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November 06, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-06

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 6, 2000

<t}e I2t a

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at theig
University of Michigan

Ed
E d;

ilu
MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
it i ACHENBAUM
itorial Page Editor
n of the majority of
cartoons do not
.aily.

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion
the Daily s editorial board. All other artice s, letters and
necessanly reflect the opinion of Te Mtchigan L

It's not too late for a good ol' dogfight
A s the fireworks exploded over head and the at it, wishing the Simpson's rerun would return t
music blared from the speakers set up to so that we can avoid another Dianne Byrum I
amplify Al Gore's speech to the masses braving appeal or a cop cheesily endorsing Spence
the chill in Dearborn last night, the entire cam- Abraham. My record right now is five ads in a
paign came into focus. As the vice president row during one commercial break. If you can
shook hands with well wishers - many of beat that, let me know. In fact, while I've been i
them union members writing this column, I've matched that record t
and young people who and seen two three-in-a-row streaks to boot.
had just cheered him We're getting a lot of the attention right now t
through his speech - - Gor's visit yesterday is followed by anotherc
Fat Boy Slim's "Praise today, and W was in Dearborn Saturday, days i
You" had the crowd after Ralph Nader was in the same city. News-
rockin'. papers are sending reporters here, just to check i
But as the red white out the scene in the state. Advocacy groups
and blue spirit dissipat- have top officials in the state to try to turn out t
ed from the crowd and Y the vote. And the media is eating it up. Just read
the field outside the Stu- this column if you need proof of that.
dent Activities Building But it's tiring. It's taxing. And it's expensive.
on the University's The money, the time, the spinning and the f
Dearborn campus k planning have all come down to this - an elec-I
cleared out, one thing Spahn tion that will certainly come down to the wee I
was clear: No one really ra or hours of the morning when the final votes are I
cared what he said how counted. And now the candidates have turned
he said it or what music toi from their populist messages of inclusion and t
was played. This "cam- broad based appealing, turning instead to the
paign of issues" was coming down to a dog- key constituencies that can win them key parts t
fight. A good old-fashioned war amongst the of key states, which, when all counted will win t
parties for every last vote in the key states. the Electoral College. No more talk of bringing l
It was great. members of the opposite party into their camps.I
As all of us are inundated with advertising Both candidates seem to only care about push-t
and candidate visits, filled in by surrogate visits ing for the base, with Gore appealing to minori-l
from actors and advocates, many are just tuning ties and unions while Bush appeals to the social
the entire thing out. New Yorkers and North conservatives and goes after the Democrats.
Dakotans only wish for the amount of attention Perhaps we're in luck. Through all the crap
this state has received in the waning moments - the commercials, the records being distorted,
of this election of the millennium. But we scowl the direct mail, everything, this race, for the first

