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It takes a prescribed procedure that you must go through in order to do that, and in most unions you cannot now make political contributions, the Constitution forbids it even now.
Mr. McCULLOCH. That was an action of the labor union itself, with which I have no complaint, of course.
Mr. McDEVITT. That is correct. Mr. McCULLOCH. But where there were no restrictions on the part of the labor union doing that thing, and no restrictions on a corporation doing that thing I think the basic logic applies with equal force in both cases.
Mr. McDEVITT. I still contend that we do not feel they belong in that same category.
Mr. McCULLOCH. It really does not make much difference to me in which category an organization belongs if the basic logic applies equally to both.
Mr. McDEVITT. Of course we differ with you with respect to that section.
Mr. KEATING. Do you contend that labor unions should be permitted to make direct contributions to political candidates ?
Mr. McDevitt. Frankly we have felt from the very inception of this controversy that we should not be restricted any more than any other segment of society is restricted, with the exception of so-called corporations. Now, they can overcome the situation very easily as you gentlemen well know. Every member of a board can give $5,000 apiece to a political candidate or campaign. They can get every member of their family to give $5,000 apiece. That problem is one we never have to worry about with our people. We have tremendous difficulty trying to get a dollar. There is a vast difference in the situations. If you are seeking to correct, as they said they were in the inception of the controversy, certain abuses there are certain of those abuses that you need not be troubled about because we do not make that kind of contributions, and that is why we feel so very keenly about that particular section. We have to depend entirely upon voluntary contributions for our funds.
Mr. McCULLOCH. But not entirely, Mr. McDevitt.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Under the present law you do, but if that law be repealed, if I am a member of X Union and there is money in the treasury if it be decided by proper authority in my union that there is to be $1,000 or $10,000 contributed to a committee or a candidate to influence an election you have the same condition existing there.
Mr. McDEVITT. Excepting that if it is to be done it has to be done in accordance with the prescribed rules of the association.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Well, the same answer would apply to a corporation, a corporation, of course, could not make a contribution unless the board of directors authorized it.
Mr. McDEVITT. That may be true, but we feel that corporations and unions are not the same, that they are organizations that have no limitations on them.
Mr. McCULLOCII. I have no quarrel with that, and I assume that most associations by their own limitations prohibit that, and I have no objection to a prohibition that would prevent X Chamber of Commerce from contributing to a committee or an individual influencing an election where the funds came from diverse membership, all of which would not be in accordance with that condition or the desired result. The same logic applies, in my opinion to all such contributions.
Mr. McDEVITT. Well, of course, unfortunately the law does not.
Further, on No. 7, Mr. Chairman, we do not feel that there should be any restrictions placed on what can properly de deemed educational activities aside and apart from any participation we may undertake in connection with a person's campaign for election.
Now, with respect to No. 8, the suggestion for the creation of a joint committee or impartial commission to supervise election practices, we are unalterably opposed to that, Mr. Chairman, because we do not feel that the approach is practical.
From my experience in the political field I just cannot see how you could take care of the problems that we feel we are confronted with through the creation of such a commission. We think that there is sufficient law on the books now if it were properly enforced.
On No. 9, which is the last one, we do not feel that there ought to be any governmental funds whatsoever used in connection with candidates campaigns for public office, no matter in what direction they may
be used. On the subject of taxes under No. 9 I, of course, am not qualified to discuss that phase of it with you this morning. I would rather have you, if you wish anything further on it, discuss it with our tax experts than give you any definite reply at this time.
The last is the question of the franking privileges. There the only thing we have to say with respect to that is that, in our opinion, if the present law is really enforced the abuses complained of will be eliminated.
That, Mr. Chairman, is the brief comment that we have to make at this moment. If you desire to have me submit a statement on that in writing I will be very happy to give it to you. Time did not permit it being done prior to my appearance here before the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad to have it.
Mr. Long. First let me say, Mr. Chairman, that we did not intend in this memorandum and the covering letter to present the point of view of this committe in relation to this problem, nor did we intend it to cover all the problems in the field. We merely compiled it as a guide so that the witnesses could use it in preparing any statement they wanted to make to this committee.
Nr. KEATING. In other words, the witness need not feel that he is limited to the questions asked therein?
Mr. Long. That is right.
Mr. McDEVITT. No; I did not feel that way, but I thought that you wanted me to comment on the contents in that memorandum.
Mr. Long. The covering letter to which that was attached stated that it was not intended in any way to limit the discussion or scope of this inquiry.
Mr. McDEVITT. Yes; that is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McDevitt, what were your total expenditures for political activities recently? I understand you have already given it.
Mr. McDEVITT. Yes; I have already given it.
Mr. McDEVITT. No; I do not have at the moment, Mr. Chairman. I would like to reserve the privilege, if you will reserve it to me, of adding one or two points in addition to those that I have discussed here this morning. I would like to present those in writing to each member of the committee if that is agreeable.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. We appreciate your coming; thank you very much, Mr. McDevitt.
Mr. McDevitt. Thank you Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee.
STATEMENTS OF WALTER WILLIAMS, CHAIRMAN OF CITIZENS FOR
EISENHOWER-NIXON, AND WALTER THAYER, COUNSEL FOR CITIZENS FOR EISENHOWER-NIXON
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Walter Williams, chairman of Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon. We are very glad to have you here, Mr. Williams. First, allow me to congratulate you on your new position.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Thank you, Mr. Boggs.
