Politicians Tempted to Inflate Accomplishments – Part 1

I have always been ever so careful when I put together a political pamphlet or mailing. It has to be accurate. I advise other candidates to do the same.

Attending “X” college is not the same as graduating. Seems obvious, but the temptation to inflate ones resume is there.

I worked in the Executive Office of the President when Lyndon Johnson was president. I wasn’t in the White House and, then, the White House staff had not expanded to fill the old Executive Office Building next door.

I think I saw him once when Budget Bureau employees were encourage to go to Rose Garden to provide a crowd for some visiting dignitary.

My employer was the U.S. Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget), which was located in the old War Department building to the right of the White House. It looks like a wedding cake.

It was a heady experience. Johnson was the first president to really use the Budget Bureau year-round. When I asked a question of my agency, the Small Business Administration, its officials didn’t know if it was coming from the “Skinner kid” or the White House.

After we submitted the budget in January of 1966, I discovered there was nothing to do the next Monday.  I decided to clean out the files. I was more than a little surprised to find a memo on what should be in the Small Business plank of the 1964 Democratic Party Platform.

(When I went back to visit in 1972, I found the budget folks had been banished to a high rise on the street behind Blair House across Pennsylvania Avenue. Rent-a-Cop security.)

Since I was running as a Republican for McHenry County Treasurer in 1966, I wasn’t tempted to inflate my management intern entry-level Civil Service job. Surely I didn’t want people to think I was a political appointee for Democrat Johnson.

In fact, Sam Lawrence, my section chief, asked Roger Adkins, who was to be my senior budget officer, if he could work for a Goldwater Republican. That my mother and I had supported Bill Scranton in 1964 before the GOP convention, while my father supported Goldwater apparently hadn’t reached Lawrence’s ears.

Adkins, a good-humored guy who rose to be at least a division chief, had no problems. He could work with anyone.

Word got around that I was a self-identified Republican. The only one in the agency, I believe.

Several people admitted on the Q.T. that they were, too.

Sometimes I wonder what jobs I would have held had I stayed on until Richard Nixon took office.

One girl (first name of Peggy, I think), a couple of years older than my 22 years with Republican leanings, I think, even took me to a party attended by economist Kenneth Galbraith who held forth next to the apartment’s kitchen sink in a building that I am remembering was next to the Soviet Embassy. She was well connected.

The Rackham School of Graduate Studies, where I spend a lot of time studying in the basement library of the Institute for Public Administration, now called the Gerald R. Ford of Public Policy.

When I ran for county treasurer, you can bet I wrote about my Budget Bureau job.

That, plus my having completed the course work (but not yet having been awarded a Masters’ degree in Public Administration from the University of Michigan) and being an Eagle Scout were pretty much my only credentials.

Except for my youth.

You’re too young to be corrupt,”

And, this was before Democrat Secretary of State Paul Powell scandal.  But after the theft of $6 million by Republican Auditor of Public Acc0unts by Orville Hodge.

I heard more than once before the June 13th primary election which I won by 72 votes with a 277 vote spread among three candidates.

In the pamphlet I probably included that I was the budget examiner for the largest independent agency in the Federal government.  The SBA had a $500 million budget at the time.  It kept its loan records on note cards. The agency couldn’t even tell me its loss ratio. Just incredible.

Eventually, after he heard that I was going to run for county treasurer, the SBA budget officer (Willard Hoadley, I think) showed me what he kept in the bottom drawer of his government-issue metal desk.

It was a six-pack of Goldwater, a soft drink produced for the campaign. I even had a date with SBA economist Paddy Freucht’s daughter. I think her name was Michelle, because we heard the Beatles song on her car radio. After I had decided to come back and run for treasurer, the SBA tried to hire me away from the Budget Bureau.

Oh, well. Enough of memory lane.

Back to inflation of political credentials tomorrow.

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