Audio is available for this interview:
Interview with Donald G. and Barbara (Reid) Alexander by Andrea
Summary Sheet and Transcript
Alexander, Barbara (Reid)
Alexander, Donald G.
September 18, 2003
© Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all
other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must
be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library,
Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.
Donald Gilbert Alexander was born on March 28, 1942 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He moved to
nearby Nahant, where he grew up and went to high school. He attended Bowdoin College and
law school in Chicago. During college, Alexander worked as a congressional intern in
Washington, D.C. In 1972 he began working for Senator Muskie on the Environmental
Barbara (Reid) Alexander was born October, 1946 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She grew up in
suburban Detroit except for three years in the early 1960s when her family moved to Caracas,
Venezuela. Alexander returned to Michigan at age 15 and attended the University of Michigan in
1964. In 1968 Alexander got her first political experience working on the campaign of Robert
Kennedy. She had a major influence on the Earth Day movement in 1970 and became a lobbyist
for environmental issues throughout the 1970s and beyond.
Scope and Content Note
Interview includes discussions of: Don Alexander’s personal background; Bowdoin College;
Barbara Alexander’s personal background; attending college in the 1960s; working with
Edmund Muskie’s staff; Charlene Sturbitts; impressions of Edmund Muskie; attending the
University of Maine Law School; conflicts with Edmund Muskie; working at the Maine PUC;
working on Joe Brennan’s 1978 campaign; Earth Day; and final impressions of Edmund Muskie.
Alexander, Barbara (Reid)
Alexander, Donald G.
Bates, William H.
Brennan, Joseph E.
Daggett, Athern P.
Eagleton, Thomas F., 1929-2007
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Longley, James, Sr.
McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922-
Mitchell, George J. (George John), 1933-
Muskie, Edmund S., 1914-1996
Nelson, Gaylord, 1916-2005
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
Walker, David H.
Andrea L'Hommedieu: This is an interview with Don and Barbara Alexander at the Muskie
Archives at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine on September the 18th, the year 2003, and this is
Andrea L'Hommedieu. Don, if you could start by giving me your full name and spelling it?
Don Alexander: The name is Donald G. Alexander, D-O-N-A-L-D, G for Gilbert, Alexander,
AL: And where and when were you born?
DA: I was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in March 28th, 1942.
AL: And is that where you grew up?
DA: No, some in Nahant, Massachusetts, but basically northeastern Massachusetts through
AL: And what were the communities like that you grew up there, in terms of religiously,
politically, socially, economically?
DA: Well, Lowell was a town that was kind of in decline. It had been a major textile town,
somewhat like Lewiston, and at the time was in decline. We only lived there basically during
WWII and for a short time afterwards, then we moved to a place called Nahant, Massachusetts
which was sort of a suburban Boston community, sort of sticking out into Lynn Harbor. That's
where I lived through high school.
AL: Did you have a sense of politics growing up, an interest or a sense of how people felt
DA: Oh yeah, I got involved with helping out some political campaigns and things like that,
and my parents were always involved in issues. My mother particularly was involved in local
government organizing issues, both with school issues and local government issues in the town,
conservation issues, things like that.
AL: And what were your parents' names and occupations?
DA: My mother, Ruth Bachelor Alexander, was an interior decorator; my father, Donald C.
Alexander was an accountant, a certified public accountant, and then he became comptroller of a
company later on.
AL: So after you completed high school, was that your first connection coming to Maine, in
DA: Yes, well, my father had, while he was a certified public accountant, had been, one of his
responsibilities was counting a lot of the canning factories on the Maine coast, and I had come
up here some with him, just occasionally, to visit, particularly in the summer and things like that.
My first real connection with Maine was Bowdoin College.
AL: And how did you come to choose Bowdoin?
DA: I liked it, I liked the location. I applied there, got in and didn't apply anywhere else. You
know, it's one of those things. I liked the school, I liked the size, and so that was that.
AL: Were there any particular professors while you were at Bowdoin that left an impression
DA: Oh yeah, Athern Daggett was the head of the government department, he was very sort of
influential in moving me to sort of look towards law, look towards doing well. David Walker,
who was a professor there for awhile and then went to work for Senator Muskie in Washington,
was someone who sort of influenced me to get involved in, you know, be sensitive to political
issues and things like that. Certainly those were two. My track coach, Frank Sebastianski gave
me a lot of support and confidence, too. But I just had good relationships with a number of both
students and professors in college, and enjoyed the experience very much. Dr. Hanley was the
team physician; I worked with him some because I was assistant trainer in the athletic
department, too. So, those types of things.
AL: Were you there at the time Paul Hazelton was still a professor?
AL: And do you have recollections of him?
DA: Not greatly. He was in the education department. I never took education courses. I did
work with Paul Hazelton when he was one of our first court mediators, when I was first on the
district court, he and Roy Gleason would come down to Brunswick District Court where I was
assigned and help mediate small claim cases. That was probably the most significant contact I
had with him was when he was doing that, because he and I just didn't have the same circles at
AL: And then you went to Chicago to attend law school?
DA: I came to Chicago for law school, yes.
AL: Now, at what point did you gain some political interest?
DA: Well, in college I was involved in helping out some campaigns, too. And at Chicago I
really, I was, well in college I was a summer intern in Washington, the congressional offices, I
got a position, I actually worked with Congressman Bates from Massachusetts but Senator
Muskie had helped arrange to get me the position at the time. And that was in the summer of
AL: And what sort of work did you do as an intern?
DA: Oh, whatever interns do, help respond to correspondence, meet constituents coming in, do
small research projects probably that don't have great significance, things like that. Help
congressional offices run. The congressional offices then were very different even than they
were six or eight years later when I was working on the Hill. It was a, you know, small, the
congressman had one office, the rest of the staff had another one, that was it. This was
Congressman Bates, and he was a relatively senior Republican on the Armed Services
Committee and yet he had, you know, he had one office and all the other staff, his senior advisor,
a couple other staff people, the secretary and myself, all in one office in one of the old House
AL: The staffs were much smaller then.
DA: Oh yeah, that's right. The big expansion of staff actually, as I understand it, occurred after
I left Washington. But there was even big change because office buildings added and things like
that after, between the time I was an intern which was 1963 and the time I started actually
working on the Hill which was 1971, early '72.
AL: And how long did you stay on the Hill?
DA: I worked for Senator Muskie through his environmental subcommittee basically for two
years, a year and a half, two years. I started in 1972 and I got through, went back here, moved
here, in August of 1973.
AL: I'm going to stop here and I'm going to start with you and then we'll sort of meet up,
because I imagine that this, about the time were talking about, you two are meeting?
