You are here: American University University Library Archives Finding Aids William G. Phillips Papers

VOLUME: 17.5 linear feet (14 boxes)

ACCESS: This collection is open to the public upon request.

COPYRIGHT: Please consult the archivist for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.

Biographical Note
William G. Phillips was born in 1923 and grew up in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. After serving in the Army in North Africa during World War II, Phillips moved to Washington D.C. to attend American University, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a master’s in political science in 1954. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

Phillips had a long and varied career working on and around Capitol Hill, both in congress and as a lobbyist. He began his career as a legislative analyst for the United Auto Workers in 1949, upon graduating from American University. In 1955 he started a new job as administrative assistant to Representative George Rhodes of Pennsylvania. Four years later he became the Staff Director for the newly formed Democratic Study Group. Next Phillips moved to the executive branch where he held a year-long position as the Assistant Director for Congressional Relations of the Office of Economic Opportunity. After that job he worked as the Deputy Chairman of Research and Publications for the Democratic National Committee. From 1968 to 1969 Phillips briefly returned to the private sector and served as President of Publicon, Inc., a legislative public relations and consulting firm.

In 1969 Phillips returned to Capitol Hill, where he worked on various committees for about a decade. First he served as the Staff Director for the Labor-Management Relations Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee. In 1971 he moved to the Foreign Operations and Government Operations Subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee. Later he served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the House Budget Committee and Staff director of the Committee on House Administration. During this time Phillips also worked on some political campaigns, particularly those of Representative Frank Thompson of New Jersey.

In 1981 Phillips returned to the private sector and put his legislative experience to work as a lobbyist. From 1981 to 1985 he was Vice President of lobbying firm DC Associates and after 1985 he worked independently as a legislative consultant.

Phillips has published a political biography Yarborough of Texas and contributed to the study The Military in a Democratic Society. He also authored a chapter for None of Your Business: Government Secrecy in America in addition to articles about Congress and the legislative process. William G. Phillips died in January 1990.

Scope and Content Note
This collection documents William G. Phillips’ work as a legislative professional both on and off Capitol Hill. This collection covers the period from 1946 through 1992 and contains materials related to his various jobs and his time at American University. Topics covered include: the Child Development Group of Mississippi, the United Auto Workers and AFL-CIO, the Freedom of Information Act, occupational and environmental health, indoor air pollution, Congressman Frank Thompson and ABSCAM, political polls in New Jersey District 4, and the Democratic Party in general. Materials are arranged chronologically by job. There is some overlap, however. For example, his work on political campaigns was done on an independent basis over several years while he held various positions with congressional committees. Also, throughout his career Phillips was interested in issues of government transparency and was involved with legislation relating to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Multiple series contain information on FOIA.

This collection was donated to American University Archives by Susan Phillips in 2007.

Processing Note
This collection was divided into fifteen series. The series were placed in chronological order, except for the Frank Thompson series and personal series which were placed at the end.

Series Descriptions and Box & Folder Listing

Series 1 – American University (1949-1959)
0.25 linear feet

This series contains materials from William Phillips’ time as a student at American University, including papers, class notes, syllabi, and his master’s thesis. It also contains materials related to his membership in Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, specifically issues of The Palm magazine and materials related to the fundraising campaign to build a new fraternity house on American University’s campus. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 1
Alpha Tau Omega, 1949-1962.
Design of Legislation, Political Parties and Electoral Problems, 1950
Pressure Groups and Propaganda, Legislative and Administrative Relationships, 1951
Papers, 1951
Master’s Thesis, 1952
Alpha Tau Omega The Palm, 1959

Series 2 – UAW-CIO (1946-1954)
0.25 linear feet

This series consists of documents relating to Phillips’ tenure as a legislative analyst for the United Auto Workers. It predominantly contains documents about congressional activities such as voting records and Senate roll calls. It also includes UAW-CIO publications. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 1 (continued)
Votes Cast in Presidential and Congressional Elections 1928-1944, 1946
Senate Daily Log of T-H Repeal Debate, 1949
Record of the 81st Congress, 1949-1951
Roll Call Votes in the House of Representatives-81st Congress, 1949-1951
Americans for Democratic Action, 1949-1954
Lobby Investigation in the Public Interest, 1950
Montgomery Country Politics-Newspaper Clippings, 1950-1960
Issues and Votes on the New Defense Production Act, 1951
Senate Banking Committee Votes-Defense Production Act, 1952
Ammunition, 1952-1953
Voting Record of the 1st Eisenhower Congress-83rd Congress 1st Session, 1953
“How an Idea Becomes a Law: The Legislative Process in Michigan,” 1953
83rd Congress Pictorial Directory, 1953-1955
Human Resources and Resignation, 1953-1955
“Operation: Congress,” 1954
Housing Lobby vs. The People of California

