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Democrats Still Stand Together on Big Issues

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As the last 10 days of the campaign before the Aug. 6 begin, Congressional and 18th District State Senate Democratie candidates still stand close together on the major issues in the campaign. Speaking to a crowd of about 150 persons at the League of Women Voters Candidates Night Friday, the major theme for all those attending was "I am the best candidate to oust the Republican incumbent." Ronald Egnor, assistant Ypsilanti city attorney, said, "I am not at all happy with the pace the impeachment inquiry is going forward ... I hope the House proceeds with avotequickly." Egnor added he believed ' President Nixon had committed the kind of actions to "warrant a trial in the Senate" and accused Republican incumbent Marvin L. Esch of taking "an absolutely invisible position on the impeachment inquiry and actions." Marjorie Lansing, long-time Ann Arbor Democrat and a teacher of political science at Eastern Michigan University, emphasized she believed she was the best qualified candidate who could beat Esch. Lansing said, "This ís the year of the political woman" adding that during her campaigning she was seeing a great many people hostile to politicians and elected officials in general. In addition she said she had campaigned strongly on the education issue which she feels is central in the district. Dr. Edward Pierce, founder of the Ann Arbor Summit Street Medical Clinic, repeated the four major points of his campaign. On military spending, Pierce said, "This is the only time in our history where there has been an increase in the military budget after a war . . . and that's got to stop. Pierce explained his campaign has also focused on "how do you get economie justice in this country ... in a nation like ours, poverty is inexcusable. Decent housing, nuture, health care and education are something everyone hasarightto." Pierce added he believed that Nixon should be im peached and that he is a "ra cial integrationist . . . I do not believe the nation can survive as two separate societies." John S. Ruether, of Ypsilanti, said he saw the two main points of his campaign as a dissatisfaction with the way Congress is run and a dissatisfaction with the way peopie are taxed as two key issues. Reuther favors a rollback of food and fuel prices and having private pension plans and funds "insured by the federal government similar to the way deposits in banks are insured ... we are a rich country, we can af ford it." Reuther also favored one-third federal funding of education and a reform of the social security system. The fifth Democratie candidate, Theo W. Williams, a retired engineer of Ypsilanti, did not attend. The four candidates also outlined proposed defense cuts with Pierce adding he believed some of the money cut from the defense budget should be used to help develop the mass transit industry. Reuther proposed additional funding of research into "fusion, solar and geo-thermal energy as one of the possible long-range solutions to our running out of fossil' fuels." LansingsaicTshe first proposed to get additional information from the oil companies about how large U.S. oil reserves actually are. All the candidates supported the Supreme Court decisión allowing abortion on demand. Candidates for the State Senate in Ann Arbor's 18th District also emphasized their qualifications for the office. Cynthia' Churchill, a ComShare employé, said that if elected her primary focus in Lansing would be "campaign finance reform, juvenile justice and child custody law re:orm." Peter Eckstein, an associate professor of economics at Western Michigan University, said he supported a more equitable form of taxation in Michigan other than the property tax - a graduated income tax. He added he favors the repeal of the sales tax on food and drugs. Eckstein also pointed to his record working for a number of reforms throughout the state as evidence he would be a strong senator. Gerald E. Faye, a professor of political science at Oakland Community College, said the focal point in his campaign has been the financing of education in Michigan and opposition to the Bursley Act which is the distribution formula for state school aid. "Ann Arbor has lost $2.9 million in state aid over the past three years because of the Bursley Act," Faye emphasized. "The act also encourages additional property taxes in local districts and thus continúes the existing tax system rather than bringing about any reforms." Faye also emphasized the need for pollution control in Michigan, saying, "Pollution is most destructive to the poor because they cannot escape f rom it." Eckstein said the state should have provided funding for special education programs when it required each district to establish such programs several years ago. Both Faye and Eckstein supported a graduated income tax for Michigan residents while Churchill did not mention such a tax during her remar ks. All three candidates favored changing Michigan law to allow the teaching of birth control and venereal disease information by public school teachers in Michigan. Tsnowii mísdemeanor for a teacher to describe birth control methods in the public schools," Eckstein continued. "This is an outrageous situation." Faye emphasized that "Laws aren't the only ways to solve social problems . . . it takes committed work on the part of many local people to change the way society looks at some things." Faye added Michigan needs to design "a new concept in education" that will make integrated school system possible in areas like Detroit. "I don't think Detroit can solve its problems all by itself . . . and I think we have to get away from the idea that additional money alone will solve the problem. Busing doesn't bother me one bit at all ... but I am opposed to children being bused great distances." A fourth candidate, Harold L. Moon, Ann Arbor bail bondsman, did not attend. After the candidates night, three of the Congressional candidates signed the 1974 Indochina Peace Resolution at an event sponsored by the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Indochina Peace campaign. Reuther, Pierce and Lansing all signed the document which pledges them to work for continued withdrawal of U.S. military involvement in Indochina as well as the withdrawal of economie aid to the Thieu government. The Pierce, Lansing and Reuther campaigns also cosponsored the event. Congressional candidate Egnor did not sign the document and GOP incumbent Esch had not been furnishéd with a copy of the resolution in time to make a decisión about signing it. __ Major Candidates Night theme: "Pm the best candidate to oust the Republican incumbent.''