Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 9, 1974 · Page 8
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October 9, 1974

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 8

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Wednesday, October 9, 1974
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Page 8
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Northwest Arkanias TIMES, Wed., Oct. 9, 1974 rAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS Grand Rapids Congressional Candidates Present A Choice By RICHARD J. MAU.OY.' TIMES Washington Bureay GRAND HAPIDS, Mich. Hero is President Gerald Ford's hometown the opposing congressional conadulates are locked in a close and highly significant election contest. Both candidates profess support and admiration for the hometown boy who made it to the While House. But they have fundamental differences on other Issues and thus have presented the voters with a clear political choice. How the generally conservative, middle class citizens of this Western Michigan community make that choice in November will tell much about the future course to be charted by the Congress and the national government. The election of a Democrat would signal a desire by Middle America for a.more progressive and activist federal govern ment while a Republican win would indicate a satisfaction with the status quo. Grand Rapids voters back in February played a crucial role in what became the beginning of the downfall of Richard M. Nixon. In a stunning reversal of past political practice, they , gave Democrat Richard Van- derVeen.a majority in a special cleclon to fill the congressional seat, formerly occupied by Mr. Ford. BREAKS TRADITION VanderVeen, the first Demo crat to win thai seat in 64 years, had made the "mora bankruptcy" of Nixon his chief campaign issue. His upset victory was 'followed by three more special election wins by Democrats in traditional Re publican congressional districts and this 'became tangible nroo! of voter indignation over Watei gate. Now VanilerVeen. 51, a civic eader and self-made wealthy awycr with a working class ackground, faces a formidable challenge from Paul G. Goebel. Jr., 41, a handsome and prospe- ·ous insurance man from one 3f the city's best-known fami- ies, who is striving to regain he seat for the Republican arty. Both candidates have professionally managed and well-fi- lanced campaigns; and both lave enlisted the aid of national party figures to bolster their vote drives. Ghariman Peter Rodinp of the louse Judiciary Committee, pilose impeachment inquiry resulted in Nixon's resignation, las slumped here for VanderVeen.'Sen. Howard Baker, the Republican "Mr. Clean" who starred in the Senate Watergate icarings, campaigned here in behalf of.Goebel. With the election only.a month away, political experts here say the race between the two men is too close to call. KEY FACTORS The outcome will probably liinge on two factors. One is the lingering aftereffects of Watergate: Local passions on the Watergate issue were reawakened 'by Presidenl Ford's pardon of Nixon. The other factor is how the voters will preceive the ideological differences between the two men; differences which have been pinpointed in a series of jbinl campaign debates. In the early stages of the campaign, Republicans were confident they would regain the seat because they felt Grant Rapids, which provides 90 per cent of the votes in the Fift! Congressional District, would want to demonstrate support for its hometown President by sending Mr. Ford a GAP con gressman. But then came the pardon. "It was wort!) 5,000 votes for is," exulled Bob Kleiner, the district's Democratic chairman. The;conservative Dutch, who nake up one third of the popu- ation here and control the local establishment, had felt betrayed Nixon and their vote shift ast February was responsible or VanderVccn's victory. They vere outraged by the pardon, and deluged the local newspaper with protest letters. If they should stay home on election day, or vote for Van- derVecn to register a pardon jrotest, this will enchance the democrat's chances. Both VanderVeen and Goebel lave said they felt Mr. Ford made a mistake in pardoning Nixon. While agreed in their criti- ism of the pardon, the candidates disagree on many other Issues. During a weekend debate before the local teachers a s s o c i a t i o n , VanderVeen emerged as a moderate Demo cral on most issuer while GOG- el adopted a traditional conservative Republican stance and nounted a sharp attack on his ipponent as a big spender. A question oti how best to deal with inflation,, the para- Troxell Explains LITTLE ROCK (AP) Leona Troxell of Rosebud, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, pointed out Tuesday that voters in the No vember general election may cast their ballots for either Republican or Democratic candidates regardless of which parly primary they voted in. Mrs. Troxell said .that fact is partially obscured in the Ar kansas manual for election offl cials. On page 116 of the man ual. the title of Section II said no person shall vote for one po lilical party in the preferentia primary and another in the general election. Ernie Ford Is Honored In Moscow MOSCOW (AP) -- American country singers traded folk songs with their Russian count erparts during an informal reception here for Tennessee Er nie Ford and his Opryland troupe. "This sort of thing is worth five summit meetings," one Russian attending Tuesday's gathering said. The group arrived in the Soviet Union Sept. 12 and is due to return to the United Slates Sunday after five performances here. mount Issue here and elsewhere across the country, illustrated differences between the candidates. Goebel called for tax breaks ipr business to increase productivity and less government regulation to remove what he re- Sards as the shackles now holding industry back. VanderVeen pushed for a massive program of 900,000 public service jobs to cushion unemployment caused by inflation and recession. He said w a g e - p r i c e controls a r e weapons which should lie available in the government's arsenal if needed to fight inflation. Goebel responded that a jobs program would be. inflationary and that wage-price controls are unworkable. Both men favor a balanced budget, but Goebel belatedly came around to favoring big slashes in military spending af- er VanderVeen had pushed Publisher Honored TOKYO (AP) -- Donald .Klopfer, chairman of the board of The Random House of the United States, and his wife have been feted at an official dinner in Peking, the Hsinhua news agency says. The dinner Tuesday was given by Li En-chin, vice president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Hsinhua said. The Klopfers arrived in Peking Oct. 3 at the invitation of the Chinese association. Pentagon spending cuts for ( weeks. ' Goebel's major thrust, during the debate und the entire cam- laign, is to picture Vandcrveen is a big spender and lie lourishcd a list of voles cast by the Democrats during his seven months in Congress which attempted to prove his opponent was a budget buster. VanderVeen, whose campaign literature proclaims the slogan, "A New Congressman In An O l d Tradition", naturally disputes this. "My opponent is running a f u n d a m e n t a l l y dishonest campaign, using words like 'big spender' and 'big labor' to scare people into voting Republican," says VanderVeen. In an interview, Goebel says, "Back in February this area elected Dick VanderVeen because of a legitimale, valid protest against Watergate. But now we are left with a very, very liberal congressman." In his campaign literature, Goebel urges the voters to send him to Washington because he will support President Ford's policies. But VanderVeen makes the same pitch, and in a full-page newspaper advertisement said Ms public service jobs program will help the chief executive fight the probelms of inflation. In the February special election VanderVeen took 51 per cent of the vote, 44 per cent went to Republican Robert Vanderlaan and five per cent to minor party candidates. Goebel, who was handpicked by the local GOP leaders to make the race this fall, nevertheless had to go through an expensive and divisive primary fight to obtain the nomination by a narrow 54 percent margin. He hopes to unite the party behind him in November. During the 25 years he held the congressional seat, President Ford always won with _4t least 60 per cent of the vote. But in view of the surprise outcome of the special election, political observers here are inclined to believe Mr. Ford's easy wins were more of a personal tribute to him than they were an accurate reflection of the political philosophy of (he district. The results of the November election, they say, will show whether Grand Rapids has remained conservative or has moved closer to the political mainstream. EVEREST idENNINQS WHEELCHAIRS f OtOS TO 10" RENTALS * SALES FayeltevlIIe Tint . E. Side Square U2-734S 25% to 50% off women's sportswear. Now JUNIOR JEANS AND SLACKS cotton blends and polyester knits. Sizes 5-13. 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