Series 3 – George Rhodes (1954-1960)
0.25 linear feet

This series contains materials documenting Phillips’ service as an administrative assistant to Pennsylvania Representative George Rhodes including correspondence, event invitations and programs, congressional records, and press clippings. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 1 (continued)
Events, 1954-1960
Pictorial Directory of the 84th Congress, 1955-1957
Newspaper Clippings, 1955-1960
Congressional Records and Remarks, 1956-1959
Correspondence, 1957-1960
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Statement, 1958
Tourist Map of DC

Series 4 – Democratic Study Group (1959-1969)
0.25 linear feet

This series documents William Phillips’ work as Staff Director of the Democratic Study Group. Materials include correspondence, staff memorandums, press clippings, documents relating to various projects of the DSG including the organization’s 10th anniversary. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 1 (continued)
Staff Memos, 1959-1960
Tennessee MGH, 1961-1963
Petition to the Honorable Francis P. Walton, 1962
Correspondence, 1962-1966
“A Discussion of Democratic Caucus Reforms,” 1965
Newspaper Clippings, 1965
Tenth Anniversary, 1969

Series 5 – Office of Economic Opportunity (1966-1968)
1.25 linear feet

This series relates to the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM) and Head Start. In addition to documents from individual counties’ head start programs, there are also press releases, correspondence, and newspaper clippings, as well as materials relating to investigations of the program. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 1 (continued)
Child Development Group of Mississippi
 -Mississippi Background, 1966
 -Sunflower County, 1966
 -Union and Warren Counties, 1966
 -Tate County, 1966
 -Rankin County, 1966
 -Madison County, 1966
 -Marshall and Lafayette Counties, 1966
 -Leflore County, 1966
 -Lauderdale and Neshoba Counties, 1966
 -Jones and Wayne Counties, 1966
 -Jackson County, 1966
 -Itawamba County, 1966
 -Issaquena, Sharkey, and Washington Counties, 1966
 -Holmes County, 1966
 -Harrison County, 1966
 -Master Code for all Centers in MS, 1966
 -Political Inquiries, 1966
 -Press Releases, 1966

Box 2
Child Development Group of Mississippi (continued)
 -Press Releases, 1966
 -Audits, 1966 Green, Cong. Edith, 1966 (two folders)
Newspaper Clippings, 1966 (two folders)
Correspondence, 1966
Application for Committee Action Program-Mary Holmes Junior College, 1966
Notes, 1966
“A Guide for Employees Performing Temporary Duty Travel,” 1966
Proposed By-Laws of Mississippi Action for Progress, Inc., 1966
Why Economics? 1966
Non-OEO Investigations of CDGM, 1966
Inspection Reports, 1966
 “Anti-Poverty Community Action Educational Programs,” 1968
Directory of Mississippi Elective Officials 1964-1968, 1968

Series 6 – Democratic National Committee (1967)
0.25 linear feet

This series relates to Phillips’ work as deputy chairman in charge of research and publications for the Democratic National Committee. Materials include DNC pamphlets and Political Profiles of the 50 States. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 2 (continued)
Pamphlets, 1967
“Political Profiles of the 50 States,” 1967

Series 7 – Polls and Campaigns (1967-1980)
0.5 linear feet

This series is not related to any specific job Phillips held but instead includes materials from political polls he conducted or campaigns he worked on as a consultant. The polls are from New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District and relate to the campaigns of Frank Thompson. Polls from the 1980 election include data on how Thompson’s constituents felt about his involvement in ABSCAM. Campaign materials are more general; for campaign materials relating specifically to Frank Thompson campaigns see the Frank Thompson series. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 2 (continued)
General Polling Information, 1967-1980
Campaign Seminar for non-Incumbent Candidates, 1970
Fair Campaign Practices, 1970  
New Jersey District 4 Election Poll, 1970
County Vote Targets, 1974
West-10 Polls, 1974-1980
New Jersey District 4 Election Poll, 1976
New Jersey District 4 Election Poll, 1978
New Jersey State Politics, 1979

Box 3
New Jersey District 4 Election Poll, 1980 (2 folders)
Public Opinion Research Herche Poll, 1980
Ruttenburg Poll, 1980

Series 8 – Publicon, Inc. (1968-1969)
1 linear inch

This series contains documents related to Phillips’ time as President of Publicon, Inc., a legislative public relations and consulting firm. Materials include correspondence, press releases, and documents relating to political campaigns and polls Phillips worked on while at Publicon, Inc. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 3 (Continued)
Patrick J. Cunningham Campaign Materials, 1968
Poll-Orlando Florida, 1968
Press Releases, 1968
Internal Memos and Correspondence, 1968-1969

