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Executive Records, Governor Spiro T. Agnew, 1967-1969
Volume 83, Page 988   View pdf image (33K)
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988 ADDRESSES AND STATE PAPERS

tionary definitions and to call the shots as I see them. I think this
is what Richard Nixon selected me to do and what the American
people elected me to do.

Constant communication will be the first objective. I can imagine
that you will approach this opportunity to advise and dissent with
your customary reticence. I will be braced tor those phone calls of
"constructive criticism" as of 9: 00 a. m., January 21st, and I doubt
if I will suffer from a lack of your suggestions and ideas in the years
ahead.

Over two decades have passed since a Governor has served on the
top Federal executive team, and I sincerely believe this explains in
part the faulty balance of our Federal system. As a former Governor,
I will appreciate the capacity of state government, and I intend to
articulate your frustrations over impediments which prevent state
administrations from working at their full potential.

It would be unjust to ignore the pioneering efforts of President
Johnson in this area. The President was cognizant of this problem
and sought to develop a "partnership" with the states. He gave the
Director of the O. E. P. liaison duties with the Governors. Executive
Orders A-81 and A-85, which provide for state executive review prior
to promulgation or revision of Federal regulations, are helpful meas-
ures. But to date implementation has failed to live up to the prom-
ise of policy. Many departments have failed to achieve either the
spirit or the letter of the Orders. Our goal is success in both theory
and practice.

Of greater concern is the lack of communication between the Gov-
ernors and Congress. I will grant that there should be some separation
by level as well as branch of government. But when it comes to pro-
gram financing, the void is awesome; and the states are winding up
with too much of the check. All too often Governors are caught with
new obligations in the middle of budget periods. Deficits result and
vital programs are curtailed.

Poor communication between the executive branch of state govern-
ment and the legislative branch of Federal government is a prime
contributor to this difficult and debilitating problem.

As Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate,
I shall consider my primary role to be one of bridging the communica-
tion barrier. As a former Governor, I believe I will be able to speak
for the state executives; and as President of the Senate, I shall be

 

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Executive Records, Governor Spiro T. Agnew, 1967-1969
Volume 83, Page 988   View pdf image (33K)
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