Rep. poised to be a successful Senator
T he stakes are high in the race that tax credit to a significant 28 per-
between Debbie Stabenow and cent.
incumbent Spence Abraham for The issue of astronomically rising
Michigan's contested Senate seat. prescription drug prices is a relevant
There is a great difference in the issue to many students and especially
positions and records of these two to those with aging grandparents
candidates and it is clear that Debbie and/or parents nearing retirement.
Stabenow is the best choice for the Stabenow has almost singlehandedly
Senate. brought the price of prescription
Stabenow's commitment to gun drugs into the national spotlight by
control, increasing accessibility to drivng seniors to Canada to buy their
education and job training by pro- drugs at prices far lower than those in
moting tax credits for Americans the United States. Many seniors cur-
seeking to learn new skills, lower rently spend a substantial part of their
prescription drug monthly Social Secu-
prices and letting Of immediate rity check on pre-
patients and doctors scription drugs. In
make health care s to studnts some cases, this has
decisions together inteestto tudnts lead to seniors hav-
make her the best ing to choose
person to represent between eating and
students and festate r edtax redit buying the drugs
of Michigan in the propothey need. If anyone
Senate.f is ualified to deal
While gun control f iwit this problem, it
has been overshad- isStabenow.
owed by other impor- srg "n topay iStabenow's sup-
tant issues, many of for hnhe d,,,atirn o rt for a "Patient's
which affect older Bihigher education ill of Rights" is yet
voters, Stabenow has an train other factor that
still championed a andjo t iing. makes her the better
variety of necessary choice for Senator.
gun control measures. In addition to Unfortunately, the rhetoric on both
the "common sense" proposals that sides of this issue has reduced the
people on both sides of the gun con- debate to a series of sound bites and
trol issue support such as enforcing hard luck stories. Still, when it comes
existing statutes, Stabenow has made to the Patient's Bill of Rights,
it clear that she will support other Stabenow's positions trump Abra-
much-needed legislation such as ham's hands down. There is a genuine
mandatory chil d safety locks on problem when Health Maintenance
firearms and requiring background Organizations can overrule doctors'
checks at people buying weapons at decisions as to which treatment
gun shows. regimes are most appropriate for
Of immediate interest to students individual patients. Among other fea-
is Stabenow's proposed tax credit for tures, Stabenow's plan would give
families struggling to pay for an patients access to experimental thera-
undergraduate or graduate education pies if conventional treatments fail,
or job training. Stabenow has pro- let patients sue their HMO's when
posed an addition to the Lifetime denied necessary treatment and for-
Learning Tax Credit. That tax credit bid HMO's from charging patients for
currently grants families a 20 percent going to the closest emergency room.
tax credit up to $5,000 for college Stabenow's positions and experience
tuition; starting in 2003, the thresh- in the House of Representatives make
old will be increased to $10,000. her the best choice for Senator. Vote
Stabenow has advocated increasing Debbie Stabenow for U.S. Senate.
2000 election too important to stay home
B y now, the rhetoric is probably tion must pas through Congress.
tiring: Vote because it's your This year, the balance of power is up
civic duty. Vote because it's un- for grabs in both the United States
American not to. Vote to take part in House of Representatives and the
a democratic process often taken for Senate, and in various state houses of
granted. Still, put the cliches aside Congress. By not voting, citizens are
and what is left is a close election risking the possibility of lacking rep-
with serious issues at stake. Vote on resentation not only in the Oval
November 7th for one reason - Office, but in Congress as well.
because it matters. Also on the ballot this year are a
The primary office up for election number of important initiatives,
on Tuesday is the presidency. Often, including one on school vouchers. On
voter apathy is attrib- Tuesday, voters will
uted to the fact that f too decide whether stu-
the candidates running hools can transfer
for office have moremuha stk to solscnrnfe
similarities than dif- funds to another
ferences. While this school in the form of
year's Presidential 1 Stay Ith II a monetary voucher.
candidates have com- This proposal will
monalities, their differences are sig- have a profound influence over the
nificant. Bush and Gore support future of the educational system. Vot-
divergent policies on education, abor- ers should not pass up the chance to
tion, gun control, tax issues, affirma- voice their opinion on this issue.
tive action, campaign-finance reform While the primary reason to vote
and basic civil rig hts, among other on Tuesday is due to clear choices on
things. Based on Tuesday's efection, important issues, a civil obligation
one of two very different platforms should not be overlooked. Anyone
will be imlemented over the next who reads the international section of

four years. There is simply too much a newspaper or glances at the nightly
at stake to stay at home. news knows that many countries do
Besides the presidential election, not enjoy the democratic process
there are a number of other important practiced in the United States. The
elections and initiatives on the ballot. health and preservation of any
While the presidency is the most democracy depends on continual par-
powerful office at stake, anyone with ticipation by its citizens. No matter
the knowledge of the legislative sys- who you vote for on Tuesday, remem-
tem knows that the President alone ber that any vote is a vote for democ-
cannot implement policy - legisla- racy.

