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Amid charges of factionalism and election-rigging that echoed last winter's contested election, members of the Harvard Republican Club filled three vacancies on the club's Executive Board last night, but settled their differences in time to hear a speech from former Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge '24.
About 60 members of the club cast ballots at the meeting in Science Center D, electing Kathleen A. Duey '79 as club treasurer over Richard W. Berenson '80.
Berenson distributed handbills before the election, alleging that "There has been an attempt to rig this election."
The handbill said members of the Executive Committee "designed a slate of hand-chosen candidates who they hope to remrod through" the election.
Berenson later withdrew the charges and apologized to the committee members after the membership selected him to fill the vacant spot of club publicity director.
"I've made a mistake today," Berenson said in a speech following his election. "I saw a lot more division than there was," he added.
Berenson added that his nervousness before the election stemmed from his apprehension that the meeting would result in "the same thing that happened last year."
Last winter the club elected as its president Robert L. Wiley '78, but allegation of voting improprieties forced the Executive Committee to submit the dispute to Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, for a settlement.
Wiley eventually resigned, and was succeeded by Patrice M. Kenney '79, the current president.
Berenson, who said he was a supporter of Wiley's, said he feared the same divisions that existed within the club at that time would create opposition to his election.
"I made the mistake of assuming there was a larger attempt to gain control of the board than there was. There was no such attempt," he said.
Other club members, however, said the club is still bothered by factionalism.
Patrick F. Fischer '80, a candidate for publicity director, said in a speech that the organization "is not a very unified Republican Club," adding that "factionalism isn't good publicity" for the club.
Joseph L. Hoffmann '78, another member who said he voted for neither side, said after the meeting, "The whole election process was a farce."
The practice of allowing new members to join the club at the door, immediately before the election, allowed candidates to "pack" the house with their friends, he said.
The controversy died down by the time Lodge arrived to address the meeting.
Declaring himself "a little bit of an optimist," the former ambassador and vice-presidential candidate called for an end to what he called a current mood of national cynicism, and a solution to large-scale unemployment, as means of insuring the future of the American government.
"Let's build a floor below which no man can sink, but no ceiling above which he cannot rise," he said.
Lodge also called for tax credits for employers who maintain a high level of employment, reform of the Presidential election system and ratification of the proposed Panama Canal treaty.
He also fielded a question about whether he believes the scandal surrounding former President Richard M. Nixon was caused by Nixon's subordinates, or by a flaw in the former president's character.
Tapping his cranium, Lodge replied, "I think there was something wrong up here.
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