Barbara Alexander: Yes.
DA: We met in Washington, yes.
AL: Okay, so let me go ahead and start with you. If you could give me your full name,
including your maiden name, and spell it?
BA: My name is Barbara Reid, R-E-I-D, Alexander, A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R. My maiden name
is Reid, R-E-I-D.
AL: And where and when were you born?
BA: I was born in October, 1946 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
AL: And did you grow up in that area?
BA: Grew up in suburban Detroit. After the war my dad went to work for Chrysler
Corporation and basically worked there until he died in his early fifties, and we lived in a
succession of suburban type Detroit environments (unintelligible word), Birmingham and so
forth. And then in the early sixties my dad accepted a transfer to work in Caracas, Venezuela for
the international division of the car company, and the entire family went and it was a dramatic
impact on our family and our, broadening of our horizons and learning about the world and
everything. So that certainly is an outstanding event from my childhood. I was twelve to fifteen
during those years.
AL: During those years.
AL: When you were growing up in suburban Michigan, did you have a sense of your parents'
political beliefs and what the community around you was like, religiously and economically, I
mean, economically of course the car companies really drove the economy.
BA: I would have to say no. Neither of my parents were politically involved, I recall no
discussion of politics or public issues at our dinner table. And the only event that I can think of
that would have triggered my personal interest in those issues was the experience in Caracas,
Venezuela where world events seemingly were very visible and surrounding us all the time.
AL: And then you came back to the Detroit area?
BA: Right, we moved back when I was in high school, and I finished high school at (name)
High School and went to the University of Michigan in 1964.
AL: In Ann Arbor?
AL: And what was your major?
BA: Political science. My interest in the world and international affairs, foreign affairs,
political affairs, really grew out of my international experience in Caracas and I was very
interested in that issue. And it was unlike anyone else in my family, to that date, who had shown
and interest in the area.
AL: So are we talking about the mid to late sixties that you went to college?
BA: Right, '64 to '68, the classic years.
AL: Can you give me a perspective as to what it was like to be there at that time?
BA: Well, it was, you know, it was there then and it's now looking back and it's hard to
separate the two, isn't it, at this point. But certainly, when I entered the dorm in 1964 the whole
idea of parietal supervision of incoming freshmen and dorm inhabitants at the college had just
ended, you know. But even then we had curfews in which we had to sign in and out, but still the
notion of close supervision was just about gone at my entry there. And I was in the dorm for two
years, and I would say the first several years were very normal, you know, college parties, dorm
surrounded activities, contests, you know, to build floats and compete for homecoming, getting
used to the football and the fact that you could go to parties at these fraternity houses. I mean,
all of that was all I remember in the first couple years of college.
But the growing sense of concern about the war in Vietnam began to be very obvious by the last
two years of my college, and in fact the first teach-in in America about the Vietnam War
happened at the University of Michigan and I attended it. I remember distinctly sitting in the
audience listening to people talk about the effect of this war on the culture and the people of this
country, of whom, you know, no Americans knew a thing. And the thought of opposing the
government in its war was palpable at this event, but I still was not drawn in to a lot of particular
activity at that time although I was extraordinarily interested in international affairs. I was
taking Russian as a language, I already spoke Spanish from my years in Caracas, I had had
French in high school. I wanted to enter the Foreign Service, that was my goal at that point.
And toward the end of my senior year in '68 I got involved with a group of kids, through the
political science activities, you know, who wanted to go off and work for Robert Kennedy in his
primaries in the spring of '68, May and June. And I joined a bus load of students from the
University of Michigan who went to Fort Wayne, Indiana that spring, and got organized through
the Kennedy campaign to go door-to-door and do canvassing of neighborhoods to turn out the
vote for the primary. And the Kennedy campaign had built on what McCarthy was doing to get
young people involved in going door-to-door to generate turnouts and, you know, it was all
manual, we kept data on these voters on cards and we'd indicate whether we visited, who we
spoke with, what literature we left there and whether they were going to vote on the primary day.
And obviously Democratic neighborhoods, and low income and black neighborhoods were
targeted, and I will never, this is pre assassination of Martin Luther King, just before, and I will
never forget the complete camaraderie, the sense of togetherness.
We walked those streets in complete safety. We were greeted at doors by people who welcomed
us to talk to them about Bobby Kennedy. It didn't matter that we were white, never were we the
slightest bit afraid of what we were doing. And I think back on it, and you could not duplicate
that today, that sense of things might be changing, of complete trust in this politician, of
excitement that people were out on the street talking about the upcoming election and the turnout
for Bobby Kennedy. That never happened again. It's a part of our society that fell apart that
spring, and that coming year, with the terrible violence and the awful assassinations and the
urban violence and everything else. So, but that really turned me on to the notion of change in
politics and my interest in domestic issues, as opposed to my earlier thought that I was going to
go abroad and work in some State Department foreign office, preferably Russia at that point.
So I ended up staying with the campaign. I was with a group of kids that got flown out to
Portland, Oregon to work on that primary, then flew to, where I organized coffees for the
Kennedy family and the women, the sisters, and did door-to-door stuff and started supervising
canvassers as opposed to just doing the canvassing, organizing rallies, doing crowd control. This
was a candidate who couldn't appear in public without people, you know, Rosie, what was his
name, the big football player?
AL: Rosie Greer.
BA: Rosie Greer followed him around for absolute physical reasons, the guy was tiny and
small and people just went bananas every time they got near him trying to touch him. And he
had a whole group of people that he had to hire and people around him just to protect him. This
was nothing to do with violence, this was, you know, tough love stuff, you know. So they would
get all of his campaign workers involved in this crowd control activity wherever he went,
whatever kind of rally he held, walking from his car, parades that he would be in and everything.
And so we did everything. And when that campaign was over he lost Oregon, that was really
rough, really, really rough, the entire campaign was depressed, he was depressed. Then he went
to California and I was taken to San Francisco where we organized rallies in Chinatown and
canvassing the neighborhoods, and then we were watching TV the night he was assassinated in
Los Angeles, on the night of the primary.
And, you know, there isn't, this palpable sense of emotional impact of what was going on, with
the war, with the assassinations and everything, just, it was such an intense time, I was at such an
impressionable age, that it certainly was the defining year of my professional, probably my
personal life as well. So after the funeral which I attended in New York and the aftermath of
that, I went home to Michigan and decided that I was going to work in Washington, D.C., so I
did. I got a job at the National Security Agency, got a big security clearance, started translating
radio traffic in Vietnam, Bulgaria, I mean all these languages that supposedly I was able to keep
track of and translate. And lasted there about six to eight months and knew that politically I
couldn't do this job, I was supporting what was going on and I, it wasn't what I wanted to do.
