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April 16, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-16

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 5A

Blanchard makes most of

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Forner Gov. James Blanchard
made the most money in 2001 among the six gubernatorial
candidates, according to 2001 income tax returns released
Blanchard released a summary showing he and his wife,
Janet, took in $581,418 in income last year and paid
$162,630 in state and federal taxes. He also paid $26,050 in
Canadian income taxes.
Blanchard, of Beverly Hills, said his income came from
his job as a partner in the Washington law firm of Verner,
Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand; paid positions on
corporate boards; and capital gains, dividends, interest and
an annuity.
Attorney General Jennifer Granholm of Northville said
she and her husband, Daniel Mulhern, had a total income
of $270,799 and paid $66,757 in state and federal 4axes.
They also paid $1,649 in local taxes to the cities of
Detroit and Lansing. Granholm earns $124,900 a year as
attorney general.
U.S. Rep. David Bonior of Mount Clemens said he and
his wife, Judy, had $164,517 in income and paid $29,668
in state and federal taxes. Of the total, job income
accounted for $139,855; most of the rest came from a
pension or annuity.
Granholm, Blanchard and Bonior are Democrats.
Among Republicans, Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus of Alto said
income for he and his wife, Pam, totaled $146,571. The, bulk
was from his $120,400 salary as lieutenant governor, with
$2,745 from farm rental income and $2,175 from an education

IRA withdrawal. The couple paid $30,503 in state and local
State Sen. John Schwarz said he had income of $242,000
and paid $65,060 in state and federal taxes. He made more
than $150,000 from his Battle Creek medical practice and
about $82,000 as a senator.
Ed Hamilton, a Troy businessman, said he and his
wife, Silvia, had $116,542 in total income, most of it
from retirement income that qualified for tax breaks.
Hamilton paid $18,374 in state and federal taxes.
The candidates also reported their charitable giving.
Schwarz gave $21,785 to charity; the Blanchards contributed
more than $21,000; Granholm and her husband gave $24,419,
including $5,290 carried over from the prior year; the Boniors
gave $11,710; the Posthumus family gave $4,810; and the
Hamiltons gave $3,000.
Granholm and Bonior released full copies of their tax
returns, while Posthumus and Blanchard released sum-
maries and made their full returns available upon
Hamilton and Schwarz gave the information in phone
Yesterday, Bonior challenged his opponents to fully
report not only the earned and unearned income for their
families, as they did in their tax returns, but to also
release an accounting of their assets, financial transac-
tions, gifts over $250, travel provided by outside groups,
a complete list of positions and appointments, and pay-
ments for speeches.

Ford Motor Company put a stop on all sales of the Focus SVT because of a problem with the cruise control, in which the
cruise control cable could become caught on the throttle, forcing it to remain open.
Ford stops Focus sale due
to cruise control proble-ms,

Big Game win less likely than
being struck by lightening bolt

ATLANTA (AP) - Consider the
morbid math: A dreamer playing the
$325 million Big Game lottery is 16
times more likely to be killed driving
to the gas station to buy a ticket than to
win the jackpot.
But the near-impossible chances-have
failed to deter thousands of frenzied lot-
tery players rushing to snap up tickets
for tonight's seven-state drawing.
The odds of winning are 1 in 76
"It's greed. Greed clouds good judg-
ment," said Les Krantz, a probability
expert who was busy yesterday calcu-
lating dozens of comparisons to show
just how unlikely winning is - but
who was holding a ticket himself.
At stores in seven states - Georgia,
Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia -
lotto hopefuls considered the long
odds and plunked down money any-
way, exchanging dollars for dreams.
"If you don't have a ticket, your odds
drop to zero;' reasoned Glenn Gosselin,

who bought a ticket at Neighborhood
Food Store in Springfield, Mass., where
the Big Game line wound from the cash
register to the door.
Big Game organizers bumped up the
jackpot up $25 million yesterday after
strong sales over the weekend. By the
drawing tonight, the prize could swell
past the U.S. record of $363 million,
split by two Big Game winners in 2000.
A single winner could take the cash
over 26 years or accept a one-time
$174 million payout - with at least
one-third taken out for taxes, of course.
Players must pick the payout option
when buying the ticket.
Darryl Hutchinson was pondering
the decision as he prepared to buy 10
tickets at a gas station in Roanoke, Va.
"I don't know if I'll take the annuity
or the lump sum," he said. "I'd retire. I'd
buy a house and maybe a fishing boat."
Never mind that the odds are bet-
ter - thousands of times better,
according to Krantz - that the Earth
will be destroyed by a meteorite than

