The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 3A
Alaska senate race
Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest
serving Republican in Senate
history, narrowly lost his re-
election bid yesterday, marking
the downfall of a Washington
political power and Alaska icon
who couldn't survive a con-
viction on federal corruption
charges. His defeat by Anchor-
age Mayor Mark Begich moves
Senate Democrats within two
seats of a filibuster-proof
Stevens' ouster on his 85th
birthday marks an abrupt realign-
ment in Alaska politics and will
alter the power structure in the
Senate, where he has served since
the days of the Johnson admin-
istration while holding seats on
some of the most influential com-
mittees in Congress.
The crotchety octogenarian
built like a birch sapling likes to
encourage comparisons with the
Incredible Hulk, but he occupies
an outsized place in Alaska history.
His involvement in politics dates to
the days before Alaska statehood,
and he is esteemed for his ability to
secure billions of dollars in federal
aid for transportation and military
projects. The Anchorage airport
bears his name; in Alaska, it's sim-
ply "Uncle Ted."
Big Three beg for
$25 billion bailout
A Detroit's Big Three automak-
ers pleaded with a reluctant Con-
gress yesterday for a $25 billion
lifeline to save the once-proud
titans of U.S. industry, pointedly
warning of a national economic
catastrophe should they collapse.
Millions of layoffs would follow
their demise, they said, as dam-
aging effects rippled across an
But the new rescue plan ap-
peared stalled on Capitol Hill, op-
posed by the Bush administration
and Republicans in Congress who
don't want to dip into the Trea-
sury Department's $700 billion
financial bailout program to come
up with the $25 billion in loans
Rank and file Republicans and
Democrats from states heav-
ily impacted by the auto industry
worked behind the scenes trying
to hammer out a compromise that
could speed some aid to the auto-
makers before year's end. But it
was an uphill fight.
indicted in Texas
Vice PresidentDick Cheney and
former Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales have been indicted on
state charges involving federal
prisons in a South Texas county
that has been a source of bizarre
legal and political battles under
the outgoing prosecutor.
The indictment returned Mon-
day has not yet been signed by the
presiding judge, and no action can
be taken until that happens.
The seven indictments made
public in Willacy County on Tues-
day included one naming state
Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. and some tar-
geting public officials connected
to District Attorney Juan Angel
Guerra's own legal battles.
Regarding the indictments tar-
geting the public officials, Guerra
said, "the grand jury is the one that
made those decisions, not me."
Guerra himself was under
indictment for more than a year
and half until a judge dismissed
the indictments last month. Guer-
ra's tenure ends this year after
nearly two decades in office.
Holder top choice
for Att'y General
President-elect Barack Obama's
top choice for attorney general is
Eric Holder, a former No. 2 Justice
Department official in the Clinton
administration and Obama cam-
paign aide who would become the
first African American to serve as
the nation's chief lawyer.
The Obama transition team
has gone so far as to ask sena-
tors whether they would confirm
Holder, who reviewed Clinton's
controversial pardon of fugitive
Marc Rich just leaving office, an
Obama official and people close to
the matter said yesterday.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Suspect in dorm
Clinton being vetted for State post
Rick Ramon was
arrested on Friday
By LINDY STEVENS
The primary suspect in a
string of recent residence hall
thefts was arrested by the Mich-
igan Department of Corrections,
University Police reported yes-
Rick Ramon, of the Kalama-
zoo area, is suspected to have
been involved in as many as 13
burglaries on campus and in the
greater Ann Arbor area.
University Police have issued
two felony warrants for Ramon
in connection with the Nov. 5
burglary at West Quad Resi-
dence Hall and the burglary at
Alice Lloyd Residence Hall the
Ramon has a third warrant
for failing to appear in court
after being charged in a retail
fraud case in Battle Creek last
University Police spokes-
woman Diane Brown told The
Michigan Daily earlier this
week that Ramon has already
been charged with first-degree
The felony carries a sentence
of up to 20 years in prison.
University Police canceled a
campus crime alert issued after
the residence hall thefts on Nov.
6. The Michigan Department
of Corrections apprehended
Ramon last Friday.
Once under fire,
Sen. Lieberman keeps
committee chair seat
once a staunch
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen.
Joe Lieberman willkeep his chair-
manship of the Senate Homeland
Security Committee despite hard
feelings over his support for GOP
nominee John McCain during the
The Connecticut independent
will lose a post on the Environment
and Public Works panel as punish-
ment for criticizing Obama this fall.
Lieberman's colleagues in the
Democratic caucus voted 42-13
Tuesday to approve a resolution
condemning statements made by
Lieberman during the campaign
but allowinghimto keep the Home-
land Security Committee gavel.
Majority Leader Harry Reid,
D-Nev., said he had been very
angry about Lieberman's actions
but that "we're looking forward,
we're not looking back."_
Added Reid: "This was not a
time for retribution, it was a time
for moving forward on the prob-
lems of this country."
