The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on February 21, 1988 · Page 23
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 23

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 21, 1988
Page 23
Start Free Trial

DES MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER D February 21, 1988 3C THE FORUM The days of bootleg cigarettes Sweden's love of land is set into its policy POTOMAC FEVER Starting over after Iowa... ITS 7HATWASALLthatfuss about Iowa's caucuses? T T Presidential candidates spent hundreds of days, thousands of man-hours, millions of dollars campaigning in Iowa and, it turned out, accomplished very little. By the time the polls closed in New Hampshire, one week later, things were pretty much back where they started. In the Republican contest, George Bush is still the man to beat. Bob Dole is still his main challenger. Jack Kemp is still a long-shot. Pat Robertson is still an oddity. The Democratic race is still a muddle. Mike Dukakis and Dick Gephardt remain the front-runners, sort of. Al Gore is still an unknown quantity. Jesse Jackson is still unelectable. True, some winnowing-out has taken place. Bruce Babbitt and "Call-me-Pete" du Pont IV are gone. So is Al Haig. Paul Simon's days are numbered. But the basic shape of the contest in both parties remains unchanged. To which Iowa Congressman Dave Nagle says: "There's nothing wrong with that." Nagle, probably the most passionate defender of the Iowa caucuses, makes this case: The caucuses were never intended to decide the race. They were intended to provide a level playing field, to give all candidates a chance to try their luck and test their message. This they did. THE ARGUMENT against the caucuses is that they have little or nothing to do with electability. And Ranks are thinner but it is all still a muddle. winning elections, after all, is the purpose of a political party. But Nagle may have a point. Anyone watching the campaign in New Hampshire couldn't fail to notice how much improved the Democratic candidates had become. After two years of schlepping around Iowa, they knew who they were and what they were about. They had learned how to make contact. By contrast, the Bush and Dole campaigns were entirely vacuous. Their debate, to the extent it had any content at all, revolved mainly around which of them was most like Ronald Reagan. "Neither Republican candidate has a message," Democratic pollster Peter Hart said last week. "That's their problem. They're into strategy and tactics. Neither has been able to move the election beyond Ronald Reagan." POLLSTER HART recently asked a group of voters to imagine themselves standing in a line at the airport ticket counter. At the back of the line is one of the Republican presidential candidates. Then the ticket agent says there's only one seat left. What would the candidate do? Hart asked. "They decided Bush would either pull rank and go on the plane or just stand at the back of the line," says Hart. "Jack Kemp would try to charm his way on. Dole would negotiate a deal. Du Pont would buy the plane. "And Robertson would say, 'Let us pray.' Then when everyone was on their knees, he'd walk on the plane." REPUBLICAN POLITICAL consultant Roger Stone on the reason for Dole's defeat in New Hampshire: "Dole made exactly the same mis-. take Bush made in 1980. He rode in here on his Iowa momentum and never put flesh on the bones of his candidacy for New Hampshire voters. When, you're in the spotlight like that, you have to say where you're going to take the country, and he didn't do that." ONLY FLORIDA will have a higher population of elderly voters than Iowa by election day, according to new projections by the Census Bureau. In Iowa, 20.1 percent of the state's 2.1 million eligible voters will be 65 and over, the Census Bureau says. Florida's senior citizens will make up 23.7 percent of its voting populace. Nationwide, the 65-and-over crowd will make up 16.8 percent of the voting-age population on Election Day. EVERY CAMPAIGN produces a "reporter's candidate," usually a guy who is smart and funny and has no chance at all of winning. This year it was former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt. In his farewell appearance before the press corps, Babbitt was asked whether the extensive favorable cover-age he had received had helped or hurt his longshot campaign. "I was thinking about that last night," Babbitt replied. "And I decided to have it out with the press today. I think you engaged in a deliberate conspiracy to destroy my candidacy by making me into a kind of house pet and destroying my credibility with the American people." He smiled and added, "Thanks." John Hyde iwAwillI ilti iA A irfh -irli imffli ifMih By GEORGE MILLS r "" bmokers were caugnt at roadblocks bootlegging cig arettes into lowa rrom Mis- id soun. Mate agents naDDea fl eight smugglers at the Des Moines River bridge near 7jk Keokuk and