After church on November 18, I journeyed to a part of the
District of Columbia which I had not before visited and had the
privilege of being in a sold-out audience to hear five cabaret
singers performing songs written by Noel Coward and Cole Porter.
The event was organized by Carol Hubner, wife of Sven Kraemer.
Sven, with whom I had a productive conversation, served on
Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council staff and now teaches
at the Institute of World Politics. Among those in the audience
was former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.
I spent 90 minutes with Phyllis Schlafly, Kent
Snyder, and Lou Moore at the Hotel Mayflower on November 16,
where Phyllis is scheduled to address the Federalist Society.
Kent is the Chairman of the Ron Paul for President campaign and
Lou Moore is the Campaign Manager. In addition to discussing
Presidential politics, we also focused on ways of expanding
awareness of and support for two key measures promoted by
Congressman Paul, including the “We the People Act” and the “War
Powers Act” which he has co-sponsored with our friend, Walter
Jones of North Carolina.
CAP HELPED TAME GUS
At the end of January, 1973, I was named Director of the U.S.
Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
My appointment had been delayed for months because of attacks
on me by those who opposed my determination to close down the
programs of the "Great Society", which operated under the
jurisdiction of OEO.
I had campaigned to get the job as Director and had the
promise that President Richard Nixon would veto further funding
for the agency before the end of its fiscal year at midnight on
June 30, even if it meant vetoing a "continuing resolution".
There were struggles within the Office of the President, with
LBJ Democrat Paul O’Neill (who was running the Office of
Management and Budget OMB) determined to prevent the veto and
preserve the "Great Society" programs.
Nixon had resolved in September, 1972 to eliminate the agency
and its programs, but O’Neill and his nefarious colleagues,
including Frank Carlucci, Wes Hjornevik, Leonard Garment, and
James Cavanaugh rejected the letter of Nixon’s decision, but
claimed to honor the spirit of it, by splitting up the agency’s
programs and shipping them all over the Government. This
included creation of a Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and the
transformation of the National Institute on Education to
eventually become a Federal Department of Education. Other
components included Community Action Agencies, the Office of
Minority Business Enterprise (which went to HUD), migrant
programs, Indian programs, and much more.
As Director of OEO, I had 2,000 so-called civil servants,
many of them Left-wing activists locked into lifetime sinecures,
who supposedly reported to me, one thousand of them based at our
national headquarters at 1900 M Street, N.W. in Washington,
D.C., and another 1,000 spread among ten OEO regional offices.
However, the real power resided in some 500,000 employees of
10,000 OEO-funded non-profit corporations which had been
authorized to lobby, litigate, organize, propagandize, and
proselytize for their preferred neo-Marxist views.
I was a target for every Left-wing journalist in America, and
my adversaries were drooling when I was scheduled to testify
before the House Education and Labor Committee to defend my
administration and my agenda. The Chairman of the Education and
Labor Committee was Augustus Hawkins, a Congressman from
California, who had organized the Congressional Black Caucus and
who, years before, had been a member of the Communist Party of
the United States.
The hearing room in which I testified was jam-packed with
prominent Left-wingers from the media and the private sector,
ranging from Ralph Nader to Daniel Schorr. Although I was
attacked by virtually every member of the Committee, as well as
some non-members from the Black Caucus who came to the hearing
in an attempt to stare me down, I had a very successful day.
One of the reasons things went fairly well was the
intercession of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) Secretary
Caspar Weinberger with his old friend, Gus Hawkins. Hawkins and
Weinberger had both served in the California Assembly. In his
younger days, Weinberger was a man of the Left, supporting San
Francisco Mayor George Christopher against Ronald Reagan when
the two ran for Governor in 1966 and favoring liberal GOP U.S.
Senator Tom Kuchel against conservative hero Max Rafferty.
President Nixon ran his administration by appointing four
"Super Secretaries" who each supervised several department
heads. Weinberger was the Super Secretary to whom I reported.
Prior to the hearing, Weinberger told me of his friendship
with Hawkins and said that, before the hearing was to begin I
should approach Chairman Hawkins and tell him that his old
friend, Cap Weinberger, would be grateful if he would extend to
me every courtesy. I did that and Chairman Hawkins could not
have been more gracious for the rest of the day.