So I got a job as a kind of a super secretary to a woman working at the Conservation Foundation
in Washington, D.C. called Muffy, Martha Henderson, and she was my mentor, she made me do
stuff way beyond secretarial work and got me involved in Earth Day, because Gaylord Nelson
was starting to form this group of people to implement his idea of a teach-in on the environment.
And I thought, oh, I know about teach-ins. Hutzpa was never my, I never lacked for that, let me
put it that way. And Muffy Henderson knew all the people who were organizing this thing and
shoved me right in there, and I got to work with that whole group of environmental action people
to put on the Earth Day activities. So that's how I got involved in the environment, but it was all
to me politics, you know, public issues, making a change and so forth. So that takes us to the
AL: And now, so we were talking with you about your time as an intern, and then you went on
DA: No, I was an intern, I finished my, go back for my senior year at college, I then go to law
school. I went to Washington and I got a job with the National League of Cities as a sort of
legislative counsel which essentially was, I did some legal work for them, provided some legal
advice to (unintelligible word), primarily issues work and lobbying, a lot of it was lobbying on
legislation of interest to, of concern to cities is what it basically was.
AL: Did that have any relationship to the Model Cities program?
DA: Well, the Model Cities programs were adopted in 1966, and our group was involved in
sort of trying to influence how they were implemented through the Department of Housing and
Urban Development and things like that.
AL: I ask that because Senator Muskie did have a lot to do with the Model Cities program and
wondered if you had contact with him through that program.
DA: Did not have contact through that program. Actually, I found out about the job, I was
referred to the job by the guy who was the director of his Intergovernmental Relations
Subcommittee, that was David Walker, a (unintelligible word) professor of mine at Bowdoin by
that time was down working for Muskie on his Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee, and I
found the job through him. The job I had there was assigned three areas: crime, criminal justice,
environment, and public works. I then got, my primary involvement with Senator Muskie was
not working with the National League of Cities, was not the Model Cities, there were other
people that did that, but environmental issues, air and water pollution, subsidies for building
treatment plants, things like that. Because I was sort of the environmental staff and that's how I
met Barbara because we both had contacts, were doing stuff in the environmental related areas of
conservation, environment, things like that.
AL: And so how exactly did you meet, was it on a committee?
BA: After Earth Day in 1970, Environmental Action decided that it was going to stay in
Washington as a group and do lobbying in favor of changes in our federal laws. And we had this
incredible grass roots set of contacts all across the country of people, students and community
groups who had organized Earth Day activities, and believe me, we had them all categorized in
little three-by-five cards. In other words, we had the makings of a grass roots lobbying
campaign. And this is in an era in which a lot of the established conservation groups, and I'll call
them that because that's what their genesis was, were not organized to do grass roots lobbying at
all. At this point in our political development, a lot of these groups were having their tax
exempt status threatened if they did active lobbying, and the notion of having a lobbying
organization and a tax exempt organization hadn't yet gotten sophisticated to get organized yet.
So here we had all these corporations who could lobby ad nauseam and all these public interest
groups who could not without threatening their long standing tax exempt status, so we had a lot
of the national conservation groups not really sure of what they could do in the way of lobbying.
So the kids organized these new organizations, the Natural Resources Defense Council,
Environmental Action, Environmental Policy Center, The Sierra Club is not far behind in terms
of organizing the lobbying outfit to implement their views, and then gradually all the
organizations figured out ways in which they could legally do lobbying and started doing grass
roots work. But this was the beginning of doing that, for environmental issues, now. And after
Earth Day the first target we did was the Clean Air Act and lobbied very heavily on the Clean
Air Act at the time Earth Day was getting organized and everything. And Nader's organization
had come into existence and wrote a big expose about clean air and the lack thereof, and so the
push was on to get a really great Clean Air Act. And so I was doing that lobbying on behalf of
our organization and had regularly met with the Nader people to organize exactly what we
wanted this national legislation to do, and Muskie was the champion of doing something other
than the same old same old. So we had a lot of contact with is office. Then in the next two years
I worked on, solely on the Clean Water Act, which resulted in a new legislative action in 1972,
and in that context had run into Don because he was lobbying that same piece of legislation for
the National League of Cities.
AL: And so did you have experiences where you met Senator Muskie in relation to your work,
and if so what were your impressions and any recollections you have?
BA: Well, I would say in the first several years of our activity there was not a lot of personal
connections with Senator Muskie, and a lot of connection with Senator Muskie's staff. Leon
Billings and, name some of the names of the people who were up there.
DA: Maynard Toll, Don Nicoll was getting through about that time.
AL: Yes, he was.
BA: And of course this was a subcommittee that was part of the larger committee that was
chaired by Jennings Randolph of West Virginia, and he controlled the staff of the full committee
so there was a lot of, you know, internal jockeying going on as to what staff would be in charge
of what was going on.
DA: He had a good staff person, too, a guy named Barry Myer who was I think really
sympathetic to and helped Senator Muskie a lot. And then there was a lot of good workings,
more so than today I think, with the Republican staff, (unintelligible word) Republican staff
person was a person named Tom Jolin who was sort of a scientific expert in the environmental
area that provided a lot of assistance to Senator Muskie even though he was a Republican staff
BA: That's right, and very strongly in favor of a lot of new legislation. But our main target at
that point was the House side, I mean that was abysmal and we spent a lot of lobbying on the
House side. In those early years Senator Muskie could be counted on to come forward with the
strongest possible legislation, but we would submit, you know, drafts and comments and work
closely with, you know, learning the Washington situation. I mean, we're talking about people in
their early twenties, mid twenties here, who up until that point had no particular experience on
the Hill and were just, you know, shooting from the hip as far as deciding what our positions
were and how to get from A to B.
But boy, we knew how to turn on our grass roots campaign, and we could generate letters, and
we did, and phone calls on key moments. And that was a new phenomenon. The car companies,
for example, and the large industrial, National Association of Manufacturers, the Chemists
Association, those were the big lobbyists, you know, and they basically brought no grass roots
approach. This was before they figured out how to do that and they were left, you know, with
being painted as the enemy, as special interest, as paid lobbyists, as, you know, and the press and
everyone was on the side of the environment in those days so they were easy pickings, let me
say. They got much more sophisticated and better at what they were doing very quickly. But the
'70 Clean Air Act, the '72 Water Act clearly were Muskie's greatest triumphs, and deservedly so,
and would not have happened without him, but environmental lobbyists at that point, you know,
were always pushing the envelope, were always asking for more. But I don't recall a lot of
personal interaction with the Senator as such at that time, but a lot with his staff.
