Archives West Finding Aid
Table of Contents
- Overview of the Collection
- Content Description
- Administrative Information
- Detailed Description of the Collection
- Names and Subjects
Ron Marlenee Congressional Papers, 1977-1992
- Marlenee, Ronald Charles, 1935-
- Ron Marlenee Congressional Papers
- 120 linear feet
- Collection Number
- Collection 2317, MtBC, us (collection)
- The Ron Marlenee Congressional Papers consist of records created during Ron Marlenee's Congressional career and span the years of 1977 to 1992 encompassing the congressional sessions of the 95th through the 102nd Congresses. Matters discussed include constituents, sponsored or cosponsored bills, press releases, public relations, campaign material, editorial comments, draft bills, staff memos, various reports, and hearing and meeting notes.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- Additional Reference Guides
An alternative form of this finding aid can be found at http://www.lib.montana.edu/collect/spcoll/findaid/2317.html
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Ronald ( Ron) Charles Marlenee was born in Scobey, Daniels County, Montana on August 8, 1935. He attended public schools in Daniels County, Montana State University in Bozeman, the University of Montana in Missoula, and the Reisch School of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa. A farmer and rancher for most of his life, Marlenee was also a member of the Montana Stock-growers, Daniels County Farm Bureau, Daniels County Fair Association, Masons, Lions, Montana Grain Growers Association, and the Montana Beef Performance Association. Marlenee entered the political arena in 1975 when he became a committeeman for the Second Congressional District of Montana. In 1976 he was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives, in the Montana Second Congressional. While in Congress he served on the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Marlenee was a congressman for eight terms and was defeated for reelection in 1992 when the Montana first and second congressional districts were combined.
Marlenee was always concerned about the interaction between individual citizens and the government agencies that served them. In particular, he advocated: a balanced budget and small government; multiple use of public lands; promotion of extraction and energy industries; family farms and programs that supported them; agricultural markets and exports; and was a staunch defender of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The overhaul of government agricultural programs, the uses of public lands, environmental protection, and the creation of more wilderness were hotly contended during his time in office. The Montana National Forest Management Act [S.1696] of 1991 co-sponsored by Montana Senators Max Baucus and Conrad Burns was interpreted to be a wilderness bill by many Montana residents and opposed by Marlenee for restricting access to public lands. Marlenee was especially interested in legislation that affected family farms including credit; drought, water and soil conservation; markets and exports; transportation, and the 1985 Omnibus Farm Bill [H.R.2100] which drastically changed many of the government's agricultural programs. He fought hard to amend many of the bills introduced that changed policies affecting agriculture and voted against the final version which passed and became public law. Marlenee also served on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs including the Sub-Committees (designations varied over time) on Public Lands and National Parks; Energy and the Environment; Mining and Natural Resources; Water, Power and Offshore Energy Resources; and Oversight and Investigations. With the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in the Interior Department, he was deeply involved with the problems of the Indian tribes of Montana and their reservations. Sovereignty, law enforcement on reservations, use of reservation lands by industries, education and housing, and relations between non-Indians and the tribes were some of the key issues. The actions of agencies including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and private organizations promoting conservation and wilderness were reflected in bills on the multi-use of public lands and proposed restrictions. Marlenee promoted the extraction and natural resource industries of Montana, especially coal and oil and the pipelines that were needed to deliver them. Environmental issues including drought, water usage, food safety and predator control and preserving recreational opportunities and protecting National Parks were addressed by the subcommittees and bills debated and considered.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
This collection of the records of Ron Marlenee's Congressional career spans the years of 1977 to 1992 encompassing the congressional sessions of the 95th through the 102nd Congresses. As a member of the Montana delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives his office maintained files in six basic groups:(Series 1) Organization and management of his Washington office; (Series 2) Summaries of his voting records and lists of bills he either sponsored or cosponsored; (Series 3) General correspondence files, including sequentially numbered correspondence from a wide spectrum of constituents related to numerous issues, concerns and requests, in particular related to bills he was sponsoring or cosponsoring; (Series 4) Legislative information, press releases, public relations and campaign materials in both print and electronic media; (Series 5) General legislative files of research papers and materials with editorial comments by Marlenee or his staff; draft bills in process and assorted amendments; position papers and staff memos; official government agency and industry reports and hand written notes from hearings and meetings; (Series 6) Files generated by Marlenee's work on the Committee on Agriculture; (Series 7) Files generated by Marlenee's work on the Interior and Insular Affairs committee. Many of the issues documented in series 5 through 7 appear in several places because of natural crossovers, therefore files have been alphabetically arranged by the dominant subject. Where possible the number, dates and/or title of the bills referred to in files are listed to further guide the researcher.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Series 1 Office Management Files
