Deputy Assistants to the President for Legislative Affairs (House)
Congressional Relations Office


The collection documents White House contacts with members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1974-77, regarding legislation, personnel appointments, and routine requests and courtesies. Significant materials appear on most major energy issues which were the subject of considerable congressional debate. A few defense and foreign policy issues, including the intelligence investigations, the Sinai agreement, military aid for Turkey and the end of American involvement in Vietnam and Cambodia are also documented here.

17.6 linear feet (ca. 35,200 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers 77-59, 77-107)

Open. Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by William McNitt, September 1984
[s:\bin\findaid\loen, vernon and leppert, charles - files.doc]


Vernon Carroll Loen

Oct. 18, 1931 - Born, Howard, SD

1949-53 - South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD (B.S.)

1953 - Salesman, Sears, Roebuck and Co., Sioux Falls, SD

1954-58 - Clerk, U.S. Senator Francis Case

1958-61 - Clerk, U.S. Representative Benjamin Reifel

1969-73 - Administrative Assistant, U.S. Representative Albert Quie

1973-76 - Congressional Relations Office, White House

1976-77 - Assistant to the Associate Administrator for External Affairs, NASA

1977-81 - Administrative Assistant to U.S. Representative James Abdnor

1981-? - Administrative Assistant to U.S. Senator James Abdnor

Charles Leppert, Jr.

Oct. 31, 1932 - Born, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

1950-51 - Saint Francis College, Loretto, PA

1951-54 - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (B.A.)

1954-58 - Active Duty, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

1958-61 - University of Richmond, Richmond, VA (LL.B.)

1961-65 - Private Practice of Law, Johnstown, PA, then Richmond,VA

1965-75 - Minority Counsel, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives

1975-77 - Congressional Relations Office, White House

1977-80(?) - Staff Director, Republican Policy Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

NOTE - for biographical sketches of the Special Assistants who worked in this office see the Ford Library vertical file under each of their names.


The Loen and Leppert files document White House liaison with the House of Representatives, 1974-1977. Max Friedersdorf was in charge of House liaison through December 1974, and he was succeeded by Vernon Loen (Jan. 1975 - March 1976) and then Charles Leppert (April 1976 - Jan. 1977). This collection includes material produced by all three and their assistants.

The Congressional Relations Office lobbied for the administration's point of view on proposed legislation, informed the President and his staff of congressional views and the status of legislation, assessed the potential outcome of key congressional votes, and arranged meetings and telephone calls between the President and members of the House. Much of the staff's time, however, was consumed by more routine tasks such as clearing personnel appointments with the Minority Leader's office; responding to Congressional mail concerning personnel appointments; monitoring congressional invitations to White House social events; notifying congressional offices of disaster declarations, government grants and presidential trips; and handling congressional requests for photographs, birthday and anniversary greetings for constituents, and Kennedy Center tickets.

This collection documents, at least in part, all of these congressional liaison functions. The materials concerning legislation and issues show interactions between the Congressional Relations staff and the President, other White House staff, and agency officials. Occasional assessments of congressional opinion and legislative status are also included. For the most part however, the collection does not document the lobbying of members of Congress on specific legislation, much of which was apparently carried out orally.

The Congressional investigations of abuses by the intelligence community, especially the organization and operation of the House Select Committee on Intelligence (the Pike Committee), is well documented. Approximately 2,000 pages concern this subject. Significant materials appear on most major energy issues facing the Ford administration and several other domestic issues which were the subject of considerable congressional debate. A few foreign policy questions which required congressional action such as the Sinai Agreement, military aid for Turkey, and the end of American involvement in Vietnam and Cambodia are also documented here. This collection also includes much material relating to the involvement of the Congressional Relations Office in personnel matters. Included are mail logs, responses to congressional mail, and materials showing the clearance of each appointment with House Minority Leader John Rhodes. Formal briefing papers and schedule proposals, with some related correspondence and memoranda, document the role of this office in arranging meetings between the President and members of the House. The vast majority of these meetings were routine in nature, however, and did not relate to issues or legislation.

Related Materials (September 1984)
Most collections at the Ford Library contain some information on relations with congressmen and issues which engaged House attention. Especially noteworthy are the files of Loen and Leppert's colleagues in the Congressional Relations Office and files of Counsellor John March, to whom the office head reported. In White House Central files, categories LE (Legislation) and FG 37 (Congress and its several parts) provide some overview of White House relations with Congress.


General Subject File, 1974-77.  (Boxes 1-27, 10.8 linear feet)
Memoranda to and from White House staff and agency officials; fact sheets; proposed bills; press releases; vote tallies; correspondence to and from members of Congress, congressional staff and the public; committee reports; clippings, and publications. The materials concern legislation, issues, bill signing ceremonies, the organization and operation of Congress, congressional requests, disaster declarations, grant notifications, presidential trips, and State of the Union addresses. In terms of issues and legislation, many of the larger files concern energy issues such as coal leasing, Energy Policy and Conservation Act, natural gas deregulation, Naval Petroleum Reserves, Nuclear Fuels Assurance Act (uranium enrichment), oil import fees, strip mining and synthetic fuels. Other well documented issues include: Arab Boycott, Clean Air Act amendments, intelligence investigations (especially the work of the House Select Committee on Intelligence), public works employment act, revenue sharing, the Sinai agreements of 1975, taxes, trade, military aid to Turkey, the war in Vietnam and Cambodia, and voter registration.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View digital copies of the documents in this series

Presidential Meetings with Congressional Leaders, 1974-76.  (Box 28, 0.2 linear feet)
Briefing papers, memoranda and lists concerning Presidential meetings with the Republican leadership or bipartisan leadership of Congress.