that one of Hutchinson's tickets will
be a winner.
"They just see this impossibly huge
amount of money out there, not the
impossibly long odds against them,"
said W. Scott Wood, who teaches a
class at Drake University on the psy-
chology of gambling. "They're pur-
chasing a daydream."
More perspective: A person's chance
of being hit by lightning in a lifetime is
1 in 9,100 - more than 8,000 times
more likely than being the next Big
Game winner, Krantz said.
But don't tell that to Dave Swiders-
ki, a financial planner from Cherry
Hill, N.J., who bought seven Big Game
tickets yesterday at the News Nook in
nearby Merchantville.
"Sure," he said. "You can't get
struck by lightning either."
At a newsstand in Grand Rapids,
Mich., sales were strong yesterday, and,
the store is bracing for even more cus-
tomers today. Jon Purdy of Ada
snapped up $10 in tickets.

DETROIT (AP) - Ford Motor Co.
says its notice to dealers to stop deliv-
ering Focus SVT cars because of a
cruise control problem is not a sign the
automaker's quality problems are
An attorney working with a safety
consultant, however, says the automak-
er's systems are dangerously flawed.
The problem with the cruise control
cable was discovered during an inter-
nal quality audit at the Hermosillo,
Mexico, assembly plant where the cars
are built, Ford spokesman Todd Nissen
said yesterday.
"We take quality seriously. That's
why we do these quality audits at plants
to try to avoid these things," he said.
The "stop sale" order involves 569
Focus SVT cars, a "small number" of
which have been delivered to cus-
tomers, Nissen said. The cable could
become caught on part of the throttle
body assembly, causing the throttle to
become stuck open.
No accidents or injuries have been
reported as a result of the problem,
Nissen said.
Delivery of cars to dealers is being
delayed a few weeks while the problem
is fixed at the plant. Most of the vehi-
cles affected were built from early
March to early April.

Customers who have taken delivery
will be able to have their cars retrofit-
ted with the new parts as they come in,
Nissen said.
An attorney working with Safetyfo-
rum.com, an Arlington, Va.-based safety
consulting organization, said problems
with malfunctioning cruise control
mechanisms on Ford vehicles have
resulted in at least one death and several
crashes. In those cases, the throttle stuck
open and drivers could not stop their
vehicles, said the attorney, Hike Heiskell.
"There is a huge and growing body
of evidence that the electronics of
these systems pick up signals from
other engine components and random
signals from airport transmitters, caus-
ing sensors to believe the driver is put-
ting in a higher speed command,"
Heiskell said.
The automaker has denied there are
any problems with its cruise control
"Our data shows there is no issue
with speed control design,"Nissen said.
Ford has suffered through several
rocky launches in the last few years,
and its rating in industry quality stud-
ies has stagnated. The company has
made quality improvement a priority
as part of the restructuring plan it
announced in January.

John Tewes, a spokesman for J.D.
Power and Associates, which publishes
the widely followed annual Initial
Quality Study, said the fact that Ford
caught the problem before too many
vehicles reached customers is a sign
"Ford has really tightened quality
checks, and apparently it's working."
Over the last two years, Ford has
raised its quality standing in the premi-
um compact segment, which the Focus
SVT occupies, but is still slightly
below industry average, Tewes said.
The next Initial Quality Study will
be released at the end of May.
The automaker is in the midst of the
launch of the much higher volume and
profitable redesigned Ford Expedition
and is readying the summer launch of
the redesigned Lincoln Navigator.
One analyst said the problem in the
much smaller volume - and less
expensive - Focus SVT may just be a'
case of Ford taking its eye off the ball
while making sure more important
launches are trouble-free.
"They've got to make sure the risk is
as low as possible on a super-high-vol-
ume vehicle like the Expedition;" said
Jim Hall, vice president of AutoPacific.
Ford says there have been no glitch-
es so far in the launch of the new


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