The CHAIRMAN. I wonder if you would give your name and occupation to the stenographer.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Walter Williams. I am president of Continental, Inc., Seattle.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Thayer, will you also identify yourself for the record ?
Mr. THAYER. Yes, sir. My name is Walter Thayer, and I am counsel for Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a statement, Mr. Williams?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes. Chairman Boggs and gentlemen of the Special Committee of the House of Representatives To Investigate Campaign Expenditures, I have already identified myself, but just to make it plain, I am Walter Williams, and I am appearing here today in my capacity as chairman of Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon.
I appreciate the invitation which you have extended to me to appear before your committee. The work which you have undertaken is of great importance and I shall be happy to answer any questions you may care to ask concerning the activities of Citizens for Eisenhowever-Nixon during the recent campaign.
When I received your invitation to appear before your committee, I was in California. I returned here last night for the purpose of attending here today. As a consequence, I have had little time or opportunity to review in any detail many of the questions set forth in your memorandum. You have included in your memorandum a number of searching questions. I believe that these are questions upon which those who have been interested in national politics for longer than I could best make recommendations for the consideration of your committee. For whatever value it may be to you, however, I should like to outline generally the organization of Citizens for EisenhowerNixon.
Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon was a voluntary, unincorporated association organized August 20, 1952. It had seven founding members, of which I was one. Its constitution sets forth its objectives as follows:
We constitute ourselves a voluntary association under the name of Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon for the purpose of advocating and promoting, by all proper means, the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President and Richard M. Nixon as Vice President of the United States.
The office of the organization was in New York City. It functioned as a national political committee.
During the course of the campaign, the committee received contributions from 20,072 persons. The total of the contributions was approximately $1,694,000, and the expenditures were somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,400,000 to $1,450,000. We do not yet know what the actual figure will be as we have not completed our analysis and audit of our bills.
There were approximately 465 people who worked with the committee during the course of the campaign. Of this number, 413 were volunteers who received no compensation whatsoever for their services.
The 52 persons, and I understand that was the maximum, and I think we had them on only for the last 3 weeks or something of that sort, who received compensation were generally employed in a clerical capacity. The organization was reduced to nine persons within 2 weeks after the election. The only persons remaining on the staff at present are our accountants and two secretaries.
We filed reports as a national political committee with the Clerk of the House of Representatives as required by Federal law on September 9, October 23, and October 30.
We will file our final report on January 1, 1953. As required by statute, we have listed in these reports each expenditure in excess of $10. The statute requires, as I understand it, that we list each contribution of $100 or more. We have listed the name and address of each contributor regardless of the amount of the contribution.
We were a temporary organization. As such, we are going out of existence as soon as we can wind up our affairs.
The people associated with Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon were persons who had had little, if any, previous experience in politics. This being the case, I do not believe that those associated with our committee, including myself, are particularly qualified to express opinions on changes which may be needed in the legislation covering elections. But I shall be glad to try to answer any questions you care to ask. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Williams. Mr. Keating, do you have any questions?
Mr. KEATING. No, Mr. Chairman, I do not think I have any questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McCulloch?
Mr. McCULLOCH. Mr. Williams, the amount of contributions received by your organization does or does not include contributions to such State organizations?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Contributions from State organizations, you mean, instead of to?
Mr. McCULLOCH. No; contributions to.
Mr. WILLIAMS. No; we had no official relationship with the State organizations. Do you mean the citizen State organizations?
Mr. McCULLOCH. Yes; that is right.
Mr. WILLIAMS. We were completely separate and apart from them. Our relationship with them was purely one of servicing them in any way that we could.
Mr. McCULLOCH. So, contributions made to your organizations did not reflect any contributions made to such committees in the various States?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes; that is correct.
Mr. McCULLOCH. And your expenditures did not reflect the expenditures of such State committees ?
Mr. WILLIAMS. That is right.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Do you know how much the various State committees received ?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I have not any way of knowing because a lot of these clubs were self-starters. We were supposedly servicing about 7,000 clubs, but, toward the end of the campaign, as nearly as we could estimate there were probably closer to 16,000 clubs, and each one of these clubs was autonomous in running its own affairs. We have just hardly any way of estimating what the different clubs were spending on their own account in their own communities.
Mr. McCULLOCH. For what purpose were the larger part of your receipts spent?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, I think I can break that down from memory into the main chunks.
There was approximately $140,000 spent in what you might call general overhead, telegraph, telephone, postage, and that sort of thing, and basic salaries, these clerical salaries, and so forth, $140,000. Then there was about the same amount for our club service which would also include our activities in connection with the veterans' programs, our women's organization, our youth program, and our foreign allegiance groups. There was just about another $140,000 there. Then there was approximately $130,000 spent in what would qualify as a public relations division, and that included a lot of the supplies and some advertising, and so forth.
Then there was also an item of approximately $175,000 for direct mail and the literature that went out direct by mail.
Then there was approximately $127,000 in round figures relating to this band-wagon program, which was a crew that went out prior to the appearances by General Eisenhower. In one of these active cities they would go out and put up these “Ike” blimp balloons and do the other things that were incidental more or less to the promotion of the event, the speaking event of General Eisenhower.
I think that includes all of the major items with one exception, and that is the television and radio item which totaled about $634,000.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Did your committee have any difficulty in getting radio or television time?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, we were not always successful in getting the exact times that we wanted because of conflicts with other programs, but I should say by and large we had no substantial difficulty.