Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 13, 1975 · Page 54
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 54

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 13, 1975
Page 54
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jAZETTE-MAlL Editorials It's No Time for Timidity An editorial in the June issue of The New Charleston, a publication of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce and Development, suggests that the business community, instead of thinking only in terms of "what's good for business" or "what's not good for business." turn its thoughts to what will improve the quality of life. The observation was based on a statement by Clinton Morrison, a Minneapolis banker, when he assumed the post of chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. This served as a reminder that members of the West Virginia Bankers' Assn. are about to make their annual trek to the Greenbrief for their convention July 24-26 -- and it's time they start giving some thought to what they can do to improve the quality of service for the state of West Virginia and its people. To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, they should be concentrating not on what their state can do for them, but on what they can do for their state. Certainly the news of the last few months should be sufficient to send a message loud and clear to members of the WVBA - as well as to their fellows in the Independent Bankers' Assn. and the Progressive Bankers' Assn. -- that the self serving resolutions of past bankers' conventions are no longer in vogue. What is called for now is not only a resolution but firm action on the part of the banking fraternity toward es- tablishing a decent plan for handling the public's money in the public interest. The old system of bankers -- not all, perhaps, but too many -- bribing public officials to get state money for A Challenge Is Needed Idi Amin is scheduled to become head of the Organization of African Unity this month. What is the Organization of African Unity? It is an organization of nations formed to acquaint the world with the problems of black Africa. Who is Idi Amin? He is the irresponsible, possibly crazy, president of Uganda. Amin only a few days ago released a British school teacher scheduled for execution in Uganda for having referred in an unpublished book to Amin as ""a village tyrant." The teacher was freed only after Amin was satisfied that British diplomats, sent to help the hapless teacher, had humbled themselves sufficiently. It isn't surprising that Amin would decree death for anyone offering minor criticism of him. He is an outspoken admirer of Adolf Hitler, apparently oblivious to the fact that Hitler believed blacks to be subhuman. Amin recently proposed that statues of Hitler be raised in Uganda. Will Idi Amin be an e f f e c t i v e spokesman for black Africa in world forums? Of course not. He is regarded as a knave or a lunatic. Disrespect for Amin is as strong in Africa as it is elsewhere. Why other black leaders in Africa haven't challenged him for the leadership of the Organization of African Unity is a question which baffles much of the world. their own use can no longer be tolerated. And if the banker* themselves fail to come np with a thief-proof plan, strong legislative action will be the mandatory alternative. Indeed, the bankers -- the innocent along with the guilty -- deserve little sympathy in their present lack of credibility, for they had been warned of the scandal in their midst long before John Kelly resigned as state treasurer and pleaded guilty to bribery, extortion, and mail fraud in placing state funds in the hands of accommodating bankers. For more than 20 years The Charleston Gazette -- and, we're sure, v other state newspapers -- editorialized against the practice of keeping large sums of state money in noninterest bank accounts, against the brazen gall of one Charleston city treasurer who used city funds to make money for a bank of which he was president, and against another who admitted that he ran for city treasurer only to get control of the public funds for his bank. And the Daily Mail 10 years ago went to the State Supreme Court and obtained an order forcing Kelly to make public his records showing where and how state funds were deposited. People Equipped A handgun killing in downtown Charleston doubtless will revive the campaign to impose stricter regulations on sales and purchases of weapons. Advocates of a gun in every home will counter, of course, with the assertion that people., not guns, kill people. In the meantime, a poll tells us that 44 per cent of Americans are now armed. If people, not guns, kill people, almost half of America is equipped to do the killing. All of this should have been sufficient to put bankers on notice that they had something better to do at their state conventions than pass resolutions dealing with branch banking and other mechanics of their business. But, as is all too evident from events of recent weeks, the bribers went on paying bribes for mutual enrichment and the innocents in the banking fraternity did nothing to break down these playhouses. There is no longer time for coverup or timidity. For their own sake, as well as in the public interest, bankers