Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California on October 13, 1974 · Page 49
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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California · Page 49

Oakland, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 13, 1974
Page 49
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'Consumers Are Pawns 1 bun., OcU3,19*4 49 ART BUCHWA1D · BytAirMNADtt Sen. Robert Griffin's, R-Mich., critical role in sustaining by one vote the minority filibuster tactic which beat back a majority of 65 senators in favor of the consumer protection bill (S. 707) is a matter of record. But how and why he fought this bill is an inside story which should interest, more than the deceived voters of the state of Michigan. The consumer protection bill became a pawn in the chess game which · This signed commentary is from the Register and Tribune Syndicate. The opinions offered are presented to give readers a variety of viewpoints. The Tribune's opinions are expressed only in its own editorials. Griffin plays in his scramble to become the minority leader of the Senate. (He is now minority whip.) He does not feel strongly about this all- important consumer bill one way or. the other. In 1972 when he was up for re-election and needed consumer votes, he voted three times to cut off the filibuster. But in 1974, four years away from another election, he voted four times to keep the filibuster. Some may construe this shift as the politics of cynical deception. For Griffin it is the politics of power with the following backdrop. Leading the baying pack of corporate lobbyists against the consumer legislation are Ford Motor Company, General Motors and the Michigan Auto Dealers Association. These are forces Griffin will not ignore. Among the cast of big business campaign contributors for Griffin, the auto industry stands most prominent. In 1972, John S. Bugas, former Ford Motor Company vice president, gave $6,000 while GM President Edward N. Cole gave $1,500. Contributions from James W. Roche of GM, Lynn A. Townsend of Chrysler, Roy D. Chapin Jr. of American Motors and Lee lacoc- ca of Ford Motor Company helped round out the rest of the industry. As important as campaign funds is the political support which accrues to Griffin from the state's dominant industry and the businesses which thrive off of it.. With Michigan's other senator, Philip Hart (D) displaying an independence and critical attitude toward the auto companies, Griffin and the auto moguls have settled down to a long honeymoon on safety, pollution, and economic issues. Back in the Senate, Griffin worries about a suspected challenge next January to his position as minority whip by the radical reactionary, Sen. John Tower, R-Tex. He worries not so much about losing as about not winning big in-this intra-party struggle. Conse- quently, an adamant stand against the consumer bill endears him to the right wing of the Senate's Republicans. And so on September 19,1974, with Al Bourland of GM, Wayne Smithey of Ford Motor Co., and Bob Smith of Sen. Sam Ervin's, D-N.C., staff hovering around him, Griffin held the filibuster forces together and helped switch the vote of Sen. Milton Young, R-N.C., who turned put to be the crucial turncoat the filibuster forces were counting on. The day before the vote, the bipartisan supporters of the House-passed consumer bill, Reps. Chet Holifield, D-Calif., and Frank Horton, R-N.Y., called President Ford. They urged him to come out for the bill to turn around a few votes in the Senate. Ford replied that he would have to consult with Griffin. Griffin says he has not asked the President to remain silent on the bill. He doesn't have to, having already made clear his hard-nosed opposition. When his Michigan constituents write and ask him why he is against the bill, he highlights a so-called exemption for labor-management relations. This is a phony objection. This provision merely clarifies the scope of the bill which restricts the nonregula- tory consumer agency to simply being an advocate with full rights before other agencies of government whose policies significantly affect the health, safety and economic well-being of consumers in marketplace transaction. Also, corporate management itself would vigorously oppose any incipient authority in the consumer agency to challenge any future regulated labor- management relations and obtain productivity .or cost data in the process. In the Congress WASHINGTON - Votes by orea members of Congress on key roll-calls for the week ending Oct. ta 1774. HOUSE Committee reorganization-By a 203-165 vote, the House opted for the less ambitious of two House committee reorganization proposals it had been debating. Proponents of the weaker plan said -reorganization should be gradual, and that they had taken a good first step by making a few iuris- dictional and procedural changes. Backers of the more comprehensive plan, which would have redrawn jurisdictional lines and limited members to one major committee each, accused their opponents of preserving their own accumulated power at the expense of modernizing the House's committee structure. Voting for weaker reorganization plan: Dellums (D), Leggett (D). Voting against weaker reorganization plan: Edwards (D), McCloskev (R), Stark (D). Not voting: Waldie (D). Campaign r e f o r m -- T h e House by a 365-24 vote cleared a landmark campaign finance reform bill aimed at severely restricting the influence of private money in politics. The measure established contribution and spending limits in congressional and presidential campaigns and provided for full public financing of presidential general elections ond federal matching grants to cover up to 45 per cent of the cost of presidential primary campaigns. The Senate cleared the bill Oct. Backers of the reform said it would prevent Watergate- lype abuses in campaign financing and would curb the role of large contributors and interest groups in political campaigns. Opponents charged that the low spending limits in the bill would protect incumbents by making it difficult for chal- How They *· _ · ' Voted lengers to mount on effective campaign against them. They also raised constitutional objections, saying that the right of free speech of contributors might be violated by placing limits on how much money they could contribute to candidates. Voting for campaign 'reform bill: Dellums, Edwards, Leggen, McCloskev, Stark, Waldie. SENATE FBI Director's tenure-- On a 63-8 vote, the Senate adopted an amendment to limit the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to one 10-year term. Supporters of the 'amendment argued that a single term would protect the director from political pressures and at the same time prevent him. from becoming too independent. Opponents suggested that a single term with no chance of reftppointment would give the director little incentive to perform his job well. Although he disliked the limitation to his appointment powers, President Ford did not oppose the bill. Voting for single 10-year term: Tunney (D). · 'Not voting: Cranston (D). Aid to Turkey-- The Senate by a 40-35 vote passed a resolution permitting the President to delay a congres- 'sionally ordered ban on military aid to Turkey until Dec. 15 if he decided the postponement would help bring a settlement in the military situation on Cyprus. Supporters of allowing the President to delay the aid cutoff argued that the delay would give the Administration time to try to work out a settlement between' Turkey and Greece on the Cyprus issue and at the same time would uphold the congressional ban on further military aid. Opponents argued that the ban on military aid should take effect immediately : and that- the delay would allow more U.S. arms shipments to Turkey, worsening the military situation on Cyprus rather " than improving the chances for a settlement. Voting not to allow aid cutoff delay: Cranston and Tunney. Compiled by Congressional Quarterly HERE ARE ADDRESSES OF NATIONAL AND STATE LEGISLATORS U.S. Senators--Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20510 Sen. Alan Cranston, Sen. John Tunnev. Congressmen--House Olfice Building, Washington, D.C., 20511 Rep. Ranald Dellums, 7th District! representing Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, North Oakland, Central Oakland, Orinda, Rheem Valley, Moraga, ond part ol East Oakland; Rep. Fortncy H. Stark, 8th, representing part of East Oakland, Alameda, Son Lcandro. Castro Valley, San Ramon village, San Ramort, Danville, Llvermorc, Pleasanton, Son Lorenzo, and part of Hayward; Rep. Don Edwards, 9th, representing part ot Hayward, Fremont, Union City, Newark and the northern port of Sar.ta Clara County; Rep. Jerome Waldie, Uth representing most ot Contra Co'sto County. Stole Senators and Assemblymen -State Capitol, Sacramento, Calit. 