Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on July 31, 1987 · 4
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 4

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Friday, July 31, 1987
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41 i Fnon page 1 FRIDAY. JULY 3 1 T LINCOLN, NE. JOURNAL Sen. Ashford discusses S3 Tax switch to Republican By Fred Knapp Journal Statehouse Bureau Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha apparently is thinking of switching from the Democratic to the Republican party, atnd may run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Hal Daub, R-2nd District. ; Douglas County Commissioner Steve McCollister, a Republican, said Friday he talked to Ashford recently to encourage him to become a Republican. "He told me he felt more comfortable with that label than the Democratic label,' McCollister said. "He didn't confirm to me that he would or wouldn't (switch), but he said he felt comfortable with our conversation." McCollister also said that in addition to Ashford's possible party switch, their conversation touched on a possible congressional candidacy. "I think he's looking at these as two separate decisions," McCollister said. . Ashford, who is in Indianapolis at a National Conference of State Legislatures convention, could not be reached. Nebraska Republican Chairman Norm Riffel confirmed that "there has been a fair amount of conversation" about Ashford switching parties. But he said the senator had not talked to him about it. Ashford, 37, was a registered Republican in Douglas County from June 1971 until December 1982. McCollister said he thought Ashford became a Democrat to support former Gov. Bob Kerrey, who was elected in November 1982. Kerrey, himself a Republican until 1978, appointed Ashford to the Commission of Industrial Relations in 1984. Ashford expressed interest in running for the Democratic congressional nomination in 1986, but later decided to run for the Legislature, saying the more important spending decisions were being made there and citing the cost of running for Congress. Elections to the Legislature are nonpartisan. The body now contains 25 registered Republicans, 23 registered Democrats, and one registered Independent. Ashford's decision to run for the Legislature instead of Congress came before the death of Sen. Edward Zorin-sky, D-Neb., whose seat Daub is planning to seek against appointed Sen. David Karnes. McCollister also has considered running to replace Daub, but said Friday he was 90 percent sure that if he ran for full-time office, it would be for mayor of Omaha in 1989. Officials say that if the state Board of Equalization agrees on Aug. 10, the increase would add $260 million to the county's total valuation, cause some shift in tax burden from residential to commercial and industrial properties and most likely reduce subdivision tax rates further. For now, any slight reduction in tax rates, but not necessarily In tax bills, can be attributed to the increased valuation by the county. The increased valuation allows subdivisions to raise more money with the same tax rates. As a result, the three largest taxing subdivisions - the Lincoln School District, the city of Lincoln and Lancaster County tentatively have lowered or kept their rates the same as this fiscal year. The Lincoln School District, for example, adopted a record $94.3 million budget last week, but will not ask for an increase in the current $1.4075 per $100 of valuation tax rate. The district intends to use monies from its general fund reserve and a pension fund to make up the difference. City tax rate The city of Lincoln tentatively has set its tax rate at 45.76 cents per $100 valuation, down from 49.03 cents. Lancaster County, which earlier faced a $1.8 million shortfall from the loss of federal revenue-sharing funds, is offering taxpayers a slight decrease from last year's tax rate. The tentative levy has been set at 33.40 cents per $100 valuation, down slightly from 33.53 cents. Some taxing subdivisions are considering tax rate increases. Southeast Community College will probably ask for a 6 percent tax rate increase for the 1987-88 fiscal year. Area President Robert Eicher said that state aid has been reduced and the district has had to place a greater reliance on property taxes and increased student tuition for revenue. Eicher said a tax increase, if necessary, may be about 0.4 of a cent, which would increase SCC's levy to 7.3 cents per 100 valuation from the current 6.9 cents. Directors of the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District on July 22 tentatively approved a $4.2 million budget which would require a tax rate increase of 7.2 percent, or a rate of 3.33 cents per $100 valuation. Last year, the rate was 3.11 cents. "The increase is predicated on the assumption that the valuation will stay the same," said NRD Manager Glenn Johnson. "If the valuation goes up, then the (levy) should stay about the same as this year." The Lincoln Airport Authority, for the second consecutive year, has not asked for a property tax levy. The three smallest taxing subdivisons Lincoln's Education Service Unit, the Lincoln-Lancaster Railroad Transportation Safety District and the Agricultural Society (fair board) - asked for a total of 2.6 cents per $100 of valuation this fiscal year. Howard Gunnerson, executive director of the Railroad Transportation Safety District, would not discuss next fiscal year's budget before the district's board of directors meets Aug. 18. The Journal kept the district's 1987-88 tax rate at last year's level for projection purposes only. The levy for Lincoln's Education Service Unit will be increased slightly. Agricultural Society officials say their levy will remain the same. From DArms From pagel Gulf From pagel Crash Dominican Republic. Agro Air officials declined to comment until Monday. Mexico City Police Chief Jose Domingo Ramirez Garrido Abreu said the search for bodies ended early Friday and that 37 people were dead. Arturo Martinez, a dispatcher for the Red Cross, confirmed that figure. Police spokesman Alejandro Ortiz said 22 people were hospitalized. The government news agency Noti-mex reported 42 deaths. It wasn't known how many died on the ground and on the plane. Heavy equipment was brought in to clear the burned hulks of cars from the highway, and shortly after dawn, traffic was moving slowly along the busy thoroughfare. A passenger who survived, horse trainer Guadalupe Pina, 42, said in a television news interview from his hospital bed that panic broke out as the plane began rocking from side to side. Passengers screamed "God save us! Save us!" and cried as the cabin filled with smoke, Pina said. . The plane crashed in a drizzle at 5:03 p,m. (6:03 p.m. CDT), seven