Headline: Campaign Trails to the United States Federal election process

June 18, 2015

voteThe United Kingdom recently completed their Prime Minister election, and now, the American candidates are aligning for Presidential, Congressional, and Delegate elections to take place in November 2016.

As a result of the candidates’ campaign strategies, many potential voters within the United States of America are beginning to witness campaign advertisements on their local and cable television stations. The news media also has begun their weekly coverage of the nominees’ activities- including their viewpoints on topics currently impacting American culture in the workplace, economy, and personal struggles. Candidate telephone calls and mailings about candidates are beginning to make their way to the general citizen as well, in hopes for their votes in this next pivotal election.

november2016Have you ever wondered how much of this activity is consistent with the actual U.S. Federal election process?

To fact check what you hear through numerous news media programs, you can review Title 11 Federal Elections, Code of Federal Regulations volume (available in printed paperback at this link: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/869-082-00031-7. This book opens with the coverage of the Sunshine Act regulations and meetings for this commission. According to Wikipedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_in_the_Sunshine_Act), “ the Sunshine Act (Pub. L. 94-409) enacted September 13, 1976, 5 USC 552b (PDF can be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2012-title5/pdf/USCODE-2012-title5.pdf) is a law passed in 1976 that affects the operations of the Federal Government, Congress, Federal commissions and other legally constituted bodies. It is one of a number of Freedom of Information Acts, intended to create greater transparency in government.”

cfr title 11In addition to the public records that are available through the Freedom of Information Act, this volume also covers all items relating to the election process of The Presidential election for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States, plus the Congress- US House of Representatives, United States Senate, and Delegates as it relates to the U.S. Federal election process.

Some specific areas of the U.S. Federal election process included in this regulatory work are:

  • candidate nominees with possible party affiliations, and their responsibilities
  • campaign committees are defined
  • potential candidate personal income funds, including stocks, and other investments, income from trusts, gifts of a personal nature, and jointly owned assets by the candidate and their spouse are detailed
  • Contributions, such as loans, fundraiser or political event attendance, compensation for personal services for employees employed as part of the political activities,
  • And much more

Americans can gain insights to some past election campaigns of their elected officials by reading or reviewing the following titles in the Congressional Minority election collection series published by the US House of Representatives:

front-cover-sm-01Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012 available in printed paperback at: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/052-071-01567-1

Printed Hardcover format to utilize as a reference for years to come: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/052-071-01563-9

ePub eBook to download to a digital smartphone or tablet device:


MOBI eBook to download to a Kindle digital e-reader or tablet device:


These volumes are also part of the Minority series compiled and produced by the U.S. House of Representatives:

Women in Congress, 1917-2008– printed hardcover edition http://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/052-070-07480-9

Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 in printed paperback edition


To find public documents about the first days and months of a new President, you can refer to the Public Presidents of the United States series volumes, published by the National Archives and Records Administration, Office of the Federal Register. Here are a few volumes to get your reading started with first term presidential history. Students at all levels doing comparative politics or history research papers may wish to review the State of the Union addresses in each of these volumes to obtain information about past Presidents’ initiatives for the United States of America.

First Term, Barack Obama

069-000-00184-0Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Barack Obama, 2009, Book 1 in cloth edition format can be purchased here: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/069-000-00184-0

In ePub eBook file format can be found here: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/069-300-00002-2

First Term, George W. Bush

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, George W. Bush, 2001, Book 1, January 20 to June 30, 2001


First Term, William J. Clinton

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, William J. Clinton, 1993, Book 1, January 20 to July 31, 1993


James (Jimmy) Carter

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1977, Book 1, January 20 to June 24, 1977



To obtain the resources mentioned in this blog, click on the links above.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.

Getting to Know the Presidents from the Intelligence Community’s Perspective

February 10, 2014

Presidents Day originated as a holiday to celebrate George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd. As a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, the holiday was changed to the third Monday in February. While the holiday commemorates  George Washington, it also honors Abraham Lincoln whose birthday is ten days before Washington’s on February 12th. Consequently, Presidents Day always falls between the two birthdays. Let’s also give a shout out to two other Presidents whose birthdays fall in February – Ronald Reagan’s birthday on February 6th and William Henry Harrison on February 9th.

In recent years, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been declassifying documents and releasing historical collections giving the public access to fascinating and relatively unknown U.S. history. These collections have been made available through GPO’s bookstore and have been the topic of previous blog posts.

In honor of Presidents Day, Government Book Talk is taking a look at two recent books published by the CIA focusing on the relationship between Presidents and the intelligence community.

