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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 7, 1975)
1 friday, november 1, 1375
Gordner favors political reform act
Photo by Stave Boanwr
John Gardner, founder of
Common Cause, was in Lincoln
Thursday to support Nebraska's
By Randy Blauvelt
Common Cause national chairman John
Gardner Thursday supported Nebraska's
first move to enact the Sunshine Initiative,
a political reform law aimed at lobbyists'
and political Candidates' financial reports.
The petition drive for the initiative of
ficially started Monday when Gov. J. James
Exon signed the first petition of the Neb
raska Political Reform Act of 1976-the
If 31,590 signatures are obtained, the
act will appear on the 1976 Nebraska gen
eral election ballot. The act is supported by
the Coalition for Open Government.
"I have come to Lincoln today because
I am interested in the concern that our
Nebraska members (of Common Cause)
have exhibited for the open and account
able functioning of their state government,"
Gardner said during a news conference.
The act's provisions require lobbyists to
register, file activity reports and itemize all
expenditures for lobbying with a nor)
partisan, fair practices commission. It also
requires complete disclosure of campaign
contributions and debts of more than
Peter Hoagland, coordinator for the Co
alition for Open Government, said at the
news conference that the commission will
have five "part-time overseers." He said
anyone who had registered as a lobbyist
within one year of their nomination on the
commission cannot be considered for a
commission position. No more than three
sauces & pkkfos
Fasting planned to demonstrate concern
By Sharon Johnson
Each year more than a billion metric
tons of grain are produced and eaten. How
ever at the Rome Food Conference last
year, it was estimated there are 460 million
severely under nourished people in the
world and a 750 million increase was pro
jected for 1985.
Increased death rates in several develop
ing countries is blamed on malnutrition.
It is neither practical 'nor likely for
remote villages of South Asia, Africa and
Latin America to be fed by the wheat and
cornfields of Nebraska and other North
American states. They must depend on
their own food harvests.
However, where people are starving,
providing food is only a partial answer. It
is necessary to ask why hunger has
occurred and work to prevent its
An organization called Oxfam-Arnerica
is. asking those questions. Oxfam-America
is an independent development and relief
agency affiliated with International Oxfam
(Oxford Committee for Famine Relief.
The international agency comprising
Australia, Belgium, Canada and Great
Britain has had 33 years of success.
" Oxfam gives highest priority to helping
small farmers grow more food for their
families and local villagers. By putting
funds into rural associations and
community based projects, farm credit,
water, management, seeds, fertilizers and
village-level health care become possible.
Oxfam-America and Oxfam-Canada
have set Thursday, Nov. 20 as the day for
North Americans to contemplate the
universal problem of the poor and hungry.
By fasting for 24 hours, you can show
concern for the world's overlooked
majority. , The cost of one day's meals
donated to Oxfam will be each person's
share in increasing the world's harvest.
To fast for a world harvest, here are
things to do on Nov. 20:
-Experience your own hunger, keeping
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in mind that for you, the next day's break
fast can be counted on.
-Use time you would have spent on
meals to join with others for serious
discussion to plan future action on the
world food problem.
-Consider simplification of your life
style for your own health and well being to
develop awareness that our bountiful world
-Tlank about publicizing your partici
pation in order to encourage other people
to speak out about growing inequalities.
-Drink only coffee, tea, fruit juices
and broth. Give your day's food money
or what ever you can afford to help some
of the poorest farmers grow more food in
less developed countries.
Enlist support of friends and family,
encouraging them to match your fasting
commitment with their dollars or get them
to fast with you.
Obtain information or send donations
to Oxfam America, 302 Columbus Ave.,
Boston, Mass. 02 11 6.
commission members may be from the
same political party and members cannot
hold another political office or do any
lobbying, he said.
Gardner said Common Cause is spear
heading drives in most of the states, and
supports two pieces of federal reform legis
lation. "The present lobby disclosure law is a
, hoax and Congress should be ashamed to
have it on the books," Gardner said.
One of the bills, now in the House of
Representatives, would "replace the
loophole-riddled Lobbying Act of 1946
with comprehensive and enforceable lobby
ing disclosure requirements,'' he said.
Another bill, H.R. 3249, would require
federal public officials of both legislative
and executive branches to disclose personal
financial interests, he said.
"Common Cause is convinced that dis
closure of the personal finances of public
officials is a necessary step to restore ac
countability in government," he said. "Citi
zens have a right to know whether their
elected or appointed representatives have a
personal financial stake in the very matters
on which they are acting officially."
Gardner said the "mood of the country"
is against secrecy in government, but the
Senate's rules committee has "stubbornly
held to its closed-door policy."
Gardner, who formerly was Secretary
of Health, Education and Welfare in Pres
ident Lyndon Johnson's administration,
said 46 states have adopted forms of major
political reform bills since the Watergate
"In the last three years, Common Cause
groups have taken the question of open
government to the people in a number of
states," he said. "Initiative petitions in
California, Washington, Oregon, Missouri,
Idaho and Alaska have been overwhelming
ly approved by the voters."
According to Gardner, Common Cause
received "$50,000 to $60,000" from J.D.
Rockefeller III during the first year of its
operation, and has since received $1,500
from Nelson Rockefeller. The group is,
itself, a lobby organization with more than
275,000 members, he said.
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Thursday Evening Nov. 13
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