Says Dairy Organisation Gave Mezvinsky Congressional Campaign $11,000 in 1972 By Dale Kueter Staff Writer Cedar Rapids Gazette Distributed by the Iowa Daily Press CEDAR RAPIDS - A spokesman for Mid-America Dairymen, Inc., said the organization's political wing pumped $11,000 into the campaign of First District Congressman Edward Mezvinsky in 1972 because incumbent Republican Fred Schwengel made "only one significant contribution to dairy interests in 16 years in the House." Glenn Davis, in a telephone interview from Mid-America Dairymen offices in Springfield, Mo., said he personally made the recommendation to support Mezvinsky, Iowa City Democrat, because of Schwengel's "tokenism" support of the dairy industry. Davis is director of governmental relations for Mid-America Dairymen, and treasurer of the milk cooperative's Agriculture, Business & Office FIXTURES Big in diet dishes When you taste Festal Grade A you'll know why. • Desks • Chairs • Filing cabinets Check With Us STONE'S Hwy. 30 Downtown Corroll Times Herald, Carroll, la. * Wednesday, June 19, 1974 O Dairy Educational Political Trust (ADEPT). Law prohibits corporate donations to political campaigns, but does not ban contributions through so-called educational groups such as ADEPT. Mid-America is one of the three large milk cooperatives embroiled in the impeachment inquiry of President Nixon. The House judiciary committee, of which Mezvinsky is a member, is investigating allegations that Nixon's order to increase federal milk price supports in 1971 was tied to dairy lobby contributions to the Nixon campaign. Mezvinsky has been quoted as saying he does not plan to return any of the $11,000, most given to any judiciary committee member, nor does he feel it creates a conflict of interest. In addition to the $11,000, Davis said ADEPT also contributed in June of 1973 $500 for a First District workshop sponsored by Mezvinsky. The Gazette also learned Mezvinsky received another $2,000 in 1972 from TAPE (committee for Thorough Agriculture, Political Education), the funding arm of Associated Milk Producers, Inc., San Antonio. Associated is the largest of the dairy cooperatives involved in the judiciary committee probe. TAPE in 1972 also contributed $2,500 to Congressman John Culver and then senatorial candidate, Dick Clark; $4,000 to Sen. Jack Miller ; and $1,000 to Congressman William Scherle. In all, ADEPT made some $19,000 in contributions to Iowa Democrats, including Congressman John Culver and Sen. Dick Clark, and nearly $5,000 to Iowa Republicans, including Gov. Robert Ray, Davis said. Davis said some $50,000 more was contributed to Democratic national organizations by ADEPT, and some $20,000 more to Republican national organizations, and in both cases some of this money may have been returned to Iowa candidates. Neither Davis nor Dale Hendricks, Bloomfield, Iowa, dairy farmer and head of the Davis county Republican central committee, believes Mezvinsky has a conflict of interest. Hendricks is director of Mid-America's Iowa division, and is also a director of ADEPT. Although a Republican, he supported Mezvinsky. "We have asked Ed to do nothing we wouldn't have asked him to do if we hadn't given him a penny, 1 ' Hendricks told The Gazette. "We have felt Ed would be a friend, and he has proved to be a friend. "We have been able to get in to see him, but we haven't asked him to do anything," Hendricks said. "If one can't contribute to his friends, how do you get them in office. . "I hope he (Mezvinsky) doesn't change his mind about (not) returning the money," Hendricks said. "There's no conflict of interest," said Davis. "No candidate could be elected without contributions. If you are going to tell me you can buy a candidate for $11,000, then our system is in peril." Davis noted that ADEPT, in all, supported financially 350 candidates for congress in 1972. "ADEPT has never looked at a candidate as though he could be bought," continued Davis. "Our first concern is to get top, capable candidates . . . able to interpret facts if presented to them. All ADEPT has ever asked is that they have an open door to present those facts." Davis detailed ADEPT'S route in coming to the conclusion to support Mezvinsky: "In early 1972, Hanman received a letter from James R. Swaner of Home Town Dairies in Iowa City asking ADEPT to examine the Mezvinsky candidacy," Davis said. Gary Hanman is senior vice-president of Mid-America Dairymen and chairman of ADEPT. "We looked at the race, I visited with Mezvinsky twice, and examined his record in the legislature and as assistant to Congressman Neal Smith. "We noted that he lost to Schwengel by a narrow margin in 1970 (less than 1,000 votes). In re-districting (of Iowa congressional areas), the First district lost Cedar county which went Republican and added