Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 24, 1975 · Page 52
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 52

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 24, 1975
Page 52
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Page 52 article text (OCR)

· A r t r'TVT^r* iWl A l l fljAZETTE-iuAIL Editorial Did Gurney Get a Bad Deal? The trial of former Sen. Edward J. Gurney. which ended in his acquittal on five counts and a hung jury on two others, raises several issues of public importance. Let's dispense immediately with Gurnev's crv of foul. If the federal government's case against him had no substance, as Gurney charged the day the jury brought in its verdict, why wasn't he cleared on all counts? The Justice Department had enough evidence to convince a minimum of 13 grand jurors that Gurney should be tried on seven charges, nine petit jurors that he should be convicted on the unresolved perjury charge, and five petit jurors that he should be convicted on the unresolved conspiracy charge. Despite his bellows about persecution, federal authorities needn't It's Time for a Straight Answer Gov. Moore's own words seem to say he clearly intended to break the ·law when he accepted the $20.000 in cash from Ashland Oil Inc. State law requires that all cam- · paign donations be publicly reported, with the name of each donor listed. ; In his recent confusing news conference, the Governor repeated his as;. sertion that, when he took the envelopes or bags of money, he thought it came from individual Ashland officials, not from the company treasury. ..Moore said: "The general submission was sim- .ply to the effect and to the f o r m , -They're friends who desire to help you in your campaign.' There was no acknowledgement of, or identity of. those particular friends, and that isn't .unusual in any respect or any regard." If Moore didn't seek the names of the "friends" who had chipped in to make the donation, he must have deliberately intended to break the law that requires candidates to report all donors. He couldn't list them if didn't get their names. Likewise, the Governor's assertion that the $20,000 probably is listed in various committee reports is an affront to logic. How could the committees file reports naming the donors if. as he said, "there was no acknowledgement of, or identity of, those particular friends?" Anyone familiar with politics -- and familiar with the "bag men" who bring sacks of unmarked and untraceable currrency to candidates -- must give a horse laugh to Moore's sanctimonious claim that he never dreamed the $20,000 had been illegally siphoned out of the Ashland corporate treasury. If he thought it came from individuals, why didn't he get the names of the individuals for the required public listing? Further, the situation is compounded by his remark that it "isn't unusual in any respect or any regard" for the individual donors to be unknown. How many other times did he accept a bag of cash from "friends" at a corporation who were never identified by name? In each such case, it seems obvious there would have been deliberate intent to violate the law that demands listing of the names. In his news conference, Moore gave a vague and unintelligible explanation to the people of West Virginia. It's time for some agency, somehow, to get a straight answer. apologize for prosecuting him. In a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, a public official shouldn't be accorded special treatment by law enforcement officials. But human nature being what it is and government being what it is, the truth is that American public officials do receive preferential treatment from police and prosecuting attorneys. Consequently, no one should fear that Gurney got a rotten deal from the Justice Department. With all his friends and associates in high places and all the power that a United States senator can concentrate on any given matter, it's not to be imagined that Gurney was railroaded. Indeed, the probability is that the evidence against Gurney at the grand jury level was overwhelming and far more impressive than the evidence normally required to indict ordinary citizens. Actions of the petit jury, however, complicate greatly Gurney's ordeal. He was found innocent of five of the seven charges brought against him. Now the federal government must determine whether to try him again on one or both of the charges on which the jury couldn't render a verdict. A Splendid Suggestion One of Washington's busiest lobbyists -- he's the executive director of Use National Right to Work Committee and also somehow finds time to espouse Taiwan's cause -- has put forward a modest, yet splendid, suggestion. Congress, says Hugh Newton., should adjourn for two years. An adjourned Congress, he notes, can't raise its own salaries and fringe benefits. Supposing the government drops the remaining charges against Gurney, he's a vindicated man. He's also a far less wealthy man, his ,96-day trial having cost him close to a quarter of a million dollars, n A nationwide campaign has been initiated to compensate victims of crime. The reasoning behind such compensation is that the U. S. citizen pays for and thereby is entitled to police protection. If a citizen suffers physical harm or property losses, the police manifestly have failed to protect him, he hasn't gotten the protection he paid for and, therefore, is deserving of compensation for their failure and his distress. Several states have instituted programs of this kind. If these programs have merit--we