Oliver, Jim 1973-09-13

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Jim Oliver, Assistant for Program Development in the Smith administration, discusses the nature and function of the Legislative Budget Board. He reviews the process of choosing the Governor’s staff, characterizes Preston Smith as Governor, and cites political challenges and problems. In Tape 2 he discusses the 1967 legislative session, internal conflicts with the Smith Administration, and the philosophy and function of the Governor’s staff. He reviews the dissolution of the Smith staff and the Cultural Basin Program on Tape 3.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Jim Oliver

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: September 13, 1973

Location: Austin, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Carpenter

Length: 2 hours 25 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Review of background and early career, Cites acquaintance with Preston Smith, Function of budget Board examined, Outlines steps leading to employment with the Governor’s staff, Dramatic change in the Governor’s office claimed, New programs listed, States recommendations of the Research League, Meeting with Vernon McGee recalled.

Tape 1, Side 2: Staff personnel mentioned, Governor’s appointments discussed, Describes Smith’s staff meetings, Comments on nature of the Budget Director’s job, Smith as Lt. Governor characterized and contrasted to Ben Barnes, Speculations on reasons for McGee’s removal from Budget Staff, Subsequent events leading to revival of Budget Board traced, Challenges from political enemies claimed in 1967 congressional session.

Tape 2, Side 1: Objectivity of Smith’s staff in 1967 session discussed, Inadequacies of the staff mentioned, Explains functions of the staff, Salary plan controversy cited, One-year appropriation plan examined, Names events leading to Smith announcement for the Governor’s office, Election for Governor’s office recalled, Cooperation, responsibility, distinctions and functions of budget offices analyzed, Character of staff members surveyed, Political factors as sources of internal conflict.

Tape 2, Side 2: Internal conflict discussion continued, Goals for Texas program described, Smith’s increasing interest in Goals for Texas recalled, Examines dramatic expansion of Governor’s office, Speculation on staff’s relationship to leadership in Texas, Division of state-local relations discussed, Comments on Interagency Council concept, Changes in staff positions reviewed, Characterizes last days of Smith administration.

Tape 3, Side 1: Staff changes discussion continued, Review of present position of various staff members, Help with transition to the Briscoe administration cited, Notes changes imposed by Briscoe, Cultural Basin program mentioned, Smith’s changing attitudes toward welfare examined, Comments on attempts to deal with social problems through the Cultural, Basin program.

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1967-1973

Bulk Dates: 1967-1973

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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