Series 9 – House Education and Labor Committee (1968-1970)
0.4 linear feet

This series documents Phillips’ service as Staff Director of the Labor-Management Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee. Materials include correspondence, budget information, and press clippings. Also of interest are documents relating to the fairness doctrine and House seniority rules as they pertained to appointing committee chairmen. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 3 (continued)
Correspondence, 1968-1970
News clippings, 1968-1971
Fairness doctrine, 1969
House Seniority-Library of Congress Inquiries, 1969-1970
Budget Information, 1970
Democratic Study Group Issue Report, 1970
Democratic National Committee Rules Committee, 1970
Library of Congress Inquiry: Democratic Caucus Procedure, 1970
House Seniority Correspondence, 1970
Research Institute Recommendations, 1970

Series 10 – House Government Operations Committee (1970-1976)
1 linear foot

This series is related to Phillips’ tenure as Staff Director of the Foreign Operations and Government Information Subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee. In addition to correspondence, newspaper clippings, and publications, this series contains materials related to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Also included are speeches given by Bill Phillips. Note: one folder contains classified information. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 3 (continued)
Correspondence, 1970-1976 (2 folders)
“Freedom of Information in the United States,” 1970
Resumes, 1970-1974
Published Materials-FOIA and Freedom of the Press, 1970-1971
United States Information Agency and Department of Defense Correspondence
-RESTRICTED, 1970-1971
-Unrestricted, 1971
Rady Johnson Flap, 1971
“Press Freedom Under Pressure,” 1971
William S. Moorhead Speeches, 1971-1974
“Classified Files: The Yellowing Pages,” 1972
News Clippings-Freedom of the Press, 1972-1973
Events and Agendas, 1972-1976
Document Round Table, 1973
FOGI Hearings, 1973
“The Legislator as Information User,” 1973
William Phillips Speeches, 1973

Box 4
Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalog with Cumulative Subject Index, 1975
“The New FOIA and National Security Information,” 1975
House Rules, 1975-1976

Series 11 – Budget Committee (1977)
0.25 linear feet

Materials in this series are from Phillips’ time as Administrative Assistant to the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Documents included are a directory of the House Budget Committee, and materials about the relationship between congress and business executives. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 4 (continued)
Conference for Business Executives on Federal Government Operations, 1977
Directory, 1977
Congressional-Executive Relationships, 1977

Series 12 – House Administration Committee (1976-1982)
1.25 linear feet

This series documents Phillips’ service as the Staff Director for the House Administration Committee including correspondence, staff information, press clippings, and various government publications. This series also contains information about FOIA, Sunset Laws, and congressional employment. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by subject.

Box 4 (continued)
American Management Associations: Career Development, 1980
American Vocational Association, 1976-1982
Congressional Oversight Manual, 1979
Correspondence, 1977-1981 (2 folders)
Democratic Caucus, 1981
“Effective Use of Congressional Interns,” 1980
Events, 1977-1980
“Extending Equal Employment Opportunity Law to Congress,” 1980
Federal Information Management Policy: Critical Directions, 1980
Foreign Aid Retrenchment,” 1981
FOIA, 1977-1981
Guy Anselmo, 1980
House Records, 1980
“Joint Center for Political Studies Annual Report,” 1981
Legislative Information Concept (volume 1), 1979 (2 volumes)
Major Data Processing and Telecommunications Acquisition Plans of Federal Executive Agencies, 1980
Office of the Public Printer, 1977-1980
Press Clippings-Bill Phillips, 1977
Professional Development Seminar: Writing Effective Press Releases, 1980
Publications for New Members, 1979-1981
Resolutions and Proposals, 1978-1980
Responses to Staff magazine questions
Staff Journal, 1977-1978
Staffing and Salary Information, 1977
Sunset Laws, 1979-1980
“Viewer’s Guide to the Televised Proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives,” 1980

Series 13 – DC Associates and Consulting (1978-1992)
11 linear feet

This series documents Bill Phillips’ work as a legislative consultant and lobbyist. Most of the materials date from 1981 to 1985 when Phillips’ was Vice President of lobbying firm DC Associates. Other files come from when Phillips was working as a “parliamentary” or “legislative consultant.” These files have been put together into one series because while Phillips’ title may have changed many of the clients remained the same. In addition to general correspondence and some administrative files from DC Associates, there are publications, newspaper clippings, correspondence, congressional testimony, meeting agendas and notes, and lobbying reports relating to individual clients. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by subject or document type.