must act firmly and openly on the side of honesty and morality. The West Virginia Bankers' Assn. will be wise to devote the full program of its approaching convention to this end. The goal should be an open system whereby banks handle public money the same as they handle their own money. Take Comfort In Loss If you've been at a loss to understand what goes on in Congress, consider the following exchange between Rep. Bob Eckhardt, D-Texas, and Rep. Andy Jacobs Jr., D-Ind., as reported in the Congressional Record: · Eckhardt -- Mr. Chairman, as I understand what the gentleman is doing, the amendment is saying that four years after any particular mileage standard required for an entire fleet of cars, then there may not be any car distributed which exceeds that figure to which the limitation was placed four years earlier on the entire fleet, and if it is attempted to sell a car which does not meet that standard, the company may be enjoined from selling it? Jacobs -- By action of the Justice Department; the gentleman is right. Eckhardt - And in addition to that, this only applies to passenger vehicles; is that correct? Jacobs -- Well I do not know just what that means; but yes, what the heck. So now you may be a little more comfortable in being at a loss to understand what goes on in Congress. 'You'll be glad to hear that the latest figures show you're holding steady 9 Fanny Setter: Affairs of State 'Bug Paranoia' No Joke Richard L. Strout Clearer Eyes a Year Later A year ago this week the House Judiciary Committee released White House tapes revealing that the Nixon version previously issued was doctored and false; a year ago this week a prosecutor in Judge Sirica's court revealed a 19-minute gap in a Nixon-Ehrlichman tape; a year ago this week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether "executive privilege 7 ' excused the president (an unindicted coconspirator) from surrendering 64 additional conversations: and a year ago this week Vice President Ford at San Clemente said he felt "strongly" there would be no impeachment because the "preponderance of evidence favors the president." The rush of news and developments one year ago was unparalleled in American history for the great Watergate coverup was collapsing: the president and the nation were hurrying to their rendezvous with Aug. 9. the fatal day when the first chief executive in history would in effect go over Niagara Falls. A year ago? -- it seems a lifetime ago: something you read about somewhere in a history book: it seems longer than a year because we have been trying to forget it. In July. 1975. the geraniums bloom in Lafayette Park across from the White House just as they did then: the weather is hot and humid'as it was a year ago. and the mood of the nation toward Watergate is still uncertain, and enervated. Last year it was numbed, too: it leaped briefly ^nto a firestorm of anger when the president fired the special prosecutor, but quieted again as the Ervin committee ended its work and the House Rodino committee passed interminable weeks behind closed doors. At the last though, the mood began to change, showing hidden reserves of indignation as the drama moved to its incredible climax. Before long the Su- -·erneJCourt would speak unanimoufy. ·:b? out the final tapes. Including the conversation, June 23,1972, that contained Nixon's agreement to use the CIA to halt the FBI's investigation. That ended it. That was the "smoking pistol". »· WHAT PRODUCED those final weeks, a year ago? After election in 1972 the president's popularity rating -- near an all- time high -- was 68 per cent. He won by a landslide: 61 per cent to 38 per cent, endorsed by 753 daily newspapers to 56 for McGovern, whose inept campaign never got off the ground. The nation relaxed. This would be a calmer period under a "new" Nixon. As Henry Kissinger explained, "There's a certain -- you know, it's a big word -- but it's a certain heroic quality about how he conducts his business." Indeed there was bravura about it: those Graustarkian costumes Nixon approved for White House guards, and the trumpet fanfare used to herald his entrance on state occasions. And all the time the man in the White House knew that a crime had been committed, that he had participated in the crime in the coverup. and that upon him now a trap seemed to be closing, more and more threatening. In July, a year ago. the final defense was giving way as the president's celebrated lawyer. James D. St. Clair. tried to convince the black-robed justices that the confidentiality of presidential conversations should be absolute. Justice Marshall. July 8. posed a hypothetical case: if confidentiality were absolute, he asked, how could a judge, say. be exposed, who had made a deal with a president for money? Why." St. Clair answered brightly, "the remedy is clear, he should be impeached." "But how are you going to impeach him." asked Marshall, "if you don't know about it?" St. Clair lamely replied that "very %w _ things forever are hidden." A year ago one could guess which way the court would decide. It had taken a long time to reach this point. Sunday papers of June 18,1972, carried paragraphs about five men arrested in the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. In a rented room