Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on April 10, 1973 · Page 28
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 28

Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 10, 1973
Page 28
Start Free Trial

JS GKEKLKY (Colo.) TKIBUNE Tues., April 1», 1973 Citizen lobbyists shaking to roots KOITOH'S NOTE -- There's a now approach to reform in Washington and it's growing ever more influential -- growing out of disillusionment with government and a sloganeering approach to problems which go unsolved. They arc the citizen lobbyists and they're matching muscle and savvy with the practiced lobbyists of private interests. l!y DON McLEOU How to know a good steak when you see one. By taking an extra minute or two you can.find 'the best steak in the store. Here^s how: Steer away from tough old bulls. Tender young steaks have a firm, bright red, fine-textured lean portion. And they also have fewer bundles of tough white connective tissue. Pick up your marbling and go home. The most flavorful steaks...and the most tender...are well marbled with fat. But make sure the fat streaks which marble the meat are fine-textured and uniformly distributed. Jack Sprat could eat no fat. But... Fvcn though you may not eat it, the fat on a steak tells you something, too. Ideally, it should be white and firm, without a greasy appearance. If it looks a little yellow, it's because the steer was fed green feeds instead of grains. Take it from an expert! Best way to spot a great steak is to look for a Mr. Steak sign! You'll find naturally- aged, USDA Choice beef that's the tastiest in town. You'll find the friendliest waitresses. And you'll find out why Mr. Steak is America's Stenk Fxpert. '" · *?»'^ fvf ' . · ... d~r , ' · 725 25th Street 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ^AMERICA'S STEAK EXPERT Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - This is the day of do-it-yourself politics. And Ihe new citizen activists are ratlling government to its mossiesl foundations at a lime when apathy is supposed to he the style. Thousands upon thousands of Americans are joining citizen action groups, sending in their cards, lellers and checks and developing Ihe poliiical muscle to seek whal Ihey want. -· And the results are being felt- from corporale board rooms to the congressional committees where Ihe nation's wealth is taxed and spent. Concerted public pressure played no small part in such changes on Capitol Hill this year as eurlailing the seniority system for picking congressional committee chairmen and opening up once-secret meetings. The Senale overrode its Public Works Committee, and the highway conslruction lobby, last month and voted to allow highway trusl fund money to be used for urban public transportation after a blitz campaign by citizen groups. '. Last fall the voters of Colorado and Washington state under the prod of cily activists, ap- provednew "open government" Taws which require public business lo be done in public view . and place strict.regulations on private interest lobbying. Public interest lawsuits in recent years have forced safety measures on the automobile industry, blocked, at least for the time being, the Alaska oil pipeline and pried out Ihe names of secret political campaign contributors. Citizen groups abound, from conservationists lo political reformers. And they are matching muscle and savvy with the practiced lobbyists of private interesls. Common Cause, founded by former Welfare Secretary John Gardner in 1970, now has almost a quarter million members, who can direct a flood of mail and messages at targeted congressmen on cue when a crucial vote is neede'd. Ralph Nader, who popularized consumer · advocacy ·' with his attacks on General Motors in Ihe mid 1960s, now heads a public interest empire with a half dozen subsidiaries reaching inlo every corner of the land. Former Sen. Fred R. Harris · of Oklahoma recently started a Tax Action Campaign and reports getting more than 900 let- ters.a day from citizens volunteering time and money for his tax reform movement. This campaign against, and around venerable institutions draws its share of criticism, but so far not enough to se-. riously deter Ihe movement:., Nader drew probably the deepest opposition of his career last ;year when he crossed the lint into political criticism with a report on Congress. The report said Congress is controlled by the White House and special interests and does not truly represent the people. House Republican Leader Gerald H. Ford called it "utterly ridiculous" and I hat .was one of .the milder responses*. Nor do public interest groups always agree among themselves; Iheir political views cover the field. The Schuchman Foundation Center for Public Interest, a new group which calls itself "a non-partisan, non-political" public policy research group, has issued a report blasting Nader's study ol Congress. But Nader's movement continues to grow, and public opinion polls show Nader personally · regarded as something of a folk hero. His Public Cili/en Inc., is supported by some 62,000 individual contributors who provide a $1.1 million annual budget. - From a one-man crusade a decade ago, Ihe Nader organization has grown immensely, hut it still is criticized for a big bile approach which some detractors have said spreads Nader ton thin and leads to slipshod work. Nader stoutly defends his staff work, albeit much of it is done by young volunteers. When Common Cause filed a lawsuit which ultimately resulted in President Nixon's campaign committee revealing the names of contributors rather than go lo trial on the eve of the election, NixonVsupporters charged it with partisan politics and even asked the Internal