ime in years, may actually come down to the
people. Who votes, who doesn't.
And that's the way it's supposed to be.
Now, those undecided voters out there can
actually look at the candidates' priorities and
make an informed decision. It seems that all the
attention we're being paid could end up to be an
advantage. Hopefully all the money being spent
can be forgotten and since things ate so close,
citizens will actually see the importance of vot-
og.
The system is not working. Money is buy-
ng influence and deciding elections. That's
wrong. The one thing each of us should be able
o agree upon is the need for campaign finance
reform, and only one candidate has said that
will be priority No. I in his new administration.
This campaign of issues has, for a while, been
enjoyable, with the candidates hitting the stump
being, if anything, too specific. But the cam-
paign degenerated, falling into the attack ad
back and forth to which we've become accus-
tomed. Hopefully now, in the final moments, we
turn off the ads and turn back to the issues.
Al Gore has taken to saying that despite all
the special interests and money spewed around
this electoral process, there's one day, one time,
built into the Constitution, that gives the people
the power. One day that forced special interests
to sweat. That's the way it should be. We should
have a dogfight. We should have grassroots
organizing deciding the election.
And that day is tomorrow, Election Day.
Take advantage of it.
- Mike Spahn can be reached via e-mail
at mspahn@umich.edu.

drug that's safer than alcohol or tobacco.'
- Rackham student and Libertarian candidate for mayor of Ann Arbor Charles
Goodman at Friday's rally for legalizing medicinal martiuana in the Diag.

4

/ MrUic UUIc manve
misrepresented Law
School admissions
TO THE DAILY:
I write to correct a possible misimpres-
sion.
The Nov. 2nd issue of the Daily includes
an article titled "Sides Clash During Forum
on Lawsuit." The article reports an
exchange between Erika Dowdell and Carl
Cohen. A casual reader of that exchange
might easily infer that, "white students
applying to the University's Law School
have a low admittance rate, while African
American students have a higher rate of
acceptance."
The facts are as follows:
Our admissions office received 3,432
applications for admission to the class that
entered this September.
* Among the 1,871 applicants who
identified themselves as "White," 38 percent
were offered admission.
Among the 247 applicants who identi-
fied themselves as "Black/African Ameri-
can." 35 percent were offered admission.
Among the 367 students who ulti-
mately enrolled in the first-year class, 10
percent are African American.
JEFFREY S. LEHMAN
DEAN, LAW SCHOOL
Proposal I will not
improve education
TO THE DAILY:
Proposal 1 should not be passed. Equal
education for all is a wonderful idea, but
the programs offered in this proposal will
not provide it.
Proposal I proponents claim that its pas-
sage will cure the problems in our schools.
It offers mandatory teacher testing and the
voucher program. This insinuates that stu-
dents fail because their teachers and
schools are incompetent. Instead of focus-
ing solely on the minority who are inade-
quate teachers, why not look at the teachers
in these "failing" schools who are running
ideal classrooms, but struggling because
they don't receive parental support?
We live in a society where some parents
expect schools to raise their children',
instead of raising them themselves. How
many products offer to do the jobs that par-
ents should be doing? "Buy this book and
your daughter can teach herself to read."
Why not pick up a book and teach your
child to read? Show her the cover, move
your finger to show her where your eyes
are. "Buy some ready to bake cookies and
make them with your child." Why not actu-
ally measure the ingredients so that your
child can learn about fractions and practice
following directions? It's frightening how
many students don't come into the class-
roonn with the basic foundation necessary
for academic success. A voucher program
and teacher testing will not ensure that stu-
dents get enough sleep to perform in the
classroom. A voucher program and teacher
testing will not ensure that students do their
homework and practice skills. Only parents
can do this. A voucher program and teacher
testing will not make a child respect the
value of education. Parents need to help do
this.
Students without parental support and
academic expectations will struggle no mat-
ter what school district they attend school
in. You will still have schools where stu-
dents fail and other schools where students
succeed. The voucher program will only
make segregation worse as strong students
leave "failing schools." Instead of placing
blame on teachers, look to the parents that
are not helping educate their children. If
there is little or no support at home, schools

