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December 08, 2003 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-12-08

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December 8, 2003
02003 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Vol. CXIII, No. 66

One-hundred-thirteen years ofeditoridfreedom

New coalition to challenge Connerly initiative

By Jeremy Berkowitz
Daily Staff Reporter
The University received support from
numerous businesses and individuals last year
when its race-conscious admissions policies
went before the U.S. Supreme Court. Now,
those same forces are preparing for another
fight as the American Civil Rights Coalition
hopes to nullify the same admissions policies
with a statewide ballot initiative.
Citizens for a United Michigan, headed by
retired Brig. Gen. Michael Rice, was formed
recently by a collaboration of the AFL-CIO,
Critics say
bribe was
offered to
Democrats: GOP
congressmen pitched
deal to Rep. Nick Smith
By Andrew Kaplan
Daily Staff Reporter

the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People and the Michigan Catholic
Conference. Rice said the group plans to fight
to preserve the use of race in admissions.
An initiative by University of California
Regent and ACRC founder Ward Connerly, to
amend the state constitution prohibiting race-
conscious admissions and other state pro-
grams that take race into account, is expected
to be approved Thursday by the Michigan
Board of State Canvassers.
Afterward, Connerly's group has six months
to gather 317,000 signatures to get the initia-
tive on next November's ballot. The coalition

plans to start its drive next month.
Rice said his group is starting to build an
advertising campaign to convince voters that
this initiative is bad for the state.
"We're working on a website ... we'll be buy-
ing media time, maybe even billboards," Rice
said. "This (petition) is wrong for Michigan."
Rice added that he plans on building a
broad coalition throughout the state to include
more than just liberals.
"This is a nonpartisan effort to defeat a bal-
lot proposal," Rice said, referring to the state
Republican Party's refusal to endorse Conner-
ly. "We're capitalizing on that and we're build-

ing on this coalition to be very inclusive."
Although the state party remains neutral on
the issue, a group of 20 Republican state leg-
islators, headed by Reps. Jack Brandenburg of
Harrison Township and Leon Drolet of Clin-
ton Township, pledged their support to Con-
nerly this fall, but Rice said he is unconcerned
about them.
Justin Jones, director of policy and planning
for the American Civil Rights Coalition, said
he looks forward to the competition.
"I'm not worried at all," Jones said. "I look
forward to debating with them."
Some areas of Michigan are strongly con-

servative, especially the western part of the
state and the Upper Peninsula. Rice said he
hopes to focus more on converting the unde-
cided voters than on persuading those who
already hold strong positions against affirma-
tive action.
"I would love to convert everybody, but I
don't know if that's possible," Rice said.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said
she is not surprised by the outpouring of sup-
port, especially after more than 300 organiza-
tions filed 60 Supreme Court briefs in support
of the University earlier this year. The court