Revenue Service lo reconsider Ihe organization's tax status. But Common Cause membership remains sleady despite controversy. Gardner admits some disenchantment in the ranks, bul new members more than replace Ihe dropouts. The movement thrives, despite its critics, on a resurgence of citizen participation which defies a counter trend by many Americans to drop out of Ihe voting process and meshes with the Nixon Administration's drive to wind down government programs. "In the first place, there is not much going on in.govern- ment," Nader.said in an interview. "When the government is taking a leading role, there isn't that much pressure for citizen action. "Secondly, there is a lot happening now in Ihe way of disclosure,' Nader added. "Take the muckraker era -- there is more being disclosed today in six months lhan in that whole era. It is getting people aware of how they are being defrauded and endangered. "But what's more, it is telling them that things could be much better." George Romney, the- former Michigan governor who recently left the -Nixon cabinet to start a citizens movement, stands on another band of the political spectrum, but sees the same kind of problems and similar solutions. \ "I think perhaps it's probably because it's apparent that this over-reliance on government, hasn't worked," Romney said in an interview at the headquarters of his new Concerned Citizens Movement. "And consequently, why Ihe people themselves are going to have to be more involved." The people trying to organize the public see mounting national problems at a lime when the citizen feels personally weakest, leading lo hopelessness unless he can he shown some ^ way to fighl back. Most of Ilie top leaders of the new movement are themselves dropouts from government and traditional politics. Romney was secretary of housing and urban development when he quit to turn to private effort. Harris was sitting on the powerful Senate Finance Committee when he spurned a reelection hid, gave it up to run briefly for the presidency, then to form his eilizens movement. Gardner resigned from President Johnson's cabinet in disappointment over tax dollars being diverted from domestic needs (o the Vietnam war. He headed Ihe National Urban League for a time and then formed Common Cause as a way of getting the government to do things he couldn't get as a cabinet member. "The tradition of citizen action has been almost continuous · since Ihe slart of Ihe country," Gardner said. "But we almost lost it in (he middle of this century just because things are so complicated, so vast, so intricate that Ihe citizen began to feel that he just couldn't do anything. "Now, the exciting thing is that it's coming back,' Gardner said. "And it's coming back in a form thai isn't scared of bigness, that isn't cowed by complexity, thai is tough enough and professional enough to deal with the intricaciee of n odern life. "The civil rights lawyers of (he '50s began to show that they could do their homework, as well as anybody else could," Gardner explained. "And Ralph Nader came forward and showed that he could do his homework as well as General Motors. "And we are showing through Common Cause that we can link professional lobbying with the old American tradition of citizen action and produce a lough, hard-hilling, incisive 'kind of action.'" Behind Ihe citizen uprising, all the leaders agree, is a loss of faith in Ihe government and other traditional institutions to get the job done. Romney, Gardner and Nader all say voting records and their own contacts with the citizenry indicate a growing feeling that the ballot box doesn't hold the answer. "A citizenship of wholesale delegation and abdictation to public and private power systems, such as prevails now, makes such periodic checks as elections little more than rituals," Nader says in the preface to" a new manual,for student citizenship." ' ~ "It doesn'l suffice anymore lo think the government will do the things people want simply Ihrough the election process," Nader added in an interview. "There is no accountability between elections." Gardner said one secret of the new boom of citizen activity is that it "focuses on the idea of continuous accountability. "That's Ihe new ingredient, not just that you walk out of the voting hoolh and pat yourself on the hack for doing your civic duty and forget all about it, which is whal. most Americans do," Gardner said. "But the special interests don't do that," Gardner continued. "They're in Iheir office the day after Ihe election figuring out what to do nexl. That's what the citizen movements have to do. "Polilics is Ihe only game where the real action begins after Ihe public has filed out of the stadium, in other words, after election day. That's when the political machines roll up Iheir sleeves and go to work. And that's what the citizen has to do Ihrough his organization." leaders of Ihe citizen's movements also say they sense a public mood of doubt that it does any good to turn out one politician or administration in favor of another. The new trend also is away from lofty concepts. such as "New Deal," "New Frontier," "Great Society," and even "New Federalism." The emphasis is on specific pressure on specific problems. "We pick specific battles so that the citizen knows exactly what he can do about it," Gardner said. From such groups has come pressure against Nixon's effort to cut back federal programs. They accuse him of spending A lot of new Saabs have been leaving our place lately. And a lot of good used cars have been coming in. We Invite You to Check Our Lot! too much on defense while domestic programs they favor are being trimmed or eliminated. Hard-headed self interest is another