News Herald from Port Clinton, Ohio on November 11, 1980 · 4
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News Herald from Port Clinton, Ohio · 4

Port Clinton, Ohio
Issue Date:
Tuesday, November 11, 1980
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4 News Herald, Tuesday, Nov. U, 1980 Vesco-Carter story needs investigation WASHINGTON - Now that Jimmy Carter has been defeated and cannot manipulate the Justice Department for another four years, a special prosecutor should be appointed to tie together the tangled threads of the Robert Vesco scandal. I began reporting more than two years ago that Vesco, an international swindler, had offered multimillion-dollar bribes to presidential cronies. First he tried to buy his way out of his legal difficulties; then he sought the release of embargoed U.S. transport planes for Libya. Vesco was also involved, in the Libyan attempt to corrupt the president's brother, Billy Carter. Jack Anderson Several people of impeccable credentials have examined the evidence and have concluded that the Carter administration is guilty of "stonewalling" in every sense of the Watergate term. They range from U.S. senators to federal investigators, from a grand jury foreman to a federal judge. There are three main threads to the Vesco-Carter story : First Thread Just weeks after Carter was inaugurated, Vesco offered $12 million in stolen stocks to Georgia cronies of the new administration. A $10,000 advance was paid to Spencer Lee IV, a close friend of White House aides Hamilton Jordan and Richard Harden. Lee then set up a corporation in the Bahamas Vesco's cosen refuge from extradition attempts to launder the $12 million. Lee apprised Harden of the bribery scheme, and Harden told the new president of Vesco's hopes for assistance. Incredibly, Carter did not report the incident to the Justice Department. Instead, he penned a mysterious note to Attorney General Griffin Bell, asking him to see Lee. Both Lee and Harden have testified under oath that they immediately pulled out of the conspiracy. But the Justice Department has locked up evidence including appointment schedules, telephone logs and lie detector tests that they may have committed perjury. When a federal grand jury was disbanded without indicting anyone, the jury foreman, Ralph Ulmer, accused the Justice Department of coaching witnesses and orchestrating a cover-up. He used such words as "duplicity" and "manipulation" to characterize the department's handling of the case. A Senate investigation, conducted by Sens. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has confirmed many of his allegations. Both senators have accused the Justice Department of "stonewalling," The White House, meanwhile, has refused to let Harden testify before the Senate. Second Thread As a financial consultant to the Libyan government of Muammar Qaddafi, Vesco persuaded the Libyans to put up $30 million of their oil wealth to bribe top Carter administration officials to lift the State Department embargo on those transport planes. Secret Justice Department files, reviewed by my associate Indy Badhwar, show that the G-men began to learn of this plot in January 1979. Their prime source was a convicted con man named James Feeney, who had penetrated the inner circle of the Vesco operation. raw I don't cheat on my income tax. I don't lie about my age on my driver's license. I don't tell my dentist I floss when I don't. So how come I have trouble looking honest? Ever see me going through customs? You can't miss me. I always look like a poodle who has just missed the paper. I contend you can always tell when a person is lying. He looks you directly in the eyes and with a sincerity that belongs in the Eulpit says, "You can believe me." Maybe It's because people ave more riding on a lie than they do on the truth. Erma Bombeck I I try too hard with the truth ... especially when I bear the burdenofit. When my husband asks, "How did that dent get in the car door?" I approach the car like a bullfighter with irregularities ... a little stiff-legged, a little hesitant. Don't be too quick to find the spot ... nor too dumb to recognize It when you see it. Now, run fingers over it slowly, clear throat, and say in an even voice, "I don't know. This Is the first time I've noticed it. Who could have Hoping to gain leniency on his sentence for an unrelated fraud conviction, Feeney offered to spill the beans on Vesco's Libyan plane bribery scheme. Feeney tipped the FBI to a secret rendezvous between Democratic National Chairman John White and Libyan Ambassador Mansur Kikkia at a rooftop bar a block from the White House. Yet the promising investigation was dropped with suspicious suddenness. Now startling new evidence has come to light: White spoke to Stuart Eizenstat, Carter's domestic policy chief, about the Libyans' hopes to get their embargoed planes released. White also raised the subject with State Department big shots Warren Christopher, Harold Saunders, Richard Moose and David Newsome. In Denver, Chief Judge, Fred Winner has sought to unravel another case involving Feeney. The judge has compared the bribery scheme to the Teapot Dome scandal and has told associates that the Justice Department's stonewalling is the "worst raw use of naked power" he has ever seen. Third Thread In characteristic fashion, Vesco who once tried to get his hooks on Richard Nixon through the then-president's brother Donald advised Qaddafi that boozey Billy Carter might be a promising way to gain influence in the Carter administration. When the Justice Department was compelled to investigate, both Jimmy and Billy