The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 6, 1976 · Page 10
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December 6, 1976

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 10

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Monday, December 6, 1976
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Page 10
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The Palm Beach Post Mary hlcGrory Daniel J. Mahoney, Jr. Publisher Cecil B. Kelley, Jr. General Manager Korea Scandals Won't Go Away Samuel J. Pepper Thomas A. Kelly Editor Managing Editor Clarke B. Ash, Associate Editor MONDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 6, 1976 Government Grandeur WASHINGTON The House of Representatives, especially the Democrats, would like to forget all about the spreading Korean scandal. But that is plainly not to be. Even the comforting claim that "Justice is looking into it" cannot stave off indefinitely a public suspicion that the House will not clean its own house. Korea is coming up through the cracks in the floor. One of the candidates for majority leadership is, excruciatingly, John McFall of California, who admitted after he was safely reelected to accepting $4,000 in cash from Tongsun Park, the mysterious Seoul businessman with the fat wallet. The House Ethics Committee, which prefers to ignore misconduct on the part of its members, is the logical group to lift the lid. A more rational choice would be a Foreign Relations Committee subcommittee led by Rep. Don Fraser (D-Minn.), a lonely pioneer in examining the outrageous activities of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the Korean CIA in the United States. The House Ethics Committee is the most reluctant of bloodhounds. Witness its performance in the case of House Administration Committee Chairman Wayne Hays. The press had to do the sleuthing. And it was only at the nagging of Common Cause that the committee examined the affairs of Robert Sikes of Florida, who was at length reprimanded for his conflict-of-interest cases in connection with banks. What the House really likes to go after is someone who has broken the House rules, or made the members look foolish. That is why they were tigers in the matter of Michael Harrington of Massachusetts, who had the temerity to inform taxpayers about our abominable interventions in Chile. Harrington got off on a technicality. In the matter of Daniel Schorr, the CBS correspondent who made public the House Committee CIA report, the Ethics Committee launched a "full-court press." There's good news in Tallahassee. Some of our more important state officials are getting the idea that the people aren't really enthusiastic about spending tax money for lavish furnishings. House Speaker Donald Tucker (D-Tallahassee) has sent back an $8,431 desk and credenza which he had ordered for the speaker's office in the new state Capitol. The disclosure of that purchase, just before the general election, almost cost Mr. Tucker his seat in the legislature. Now that it's been explained to him, he thinks he and subsequent speakers can sign their letters on something a little less ornate. Members of the state Cabinet also have taken note of Mr. Tucker's experience and have begun questioning if other fancy furnishings for the new Capitol can be toned down in price as a favor to the taxpayers who must pay the bill. New Treasurer Bill Gunter, fresh from meeting the voters, has suggested that some of the furnishings be manufactured by prison inmates, serving the dual purpose of saving the state some money and teaching the inmates a useful trade. This idea has met less than unrestrained enthusiasm among Mr. Gunter's colleagues, but the Cabinet, at least, has ordered the Department of General Services to cut back by about 30 per cent on the estimated costs of the furnishings. This means ashtray-trash receptacles will cost something less than the projected $115 apiece, sofas will be purchased for something under $3,080 and planters will be bought for less than the projected $500 each. The main criteria in furnishing the Capitol should be usefulness and durability. Furnishings which meet those criteria need not be lavish; indeed, it would be far more impressive to visitors to have less expensive, more functional furnishings than monuments to the phony grandeur of government. A line which circulated in Tallahassee a few years ago described the general attitude toward spending for the comforts of officialdom as: "Nothing's too good for the Florida taxpayers." The taxpayers are sending a message that it's time to rethink that philosophy, and it's good to see that the word is getting through. In the end, the panel did not cite him for contempt of Congress, but only because certain cooler heads noted that the Congress was incurring such general contempt for itself. Korean attempts to bribe congressmen may constitute the gravest matter committee members have ever faced, and the consequences could be of the cosmic variety from which Congress always flees. They know of at least a dozen of their colleagues, past and present, who accepted money, trips, gifts and God knows what else from Tongsun Park in Washington and President Park in Seoul. They are afraid it is just the beginning. It isn't just Congress. The executive branch is involved. The CIA knew what was going on. is said to have tapes of conversations in Seoul's Blue House during which the plans were laid to buy off American congressmen. Were those plans reported to the authorities? Did the State Department or the White House cover them up? T le House can hunker