six more on ' a H'gnwav 69 8011111 of Lamo" 1 ni. It all happened 35 years J ago, in 1953. Amnntr those arrested were a Burlington priest with 15 cartons in his car and a New Mexico woman with 10 cartons. She was on her way to Iowa City to summer school. Most of the others had one or two cartons each. They were trying to save 2-cents-a-pack tax, or 20 cents a carton. The Iowa tax at the time was 2 cents and Missouri didn't tax cigarettes. That "crime wave" is being recalled now that Gov. Terry Branstad has signed legislation to boost the tax from 26 cents to 34 cents a pack. Missouri now has a tax of 13 cents. Thus, if the Iowa bill passes and Missouri's tax stays the same, this state's tax will be 21 cents a pack higher than that of its neighbor to the south. A 34-cent tax would make Iowa 4 cents lower than Minnesota, which has a 38 cent tax, the highest cigarette levy in the nation. Iowa would also be markedly higher than Illinois (20 cents), South Dakota (23 cents), Nebraska (27 cents) and Wisconsin (30 cents). Allowed to keep two packs each The lawbreakers caught at Keokuk never had a chance. Iowa agents watched them buy cigarettes in nearby Alexandria, Mo., then hurried back to stop the cars at the bridge. The defendants were each fined $10 and costs. They could have had their cars confiscated as well under the law but the state didn't want to go that far. H.R. "Toots" Delahoyde, the colorful Lee County sheriff, thoughtfully permitted each of the culprits to keep two packs. The law allowed a person to bring that many into the state without penalty. By request, Delahoyde joined the state agents at the roadblock, but his heart wasn't in it. Years before that, numerous Iowans used to beat the tax by ordering cigarettes from other states through the mail. The federal government put a damper on that by requiring mailorder sources to report such shipments to authorities in the receiving state. Cigarette bootlegging has been a huge business in the East. An estimated 44 million such cartons entered New York in 1976. Bootleg oleo, too Bootlegging yellow oleomargarine into Iowa was probably even more widespread in 1953. The state had a law forbidding the sale of yellow margarine. Yellow is the color of butter and dairy interests didn't want competitive oleo stealing butter's appearance. The upshot of it was that housewives could only buy the less-expensive margarine in the unappetizing white color of lard. The oleo then was colored at home by sticking a needle into a bean containing yellow coloring, which was then kneaded into the margarine. But that was a lot of trouble and sort of messy. The result was that travelers going out of the state often brought back margarine for themselves and a lot of extra pounds for neighbors and friends. Sometimes trucks brought larger quantities into Iowa. An old-timer named M. L. Bibbey really cashed in at his service station south of Lamo-ni. The station was just over the line in Missouri. He did a land-office business selling not only cigarettes and margarine to Iowans but fireworks and gasoline as well. Fireworks were and are illegal in Iowa and the Missouri gas tax was lower than that of this state. It became a Sunday pastime to drive downtoBibbey's. The 1953 Legislature was the scene of the final great oleo shootout. A major drive devel- George Mills is an Iowa historian and former Register political reporter. What the laser center By WILLIAM C. STWALLEY LASER RESEARCH includes both research on lasers themselves and research using lasers in science, engineering and medicine. Laser research is often done in an individual lab directed by a single senior researcher, either a university professor, industrial researcher or government scientist. However, because of the increasing costs of state-of-the-art equipment and technically trained staff, it is increasingly desirable to carry out research in central multidisciplinary user facilities. The University of Iowa has a tradition of central state-of-the-art user facilities. Junior faculty, small businesses and senior researchers moving into the laser field find it cost effective to carry out "proof-of-principle" experiments using the equipment and expertise of a user facility. If successful, they can then seek the equipment and expertise required knowing their approach works. The University of Iowa laser facility has provided such help in more than 100 projects since 1979, involving primarily University of Iowa researchers, but also researchers from other academic institutions, including Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and private and community colleges. Beginning in 1984, a group of us in many departments at the University of Iowa seriously discussed expansion of our activities. Instead of viewing lasers merely as tools, we viewed laser science and engineering as an emerging discipline combining physics, chemistry, engi-neering and even biomedical