Box 5
AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department
-Congressional Testimony, 1985
-Congressional Testimony and Correspondence, 1985-1989
-Lobby Reports, 1983-1990
Air Quality Research, 1983-1989
Air Traffic Control Strike, 1981
American Vocational Association
-Amendments to H.R. 5540, 1982
-Congressional Testimony, 1981-1982
-Correspondence, 1981-1983 (2 folders)
-Fact Sheets, 1982 (2 folders)
-Lobby Reports, 1982
-Meetings, 1981-1983
-Press Clippings, 1981-1985
-Vote Count on H.R. 5540, 1982
Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, 1989
Colortone Press, 1981
DC Associates
-Advisory Opinion, 1980-1982
-Avatar Holdings PAC, 1981-1982
-Campaign Service Association, 1981-1982 (2 folders)
-General PAC Information, 1982-1984
-“Improved Executive Branch Oversight Needed for the Government’s National Security Information Classification System”
-PAC Master Data

Box 6
DC Associates (continued)
-Promotional Materials
-Services for PACs, 1983
-TRW Corporation Proposal, 1981-1983
Democratic Study Group Parliamentary Manual
Educational Resource Centers
-Brochures, 1987-1988
-Don Chaffin and Morton Corn Correspondence, 1982-1984
-Co-Op Agreement, 1986
-Congressional Testimony, 1985  
-Correspondence, 1982-1989
-ERC Report, 1982-1989 (3 folders)
-Fact Sheets, 1981-1986
-McGill University, 1987  
-Meeting September 17, 1982
-Meeting January 28, 1983
-Meeting April 25, 1983
-Meeting October 7, 1983
-Meeting February 9-11, 1984
-Meeting October 8-9, 1984
-Meeting November 28-30, 1984
-Meeting April 17-18, 1985
-Meeting October 30-31, 1985
-Meeting March 26-27, 1986
-Meeting September 16-17, 1986
-Meeting May 26-17, 1987
-Meeting November 18-19, 1987
-Meeting May 9-10, 1988
-Meeting November 17-18, 1988
-Meeting March 2-3, 1989
-Meeting October 26-27, 1989
-Press Clippings, 1984, 1986
-Research Initiative, 1985
“Electronic Record Systems and Individual Privacy,” 1986

Box 7
Environmental Health
-Budget Information, 1982-1989
-Correspondence, 1982-1989 (5 folders)
-Congressional Testimony, 1982-1989
-Fact Sheets and Informational Material, 1981-1989
-Lobbying Reports, 1982-1990
-Meetings and Conferences, 1982-1989
-National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Centers Mailing List, 1986
-Press Clippings, 1981-1986
Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1982, 1982
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
-Citizen’s Need to Know, 1986
-Congressional Hearings, 1984
-Correspondence, 1981-1986
-Executive Order-National Security Information, 1981
-Fact Sheets and Budget Information, 1984
-Federal Restrictions on the Free Flow of Academic Information and Ideas, 1985
-The Freedom of Information Act of 1981-Proposed Amendments of the Reagan Administration: A Brief Analysis and Commentary, 1982
-Government Publications Review: Freedom of Information Developments around the World, 1983
-“Managing Official Information-Accessibility and Protection in the Federal Government: A Selected Bibliography,” 1979
-National Citizen’s Group for Legislative Support to Preserve FOIA, 1984-1985
-“National Security Controls and Scientific Information,” 1982
-Press Clippings, 1981-1984
-Speech by Representative William S. Moorhead (D-Pa) before the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors, 1979
-Susan and Philip Long vs. the US Internal Revenue Service, 1979
General Correspondence, 1979-1985 (4 folders)

Box 8
Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)
-Congressional Testimony, 1983
-Correspondence, 1982-1985
-Environmental and Occupational Health Research at HSPH, 1980
-Fact Sheets, 1981-1984
-Grant Application, 1981
-Lobbying Reports, 1983-1986
-Meetings, 1981-1984
-Press Clippings, 1981-1984
-Project #1, 1983-1984 (2 folders)
-Project #2 United States Postal Service, 1983-1984
-Project #3 Department of Defense, 1983-1984
-Publications, 1982-1983
-Reports and Invoices, 1983-1984
Indoor Air Pollution
-Brochures, 1983-1985
-Congressional Reports, 1983-1985
-Correspondence, 1983-1985
-Deliberations of the Consensus Workshop on Formaldehyde, 1983 -Fact Sheets and Informational Material, 1982-1985 (4 folders)
-Legislation, 1982-1985

