Administrative staff, Budget Committee, Dole, Robert J., Finance Committee, Social Security, Tax
Thomas D. Gallagher was born on September 6, 1954, in Redfield, South Dakota, to Ray and Theresa Gallagher. His father was a lawyer and was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving as its national commander in 1969-1970. Tom attended the University of South Dakota and later received a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Congressional Research Service from 1978-1980. He became a staff member of the Senate Budget Committee when Senator Muskie was its chairman. He started working for Senator Mitchell in early 1981 as a legislative assistant on the Finance Committee, where he remained for about four years. He then took a job at the International Trade Commission. At the time of this interview, he was senior managing director of International Strategy and Investment.
Interview includes discussion of: Gallagher’s father’s involvement in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and how this spurred Gallagher’s interest in public affairs; the path Gallagher took to Washington, D.C.; working for the Congressional Research Service; working on the Senate Budget Committee staff for Senator Muskie; John McEvoy’s recommendation of Gallagher to work for Mitchell; Finance Committee issues; the political considerations between Budget and Finance; Mitchell’s working relationship with Gallagher and other staff; working on a bill on alternative energy tax credits; working with state staff to learn Maine issues; Mitchell’s relationship with Senator Dole; the fate of Democrats in the 1980 election; an anecdote about Mitchell being kicked out of a Delta Air Lines lounge and the company’s subsequent apology; Mitchell’s judge-like demeanor; the 1982 U.S. Senate campaign and election; the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, and the Foreign Investment and Real Property Tax Act of 1980; Senator Long as a mentor to Mitchell; Social Security reform; the looming need for Tax Reform; Reagan’s economic policies; the partisanship of Senate staffers; the difference between being part of a committee staff or member staff; “psychic remuneration”; how Mitchell positioned himself to become part of the Senate leadership; and the skills that Mitchell has that have contributed to his success.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.