The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 01, 1971, Page PAGE 4, Image 4

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    "-TTirnTTnmi mum
Campaign reform
A sad consequence of present political campaign
practices is that political offices usually go to the
highest bidder, regardless of ability or talent. Campaign
costs are scandously high even for a congressional race.
To prevent big money and special interests from
buying a president, the Senate has passed a scheme to
publicly finance presidential campaigns and has attached
it to the tax-cut bill. The plan would allow a taxpayer to
check off $1 as a contribution to the presidential
The only trouble with the plan is that it is shot full
of flaws, such as the following:
--A candidate and party might refuse the taxpayer
contributions and finance their campaigns entirely with
private funds. The result could be a lopsided balance of
financial resources between parties and little change
from the present system.
-The plan makes no provision for presidential
primary campaigns and congressional races, both of
which are prone to campaign spending abuses.
--The scheme would divert needed tax dollars from
the treasury to finance the campaigns.
President Nixon is correct in his intention to veto the
campaign financing plan, even though this means killing
the needed tax-cut bill to which it is attached.
If Congress is really interested in campaign reform it
should tackle existing campaign abuses before coming
up with a public financing plan. However, both parties
are fighting vigorously to retain the scandalous system
by which special interest groups ignore toothless laws
limiting spending and donate huge sums of money to
candidates through dummy political committees.
Politicians have not shown a great deal of interest in
passing meaningful campaign reform laws. However, the
alternative to reform is still greater dominance of
American politics by the rich, something America
cannot afford.
Monetary priorities
Nebraska's restrictive laws against abortion have
prompted the introduction of a bill in the ASUN Senate
to establish a loan fund to finance out-of-state
ASUN Sen. Bill Behmer, who introduced the bill,
suggested the senate set aside $1,000 from other than
student fee monies for abortion loans up to $150 to
cover either transportation or medical costs. The
proposal calls for the loans to be interest free for six
months, after which an interest of 6 per cent would be
The proposal has good motives behind it. Only the
very poor are now usually prevented by Nebraska law
from having legal abortions because of the high cost of
out-of-state abortions.
However, the proposal has several drawbacks.
Although the proposal calls for using only
non-student fee monies, student government money will
still be used for the loan fund. ASUN already has a tight
budget and it is doubtful that an abortion loan fund is
the best expenditure ASUN could make.
Another drawback to the abortion loan fund is that
an UNL student credit union may become a reality by
second semester. It doesn't seem practical to have a loan
fund for a specific purpose when the campus will
probably soon have a student credit union for all types
of loans.
It appears that an abortion loan fund will cause more
trouble (especially with adverse public reaction) than it's
worth. Instead of establishing an abortion loan fund,
ASUN should work toward the creation of the student
credit union.
Gary Seacrest
"Sure! I'm a lousy, rotten, crooked, selfish monster! But, remember. . .1 got YOU
bill smitherman
Fee fee
Who's got the fee?
In a world of children's games this column
might be called "Fee, fee. Who's got the fee?"
Perhaps the question is only one of
semantics. But it also concerns millions of
dollars. This makes semantics interesting.
Where is our fee money going? Or, why is
the University telling us one thing and doing
another when it comes to student fees?
An official University breakdown shows that
$5 per semester is paid by each full-time
student to retire the debt on the student health
facility and that $9.50 is paid to retire the
bonded debt on the Nebraska Union.
However, according to UNL Comptroller Carl
Yost, this money does not go to pay just for
these bonds. The identifications have been
eliminated, but no one bothered to tell the
Now the $14.50 goes to a fund in a Lincoln
bank to pay off all the University's bonded
debts. These include dormitories and the
Nebraska Center.
Yost said the fee designation had not been
changed because of administrative neglect. But,
could it be that the designation was not
changed on purpose?
It is interesting to note that University
housing is supposedly self-supporting. It is also
probably realized that students might object to
paying for dormitories in which they don't live
and for a Nebraska Center which is no more
accessible to them than to anyone else.
This seems to be an administrative slip with
Another question arises since the 15-year
bonds for the health facility expired Sept. 1 of
this year but money is still being collected.
Calculations show that enough money should
have been collected by 1962 to pay for the
bond and interest. What has happened to the
money collected since then?
The answer again is that money is not being
collected for Student Health. The same will be
true with the Union collections which should
raise more than five times enough to pay for
that addition.
Union Director Al Bennet said he expects
the Union to eventually receive the entire $10
million in student fees to be collected during
the period of the bond. But, Yost said there is
no guarantee of this and it would seem wise to
reconsider this optimism in view of the fact
that there seems to be little chance that the
extra money collected for the Health Center
will ever be used on that facility.
It is up to the Administration and . the
Regents to give a full and true accounting of
where student fee money goes in all areas.
There is no excuse for the bare lie that money
is going to pay for facilities long paid for.