As reported in the Washington Evening Star and
Daily News (March 1 1973), "SARGE SHRIVER, the
Kennedy in-law, had to pretend that the miniature vessels
appropriated by the Congress back in 1964 were mighty
battleships. He christened them with grand names like Community
Action, Head Start, Upward Bound, Foster Grandparents and
neighborhood Youth Corps. …
"Once a year Sarge had to take his toy shops out of the tub
and cart them up to the Hill so that Congress would finance
another annual voyage. …
"And now, in 1973, the OEO has a new ‘acting’ director, an
Anti-Anti-Poverty Czar named Howie Phillips…The process is
officially called dismantlement…rechristening the boats with
names like Failure, Mismanagement, Waste and Political Advocacy.
"On Tuesday, Howie trudged up to the Hill to meet
congressional tormentors. …
"ONE BY ONE OEO’s liberal friends rose to the poverty
agency’s defense on Tuesday, flexing their flabby congressional
muscles, giving Howie the evil eye like so many club-fighters
trying to psych out an opponent before the bell. Howie polished
them off, one by one. He was armed with information where they
were filled with so much vague gas. Above all, he believed in
the efficacy and rectitude of what he was doing, while they
tried to sell ignorant flatulence as moral passion. …
"Mink of Hawaii waxed wrathful over the illegality of
dismantling OEO. ‘Under what law are you operating?’ she
demanded in grandstand tones. ‘Under the Economic Opportunity
Act,’ said Howie. Clay of Missouri blew his time on what he
imagined to be a clever disquisition on the career of Cato, that
stern Roman moralist to whom Howie has allegedly likened
" ‘In 1961 you were a member of the Young Americans for
Freedom. Was you paid by them?’ said Chisholm of New York. …
"For Howie, of course, it was a piece of cake. In the absence
of precise and probing questions, he ambled on in his
self-assured IBM vocabulary of disembowelment: utilization memo
… effective mobilization … grantee … sign-off authority …
obligated funds … defunded programs … spin-off … special revenue
sharing … dismantlement.
"YOU COULD HEAR the water slurping down the drain. A
very clever and articulate young man was sitting in the tub."
As reported in The Washington Times (11/14/07, p. B2),
"Augustus Hawkins, California’s first black congressman who
helped form the Congressional Black Caucus, died Nov. 10 at
Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He was 100.
"Mr. Hawkins, a Democrat represented South Los Angeles for
more than half a century, first starting off in the state
Legislature in 1935 and then getting elected to the U.S. House
of Representatives in 1962.
"Black politicians called Mr. Hawkins an inspiration and
" ‘It was Gus Hawkins who gave us the credibility,’ said Rep.
Diane Watson, California Democrats. ‘It was Gus Hawkins who gave
us the ideas. … He has left a sterling legacy.’
"Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat who holds Mr.
Hawkins’ former 35th District seat, called her
predecessor ‘the author of some of the most significant
legislation ever passed in the House…particularly in the areas
of education and labor. He cared about poor and working people.’
"Mr. Hawkins sponsored the equal employment section of the
landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act that created the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. He helped create the Congressional Black
Caucus in 1971.
"Mr. Hawkins also co-wrote the Humphrey-Hawkins Act of 1978
that was designed to reduce unemployment and inflation.
"After retiring in 1990, he stayed in the Washington area. He
was director of the Hawkins Family Memorial Foundation of
Educational Research and Development, which he founded in 1969
to give college scholarships to young women in his district.
Mr. Hawkins’ first wife, Pegga Adeline Smith, a concert
singer, died in 1966. His second wife, Elsie, whom he married in
1977, died two months ago."
As reported in The Washington Post (11/14/07, p. B7),
"Augustus F. ‘Gus’ Hawkins, 100, a California Democrat best
known for advocating social welfare programs and
anti-discrimination legislation during 14 terms in the House,
died Nov. 10 at Suburban Hospital. He had pneumonia.
