George J. Mitchell

U.S. Senate : Constituent Service Records, 1980-1994.

115.75 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M202.6.3

Background Note:
One of the central responsiblities of Senator Mitchell was responding to the needs of his constituents. Mitchell's staff maintained eight field offices throughout the state to maintain close watch on what the people of Maine needed. To that end his staff worked to keep the lines of communication open between the office and the constituents, and the staff encouraged people to participate in the legislative process. In that regard, staff at the Washington office and at all the field offices worked to maintain current information on legislative positions and provide prepared statements for press and constituents. Much of the constituent service work involved helping constituents who had difficulties, primarily with federal agencies and departments. When action was required to help a constituent, communications and correspondence were maintained until a resolution was reached.

Constituent services were part of the daily activities of the Russell Senate office. The eight field office locations were: Portland, Bangor, Presque Isle, Rockland, Biddeford, Lewiston, Augusta, and Waterville. Functions of the field offices differed from those of the main Senate office in that field office representatives tracked development of local issues and events and communicated pertinent information to representatives in the Washington office. Local offices also provided staffing and scheduling arrangements for Senator Mitchell's visits to the state. Key functions of the field offices were: categorizing local constituent problems for proper action; corresponding with constituents and the Washington senate office on individual issues; tracking the progress of local cases and projects; providing information; working with constituents and local agencies to access existing federal grants; and staying abreast of current local events as well as responding to urgent local problems.

Files in this series were created from 1980 through 1994. Materials in this series generated and maintained in the field offices include case and project files, which included correspondence between Mitchell staffers, constituents, organizations, and federal agencies; notes; memos; press clippings; and reports. Other files include case logs, schedules, briefings, and meeting notices of events in Maine attended by Senator Mitchell; press packets, made up of press releases, statements, and speeches; press clippings; background information on legislation and local political events; and nomination files for military academies. The Russell Senate office managed issue mail, which people sent to voice their opinions on various legislation and issues. The office also maintained responses to these letters. This correspondence differs from correspondence found in case files. In addition the Russell Senate office contained prepared information packets for visiting constitiuents and maintained scheduling information for trips and special events that Mitchell attended in Maine.

Case and project files make up a significant portion of the series. Often these cases and projects deal with Senator Mitchell's office trying to resolve conflicts among individuals, small business, or small organizations in Maine and various federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection agency, various energy regulatory agencies, the armed services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A number of other cases and projects concern Maine organizations applying for and receiving federal grants. Senator Muskie's office turned over some case files to Senator Mitchell's staff when Mitchell took the Senate seat.

Among long time field representatives were Larry Benoit, the Senior Field Represenatative; Clyde MacDonald, who worked in the Bangor field office; Mary LeBlanc, who worked in Presque Isle; Judith Cadorette of the Biddeford office; and Thomas Bertocci, who worked in Rockland and Augusta.

Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · · (207) 725-3288