George J. Mitchell

U.S. Senate : Majority Leadership Records,1986-1994 [bulk 1988-1994].

66.5 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M202.6.4

Background Note:
In 1988 Senator Mitchell was voted by his colleagues to the majority leadership position in the Senate. With this role came additional responsibilities, offices, and increased staff functions, including roles as the official spokesperson for the Democratic Party and as a leader in carrying out the party's programs. Activities included debate, floor statements, committee assignments, appointments, administrative action, confirmation of nominations, and achievement of the party legislative agenda. Mitchell, by virtue of his new position, became the chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, and an ex-officio member of the Intelligence Committee, chairman of the Democratic conference, and ex-officio member of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and chairman of the Senate Commission on Art (in addition to his standing membership in other committees, such as the Environment and Public Works Committee, Veterans' Affairs Committee, and the Health Care subcommittee of the Finance Committee).

During the Republican administration which continued through 1991, the Democratic Party strove to maintain domestic programs, seek protection for the environment and public lands, and maintain dialogue and initiatives in congress to address severe problems in the national health care system, among other issues. When the Clinton administration was elected in 1992, it aggressively sought environmental and comprehensive health care legislation. Functions of the Mitchell Senate and Majority Leader offices became more complex and critically important to both his party and his personal agenda. Additional staff administrative positions were needed to coordinate different activities. Some legislative activities were coordinated between the two offices, some were divided between them, but most of the original corps of legislative aides continued to work in the Russell office, with the exception of Mitchell's designated committee staff members, who continued to perform their work in the offices of the committees and whose office files remain with the files of those committees.

Records in this series were generated from 1988 through 1994. Materials include memos, notes, correspondence, briefing books (usually containing travel itineraries), copies of bills, voting summaries, position papers, press releases, floor statements, transcripts, videocassettes and audiocassettes, usually of press conferences and interviews, phone logs, press clippings, and journal articles. Subjects include domestic issues primarily concerned with health care and with high-technology industries involving energy conservation and pollution control. There are also files on taxes, banking, and federal budgets, and on foreign affairs and defense issues focusing on the defense industry in Maine, United States foreign policy, the Gulf War, prosecutions resulting from the Iran-Contra affair, and the activities of the Senate Intelligence Committee. There are additional files on the Senate's investigation of the Whitewater affair and rules governing the Senate, particularly lobbying reform. Administrative files include matters such as Senate security, letters of recommendation, and appointments to various positions. Files in this series are characterized by a more focused attention to party procedural and policy matters and the Democratic Party agenda.

The material in this series was produced by staffers in Mitchell's Senate Majority Leader office and in the Democratic Policy Committee office. Paul Carliner, a member of the DPC staff, created most of the domestic affairs files. Files on defense and foreign affairs were maintained by Ed King and Brett O'Brien, who both worked in the DPC office. Files concerning the Senate Intelligence Committee were mostly developed by Richard Arenberg, who worked in the Senate Majority Leader office. Finance and budget files were generally produced by Robert Rozen and Lisa Nolan respectively. Both of these aides worked in the Majority Leader office. Diane Dewhirst maintained and developed most of the press and media files from the DPC office. Most of the files on Senate rules and the Whitewater investigation were developed by Jim Weber from the Majority Leader office; administrative files were maintained by Elizabeth Harrington.

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