McKinney, Mike 1973-06-05

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Mike McKinney, appointments secretary for former Governor Preston Smith, discusses the staff, the appointments procedure, and the governor’s travels and philosophy. He then summarizes the accomplishments and focus of the Smith administration.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Mike McKinney

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 05, 1973

Location: Austin, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Carpenter

Length: 1 hour 40 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Autobiographical background, Describes first involvement with Preston Smith and Lt. Governor’s staff in 1968, Suggests people to interview, Anecdote about George Phenix and Smith’s briefcase, Otice Green’s position described, Explains interrelations between politics and government, especially for appointments, Mentions Lubbock part of staff, Recalls his rise in the Smith administration and the staff services office, appointment secretary, Details gubernatorial appointments, type and process, Investigation and recommendation of appointees.

Tape 1, Side 2: Outlines work of appointments secretary and Smith’s selections, Notes Smith’s personal appointment preferences, which by-passed the staff, Characterizes Smith’s mode of work, personal approach, Brings out his chauffeur job, personal secretary, Security officer recalled, Discusses Smith’s vacation and trips out of the country, Security on trips, Lubbock tornado, Caracas, Venezuela trip, Mexico City trips, St. Thomas trip, Industrial Commission foreign offices discussed.

Tape 2, Side 1: Continues description of Smith’s Mexico City trip, Anecdote about ceremonial dedication, Washington’s birthday celebration in Laredo mentioned, Praises Mrs. Ima Smith highly, Philosophies about the contact between a governor and electorate, Points out the age of Smith’s staff, Summarizes the function of the staff and Smith’s philosophy, Telephone manners of Smith’s offices, Emphasizes the few times Smith cancelled, appointments or was late, Smith enjoyed the 3 to 4 speaking engagements a week and kept a tiring schedule, Comments on relationship between Smith’s offices and those of Ben Barnes, Press exaggeration noted, Typifies relationships as cordial, congenial, Relates differences to political ideology, Deprecates constitutional revision, Says annual sessions would halt Texas government.

Tape 2, Side 2: Follows distinction between Barns and Smith, Barnes wanted cabinet form of government, Notes that accomplishments of Smith administration lay primarily in coordination and planning, Comments on growth of governor’s office, Outlines Smith’s hiring of program staff on qualifications, Typifies again fellow staff members Dan Petty, Larry Teaver, Comments on Preston Smith’s future.

Range Dates: 1968-1973

Bulk Dates: 1968-1973

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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