ways. Trucks
delivering pepsi and cheese to the
Michigan Union turned around at the
picket line, and workers at two con-
struction sites on campus walked off
their job for the two days.
Odier-Fink said students and labor
unions have been more involved in this
years negotiations, which he attributes to
better networking between organizations.
Many GEO members, students and
faculty who remember the 1996 walk-
out note the differences between then

and now.
Gamble said the fact that GEO
brought fewer proposals to the adminis-
tration this year aided the process. GEO
made 39 proposals in 1996 but only 19
during this year's contract negotiations.
"We had to spend a lot of time (in
1996) just trying to research and under-
stand the proposals," Gamble said.
In addition to a wage increase pro-
posal, other GEO issues in 1996 includ-
ed proposals to compensate interna-
tional GSIs for summer training, insti-
tute affirmative action GSI hiring poli-
cies and create an ombuds to oversee
hiring of minority GSIs.
Negotiations eventually ended when
the state stepped in to mediate, and
GEO settled on the University's offer of
a 2.5 percent wage increase. "We didn't
like the 2.5 percent but we couldn't risk
getting nothing," Dirnbach said.
Barbara Murphy, assistant to LSA
Dean Patricia Gurin, is on the
University negotiating team and served
on it in 1996. She said the University
was surprised GEO decided to hold a
walkout after both sides had agreed to
let the state mediate.
But Dirnbach said the purpose of the
walkout was to "demonstrate our
strength to the University."
"It was successful in moving the
University a little in our direction;' he
said.
But Gamble disagreed.
"We might have moved on issues, but
not because of the walkout," he said.
If GEO members strike Monday, it
will be the second strike in GEO histo-
ry. In 1975, GEO held a month-long
strike to obtain legal recognition as a
union with the right to bargain con-
tracts. GEO has held walkouts twice
before 1996, both in 1991.

WALKOUT
Continued from Page 1
"I don't know if it was a self-interest thing and some people just didn't wantto
have class, but that's still 300 people who aren't going to be crossing the picket
line," Fry said.
Odier-Fink encouraged other students to act in a similar manner, adding that stu-
dents can also call Provost Nancy Cantor or members of the University Board of
Regents to complain about CEO's current contract.
Members of the GEO bargaining team will meet with the University again today
to negotiate their contract, which expired Feb. 4.
WANT TO WRITE FOR THE DAILY?
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The University of Michigan, Survey
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11!!7111= I II

11

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