tv Congressional and Political Collections CSPAN April 15, 2018 1:42pm-2:01pm EDT
those meetings. so for example, take the financial crisis, the events of 2008, 2009. nobody sat at the meeting in 2008 saying what i think we need for the world government is a massive financial crisis. >> q&a, tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. this year, c-span is touring cities across the country, exploring american history. next, a look at our recent visits to norman, oklahoma. you are watching "american tv," all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. >> the center was founded in 1979 by professor ron peters. he thought you know, we have this powerful member of congress, carl albert, we need to do something at the university sort of to memorialize his ideals about congress, about legislating, about governing.
so today, we we have over 60 -- we have over 60 collections, 60 different members of congress. and we have 20 political collections from staffers or reporters or other people. today when we are visiting we will look at the carl albert collection, the robert s kerr collection, a little bit from mike synar and more. carl albert was speaker of the house from 1971 to 1977. priority to that -- prior to that, he was majority leader, he was the whip and a regular member of congress, 30 years total in congress. this area is what we call the speaker's office. we have furniture, pictures, and other stuff that came from carl albert's office in d.c. this isn't his actual office, but these are things he used. this is carl albert's desk where he would work.
carl albert was not a very tall man, so in order to raise himself up a little bit, he had someone build for him a little footstool so he could sit a little taller at the desk and not have his feet dangle off. one of the highlights of speaker albert's career was bringing in queen elizabeth for the bicentennial. so you can see here is albert showing the queen some photographs. she brought a copy of the magna carta to give to albert and give to the united states. you can see, she is sitting in this chair. we look over here, the chair is still here. so we let guests sometimes sit in the chair the queen sat in. so we have some other pictures. this is speaker albert and his freshman class. somewhere in there you can find speaker albert. you can find future president nixon and also president -- future president kennedy. this is not speaker albert, but we have a picture of kennedy in
oklahoma. his only time through oklahoma. he is really here. he is basically just opening up an intersection, and the reason he came is because robert s kerr wanted him to come. oncef robert s kerr you to come, you do it. so i show you this furniture from his various offices. here is the queen's chair again. the sofa, speaker albert was napping on the sofa when he found out that's bureau agnew -- that spiro agnew resigned and albert was next in line for the presidency. so agnew resigned. there was no vice president. some admiral democrats wanted to have a plan to get albert into the presidency. you could replace a republican, nixon, to speaker albert. albert was opposed to this. he thought it was not fair to have a democrat or place a republican, but being albert, he was prepared. this document is a memo written by ted sorensen to speaker albert, labeled personal and
confidential, but it lays out what should albert do if he becomes president. so you can look. it says step one, take the oath of office. step two, physically taking over the office. step three, resign from the house. this is another thing albert would have had to do, resign as speaker if he moved up in the president, and it would really only be temporarily. i think this is an interesting these of history that many people really don't know about. we think about richard nixon and we think about impeachment. we don't think about other things that could have happened during that time period. the papers we have and the objects are from the robert kerr collection. robert kerr was senator from oklahoma. , which was in ada then indian territory. he was born in the wonderful log cabin here. sort of a hardscrabble background. he grew up very poor but sort of