believe they do--shouldn't government likewise consider compensating people who have been prosecuted by government and declared innocent? With all its resources government is a Goliath beside any citizen. Moreover, government can bankrupt an innocent man, forcing him to use up all his resources to establish his innocence. For that reason shouldn't Americans adjudged innocent of charges brought against them by their government be reimbursed by their government for the funds they spent in their defense? Were this plan in effect, would Gurney be compensated? No. Not until the government either dropped the two unresolved charges or tried him and he was found innocent. A Dose Of Force The Congressional Record provides us with this gem from Rep. Tim Lee Carter, R-Ky.: Mr. Carter: Mr. Speaker, it seems that the horrendous salary increase which so many of us have strongly opposed will be enacted into law. (Note: It was.) I am reminded of an old Kentuckian who thought he was crossing into the great beyond, and as the sun sank slowly into the west, casting its benign rays over the horizon, he motioned to his wife to come over to his bedside. "Mary," he whispered, "you rmem- ber that old trunk in the basement?" "Yes, John," she answered tearfully. "I believe there is an old trunk down there." "Well, M a r y . " . h e w h i s p e r e d , "there is a quart of bourbon, fine old bourbon in it. Go down and get it." "Yes, John." she said. "What then?'.' John gave her specific instructions. He told her to fill his glass with finely crushed ice, to bruise some mint, and to stir it up in the glass, with just a pinch of sugar. Then he told her to pour the bourbon liberally over the concoction and to decorate it with sprigs of mint, then to set it aside until frost formed on the outside of the glass. "And, then, Mary," gasped the old man, his voice now all but extinct, "bring it up here to me and when you bring it in here. Mary, no matter what I do or say, make me take it." So many of us who have fought so valiantly, after this iniquitous bill is passed and the tumult and the shouting dies, will say , "No matter what I say or do. Mary, make me take it." Fanny Seller: Affairs of State Victim of Democracy. . . ; Jenkin L. Jones I Who Closed the Door? (C) Lot Angeles Times .' GEIRANGER. Norway - This is a tortured land -- heated, hammered, chilled - : and polished into incredible beauty. Nor;. way. like a Toledo sword, was turned often _; on nature's anvil. -- A billion years ago its granite bedrock v was ground by glaciers. Half a billion '' years ago it sank beneath the sea to ac- quire a layer of limestone, shale and slate * to a depth of 400 feet. Then the great I forces that built the Caledonian mountains " of Great Britain threw Norway out of the ·" sea again. ;' Some 65 million years ago. in the folding " that produced the Himalayas, the Alps. the Andes and the Rockies, water ran · i westward from Norway's steepening " *; peaks, hollowing noble V-shaped valleys. "'- Only yesterday in geologic time -- about ·". 25 million years ago -- ice thousands of feet thick settled upon the Northern world. * * * THE UPPER VALLEYS where the ice was thickest and the pressure greatest turned into U-shaped gorges, but as the glaciers approached the ocean they melted and became lighter. And so it is that Norway's fjords have a shelf as little as 100 to 200 feet in depth at their opening, while deep inland the water is measured : in thousands of feet. · About the year 800 A.D. a strange rest. lessness afflicted the wild blond and blue; eyed residents of the viks. or bays, of this · unique land. Part farmers, part mer- · chants, part pirates, they had mastered L the art of the "long ship." It was expensive lo build and only a jar] with many henchmen could find the stout keel-oaks and hew out the strakes and spin and weave the linen sails. But it was broad at the beam and could hold many warriors or '. families or even farm animals With its single square sail it was a poor tacker against the wind, but Uiere were strong arms when oars were needed and the ships, drawing less than three feet, could be beached wherever trade or plunder could be found. So after the crops were planted in the spring the vik-dweHers went a-vjking. Year-by-year they grew bolder. In skald and drinking song they praised their ··ber»rks" -- warriors who roarejnto * * unequal odds and hacked until they fell. They named their swords - Footbreadth. Skullbiler. They literally ringed Europe -traveling east up the Baltic rivers and down the Dnieper to the Black Sea. or south to Gibraltar and through the Mediterranean. * * * IN VIKING GRAVES there have already been found more than 100.000 Arabic coins. Their swift ships raced up the Seine and raided Paris. They reduced the weak Saxon kings of England to tribute, held the Hebrides for 300 years. But the Viking mystery is this -- why did they turn their' backs upon America? In about the year 980 Erik the Red. son of one Thervald who had been forced to leave Norway because of a killing, was. Mr^t-olf « . , * l ^ - , - o J !T, Tn,,1-,-,J U,,-,-..,-,, r C - tiniii^iai, VUIICITT\,U 111 Aiuiaiiu u^veuac Ol d bloody dispute over some boards for a bench. So Erik sailed west and at last came to a huge land capped by perpetual ice. but containing sheltered inlets where grass grew lush in the summer. After three years he returned with his crew to Iceland, saying "I will call the new land Greenland, for it is a name that will make people come." And so they came, a fleet of 25 ships, of which 14 arrived