nearby were'32 $100 bills and the notebook of "E. Hunt" with a notation "W.H." Could this mean White House? Presidential press secretary Ronald Ziegler said he wouldn't comment "on a third-rate burglary attempt." (White House reporters are still overreacting to this by asking mean questions of Ron Nessen.) The New York Times could hardly take it seriously; it headlined subsequent stories "Watergate Caper," or "Watergate Whodunit." And all the time from then on. behind the scenes, the president guarded his secret and felt himself under attack from the "elite," the intellectuals," the "Establishment," and responded in kind. f- THERE WERE a lot of secrets coming to light in Washington a year ago. They are still making news today. In a little-noticed unanimous report the Ervin committee revealed the price tags on brokeraged foreign envoy posts, noting that Herbert Kalmbach, the Nixon fund-raiser, was "the first person in modern times to be convicted for selling an ambassadorship." It printed the list of Western European ambassadors and their contributions to the Nixon 1972 campaign. A New York Times story says that Mrs. Farkas now facing possible indictment, blames others for tempting her millionaire husband to buy her an ambassadorship. The president wasn't without friends a year ago. He told Rabbi Korff, leader of a pro-Nixon group and author of a jusfpub- (Ptea*e tan to Page The "bugging paranoia"--a term used when someone jokes about his being monitored electronically--reportedly is widespread in the Department of Public Safety's rank and file. Knowledge of intelligence -- gathering devices being purchased in the department was passed to the men some time ago. As time went on, it became a joke. But that isn't to say the men believe they're safe from being monitored. It's most difficult to prove that a "bug" has been listening and recording every spoken word. The individuals who are the most expert say there isn't any way to discover some of the most sophisticated bugging equipment. Some equipment, experts tell me, does make clicks and tones. (You can't prove it by me.) A general "paranoia" has existed in parts of state government for years. It's a joke, too, in the press corps. The paranoia only came to public light with the publication recently about the Department of Public Safety purchasing intelligence equipment. The department's undercover unit- formed in mid-1972-purchased nearly $24,000 worth of very sophisticated equipment. Nobody is likely, however, to know they're a target of that equipment. It doesn't make sounds on telephones. It reportedly is automatic and smooth. It monitors, records and transmits in one operation. And don't let anyone kid you that it hasn't been used. What's more, the device operates from outside a building. *· THE EQUIPMENT PURCHASE included a "unitized intelligence system" at $3,150 each. Two of them were purchased from Audio Intelligence Devices Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. There's a radio system that can monitor everybody else's frequency, and provide a communication method on a frequency no one else has. There was a bird dog--it cost $1,695 in October, 1972--which is used to tell where a vehicle is, and two telephone taps at $137 each. Some of this equipment is used as much for protection of the undercover agent as it is to catch a crook. The dangers of the undercover operation dictate good protection. The equipment can't be the orignator of the paranoia since it existed prior to the purchase in 1972. Neither is it the basis for paranoia now. If any devices were being used to get the paranoia started in state government in the early '70s, or even before that, they came from some place else than the undercover unit. It's significant to note that the state officials who had their offices swept for electronic bugs didn't find any, which doesn't mean they were or weren't being monitored. Greenbrier last week. The others had been removed. Part of the story of Gov. Moore's cart is that it reportedly was entrusted to only one certain individual for delivery to the Greenbrier . . . Auditor John Gates has asked for an attorney general's opinion'on whether the allocation to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame is valid, based on a reliable r e p o r t . . . State Sen. Mario Palumbo, D- Kanawha, had a bandage over one eye last week. His baby accidentally punched a magazine in Palumbo's eye ... James dowser, deputy director of administration for the Department of Mental Health, says he's toying with the idea of running for secretary of state in the Democratic primary . . . John E. Lee, general counsel to the Public Service Commission since 1967 and an attorney for the PSC for 16 years, resigned Friday to devote full time to the family business in Fayetteville. The story going around is that Gov. Moore will be instrumental in selection of a successor to the civil service position . . . The Department of Public Safety was tight for current expense money prior to a transfer by the legislature. One report is that some of the men brought their own soap. Supply Officer Lt. W. A. Wood says the companies didn't let him know if they were out of soap. He had a reserve on hand, Wood said. If it was that bad, how could the department