down and say that at last the inquiry is in the right hands, in the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department. But some congressmen, led by Rep. Berkley Bedell (D-Iowai, don't want the public to think that Democrats, faced with a ghastly mess, are going to do what the Republicans did when Watergate began to brew that is. attempt to cover up. In the summer of 1972. when the Patman committee began to look into the sources of the burglars' money, the Republicans rallied round and with John Dean says the help of Gerald Ford, managed to kill the subpoena power and so the probe. Bedell found 12 colleagues, most of them fellow members of the feisty freshmen class of 1974, to cosign a letter to Ethic Committee Chairman John Flynt of Georgia, urging him to get out in front on Korea. The problem with the Justice Department's investigation, which will be used as an excuse for doing nothing, is that it concerns itself with, or at least discloses information about, only indictable matters. It is not against the law for members to accept money even when it comes in $100 bills in plain envelopes from somebody such as Tongsun Park. It might, however, offend their constituents. Flynt has written to the Justice Department asking to "share" in its findings. Prosecutors seldom are generous at such moments, and they are instinctively opposed to noisy, competing investigations while they are attempting to build criminal cases. But, with' the defection of a high Korean intelligence agent named Kim Sang Keun. the Korean scandal may at last have its John Dean. If Congress just whistles while he beings to sing, the public will start to howl "cover-up." Republicans have been strangely silent. So far, none of them have been fingered as having taken Korean money. But they may flinch from hearing how the Nixon and Ford administrations tolerated flagrant attempts to subvert the Congress and public opinion in support of a notoriously repressive and corrupt government. Neither party seems likely to benefit, in short. But again the consequences of not doing something are so menacing that even the House Ethics Committee, which is well-disposed toward the CIA, its colleagues, and the anti-Communist regime of President Park, may finally be forced to pick up its feet and ask a few questions about what could be its own Watergate. Sign of Bureaucracy plied that West Palm Beach was putting on airs. "They are trying to equate themselves with Dade and Broward," he said. They are, indeed. At least to the extent that downtown West Palm Beach, like downtown Miami and downtown Fort Lauderdale, contains city and county office buildings, courthouses and other facilities normally associated with the central business district. There is something almost humorous about the state's reluctance to post a sign on Interstate 95 which would mark the exit to downtown West Palm Beach. The interstate is draped with directional signs for nearly every racetrack, land development and tourist attraction in the state. Yet when the Downtown Business and Professional Association suggested a sign at Okeechobee Boulevard pointing to downtown West Palm Beach, a spokesman for the state's Department of Transportation (DOT) grumbled something about federal guidelines. And when someone reminded him of the many "downtown" signs on 1-95 in Miami, he im- Identifying the exits leading to downtown business districts is such a common practice on highways all over the country that the reasons for it are beyond debate. The DOT ought to cut out the bureaucratic blustering and post the sign. Benefit of the Doubt usseujkk In Search of a Missing President Industry spokesmen trotted out the same old shopworn argument in Tallahassee the other day as they argued against more restrictive water-quality standards. Such standards, they said, might retard Florida's economic growth and result in a loss of industrial jobs. dustry could cause a loss of jobs." It's precisely that kind of thinking which has caused the state for years to look the other way when industries polluted its waters in the name of short-term economic gain. The point has been made time and again that long-term destruction of natural resources is too high a price to pay, but some industries still haven't gotten the message. Certainly, the economic consequences of any environmental rule must be taken into consideration by the state, but the benefit of the doubt in any close question involving destruction of natural resources versus the enrichment of a private industry must remain with the environment that belongs to all of us. President has disappeared." "Have you no clues0" "There was a rumor yesterday that a woman in Wisconsin caught a peek of him holed up in one of the back pages of the Milwaukee Journal, but I couldn't track it down. You get a lot of rumors in cases like this Some wild man called up and said he'd seen the President on a local TV newscast in Tampa. When I phoned down there and asked about President Ford, all the newsmen said. President Who0' " "The country needs a president." "One will turn up in good time. Meantime, remember America has steel, aluminum, chemicals, gas, oil and the public utilities on its side . . . and also God. fortunately." sudden remembrance. "Ford" he cried "Father of the WIN button! He was president back there in the tall." "By golly, you're right, Clackers! " cried Mr. Bean. "It comes back to me now. Those debates. Standing around in the Rose Garden. What did you say his name was0" "Ford." I said. "I remember him. Big fellow. Receding hairline. Strong teeth." said Mr. Bean "And you say he's flown the coop'.' Never fear. Mr. Bean is on the trail." And he flung himself back into his office, tore open his pack of newspapers and slammed the door. Two days later the tracer of lost presidents called at my rooms. "I have made a complete search of the newspapers as well as the television, t and you're right," he said "The NEW YORK - I told them my problem and they sent me up to the Bureau of Missing Presidents. "What's the complaint?" asked a clerk. "I haven't been able to find a president for nearly a month." I said. "Don't worry about it." he said "They almost always come back." I made a small scene A keen eyed man with hunter's instincts and 30 pounds of newspapers under his arm came out of a sanctum Instantly. 