Lieberman's grasp on his chair-
manship had gotten stronger since
President-elect Barack Obama sig-
From Page 1A
"The evidence shows that Larry
made a habit of taking thousands
of dollars from clients and never
did the work he was paid to do,"
the report said.
One of the former clients fea-
her he lost his license to practice
law because he had been cashing
his parents' monthly retirement
checks for five years after they had
already been deceased.
Bill Proctor, the WXYZ anchor
was asked to return $25,874.73 to
Ford Motor Company, where his
father was an employee, but that
there was no record that he ever
University spokeswoman Kelly
Cunninghamdeclined to comment
on the reasoning behind his with-
drawal from classes this term, call-
ing it a personnel matter.
When reached by phone last
night, Greene also declined com-
ment on why he withdrew from
the classes. He said he is in the hos-
pital and is "severely injured."
Greene said reporters are con-
stantly investigating him. "I did
nothing wrong," he said. "I am
proud of my affiliation with the
University of Michigan."
Several of Greene's former
and current students expressed
disappointment in the Univer-
sity's judgment to hire Greene,
given his legal history. Accord-
ing to state Attorney Discipline
Board records, Greene has been
disbarred twice - once in 1998
and another time in 2003.
"I trusted his knowledge
because he's a professor here
at the University of Michigan.
Obviously I thought we could
have a higher caliber of faculty,"
said LSA junior James Dean,
who is currently enrolled in
Dean said if he had known
about Greene's history of legal
troubles, he would not have
enrolled in one of his classes.
"There are obviously moral
issues involved," he said.
LSA senior Rob Abb, who took
a judicial internship and several
naled to Democratic leaders that
berman for boosting McCain and
criticizing the Democratic nominee
during the long campaign.
"This is the beginning of a new
chapter, and I know that my col-
leagues in the Senate Democratic
Caucus were moved not only by
the kind words that Senator Reid
said about my longtime record, but
by the appeal from President-elect
Obama himself that the nation
now unite to confront our very
serious problems," Lieberman said
after the vote.
Anger toward Lieberman seems
to have softened since Election
Day, and Democrats didn't want
to drive him from the Democratic
caucus by taking away his chair-
manship, and as a result send the
wrong signals as Obama takes
office on a pledge to unite the
country. Lieberman had indicated
it would be unacceptable for him'
to lose his chairmanship.
Lieberman, who was Democrat-
it presidential nominee Al Gore's
running mate in 2000, was re-
elected in 2006 as an independent
after losing his state's Democratic
primary to Greenwich business-
man Ned Lamont amid intense
anti-war sentiment. Lieberman is
a strong supporter of the war.
other classes with Greene, said he
had heard rumors of Greene's legal
troubles, but did not give much
weight to them because he was a
Abb, who said he nearly asked
Greene for aletter ofrecommenda-
tion to aid in his lawschool applica-
tion process, said he feels relieved
that he didn't follow through with
Dean said several students in
Greene's class have expressed dis-
satisfaction because the switch to
substitute professors also meant a
switch to new course materials.
"We bought these books for
class, and now we're not going to
use them anymore, and that's $200
gone," Dean said.
Some students also said the
arrangement with three fill-in pro-
fessors interrupted the continuity
of the course.
LSA junior Rachel Goldstein,
who is also enrolled in Greene's
course, said Greene's recent
absences and repeated cancella-
tions of class before his withdraw-
al hurt her learning experience.
"I don't feel like students were
keeping up with the course load,"
she said. "We were not being held
part of the deal,
CHICAGO (AP) - Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton has engaged a
team of prominent lawyers to help
President-elect Barack Obama vet
even as some insiders criticized
the pick and advisers to the former
first lady said she was weighing
whether to take the job if Obama
Attorneys Cheryl Mills, David
Kendall and Robert Barnett are
working with the Obama transi-
tion team to review information
about the Clintons' background
and finances, including Bill Clin-
ton's post-presidential business
deals and relationships with for-
eign governments. Bruce Lindsey,
a longtime Clinton adviser who
now heads the former president's
charitable foundation, has taken
a leadership role in the process,
All represented the Clintons on
legal matters in the White House,
including President Clinton's dal-
liance with intern Monica Lewin-
sky that led to his impeachment in
Officials knowledgeable about
the vetting said it has gone
smoothly and that both Clintons
were cooperating fully.
Bill Clinton already has
appeared to take an important step
toward smoothing his wife's path
to the job.
Democrats familiar with the
negotiations said the former presi-
dent has suggested he would step
away from day-to-day responsi-
bility for his foundation while his
wife served and would alert the
State Department to his speaking
schedule and any new sources of
A top aide involved in the
vetting said there was nothing
obvious in the former presi-
dent's dealings that would tor-
pedo his wife's prospects for
the job. The aide was not autho-
rized to discuss the matter,
and would speak only on back-
The aide pointed out that for-
mer President George H.W. Bush
has given paid speeches and par-
ticipated in international business
ventures since his son, George W.