95814. Alamcda County--State Senators are 8th District, John Holmdahl; 11th Nicholas C. Petris; Mth, Clark Bradley. The eih and nth districts cover the same area, with Holmdahl and Petris representing all of Alamedo County except Castro Valley, Livermorc, and Pleasonton. Those com- rrtunities and a large section ot Santa Clora County are represented by Brad- Icy. Assemblymen are Carlos See, 13th District; 6111 Loekycr, 14th; Mrs. March K. Fong, 15th; Ken Meade, 16lh; John J. Miller, 17th. Contra Costa County--State Senator, 7th District, John A. Neiedly; Assemblymen Daniel E. Boatwright, 10th District; John T. KnoK, nth. They're Blowing Up Trial Balloons WASHINGTON Deep in the heart of the White House, far from the prying eyes of the public and press, is one of the most important rooms in the government. It is the place where they blow up the trial balloons which are floated by the Ford Administration. Thanks to a source who shall remain nameless, I managed to get into the room and see for myself how this all-important operation functions. The room was very long -- the size of a football field - and divided into workbenches. On each bench was seated a member of the Administration or friend of President Ford blowing up large funny-shaped balloons. They were so busy with their work, they didn't notice me. "Say," I said to my source, "isn't that Mel Laird blowing up a balloon over there?" "Yes," he replied, "the balloon he's blowing up has to do with gas rationing. He tried to float it last week, but it didn't fly." "So he's going to send it up. again?" '.'He'll probably try it once more in a different shape and, if it's shot down this time, he'll go on to something else." "Boy, you have to have a lot of air to blow up one of those balloons," I said. "Mel does. He probably has floated more trial balloons than anyone in the Ford kitchen cabinet." "How does he do it?" I asked, "Well, he meets with the President and they decide what trial balloon Mr. Ford wants to send up. "Let's say the President is thinking about gas rationing but he doesn't know if the public will go for it. So he tells Laird to send up a balloon and see the reaction. Laird comes down here and starts blowing." "And then he sends it up?" I asked. "Not really. He has to sell it to the small society somebody. If he sent it up himself, nobody would take the balloon seriously. So he calls up Evans and Novak and says, The President is going to institute gas rationing.'" "And Evans and Novak buy it?" "Every time," my source said. "They float it in their column and then we wait for congressional and press reaction. If it's negative, the President orders Ron Nessen to shoot . the trial balloon down by denying he has any intention of rationing gas." "Doesn't Laird get angry after blowing up one of those balloons to see it shot down?" "Heck, no. He works for the Reader's Digest, and this gives him something to do." "Isn't that Secretary of the Treasury Bill Simon over there?" "He's blowing up a trial balloon on an income surtax. He'll probably float it at a chamber of commerce dinner in Chicago tonight." "Who are all those people sticking pins in the balloon that Simon is blowing up?" "They're Arthur Burns, Alan Greenspan, Roy Ash and Paul McCracken. When it comes to the economy, all Mr. Ford's economic advisers do is stick pins in each other's trial balloons." "Are my eyes deceiving me," I said, "or did Henry Kissinger just walk in?" "Henry's here quite a bit," my source said. "He just floated a balloon last week on getting tough with the oil-producing countries and it landed with a thud. I guess he wants to take some new balloons with him to the Middle East." "Look," I said excitedly, "there's Sen. Hugh Scott." "Poor Hugh," my source said. "The Nixon people used him to launch all their trial balloons on Watergate and-he's still trying to get back his second wind." by Brickman l ALWAYS 10 10 / INFLATION AMP KRESS IKRAZY DAZE SALE WANT TO BEAT INFLATION? CHECK THESE PRICES FOR BIG SAVINGS! SALE PRICES GOOD SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13th thru WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16th MISSES SHORT SLEEVE CARDIGANS ·tk* mwitt look M twtattn ·ModMtwathaHtocrylit *Cuffi«fliortl««ts ·CMtMoM,ribtwlw»iiti ·Ugtitwid dork touts ·Siit. J, HI, I 3.97 . c 4 ^ .' i .-; v - A o E ' S A V E 2.02 UDIES' BRIEFS BIKINIS ·Madme washable nutate pCMtl SiMs $.7 bikinis 3*.*! NSSBNMMIN rauw POLYESTii PANTS IcfiwItaU 4.97 »«M* G»'S FASHION PANT TOPS aniromsiBi KNIT SLACKS *» ta^|fc| «M Mb ***** BJBBVBBB^ BWflf |B^B% BW^i* ^ajW ^ ^^······^·^F^*** ^ IREDDED AM JUMBO VINYL TOTES · Urge ond roomy tote . Shiidy construction · Aisorted foil prints Compare at 1.49 ItVPIECE FUUSERVKE nmCNBOWlSET CMptnaM.99 .* m \r/ - . » »»»j=tw TV\~ *75-PIECE STAINLESS STEEL FLATWARE SET ·iUfmrtaMtuByOMUB ^ * - _ _ l -- ,,--* - '«,, · ! _ J _ J _ _ '· - f c _ ^ _ ^ vup^m HifM iw i^ HKmn* ·*OTMVT llfht, I RMWITi V'MVp SPVOHf B-JPH ffrfct, vNtvCf fOrMSMtf, Mwf RCCvS INnlMIQ WHITE TgLOMB BITEMOR 19.99 Compoft ot 27*99 STEREO RECORDER PLAYER ft AM/FM RADIO COMPARE! SAVE 5.02 · AM/FM radio · B» turntable · 2-large separate speakers ·5 control chassis · Headphone jack · Plastic (fat cover 49.97 Compare at 54.99 S A V E 5 02 ilM/FMDIGITAr CLOCK RADIO · WffGt Of It NMJSK . .* _t--- ^^ 24.971 fanptfo at I9.ff K» ^^J*r^ x "» » ^ f WlAKVB7*t 4W»CAMOW*HOgONG BAR SET 7.77

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