Box 9
Indoor Air Pollution (continued)
-Press Clippings, 1982-1985 (2 folders)
-Reports and Invoices, 1983-1985
JMC Coalition Meeting Notes, 1985
National Association of Retail Druggists
-Constitution and By-Laws, 1978-1979
-Conventions, 1978-1979
-Correspondence, 1978-1979
-Publications, 1977-1980
National Council on Industrial Defense
-Brochure, 1989
-Congressional Testimony, 1987-1989
-Memorandums and Press Releases, 1988-1992
 National Council for Industrial Defense vs. Department of Defense, 1988
-Press Clippings, 1988-1990
Occupational Health
-Amendments, 1987
-Asbestos Studies, 1983-1987 (2 folders)
-Association of Schools of Public Health Proposal to the Center for Disease Control, 1986 AUOPHS/ASPH/NIOSH Symposium
-Congressional Testimony, 1981-1985 (3 folders)

Box 10
Occupational Health (continued)
-Congressional Testimony, 1985-1989 (4 folders)
-Correspondence, 1981-1989 (10 folders)
-Fact Sheets, 1983-1987
-Grant Information, 1981-1987
-Lobbying Reports, 1981-1990
-Meetings and Conferences, 1983-1989 (2 folders)

Box 11
Occupational Health (continued)
-Membership Rosters and Sponsor Lists, 1983-1989
-National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Report on Occupational Safety and Health, 1985
-Northern California Occupational Health Center Annual Report, 1983-1984
-Occupational Health and Safety Letter, 1987-1988
-Phillips’ Trip to Berkeley and Davis, CA1988
-Photos with Congressman Dave Obey, 1986
-Press Clippings, 1981-1989
-Proposal to Develop National Prevention Strategies on Work Related Diseases and Injuries, 1986
-Proposed National Prevention Strategies, 1986
-Publications, 1983-1987 (2 folders)
Office of Management and Budget Lobbying Guidelines, 1989
Plant Guards Legislation, 1983
-Campaign Contributions, 1981-1984
-Congressional Testimony, 1984-1987
-Correspondence, 1982-1987
-Mobile Port, 1982-1983
-Newsletters, 1985-1987
-Press Clippings, 1983-1986
-Senate Positions, 1985
Space Project-Bova, 1981
-Amendments, 1981-1986 (2 folders)
-Congressional Testimony, 1985-1989
-Correspondence, 1981-1987

Box 12
Superfund (continued)
-Correspondence, 1987-1989
-Press Clippings, 1982-1988
-Publications, 1984-1987
-Meetings, 1985-1989
-Workshop Education and Training for Health Risk Assessment of Hazardous Waste,  1986
Turkey Aid, 1982-1984
“Warning: Reaganomics Still Harmful to Consumers,” 1983
Bill Phillips Letter-unknown format
Group Photograph

Series 14 – Frank Thompson (1970-1980)
0.5 linear feet

This series contains documents related to Phillips’ relationship with Frank Thompson, a congressman representing New Jersey District 4. Phillips’ was never directly employed by Thompson but worked with him for much of his career. For example, Thompson was one of the founders of the Democratic Study Group and was a member of the House Administration Committee while Phillips was employed by that committee. Phillips also worked on many of Thompson’s campaigns. The majority of this series is campaign materials, but a directory of Thompson’s office, materials related to ABSCAM, and obituaries written about Thompson are also included. Folders are arranged in chronological order.

Box 12 (continued)
Frank Thompson’s Office Directory
Frank Thompson Campaign, 1969-1970
Campaign Seminar for Non-Incumbent Candidates, 1970
Direct Mail Fundraiser, 1970
General Election Materials, 1970
Frank Thompson Campaign, 1972
New Jersey District 4 Election Results, 1974-1980
Bradley-Thompson Campaign, 1978
Frank Thompson Campaign, 1980 (3 folders)
Frank Thompson and ABSCAM, 1980
Frank Thompson Obituaries, 1989

Series 15 – Personal (1947-1992)
1.5 linear feet

This series includes documents from Bill Phillips’ personal life. Included are files about Montgomery Country politics, events he attended, book and pamphlets he authored, personal planners and calendars, and biographical information as well as resumes.

Box 12 (continued)
U.S. Congressional News Service, 1947-1949
“Operation Congress: A Bill is Passed,” 1950
Montgomery County Politics (2 folders), 1952-1960

Box 13
Events and Invitations, 1966-1979
Directory, 1967-1970
WGP Book, 1975-1981
Alan Hall correspondence (2 folders), 1977-1981
Calendars (4 folders), 1979-1986

Box 14
Calendars (2 folders), 1987-1989
Biographical Information
Photographs from Members of Congress
“The White House Congressional Relations Staff”