sciences. William C. Stwalley is director of the University of Iowa laser center. nf1nf ft ii ' . . fpW J!H? (V'V t oped to pass a law legalizing yellow oleo. Even some farmers favored it because margarine had become a market for soybean oil. Hard fighter for yellow oleo was State Representative Gladys Nelson, Newton Republican. She was the only woman in the Legislature. She was one tough housewife who wanted the colored margarine legalized and she got it, with considerable help, of course. Dairy interests then tried to hamper the mar New courses and frequent seminars have been introduced in laser science and engineering. We circulate information on these and related topics to an interest group of 137 faculty and staff and also to student and off -campus groups, including our colleagues at ISU and UNI. We decided that an increased concentration of faculty and space was needed. We argued for investment in endowed chairs in laser physics, laser chemistry and laser engineering and a building to house these endowed chairs and other faculty, expanded user facilities, and much of our existing laser research. The University of Iowa now has the state's only comprehensive laser center encompassing multidisciplinary education, research, user facilities and industrial outreach. We look forward to strengthening cooperative arrangements between our laser center and scientists throughout the state, particularly at Iowa State University. It should be clear that the laser center is a multidisciplinary group effort involving many individuals with varying viewpoints. Nevertheless, as center director, I feel I can speak on our general sentiments. All of us promise to continue to work hard to build a unique world-class Center for Laser Science and Engineering at the University of Iowa. We expect this program will be one of the top laser centers in the world by the end of this century. We promise to work hard to identify and recruit the best laser faculty for this center and not merely the most readily available. We expect the University of Iowa will obtain m m MATTHEWCHATTERLEY garine industry with a law requiring the quarter-pound prints be triangular in shape to distinguish the product from butter. It wasn't adopted. The yellow-oleo law went into effect July 4, 1953, and the state margarine tax of 5 cents a pound was repealed at the same time. It was a big deal when the margarine went on sale. Few grocery stores were open at night in those days. Some did open a minute after midnight to accommodate margarine customers waiting outside. could do for Iowa commitments from world-class laser faculty well in advance of the completion of the new laser building in 1990 (at which time there will be adequate space for their students and research). We expect these individuals will be at least of "comparable stature" to the three who assisted us enthusiastically on many occasions in the development of our center (including proposal writing, building design and presentations to industry), but ultimately decided not to come to Iowa. We attracted this fall a world-class laser researcher, Professor Susan Allen, from the University of Southern California, to be professor of chemistry and electrical and computer engineering. Allen is helping to lead laser-center development, particularly in the critical area of laser microfabrication and surface science. She came here despite the disruption in her family's life, despite currently inadequate research space here and despite competitive offers including an endowed professorship at Texas Tech, because she believes in our laser center. All of us promise to work hard to develop new courses and multidisciplinary degree programs for students, such as "Physics and Laser Science" and "Electrical and Laser Engineering." We expect students in these new degree programs will obtain unique backgrounds highly desirable in both industrial and academic settings. We promise to work hard with others around the state to identify laser-application opportunities for those in the private sector and to assist in their development. By PAUL W. JOHNSON Sweden is a country of about 8 million people. They enjoy a standard of living comparable to ours. There are about 100,000 farm families in Sweden, the same as in Iowa. Agriculture is facing many of the same difficulties as we are: overproduction, increasing competition from other countries, and environ mental problems such as water pollution associated with modern farming techniques. The differences between Sweden and Iowa are in how they are solving their problems. First, virtually all of the people in Sweden have intense feelings about their land. They take great offense at a company or land-owner abusing it. And they expect farmers not only to respect the land, but also to carry out their operations in such a way that is esthetically pleasing. Farmers are expected to maintain small fields interspersed with the