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Monday, July 10, 2006
One-hundred-sixteen years of editorialfreedom
www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 125 ©2006 The Michigan Daily
Primary candidates join in forum
Abortion, affirmative action By
and healthcare among the
issues discussed at the forum
Daily News Editor
Gearing up for the next month of campaign-
ing, 18 candidates in the Ann Arbor races for
mayor, city council and the Washtenaw Coun-
ty Board of Commissioners participated in a
forum hosted by the Ann Arbor Democratic
Party Saturday morning.
With the Aug. 8 Democratic Primary less
than a month away, today is the deadline to reg-
ister to vote in the primaries.
Because there are no Republican candi-
dates currently running for the city council
- which is exclusively composed of Demo-
crats - next month's primary could decide
The candidates shared a common phi-
losophy on abortion, with all 18 saying they
are pro-choice. All candidates also strongly
oppose the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative,
which if passed in November would ban most
affirmative action programs in the state.
Universal healthcare also brought the
candidates to a common ground. During a
lightning round, nearly every candidate gave
universal healthcare coverage top priority for
the Democratic Party on either the federal or
The round prompted former United States
representative and political science Prof. Lynn
Rivers, who moderated the forum, to say,
"Who says democrats can't agree?"
Some candidates, such as prospective city
council member Sonia Schmerl, said the all-
democratic makeup of the council was hurt-
ing the city and called for "new blood" and
Occasionally, candidates lightened the mood
by offering original selling points such as "I
don't own a car" or "If it helps, I've never been
inside a Wal-Mart" to the audience of about 60
See FORUM, Page 2
Daily Editor in Chief
to join senior society
AM Y DRUMM/DUaily
Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje performs a monologue as the guest on Citizen Improv at Improv Inferno,
a comedy club in downtown Ann Arbor. Improvisers used his narratives as a basis for comedy acts.
Ann Arbor Mayor.
takes center stage
Managing Editor Ashley
Dinges resigns, saying mem-
bership is a conflict of interest
By Carissa Miller
Managing News Editor
Donn Fresard, The Michigan Daily's fall/winter
editor in chief, recently announced plans to join the
campus society formerly known as Michigamua.
His decision has sparked a blaze of controversy at
the Daily and prompted the second highest-ranking
fall/winter editor to resign her post.
Ashley Dinges, who was the paper's managing
editor, resigned July 2 on the grounds that Fresard's
membership in the group - which is composed of
some of the campus's most influential student lead-
ers - will be a conflict of interest.
The Daily often covers those leaders' organiza-
tions and teams and also covers the group itself.
"I am very sad to leave the Daily, which has
been my second home since I came to the Univer-
sity," Dinges said. "But the main reason I work at
this paper is my love of journalism and I am not
willing to compromise my journalistic integrity or
my ethical beliefs."
Many top fall/winter editors have expressed their
displeasure with Fresard's decision for the same rea-
sons. For years, no Daily editor in chiefs have been
known to be in the society, but Fresard said it is now
appropriate because of the group's recent reforms.
For decades, the group formerly known as
Michigamua kept its elite membership a secret
and used the name of a fictional Native American
tribe. The group also appropriated Native Ameri-
can rituals and artifacts and used Native Ameri-
can nicknames for its members. The society says
it has since changed its ways.
It recently stopped using the name Mich-
igamua and released its membership for the
classes of 2006 and 2007.
"After discussing it with some people at the Daily
and in the group, I decided that this would be an
appropriate time for me to join and the right thing to
do," Fresard said.
Fresard has argued that his membership would
not constitute a conflict of interest.
Andrew Yahkind, a member of its class of 2007,
said Fresard is not currently a member of the society,
although there are discussions underway regarding
his membership. Fresard said he is not sure when he
will join, though he expects it to be soon.
Because the time commitment required by the
society is not extensive, Fresard said he will be able
to fulfill his duties as editor in chief. He said his
involvement in the group will also boost his effec-
tiveness as an editor at the Daily.
"I think that this group serves the benefits of diver-
sity in a lot of ways, by pulling together athletes and
editors and leaders of multicultural groups - people
who have a lot to learn from each other;' Fresard
said. "I believe soundly in the group's mission and
that it gives me an opportunity to serve the campus
in a different way than the past."
Dinges and several others have maintained that
the editor of a newspaper should not be involved in
a group the paper covers heavily, neither should they
form close friendships with campus leaders whose
own events and groups are also covered, she said.
Fresard disagreed, saying that it is more danger-
ous for the editor to spend more time holed up in the
Daily's offices and not understand what is happening
on campus and with student groupsthan it is for he or
she to become to close with other campus leaders.
As a member of the group's class of 2007,Fresard
joins leaders like Interfraternity Council president
Jon Krasnov, Panhellenic Association president Lau-
ren Kraus and Michigan Student Assembly President
"It is really not uncommon for newspaper editors
to see a lot of these people in social situations
See FRESARD, Page 3
FROM THE EDITOR
Because of his pending member-
ship in the group formerly known
as Michigamua, Donn M. Fresard,
The Michigan Daily's fall/winter
editor in chief, was not involved in
the editing of this article. Fresard
will also not edit any articles about
the group in the future.
- Jeremy Davidson
Summer Editor in Chief
Improvisers at comreedy clui)
use mayor John Hieftjes stories
as fuel for humorous act
By Sandy Liberman
Daily Staff Reporter
The typical Ann Arbor summer night crowd
was hard-pressed to recognize Mayor John
Hieftje coasting down Main Street on his
bicycle en route to a popular comedy club last
Hieftje appeared as a guest on the stage of Citizen
Improv, a weekly show at Improv Inferno on Main
Street that features a different community citizen
"Citizen Improv selects volunteer speak-
ers to share three short real-life stories that
inspire our team of improvisers," said Citi-
zen Improv Artistic Director Dan Izzo. "This
show is a good chance for the mayor to pres-
ent himself to voters in a personal, rather than
With the Ann Arbor Democratic Primary
See MAYOR, Page 2