AL: Do you remember Charlene Sturbitts?
BA: Yes, I do. I hadn't thought of that name (unintelligible phrase) many years. She was
DA: Yeah, I mean, remember she joins the subcommittee staff after I do, so probably she
maybe starts work after she gets out of college, (unintelligible word) College, in like summer of
1972, I'm thinking? I think I'm right. And she works with the subcommittee staff from that on,
though remember, she shows up because her mother is a close friend of Jennings Randolph and
so she was just sort of placed there because I think it was her mother helped her get the job, so
she was a little bit suspect at first.
AL: Yeah. Did people sort of, were standoffish with her until they figured out -?
DA: Oh no, no, no, I don't think we were standoffish. But I remember being there, then hey,
we've got this new staff person and, yeah, her mother or aunt or somebody's a close friend, has
tea with Senator Randolph, so. But she was a nice person and she was bright, she related well to
us, Leon and I and, as I say, but she was on the staff starting in like 1972 so I only worked with
her as colleagues for about a year before I left. Then of course she was one of the ones who
stayed a long, turned out, stayed a Muskie staff person for a long, long time.
BA: Did she stay there a long time?
DA: Oh yeah.
AL: And then went to Mitchell's staff as well.
BA: Oh, did she?
DA: Oh yeah, she was one of the ones who, you know, oh yeah, because remember when she,
when we're dedicating this place it was 1987?
AL: I think that's about right.
DA: She's still on Mitchell's staff then. I remember talking with her then, yeah. But she was,
she just started off, you know.
AL: So let's see, where, I'm trying to catch up again on where we were with you.
DA: Okay, I worked with the National League of Cities and got to know Barbara there. I
worked on environmental issues, I worked on clean water issues, and we both, in terms of better
water pollution control we were also interested in improving the subsidies for building treatment
plants which was one of the big things then.
BA: Yeah, he wanted the money, see, for his clients, but that was okay.
DA: Well, it was other things, too. We had an interest in the clean up issues, and we had
issues and priorities. For example, the National League of Cities (unintelligible word), and
Barbara and I, you know, had some contacts with that (unintelligible word), were involved with
work on the, in opposition to the proposing the bill in SST because we thought that money could
be better spent on urban issues and problems and the huge subsidy that was being requested for
BA: Do you remember the SST battle?
AL: The Supersonic Transport?
BA: That's right. I'm sorry (laughing), it seems so absurd now. We never did build one either.
DA: So, you know, I worked on that and I worked, got to know Muskie's staff, particularly
Leon a lot and fairly closely. And when the presidential campaign was starting in 1972, this is
when Muskie is sort of building up his (unintelligible word), well, 1971, excuse me, Leon asked
me to come and join the staff to basically help watch out for things while he was soon to be out
campaigning, and help work with Senator Eagleton who was sort of going to be sort of Muskie's
backup on the committee, to sort of help watch how things went while Muskie was running,
involved in the presidential campaign. And so I joined Muskie's staff I think like the first work
day of January in 1972 with that goal, primarily mine, my focus was to be on, you know, what
was going on in Congress, congressional activities while, you know, to the extent Leon was
involved in the campaign or things like that. Leon was, obviously stayed there and was the head
of the staff and subcommittee the whole time, and I was his assistant during the time. So that's
how I got to actually work on the staff and obviously related to Muskie in a bunch of ways.
AL: I'd like to hear what your impressions were of Senator Muskie when you first got to know
him, and how you related to him, what your impressions were and any recollections.
DA: Well, a little bit intimidating because he, you know, he was fairly, you know, he had a lot
going on, and I had met him a couple times, you know, in like '70, '71, things like that, just a hi,
how are you, glad to hear you're working for the Cities, and things like that. But when I started
working for him though, he was focused on the presidential campaign and so I'd have sort of
brief conversations that were a little bit intimidating, as I think they were for a lot of people. He
was very bright, wanted things done, wanted things done with high quality, and brisk.
DA: Yeah, but that's all right. I mean, he got things done but he was relating to a lot of people.
And then as, of course, after the presidential campaign sort of got over and he was back more
involved and I had more direct contact working with him, usually with both him, working with
he and Leon on, you know, be it drafting legislation or rewriting what was said on the House
floor and things like that, and so we'd have conversations.
I don't, I wouldn't ever think, I don't think I ever would have had what I'd call a warm and
pleasant relationship with him. I mean, I worked with him some, I worked primarily with Leon
and the other staff and all, see him occasionally in meetings assessing what we were doing or
hearings, or sometimes, you know, on some discussions we're having while we're waiting for
stuff on the Senate floor, because sometimes I'd help with other issues he was involved in on the
Senate floor, things that weren't involved with the environmental sub-, it used to be called the
Air and Water Pollution Subcommittee, then I think it became the Environmental Subcommittee
only after I left. But anyways, but he might be involved in other issues related to the
environment but not the subcommittee. Then we'd have, Leon or I or both of us go over to the
Senate floor and help him on things.
BA: Wasn't there an issue involving solid waste and recycling or something like that that was
supposed to be your particular area that you were doing a big briefing book on or something?
What was that?
DA: Well, we drafted some solid waste proposed legislation. I think we called it the Lobbyist
Free Lunch Act, 1973 or something. We didn't know if it would get through but we thought we'd
put it out anyways so we put out a draft bill and things like that. But, you know, so we, yeah, as
sort of a next step in things that were going on for, you know, sort of subsidy and regulatory type
programs, and we drafted that. That didn't ever get anywhere.
AL: I've heard from others who we've spoken to that Senator Muskie liked to really hash out
maybe draft legislation in terms of (unintelligible word) or the ideas or find the holes in it. Did
you ever experience him going through that process?
DA: Oh yeah, he'd sit over here with his glasses down on his nose and, what's this, what does
that mean, what's that going to do. Oh yeah, we'd do that both with legislation and with reports,
draft legislation and reports and things like that. Yeah, sure, he would, because he wanted, if he
was going to, particularly if he was going to go into a Senate debate, he wanted to know exactly
what he was talking about. And he was, I think more than a lot of other senators, really wanted
to be on top of things and know what various things meant. So we would go over, on all of
them, who's going to ask about this, what if somebody asks about this, I just read that, you know,
I don't understand it, if I don't understand it how can you expect my colleagues to understand it,
things like that. And then we'd talk about it and what it meant and maybe ought to be changed.
Oh yeah, that's right. Some were intense sessions sometimes that way, yeah.
AL: You've mentioned Tom Eagleton. Now, at some point he started the campaign in '72, '72,
right? As a running mate?
