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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1998)
Stenberg faces campaign allegations
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
The Nebraska Democratic Party filed a com
plaint Wednesday alleging that Attorney General
Don Stenberg violated campaign contribution
laws during his 1995 U.S. Senate campaign.
The Federal Election Commission complaint
centers on one Blair-based campground compa
ny, Thousand Adventures, and the Contributions
of its employees, owner and the owner’s family,
including a $1,000 contribution made by a 12
“I just question whether a 42-year-old boy
has a real ihterest in the U.S. Senate,” Nebraska
Democratic Party Chairwoman Anne Boyle said.
Stenberg was not in his office Wednesday
afternoon, and could not be reached for com
Federal election regulations limit contribu
tions to a maximum of $1,000 from each person
during an election.
To circumvent this regulation illegally, con
tributors sometimes give money to other people,
which then is contributed to the campaign.
That is what Democrats allege happened in
The owner of Thousand Adventures, David
Vopnford, six of his family members and three
employees contributed a total of $9,400 to
Stenberg’s Senate campaign.
Critics question the timing of the Democrats’
complaint with the election one month away.
Stenberg faces Democrat Pat Knapp in the
November election for attorney general.
But Boyle, who became party chairwoman in
July, said she first learned of the contributions in
a September Omaha World-Herald story about
In that story, Stenberg was quoted saying he
did not know all his contributors.
But Boyle argued that with eight $ 1,000 con
tributors from the company, it was likely
Stenberg did know them.
Thousand Adventures’ history of consumer
fraud charges fuel the allegations of improper
Lawsuits have been filed by 21 states agamst
Thousand Adventures, and the company filed for
bankruptcy earlier this year.
But Nebraska never filed suit against the
company despite 33 consumer complaints.
Instead, Stenberg chose to pursue mediation
with the company and did collect $73,000 for the
Boyle said it was “bothersome that 21 states
did (file suit) and we didn’t.”
The Federal Election Commission will take
several months to review the complaint before
taking any action.
The complaint could potentially be used by
Knapp in her campaign against Stenberg.
But Boyle maintained that this was not a
“We filed the complaint just to clear the air,”
Knapp was out of her office Wednesday
afternoon, and could not be reached for comment
on the complaint.
Republican Party Chairman Chuck Sigerson
responded to the complaint with a letter to Boyle
urging Democrats to focus their campaigns on
issues, not negative attacks on opponents.
The Republicans did not address the com
plaint directly in the letter. Instead they focused
on “staying on the high road” in campaigns.
Symposium to examine public perception of politics
By Brian Carlson
When it comes to the political process, are
people mad as hell and not going to take it any
That is the question to be explored during
the 1998 Hendricks Symposium on Oct. 9 and
10, sponsored by the University of Nebraska
Lincd®d.political science department.
The symposium will include six panels dis
cussing the public’s disenchantment with the
political process in the United States.
Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, an associate pro
fessor of political science, said public disaffec
tion with the political system, which has waxed
r and waned throughout history, can have a neg
ative influence on public policy-making.
“I think the public’s attitude toward govern
ment has potentially long-lasting ramifica
tions,” she said. “If people are disaffected with
the political system, they may pursue short
term solutions that don’t make long-term
Although the symposium may be particu
larly timely in the midst of the turmoil sur
rounding the Clinton presidency, the weekend’s
events will focus on the history and root causes
of public discontent.
The symposium’s keynote address, to be
delivered by New York University psychology
professor Tom Tyler, is titled “The Pyschology
of Public Dissatisfaction with Government.”
His speech is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m.
in the University Club, 13th and P streets.
On both Friday and Saturday, three panel
discussions will be held in the Nebraska Union
to discuss aspects of public political discon
tent, including public dissatisfaction over time,
the psychology of discontent, the structural
causes of disaffection, levels of frustration
aimed at particular governmental branches and
issues and the consequences of dissatisfaction.
Panel discussions are scheduled for 9:30 to
11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday,
and 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. Friday.
From 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Theiss
Morse will moderate a concluding discussion
among five other speakers. Theiss-Morse and
John Hibbing, a UNL political science profes
sor, will conduct the 1998 Hendricks
Theiss-Morse said President Clinton’s dif
ficulties and the public’s reaction to the events
in Washington, DC., will receive some atten
tion. In addition to Clinton’s behavior, the
actions of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr
and the Congress have had a negative influence
on the political system and its public image,
“What’s happened with the Clinton fiasco
is really damaging to the political system.”
FINANCE from page 1
about the amendment.
Wolf said every donation was important -
not only for the monetary contribution but
also for the show of support of the amend
The year-to-date cost of the group’s cam
paign has totaled more than $2.6 million.
Three opposition groups, which were cre
ated after the signatures were gathered in a
drive for the proposed amendment, have
spent a combined total of more than $459,000
since the beginning of the election year.Two
main groups are opposing the tax lid propos
al: Nebraskans for the Good Life, and
Heartland Agriculture and Business Against
the Lid. -
l hougn bom groups serve ditterent con
stituents and are run separately, a third group
-Agriculture, Mainstreet and Education
Against 413 - serves as an umbrella group to
orchestrate the efforts of the other two.
