The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 25, 1994, Image 1

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    April 25, 1994
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Springing into life
Nebraska's offense,
sluggish all spring,
explodes during the annual
Red-White game Saturday
at Memorial Stadium.
Page 7
Vol. 93 No. 148
Today, there wii) be
a chance of
Candidates talk
taxes, crime
in final debate
By Matthew Waite
Senior Reporter
Twostatements were consistent through
out a debate Sunday among four Re
publican gubernatorial candidates:
Taxes ar&toc high, and the rise in crime needs
to stop. \
Alan Jacobsen of Lincoln, Gene Spence of
Omaha, Rafyh Knobel of Fairbury and John
DeCamp of Clatonia squared off at the KOLN/
KGIN television studio in Lincoln. The event
was the candidates’ third and final debate be
fore the May 10 primary election.
Each gubernatorial hopeful had different
ideas on how to lower crime rates and decrease
taxes. They agreed that state spending and tax
rates needed to be cut, but they disagreed on
how those cuts should come about.
Knobel proposed a constitutionally man
dated. fixed personal property tax rate, which
he said critics had called “scary.” He said what
was really scary was having a government
which wasn’t responsive to the people.
Knobel said that under his plan, politicians
and lobbyists would be forced to listen to the
I think everybody is taxed too muen, ne
said. “The taxpayers in this stale are very
Also, he said, Nebraska must get a hold on
Medicaid and welfare spending.
“The bottom 1 ine is we’ re spending too much
money,” he said. “We need to get a reign on
spending on every level.”
DeCamp said it was time for the candidates
and Nebraskans to face reality—Nebraska has
too many local government employees, he said.
Decreasing the number of local government
employees decreases state spending, DeCamp
said. He said Nebraska needed to reduce the
number of teachers it had by 5,000 to 7,000
during the next three to four years.
DeCamp said the other candidates were just
talking about tax relief.
“Promises are like pregnancies — easy to
conceive but hard to deliver,” he said.
However, Spence said, Nebraskans still cared
about their schools and keeping local control.
He said there was no easy way out in deciding
tax issues.
“There is nomagic solution in government,”
he said. “There’s just leadership.”
In agreement, Jacobsen said the solution did
not involve eliminating Nebraska’s teachers,
but it involved getting excess spending under
See DEBATE on 6
vwmiaill Lauci'UIX
The Nebraska men s gymnastics team celebrates its NCAA championship victory Saturday in the Bob Devaney *
Sports Center by hoisting its championship trophies. See stories on Page 7.
Judge withdraws from Sidney hearing
By Kara G. Morrison
Senior Reporter __
LancastcrCounty District Judge Donald
Endacott will still decide Roger
Bjorklund’s sentence, but another
judge will preside over a hearing to decide
whether a new trial will be held, Endacott ruled
Endacott overruled the defense attorneys’
motion asking that he have no further contact
with the case, but he said Lancaster County
District Judge Paul Merritt would preside over
the new trial hearing in Sidney on May 5 and 6.
In a March 21 motion for a new trial,
Bjorklund’s attorneys said Endacott had had
improper contact with members of the jury.
Endacott has said he prayed with jurors before
the trial and hugged one or more jury members
after the verdict was returned.
Prosecutors arc seeking the death penalty
against Bjorklund, who was convicted by a jury
in November of murdering University of Ne
braska-Lincoln freshman Candice Harms.
Endacott will sentence Bjorklund on May 23.
Endacolt dismissed the new trial motion last
month, but Lancaster County Attorney Gary
Lacey asked that the motion be reconsidered to
clear up the improper contact issue.
Lacey has said prosecutors want to interview
jury members about the matter to eliminate
questions of impartiality in the event of an
In amotion filed lastThursday.Chief Deputy
Public Defender Scott Helvie said Endacott was
a potential witness in a new trial hearing and
asked that the judge disqualify himself from
further proceedings.
Friday, Helvie said Nebraska law clearly
stated that a judge could not preside over cases
in which the judge was a witness.
Helvie said Bjorklund would be denied due
process if Endacott did not fully disqualify
himself, because the defendant would be pro
hibited from calling the judge as a witness.
In his ruling, Endacott said he would not
testify at the Sidney hearing. Endacott said his
testimony was not relevant, because jury mem
bcrs’ impartiality, not hisown. was in question.
“The dispute is whether the jurors were
prejudiced. That’s the issue,” the judge said. “I
have no knowledge whatsoever of that.”