DA: No, no, no. The '72 presidential campaign's going on, Senator Muskie's running for
president. At that point, this is, Eagleton gets involved as McGovern's running mate later. At
that point what happened is, you know, Eagleton is fairly, had a fairly close relationship with
Muskie. As a result, he was sort of assuming a lot of sort of the oversight responsibility for
some of the committee work that Muskie had been doing, and I was brought, I joined the staff at
that point to sort of work with primarily Senator Eagleton, though I was sort of (unintelligible
phrase) to maintain this oversight while Muskie was out campaigning. And of course Muskie
came back from the campaign after April and was involved, and then Eagleton got, was picked
by McGovern to be his running mate and then was for a while, and then the controversy about
the mental health issues came up and then he was dumped for Shriver.
AL: Right, but at the time that McGovern asked him to be his running mate and he started, was
it the case that you and Leon Billings were wanting to go out and help Eagleton in his campaign?
DA: I don't recall it ever getting to that. Once he was picked, I can remember spending a lot of
time in his office with, who was his assistant, the guy from Ohio? Fairly big guy. Bob Maynard.
BA: Oh, I remember that name.
DA: Yeah, Bob, I can remember -
BA: Don remembers all of this stuff.
DA: No, I'm not that great, really. But anyways, Bob Maynard ultimately went to be a lawyer
in Cleveland, Ohio. He and some of us, including I think even Tom Jones, who was a
Republican staff person, I remember we spent a lot of time in Eagleton's office talking about
various things. I don't ever recall planning to go out on the campaign trail with Senator
Eagleton. Leon may have, you got access to Leon -
BA: (Unintelligible word) his speeches and stuff like that.
DA: We sure did stuff like that. But I don't recall myself doing anything to (unintelligible
word) the office. I was asked, because I was on the committee staff, I was asked to go and help
with some things the Democratic National Committee were doing. For example, I remember that
I, or maybe even we went, I don't know if you (unintelligible phrase), that we were in Denver,
Colorado when they had the break in at Watergate, while I was on the committee staff. I was
helping organize a conference out there on, frankly I forget what.
BA: I don't think I was there.
DA: I remember meeting with Dick Lamb who I think was the governor of Colorado then, and
all, and then having calls from the Democratic staff about having been broken into while I was,
this was while I was in Denver for something to do with getting things ready for the campaign
and political things, the general campaign. But it wasn't, didn't have anything to do with the
Eagleton campaign because actually that, that break in was before the convention I think, the
break in was before the convention, yeah, so it was something that was leading up. I think,
coming back, it was a platform committee meeting, you know, sort of conducting platform
committee hearings, you know, to talk about issues in advance of the Democratic National
Convention is what that was. So I mean, I did that but I don't recall any plans for myself to go
out on the road doing stuff for Eagleton. I had a lot of contact with him personally in his office
during this particular period, well all through this, that year, I had more direct, as the senator's
staff person, contact with him than with Senator Muskie.
AL: And then you came back to Maine in '74?
DA: Seventy three. What we decided was, Barbara decided to go to law school and we
decided on various places and we thought we'd like to move to Maine, we just decided, I didn't
see myself staying in Washington, D.C.
BA: We either had to leave or we knew we were going to be there a while, you know, it was
one of those.
DA: Yeah, and I wanted to come back up in this direction, and so we decided to, and Barbara
got into law school in Washington and in Boston and here, and we decided to move back here.
So we, I left the subcommittee staff, or continued to do some consulting work for them still, and
we moved back here in 1973.
BA: Right, and don't forget, this was the depth of despair in Washington for any liberal person,
that whole year. I mean, it was clear the president was a crook in some way and yet there was
no, nothing happening. I mean, he was then reelected, you know, and the atmosphere was
poisonous and depressing and it was like, get me out of here, you know? How can all of our
things that we've worked on so hard over these years be affected by this.
DA: You've got to remember that the people who were sort of active, involved in Washington,
Democrats. I mean, the break in occurred five months before the election, and by the time of the
election there was absolutely no question that there was significant White House and Republican
Party involvement and yet Nixon was reelected by a landslide. I mean to us, all came out and
was revealed in '73 and '74 wasn't any surprise, and so we were very depressed to see that despite
this obvious corruption of the system, criminal corruption of the system, this person had been
reelected. And it's a time also, you know, conservative congressional Democrats were not
particularly supportive of the general objectives of the Democratic Party or good government or
anything else. And so it's just something that, we decided to, I think actually Barbara and I went
to Williamsburg just for a trip. As we were driving down, Ruckelshaus, who had been an
environmental, we'd had first contact with and was a wonderful person (unintelligible phrase),
got fired as attorney general.
BA: The Saturday night massacre?
DA: Yeah, and at that point decided, this is enough, we're leaving.
BA: Yeah, we're outta here.
DA: And that's, you know, that's right. We were driving down to Williamsburg and we heard
that was going on. And remember, the Senate Democrats, the Democrats have large majorities
in Congress at this time. This isn't a time like now when Republicans are in control. And yet,
because of the conservative leadership they really weren't doing very much despite this obvious
corruption. And, because this is 1973 now, after the election. But still, I mean, everybody in
retrospect says, oh, great, people went out and did all this wonderful stuff to, you know, stop the
corruption and catch up with Nixon. Like the Vietnam War, there were a lot of people who were
Johnny-come-lately on that, too, who were Democrats.
BA: Right, that summer didn't look like, you know, that's going to happen. And we were ready
for a professional change, and we had been married a year, we knew we were going to start a
family at some point, you know, did we really want to make our career in Washington - - no, we
DA: And Barbara knew that really for what she wanted to do, a law degree would help.
BA: Oh, yeah.
AL: So you came back to Maine, and there you are at the University of Maine School of Law
in a very pretty famous class.
AL: I mean, there are a huge group of you who pretty much, I mean in a lot of ways, run the
state of Maine today because you're all that group of people, Janet Mills and Jim Tierney.
DA: Jim Tierney's not in that class is he?
AL: But he's nearby.
BA: Right, that whole group of classes.
AL: I mean, it was two or three or four years that just produced - - what was it like to go to
school at that time, did you -?
BA: Well, we had the largest class of women that the law school had ever had.
AL: You know what, I'm going to stop you and let you start on the other side.
End of Side A
AL: We are now on Side B.
BA: This was, the class that started in '73, that graduated in '76, was the largest group of
women who had attended law school up to that time.
DA: And significantly larger than any class before.