Nebraska State Education Association
Executive Director Jim Griess, whose group
was a large contributor to Nebraskans for the
Good Life, said the money is funneled into
‘the other groups to pay for radio and televi
sion advertising. *
Those efforts aim to inform voters about
the potential damage to the state the lid could
cause if approved in November.
But, he said, facing a group with a budget
nearing $3 million has been a challenge.
“We’re going to continue to work at the
grass roots level... to make sure folks get reg
istered and turn out to vote,” Griess said.
Nebraskans for the Good Life reported
having $ 124,000 in cash on hand at the end of
September, which will be used to augment
advertising as the election draws near.
Both leaders said their focus is to educate
voters about the effects of the amendment.
“Nebraskans are smart,” Wolf said.
“They’re going to make decisions based on
the merits of information provided.”
Professor works to attract more women to math '
WIEGAND from page 1
ing her undergraduate degree from
Cambridge’s all-female Girton college,
Wiegand’s grandmother, Grace
Chisholm Young, left her home for
Germany. Her goal was to obtain a doc
toral degree in mathematics, and she left
her home country because England did
not allow women to earn advanced
After studying in Germany, thanks
to an experimental program that
allowed women to work toward their
doctoral degrees, Wiegand’s grand
mother received hers.
That was after she was forced to
walk to her last examination after the
carriage driver who was supposed to
pick her up passed by because she was a
The carriage driver just assumed
that only a man would be in pursuit of a
doctoral degree. When he didn’t see a
man sitting on the curb, he passed her,
Wiegand said in a book she helped write
about couples in science. Her grandpar
ents' story made up one chapter of the
After her grandmother walked to
her examination and arrived five min
utes late, she passed the exam success
Though Wiegand’s pursuit of a doc
toral degree was a little less historic than
her grandmother’s, she still uses her
grandmother’s experiences to motivate
her for her job as president of AWM.
Many of the problems she addresses
during her nationwide speeches come
from attitudes and misconceptions that
still linger despite the progress women
have made since her grandmother’s feat.
These problems cause fewer women to
become mathematicians or make them
less vocal about being one, she said.
“When AWM started, people real
ized that women were invisible at math
meetings,” Wiegand said.
“The goal of the organization was to
increase these numbers and encourage
women to study mathematics,” she said.
Wiegand had no problem following
in the footsteps of her grandmother. She
took many college math courses in high
school and graduated in three years
from Bryn Mawr College, a women’s
school in a Pennsylvania town of the
She went on to graduate school at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After being in classes with only women
during her undergraduate years, she
found a different world from the close,
supportive classes at her all-female
“When I went to the University of
Wisconsin, I felt it wasn’t as likely that
you’d get support from a coed place,”
Wiegand said she found mostly an
encouraging environment during her
But when seeking a university job
after graduation, Wiegand got a taste of
what the conditions for women were
really like in mathematics in the 1970s.
“Can’t your husband support you?”
was the University of Wisconsin
Madison math department’s response
when Wiegand asked for a teaching
Despite some inequalities that still
exist, Wiegand said, colleges have made
strides in encouraging women to study
math. In order to stay functional,
Wiegand said, more math departments
have realized that women are a neces
sary component for success.
But, despite the fact that the percent
age of women earning doctorates in
mathematics is at a record high, atti
tudes and barriers still need to be over
come to create an environment welcom
ing to women, she said.
These are the problems that she
addresses when she speaks at colleges
and universities across the nation.
One of those problems is the attitude
among high school girls that taking an
interest in math isn’t cool, Wiegand
After talking with girls at a high
school math camp that takes place every
summer at UNL, she found that most
attendees enjoyed the camp experience,
yet felt they couldn’t tell their friends
they attended because they would be
seen as different.
Though there seems to be an equal
number of jobs for men and women
mathematicians with doctorates,
Wiegand said, women don’t get promot
ed as often as men do.
For these reasons, Wiegand contin- ,
ues to spread the AWM message in
Jean Taylor, a math professor at
Rutgers University in New Brunswick,
N.J., and AWM president-elect, said
Wiegand’s dedication to speaking to
audiences across the nation is one of the
qualities that has made her tenure as
president different from others, ,
, Though many AWM presidents
have focused on one part of fee nation,
such as the East Coast, Wiegand has
made a strong attempt to spread her
“I think that’s one of the most strik
ing things about her,” Taylor said.
“Just putting a human face on a
woman in mathematics is important,”
Wiegand doesn’t leave her dedica
tion to encouraging women in mathe
matics behind when she enters fee class- |
room. ' ; ••• j
Serpil Saydam, a UNL doctoral stu
dent in mathematics from Turkey, said
Wiegand has helped her overcome the
challenges that she has encountered.
She also has promoted the AWM
agenda on a smaller level with her grad
uate students, Saydem said. Her visibil
ity in promoting women in mathematics
has been a benefit to the department,
she said. -i
“She is a leader,” Saydam said.
“When I came here the first time, she
was the person I felt would be my role
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