Series 2 Congressional voting record, 1977-1992
Series 3 Correspondence, 1977-1992
Subseries 1 General (public relations) correspondence, 1977-1983
Subseries 2 Subject (issue) correspondence, 1977-1982
Subseries 3 Sequentially numbered correspondence, 1977-1992
Subseries 4 Bulk Correspondence, 1977-1992
Series 4 Media and campaign materials
Subseries 1 Print memos, research papers, rough drafts, speeches, and news releases/clippings
Subseries 2 Electronic media: video and audio cassettes, 8MM films
Series 5 General legislative files
Series 6 Committee on Agriculture files
Series 7 Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs files
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Series 1: Office Management FilesReturn to Top
Container(s): Box 1-4
Management files for the congressional office of Ron Marlenee include organizational guides and rules for congressional office management including lists of bills sponsored and their filing categories; lease agreements for offices and equipment; procedures for communications, computer services, telephone and correspondence; staff hired and payroll summaries; allowance statements and accounting preparation guidelines; applications for internships; franking decisions, records and requests; mail service work orders and bulk mail information; work papers on response letters generation; assorted staff research; office memos between Ron Marlenee, legislative assistants and other staff; and phone call sheets containing messages from constituents to his two Montana offices in Billings and Great Falls and sign-in sheets of constituents into a mobile office.
Series 2: Congressional voting record, 1977-1992Return to Top
Container(s): Box 4-6
Voting records of Ron Marlenee during his career as a Representative for Montana from 1977 to 1992 are incomplete. Member's individual records of votes and bill summary statements were provided by the Records Office of the Congress. Not included are the 95th Congress, 2nd Session of 1977-78 and the 100th -102nd Congresses of 1987 to 1992. The records include an office generated file of 1986-1992 sponsored/cosponsored bills and Summaries of Bills Sponsored/Cosponsored complied by the Records Office of the Congress between 1979-80 and 1991-92 with some missing. Also present are files for bills recommended but not sponsored and thank you letters for his support or votes from colleagues.
Series 3: Series 3: Correspondence files, 1977-1992Return to Top
Primarily constituent mail sent to Marlenee to influence his action on pending legislation or requests for information and services. Incoming correspondence was tracked and answered by Marlenee's staff using an automated service. A complete mail directory was provided to the congressional office and virtually all incoming and outgoing mail was assigned a sequential identification number. Additionally the date received, handling aide's initials and subjects were coded. Responses were created using standard boilerplate text that was easily personalized for the particular situation. A standard legislative codes list can be found in Box 8, folder 1, and a specialized list of specific issues in Marlenee's home district is included with the office organization guidelines in Box 1, folder 1. The original correspondence files from Marlenee's office exceeded eighty cubic feet, and the files placed in the first three subdivisions of this series represent random samples taken from the containers in subseries 4, Boxes 27-96B. The sampling was done by means of a random number generator during processing and consist of over 3,000 selections from a total exceeding 156,000 items.
Subseries 1: General (public relations) correspondence
Marlenee's 1983 mail directory listing each letter's file location, comments, codes, aide's initials and disposition; sets of the 1978 and 1980 automated boilerplate response letters generated to address constituents concerns about proposed legislation or personal issues; public relations correspondence with constituents, colleagues and institutions. The letters in this subseries are random samples taken from the subject filed correspondence in subseries 4. These samples include thank you letters, congratulatory and sympathy messages, greetings, nominations and recommendations, and constituent requests for materials or visits. A set of "kook" letters are also present. Only letters from the years 1977-1982 were represented in this subseries.
Subseries 2: Subject (issue) correspondence
Mail received from constituents voicing concerns and addressing issues of interest to citizens of the country as a whole and issues of vital interest to citizens of Montana in particular. Most were written in response to upcoming legislation in the Congress, bills being sponsored/cosponsored by Marlenee or items being considered as legislation within Ron Marlenee's two committee assignments, the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Again, the letters in this subseries are random samples taken from the subject-filed correspondence in subseries 4.
Subseries 3: Sequentially numbered correspondence
Correspondence present in this subseries was filed as received and logged in with a sequential document number with no subjects indicated. These letters frequently have office notations and attachments present. Also included are un-numbered letters; un-numbered issue postcards and opinion cards; and unopened letters. Again, this subseries represents a true random sample taken from the bulk containers of subseries 4. The sample has been arranged in numerical order, with those letters not bearing sequential numbers arranged chronologically.
