entitled "Draft for Memorandum from the Honorable Clark MacGregor to the
President," describing the goals of the dairy industry that were "unanimously
recommended" by all present. 217 In the first paragraph, the memorandum
contains the following remark: "(I believe you are aware of the political
support which AMPI is providing)."
In spite of the intense lobbying by David Parr and his colleagues, on
March 12, 1971, Secretary Hardin announced that "after careful review," the
Department of Agriculture saw no justification for any further increase in the
existing support price for manufacturing milk. There would therefore be no
rise for the April 1, '71 - March 31, '72 period. The Secretary emphasized
that although he realized that "some dairymen believe that the support price
should be increased," the decision announced was "in the long term best interests
of the dairy producers" and would avoid overproduction and excess
government surpluses. 218 This decision to hold the line had the strong backing
of both the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) and George Shultz,
Head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 219
At this point, the dairymen turned to political connections for help.
Murray Chotiner, an old friend of Richard Nixon's, 220 had been employed at
the White House as Special Council to the President since January, 1970. On
or about March 8, 1971, Chotiner left the White House and immediately
thereafter became associated ("of counsel") with the firm of Reeves and
Harrison. His share of the rent of the firm office was apparently paid by
217 These goals were: to have the government purchase a substantial amount of cheese;
to persuade the President to impose quotas on cheese imports; to change the system of
computing the milk support price; to increase the support price to 85% of parity.
218 See fn. 215, supra.
219 1972 conversations with Hendrik Houtthaker, a member of the Council of Economic
Advisers; see Nelson deposition at 48; Interviews with Houtthaker and Hardin by Washington
Post on October 24, 1973, reported in the Post, Oct. 25, 1973.
220 Chotiner had been the President's chief political strategist since the 1940's.
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