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Conversation: 121-001

Prev: 120-003 Next: 121-002

Start Date: 15-May-1973 8:42 AM

End Date: 15-May-1973 9:38 AM


Nixon, Richard M. (President)Stein, HerbertDunlop, John T.Scott, HughGriffin, Robert P.Tower, John G.Cotton, NorrisBennett, Wallace F.Brock, William E., IIIFord, Gerald R.Arends, Leslie C.Anderson, John B.Edwards, William J. ("Jack")Rhodes, John J.Conable, Barber B., Jr.Wilson, Robert C. ("Bob")Martin, David T.Devine, Samuel L.Bush, George H. W.Ash, Roy L.Ehrlichman, John D.Cole, Kenneth R., Jr.Timmons, William E.Cook, Richard K.Korologos, Thomas C.Ziegler, Ronald L.Hansen, Clifford P.Bellmon, Henry L.Cook, Marlow W.Bartlett, Dewey F.Clawson, Delwin M.Talcott, Burt L.Collier, Harold R.Johnson, Albert W.

Recording Device: Cabinet Room




NARA Description:

On May 15, 1973, President Richard M. Nixon and Republican Congressional leaders, including Herbert Stein, John T. Dunlop, Hugh Scott, Robert P. Griffin, John G. Tower, Norris Cotton, Wallace F. Bennett, William E. Brock, III, Gerald R. Ford, Leslie C. Arends, John B. Anderson, William J. ("Jack") Edwards, John J. Rhodes, Barber B. Conable, Jr., Robert C. ("Bob") Wilson, David T. Martin, Samuel L. Devine, George H. W. Bush, Roy L. Ash, John D. Ehrlichman, Kenneth R. Cole, Jr., William E. Timmons, Richard K. Cook, Thomas C. Korologos, Ronald L. Ziegler, Clifford P. Hansen, Henry L Bellmon, Marlow W. Cook, Dewey F. Bartlett, Delwin M. Clawson, Burt L. Talcott, Harold R. Collier, and Albert W. Johnson, met in the Cabinet Room of the White House from 8:42 am to 9:38 am. The Cabinet Room taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 121-001 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 121-1

Date: May 15, 1973
Time: 8:42 am - 9:38 am
Location: Cabinet Room

The President met with Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, Elliott L. Richardson, Michael J.
(“Mike”) Mansfield, Robert C. Byrd, Hugh Scott, Robert P. Griffin, Howard W. Cannon,
Marlow W. Cook, Carl B. Albert, Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill, Jr., Gerald R. Ford, John J.
McFall, Leslie C. Arends, William L. Dickinson, General Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Leonard
Garment, Raymond K. Price, Jr., Ronald L. Ziegler, William E. Timmons, Thomas C.
Korologos, Max L. Friedersdorf, and Kenneth R. Cole, Jr.; the White House photographer and
members of the press were present at the beginning of the meeting
[Recording begins while the conversation is in progress]

     [General conversation/Unintelligible]

     Federal election reform
          -Bipartisan meeting
          -The President’s conversation with Nelson A. Rockefeller, May 14
          -Federal Election Commission
          -Presidential message
          -President’s position
                -Changes in laws
                -Campaign financing
                -Possible charter
                      -Department of Justice [DOJ] assistance
          -Terms of office
                -The President
                      -Dwight D. Eisenhower
                      -President’s view
                -House of Representatives
                      -President’s view
                      -Cost of campaign


                          Tape Subject Log
                            (rev. 10/08)

           -Term in office
           -Lyndon B. Johnson
           -Senators’ view
           -Views of Peter W. Rodino, Jr. and Emanuel Celler
-Three specifications of possible joint resolution
     -Scope of commission
     -Membership of commission
     -Need for recommendations and action
-Timing of commission’s recommendations
     -1974 elections
     -Congressional action
-Content of possible joint resolution
           -Scope of commission
           -Congressional views
     -Previous Campaign Reform Bill
     -Reporting date
     -Possible reforms
           -President’s views
           -Campaign contributions
                 -Special interest groups
                 -Public disclosure
           -Length of campaign
                 -British system
                 -Byrd’s bill
           -Radio and television time
           -Length of campaign
                 -Changes in federal law
                       -Election dates


                          Tape Subject Log
                            (rev. 10/08)

                          -General election
     -Convention dates
     -Preemption of state laws
           -Potential problems
     -Pending legislation
     -Preemption of legislative prerogative
           -Ervin Committee
     -Possible reforms in federal laws
           -Administrations’s views
                 -Campaign ethics
                 -Independent election agency
                 -Possible problems
                       -State elections
     -George H. W. Bush and Robert S. Strauss
                 -Warren E. Burger’s views
                 -Earl Warren and Tom C. Clark
           -Congressional members
     -Legislative priority
           -Congressional action
           -Wayne L. Hays
           -Leadership assistance
-Previous reform legislation
           -Reporting procedures
           -Violations in 1972
                 -Need for reform

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                        Tape Subject Log
                                          (rev. 10/08)

                -Campaign financing reform
                -Effect on legislative prerogatives
                -Need for action
                      -Agreement by politicians
                -Reporting date
                      -Interim recommendations
                            -Effect on Congress
                -Business community
                -Labor unions
                      -Leonard Woodcock
                -Common Cause
                -Morris K. Udall and John B. Anderson
                -Administration’s view
           -Previous Finance Bill
                -Administration’s views
                -Congressional input
                      -Timing for action

     [General conversation/Unintelligible]

The President, et al. left at 9:38 am


                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/08)