worked his way up. while in the senate, kerr had a lot of priorities. i would say the number one priority, over the entire career, was the arkansas river bed project. the arkansas river runs through part of oklahoma and goes through tulsa -- it eventually winds all the way to colorado on one end and connects up with the mississippi river. so there is lots of things he wanted to accomplish with the arkansas river bed project. oklahoma has a lot of problems ther, as you know. we have tornadoes, but we also have droughts, and we have floods. we try to make up for our droughts in maybe a week's worth of rain per year. part of the arkansas river bed project would help the flooding, get some dams and energy, but also navigate the arkansas river so you can get materials from tulsa and other areas to mississippi and other markets. this took almost his whole
career. in fact, it wasn't fully funded until after he died in 1963 . he was able to accomplish a lot of this, eventually becoming chair of the public works committee. the public works committee is a classic pork committee, where it's job is to get funding delivered back to the different states. so this map here lays out the paths and some of the changes they will make. oklahoma doesn't have a lot of natural lakes. but they had to put dams in. they had to make canals for some part of the river to make it navigable. kerr eventually teams up with a republican member from oklahoma to work with eisenhower to get funding for the project. it's his work as the chair of the public works committee. one thing he did was if anyone else in congress wanted river or harbor legislation, he would say sure, go ahead. classic pork, pilot and the
--ey, everyone -- kyle in in the money, everyone gets a little bit and you're able to fund these projects. in 1963, it is fully funded. another thing he was able to do, late in his career was chair of the nafta committee. lyndon johnson was the first chair, then kerr takes over when johnson moves into the vice presidency. again, for kerr, this is like a classic pork barrel project you can do. the story about nafta is we need to beat the russians into space. kerr, he thought we could build parts for rockets in oklahoma. they need a lot of fuel and they are going to need communications satellites. so nasa was able to bring money and prestige to the state. he was able to grow the budget for nasa. another move that kerr was able to make, he was able to get jim webb to be an administrator for nasa.
and webb was an employee of an oil company prior to his service in government. he was part owner of kerr-mcgee oil company. so this was seen as a big coup for kerr to get his man into nasa. we have some rockets. different companies would give these rockets to kerr, hoping to get money for their programs. they vary from the pioneer rocket, the jupiter, but also some ballistic missiles as well. i like this one. it comes on its little cart here. this can move the missiles around the country. this picture here is one of my favorite pictures and the -- in the collection. we have lyndon johnson, robert s kerr, the back of kennedy's head. no one is looking at them, they are all looking at alan shepard, who is an astronaut.
and so -- this is one of the rare pictures that you have that -- those three people in the room and no one is paying attention to them. they are all paying attention to alan shepard. the next collection is the mike steinhauer collection. he was a democrat from oklahoma. he is a liberal, as far as democrats go from the state. he's elected first in 1978. really young, only 28-years-old. synar was a fighter. he took on big tobacco. he fights with the nra. he was not afraid to take on the big issues. it ended up hurting him politically. he ends up losing in the democratic primary in 1994. his opponent got funding from the nra and big tobacco. so his big fights came back against him politically. but he was the type of person, i don't think he cared. he wanted to do the right thing. we will go toid
congress to take the hard votes, we do not go to congress to shy away from the problem. so this shows up in his collection. unlike other collection and i talked about that are a little sanitize, his collection came to us as is. the documents here show who mike synar is. they show who his staff are. so we have gotten to know his staff over the years as well. here is one of the really more interesting collections. one thing synar was known for is bowser v. synar case. under the reagan administration, congress passed this act that ceded power from the comptroller general to cut the budget if congress wasn't able to meet certain goals they wanted to meet. congress, as we know, isn't good about cutting spending. they are good about raising spending. so this act ceded power to the comptroller. synar thought this was wrong.