Bush, has been president without
stirring public complaints about a
conflict of interest.
But another Democrat who
advised Hillary Clinton's presi-
dential campaign warned that
Bill Clinton's business arrange-
ments were more complicated
than many people realized.
During the campaign, few of
her senior strategists knew
anything about the former
president's business deals and
whether they would hold up
under scrutiny if she won the
nomination, this person said.
The adviser spoke on back-
ground, not authorized to speak
publicly for Hillary Clinton's
Sen. Hillary Clinton, Democrat of New York, is being considered for the role of Sec-
retary of state in an Obama administration. The Associated Press is reporting that
her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and his associations are being vetted
Itwasunclearwhether Bill Clin-
ton has agreed to submit financial
information to the transition team
that has not been made public
through recently filed tax forms
for his foundation, Hillary Clin-
ton's Senate disclosure require-
ments or during her campaign,
when the couple released several
years of joint tax returns.
For example, still unknown are
the names of donors to Bill Clin-
ton's foundation and presidential
library or what he earns as a part-
ner with Yucaipa Global Opportu-
nities Fund, a private investment
venture run by billionaire Ron
Burkle, a close friend.
During his primary campaign
against Hillary Clinton, Obama
pressed the former president to
name the donors to his library.
Bill Clinton refused, saying many
had given money on the condition
that their names not be revealed.
He promised to make the donors'
names public going forward if his-
wife won the Democratic nomina-
The former president has
engaged in other deals that could
complicate his wife's work with
foreign governments as secretary
of state. Records show he raised
money for his foundation from the
Saudi royal family, Kuwait, Bru-
nei and the Embassy of Qatar, and
from a Chinese Internet company
seeking information on Tibetan
human rights activists.
While manypeople familiarwith
the New York senator's thinking
say she is inclined to take the sec-
retary of state's job if it is offered,
others say she is also considering
the consequences of leaving the
Senate, where she had hoped to
take a leading role on health care
reform and other issues.
"Would she be willing to give
up her independent stature in the
U.S. Senate, Robert F. Kennedy's
seat, to be in the Cabinet? It will
be a considerable decision for her,"
said Lanny Davis, a former Clinton
adviser not involved in the vetting.
"It's a completely different life
than you lead in the Senate, where
you are your own spokesperson,
your own advocate. When you join
the Cabinet of the president of the
United States, that is no longer the
Clinton declined to discuss any
part of the selection process Tues-
day. "I've said everything I have to
say on Friday," she said.
At the State Department, the
prospect of Clinton as secretary
is creating some anxiety among
ried that she would installher own
loyalists and exclude them from
policy making. Some at the State
Department see her as a foreign
policy lightweight, although there
is grudging acknowledgment of
her star power.
Others closer to the Obama
camp have criticized Clinton's cre-
dentials for the job.
Greg Craig, a law school
classmate of both Clintons who
led President Clinton's defense
team during his impeachment,
wrote a blistering memo during
the primary campaign attacking
Hillary Clinton's claim to have
brokered foreign policy deals
during her husband's presiden-
"There is no reason to believe
... that she was a key player in for-
eign policy at any time during the
Clinton administration," Craig, an
early Obama supporter likely to
be White House counsel, wrote in
Mazda buys back shares from Ford
TOKYO (AP) _Mazda spent 17.8
billion yen ($184 million) to buy
back 6.8 percent of its own shares
from cash-hungry Ford Motor
Co., the Japanese automaker said
The move cames a day after
Ford said it's slashing its stake in
Mazda from an earlier 33.4 per-
cent to 13.8 percent. That would
still make Ford thetop shareholder
in Mazda, with which it has had a
partnership for nearly 30 years.
The sale would give Ford 52 bil-
lion yen ($540 million) based on
Mazda's closing stock price Tues-
day of 184 yen, or $1.90 - barely a
quarter of what it was worth one
The move comes amid growing
losses at America's major auto-
makers, which are pleading with
Washington for an emergency $25
billion bailout loan from the U.S.
government to get through the
On Monday, GM said it would
in Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. for
22.37 billion yen ($230 million).
Mazda Motor Corp., which
makes the RX-8 sports car and
Miata roadster, boughtv96.8million
shares at 184 yen ($1.90) a share,
the Hiroshima-based company
said. The shares rose in morning
trading but then dipped 1 percent
Wednesday to 182 yen.
Ford racked up losses of $8.7
billion in the second quarter, its
worst result ever, and has used up
$11 billion of a cash stockpile inthe
Ford formed a capital alliance
with Mazda in 1979, taking a 25
percent stake. That was raised to
33.4 percent in 1996 - a control-
ling share in Japan.