-!- 919M.''T77, , MM7777.,WW,,

Blue accepts
bowl bid amid
BCS debate

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor

Michigan Democrats say the pas-
sage of major Medicare legislation,
which just barely snaked through
Congress last month, was nearly
tainted by a bribe - but its source
and its substance are in dispute.
In written statements released late
last week, U.S. Rep. Nick Smith (R-
Addison) -
whose district
covers most of
Washtenaw Coun-
ty, not including
Ann Arbor - and
the Michigan
Democratic Party
each affirm that
Smith was
offered financial
NICJk Siiiith or political incen-
tives to vote yes
on the bill.
Smith - who ultimately voted
against the health care legislation and
was unavailable for comment - has
said the proposal came from outside
Congress and would have provided
political backing for his son Brad
Smith's congressional campaign to
succeed his father. Michigan Democ-
rats said they suspect Republican
congressmen - including a high-
ranking Michigan representative -
of pledging $100,000 to the cam-
paign in exchange for the elder
Smith's "yes" vote on the bill.
Breaking with claims made by
Michigan Democrats, Brad Smith
said he hesitates to even call the
offer a "bribe."
"My understanding is that the
night of the vote, leading up to the
vote, groups were offering very
substantial and aggressive support
for my campaign," Smith said. "Call
that what you will - I would not
call it a bribe.
"I have never heard of a (dollar)
number," he added.
The candidate Smith said the offer
came from interest groups who might
benefit from the passage of the bill.
"I think (the offer) probably came
from industry groups," he said,
adding that insurance companies
likely approached his father.
Referring to Nick Smith's state-
ments, Mark Brewer, executive
chair of the Michigan Democrats,
said, "His statement makes it clear
that things were offered - cam-
paign endorsements and so forth -
so those things are equal violations
of the law as if they were money."
Current federal anti-bribery law cen-
sures an individual who, "directly or
indirectly," makes promises to public
officials or persons "selected to be"
public officials with the intent to affect
the outcome of an act, such as a vote.
Both sources said the U.S.
Department of Justice has decided
to investigate the alleged bribe.
"The Justice Department has said
they're going to look into it," Brew-
er said. "We need to get to the bot-
tom of this. ... This bill passed by
the slimmest of margins and if peo-
ple were bribed to get their votes,
we need to know about it."

Running back David Underwood, right, and defensive lineman L~arry Stevens hold a rose as they celebrate with fans on the
Big House field after Michigan's win over Ohio State sealed the Wolverines' fate as Big Ten champs.
Student bowl tickets available today

It turns out Michigan will play in a
national title bowl after all.
The Wolverines, who officially
accepted a Rose Bowl bid yesterday,
will match up against Southern Cal.
on Jan. 1, 2004. The Trojans were left
out of the Sugar Bowl, the Bowl
Championship Series title game, but
coach Pete Carroll said that as far as
he's concerned, his team will be play-
ing for the national championship in
That's because his Trojans are
ranked No. 1 in the country in both
the Associated Press and the
Coaches polls. The
coaches are obliged
to choose the BCS
championship bowl
winner as the nation- sr e
al champion, but the Di're
media is not. So if pae
Southern Cal. wins parking,
the Rose Bowl, it
could be named
national champion
by the AP and share pa
the title with either
Oklahoma or
Louisiana State, who will play in the
Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.
Carroll expressed no bitterness
about his Trojans, ranked third in the
BCS, not making the Sugar Bowl.
Southern Cal. has been on the Sugar
Bowl bubble since losing to Califor-
nia on Sept. 27, but Carroll said his
team didn't dwell on the BCS stand-
"We weren't going to be worried
about it and concerned with it because
we had no control over it," Carroll
said. "We want to get to the Rose
Bowl and win the Rose Bowl - that's
what the goals of this program are all
about. So we want to take that oppor-
tunity in hand and go for it.
"The fact that there's a little contro-
versy with it just makes it that much

more interesting."
Southern Cal. won't go to New
Orleans because Louisiana State, now
ranked No. 2 by the media and coach-
es, jumped the Trojans in the BCS
after winning the SEC championship
this weekend. The Tigers had been
behind the Trojans in the BCS rank-
ings, but Louisiana State's win over
Georgia boosted its strength of sched-
ule and helped move it ahead of
Southern Cal. The Trojans won the
Pac-10 Championship Saturday with a
52-28 victory over unranked Oregon
Previously undefeated Oklahoma
dropped to No. 3 in the voter polls
after getting trounced by Kansas
State, 35-7, Saturday.
But the Sooners
remained on top of
the BCS because of
A ROSFO their strong schedule.
The BCS system
takes into account
the human polls and
seven computer
u-;rankings, as well as
strength of schedule
and records.
This year's bowl
picture just added to
the BCS's controver-
sial history. Under the system, which
was implemented in the 1998 season,
the No. 2 team in the human polls has
twice been excluded from the BCS
championship game (Miami in 2000
and Oregon in 2001). But this is the
first time the consensus No. 1 team
will not play in the title bowl. Adding
to the debate, Oklahoma will play for
the national title despite not winning
its conference title.
"I have no real good sense of how
this thing works, so I'm not a very
good one to criticize it," Carroll said.
But he added that "from a coach's per-
spective and from a competitive per-
spective," there's one good solution. "I
don't know how to fix the system
other than to play it off."
See ROSE BOWL, Page 3A