Arranged Chronologically.

View container list for this series

Presidential Meetings with Members of the House of Representatives, 1974-76.  (Boxes 28-31, 1.4 linear feet)
Schedule proposals, briefing papers, memoranda and correspondence concerning the President's meetings with members of Congress, either individually or in groups. Many of these meetings were routine in nature and merely allowed a congressman to introduce to the President prominent constituents such as the local "Apple Queen." However, some meetings related to issues and legislation.

Arranged chronologically.

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Eugene Ainsworth Chronological File, Aug.-Dec. 1974.  (Box 32, 0.1 linear feet)
Copies of outgoing correspondence and memoranda. Only a small part of this file relates to legislation or issues, while the bulk consists of responses to requests for photographs or birthday greetings, schedule proposals, routine briefing papers, and correspondence concerning personnel matters and gifts to the President.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

Douglas Bennett Chronological File, Jan.-June 1975.  (Box 32, 0.3 linear feet)
Copies of outgoing correspondence and memoranda. Some relates to legislation and issues, but much concerns personnel matters, Kennedy Center tickets, photograph requests, schedule proposals, and routine briefing papers.

Arranged Chronologically.

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Vernon Loen Chronological File, 1974-76.  (Boxes 33-36, 1.6 linear feet)
Copies of outgoing correspondence and memoranda. While some documents concern legislation or summarize congressional views on issues, the bulk concerns personnel matters, gifts, schedule proposals, pen letters, telephone call recommendations, Kennedy Center tickets, photograph requests and birthday and wedding anniversary greetings requests.

Arranged chronologically.

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Patronage Logs, 1974-76.  (Boxes 37-38, 0.7 linear feet)
Logs showing personnel appointments, congressional mail concerning appointments, resignations, and clearance of appointments with House Minority Leader John Rhodes.

Arranged alphabetically by type of log.

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Patronage Subject File, 1974-76.  (Boxes 38-39, 0.2 linear feet)
Routine memoranda, correspondence and clippings concerning a few specific personnel appointments and general procedures.

Arranged alphabetically by type of log.

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Patronage Clearances File, 1975-76.  (Boxes 39-43, 1.9 linear feet)
Presidential Personnel Office memoranda to the President concerning candidates for positions, with annotations showing when House Minority Leader John Rhodes was informed of the proposed appointment and what his reaction was.

Arranged alphabetically. If only one candidate is mentioned the material is filed under that person's name. When several candidates were under consideration, the documents are filed under the key word in the position title (i.e. National Advisory Council on Indian Education under "I" for Indian).

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Patronage Chronological File, Oct.-Dec. 1974.  (Box 44, 0.4 linear feet)
Carbon copies of outgoing memoranda and correspondence relating to personnel matters. The location of the missing portion of this file is not known.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - General Subject File

Box 2 - General Subject File

Box 3 - General Subject File

Box 4 - General Subject File

Box 5 - General Subject File

Box 6 - General Subject File

Box 7 - General Subject File

Box 8 - General Subject File

Box 9 - General Subject File

Box 10 - General Subject File

Box 11 - General Subject File

Box 12 - General Subject File

Box 13 - General Subject File

Box 14 - General Subject File

Box 15 - General Subject File

Box 16 - General Subject File

Box 17 - General Subject File

Box 18 - General Subject File

Box 19 - General Subject File

Box 20 - General Subject File

Box 21 - General Subject File

Box 22 - General Subject File

Box 23 - General Subject File

Box 24 - General Subject File

Box 25 - General Subject File

Box 26 - General Subject File

Box 27 - General Subject File

Box 28 - Meetings

Box 29 - Meetings

Box 30 - Meetings

Box 31 - Meetings

Box 32 - Eugene Ainsworth Chronological File

  • Aug. - Dec 1974

Box 32 (Continued) - Douglas Bennett Chronological File

  • Jan. - June 1975

Box 33 - Vernon Loen Chronological File

  • Aug. 1974 - March 1975

Box 34 - Vernon Loen Chronological File

  • April - July 1975

Box 35 - Vernon Loen Chronological File

  • Aug. - Nov. 1975

Box 36 - Vernon Loen Chronological File

  • Dec. 1975 - March 1976

Box 37 - Patronage Logs

  • Appointments by Name (1)-(5)
  • Clearances
  • Mail Log by Member of Congress (1)-(7)

Box 38 - Patronage Logs

  • Mail Log by Member of Congress (8)-(10)
  • Mail Log by Name Recommended (1)-(6)
  • Resignations

Box 38 (Continued) - Patronage Subject File

  • Boorstin, Daniel - Nomination and Librarians of Congress
  • Coleman, William - Nomination as Secretary of Transportation
  • Congressional Correspondence (1)-(3)
  • Congressional Recommendations (1)

Box 39 - Patronage Subject File

  • Congressional Recommendation (2)
  • Hathaway, Stanley - Nomination as Secretary of the Interior
  • Personnel - General (1)-(2)
  • Presidential Personnel Office
  • White House Fellowships

Box 39 (Continued) - Patronage Clearances File

  • A-C

Box 40 - Patronage Clearances File

  • C-H

Box 41 - Patronage Clearances File

  • H-M

Box 42 - Patronage Clearances File

  • M-S

Box 43 - Patronage Clearances File

  • S-Z

Box 44 - Patronage Chronological File

  • Aug. - Dec. 1974