with women, children and cattle, and Erik built his rude chief's house at a place he named Brattahlid on a deep bay he proudly called Eriksfjord. In the year 1000 Erik's son. Leif the Lucky, sailed east and entered the service of King Olaf Tryggvason. Norway was undergoing the swiftest Christianization of, perhaps, any land in history, for the king was threatening to behead all who kept to the old gods. And when Leif said he wanted to return to Greenland the king ordered him to bring Christ to the Vikings there by any means necessary. "So." says the saga. "Leif sailed away, but he was at sea for a long time, and he found a new land of which he had never heard before. He found grapevines and self-sown fields of wheat there, and he named it Vineland. There were trees of a sort called 'masur' (maple), and Leif and his men took specimens of all this home with them." » · « THE NEXT YEAR two of Erik's pen. V Karlsefni and Snorri, set forth in two ships with 160 men to find Vineland. A strong southerly wind belw them northward along the east coast of Greenland, but. finally they went westward and came to a bare land of great stone slabs (Baffin Island) and a swift-flowing gulf (the mouth of Hudson Bay) and a land of forests (Labrador). Southward they found a large island (this has to be Newfoundland) which they sailed completely around, and the two Scottish slaves were"-sent into the woods and came back bearing grapes. So Kar- lsefni started a settlement with 60 men and five women. What happened to it is confusing, for the sagas are fragmentary, but there are songs of increasingly bloody battles with the Skraelings (Indians). The foundations of eipht undoubted Viking dwellings were uncovered in the 1960s at L'Anseaux- Meadows. Newfoundland. But what about the grapes, which do not grow wild north of the New Hampshire coast? Helge Ingstad. the archaeologist, doubts that Leif and those who followed him saw any grapes. He points out that "vin" in also an old-Norse word for lushness. The sagas were told for 300 years before they were written, and in the telling grapes may have been interpolated. Yet what about the Kensington Stone of Minnesota? And what of the upended sandstone slab at Heavener, Okla., that the earliest settlers 140 years ago called the "Indian Rock" because they took its markings to be Indian pictographs, now recognized as Norse runes? Can these be hoaxes? Or did parties of Norse adventureers penetrate deeply into America before the Skraelings finished them? If any had survived to bring back tales of short winters, long grass and rich hunting, is it not reasonable to assume that large Norse settlements would have followed? Why would a people bold enough lo have encircled Europe pry open America's treasure house and then silently close the door? The United Mine Workers political action arm developed enough muscle to be effective in the 1976 election, but the strength both of COPE and the union itself is being weakened by internal bickering at the International Board level. . Some ambitious and jealous board members -- a few of whom were tied to the old Boyle regime -- reportedly have their sights set on another election next year, the presidency of the UMW. Indeed, two of the board members involved in the fight against President Arnold Miller are from District 29 and District 31 in West Virginia, Miller's home state. Miller, in a way, is a victim of his own generosity because he pushed for democracy in the union. The international board was given more authority under a constitution adopted after Miller became president and it's from this platform that the internal struggle found roots. Since dissident international board members apparently have little else to do to justify their existence on a full time basis, they vote to set up a commission to look into the UMW Journal, the financial and personnel records and various other things which affect day-to-day operations. A number of filler's staff has recently resigned. They were by and large creative, intelligent individuals. Their public reasons didn't include the internal struggle, but, nonetheless, that was one aspect of their departure. These board members have reportedly taken the attitude they can hire and fire Miller's staff, although the constitution °2ve him the res n onsibility of running the union on a daily basis. Miller, himself, hasn't publicly fought tack to any degree. The irony of the situation is that the rank and file coal miner probably doesn't know what board members Andrew Morris of Fairmont and Francis Martin of Welch, for example, do on his behalf. The same is true in other districts. Miller, no doubt, feels his record, which includes the recent UMW contract and other programs, will speak louder than responding to internal criticism. But the fact is that some board members think COPE, the political action arm, is nothing more than an organization to help Miller get re-elected next year. COPE was organized to parellel the West Virginia Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. political activity which has long been a strong influence in both primary and general elections at the state and national level. COPE had a few major victories last year, including the election to the House of Delegates of a coal miner by a write-in vote. Sights were being set on the gubernatorial race next year, if the bickering can be brought into bounds. SHORTS -- Politically astute individuals pinpoint Justice James Sprouse's announcement for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination