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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 29, 1974)
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By Lynn Silhasek
The letters in his name, M-A-R-V-E-L, are five
inches high, cut out of red and blue paper, and
pasted on one of his campaign headquarter's
His campaign yardsigns bear the same
colors, the same name and the phrase "proudly
But State Sen. Richard Marvel, Republican
candidate for governor, has not made a
showing at the voter opinion polls to match the
boldness of the colors and the phrase.
A Sept. 30 survey of 960 Nebraskans,,
conducted by Community: Response', Inc., a
Lincoln polling firm, showed that 62 per cent
favored incumbent J. James Exon for governor.
Marvel was supported by one-fourth of the
But there is additional lack of support for a
Republican candidate for governor that the
polls don't show.
The Lancaster County voting record is one
example. The county election commissioner's
statistics were still unofficial, but as of Oct. 24,
41,383 persons in Lancaster County were
registered Republicans and 41 ,389 persons
were registered Democrats. Four years ago,
according to the election commissioner's
statistics, Republicans in Lancaster County
outnumbered the Democrats by nearly 10,000.
And since 1958, five out of six Nebraska
gubernatorial races have been won by
"They tell me I'm a reserved, serious
individual," Marvel said. "That's supposed to
be a liability. The only ones supposedly who get
elected are the backslappers.
"We entered the fight knowing it was going
to be a tough fight."
What makes it a tough fight Is the image
Exon projects as a governor who would do more
for Nebraskans if his hands weren't tied by the
Legislature, Marvel says.
Chairman of the Legislature's Appropriations
Committee since i9oi, Marvel said hs has
vetoed actions of the governor particularly in
the areas of education and taxes.
Marvel currently is chairman of the Political
Science Department at Nebraska Wesleyan
University. Previously he was a political
science instructor at the University of Nebraska
Last year the Legislature overrode Exon's
veto of the $105 million NU budget.
Exon "just took a red pencil and marked
through teaching. He cut several thousand
dollars off of it and sent it back to us (the
Legislature)." Marvel said.
Increases in allocations for education should
"receive a top, if not the top priority" in the
Legislature, Marvel said. Teaching should
receive a large part of these funds, because
students are more directly affected by teaching
than anything else at NU, he said.
Marvel also backs increased aid to education
in grades kindergarten through high school. LB
772, which would increase state aid to schools,
was passed by the Legislature over Exon's veto.
The bill more than triples state aid from
approximately $50 million to over $150 million.
According to Marvel, the bill would equalize
state support of education and provide property
tax relief. Under the present state aid method,
money from the state property tax composes 85
per cent of education support funds. The bill
would equally divide the state aid between the
property tax and the income and sales taxes.
Results of various polls Indicated that the
property tax is the most unpopular tax with
Nebraskans, Marvel said. Property tax relief
would mean increasing income tax 4-5 per cent
and sales 4a another 1 per cent, he estimated.
The state income tax presently s 11 per cent
and the sales tax is 2.5 per, cent. Marvel last
session wanted to keep the income tax at 1 1 per
cent, despite Exon's support of a 13 per cent
The tax shift the bill provides, however, is
necessary "because it (the property tax) is not a
measure of wealth like it was 50 years ago"
when the state property taxes were determined,
As chairman of the Appropriations Commit-,
tee, Marvel also supervises a staff that investi
gates state departments to determine their
In one department, the State Department of
Roads, Marvel's staff estimated a 60 per cent
efficiency rate. One staff member was sent to
the Omaha area to study highway construction
efficiency, according to Marvel. The staff
member was told by a district manager there
that his safety could not be guaranteed In the
rest of the state should he continue his
investigation, Marvel said.
Inefficiency in the department has cost the
state over $6 million this year,. Marvel said.
"I've seen the strong points. ..and where the
goof-offs are. We don't attack them (Depart
ment of Roads personnel) personally. But Tom
Doyle (department director) has no business at
the head of the department. He's a chemical
engineer... With that administration, you can't
set up a program that spends $70-$1 00 million a
Department costs have increased with
inflation in the area of highway construction,
Marvel said. The costs could have been avoided
had Exon spent available highway bonds for
construction, he said. Over $21 million in
bonds were made available by 1969 legislation,
according to Marvel.
Then Gov. Norbert Tiemann spent $10 million
of this amount on highways, Marvel said. But
Exon, when he assumed office in 1970
"knocked out the bonds" despite prior
Marvel estimated inflation costs of highway
materials 50-90 per cent higher than
construction costs four years ago under bonds
. if elected, Marvel said he would investigate
state departments and evaluate department
directors. The departments then would be
grouped along tour lines human resources,
natural resources, community affairs and
: cmllnmd pg. 12)
By Lynn Silhasek
Randy Gordon r
He doesn't have his own campaign
He shares building space with a ongressioftal
candidate's campaign organization. And .there's
not much space, with empty pop bottlesUstfUon
desks and the floor, state district maps pufftfefrout
for studying and an assortment of yard signstHed
in the backroom.
It's nothing like his office at the state capital.
, G o Mm J . J arne s . Exo aJsjrunning Jar re-e I ec t ib n .
And according- to 'polls,ihe! doesn't? have to!do
much runnina. A SeDtember boll. conriuotfiri.hv
Community Research, Inc., of Lincoln, had 62 per
cent of 960 Nebraskans polled naming Exonas
their first choice for governor. According to iis
Republican opponent, State Sen. Richard Marvel,
pools have indicated 43 per cent of the state's
Republicans support Exon.
but criticisms come with the support, in thee
out of five scheduled joint appearances by
gubernatorial candidates, Exon has cancel led' at
the last minute. For this he has been accused)by
Marvel of avoiding the issues and the people.
Other criticisms cut into deeper issues, attacking '
his financial policies. q
Exon's record as governor is the main issue1of
the 1974 campaign, according to Marvel. Exon,
however, in an interview in the governor's of free
said "pocketbook issues" are the campaign issues
and also are a part of his record.
"Inflation is excessive spending, deficit
spending and the improper use of taxDaver
dollars," he said. "I've exercised more vetoes on
spending matters than any governor in the history
of this state..." '
One spending matter the governor particularly
has been opposed to is the issuing of bonds ior
The Exon administration Is committed toJ a
pay-as-you-go plan for financing road and
highway construction, Exon has repeatedly
"It the cnoice is issuing bonds or not having a
road program, then I say don't issue bonds," Exon
said. "I think that with inflation, we have to start
facing up in America and pay for things as wergo
along and not defer those payments to a later
The.Legislature has not helped combat inflation,
considering its expenses and appropriations,
according to Exon.
Growth in expenses
Legislative expenses "have grown 260 per cent
In just four years, from $1 .3 million to anticipated
expenditures for this current fiscal year of
$3,394,000," he said. "And I think somewhere
along the line you have to practice what you
In addition, "the Legislature is paying salaries
in excess of the governor's salary of $25,000,"
Appropriations by the Legislature for fiscal year
1974 are now $13.5 million over available state
resources, Exon said.
"We wouldn't bo facing this situation" if the
State Board of Equalization members Nov. 15 had
voted to set the state income tax rate at 13 per
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