as the bill was being debated, he said this is wrong. this is unconstitutional, we should not do this. congress should be the one to cut the budget. we shouldn't see the powers to somebody else. so he sued the government. so the case is the bowser v. synar case. bowser was the comptroller and synar was the one suing the government. we have a lot of information in this collection about the case. this banner here, "good like mike" is from one of his staffers. it goes on from some of his other staffers. this was given to him when the trial was going on. this shows a bit of his personality, the personality of his staff. they were a real team. there are some members of congress that people may not be as excited to work for, but everyone liked working for mike. even when we talk to his staffers now, they say how much they enjoyed it and want to have people remember what mike
did. this picture here, these are the people who worked on the case. in the back there, there is alan morrison. he's the one who presented the case to the supreme court. we actually had him come out last year, a couple of years ago, to talk about what happened, the legal strategies that he used. there is mike at the microphone. pepperher people, claude at the tail end of his career. we have some other documents here. there is a press release from the ap. this is actually one of the few cases where the ruling leaked from the supreme court. the court is very tightlipped, usually, about releasing the rulings, but it leaked and synar wins. the court rules that you can't cede this power. we have a violation of separation of powers in this bill. some other documents -- these are some of the arguments, the briefs that were presented, the
schedule, you know, what mike is going to do. i think this document here plays up the personality. he's going to appear on tv. if there's any problems -- mike comes down with laryngitis, the house burns down, the isld ends, etc., etc., here what you should do. some staff don't have the personality that some of these folks do. this is the dick army collection. take army was actually a army wasman -- dick actually a congressman from texas, so you might be wondering why is this at the university of oklahoma? for one, he has a phd in economics from the university. so he has a connection to the university, but we are a very professional archive, we process collections. if you give your papers to us, you know scholars and researchers will be able to look at them. you know we will be able to keep them forever, that's our plan. so some people might be from out of state and might look to us as a good place to give their collection. it's worth looking at a couple of pictures that we have from
the collection. so dick army is elected in 1985. he is part of this, along with newt gingrich, a wave of republicans that want to fight back against the democrats. bob michael leadership, go along, get along, and they gingricho delay -- and and delay are trying to fight with democrats. in the lead up to the 1994 election, one of the most important documents was a series of legislation that the republicans would pass in the first 100 days once they were elected. so we have a couple of documents here. so here is the list. they were able to pass some of these dealing with budgetary issues or the rules at the house. something else they wanted to pass was term limits for the u.s. congress, but that is not constitutional.
something we have that many of the state levels -- we have that here in oklahoma, but not able to do at the federal level. here is another press conference dealing with the contract. you can see some of the other people in there. you might recognize -- there's a younger john boehner, dennis , who goes on to become speaker of the house. so all the leadership in the republican party was behind the document. we've seen the strength of congress has waxed and waned. so congress, for a long time, is -- was a very powerful body, probably more dominant than the president. over the years, they may be ceded power to the president or strengthened the power of the leadership. so your average congressman has much less power. speaker albert was speaker when lots of changes went through in congress. they strengthened the rules committee. they did away with seniority rule.
that put a lot of power in the speakership. albert didn't use it, but we think of speakers today, they use those powers that came through when albert was speaker. while we are in the carl albert center, we are bipartisan, focused on history, focused on telling stories, focused on teaching. >> our cities tour staff recently traveled to norman, oklahoma to learn about its which history -- rich history. learn about norman and other stops on our tour, at c-span.org/citiestour. american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> tonight on afterwards, the book "russian roulette, the inside story of putin's war on america and the election of donald trump." joaquin interviewing
castro of textures -- texas. >> how did you pick this as a starting point? >> if you were looking for a moment when the trump-russia story comes together, it was there. heald trump in moscow, and is there to preside over the miss universe pageant. but what is his real agenda? a business deal? to build a trump tower in moscow , and secondarily, a part of that is to meet vladimir putin. we talked a moment ago about helping build a tower. we needed to have prudent's permission -- putin's permission. to do anything with moscow, trump had to hook up with an oligarch. so he is already kind of in bed with this corrupt regime. he starts tweeting out immediately in mid-2013 -- will putin be my new bff?
should i bring the contest moscow? wrecks watch afterwards, tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span twos book tv. >> new york senator robert f. kennedy announced he was running for president on march 16, 1968. members ofal congress and two of his descendants mark the 50th announcementf that at an event looking at rfk's life and legacy. speakers include house minority leader nancy pelosi, florida senator marco rubio, and georgia congressman john lewis. as well as robert kennedy's grandson, congressman joe kennedy, and his daughter cary kennedy, who runs runs the human rights organization that hosted the event. this was held in the russell senate office building's kennedy caucus room, where both he and john announced their presidential candidacies. this is just under two hours.