1 recognized Mr Bean, tracer of lost presidents. "What's all this about losing a president'1" he asked. "It's true. Mr. Bean. I've looked everywhere and the president has vanished." An engineer for the Monsanto Co. in Pensacola, which has contributed mightily to fouling the once appealing waters of Escambia Bay, said in effect that industrial pollution of public waters is okay as long as it doesn't drive away tourists. "Which president is it0" he asked. "T if name is Ford. Gerald R. Ford " He looked murmured. ' that name be puzzled. "Ford." he Where have I heard ore"" "North Florida is not a tourist area," the spokesman said, "and the area is dependent on industry for jobs. More restrictions on in The cleik snapped his fingers in Letters to the I Alitor How Would Whites Do If Tests Reflected Black Experience? number. ERA will strike down sodomy and seduction laws; statutory rape, prostitution, and obscenity laws; and it will eliminate adultery laws that the courts judge to contain sex-discriminatory provisions Make sure your state senators are aware of these facts and instruct them to act accordingly. Mrs. William D. Naglreiter Palm Beach Gardens Wrong Herd During this transitional period the American people are witnessing the slaughter of the wrong herd. President Ford will go down in history as a beloved, honest man who in two short years did more to retore the greatness of our nation than any other president, given the awesome problems and limited time allowed to him for their solution. The pardon0 Who but a patriotic, humane and compassionate man would have put his head on a political block to grant it and spare our nation the humiliation of an endless criminal trial and possibly a jail term for an American president. As for Kissinger, it took a Democratic United States senator to spearhead a movement to keep this remarkable and irreplaceable man in office. But the right herd, or at least a goodly part of it, will face a potential slaughter block two years hence when the House and a third of the Senate meet up with the supposedly apathetic voters whose memories might just be better than ever as they enter the polling booth. I predict the veto power will not be eradicated from our Constitution and that come the next election, Even today, lived experiences and-or learned behavior of the minority groups in many instances differ greatly than those of the white middle-class majority. Let the Palm Beach County School Board present tests based on black experiences (minority experiences) and see how well the white majority will do. How many members of the minority groups helped (in any way) to formulate the tests given the students? If the tests were anything like all the other tests given our children, they were white oriented, middle-class white. I also feel, many teachers will develop very poor attitudes now and direct these attitudes toward the "inferior minority." I don't think these students will have to wait long for this situation. Willie S. Gonzalez West Palm Beach ERA 'Benefit' All you hear from proponents of this Equal Rights : Amendment is that it will bring equal pay for equal work That guarantee already exists under such laws ' as the Equal Pay Act, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 ' and 1968, the Equal Opportunity Employment Act of 1972, and current interpretations of the 5th, 14th and 19th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Let us examine just one "benefit" of the ERA substantiated in detail by pro-ERA scholars in the Yale Law Journal for April 1971, and again in its 1973 the New York Times, Washington Post and George Meany notwithstanding, the American voter will demonstrate his ability to cope with the political medicine men who promise everything, whoever pays the bill. Max Ganz Lake Worth Robbed While walking on my own street on a hot day around .4:30 in the afternoon on my way to the Post Office, 1 was robbed of my purse, money and contents, in view of several people sitting in cars at the S. K Street parking lot, by two white men in a car about 24 years of age. I was not injured, but was in shock for some time, as I am not young. The combined efforts of the Lake Worth Police Department and one small boy out fishing found my purse on Thanksgiving Eve, intact and very smelly from the lake but contents still okay except the money, of course. Many items of utmost importance were returned to me keys, etc. The only reason for this letter is, as a good citizen, I hope I can warn someone else: It can happen to you. Thank you, Lake Worth police, and the small boy out fishing. Such boys, we hope, become good presidents. Your parents should be proud. Mrs. Carl Johnson Lake Worth I' t9?6 0vNFA inc VJ 'Of all the stupid things! Why did I go to "Marathon Man' and watch that drilling scene last night!'

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