Crafting the U.S. Intelligence Community

Crafting an Intelligence Community-Papers of the First-4-DCIs ISBN 9780160920523The CIA’s predecessor, the Central Intelligence Group, was created after World War II in response to the success and usefulness of intelligence gathering during the war. The booklet and accompanying DVD Crafting an Intelligence Community: Papers of the First Four DCIs looks at the first Directors of Central Intelligence (DCI) and their relationships with President Truman and Congress during the initial years of the newly created intelligence agency during the transition from wartime to peacetime. History buffs and President Truman enthusiasts will particularly enjoy pouring through the 800 recently declassified documents from the DCIs from 1946-1953 that are found on the DVD.

The CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence and CIA Historical Collections Division describe this multimedia publication:

Admiral Sidney W. Souers, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter and General William Bedell Smith accepted President Harry S. Truman’s challenge to craft an intelligence organization.  Each man marked his tenure with his unique brand of leadership that provided his successor with the foundation needed for the next step toward the Central Intelligence Agency of today.

 The Crafting of an Intelligence Community collection of 800+ Agency documents along with 600 supplemental items shows the day-by-day activities, decisions, staff meetings and contacts that confronted each DCI.  They ran the gamut of choosing a secretary to responding to a Presidential question to an evening social event with various ambassadors and dignitaries.

Briefing the Presidential Candidates and Presidents-Elect

CIA Getting To Know the President: Intelligence Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-2004 ISBN 9781929667192Getting To Know the President: Intelligence Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-2004 (Book and DVD) or in Audio Book version was recently featured in the Washington Post for being the federal government’s first downloadable audio book available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). The book is an historical account of the information sharing process between the intelligence community and Presidential candidates and Presidents-elect during campaigns and administration transitions.  The early chapters when this practice was not yet well-established provide the greatest insight to the briefing process.

It starts with the transition periods from the Dwight D. Eisenhower to Harry Truman administration through the candidate and Presidential briefings of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, ending with President George W. Bush.

An interesting anecdote from the book occurs during the period leading up to the 1960 election when then-Vice President Richard Nixon was running against then-Senator John F. Kennedy. At the time, there were concerns regarding the intelligence briefings on Cuba and the U.S.’s policy towards the Castro government. The recent revolution in Cuba that led to a Soviet-supported communist government was a hot topic during the election and the Presidential debates. Since Nixon was running for President while serving as Vice President, he was privy to information on the covert actions that had been underway in Cuba during the Eisenhower administration. Vice President Nixon raised concerns over what information was shared with Kennedy by the DCI Allen Dulles and how it could affect Kennedy’s positions during the election and the success of the covert actions. This was the first time the CIA was part of a political campaign raising questions on which topics and to what extent Presidential candidates should be briefed.

Here is an excerpt from the book detailing this fascinating controversy:

Well before the Cuba liberation issue came to a head in October, the outgoing Eisenhower administration had realized that covert action planning on Cuba could be a political bombshell. Following one of Allen Dulles’s briefings of the National Security Council in early August, for example, the vice president pulled the DCI aside to ask him whether Kennedy and his running mate, Senator Lyndon Johnson, were being provided information on covert action projects, specifically those related to Cuba. Dulles gave a carefully crafted answer to the effect that Kennedy was being told a little but not too much. According to former Agency officials familiar with the exchange, Nixon reacted strongly to Dulles’s reply, saying, “Don’t tell [Kennedy] anything. That could be dangerous.”

In his own account of these events, published in 1962, Nixon charged that Kennedy, before the election of 1960, had knowledge of covert action planning “for the eventual purpose of supporting an invasion of Cuba itself.” This charge prompted a formal press release from the White House on 20 March 1962 denying that Kennedy had been told of any plans for “supporting an invasion of Cuba” before the election. The White House denial was backed up by Dulles, by then a former DCI, who explained that Nixon’s comments were apparently based on a misunderstanding of what was included in the briefings he had given Kennedy.

Senator-Kennedy-DCI-DullesImage from “Getting to Know the Presidents”: Senator Kennedy with former DCI Allen Dulles heading to a press briefing on the information the CIA provided Kennedy and Johnson. Source: White House

Celebrate Presidents Day and get to know the Presidents from the intelligence community’s perspective with these new CIA publications or any of the publications found in the GPO Bookstore’s Presidential History collection, which also includes the popular Public Papers of the Presidents collection.


About the author: Our guest blogger is Emma Wojtowicz, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Office of Public Affairs. 

Additional images and content provided by Government Book Talk Editor Michele Bartram is Promotions and Ecommerce Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov) and promoting Federal government content to the public.

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