cannot be expected to bring students to
their full potential alone.
CATHERINE GABE
EDUCATION SENIOR
Current regents
should be re-elected
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to thank the Daily for its edi-
torial "Vote for Dietch, McGowen" (11/1/00).
Many students do not realize the impact that
the upcoming regents' election could have on
the University.
As has been previously stated, the Republi-
can candidates, if elected, would push to end
the University's defense in the current two
admissions lawsuits. The Republican candi-
dates are seemingly unaware of the Universi-
ty's admissions policies, yet they openly
criticize those policies.
The election of the two Republican candi-
dates, Wendy Anderson (R-Commerce Twp.)
and Suzy Avery (R-Grand Rapids) would
affect more than just the admissions policies
of the University. Phil Power, a regent from
1987-1998, recently wrote a letter to the Daily,
"Republican Regent Candidates Threaten 'U'
Stability" (10/23/00), which stated that if
elected, a Republican majority on the Board of
Regents would "prefer to engineer (Lee
Bollinger's) departure from the presidency."
Should this occur, the stability of the Universi-
ty would be threatened by partisan politics in a
place where people should put aside their
political beliefs for the good of the University.
Too often, people feel that elections do not
have any significant impact on their lives. This
election, however, will have real impact on the
students, faculty and staff of the University
because the stability of President Bollinger's
leadership will be undermined or eliminated
and the cultural, educational and social advan-
tages afforded to all of us as a result of the
University's diversity will be diminished or
lost. I encourage everyone to consider the
affect their vote will have on the University
community and to make an informed decision
when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

Daily's editorial board feel that bad public
schools should be allowed to hold their "cus-
tomers," the students, trapped in their sub-par
local school. Heaven forbid that these "cus-
tomers" be allowed to take their business else-
where when service is bad as they would do in
any other non-government business in the U.S..
This freedom might force the schools to, gasp,
improve their quality to keep pupils!
To counter this point the Daily states that
the Catch-22 this creates causes a type of death
spiralthat dooms the school (i.e. fewer students
= less money = no funds to improve). Perhaps
this is what the school needs in the first place.
If some of the lower quality schools are forced
to close (as a business would be) the public
school system would be forced to consolidate
these schools into the higher quality public
schools remaining, benefiting both the students
from the poor school and those from the higher
quality school with more resources. It is likely
that this would also result in more students
attending private schools, which would be theira-
choice to make.
As for your argument that the well-to-do
would also be able to take advantage of these
vouchers, well, isn't that their right? Are only
the poor in this country entitled to their tax dol-
lars working for them? It seems that many of
the socialistic arguments that the Daily has 4
made in the past try to paint the rich as taking
advantage of the poor but isn't it just as likely
that they became well-to-do through hard
work, ability and determination'?
I see the school voucher as a great opportu-
nity for the poor in Michigan as well as the
well-off. It will inevitably lead to better schools
and more prepared students who will become
more productive members of the workforce.
JASON SMITH
ALUMNUS 4
Daily has 'problem
with the truth'
TO THE DAILY:
Why doesn't the Daily save some editorial
space and just tell everyone on this campus to
vote a straight Democratic ticket, seeing as you
love them so much?
But why anyone would vote for someone or
something just because the Daily says to is
beyond me. Do you think that students here
cannot make up their own minds? If you (heav-
en forbid) presented thefacts from both sides,
it wouldntbe demeaning to the students. But I
doubt that will happen, since the Daily seems
to have a problem with the truth. Hey! No
wonder you like Al Gore so much.
AMY OLSZEWSKI
RC SENIOR

Vouchers ar
opportunity1
TO THE DAILY:
It is clear from the Da
on Nov. Ist ("No on Pro

ANDREw DE YOE
LSA SOPHOMORE
e a great
for poor
ily's recent editorial
aposal 1") that the

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