Benton and Poweshiek, swing counties. "With the 18-year-old vote, there would be 20,000 new votes and by national estimates, 12,000 would vote Democratic. And Fred Schwengel had not grown younger," Da vis continued. "More significantly," Davis Family Swimwear This summer make a big splash in your JCPenney swimsuit. Suits for the whole family: for toddlers, girls, boys, juniors, misses, and men's sizes. Selection of colorful one & two piecers. bikinis, swimdresses. for the women & girls. For the men & boys. low-risers, boxers styles. & stretch trunks. Come on in today while the selection is good. JCPenney Family Sportswear Summer is just beginning to get hot and to help you stay cool we offer a great selection on shorts, halter tops, and tank tops. for the whole family. All are made of easy-care fabrics of cotton, polyester, and polyester/cotton \e? blends, at a price you can afford. Catalog Phone 792-3524 STORE HOURS: 9:00-5:00 Mon., Tues., Thurs., Sat. 9:00-9:00 Wed. & Fri. 1:00-5:00 Sunday OPEN WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY NITES TILL 9-SUNDAYS 1 to 5 said he told the ADEPT committee, "in Schwengel's years in the House his only significant contribution to dairy interests was his co-sponsorship in 1971 of the (milk) price support measure. "In measurement of dairy farmer needs today, such a record is at best tokenism," Davis quoted his own report to the ADEPT committee. Davis said Mezvinsky's legislative background, his "unusual awareness of problems of the dairy farmer," and agriculture as a whole, and public interest in general, convinced him he was the man to support. Moreover, Davis said Mezvinsky had considerable support from influential Republicans in the First District. Hendricks said there was nothing illegal or immoral about ADEPT'S support of Mezvinsky. "We thought he could win. "We had no entree into the so-called liberal group in Washington, and we thought Ed would. I think he is president of that group. "Check how much Peter Rodino received from labor," Hendricks said.."I haven't heard this challenged at all. I have failed to see at any time what the difference is between labor money and ours." Rodino (D-N.J.), chairman of the House judiciary committee, received $4,100 in dairy contributions. He too has said there is no conflict of interest. In all, 16 members of the judiciary committee studying the connection between Nixon's increasing of milk price supports and diary contributions to his campaign, received financial aid from the dairy lobby. Two have returned such aid. Hendricks charged that labor not only contributes to many congressional candidates, "but it actually runs their campaigns." Hendricks said Mid-America Dairymen has some 1,500 dairy farmer members in Iowa, and about one-third contribute one-third of a percent of gross milk k checks per month to ADEPT. "Everyone has some kind of conflict of interest," Hendricks said. "I'm not worried about Ed Mezvinsky casting a vote in the judiciary committee." Following is a list of ADEPT contributions, from its own records, to Iowa political candidates and to Republican and Democratic organizations which may have returned money to Iowa candidates: Jan. 28, 1972, $2,000 to the Democratic Congressional Dinner committee, with ADEPT recommending $1,000 for Congressman John Culver and $1,000 for Congressman Neal Smith. March 7, 1972, $1,500 to Washington First Committee formed on behalf of Congressman Mezvinsky. April 27, 1972, $500 to Davis county (Iowa) committee for Gov. Ray. June 2, 1972, $400 to Farmers for Sen. Jack Miller. June 27, 1972, $150 to Davis County Republican Central committee. July 26, 1972, $1,000 to Davis County Farmers for John Kyi committee. Aug. 4, 1972, $4,000 to Mezvinsky for Congress committee. Oct. 2,1972, $1,500 to Scherle for Congress committee. Oct. 6, 1972, $75 to Farmers for Kyi. Oct. 9, 1972, $1,000 to Culver for Congress. Oct. 20, 1972, $100 to Davis County Committee for Gov. Ray; $9,500 and $2,000 to the National Republican Congressional committee. Oct. 27,1972, $2,000 to Culver for Congress committee; $2,000 to Mezvinsky for Congress committee; and $1,000 to National Republican Congressional committee. Oct. 30, 1972, $3,000 to National Republican Congressional committee. Oct. 31, 1972, $4,500 to Democratic Congressional Campaign committee. Nov. 6, 1972, $4,000 to Democratic Congressional Campaign committee. Dec. 5, 1972, $5,000 to Senator-Elect Dick Clark. Jan. 6, 1973, $4,125 to the Democratic National committee. Jan. 26, 1973,' $14,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign committee.
What members have found on this page
Get access to Newspapers.com
- The largest online newspaper archive
- 8,600+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
- Millions of additional pages added every month