By Ashley Dinges
Daily Staff Reporter
Now that Michigan's trip to the
Rose Bowl is official, the Michigan
ticket office has opened registration
for tickets to student season-ticket
holders. Beginning today, students can
apply for tickets to the game, either
alone or in groups.
The Ticket Office will be organiz-
ing the sale of the tickets in the same
manner as for regular away games.
Season ticket holders can begin apply-
ing today, on the Ticket Office's web-
site, www.mgoblue.com/ticketojfice. A
$15-surcharge will be added to the
ticket price of $125.
If the demand for tickets exceeds

the number available, a lottery will be
held. But a group of students is con-
sidered one application, so the entire
group will be ineligible if their num-
ber is not drawn.
In addition, students may only pur-
chase tickets for themselves, and not
for friends or other non-students. A
student ID and alternate form of photo
identification must be presented when
picking up tickets on Dec. 30 and 31
in Pasadena.
"The reason we are doing that is so
the students who really want to go can
get tickets. We have a better shot of
meeting the demand," said Marty
Bodnar, director of ticket operations
for the Michigan athletic department.
Many students oppose the athletic

department's ticket prices because no
discount is offered for students. All
tickets will be sold at face-value price,
prompting many students to seek
other means of purchasing tickets.
LSA senior Maria Arnold is debating
whether or not to purchase tickets
through the Pasadena Tournament of
Roses website, rosebowl.com.
"Michigan should support students
and want them to go. Encourage your
students to have some school spirit,"
Arnold said.
Although rosebowl.com sells tickets
for $125, they must be purchased
through Ticketmaster, and students
may encounter a surcharge there as
"well, similar to the charge imposed by
See TICKETS, Page 3A

Criticisms prompt second
Plymouth Road traffic studyj

Hallelujah for Handel

By Mona Rafeeq
Daily Staff Reporter
Muslim community leaders say they believe
the city's original analysis of the intersection
where two Engineering students were killed
was poorly done, prompting city officials to
conduct another study of the area.
The November study examined the intersec-
tion of Plymouth Road and Beal Street, to
determine if a pedestrian-activated traffic light
is warranted. The new study's results will be
released Feb. 17.
Some city officials are concerned that an
unwarranted signal could cause problems in
traffic flow in the area.
The study came after Teh Nannie Roshema
Roslan and Norhananim Zainol died while
crossing Plymouth on their way home from an
evening prayer at the Islamic Center of Ann
The report lists 11 conditions which, if met,
could warrant a traffic light but the report stat-
ed that none were met.
These requirements for traffic signals come
from the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic

According to City Administrator Roger
Fraser, the traffic counts are usually performed
by mechanical counters, but the counter
machines malfunctioned due to the cold
Leszek Sipowski, who is the senior project
manager for the city and prepared the report,
said it is difficult to tell why the traffic coun-
ters malfunctioned.
"In low temperatures it very often is a droplet
of water freezing in the hoses. In this particular
case, it could have been also a slow speed of
Islamic Center traffic;" Sipowski said.
Due to the counters' malfunction, the report
was based on manual counts made by city
technicians, which Muslim leaders say are
Islamic Center President Nazih Hassan said
the technicians were not present during peak
traffic times.
Last month was Ramadan, the fasting month
for Muslims, and Taraweeh prayers were held
each evening. Hassan said the prayers drew
about 600 to 700 people each night, with cars
arriving between 6 and 7 p.m.
The technicians were present for the

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