BA: Yes, absolutely, right. And, we had a number of people in that class who had been out of
college for a while. I had been out of college four years at that point, and a number of people
had had other careers or professional activity before they started law school, so the combination
of people who, you know, were not just freshmen in law school, you know, having done four
years as undergrad, and the fact that we had a number of women who were obviously welcome,
they were praising the fact that we were there, we were nurtured and mentored all the way along,
made for a wonderful environment. And, you know, the luck of the draw in terms of just
drawing all these interesting people over those two or three years worth of classes that were
going to school at that time.
AL: Do you recall some of the people you were in school with, and sort of the political
atmosphere in law school? Because I'm told during that period there were a lot of students who
spent half their time going to classes and half their time on campaigns.
BA: Well, there's Janet. I started the environmental law section there and spent all of my
summers working for environmental organizations, never stepped a foot inside a law firm,
working for environmental organizations. Spent one of those summers in Washington raising
hell about Senator Muskie and his activities on the Clean Air Act - - we're going to come back to
that I think in a minute. But, you know, the women's law section, environmental law section, all
of those things were new and different activities at the law school at that time, so there was a lot
of activity going on, no question about it.
AL: And so tell me about your conflicts with Senator Muskie at that time.
BA: Well, this would be the summer of '75, and I had left Washington behind but had not lost
track of what was happening there. And the Clean Air Act was up for major amendments and
subject to a lot of controversy that year, all of which focused on Muskie and the House side, but
certainly Muskie's subcommittee. And I was hired by the Sierra Club to move down there for
the summer and become one of their lobbyists on the Clean Air Act because I knew the thing in
and out, I had worked on the '70 Clean Air Act and made it my professional interest to follow the
implementation of that law, had gotten involved in Maine in some air pollution permitting before
the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in which I as a pro bono helped represent
some testimony before the board at that time about the air pollution law and the effects of the air
pollution from the stacks at the International Paper Mill, because they were expanding. And the
issue was tall stack or direct in-plant pollution control, and so I was, you know, arguing in favor
of the direct in-plant pollution reduction rather than just putting the stack up another hundred
feet. They put the stack up another hundred feet, by the way.
But anyway, I was still involved in a lot of environmental activism, and I was doing it in Maine
on behalf of the League of Women Voters which I had gotten involved with as a volunteer
group, and there were, you know, the Natural Resources Council of Maine was around, and I
thought that they were way too conservative in their views and not activist enough and not
pushing the envelope harder, so I got the League of Women Voters involved and we did a lot of
stuff on those issues.
But anyway, in the summer of '75 I went to D.C. and worked for the Sierra Club on the Clean
Air Act. And, you know, it wasn't a lovefest at that point because we had a situation where the
Clean Air Act did require at that point probably even then everyone realized unrealistic pollution
reductions on automobile pollution. You know, the Clean Air Act said ninety percent reduction
in 1970, and then there were these extensions and they were all granted, and the issue was what
was the statute now supposed to say. You know, was it going to continue the ninety percent?
Well, probably not. And the auto companies were much better organized and had a lot better
information, but they were still in the just-say-no school. But anyway, the, Muskie's
subcommittee came out with one version, the House came out with another, Muskie then started
backing down and ended up with a proposal at one point that was a ten percent reduction for the
first year of the extension. And the environmentalists with whom I was associated, and I urged
them to do this, came out in opposition to what Senator Muskie was doing and criticized him
publicly, but it was my idea to call the press of Maine, have a press conference in Washington at
which we invited the Maine press and publicly criticized him for his work at that point and his
proposal at that point, and he went ballistic.
And the reason why I know he personally went ballistic is because, number one, Leon told me,
and number two, that same summer Leon had us over to his home, at which the senator came and
lectured me about my tempered attitude and how I had to learn how politics worked in
Washington, and how he was in a position where he had to salvage something because he
couldn't get support and he had to make compromises and I didn't understand compromises.
Right, so I mean there was that personal interaction at that point.
AL: And you weathered the conversation all right.
BA: Oh yeah, nothing intimidated me, unafraid. I mean, obviously I was intimidated but, you
know, I told him, well if you didn't have people like me on the outside screaming about what you
ought to be doing, how would you ever have a compromise that could get you to the point where
it would be acceptable. So I viewed myself as setting the outer boundaries. So I talked myself
into having done a dutiful public purpose with this approach. I couldn't tell you whether in the
long run it made any difference or not, but there was no action that year, it all got put off for
another couple years.
AL: And how, it must have been interesting to you to be really even strongly, more strongly
idealistic about where the standards should be than Senator Muskie, if that makes sense to say it
that way. Even though you came from the Detroit, Michigan area and were really against the, in
some respects, the employers of your father.
BA: Right, that had some personal implications which you may or may not be interested in, but
obviously, you know, there was, the interest initially in environment had nothing to do with what
my father did but when it got down to the Clean Air Act and what the automobile pollution
standards ought to be then obviously that's something (unintelligible phrase) what my father did.
So, you know, he was never real thrilled with my choice of activities. But on the other hand, he
never argued with me about it either.
But getting back to the Muskie situation, Senator Muskie was always first a politician, I mean he
had very strong views and he pushed the envelope where he thought he could, but he knew the, I
mean he was determined to be successful within the political environment in the Senate that he
found himself in. He knew how to maneuver in the Senate, he knew what he had to do to get a
bill out of committee, he was skilled at moving his agenda forward. But he also knew when he
could and when he couldn't, and when he couldn't move, you know, where people wanted him to
go, he did what he thought he had to do to move the agenda forward. So he was not an
ideologue, he was never, I don't think he ever, my personal impression is that he never entered
politics just to do environmental activism. He found himself in a position where he could do
good work in that area.
And he never did anything without making sure that he did it right. You know what I'm saying?
I mean, he was very bright, he was, like Don said, always wanted to know himself exactly what
was happening and why. And he wanted to do a good job, but he knew the environment he was
situated in and in '75 and '76 it wasn't the environment that he had in '70, '71 and '72 in terms of
politics, the economy and everything else. I can look back and be more generous about his
decisions now than I could then, but you know, but that was my role. Somebody had to say, uh-
unh, this is unacceptable, so that's what we did.
DA: But he always was, you know, got along with us afterwards. You were saying, that night
over to the house, things like that, but, because we'd occasionally bump into him on some
political things in Maine because we were involved in politics later, the gubernatorial campaign
in 1978, things like that. And then of course we maintained close personal relations with Leon,
we'd visit him or he'd visit us, for a long time.
AL: Well you probably have, I mean you have to figure that, I mean the years and years of
work you put into the Clean Air Act, he probably agreed with you ideologically.
BA: Oh, yes.