afford all those motorcycles? . . . The legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance is to discuss the track and field hall of fame problem when it meets this week . . . Cpl. Robert Adams was elected secretary- treasurer of the Department of Public Safety's retirement board last week . . . Sen. Robert Nelson, D-Cabell, says he's in agreement that the Department of Highways should be provided the $27 million funding it seeks despite the political considerations that 1976 is an election year. To delay longer, will cost twice as much to catch up in the department on maintenance, Nelson said . . . Sen. Pat Hamilton, D-Fayette, says a congressman, a Bureau of Mines official and a leading coal operator told him Coalcon would be located in the Morgantown area. . . Atty. Gen. Chauncey Browning Jr. has been elected secretary-treasurer of the committee that oversees the operations of the National Association of Attorneys General... House Speaker Lewis McManus, D-Raleigh, has staff working on the subject of a hospital review committee . Former State Sen. John Pof f enbarger, R- Kanawha, was seen in the Governor's reception room last Friday. He was mentioned as one of the candidates for treasurer ... Rep. Ken Hechler, D-W. Va., has become very dedicated to his subcommittee's work on fossil fuel which enhances his chances to become chairman of the parent Science and Technology Committee. He's next in line for the chairmanship. Ralph Nader -Per-Gallon Stage Is Set The stage is set for a dramatic struggle between Gerald Ford and consumer forces in Congress over the price of energy in this country. As if to punctuate the onset of this "battle of the billions," the giant oil companies recent price increases sig- nalled the second lap in then- drive for $l-per-gallon gasoline. President Ford's energy policy would replace price controls by our government with OPEC-Exxon pricing of our domestic energy, including oil, gas and coal. That would be the direct result of his oil price decontrol plan. No economist would deny that once controls go off, the price of domestic oil will rise to the level of the OPEC price for foreign oil. SHORTS - When Gov. Moore golfs at the Greenbrier, he's going to be like any other'citizen, a spokesman says. That means Moore can't use his own golf cart which he had stored as of the first of last week in the security office in the Fire Department at the Greenbrier. Moore was one of eight individuals who had their own carts stored at the plush resort, who are affected by a new policy from the new management which requires everybody to use the Greenbrier's carts. About four or five of the private carts were still at the Sunday Gazette-Mail Charleston, Wctl Virginia Page2E Vol 20, No. 2 July J3,1975 SIMILARLY, if Ford achieves his deregulation-of-natural-gas objective through Congress, the price of domestic natural gas will more than triple, rising to the equivalent price of OPEC oil. Steam coal prices have doubled in less than two years, mysteriously reflecting similar upward pulls of the price of oil. Under the Ford energy plan, stripped of its presidential television rhetoric, every time OPEC raises its price $1 per barrel, Americans will pay almost $6 billion more per year for domestic oil, gas and coal. This country's domestic energy supplies provide our country with 80 per cent of its energy consumption. So, President Ford's decontrol scheme would let the price of the 20 per cent of the energy we import determine the price of the 80 per cent of the energy we produce in the U.S. The giant multinational oil companies, of course, like Ford's program. In fact, they helped write it. Exxon, Gulf /Mobile, Arco, Shell and other oil giants are making more profits than ever before as the OPEC price goes up. MOREOVER, as long as the OPEC price stays high or goes higher, the value of their oil. gas and coal reserves in this country and elsewhere increases by hundreds of billions of dollars. If OPEC did not exist, the big oil companies would want to create it. Fortune magazine, in its May issue, described how the OPEC cartel depends on the multinational oil corporations to insure that production cutbacks, needed to sustain cartel prices, are distributed equitably among the cartel members. In a word, these oil companies are shoring up the cartel because they have a stake of billions in its continuance. When representatives of the oil producing countries visit this country, they must wonder how the oil industry's White House service station can publicly condemn OPEC while it and the large U.S. oil companies are doing everything to keep it going. WHAT WILL the Ford plan cost the American family? At least $600 a year from higher fuel, electricity and gasoline prices. In addition, the ripple effect of higher food, clothing and other prices will add even more to the already strained family budget. This means massive inflation, more unemployment and recession. And that is why members of Congress have been balking at the veto-threatening President Ford. As a countermove to Ford, the House Commerce Committee has reported to the House of Representatives H.R. 7014, the energy conservation and cil pricing act of 1975. | f (Please unto Page HE)

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