"Rep. Hawkins had a long and distinguished career in the
California State Assembly – much of the time as its only black
member – before winning election to national office in a South
Central Los Angeles district that included the riot-torn Watts
"He served in the House from 1963 to 1991, and, in a style
consistently described as subdued and pragmatic, he remained a
standard-bearer of New Deal and Great Society programs aimed at
helping the poor and disenfranchised.
"Toward the end of his career, he held the chairmanships of
the House Education and Labor Committee and the Committee on
House Administration. He also was a senior member of the
Congressional Black Caucus, which he helped start in 1971.
"On Capitol Hill he was associated with many
anti-discrimination bills affecting minorities and women. Early
in his career, he backed efforts to strengthen the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission. He also was a force behind
the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The legislation
required employers to cover pregnant workers in their disability
and health insurance plans.
"He worked to raise the minimum wage and foster job creation.
His most prominent legislation initiative was an act he
sponsored with Sen. Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn.) to reduce
unemployment and inflation.
"Rep. Hawkins said the measure, which passed in 1978, would
bring full employment by 1980. But the federal jobs guarantee he
hoped for was greatly watered down, including the elimination of
the right to sue for a job. Furthermore, nothing in the
legislation held the president or Congress liable for meeting
its goals in employment or limiting inflation.
"Augustus Freeman Hawkins was born Aug. 31, 1907, in
Shreveport, La., where his father was a pharmacist. He was
raised in Los Angeles and worked as a gymnasium janitor to pay
his tuition at the University of California at Los Angeles.
"He was active in campus politics and, after graduating in
1931, did further political science studies at the University of
Southern California. Meanwhile, he campaigned in efforts to
picket merchants who would not hire black people. He also spoke
of an early political awakening stemming from his light skin,
which confused streetcar drivers when he sat in the blacks-only
" ‘I got so angry with the whole thing and embarrassed that I
would just walk’, he once said of the racism he faced on
"His community profile grew through a successful real estate
agency he started with his brother, and in 1934 he successfully
challenged a black incumbent, a Republican, for a State Assembly
seat. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rep. Hawkins owed his
victory to a promise to halve the Los Angeles streetcar fare to
"He earned a reputation as a soft-spoken but effective
legislator during the next 28 years in Sacramento. He focused on
measures affecting the poor, including slum clearance, workers
compensation and disability insurance for farm laborers. He
spent 14 years shepherding a fair employment act until its
passage in 1959. That year, he narrowing lost a race for
"He spoke of ambitions to address Medicare and low-cost
housing on a national level and won a seat in the House in 1962
with support from President John F. Kennedy. Rep. Hawkins was
one of five black members in the House at the time and the first
elected black member from California.
"He allied himself with President Lyndon b. Johnson on
legislation helping low-income families and received ample
anti-poverty funding after the 1965 Watts riots devastated part
of the district he represented. He also toured the South on
fact-finding missions after three activists – later found dead –
disappeared during a voter registration effort near
Philadelphia, Miss. In the early 1970s, he defended busing as a
way to desegregate school districts.
"Rep. Hawkins did not seek re-election in 1990 and was
succeeded by Maxine Waters (D). He remained in Washington and
was director of a family foundation he started to give college
scholarships to women in his district.
"His first wife, Pegga Smith Hawkins, whom he married in
1945, died in 1966. His second wife, Elsie Jackson Taylor
Hawkins, whom he married in 1977, died in June.
"Survivors include three step-children, Brenda L. Stevenson
of Chevy Case, Barbara A. Hammond of Suitland and Michael A.
Taylor of Reston; two granddaughters; and a
According to Roll Call (11/14/07, p. 3), "[I]n 1971,
he helped create the CBC and was the dean of the caucus when he
retired from Congress in 1990.
"Hawkins also co-wrote, with then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey
(D-Minn.), the Humphrey-Hawkins Act of 1978, which was designed
to reduce unemployment and inflation.
"In all, he authored more than 300 state and federal laws. He
also succeeded in restoring honorable discharges to the 170
black soldiers of the 25thInfantry Regiment who had
been falsely accused of a public disturbance in Brownsville
Texas, in 1906, and removed from the Army.