AL: And so I'm sure it wasn't something -
BA: He was constrained by the politics of his situation and his judgment about where he could
go, and he didn't like being criticized back home for the exercise of that judgment. That really,
you know, upset him because he had an image, correctly so, as an environmental savior and
didn't like to be subject to criticism for what he felt at the time was something he really had no
choice about in terms of the technology that was going on then, what he knew about that
technology, and what the politics were as to what he could get out of committee. So, reasonable
people will come to different conclusions.
AL: And so what did you do after graduating from law school until the time you became
director of the Consumer Assistance division at the PUC?
BA: Oh, I remained involved in government or, you know, public policy continually. Our son
Phil was born in '76, I took some time off for that and did some consulting on the side, most of it
environmental related, and then when Joe Brennan was elected governor I was appointed the
head of the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, which is a consumer agency that at that point
was separate but is now a part of the Bureau of Banking since, in the last several years they've
downgraded it. But anyway, it's in charge of implementing the Maine Consumer Credit Code
which had to do with consumer credit, interest rates, disclosures, loans, debt collection, fair
credit reporting laws and a bunch of consumer oriented credit related activities. So my little
office supervised banks and car dealers and Sears and other grantors or credit in the state,
licensed debt collectors, licensed lenders who were not otherwise banks, and I was there until, I
was there three or four years.
DA: Nineteen eighty-three, and then you went to work for Libby Mitchell (unintelligible
BA: And then I was up at the State House working for Libby Mitchell, that's right, for a year,
and then Catherine was born, and then I joined the Maine PUC as the head of the Consumer
DA: That's sort of the end of the time that Brennan was governor.
AL: Okay, and what was it like working on the Maine PUC?
BA: This office that I was appointed to was brand new, had just been created as a focal point
for consumer protection, dispute resolution with consumers who had problems with their utility
service, basically upgrading the commission's ability through a staffing function to address
consumer protection issues, service quality issues, low income program issues, basically the
consumer side, not the rate making side but the consumer interaction side of public utility
regulation. So I had a great time, I was there ten years, I had a staff of about ten or eleven
people the bulk of whom were involved in handling individual consumer complaints. But I
created a system that categorized the complaints and analyzed them and recorded them annually,
and allowed the commission to actually take action in response to trends in complaint areas,
developed new rules, I did a lot of work on rule makings at that time and so forth.
AL: And I want to get back to you now. We've come back to Maine and at some point you
become deputy assistant?
DA: Yeah, what happened is we decided to come back, I thought I was going to hang out a
shingle and then, but it turned out, an option that came up to work in the attorney general's
office. I was hired by John Long who was then, it was his last year as attorney general, to be
assistant attorney general for environmental protection because I knew a lot about the laws, I'd
just been working with them and this was the time in the state when, relating to implementing
these new federal laws. And so -
BA: Both air pollution and water pollution.
DA: Yeah, air and water pollution and I knew them very well because I'd worked with drafting
them and amending them and things like that. So I joined the attorney general's staff as his
environmental attorney in January 1974 as opposed to hanging out a shingle, wound up driving
back and forth from Augusta to Yarmouth before I-95 was opened between Augusta and
Yarmouth, so it was a long commute. Did that for a year. Joe Brennan was elected.
BA: But then we moved to Bath.
DA: Yeah, we moved to Bath in '74. Joe Brennan was elected attorney general and I was
there, I hadn't had much contact with him before but he and I just hit it off very well, and so
shortly after he became attorney general I was basically taken out of environment and got into
more general civil stuff, and then when one of the deputies left I was appointed deputy attorney
general even though I'd only been there a fairly short time and was basically, you know,
Brennan's deputy dealing with civil litigation, civil matters, administrative matters,
administrative issues, dealings with the legislature, things like that. Plus, of course, I helped a
lot with his planning for his campaign in 1978 because, which was something we were planning
for in 1975.
AL: What was it like working on his campaign?
DA: Well, yeah, I was in the attorney general's office the whole time, I wasn't sort of a separate
campaign worker, I did a lot of work with the campaign and also we did some work when he was
beginning to be attorney general sort of getting him down to Washington more, introducing him
to Washington and things like that and we dealt with Senator Muskie a number of times through
that. And, I mean, I enjoyed the office, it was a very open office because I think the way that Joe
Brennan figured that he would look good is if he let his staff be visible, so he didn't have any
restrictions on talking, of other staff members talking to the press and things like that. And I was
sort of supposed to watch out for things like that, you know, make sure that the people stayed, as
they say today, on message. That wasn't the term then, but it was, but you know.
He hired a lot of people including Janet Mills, we had a large number of new people in the
attorney general's office and some of them are still there. The attorney general's office size
expanded significantly and we had, he would basically give people their head to go and engage
in initiatives, to, you know, be it to protect the state in one way or another or things like that. A
lot of it was sort of defending the state against suits, too.
BA: Totally unlike Senator Muskie.
DA: There was a lot of work, it was interesting work, and very diverse. It's tough to sort of
characterize it in retrospect of thirty, you know, twenty-five years later. I mean, I enjoyed it very
much because of the diversity of it. One day you can be involved in a Milk Commission
hearing, because I was among other things attorney for the Milk Commission, next day you
could be dealing with Gov. Longley on something involving forest fire matters.
BA: Boundary disputes.
DA: Next day (unintelligible word), I had an opportunity to appear in the supreme court twice,
never arguing but once when helping write briefs and all when Joe Brennan argued, and once
when a colleague of mine, Ed Bradley, argued a case in the supreme court. Which you don't
have, so, it was just a, it was tremendously valuable for me, opportunities of doing a diverse
number of things. And occasionally I would travel to various speaking appearances that Joe
Brennan did, too, and then of course we had a pretty, you know, very active campaign in 1978.
Interestingly, we, I don't recall doing a lot of interaction with Muskie and Muskie's staff in the
'78 campaign because, if you recall, we thought, Joe Brennan didn't agree, he was out
campaigning until the last minute, we thought we had a pretty good shot. Remember, Hathaway,
we were trying to save Hathaway's seat, that's where a lot of (unintelligible word) work of
Muskie's staff (unintelligible phrase), in terms of '78. Of course we didn't in that situation. So, I
mean we worked with Muskie a lot but there wasn't a lot of work, there wasn't a lot of
interrelationship of Muskie and Muskie's staff people doing a lot of work on the Brennan
campaign because their efforts were more towards the Hathaway situation.
AL: And so you were still there in 1980?
DA: No, no. The night of the election, 1978 election, I'm walking up to the attorney general's
office at, this is -
BA: This is true.
DA: This is, yeah, at about, well because I was also the elections person, just, you know, you
did more stuff, a broader range of stuff there. I was the elections person, too, and so I had -
BA: Election law person.