between Sept. 15 and tha- end of the month. . . Why would Jay Rockefeller pick Jack Pauley, Kanawha County clerk, as his political adviser? There's some backlash on Pauley's message to active Democrats . . . REAP Director A. James Manchin feels the reception he got at the Young Democrats conference this summer was warm enough when he walked in uninvited and unannounced. To smooth over the lack of introduction, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W. Va., publicly pointed Manchin out to the participants. In spite of it all, Manchin says he was warmly applauded . : . The Gulf Oil secret political contributions are to be made public this fall. Wonder if any West Virginians are on that list?... Sunday Caxette-Mail C.harlffton.S. J a. Page2E August 24,1975 . State Sen. Robert Nelson, D-Cabell, is sending a letter to the Board of Regents to tell them that if they don't open up all their meetings he'll take them to court. Nelson was a sponsor of a public meetings law. . .Information accumulated so far in a Federal Power Commission investigation of Appalachian Power is said to show that the utility paid as much as $120 a ton for coal iast December. . .Justice Sprouse was the scheduled speaker at a meeting in Huntington Saturday, and Sen. Nelson, who's also the county Democratic chairman, says more advance reservations were received than any time sinffe last year's election. . . .While there's specualtion that Mayor Hutchinson will get in the Democratic gubernatorial race and withdraw prior to the primary, there's also a strong feeling in some political circles that he'll really run for treasurer. . . A Democratic policy group in the legislature is listed as a certainty by the 1976 session, and its public formation is said to be eminent. The crown of the group's program is expected to be tax relief followed by some attack on high u t i l i t y costs. . .Tom Smirl. son of ex-Del. Jody Smirl, R-Cabell, fractured his shoulder bone and broke his collarbone the fourth day of football practice after the Smirls returned to Huntington from Marlins- burg. . .According to the new black book just out for fiscal 1973-74, Dr. Kenneth Clark in the Department of Mental Health, made more than Mental Health Director Mildred Bateman. It was $25,410 and J24.999.96 respectively. . .Treasurer Ron Pearson was one of the first GOP Youth Training campers 16 years ago when the camp got started, and John DeiU. former director of travel in Commerce, was selected president of the camp that year. . . The West Virginia Citizen Action Group vs. American Electric Power and its subsidiary, Appalachian Power, is the subject of an article in Business Week magazine. The citizen group claims Appy customers were overcharged $4.9 million in 1974 because of overpricing of-coal mined at the utility's mines. AEP President Donald Cook had this to say in the article about the allegations: "On my word of honor, they are absolutely false." The current edition of Coal Week also has an article dealing with the same subject. . . The Citizens Action Group, incidentally, talked with an official in the Securities and Exchange Commission who said AEP hadn't filed reports on captive coal prices. The commission regulates captive coal prices, and it's investigating. . .Welfare Commissioner Tom Tinder was married Saturday to Sandy Noe of Ripley. . .Since Acting Labor Commissioner Joseph Mills overhauled the plumbing in his home, he's waiting for his union card. . .Homer R. Shields, who stepped down from motor vehicles deputy commissioner after he had a heart attack, suffered the massive attack on July 28 but continued to work until he drove himself to the doctor on July 29. He's still in Thomas Memorial Hospital. . . Finance Commissioner Cleveland Benedict would run for treasurer, on the GOP ticket next year if Treasurer Ronald Pearson runs for attorney general. . .The rumor going around has it that teachers were n ' t going to open classes if Billy Coffindaffer remained as president of the merged B l u e f i e l d - C o n c o r d college. . .P.O. Hoye, who was acting public institutions commissioner, retired July 1. There's been a turnover since Calvin Cal- endirie became commissioner and several employes with years of service have either left or are looking. The employes reportedly were told to NOT talk with the press. . .There have been two staff changes in the treasurer's office since Ron Pearson took over, George Wilson, 72, retired, and Charlotte Braun left. . .Robert McDonough, who ran the Sprouse campaign in 1968 and is for Sprouse this time, after running Rockefeller's campaign in 1972, is in a Washington hospital where he will undergo major surgery. . . Bob Gall, the boss in the planning and development division of Federal-State Relations, left before the department got a new director to accept employment in Panama City. Fla.. . .There were reports last week of more squirrels being found killed on the Capitol lawn. Neighbors say the security must be lax because some weird things can be seen going on around the building. One morning in July, six men were in a car, one of whom had a stick that looked like a broom handle. Two of the men were seen getting out of the car while one of them yelled, "Find me a gun, and I'll do it." Another time, city police happened by just after two teenagers were trying to steel a squirrel box. Then one weekend, a couple was seen in a car counting out what looked to be pills and rolling them into cigarette. . ' \

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