forest not only because forests are good for wildlife but also because they are an important part of Sweden's traditional landscape. Research in recent years has shown that farmers have been applying excessive nitrogen and pesticides and these are showing up in lakes, oceans and groundwater. To discourage overuse, a 25-percent tax has been added to already high fertilizer and pesticide costs. And now the Swedes have committed themselves to a 50-percent reduction in pesticide use over the next five years. The hottest discussion going on while I was there was a proposal to ban the caging of hens in the large "egg factories." People were angry because hens were not allowed to scratch and see sunlight. These and other restrictions imposed on landowners in Sweden may sound excessive to those of us farming in Iowa. There's another side to Sweden's land policy, however. It's one that recognizes the family farmer's right to a decent income in return for producing food and being a steward of the land. Once every three years the farmers' union (similar to our Farm Bureau) sits down with the consumers' union and the government and ne gotiates a price for its crops and livestock. If the people or government require practices in keeping with wise use of the land, and those practices increase the cost of the farmer's operation, then those costs are reflected in the price the fanner will receive. During the past few years, when we've wit nessed such suffering among our farm families, almost no Swedish farmers have been forced to leave the land for financial reasons. Sweden's specific methods for dealing with its land may or may not be applicable in Iowa. But there is a lesson I hope we can learn from Sweden. Land stewardship is, in a sense, a circle. Until we are willing to sit down together and make that social contract, we will continue to have only the appearance of cheap food. The additional costs we pass on to our children in ruined forests, eroded soil and polluted water are every bit as real as, and even more serious than, the national money debt that our nation so foolishly tolerates. A few days before leaving Sweden I spoke to the Agriculture and Environment Committee of their national parliament. We shared our thoughts about agriculture in Sweden and Iowa. For me it was a particularly moving time. My grandparents left Sweden 100 years ago. They came from farms that could no longer feed even the families living on them. My grandparents were part of the building of our new society in this new land. As I shook hands with the farmers on that committee and bade them farewell, I felt I had completed a journey. I came back to Iowa realizing that they, too, had built a new society, and we today have more in common than names in the family Bible. We have similar challenges. Sweden had welcomed me back and we had shared ideas on how to meet these challenges. I wish my grandparents were here today. I'd like to share with them the closing of the circle. Paul W. Johnson, Iowa state representative for District 31, spent five weeks last fall as a guest of the Swedish government while studying that country's land policy. We expect these efforts will create a magnet for laser-related business start-ups and expan-' sions. Assuming Iowa's business climate will otherwise be attractive, we expect a significant number of new jobs in laser-related businesses inlowainthel990's. We promise to vigorously seek funding from federal and industrial sources for fundamental research projects that can serve as the basis for student research and theses and can be pub-, lished in the open scientific literature. We expect such research projects in the laser center will receive strong support from federal agencies as well as industry. We promise to work hard with the outstanding architects Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture of Des Moines and Frank O. Geh-' ry and Associates of Venice, Calif. and the construction firms to build a state-of-the-art laser laboratory by 1990. We expect this building will receive widespread acclaim as one of the foremost buildings of its kind. We promise to work hard with other academic institutions in Iowa to develop cooperative laser activities throughout the state. We expect these efforts will significantly enhance ' the other laser-center efforts already mentioned. Finally, we promise to work hard for greater ' mutual understanding between ourselves and ' the public through interviews and lectures -across the state and tours of the laser center. The University of lowa Laser Center is deter- mined to work diligently with Iowans all across , the state to help Iowa enter the 21st century with a renewed sense of achievement and confidence in the future.

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 21,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Des Moines Register
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free