DA: Right, yeah, on election, any election night, primary, in other words, we would go through
the AG's office, we'd then have to go over to the secretary's office at the State House and stay
there until an hour after the polls closed everywhere because questions would come up, you
know, it's five minutes to eight and we've got a line of fifty people, what do we do? Or it's, you
know, six thirty and we've run out of ballots. You'd have State Police officers at the State House
to be able to take new ballots. I mean, this is, you know, we don't have the same
communications then we do now to be able to, you know, at high speed take new ballots
somewhere, or can we use a copying machine to prepare ballots. You'd have to record this and
say what you've done, and all this type of thing. So I was walking, and so I did that most nights.
Actually, the night that Barbara had Philip I had to go over and do that in 1976, you know,
because that was the presidential election then. And it was, so I was walking up to the AG's
office and the governor come up to me and asked me if I wanted to go to the Blaine House and
watch the election results, and I said I couldn't, I still have to work, sorry about that. And, well -
BA: This is Longley, now.
DA: This is Gov. Longley.
BA: Right, really kooky.
DA: Well, I don't, see, I don't always share that. I mean, I had a fairly good relationship with
him, Brennan had a fairly good relationship with him.
BA: But he did a lot of kooky things.
DA: Well, he did a lot of different things and, you know, the people that were used to doing
things the same way didn't like it. But Longley changed them, changed a lot of the way we think
about state government, and I don't know that that was all to the bad. I mean, yeah, he did things
different but it's, anyways, I was, and he said, you know, I know you want to be a judge, I've got
a list, you're at the top. And sure enough, two weeks later he nominated me to the district court
and so I was sworn in on, I was sworn in to the district court four days before Joe Brennan was
sworn in to be governor. See, a lot of people think I was one of Brennan's first appointments;
actually Bob Clifford from Lewiston here was Joe Brennan's first judicial appointment. I was
actually Longley's last judicial appointment, and so I started on the district court, so I was never
involved in the government, I mean the assumption was that I was going to be counsel to the
governor but that didn't happen.
BA: Dave Flanagan was.
DA: Yeah, so, and then Dave Flanagan wanted to be president of Central Maine Power
Company so, clearly economically (unintelligible phrase). But anyways, so that's where that
went. And then I was on the court, and of course I still, we still maintained good relations with
Leon and all after that so I'd occasionally see Senator Muskie at some things, but of course once
I was on the district court I couldn't go to political functions. Barbara did, she, probably she
maintained better political contacts after that than I did. But that's what, you know.
AL: So you've been on the court ever since in different capacities, and now in, was it 1998 that
Angus King appointed you to the Maine supreme judicial court?
DA: Yeah, because as I say, I went on district court in the very end of 1978 and then, I was
only on the district court a year and Joe Brennan appointed me to the superior court and I was in
the superior court until 1998, and then Angus King appointed me to the supreme court.
AL: I don't know if I've asked everything, please tell me if there are other areas that I've
skipped over that are important to talk about, or observations or maybe anecdotes that you have
about Senator Muskie that sort of illustrate his character or the time period or anything you feel
that should be added?
DA: Well, the thing is about Senator Muskie is my own perception of how different he was
from a lot of the people who were, you know, sort of leading politicians in the Senate then, is
that, I mean, he really believed in knowing things. For example, this stuff about, you know,
going over the bills. I mean, a lot of, you know, (unintelligible phrase) some of the other
senators, they would have no idea what sort of bills they were pushing, or have very little idea.
Certainly not down to the, you know, what's in subsection six of subparagraph two, and stuff like
that. And that he really believed in what he was doing, that he was on top of what he was doing,
and that, you know, if he had to knee jerk he would tend to knee jerk in the right direction. And
that wasn't the case then, you know, we all think now about, well, everybody was opposed to the
Vietnam War then - - not so. We think now that everybody was in favor of environmental
legislation then - - not so. It was a very difficult situation and he was on the right side of issues
when it wasn't easy or popular to be on the right side of them.
I mean the issues, some of the issues he was actively involved in, it looks great now but
considering what the leadership was in the Senate then, which was very hostile to change, very
hostile to change, very hostile to new ideas, very supportive of the existing corporate structure,
the existing governmental structure and all, he was, you know, somewhat unique, I mean in that
circumstance, both in the work he did which I'm more familiar with on the air and water
pollution subcommittee, and also on the intergovernmental relations subcommittee, some of the
things he did there about the, you know, looking at the (unintelligible word) and
intergovernmental relations, the impact of various programs of the federal government on others,
things like that. So, I mean that's sort of a general observation, and I don't think he gets, is
recognized because in hindsight you think everybody was on the same side. Not so.
BA: I don't have anything more to add. I mean, my great interaction with him was the summer
of '75, you know. His work in '70 and '72 were absolutely praised by environmentalists, strongly
supported, we took him for granted, probably to our detriment in doing so, but our big enemies,
quote, unquote, were over on the House side and we spent enormous amount of time and effort
lobbying over there, generating letters over there, trying to get movement forward over there,
and relying very heavily on Senator Muskie and his knowledgeable staff to keep the agenda
And Senator Muskie was responsible for the 1970 Clean Air Act, without a question, without a
question. He saw an opportunity to get some strong legislation because of the public view of the
environment and the lack of organization of the opposition, and he just pumped it right through.
It was really wonderful to watch. And in '72 he was responsible for the strong Senate bill that
allowed the House to move toward the Senate side on the Clean Water Act. So there was never
anything other than, you know, we're in this fight together kind of approach to things in those
early years, and deservedly so. It would not have happened without his leadership, no question
AL: One last thing I want to ask is in regards to Earth Day, and your mentioning Gaylord
Nelson as the leader in terms of that national day. Did Senator Muskie also have a strong
connection and visibility with that day? Because I often hear of Gaylord Nelson and I'm
wondering if from your perspective, having been so involved, whether Senator Muskie was
connected to that.
BA: Yeah, it was Gaylord Nelson's idea, so he was always viewed as the father figure and the
press went to him about this issue, he announced it nationally and promoted it. And Senator
Muskie, once it became a phenomenon and the thing grew to become this national event with
communities all across the country having some activity to honor Earth Day, naturally Senator
Muskie was very strongly interested in, you know, proposing and talking in favor of
environmental issues. But it was not his personal thing. I think he got involved in it and made
some national speeches around it, and you know, I cannot remember if he was featured at one of
those Washington Mall speeches that day, there was a huge program on the Mall in D.C. with a
lot of national figures and I just do not remember him because I flew to three different cities that
day and made speeches, you know, of some nature somewhere along the line, and one of them
was in Minneapolis or something, I don't remember. But anyway, I wasn't in D.C. so I don't
AL: Well thank you both very, very much.
End of Interview