characteristic element of the new movements. That's why tax reform is one of their leading issues.. ·' "I believe that the basic problem of progressive causes in this country is that they haven't appealed to the economic self interest of the great mass of the people," Harris said, "they Iried to sell poverty programs and equal opportunity iprograms to working class people on ·Ihe basis of appealing to Iheir conscience.. ,"i think a lot of the leaders "in liberalism would tend to say to old people and poor people and minority people, 'Vote for us because IPs in your self interest,' and then say to working class people, 'Vote for us because your conscience requires it. We want you to help the poor folks because your Christian duty requires it,' " Harris said. "We say, 'Here's a battle coming up,'" Gardner explained. '" It's a batlle we know you care about because we poll our members and ask them what Ihey care about. The battle is in such and such a commitlee and here are Ihe members of the committee. Your congressmen is one of .those members, and what's more he hasn't made up his mind.' "It's astonishing how much enthusiasm you produce in citizens when you tackle specific issues of this sort and zero in on an issue," Gardner said. "We find lhal Ihe American people are nol really apathelic. They just don't know how to find the targets, and if you help them find the targels, Ihey're ready lo go." But this concept of a fighting citizenry is not the same as Ihe old rugged individualism. In his inaugural address, Nixon said, "Lei each of us ask -not just what will government do for me, bul whal can I do for myself?" While Ihe new citizen advocates are certainly for doing more for Ihemselves, they don't want lo lei Ihe gov- ernmenl off Ihe hook either. "I think you're far better off to say, 'Lislen, your self interests require that you join to- gelher on an issue like tax reform. There'll be some blacks and there'll be some whites, lhere'11 be young and Ihe old, and all sorts of people, and they may not particularly like each other," Harris said. "II would be nice if Ihey did, bul all I'm asking is that you just see your common interesls in Ihis particular economic issue, and I'm certain that works." Common Cause works on a consensus basis with a majorily of Ihe members deciding whal lo do. Mutual concerns on which the activist citizen groups can get logether are abundanl. They center on the trealmcnl the av- erage citizen suffers at the hands of big business and big government, such issues as high and inequitable taxes, high prices, inadequate and expensive health care, pollution, unsafe . products, ineffective drugs, impure foods. Within this framework of common goals, their methods and forms vary. Common Cause has focused recently on · the structures and procedures of government which Gardner says are behind a lot of other problems -- congressional reform, campaign finance reform. Harris is deep into the tax question. He says it will be his group's sole program for the coming year. Romney Ihinks idenlifying the problems, sludy-. ing solutions and informing the public is the central need. Nader has no doctrinal guideline; he goes after a variety of problems as his resources allow. . '". ' Common Cf.use is a membership group which any interested '. citizen can join by signing up and sending in a small annual' dues. Members play an active" part; they are polled regularly ' and are called on to turn-pressure on their congressman, senator, governor, mayor. Nader has no membership organization of his own. He asks the public for financial support, . hut lie doesn'l maintain membership rolls. Nader's role is that of researcher and exposer. His group also is aclive in Ihe courts. Bul Nader is in louch with ·groups which can lake over Ihe things he uncovers or use his research and carry Ihem through lo aclion and solution. He currently is working with 40 different taxpayer groups. REOPEN UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP 'n RESTAURANT Hwy. 85 and 34 By- Pass 8th Ave. South, Greeley OPEN E V E R Y D A Y EXCEPT SUNDAY 4:00 P.M.-1:30 A.M. PLAYING NIGHTLY Western Express 5 Piece Band 9:00 P.M.-1:30 A.M. HILLSIDE SHOPPING MALL MENU FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 Liver and Onions 79c Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings --75c Scalloped Eggplant 25c Vegetable Medley 30c Fresh Spinach Salad.: 30c Tropical Fruit Salad with Sour Cream Dressing 30c Banana Nut Pie with Whipped Cream 30c Hot Spicy Apple Dumplings 30c Serving Hours: Monday thru Friday, 11:00 a.m. to2:00 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday continuously serving 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thieu visits Pope Pope Paul VI greets President Nguyen pointiff agreed to il because il is his policy lo Van Thieu of South Vietnam at a private audi- meet with all heads of slate. (AP Wirephpto ence in Ihe Vatican Monday. The audience was via cable from Rome) object of crticism bul Ihe Valican said Ihe AUTO SALES Weld County Saab Dealer 2435 8th Ave. Ph. 353-3437- JACK NOLAN TRIO Appearing 9 to 1:30 Tuesday thru Saturday 8 to Midnight Sunday COUNTRY WESTERN MUSIC RED STEER LOUNGE Next Door to Farm Fare Tickets $2.00-$2.50 (SOc more at door) KYOU Radio Presents Saturday April 14 SHOW TJ me 7 : 30 RCA Recording Star Community Bldg. Country Music Spectacular Tickets available at-Campus Music, 907 14th St. Ranch Wholesale, 310 8th St. Stockman Western Wear, 942 9th Ave, Wood's Western Wear, 111 llth Ave. Plus JERRY STREET High Country Recording Star AND OTHER NASHVILLE ACTS

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 9,800+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free