Deputy County Attorney John Colborn said
that although prosecutors agreed the judge was
not a necessary witness for the new trial hear
ing, they asked “out of an abundance of cau
tion,” that Endacott disqualify himsclffrom the
new trial hearing but retain the duty ofsentcnc
“There is absolutely no question of this
courts’ impartiality,” Colborn said.
Colborn said prosecutors submitted 25 cases
in which judges disqualified themselves from
limited proceedings. Hclvie argued the eases
cited were mostly bankruptcy and other civil
cases, not first-degree murder cases, and were
not applicable to Bjorklund’s ease.
“It is our position that a limited recusal
(disqualification) is not permitted (in capital
cases),’’ Helvie said.
Former president leaves ambivalent legacy
Richard M. Nixon, 1913
Jan. 9,1913: Bom in Yortoa Linda, Calif., son of Francis and Hannah Nixon.
1942-1945: Serves in Navy during World War II.
1946: Elected to first of terms in House of Representatives.
1950: Elected to U.S Senate.
1952: Elected vice president as running mate to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1956: Re-elected as vice president.
1960: Narrowly loses presidency to John F. Kennedy.
1962: Loses California governor's race; bitterly tells reporters “you won't have
Nixon to kick around any more.4
1968: Elected president over Democrat Hubert Humphrey and independent George
Jan. 20 1969: Sworn Tn as 37th president of the United States.
February 1972: Makes historic first trip to Communist China.
May 1972: Summit with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow.
June 17,1972: Break-in at Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex.
November 1972: Re-elected in landslide over George McGovern.
Oct. 20,1973: "Saturday Night Massacre," in which Attorney
General Elliot Richardson resigned, Watergate special
prosecutor Archibald Cox was fired.
July 24,1974: Supreme Court rules that Nixon must
surrender tapes secretly recorded at the White House.
Aug, 9,1974: Resigns as president in culmination of
Watergate scandal.
Sept. 8,1974: Receives unconditional pardon from
successor Gerald R. Ford.
April 18,1994: Suffers a stroke, and later slips into a deep
April 22,1994: Dies in a New York hospital at age 81L__
Source: The Associated Kress
By Jeremy Fitzpatrick
The strong emotions Richard
Nixon sparked in his critics
and supporters while he was
alive are still evident after his death.
Two University of Ncbraska-Lin
coln political science professors and a
former U.S. senator from Nebraska
all painted different pictures of the
legacy ofa man whose career is known
to most UNL students only through
history books.
Nixon, 81, died from a stroke late
Friday in New York City. He will be
bu r i ed Wed nesd ay i n Ca I i fom ia. Pres i
dent Clinton has declared the day a
national day of mourning.
Carl Curtis, a former Republican
senator^ from Nebraska, said people
should remember the 37th president
for his significant accomplishments
in foreigirpol icy.
“ I thttw they should remember h i m
as ohdemthe great presidents of all
time, vurlis said. “He was the master
of foreign policy.
“WatergateTs kept in the news by
critics that will not let it die, but it was
blown clear oul of proportion.”
Curtis first met Nixon in 1946.
when both were serving in the House
of Representatives. The two became
friends, and Curtis was one ofa group
of Republican senators who was with
Nixon the night before he resigned
from the presidency amid pressure of
Curtis said Nixon made mistakes
in handling Watergate, but the presi
dent was victimized by people who
used the controversy forpolitical gain.
“I have never known who the mas
termind behind the whole maneuver
was,” he said. “But there was defi
nitely a movement to get President
Nixon should also be remembered
for the strength ofh is character, Curtis
“He never got bitter. He did not
drown himself in liquor or do away
with himself. He went to work, worked
his way back and came back as a world
leader,” Curtis said.
Bill Avery, a political science pro
fessor at UNL, said Nixon won great
successes in foreign policy. But he
said history would always remember
Nixon as the only president to resign
from the office.
“Even his death is a rehashing of
Watergate,” he said. “In death he
cannot even escape a review of the
crimes of Watergate.”
Avery said he disagreed with those
who believed there was a conspiracy
against Nixon involving Watergate.
“Those people now who like to say
he was hounded out of office don’t
remember what happened in
Watergate,” he said. “Watergate was
a very serious assault on the Constitu
tion by the president and the
president’s staff.”
Avery said people who tried to
diminish the importanceofWatergatc
were doi ng a disservice toyoung peopIc
who didn’t experience the events that
forced Nixon to resign.
“The facts are facts. And it’s not
partisan,” he said. “And 1 would say
that if 25 years from now historians
pretty much overlook Watergate, I
would be very surprised.”
Robert Sittig, a political science
professor at UNL, agreed that
See NIXON on 6