minutes after takeoff from Mexico City's international airport, said airport general man ager Carlos Padilla. Three of the four crewmen and four passengers were being treated at three hospitals, but officials at those hospitals refused to give their conditions. Hospital officials identified some of the victims being treated as the pilot, Rick Moore; the co-pilot, Robert Banta; the cargo master, Bryan Stuart; and passengers Pina, Federico Fernandez, Ruben Rodriguez Monterde, and his son, Ruben Rodriguez Enriquez. They provided no other details. The plane was transporting 18 horses of the Mexican Equestrian Federation that were to travel to events in Virginia and Massachusetts, officials said. Airport officials said two of the horses survived but were badly burned, and police later shot one of the horses because its injuries were so severe. Notimex quoted witnesses as saying they saw a fire on the plane's right wing shortly before the crash. At least 26 cars were destroyed or damaged. Four houses were damaged by fire that spread from the crash site. In Seattle, a spokesman for Boeing Commercial Airplane Co. said he was surprised a Boeing 377 was still flying in the Americas. berger said that he, like Regan, opposed the idea of selling arms to Iran. And he said as had Regan that he was kept in the dark about many important events surrounding the initiative. Weinberger made ho secret of his disgust at the proposal to sell arms to Iran, and thought it was impossible even to deal with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's government in Tehran on a rational basis. "Like asking (Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi to Washington for a cozy chat," he wrote at one point. He said he wrote on one draft presidential directive, "This is too absurd to comment on," and said it would represent a "policy reversal" that other nations would see as "inexplicably inconsistent." Weinberger said he and Secretary of State George P. Shultz were allies in opposing the arms sales. He said the two of them argued against the sales with vehemence at a meeting with the president on Dec. 7, 1985. Weinberger recalled returning to the Pentagon after the session and telling a top aide he believed that Reagan had accepted his advice and that "the baby had been strangled in its cradle." But he found himself at another top-level meeting one month later, joining with Shultz in arguing against the sales. This time, Weinberger said, he realized that the president seemed to favor going ahead with the plan out of concern for American hostages being held in Lebanon. During Regan's stint in the witness chair, lawmakers made numerous expressions of concern that many senior Reagan administration officials had been denied knowlege of major events. Said Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md.: "It seems to me what happened in all of this was, in effect, there was a junta - S See Barbie's live fashion show Saturday at RG! 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"You had Poindexter and North and their associates in effect invoking the authority of the president of the United States, freezing out the chief of staff, the secretary of defense and secretary of state and pursuing their own policy, policies which the president says if he had known about them, he would have strongly opposed, and policies which you said if you had known about them, you would have reacted with shock and horror." Regan turned aside a suggestion from Sea Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that the affair might have turned out differently if Reagan administration officials had questioned North and Poindexter in November as they were leaving their White House posts. Regan said he didn't want to impugn either man, but added: "It may be taking things too much for granted that they would have told the truth and nothing but the truth at that particular moment." In other developments: The Army unwittingly helped generate additional profits from the Iran arms sales when it underpriced TOW anti-tank missiles conveyed to the CIA for resale, according to a report by the House Armed Services Committee. But panel Chairman Les Aspln, D-Wis., said Army procedures make it almost impossible to find the right price, and led in this cose to "soap operalike confusion." Conservative fund-raiser Carl R. "Spitz" Channell, who has pleaded guilty to a charge that he conspired to defraud the government in connection with his fund-raising activities for the Contras, Is disputing in bankruptcy court a S40.000 bill from lobbyist Lvn Nofziger, the former White House political director recently charged with ethics law violations. Channell said he hired Nofziger for his lobbying expertise and contacts. ain could carry out the task, it was not inclined to do so. Price was told that the operation was inadvisable, politically and militarily, sources said. Even if mine sweepers could get to the gulf in time and it could take weeks the intervention would be likely to escalate the tensions in the region rather than improve the situation, Howe reportedly told Price. "There will be a lot of hand wringing and tut-tutting and lots of sympathetic noises," one diplomatic source predicted, "but at the end of the day, the United States will have to go it alone. All the European countries are aware of the effect of a terrorist bomb in Piccadilly or any other tourist spot at the height of the travel season." The United States also has tried to get help from France. Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger met with French Defense Minister Andre Giraud late Thursday to discuss the mine-sweeping issue. But diplomatic sources said France was likely to refuse the request, although it is sending ships to protect its own interests in the gulf. European unhappiness with the American plan to escort gulf shipping should not have come as a surprise. Unlike the United States, most of Western Europe with the notable exception of Britain is dependent for oil on the Persian Gulf. The damage to tankers from the occasional shelling, strafing and mine explosions resulting from the Iran-Iraq war have increased the price of oil already. But European allies fear that an escalation of tensions because of the American intervention has the potential not only to increase the price of oil further, but also to result in the total disruption of regular supplies. From P9 D Arrest - brought large quantities of cocaine into Lincoln and directed its distributioa Meyer's Arlington Avenue home was among the alleged storing places for the cocaine. Earlier this summer, the cars seized in the raid at Meyer's home were sold at auction, with proceeds going to the law agencies involved in the raid. 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