Carter tried to stonewall. The department's investigators complained that they had been denied free access to the president's diary and personal notes "despite the President's public statements of total cooperation." The president also promised to submit to questioning but postponed the interview indefinitely. There is more than enough material in the complex Vesco operations to keep a special prosecutor busy. - HITTING HOME: The professionally unflappable personnel at the State Department have been showing unaccustomed emotion when dealing with the Tehran hostage crisis. Cables refer to it with such undiplomatic adjectives as "infamous," and there was even a move afoot to commemorate the anniversary of the hostages' capture with a special postage stamp. News Herald 115th Year-Vol. 120 (USPS 386-100) A GANNETT NEWSPAPER DAILY NEWS, 1865 PORT CLINTON HERALD, 1867 MERGED 1969 Published Monday through Saturday, except holidays, by The Fremont Messenger Company, 107 S. Arch Street, Fremont, Ohio 43420. Subscription rates: by carrier 90 cents per week; by 'motor route, $1.00 per week. Annually by mall in Ottawa County where carrier service is not available, $52 in advance; elsewhere in Ohio, $59 in advance; outside of Ohio, $69 in advance. Member of Associated Press and Audit Bureau of Circulation, Second-Class postage paid at Port Clinton, Ohio. Postmaster send address changes to News Herald, 115 W. Second St., Port Clinton, Ohio 43452. PHONE 734-3141 News Herald office hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Truthfully, it's Why did voters By DON CAMPBELL Gannett News Service WASHINGTON - On the morning after, Jimmy Carter was sitting in the Oval Office doing his own instant analysis for a group of reporters about why he had lost the 1980 presidential election by a staggering margin. He quickly ruled out the obvious: "I don't think there's any indication in the polls that there was a personal turning against me ... there was not an aversion to me," he said. If that's true, one might ask, why did 40 million Americans vote for Carter in 1976, but only 35 million vote for him last Tuesday? In losing to Republican Ronald Reagan, Carter also distinguished himself in another way. He became the first Democratic president in this century to be defeated for reelection the first, in fact, since Grover Cleveland in 1888. While Carter may have in mind also repeating Cleveland's comeback for a split second term, the prospect is not very encouraging. Cleveland actually won the popular vote over Benjamin Harrison in 1888; it was the electoral vote that did him in. Carter lost badly on both counts last Tuesday. Though ruling himself blameless in the debacle, Carter did acknowledge some factors in his defeat. The problems presented by the flood of refugees into this country this year "hurt us badly," he said. He also implied that his appointment of minorities to high office and his support of equal rights for women had cost him votes. And all the "charges, headlines, news stories" raising questions about the financing of his 1976 campaign, he said, "obviously made a small impression on the American consciousness." The same was true, he said, of allegations of drug use by Hamilton Jordan. Later in the conversation Carter noted that "the doubling of oil prices last year" was also a factor in his defeat. Carter's rather self-serving very difficult done such a thing? I didn't do it! I certainly would have remembered. Did someone say I did it? They lie!" Don't talk too much. Go for more indignation. "That's a terrible thing to do and then run." Look him in the eyes. He's getting suspicious. "I suppose I could have done it, but ... " Ten minutes later, I am making a full confession for something I didn't do. I've seen honest people wrestle with the problem for years people who feel like Jack the Ripper because they mistook a $1 for a $5 when they paid their bill, or who were stopped going through airport security for a piece of foil wrapped around their gum. My Armageddon occurs when my charge is called in for verification. It only takes three or four hours, but it seems longer. First, I try to look bored like it's just a formality. Then in a move of self-assuredness I begin arranging the package under my arm like it's only a matter of seconds. When the salesperson is not looking at me, I search her eyes for some sign of panic or mistrust. My eyes lack coordination (like Marty Feldman) and my throat becomes dry. Sometimes I hum. If I have to go to the credit office, will I make a joke out of it or pass out? Honesty ... it's painful. Trust me. You have to believe that ... News assessment wasn't blatantly ir heading, it just didn't go far enough. If Hamilton Jordan's problems damaged Carter and they did then Billy Carter's shenanigans damaged him more so. If questions about his 1976 campaign finances left a "small impression" on voters, his clinging to Bert Lance in the summer of 1977 and to Andrew Young a year later left a larger one. All those events chipped away slowly but surely at Carter's single most important political commodity, his integrity. And he couldn't afford that because of the unique way in which he won the White House. Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign and much of his term in the White House was essentially an experiment in personality politics and symbolism: the campaigning in living rooms, the Inaugural walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, the dispensing (and eventual revival) of "Hail to the Chief," the week-long riverboat ride down the Mississippi River, the "town meetings" followed by overnight visits in the home of common folk. It was strange, but to Carter, everything revolved around Jimmy Carter. Foreign leaders automatically became "my very close friend" after one meeting. Details preoccupied and fascinated him. When he learned something new, he wanted to tell the world about it. (In his Oval Office reflections last week, Carter noted that he had studied in "the most meticulous detail the make-up of the president, the role of hundreds and hundreds of tiny government entities and agencies in relationship ... I've also studied the make-up of roughly 150 nations in relationship to one another...") Carter also had a habit of talking about how about how difficult were the tasks confronting a president; in fact he often obscured his own accomplishments with his doleful rhetoric about the challenges still ahead. Herald Editorials reject Carter? What other president in history would ha' gone into 13 days of seclusion at Camp David, only to emerge and deliver a nationally televised address blaming the American people for a "malaise" abroad in the land? Somewhere along the way, a lot of voters got tired of hearing about Jimmy Carter's problems and those Sen. Metzenbaum may be a 'marked man' By WARREN WHEAT Gannett News Service WASHINGTON - Although pundits will be finding new messages in last Tuesday's national election results for months, there's one guy who should have gotten the idea pretty darn quick: Ohio Sen. Howard M. Metzenbaum. He's a marked man. The 63-year-old Ohio Democrat is one of only a lefthandful of liberals remaining in the U.S. Senate after the Nov. 4 conservative rout. He is rated as more liberal than even several of those big-name Democrats flushed from the Senate by the conservative tide last week. While still savoring the sweet and sour taste of victory, less than 12 hours after their stunning election performance, the New Right targeted Metzenbaum for the same ideological junk heap they sent liberal Democrats such as Indiana's Birch Bayh, Iowa's John Culver, Idaho's Frank Church, Washington's Warren Magnuson, South Dakota's George McGovern and Wisconsin's Gaylord Nelson. Metzenbaum the past four years has been one of the most strident liberals in the Senate and as such a maverick within a minority of his own party. He has built a reputation on attacking big business, big oil and the insurance industry. The Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) rated only McGovern as voting more liberal than Metzenbaum in 1979. The AFL-CIO gave only Bayh and McGovern higher ratings. In one Chamber of Commerce rating Metzenbaum got a zero and in another 19. The conr servative Americans for Constitutional Action (ACA) gave him a 13. And just last week Metzenbaum was rated as "the Senate's strongest consumer advocate" by Ralph Nader's Public Citizen's Congress Watch with an 87 percent correct rating. Terry Dolan, chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) that financed much of the New Right's successes, included Metzenbaum on a list of 9 or 10 senators targeted for defeat in 1984. The queue of Ohio Republicans aspiring to the U.S. Senate already was knee-deep even before Tuesday's election. It must be stifling by now for Metzenbaum. of the people around him. They also grew weary of all the minut" details of running the bureaucracy and conducting foreign policy. They started looking for someone who wouldn't seem so overwhelmed by the duties of president and they took a chance that it would be Ronald Reagan. Potential opponents include Rep. John Ashbrook of Johnstown, Clarence Brown of Springfield, possibly Willis Gradison Jr. of Cincinnati, unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate James Betts of Rocky River, even, if you can believe it, James A. Rhodes, who will be 73 years old in 1982. Metzenbaum has said he expects Rhodes to be his opponent. Last spring he already was considering to defend his seat against a typical Rhodes challenge. He speculated that it might be a good idea to tape some very tough anti-Rhodes commercial to be used in the closing days of the campaign to respond to typical last-minute campaign smear tactics. Many of Rhodes opponents have been unable to respond to the late attacks because they have run out of money, and time. How Metzenbaum will react to the New Right challenge, of course, remains to be seen. He already has appeared to be trying to broaden his political base in Ohio and has been especially impressed with his reception in the Cincinnati area and the response to his anti-big oil rhetoric there. Will he bend with the wind from the right, or continue to wear his lifelong convictions on his shirtsleeve. Bets are that when faced with political survival Metzenbaum will become a little more flexible. Watch this space for developments. Also, keep a close watch on Sen. John Glenn, who posted a state record 1.6-million votes in defeating Betts. His victory is all the more impressive when it is considered he won at a time that his state was falling to Ronald Reagan and his incumbent Senate colleagues were losing all over the country. Glenn accounted for his victory by saying that his voting record "Is more moderate than a lot of the whole Senate." He said that during his campaign he stuck to the positive and avoided the negatives that damaged President Carter. His record isn't all that much more moderate than the defeated Democrats. Only Church had lower ADA and AFL-CIO rankings than Glenn. He also received a zero on one Chamber of Commerce list, 31 on another and 4 by the ACA, even lower than Metzenbaum.

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