The executive committee of the Harvard Republican Club last night passed a policy statement asking Nelson A. Rockefeller to withdraw himself from consideration for the vice-presidency.
The statement was a revision of last week's proposal, which called for President Ford to withdraw Rockefeller's nomination and for Congress to vote against it.
The vote at the executive committee meeting was seven to two in favor of the statement. To become club policy, a proposal requires the votes of a majority of the 13 executive committee members.
The motion, drafted by Richard N. Smith '75, criticized Rockefeller for "substantial loans and gifts... to Rockefeller friends on the public payroll."
Subject for Inquiry
Smith cited the "gift" of $550,000 to William Ronan when Ronan was chairman of the New York Port Authority as a possible "conflict of interest and attempt to unduly influence public employees." Rockefeller was then governor of New York.
The statement said the former governor's $1 million dollar debt for back taxes is a significant subject for investigation.
The country "at this time can ill afford a wrenching national debate over the personal propriety of a nominee for high office," the club advised.
The club will send copies of the statement to Rockefeller and to the entire congressional delegation from Massachusetts, with the exception of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54.
Club President William R. Glass '75 voted against the proposal, saying that there is not sufficient proof that Rockefeller has done anything unethical.
"I think Rockefeller will withdraw if his meeting with Congress is not successful," Glass explained. "It is much more appropriate to ask him directly rather than asking Ford. I think he will withdraw himself if he sees that his nomination is not in the best interests of the country."
Stephen J. Chapman '76, the club's vice president, said, "If a private citizen had made the donations Rockefeller has, he'd be in the penitentiary right now."
"Rockefeller should be able to answer to the Congress," Brian C. Shaw '76, the membership director, said. "Unless he comes up with very good excuses, I'd like to see him remove his own name. We need less hiding and denying of things, and then admitting to them later."
The club was one of the first Republican groups to call for the resignation of Richard M. Nixon from the presidency last year.
Rep. Paul Cronin (R-Mass.) was scheduled to speak at the meeting, but he never arrived.