The Chairman's Office Files provide documentation of administrative, fiscal and strategic issues handled by Howard (Bo) Callaway and his immediate staff from the formation of the election committee in June 1975 until Callaway resigned in March 1976. These extant files do not reflect the activities of Roger C.B. Morton, chairman from April to August 1976, and James Baker, chairman during the general election campaign. The only material from the post-Callaway period included in the Chairman's Office Files is a subject file maintained by Edward DeBolt, counsellor to all three chairmen.

President Ford appointed Callaway, secretary of the Army and an active Georgia Republican, as PFC chairman in June 1975. He remained as head of the Committee for eight months until charges that he had abused his office as Army secretary for purposes of private gain resulted in a Justice Department investigation and his resignation. Rogers C.B. Morton left his White House position as counsellor to the President to assume the Committee's leadership until the President won the Republican nomination in August. When Morton stepped aside citing poor health, James Baker replaced him as chairman. Baker, who directed the PFC's delegate office before the convention, served as chairman for the duration of the campaign.

The campaign chairman acted as the chief executive officer of the campaign organization. He kept the President and his staff informed about PFC activities, oversaw the development of a nationwide organization, contributed to strategy development, coordinated fundraising activities, served as a spokesman and representative for the President on campaign matters, acted as liaison with the Republican National Committee, and had responsibility for all major policy, program, personnel and budgetary matters.

Throughout the primary campaign, the President Ford Committee experienced factional strife. The chairman's files document the Committee's slow start with fundraising, several high-level staff resignations over policy differences, problems with White House communication and coordination, and the Reagan challenge. They also provide a record of the Committee's exhaustive early efforts to build a national organization.

The extant files of the Chairman's office, even for this early period, are not complete. They do not include Callaway's weekly written reports to the President, his notes or agendas for high-level campaign meetings, nor do they reflect input he may have had on strategy development. (See section on "Related Material.")

The Callaway series include material accumulated by the chairman and his assistants, Mimi Austin and Judy Harbaugh. The work of Leo Thorsness, another of Callaway's assistants, is not represented in the files. A third series, the DeBolt Subject File, reflects the activities of Edward DeBolt, a Republican political consultant who acted as counsellor to all three chairmen throughout the campaign. DeBolt handled the PFC's special voter groups program, developing appeals to various racial and ethnic groups during the primary campaign. His extensive contacts with these groups, particularly blacks and Hispanics, are reflected in the file. He had miscellaneous administrative duties as well, although these are not as prominent in the file as is the record of his political activity.

Related Materials (as of August 1991):

The White House files of Chief of Staff Richard Cheney reflect aspects of the PFC chairman's work not documented in the Chairman's Office Files. Cheney's Files, for example, include a complete set of weekly reports prepared by Callaway for the President. Callaway recently donated a small collection of personal papers (less than one foot) which reflect various aspects of his activity as chairman. This collection will be processed and made available to researchers soon.

The White House Central Files Subject File (PL - Political Affairs) and the PFC's Political Office File include material on PFC state organizations and delegate monitoring.

For material on appeals to special voter groups during the general election campaign, the researcher should consult the files of People for Ford, the volunteer arm of the PFC.

The Records of the President Ford Committee do not include files accumulated by Rogers C.B. Morton or James Baker during their tenure as chairmen. Portions of the Rogers Morton Papers, housed at the University of Kentucky, provide a record of his work as chairman. The Rogers Morton Files at the Ford Library reflect Morton's political activities as counsellor to the President before he assumed the chairman's post in April 1976. Baker, currently Secretary of State in the Bush administration, has yet to donate his personal papers to an archival repository. 


Chairman's Office: Callaway Subject File, 1975-76.  (Boxes A1‑A4, 1.6 linear feet)
Memoranda, correspondence, strategy papers, agendas, schedule proposals, clippings, and printed material compiled by Callaway and his assistants, Mimi Austin and Judy Harbaugh. Prominent topics include early organizational efforts at the national and state level, liaison with White House staff, administrative and personnel matters, support for the President among members of Congress, and campaign finance. Included in several folders is material created by Bryce Harlow, an informal advisor to the President, during the period before the President formally announced his candidacy.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Chairman's Office: Callaway State File, 1975-76 (Boxes A5‑A10, 2.4 linear feet)
Memoranda, correspondence, reports, press releases, resumes, strategy papers, itineraries, and schedule proposals compiled by Callaway and his assistants, Mimi Austin and Judy Harbaugh. Political Office staff and state PFC officials created most of the material filed in this series. The materials concern such topics as: state Republican party organizations, the selection and approval of PFC state executive and finance chairmen, rules governing delegate selection, and reports concerning the activities of local PFC organizations. Many files include "memos for the record" drafted by Callaway. Some files include documentation on issues of concern in various states, such as common situs picketing, activities of the First Lady, taxes, and energy.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Chairman's Office: DeBolt Subject File, 1975-76. (Boxes A11‑A15, 2.0 linear feet)
Memoranda, correspondence, notes, lists of names, agendas, schedule proposals, clippings, and printed material compiled by Edward DeBolt, counsellor to the chairman. A major portion of the file documents efforts during the primary campaign to appeal to special voter groups, especially blacks and Hispanics. Other topics include liaison with the Republican National Committee and miscellaneous PFC administrative matters such as personnel and budget.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series


