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Subseries 17. Appointive Positions

Scope and Content Notes:

Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR). In 1983, Governor Thornburgh was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. This commission, Thornburgh writes in his book, had consistently focused on "safe" issues and took up "safe" tasks in the federal government, such as improving federal management and improving the communication between governments at the federal, state and local levels ( Evidence, p.176). However, when Thornburgh was elected to the commission in the summer of 1983, and following discussions and actions at NGA, he "took the governors' resolution [on a balanced budget matters]" to ACIR that summer ( Evidence, p. 176). A study done by ACIR, completed after Thornburgh left office, confirmed his convictions and found "significant evidence that constitutional rules, including those that require expenditures and revenues to be in balance, can be effective instruments for influencing fiscal behavior" ( Evidence, p.176). Unfortunately, this idea has not gained the two-thirds majority support it requires to be sent to states for ratification.

The commission met often, two to four times per year while Thornburgh was in office, most often in Washington D.C., to discuss issues and concerns that arose when dealing with government at many levels.

The ACIR files are arranged in three sections. First are the meeting briefing binders, which in some cases contain "red pen" annotations by Thornburgh. These are arranged chronologically by meeting. Secondly there are files relating to the Presidential Commission. Lastly, there are files, some which are not associated with any particular meeting, but contain news clippings about ACIR, mailings regarding ACIR policy on various subjects, and proposals about potential research areas to be considered for discussion by the commission.

EXIM Bank. In the early spring of 1985, Governor Thornburgh was named to the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) by the bank's president and chairman, William H. Draper III, to represent the interests of state governments. EXIM Bank became an official independent U.S. Government agency in 1945 and finances exports and imports and oversees the exchange of commodities between the United States and foreign countries through loans, guarantees and insurance programs. The advisory committee is comprised of members broadly representative of all economic, import and export areas, including production, commerce, finance, agriculture, labor, services and state government. Thornburgh was appointed to advise the bank on this last concern from 1985-1986, when he left the governorship.

At his first Advisory Committee meeting on April 5, 1985, Thornburgh specifically asked the bank to "place special emphasis on expanding the role of small business in America's export market" (news release available here online). In addition to a more general promotion of state government interests (on a national scale), the Governor also advised specifically on behalf of his constituency, recommending a 15 percent increase in funding for programs to expand Pennsylvania's exports and attract foreign investment in his 1985-86 budget proposal.

These files are divided in chronological order by meeting and each meeting contains briefing binders and meeting files, such as pamphlets and charts, all annotated in red pen by Thornburgh. The materials in the binders have been placed in folders for preservation purposes.

Section: Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR)

Section: Meeting Briefing Binders


Box 437
Folder 1-2 Washington, DC September 22-23, 1983
Folder 3-4 Washington, DC December 8-9, 1983
Folder 5 Executive summary report, Washington DC December 8-9, 1983
Folder 6 Phoenix, AZ March 2-3, 1984
Folder 7 Washington, DC June 7-8, 1984

Box 438
Folder 1 Washington, DC June 7-8, 1984
Folder 2 Annapolis, MD September 23-24, 1984
Folder 4 Washington, DC March 8-9, 1985
Folder 5 Washington, DC June 6-7, 1985
Folder 6 Washington, DC September 20-21, 1985
Folder 7 Washington, DC December 4, 1985

Section: Presidential Commission

Folder 8 Correspondence and Presidential Commission 1983-1985

Section: Research and Newspaper clippings

Folder 9 Newspaper clippings and press coverage December 1983-February 21, 1984
Folder 10 Study and position materials for Study on Metropolitan Transit in the 1980's May 16, 1984
Folder 11 Summaries, proposals and outlines for potential research topics, collected by the commission February 20, 1985

Section: (Export-Import Bank) EXIM Bank


Box 439
Folder 1 Advisory Committee meeting, Washington DC April 5, 1985
Folder 2 Advisory Committee meeting, Washington DC June 28, 1985
Folder 3 Advisory Committee meeting, Washington DC November 13, 1985
Folder 4 Luncheon meeting, Harrisburg, PA December 13, 1985
Folder 5 Annual Exporters' Conference, Washington DC March 25, 1986
Folder 6 Advisory Committee meeting, Washington DC June 23, 1986
Folder 7 Advisory Committee meeting, Washington DC September 19, 1986
Folder 8 Advisory Committee meeting, Washington DC November 14, 1986