Subseries 4: Bulk Correspondence
Main body of correspondence files from which the first three subseries have been sampled. The arrangement is by sequential document number or alphabetical by subject.
Series 4: Media and campaign materialsReturn to Top
Public relations files including radio/TV appearances; surveys and ideas for news articles; press secretary files including internal memos, surveys and correspondence; collections of regular and special news releases, photocopied and original copies of newspaper clippings collected by county, individual newspaper and special interest publications; speeches: handwritten, drafts with editorial margin notes and final versions typed and; videocassette tapes of appearances at functions, on news shows, at Congressional hearings and on the floor of the House; and audio cassettes of meetings with constituents . Campaign files include position papers, talking points, listed accomplishments in Congress, correspondence with assorted Republican organizations, fund-raising and contact lists, special issues, unfavorable publicity and debate preparation.
Subseries 1: News releases, clippings, research papers and speeches
Copies of speeches including rough drafts, regular and special news releases, a weekly column: Ron Marlenee Reports, photocopies or clippings of newspaper from county files as well as individual newspapers in Montana, charts and plans for public relations, press secretary memos and office files.
Subseries 2: Electronic media: video and audio cassettes, 16 mm films
Videocassettes which have been arranged by category and then chronologically. Category A: Marlenee's legislative reports and interviews; B:committee hearings and House floor debates and statements; C: campaign and publicity items and D: current issues and information without Marlenee's participation. Next is a set of audio cassettes of Marlenee at hearings, meetings, constituent listening sessions, and miscellaneous campaign and entertainment cassettes. There are also four 16 mm films whose content is not identified.
Series 5: General legislative filesReturn to Top
Container(s): Box 118-137
Files from the collection include working papers related to many issues presented on the floor of the House of Representatives. They may include draft and final versions of bills; government and private industry research and reports; Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs; hearing remarks and testimony; correspondence; clippings from newspapers and other publications; internal office memos; committee schedules and memos; and sundry related documents. Marlenee gave special attention to legislation affecting agriculture; support for rural businesses and communities; crime, justice and gun control; government facilities (especially Malstrom AFB in Great Falls, MT and the Miles City MT Veteran's Hospital); education, health and housing; energy development and delivery systems with an emphasis on coal, hydroelectric and oil; the environment and pollution, the administration and uses of public lands, transportation and Indian affairs. These files have been arranged alphabetically by subject and have bill numbers and/or names and dates listed where present.
Series 6: Committee on AgricultureReturn to Top
Container(s): Box 138-165
Files from work on the Committee on Agriculture including the Sub-Committee on Forests, Family Farms and Energy and the Sub-Committee on Wheat, Soybeans and Feed Grains. Files may include draft and final versions of bills; committee markups ( revisions to newly introduced bills), government and private industry research and reports; Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs; hearing remarks and testimony; correspondence; clippings from newspapers and other publications; internal office memos; committee schedules and memos; and sundry related documents. These files are arranged by office titles, Agriculture Department titles and then alphabetically by subject. Bill numbers and/or names and dates are listed for reference where present.
Series 7: Committee on Interior and Insular AffairsReturn to Top
Container(s): Box 166-195
Files from work on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and the Sub-Committees on Public Lands and National Parks; Energy and the Environment; Mining and Natural Resources; Water, Power and Offshore Energy Resources; and Oversight and Investigations. They may include draft and final versions of bills; committee markups ( revisions to newly introduced bills), government and private industry research and reports; Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs; hearing remarks and testimony; correspondence; clippings from newspapers and other publications; internal office memos; committee schedules and memos; and sundry related documents. Included are Interior Department files and alphabetical subject files with bill numbers and/or names and dates listed where present.
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Agricultural laws and legislation-United States
- Agriculture and state-United States
- Budget-United States
- Conservation of natural resources-Law and legislation-United States
- Droughts-United States
- Energy industries-United States
- Energy policy-United States
- Environmental policy-United States
- Family farms-United States
- Gun control-United States
- Indians of North America-Montana-Government relations
- Legislators-United States
- Political campaigns-Montana
- Public lands-United States
- Soil conservation-Law and legislation-United States
- Water conservation-Law and legislation-United States
- United States-Congress-House
- Montana-Politics and government-20th century
- United States-Politics and government-20th century
Form or Genre Terms
- Legislative records
- United States-Congress-House-Committee on Agriculture (creator)
- United States-Congress-House-Committee on Interior and Insular (creator)