Box A1 - Chairman's Office: Callaway Subject File

  • Advertising
  • Advisory Committee
  • Bandouveris, Harry
  • Bennett, Doug
  • Black Voters
  • Budget
  • Burch, Dean
  • Cabinet Involvement
  • Campaign Strategy, April 1975
  • Campaign Strategy, August 1975 (1)-(3)
  • Cheney, Richard
  • Christmas Card List - White House
  • College Young Republicans
  • Congressional Support (1)-(2)

Box A2 - Chairman's Office: Callaway Subject File

  • Convention Planning
  • Delegate Selection Information
  • District of Columbia
  • Domestic Issues
  • Finance (1)-(3)
  • Flanigan, Robert
  • Ford, Betty
  • Former Congressmen
  • Gorog, William
  • Greener, William
  • Grenier, John
  • Gubernatorial Support
  • Harlow, Bryce
  • Insurance
  • Jones, Jerry
  • Ladd, Bruce
  • Legal Matters
  • Mayoral Support
  • Meetings: PFC Leadership, 8/2/75
  • Meetings: Republican National Committee, 9/6-8/75
  • Meetings: PFC Leadership, 9/7/75
  • Meetings: Republican National Committee, 9/8/75

Box A3 - Chairman's Office: Callaway Subject File

  • Meetings: National Federation of Republican Women, 9/11-13/75
  • Meetings: Republican Leadership Conference, 9/19-21/75
  • Meetings: Hispanic Leaders, 9/22/75
  • Meetings: Western States Republican Conference, 10/2-4/75
  • Meetings: Advisory Committee, 11/17/75
  • Meetings: Council of 100, 11/19/75
  • Meetings: Federation of Republican Women, 11/20/75
  • Meetings: Republican Governors Conference, 11/20-22/75
  • Meetings: Southern States Republican Conference, 12/12-13/75
  • Meetings: State Chairmen, 1/9/76
  • Meetings: Midwest Republican Leadership Conference, 1/30-31/76
  • Meetings: Members of Congress, 3/18/76
  • National Federation of Republican Women
  • Nessen, Ron
  • Nicholson, William
  • Nunn, Lee
  • Organizational Issues
  • Personnel
  • Polling
  • Presidential Spokesmen
  • Press/Media (1)-(2)

Box A4 - Chairman's Office: Callaway Subject File

  • Reagan, Ronald
  • Republican Congressional Committee
  • Republican Governors Conference
  • Republican National Committee
  • Republican National Hispanic Assembly
  • Research (1)-(3)
  • Rockefeller, Nelson
  • Rumsfeld, Donald
  • Slight, Fred
  • Special Interests Groups
  • Spencer, Stu
  • Staff Lists
  • Timmons, William
  • Voting Rights Bill
  • White House Invitations (1)-(3)
  • Young Republican Leadership Conference

Box A5 - Chairman's Office: Callaway State File

  • California (1)-(5)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia (1)

Box A6 - Chairman's Office: Callaway State File

  • Georgia (2)-(3)
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois (1)-(3)
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky

Box A7 - Chairman's Office: Callaway State File

  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts (1)-(2)
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire (1)-(2)
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico

Box A8 - Chairman's Office: Callaway State File

  • New York
  • North Carolina (1)-(3)
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma (1)-(2)
  • Oregon (1)-(2)

Box A9 - Chairman's Office: Callaway State File

  • Pennsylvania (1)-(3)
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas (1)-(4)
  • Utah

Box A10 - Chairman's Office: Callaway State File

  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Box A11 - Chairman's Office: DeBolt Subject File

  • Advertising
  • American Voters Abroad
  • Asians
  • Athletes
  • Blacks (1)-(4)
  • Blacks - Job Applications (1)-(2)

Box A12 - Chairman's Office: DeBolt Subject File

  • Blacks - Name Lists (1)-(4)
  • Blacks - Voting Background (1)-(4)

Box A13 - Chairman's Office: DeBolt Subject File

  • Business and Professional Groups
  • Campaign Brochures
  • Campaign Reporting System
  • Cuban
  • Delegate Tracking Operation
  • Eastern Europeans
  • Ethnics (1)-(2)
  • Ethnic Leaders
  • Ethnic Leadership Meeting, 5/11/76
  • Ethnic Program - 1972
  • Greek
  • Hispanic (1)-(2)
  • Hispanic - Job Applicants

Box A14 - Chairman's Office: DeBolt Subject File

  • Hispanic - Name Lists (1)-(3)
  • Hispanic - Presidential Meeting, 10/17/74
  • Jewish
  • Legal Matters
  • National Republican Heritage Groups Council
  • Older Americans
  • Republican National Committee - Absentee Ballot Information (1)-(2)
  • Republican National Committee - State Reports (1)-(2)

Box A15 - Chairman's Office: DeBolt Subject File

  • Republican National Committee - State Reports (3)
  • Republican National Committee Task Force
  • Special Voter Groups
  • Special Voter Groups - Mailings
  • Staff Memoranda - Baker, James
  • Staff Memoranda - Callaway, Bo
  • Staff Memoranda - Hughes, Roy
  • Staff Memoranda - Marik, Robert
  • Staff Memoranda - Peterson, Elly
  • Staff Memoranda - Spencer, Stu
  • Staff Memoranda - Watts, Skip
  • Veterans
  • White House Contacts
  • Youth